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Profile Information

Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 85,603

Journal Archives

Major News Outlets Urge U.S. to Drop Its Charges Against Assange

New York Times

WASHINGTON — The New York Times and four European news organizations called on the United States government on Monday to drop its charges against Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, for obtaining and publishing classified diplomatic and military secrets.

In a joint open letter, The Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel and El País said the prosecution of Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act “sets a dangerous precedent” that threatened to undermine the First Amendment and the freedom of the press.

“Obtaining and disclosing sensitive information when necessary in the public interest is a core part of the daily work of journalists,” the letter said. “If that work is criminalized, our public discourse and our democracies are made significantly weaker.”

Mr. Assange, who has been fighting extradition from Britain since his arrest there in 2019, is also accused of participating in a hacking-related conspiracy. The letter notably did not urge the Justice Department to drop that aspect of the case, though it said that “some of us are concerned” about it, too.

Iowa Republicans threaten to move caucuses if Democrats change schedule

Source: The Guardian

Few in the US would suggest that the presidential election process should last even longer than it already does, but that is exactly what may happen if Republicans in Iowa follow through with a recent threat.

In an interview this week with NBC News, Iowa’s Republican party chair said he would be prepared to move the state’s caucuses – the process Iowa uses to identify its preferred presidential candidate – “to Halloween” should Democrats shake up their primary schedule.

Iowa has long been the first state in the nation to cast its vote in the Republican and Democratic presidential primary processes, but Democrats are exploring the idea of holding their first ballot elsewhere in 2024.

Clamor has been growing in the party for a different state, with a population more representative of the US as a whole, to be given the first go, with Democratic officials in Michigan, in particular, pushing for the state to be moved up in the primary calendar.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/nov/28/iowa-republicans-caucuses-democrats

An important point: If the Iowa (Republican) Government chooses not to hold a Presidential Primary, the result will, by necessity, be a Party sponsored Caucus, even if its not a "stand in the corner and be counted" format.

Police tighten security in Shanghai after two nights of protests

Source: The Guardian

Chinese police have barricaded a street in Shanghai where protesters have gathered for the last two nights in anticipation of further rallies against the government’s rigid zero-Covid policies.

Since Friday, a wave of protests has spread across multiple cities in China, prompted by the death of 10 people in a building fire in Urumqi in Xinjiang. Much of the region had been under lockdown for more than three months, and people blamed the lockdown for the deaths.

Gatherings held to protest or to mourn the victims were held in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and other major Chinese cities on Saturday and Sunday, as well as dozens of university campuses, with some police clashes and detentions in Shanghai.

Protesters demanded an end to lockdowns, while some groups decried censorship and called for democracy and an end to the rule of Xi Jinping. Most protests were peaceful. There were some clashes with police in Shanghai, and protesters in Wuhan pushed over pandemic barriers.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/28/china-zero-covid-police-shanghai-protests

Donald Trump 'shied away from criticising Nick Fuentes'

Source: The Guardian

Donald Trump repeatedly refused to disavow the outspoken antisemite and white supremacist Nick Fuentes after they spoke over dinner at his Mar-a-Lago resort, rejecting the advice from advisers over fears he might alienate a section of his base, two people familiar with the situation said.”

The former US president was urged publicly and privately to denounce Fuentes in the aftermath of the dinner, which included the performer Ye, previously known as Kanye West, who has also recently been propagating antisemitic remarks.

But Trump eschewed making outright disavowals of Fuentes, the people said, and none of the statements from the campaign or on his Truth Social account included criticism of Fuentes, despite efforts from advisers who reached Trump over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Trump ultimately made clear that he fundamentally did not want to criticise Fuentes – a product of his dislike of confrontation and his anxiety that it might antagonise a devoted part of his base – and became more entrenched in his obstinance the more he was urged to do so.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/nov/28/donald-trump-shied-away-from-criticising-nick-fuentes

Tomorrow is Arizona vote certification day.


Flew out of Sea-Tac today....

Standard security lines were running up to 70 minutes. Why everyone doesn't sign up for PreCheck or CLEAR is beyond me.

Iran calls for US to be kicked out of 2022 World Cup after it changes Iran flag on social media

Source: CNN

Iran state media has called for the US to be kicked out of the 2022 World Cup after the United States Soccer Federation changed Iran’s flag on its social media platforms to show support for protesters in Iran.

The federation had temporarily displayed Iran’s national flag on its official Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts without the emblem of the Islamic Republic. A now-deleted graphic of the Group B standings posted on Saturday displayed the Iranian flag only bearing its green, white and red colors.

US Soccer told CNN on Sunday that it wanted to change the official flag for 24 hours to show “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights” but always planned to go back to the original flag.

The change “was a one-time graphic,” US Soccer told CNN. “We have the main flag on our website and other places.” The emblem is currently back on the flag on US Soccer’s social media channels.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/27/football/iran-us-flag-protesters-klinsmann-2022-world-cup-spt-intl/index.html

"New Math"


Politico: Newsom Told the White House He Won't Challenge Biden

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom has won three elections in five years in America’s largest state, is apoplectic about his party’s messaging defects and follows Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the right-wing media ecosystem with a zeal that would put some opposition researchers to shame.

But Newsom wants the word to go forth: He’s not going to challenge President Biden for the Democratic nomination in 2024.

“I’ve told everyone in the White House, from the chief of staff to the first lady,” he recounted to me as we sat on the top floor of California’s now-ceremonial governor’s mansion on election night.

His message to Ron Klain and Jill Biden over the summer — when he visited Washington amid growing speculation, and considerable West Wing irritation, that he was plotting a primary challenge — was to count him as a firm supporter of Biden’s reelection: “I’m all in, count me in,” he said he told them.


Alaska Democrats, Republicans form coalition Senate majority

Source: Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska state Senate will have a coalition of Democrats and Republicans serving as a majority caucus next January, officials announced. Friday.

The coalition will include nine Democrats and eight Republicans, leaving three members of the 20-seat chamber in the minority.

Gary Stevens, a Republican from Kodiak, will serve as Senate president. Among other leadership positions include Bill Wielechowski, an Anchorage Democrat, as Senate rules chair, and Cathy Giessel, a Republican who previously served as the body’s president and regained her Senate seat in this year’s election, as majority leader.


The majority said its priorities will be lowering Alaska’s high energy costs, improving education and revitalizing the state’s economy.

Read more: https://www.newsnationnow.com/politics/alaska-democrats-republicans-form-coalition-senate-majority/amp/
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