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All the President’s sins

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“Doors have opened, new subpoenas have been issued, and the dam has begun to break,” said Rep Liz Cheney, vice chair of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack on the Capitol

Holdouts from the Trump White House are now coming forward, especially with the conviction last week of Trump consigliere Stephen Bannon, who will likely go to jail for his contemptuous refusal to appear before the Select Committee.

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 21: Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon speaks to reporters as he leaves the Federal District Court House at the end of the fourth day of his trial for contempt of Congress on July 21, 2022 in Washington, DC. The government rested its case against Bannon, who did not testify or call witnesses in his own trial. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

There will be much more ahead in putting in place the pieces of the mosaic that was, as Rep Bennie Thompson has said, an attempted coup by Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 presidential election and remain in power. It was, Thompson said, a path of lawlessness and corruption.

The Select Committee is presenting all the President’s sins.

Not even the Covid infection of the current president, Joe Biden, could dent the wall-to-wall media coverage – mainstream and social – of the blockbuster hearing last Thursday night. 

What is clear now, after nine hearings by the Select Committee, is that the January 6 attack was not simply a protest that got out of control, a one-off event of limited force and duration that was over by the end of the day, with no serious threat to America’s democracy.  

What we know now is that the events of that day were the culmination of a conspiracy to keep Donald Trump in power by whatever means necessary.

The evidence presented last week – direct testimony, videotapes, telephone recordings, cell phone video – was relentless:

  • Trump did not act because he did not want to stop the attack
  • Trump was adamant that he wanted to go to the Capitol and join the mob
  • Trump did not call any law enforcement or military officials to respond to the attack
  • Trump did not call on the mob to go home until it was clear the insurrection was lost
  • Trump rejected the urgings of those around him that day to call on the mob to leave
  • Trump was indifferent to the physical, mortal danger to Vice President Pence
  • The people around Pence, agents and staff, feared for their lives
  • Trump’s tweet at 224 pm attacking Pence for not overturning the election – “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”– intensified the fury of the mob’s attack
  • For hours, Trump rejected pleas from his family his staff, Republican members of Congress, political associates, to issue a statement calling on the attackers to go home
  • When Trump finally made a video statement late in the day, he called the attackers “patriots.” ”We love you. Go home in peace.”

What was so powerful about the presentation – aside from its unique made-for-television, cinematic quality and the highest reality TV production values – was that every witness, every person whose testimony was shown was not only a Republican, but a Trump Republican: professionals who have worked for and with Trump during his term, who were loyal to him, who believed in him, and who were ultimately repelled by what Trump did – and did not do – that day. Trump’s people turned on Trump and spit out their stories in prime time.

In preparing his video message the day after the attack, Trump could not say, “The election is over.”

That was left on the cutting room floor “I don’t want to say the election’s over,” the video out-take reveals.

“I just want to say Congress has certified the results without saying the election is over.”

Trump never in a million years believed he would be haunted by his own videos that did not make it to air the day after the insurrection.  

That mosaic of conspiracy already includes direct efforts by Trump to pressure state legislatures and state election officials to overturn the certified election results in their states.  It includes a Trump attempt to decapitate the leadership of the Justice Department and install his loyalists in order for them to pressure several states to overturn their election results. 

A video of former President Donald Trump is shown on a screen, as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 21, 2022. Alex Brandon/Pool via REUTERS

It includes intensive pressure on the Vice President to prevent him from carrying out his constitutional responsibilities to certify the election result in the joint session on January 6.  It includes efforts by Trump to incite the mob to attack the Capitol in order to prevent the House and Senate from completing their business that day.

Trump is now haunted by the prospect of the Attorney General, Merrick Garland, convening a grand jury to assess whether crimes were committed by Trump between Election Day in November 2020 and the attack on the Capitol. 

JAN 6

There is now huge pressure on the Attorney General to prosecute Trump for what he did and failed to do.  There is a strong case: Trump wanted to join the insurrectionists, he did not call on law enforcement or the military to deploy force to put the riot down, he did not tell his supporters to go home while the attack was raging.

Trump wanted the electoral count to be stopped – he wanted Congress to  be stopped from doing its duty under the law. He did not care about the mortal danger to the Vice President. 

