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Social and economic justice, technology and tennis. I'll have what @jbf1755 is having.

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cdarwin, to random
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Donald Trump has deleted a video from his social media page that featured hypothetical article headlines
about him ushering in
🔥“a unified Reich” 🔥if he wins.

It was posted yesterday and was deleted sometime Tuesday morning.

cdarwin, to random
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Who is on trial over Germany coup plot?

A self-styled aristocrat, his Russian girlfriend, retired military officers and a former judge have gone on trial in Frankfurt on charges of plotting to violently overthrow the German state.

The defendants were among nine alleged conspirators
– seven men and two women
– who were led into the purpose-built court flanked by armed police officers on Tuesday for what has been described as
the most important of three trials of suspected members of the anti-constitutional Reichsbürger scene.

Some of the defendants, variously dressed in hunting jackets, suits, hoodies and Burberry scarfs, waved and smiled at each other and chatted with their lawyers after being led to their seats.

One woman covered her face with a grey folder as cameras captured the defendants’ walking into court.

Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss, whose seat was marked with the sign “Prinz Reuss” and who is alleged to have been the group’s ringleader, appeared relaxed, nodding as his lawyer spoke to him.

Dressed in a dark jacket and trousers, navy pullover and open-necked shirt, the 72-year-old estate agent greeted fellow defendants before taking his place in court.

The group, referred to as the , stands accused of high treason after plotting to storm the Reichstag.

It allegedly aimed to take MPs hostage and show a shackled chancellor, Olaf Scholz, on television in expectation of winning over ordinary Germans.

Had the alleged coup succeeded, Reuss was to have become Germany’s new chancellor.

The defendants were arrested in December 2022, when heavily armed forces stormed houses, flats, offices and a remote hunting lodge.

Investigators had been surveilling the group for months.

All defendants deny the charges.
The trial was slow to get under way on Tuesday after several lawyers lodged complaints to the judge, Jürgen Bonk, in which they expressed their objections to the proceedings taking place at all.

Outside the court, Roman von Alvensleben, a lawyer for Reuss, told journalists he objected to the fact that,
because there were three trials in separate locations,
“it is almost impossible to follow the cases properly and to cross reference them,” he said.

Across the three trials, a total of 26 defendants are in the dock for their alleged involvement in the plot.

A 27th, a 72-year-old who had been due to be on trial in Frankfurt, recently died.

cdarwin, to random
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Can the Israeli-Palestinian peace movement rebuild after 7 October?

“What happened on 7 October really destroyed the peace movement as a movement,” says Jørgen Jensehaugen, a senior researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo. “It’s individuals now, and not a movement.”

Mohammed Abu-Nimer, a professor in peace and conflict resolution at the American University in Washington DC, says periods of intense violence tend to reveal weaknesses in the peace movement. Historically, Israeli peace groups “do not withstand the cruelty or the escalation of the conflict”, he says.

Organisations such as Women Wage Peace, with 44,000 members, including Arabs and Orthodox Jews, and its Palestinian sister organisation, Women of the Sun, acknowledge that peacebuilding is facing its greatest challenge yet, but they will not give up.

“Not everyone has come back to the table but it has to happen,” says Wolfman. “Our ability to maintain a dialogue with different parts of Israeli society is crucial right now. We have to widen our base, we have to have a bigger camp. You have to be a little more flexible.”

cdarwin, to random
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Homes evacuated in Italy after strongest quake in 40 years near supervolcano

Cracks form in buildings after 150 quakes follow 4.4-magnitude tremor around Campi Flegrei near Naples

Many people slept in their cars or on the street after the strongest earthquake in 40 years shook the area around the sprawling Campi Flegrei supervolcano close to Naples.

The 4.4-magnitude tremor in Pozzuoli, a densely populated port city, was followed by 150 quakes that were also strongly felt in Naples.

cdarwin, to random
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cdarwin, to random
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After Trump's 2016 expectation-defying win, pollsters and strategists made adjustments aimed at better capturing Trump supporters.

