Russia Interferes with its own Election

In an outcome that surprised no one, Putin “won” Russia’s sham election in a landslide. As expected, there were reports of ballot stuffing often seen when a dictator wants to claim democratic legitimacy without actually concerning himself with how his people vote.

But on a deeper level, Putin’s sham election would have been illegitimate even without fraud.

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What do Rifles and a Gay Wedding Cake have in Common?

DICK’S Sporting Goods recently announced several changes to their policy on selling guns in their stores. In addition to no longer selling certain types of rifles and “high capacity” magazines, the store is refusing to sell any firearm to anyone under the age of 21, but will continue to sell them to those who are 21 and older.

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Why Can’t we have an Honest Debate about Gun Control?

We are not even two months into the new year and there have already been 18 school shootings. That is an astounding figure. With gun violence on the rise, why can’t we have an honest debate about gun control?

Well, for starters, because the statistic written above is a lie.
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#guns, #media

Democrats Cave, and it is Glorious

Three cheers for Chuck Schumer.

In a brazen act of political self-harm, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer convinced his Democrat colleagues to shut down the government just long enough to get publicly blamed before agreeing to reopen the government for absolutely nothing in exchange, thereby demoralizing his base and emboldening Republicans. Bravo, Sen. Schumer. Bravo.

Let’s recap.

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#government, #immigration, #shutdown

Who is Responsible for the Shutdown?

Democrats have an easy argument to make. Republicans control the House, Senate, and White House; they can pass anything they want. If the government is not funded, it is obviously the fault of Republicans.

In other words, Democrats are betting that a majority of Americans do not know how the government actually works.

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#government, #immigration, #shutdown

Bannon is not the Far-Right, I am

One of my pet peeves is constantly reading the press refer to Steve Bannon as “far-right.” Bannon is nasty, destructive, intolerant, Machiavellian, pompous, and dishonest. What he is not is far-right; I am.

#bannon, #republican-divide

Brave Iranians Protest the Mullahs

Over the last few days, Iran has seen the largest anti-government protests since the fraudulent election of 2009. Iranians across the country have taken to the streets to demand their freedom. It is difficult to overstate how brave they are.

It is not clear what prompted the recent wave of protests. Nor can we say how many Iranians in how many cities have joined the demonstration against their oppressors. What we do know is that the theocrats in Tehran are worried.

The Iranian government has shut down popular social media sites such as Instagram and Telegram that the protesters were using to spread their message. As of this writing, the government has killed at least 10 protesters and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (a paramilitary force) are setting up to squash the protests. Despite this brutality and suppression of speech, videos have gotten out of thousands of Iranians chanting slogans such as “death to the dictator,” “we don’t want an Islamic Republic,” and “clerics shame on you, let go of our country.” In response to the crackdown, some protesters have stormed government buildings, mostly local headquarters for the security forces that attacked crowds of civilians.

It is impossible to say what will come next. The 2009 protests were much larger, but appeared to be more focused on the stolen election. The current protests, while smaller, quickly morphed from economic complaints to revolutionary chants to overthrow the Islamic Republic.

In 2009, the Iranian people also chanted “Obama, Obama either you are with us or you are with them.” Trying to put together the Iran nuclear deal, Obama chose them. Rather than risk the deal, Obama stood by while the Iranian government imprisoned, beat, and murdered its people; the same government that routinely organizes chants of “death to America,” props up Assad’s dictatorship in Syria, funds terrorism throughout the world, and was responsible for the deadliest weapons used against American soldiers in Iraq. Now, America may get a do over.

So far, the Trump administration has stood with the Iranian people, demanding their rights be respected and warning Tehran that America is watching. Let us hope that continues, and that Trump acts on his professed solidarity with the people.

Iranians have suffered under an oppressive theocracy for nearly four decades. They deserve their freedom.

#iran, #protest