All the President’s sins continue to this day.  His is sinning some more. 

As the Select Committee hearing convened last week, the New York Times reported:

“Donald J. Trump called a top Republican in the State Legislature in Wisconsin in recent days to lobby for a measure that would overturn his 2020 loss in the state to President Biden.” The state official, who is a Trump supporter, told Trump that there was no provision in law in Wisconsin to rescind that state’s certification of the 2020 votes, and that such an act would violate the state’s constitution.

Trump wants the 2020 election overturned. 

The only thing that can stop him is the rule of law and the commitment of all public officials who take an oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States to ensure the rule of law applies to everyone – including  to the former president of the United States.

Bruce Wolpe is a Ticker News US political contributor. He’s a Senior Fellow at the US Studies Centre and has worked with Democrats in Congress during President Barack Obama's first term, and on the staff of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has also served as the former PM's chief of staff.

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“Woman. Life. Freedom,” Iran protests now on the world’s stadium

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Protests are engulfing Iran as a revolution against oppression spills onto the global stage, with the world unable to turn a blind eye

In Iran, protests are engulfing the country as thousands take to the streets in a revolution against oppression. 

Women are cutting their hair and burning their hijabs, demanding some form of change to the strict rules that impact their ultimate freedom.

“Woman. Life. Freedom”

DONNA MILES, WRITEr, & COLUMNIST

From the Iranian Revolution in 1979 to the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the nation’s residents have witnessed their fair share of turmoil.

Many insist that religion, like Islam, is being used as a reason to violate basic human rights in Iran.

Women in the country and around the world, are now lifting the veil on Iran’s corruption.

“What is happening in Iran fills me with both fear and hope… Hope that there might be some meaningful change.”

Donna miles, writer, & Columnist

Pure desperation

For nearly forty years, women in Iran have faced a life of control and oppression. Subject to the strict Islamic Republic rules, bound by religion.

There have been protests in Iran before, but nothing like what we see today.

Women and men are filling the streets of the entire country, in a show of solidarity against the regime, putting their lives on the line.

Footage of Iranian women burning the hijabs and cutting their hair has encapsulated social media.

“People are risking their lives… The regime is very brutal. It significant that this time round that there is international focus and attention on Iran.

One thing is clear…The revolution is taking place, at least in people’s hearts and minds.”

Donna miles, writer, & Columnist

Spilling onto the global stage

The uprising against the regime in Iran and its treatment of women is openly and loudly spilling onto the global stage.

Its voice is so powerful it is even flooding into the sporting arena. In Qatar, Iranian soccer players refused to sing their national anthem before their World Cup game.

Credit: Al Jazeera

While the move from the sporting stars was seen by a global audience, a cloud of fear now looms over the safety and wellbeing of the players returning to their homeland.

“The players have been extremely brave. This is a significant issue for them. Enough to take a political stand to refuse to sing the national anthem.”

DONNA MILES, WRITEr, & COLUMNIST

As history shows us, sport has often been used as an avenue to express a political stance.

At the 1968 Mexico Olympics, U.S. athlete Tommie Smith raised his black-gloved fist, in defiance of racial segregation.

This is perhaps one of the most iconic moments, illustrating the blurred line between politics and sport.

Credit: The New York Times

UN finally calls out Iran

During the Iran protests, footage of authorities using brutal force against protestors sparked global attention and outrage.

Now, the United Nation has called out Iran’s actions.

At its 35th special session, the UN Human Rights Council launched a new investigation. It will independently investigate alleged human rights violations during the protests.

“It will be independently investigated.”

DONNA MILES, WRITEr, & COLUMNIST

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Is Musk flushing Twitter down the drain?

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Elon Musk

Elon Musk has made plenty of changes to Twitter, but will it make or break the social media platform?

When Elon Musk walked into Twitter with a sink you knew things were about to get interesting. 

It’s been a chaotic few weeks of change for the social media platform. Musk quickly showed thousands of employees the door.

Noticeably, he also upended the iconic ‘blue tick’ hierarchy. 

The new boss is adamant in making the platform a place of free speech, often using public Twitter polls to dictate his next move.