Now, Democrats say the polls are missing key voter dynamics on their side.

"There are certain communities that are missed," added Warnock, who narrowly ousted Republican Kelly Loeffler in a 2021 runoff.

Still, Democratic Senate candidates in Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are running well ahead of Biden and lead their Republican rivals, according to the latest New York Times/Sienna survey.

What they're saying:
"It's early," Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.), who led Republican challenger David McCormick by five percentage points in the survey, told Axios.

"Every candidate, whether it's the president or me — we have to work every day to earn people's votes."

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) also told Axios elections in his state are always going to be close, but he predicted Biden would win. He added that he would like to see Biden and Vice President Harris visit Arizona more.


cdarwin, to random
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The Supreme Court had severely limited the honest services doctrine in v. United States, by deciding that the “intangible” right to honest services required a very
👉tangible exchange of money or property from a person to an official for some precise action as part of a bribery or kickback scheme.

And in United States v. - ,
a case with facts eerily reminiscent of those uncovered in recent Supreme Court ethics scandals,
the justices significantly limited the reach of another public corruption law,
the illegal gratuities statute, 18 USC § 201(c), in similar fashion.

In Sun-Diamond Growers, the Court overturned a conviction against a trade association for giving then-Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy $5,900 in illegal gratuities–including items such as tickets to the 1993 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament and thousands of dollars of luggage and meals.

The unanimous Court interpreted that statute to apply only to situations where officials accept or are given gifts “for or because of some particular official act.”

♦️Until Sun-Diamond, the government could establish an illegal gratuities violation by showing that a gift was based on the official’s position;
♦️but after Sun-Diamond, prosecutors were required to establish a “link between a thing of value conferred upon a federal official and a specific ‘official act’ for or because of which it was given.”
Based on this analysis, gifts or money,
-- even when they’re given by an advocacy organization to an official explicitly in charge of regulating that advocacy group,
-- are not problems in themselves; rather, they only become problematic when they are linked to a very specific set of actions.


cdarwin, to random
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Fruit of the poisoned tree is a legal metaphor used to describe evidence that is obtained illegally, holding that if the source (the "tree") of the evidence or the method by which it was obtained is tainted, then any evidence derived from it (the "fruit") is also tainted and typically inadmissible in court.

The Federalist Society is the tree

The Alito/Thomas/Roberts Court is the rotten fruit



cdarwin, to random
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We’re letting Trump distract us from his corrupt, anti-climate agenda

Donald Trump sat down with oil executives and told them that if he wins, he’ll scrap a slew of President Biden’s clean energy and other environmental regulations they don’t like
— as long as they raise $1 billion for him.

The response? Crickets.

Trump’s pay-for-play move was frequently described as
⭐️ “transactional.” The right word is

Last weekend, at a rally in Wildwood, N.J., he pledged to halt offshore wind farms.
All of them.
Right away.
“We are going to make sure that that ends on day one,” Trump said.
“I’m going to write it out in an executive order.”

It was consistent with a remarkable statement he was reported to have made to the energy execs:
👉 “I hate wind.”

No investigative reporting is required to see what Trump would do.

His campaign website goes on and on about how he would “stop all Joe Biden policies that distort energy markets,” describing the president’s approach as “industry-killing, jobs-killing, pro-China and anti-American.”
👉The right’s propensity to deny climate change runs so deep that in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis and his fellow Republicans in the legislature have written their denial into law.

Last week, as Anna Phillips reported in The Post, DeSantis signed a bill that removes most references to climate change in state laws and, for good measure, bans offshore wind turbines in state waters and weakens natural gas pipeline regulation.


cdarwin, to random
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Helicopter crash comes as Iran already faces huge challenges

The Iranian helicopter crashcomes at a time when the country, faced by unprecedented external challenges, was already bracing itself for a change in regime with the expected demise in the next few years of its 85-year-old supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In the country’s hydra-headed leadership where power is spread in often opaque ways between clerics, politicians and army, it is the supreme leader, and not the president, that is ultimately decisive.

