25th Amendment

It was a day.

January 7, 2021

Impeach and remove.

25th Amendment.

January 6, 2021.

Hurt people hurt people.

Misinformed people hurt people.

Cruel leaders hurt people.

“So anyway, that’s why disinformation is dangerous.” -Brooke Binkowski






[Seane Corn]

We must try.

From The Nation:

“This is not America,” a woman said to a small group, her voice shaking. “They’re supposed to shoot BLM, but they’re shooting the patriots.”

LA Times/KUSI TV in San Diego:

The woman shot and killed [seven other people were injured] inside the U.S. Capitol Building during a violent pro-Trump siege Wednesday was an Ocean Beach resident, according to her extended family and media reports.

Her husband confirmed to KUSI that the woman, whose shooting was captured on video, was 35-year-old Ashli Elizabeth Babbitt, and said she was a 14-year Air Force veteran.

Her final post on Twitter:

“Nothing will stop us…they can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less that 24 hours…dark to light!”

From Richard Engel, NBC News Foreign Correspondent:

“Police seemed very chummy with the protestors (insurgents) who also seemed to know exactly where to go.”

From journalist Evan Osnos, The New Yorker:

“The moments that surprised me most were not the young thuggish types; that’s eternal. What made me wonder about the future of the country was the presence of the grandmothers.

As darkness approached, police fired a series of flash-bang grenades to shoo people down from the balconies and steps. A heavyset man in a white maga hat stood in a crosswalk, watching the crowd begin to move. He was happy. “They sent a message. That’s enough,” he said. He turned to walk away and added, “Of course, if we come back, it will be with a militia.”



Discussing social media and Capitol insurgence and attempted coup.

Clint Watts, former FBI special agent, and Roger McNamee, author of Zucked/Waking up to the Facebook Catastrophe.

Thread from Andrew Yang, Thursday, January 7th:

There are 3 problems with our media that are fueling polarization: 1. The closing of 2,000 local papers, which are typically not very partisan; 2. Cable news maximizing audience share by adopting political stances (Fox); and 3. Social media’s supercharging of conspiracy theories.

The easiest one to address is reopening local papers. There is a bill in Congress – the Local Journalism Sustainability Act from Rep. David Cicilline, Rhode Island, and others – that would help support thousands of local publications. Congress should pass it immediately.

For Cable News we should revive the Fairness Doctrine which the FCC had on the books until 1985 that required that you show both sides of a political issue. It was repealed by Reagan. If there was ever a time to bring it back it’s now.

The most difficult and important is to overhaul social media. We need federal data ownership legislation mirrored after the CPRA in California. There should be ad-free versions of every platform. Section 230 should be amended to not include content that is amplified by algorithm.

The basic problem is that social media creators and companies are rewarded for having more extreme and untrue content. The goal should be to change or balance the incentives. Tech, government, media and NGOs need to collaborate on this to support fact-supported journalism.

There is an opportunity here to support artists, musicians and creatives as well whose work right now the market is ignoring. One element of this ought to be a degree of support for those whose work tries to elevate and inform rather than divide and denigrate.

The big tech companies are essentially quasi-governments unto themselves at this point – the problem is their decisions are driven by maximizing ad revenue, user engagement and profit growth. That’s not the set of incentives you want when deciding what millions regard as truth.

Our government is hopelessly behind on tech. Legislators haven’t had guidance since 1995 when they got rid of the Office of Technology Assessment. The average Senator is 62. Speeches won’t do much against trillions of dollars of financial incentives.

Edward Snowden, President Freedom of the Press:

Never forget that the Freedom of the Press is the very first part of the Bill of Rights. If you’re out on the street claiming to defend the Constitution, the way you do that is by protecting reporters, not attacking them. Even if you hate the media, anything less is un-American.

Outside the Capitol (on Wednesday), Trump supporters took all the equipment from a news media crew (hearing it was AP) and are looking for ways to set it on fire.

The Constitutional clock is ticking.

February 17, 2019

‘From today forward we are living in Constitutional time. Which news organizations will rise to the moment?’
-Jay Rosen, NYU


[A basis of democracy that encourages citizens to actively participate in social processes.]


‘Democracies rarely collapse suddenly, with tanks rolling through the streets out of a blue sky. It’s a slow death of a thousand cuts to rights, norms, the rule of law.

The groundwork is to turn the people & leaders against institutions of democracy: the free press, political opposition, independent judiciary & law enforcement, the truth. The infallible leader is the substitute for all of it.’

Garry Kasparov
Human Rights Foundation

25th Amendment

The 25th Amendment, proposed by Congress and ratified by the states in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, provides the procedures for replacing the president or vice president in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation.  The Watergate scandal of the 1970s saw the application of these procedures, first when Gerald Ford replaced Spiro Agnew as vice president, then when he replaced Richard Nixon as president, and then when Nelson Rockefeller filled the resulting vacancy to become the vice president.  Read more from the Congressional Research Service…

“The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds and makes of all political and social life a mass illness. Without this housecleaning we cannon begin to see. Unless we see, we cannot think. The purification must begin with the mass media. How?”

-Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander [1968]


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