The New York Times reported Saturday that the Trump administration met with Venezuelan military officials who sought to overthrow their nation’s president, Nicolás Maduro. (Photo: Noticia al Día)
Critics across the globe are expressing alarm over the “stunning but not surprising” revelation reported by the New York Times on Saturday that, according to 11 American officials and a former Venezuelan military commander, “the Trump administration held secret meetings with rebellious military officers from Venezuela over the last year to discuss their plans to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro.”
Some called out the Trump administration for the United States’ record on human rights. American activist and political analyst Ajamu Baraka tweeted, “There are few nations that can lecture other nations on human rights [and] democracy but the one nation that can never lecture anyone is the Unite[d] States of America.” Continue reading →
“Manafort could spend the rest of his life in jail, and Cohen could be headed there too. This raises the threat that Trump will try to pardon his way to obstruction of justice. If he does, we will take to the streets.”
While Senate Democrats continue to fight for records pertaining to President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh—threatening on Thursday to sue the National Archives for documents detailing his time working for the second Bush administration—a new poll from CNN revealed Kavanaugh is the least popular nominee in more than three decades.
The survey (pdf), conducted by SSRS and published Thursday, found that only 37 percent of Americans want the Senate to confirm Kavanaugh, which CNN noted “is the lowest in polling dating back to Robert Bork’s nomination by President Ronald Reagan in 1987.” Forty percent of those polled said they oppose Trump’s nominee, while 22 percent said they have no opinion. Continue reading →
“If their organization only supported candidates who firmly pledged no PAC money, their contributions could breathe much-needed life into grassroots campaigns. Instead it looks more like an intentional obfuscation.”
At first glance, the prominent political action committee End Citizens United (ECU) appears to be dedicated to channeling widespread grassroots anger at corporate money in politics into promoting candidates who reject cash from big business and support bold campaign finance reform.
But a closer look at the candidates ECU endorses and funds reveals that the organization frequently uses its vast resources to reinforce the poisonous status quo. Continue reading →
Facebook’s long-awaited change in how it handles political advertisements is only a first step toward addressing a problem intrinsic to a social network built on the viral sharing of user posts.
The company’s approach, a searchable database of political ads and their sponsors, depends on the company’s ability to sort through huge quantities of ads and identify which ones are political. Facebook is betting that a combination of voluntary disclosure and review by both people and automated systems will close a vulnerability that was famously exploited by Russian meddlers in the 2016 election.
The company is doubling down on tactics that so far have not prevented the proliferation of hate-filled posts or ads that use Facebook’s capability to target ads particular groups. Continue reading →
For nearly three decades, reproductive rights advocates have fought to overturn a ban on abortion in Ireland. (Photo: Abortion Rights Campaign)
Ireland expected the higher-than-usual voter turnout to continue into the evening on Friday as Irish citizens headed to ballot boxes in droves and women living abroad returned to their home country to weigh in on a measure that would repeal the Eight Amendement of the Irish Constitution, which bans abortion unless a pregnant woman’s life is at risk.
Reproductive rights advocates have created the pro-choice Together for Yes campaign to repeal the amendment, which grants equal rights to women and fetuses, and was added to the constitution in 1983. Votes will be counted beginning Saturday morning, with an announcement expected during the afternoon. Continue reading →
New findings from the Pew Research Center reveal widespread support for campaign finance reform. (Photo: Backbone Campaign/flickr/cc)
Amidst a widely-shared recognition that the country is effectively being run by powerful special interests, a new poll out Friday shows that more than 3 out of 4 Americans now support serious campaign finance reform as a way to mitigate the corrupting influence of money in the nation’s democracy.
The results of the extensive Pew Research Center survey, released Thursday, reveal Americans “see the country falling well short in living up to” democratic ideals and values, and believe core changes are needed in the political system. Continue reading →
Led by Eric Schneiderman of New York, Attorneys General from 17 states and the District of Columbia have filed suit against the Trump administration for its plans to ask about citizenship on the 2020 census. (Photo: Eric Schneiderman/Twitter)
Attorneys General from 17 states and the District of Columbia are suing the Trump administration for its decision to ask about immigration status on the 2020 census, a move denounced by immigrant rights advocates as an effort to “undercount communities of color.”
Led by Eric Schneiderman of New York, the state attorneys—along with legal representatives from six cities and and the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors—filed suit (pdf) in hopes of requiring the Trump administration “to enforce the federal government’s constitutional obligation to conduct an ‘actual Enumeration’ of the national population every ten years, by determining the ‘whole number of persons in the United States.” Continue reading →
Civil rights advocates and secretaries of states are warning against a provision in a DHS reauthorization bill that would let the president dispatch Secret Service to polling places. (Photo: Penn State/flickr/cc)
Civil rights advocates and top election officials are expressing alarm over a section in the Department of Homeland Security reauthorization bill that would allow the president to send Secret Service agents to polling places.
“Who in their right mind would give this vulgar talking yam this kind of power?” quipped Charles P. Pierce at Esquire. Continue reading →
The Census Bureau is scrambling to respond to a last-minute request by the Justice Department to add a question on citizenship status to the 2020 census, according to hundreds of pages of emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The emails show that the DOJ’s December request set off a flurry of activity in the bureau as career Census officials hurried to research the history of how citizenship has been handled in past surveys, raced to come up with alternatives to the DOJ request and vented their frustration over public outrage on the issue. Continue reading →