Indeed, in some ways the posts of president, and prime minister
– originally based on a model of the French constitution
– became overwhelmed in the drafting of Iran’s constitution in 1979, leading to advocates of a more powerful presidency to claim the role was being subsumed in a form of autocracy created in the name of religion.

The presidency, however loyal to the supreme leader
– and Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi is considered very loyal to Khamenei
– is often cast in the role as a useful scapegoat helping the supreme leader to avoid criticism.

That certainly became the fate of Raisi’s predecessor Hassan Rouhani who became a punchbag for decisions taken elsewhere

In recent months Raisi, elected president in 2021 but
in practice handpicked by the supreme leader,
has been mentioned as a possible successor to Khamenei.

His death, if confirmed, would instead clear a thorny path for Khamenei’s son, Mojtaba Khamenei.

The choice is made by an 88-strong “assembly of experts”, and
Raisi’s departure would certainly increase the chances of a hereditary succession in Iran,
something many clerics oppose as alien to Iran’s revolutionary principles.

But if Raisi has died it will add to the sense of a country already in political transition.

A new hardline parliament was only just elected on 1 March in which turnout for some of the elections fell below 10%, and was overall presented as reaching a nationwide turnout of only41% – a record low.

Reformist or moderate politicians were either disqualified or soundly beaten leaving a new and, as yet, untested division in parliament between traditional hardliners and an ultra-conservative group known as Paydari or the Steadfastness Front.

The effective exclusion of reformists from political participation in parliament for the first time since 1979 adds to the sense of a country in uncharted waters.

The cumulative disruption also comes at a time when Iran can ill afford such uncertainty
MM as it faces western challenges over its nuclear program, a dire economy and tense relations with other middle eastern states, especially over how to threaten Israel and US hegemony

The possible loss of Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the foreign affairs minister, in the helicopter crash
only adds to a sense of instability for a country that prided itself on control and predictability.

His most likely successor is his deputy Ali Bagheri, but hard-liners may regard him as too willing to negotiate with the west over Iran’s nuclear program.
Although Iran has not lost a president in office since the revolution in 1979, the country has a clear formal system for succession in which the first vice president
– currently Mohammad Mokhber
– takes charge.

Few regard Mokhber, a banker and former deputy governor of the Khuzestan province, as presidential material.
A new president should be elected within 50 days,
giving the supreme leader and his entourage relatively little time to select someone that will not only become president at such a critical time, but also someone that will be in a strong position to be his own successor.

The immediate challenge of any new leader would be to show the regime remains in control and able to control not just internal dissent,
but the factional demands within the country to take a tougher line with the west, drawing closer to Russia and China.

cdarwin, to random
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President vows to fight ‘poison of white supremacy’ at Morehouse speech

Speech warmly received at historically Black college despite backlash from students in weeks leading to address over war


cdarwin, to random
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Trump is very behind Biden financially and organizationally, and simply is not going to be able to catch up this year.

It’s all very Trumpian

  • all hat, no cattle.

And it is a very very big problem for the Republican Party up and down the ballot in the battlegrounds and across the country.

This is all part of why I am optimistic about winning this year.

  • Joe Biden is a good President. The economy is historically strong and the country is better off.
    National polling is close and competitive, within margin of error.

We’ve gained a few points in recent weeks in the national vote and in the Congressional generic.

The two sets of battleground state polls out last week

  • Emerson and CBS
  • had every single state within margin of error.

We’ve had encouraging polls in AZ and WI this week.

Senate and House polling is good and the GOP’s “bad candidate” in the battlegrounds problem has returned.

Due to Biden’s successful Presidency Trump’s central attacks against the President are evaporating.

We have enormous financial and organizational advantages right now.