It’s not very often you have a billionaire and CEO of a tech giant communicate with people everyday via a tweet thread.

“As far as communicating with people, that is something we haven’t seen. You don’t see Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates out there communicating like this or any other billionaire.”

greg nibler, tech expert

While people have been quick to judge Musk’s changes, he remains one of the most successful businessmen in history.

He lead the charge on flying to space with his SpaceX empire and was ahead of the game in the electric vehicle market.

Perhaps, the changes to the platform are a smart move for the company to succeed, despite the abruptness of them.

Proof is in the pudding because the numbers show Twitter has added 1.6 million daily users this week alone, which is an all-time high.

“It is a reality show on Twitter and people want to see it…
Is that going to turn into profitability, I don’t know.”

Greg nibler, tech expert

Plus World Cup traffic hit almost 20,000 tweets per second today, breaking another record. 

It’s likely Twitter may be more successful in private hands. Financially though, the company has declined, causing widespread concern about its economic stability.

Musk wants to vastly increase the revenue the company makes through subscriptions, but a question mark looms over its ability to triumph.

“The way in which Twitter has lost so much money in value so quickly must also be a concern to people who have lent money to Musk… Wondering has it been a good investment for them.”

KEITH SUTER, international affairs commentator

Suspended accounts debate

Previously, Twitter had banned the accounts of many users, particularly those prone to far-right rhetorics.

Former President Donald Trump’s account had been suspended for nearly a year, alongside conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and controversial Andrew Tate.

Musk asked his followers in a poll if Twitter should “offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts? As Musk says, they haven’t broken the law?”

It all follows a turbulent economic time for the social media giant as it finds its place in the ever changing cyber sphere. 

Whether or not Twitter goes down the drain, remains to be seen. 

But love him or hate him, Musk has created an entertaining platform, with millions flocking to get a taste of what is the Twitter saga.

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Does Donald Trump need Twitter to win in 2024?

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Donald Trump is making a political comeback in 2024, but can he gain relevance without Twitter?

Donald Trump is making his political comeback, and Twitter boss Elon Musk has welcomed the former President back to the platform with open arms.

It was only a matter of weeks after taking over that Musk decided to lift Trump’s nearly year-long suspension.

Many expected Trump to jump at the offer and begin flooding our Twitter feeds again.

However, the former President may not want to return to Twitter, but why?

U.S. Commentator Susan Tehrani believes Trump’s decision to withhold his return to Twitter comes back to money.

“It might have to do with millions of dollars… [If he returns to Twitter] He may stand to lose a lot of money…

If Trump’s company goes public and only for him to go back on Twitter, start Tweeting and devalue Truth Social… He’s going to give his followers a reason to abandon Truth Social.”

Susan Tehrani, u.s. commentator

Twitter was Trump’s favourite app when he was President. He used the platform to drum up support and create buzz. Love him or hate him, Trump undeniably had people right around the world speaking about his latest thought.

In today’s society, people consume news via social media, in particular via Twitter.

With Trump absent from Twitter, it raises question about how he will maintain relevance in social media sphere in the lead up to his 2024 return.

Trump heads his own social media platform ‘Truth Social’, but it has just four million users, opposed to Twitter’s more than 200 million.

“With El on Musk at the helm it encourages a health debate…Then it going to be a place where Donald Trump can once again bypass even the mainstream media…And communicate directly with a wide audience.

Donald Trump would stand winning if he came back on Twitter.”

Susan Tehrani, u.s. commentator

Does Twitter need Trump, more than Trump needs Twitter?

With Musk at the reigns of Twitter, the social media giant is shifting its direction. Musk has made it clear he doesn’t believe in the previous ‘blue tick’ hierarchy, quickly scrapping the process.

He has been vocal about his desire for free speech on the platform. However, many are concerned that the changes may have a negative impact.

Although, change isn’t always a bad thing and perhaps Twitter needed a makeover, to keep up with today’s evolving society and array of opinions.

While Twitter is still popular, Musk’s move to reinstate Donald Trump’s account might have been strategic.

Trump is a bold politician, and regardless of his Twitter status, many are wondering what his next move will be.

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