Trump has the most disqualifying “negatives” we’ve ever seen, and a deeply consequential rebellion inside his party is becoming an existential threat to his candidacy.


cdarwin, to random
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Why are things so expensive?

4 companies control 55% to 85% of the meat market.

4 airlines control 80% of air travel.

3 companies control 92% of the soda market.

3 companies control 73% of the cereal market.

Why don't I hear about it?

6 companies control 90% of the news.


cdarwin, to random
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Sen. Marco Rubio won't commit to accepting 2024 election results

Rubio’s refusal to say if he would accept the results of the 2024 election is notable
because he did vote to certify the presidential election for then-president-elect Joe Biden.

At the time, he said, “Democracy is held together by people’s confidence in the election and their willingness to abide by its results.”


cdarwin, to random
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Helicopter carrying Iran’s president crashes in mountains, official says

Ebrahim Raisi was travelling in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province as bad weather hampers rescue efforts

– Middle East live

cdarwin, to random
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Americans for Tax Fairness reports that
💥50 billionaire families have, at this early stage, already injected almost a billion dollars into our political system💥
—the overwhelming majority of it going to Republicans and in support of Donald Trump
—in an effort to maintain enough control of our political system that their taxes won’t go up.

And that total is just what’s reported:
It doesn’t count the billions in unknowable dark money that’s sloshing around the system thanks to .

cdarwin, to random
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In September 2023, scientists funded by a mining company reported finding what could be the
🔸largest deposit of lithium in an ancient US supervolcano. 🔸

Now public researchers on the other side of the country have uncovered
👉 another untapped reservoir in wastewater from Pennsylvania's gas fracking industry.
– and could cover nearly half the nation's lithium demands.

Lithium is arguably the most important element in the nation's renewable energy transition
– the material of choice for electric vehicle batteries.

And yet, there is but one large-scale lithium mine in the US, meaning for the moment the country has to import what it needs.


cdarwin, to random
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Rudy Giuliani’s 80th birthday bash in Palm Beach was stormed “like it was Normandy” as the former New York City mayor was served with notice of his Arizona indictment, sources told The Post.

In front of nearly 75 guests, two officials with Arizona’s attorney general’s office arrived at the shindig around 11 p.m. to hand Giuliani the papers in the case alleging he and 17 others were involved in a plot to overturn the 2020 election, the sources said.

The former mayor’s life has become what could charitably be described as a joke.

He owes creditors nearly $150 million.
His radio show was canceled because he refused to stop airing discredited election claims.
His licenses to practice law in New York and DC have both been suspended.
A bankruptcy court judge all but called him a deadbeat.
He has been criminally charged with trying to overturn the election in Georgia and Arizona
—charges he denies
—and in the latter state, prosecutors have now issued a warrant for his arrest.

On the other hand, he's turned 80, and his pals are pulling out all the stops to celebrate!



cdarwin, to random
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AOC Reveals Darker Intentions Behind MTG Hearing Chaos

“AFTER the Republican Chair and GOP members broke official House protocol to allow MTG’s horrific opening silo of rhetoric, they THEN made another change to dispense with the legislative process,” Ocasio-Cortez said on X (formerly Twitter).

“THAT part is not getting enough attention.”

In a move Ocasio-Cortez described as “highly unusual and still unclear to me how legitimate it was,” the GOP-ledcommittee
vacated both the typical amendment process and legislative debate that follows,
moving directly to vote on their own text without allowing for amendments or objections to be heard.

“That’s why this stuff isn’t just all-sides chaos, or mere distraction, or a pox on everyone’s house,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

“They WANT you to think this was some random devolution of conduct instead of a structured GOP outcome.
We must understand who and what actions created the situation. It matters.”

Thanks to MTG’s meltdown, the vote to initiate contempt proceedings against Garland was successful.


cdarwin, to random
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How Can This Country Possibly Be Electing Trump Again?

With democracy itself on the line, the 2024 election will almost certainly be the nation’s most consequential since 1860.
It will also be the weirdest.
There are two fundamental facts about this campaign that do not appear to be making much of an impact on what, at least today, seems to be close to a majority of the electorate.

The first and more obvious one is that few people in history have ever been less qualified to hold a position of any responsibility, much less the most powerful position in the world, than Donald Trump. If elected, he will certainly deploy that power to destroy virtually everything Americans have historically held dear about the nation’s democratic traditions.

The second, less obvious, but no less objective fact is that Joe Biden has been a remarkably good president. Not everything has worked out, and one can certainly disagree with many of his decisions. His embrace of Bibi Netanyahu has clearly had disastrous consequences for Israel, Gaza, the United States, and likely for his own reelection prospects. But in terms of the way presidents are traditionally measured, Biden has been a smash. The U.S. economy is the envy of the world. Yes, inflation is higher than one would like, but jobs are plentiful, and so are raises for the people in them; wages are rising faster than inflation, as it happens. Violent crime is way down. Infrastructure investments are way up since 2020. Student loans are being forgiven. The labor movement is rebounding. We are leading the world in defending democracy in Ukraine. And yet, the danger of a Trump takeover remains as high as ever.

Consider just a few of Trump’s qualities that quite recently would have disqualified him in the eyes of all responsible voices in the discourse. I have no room to do justice to even a fraction, so I’ll have to stick to just keywords: insurrectionist; election denier; pathological liar; corrupt; racist; antisemite; (digital) rapist; serial adulterer; Islamophobe; con man; tax cheat; patsy to dictator; wannabe dictator; isolationist; bully; psychopathically narcissist; sociopath; almost certainly medically demented. We all know I could go on. (I haven’t even mentioned the Democrats’ single best issue: Trump’s proud boast that he was able to “kill Roe v. Wade.”)

So, what gives? Have roughly half of Americans of voting age lost their minds? Is Joe Biden really this bad a candidate? How is all this possible?


cdarwin, to random
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Inside the effort by two Beverly Hills billionaires to kill a state law protecting farmworkers

Los Angeles-based Wonderful Co.
— the world’s largest pistachio and almond grower, the purveyor of Fiji Water, Pom pomegranate juice and Justin wines, and owner of the Teleflora flower service
— wants you to know that it’s committed to “sustainable farming and business practices” and sees its employees as “a guiding force for good.”

Wonderful’s owners, the Beverly Hills billionaires Lynda and Stewart Resnick, say their “calling” is “to leave people and the planet better than we found them.”

Here’s another side of the company.

Since February, it has been engaged in a ferocious battle with the United Farm Workers over the UFW’s campaign to unionize more than 600 Wonderful Nurseries workers in the Central Valley

cdarwin, to random
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The man who bludgeoned Nancy Pelosi's husband with a hammer was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison.
The attack on Paul Pelosi, who was 82 at the time, was captured on police body camera video just days before the 2022 midterm elections and sent shockwaves through the political world.
He suffered two head wounds including a skull fracture that was mended with plates and screws he will have for the rest of his life. His right arm and hand were also injured.
A jury found David DePape, 44, guilty last November of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a federal official. Prosecutors had asked for a 40-year prison term.
Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley sentenced DePape to 20 years for attempted kidnapping and 30 years for the assault — the maximum for both counts.
The sentences will run concurrently.
He was also given credit for the 18 months that he’s been in custody.


cdarwin, to random
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Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Friday that
⭐️Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito should recuse himself from cases related to the 2020 election
after a new report said
⭐️an upside-down American flag flew outside his home in the days after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and before President Joe Biden's inauguration.

Samuel Alito’s explanations for the upside-down American flag make the story even worse.



cdarwin, to random
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Note, this truck-eating bridge is the Storrow Drive passage under Massachusetts Avenue (at the MIT campus)

It's a low bridge which is frequently impacted by oblivious box truck drivers


cdarwin, to random
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This would be hilarious 🤣

If it wasn't about SCOTUS potentially ending democracy



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