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Jaime Harrison said he was chosen for the next DNC ​​chairman

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. plans to name Jaime Harrison as his choice to lead the Democratic National Committee, as part of an effort to strengthen the committee ahead of what is already expected to be midterm elections for the gone, according to two of those familiar with the selection.

Former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, Mr Harrison became a national political star last year by breaking fundraising records in his race against re-elected Senator Lindsey Graham. While Mr Harrison lost in November, garnering 44 percent of the vote to Mr Graham’s 55 percent, he developed a broad bench of support across the party.

He is also well known to DNC staff and members, due to his work as the head of the South Carolina state party and his failed bid for the committee chair in 2017 (Tom Perez, Past President of the DNC, won that race.) Mr. Harrison was defended by Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, an influential ally of Biden who helped the president-elect win the main race in the state of origin of Mr. Clyburn. Mr Perez has chosen not to run for a second term.

New presidents traditionally take control of party committees, installing their own president and employees. Former President Barack Obama has chosen to try to establish his own political operation outside of the committee, a move that many DNC members say has damaged state parties and led to years of dysfunction at the national level.

Far more institutionalist of the party, Biden has promised to rebuild state parties and deepen investments in the committee.

The focus on the party’s national committee comes as Democrats attempt to navigate a deeply uncertain political landscape. Even before the attack on the U.S. Capitol clouded U.S. policy, Democrats anticipated tough midterm races in the House and Senate in 2022 and the lingering possibility that Mr. Biden – who will become the longest-serving president of the United States. US history Wednesday – decides not to run for second term.

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Comment Parler, an app chosen by Trump fans, has become a test of free speech

From the start, John Matze had positioned Parler as a social network of “free speech” where people could mostly say what they wanted. It was a gamble that had recently paid off, as millions of President Trump’s supporters, tired of what they saw as censorship on Facebook and Twitter, rushed to Talk.

On the app, policy discussions had intensified. But so were conspiracy theories that falsely claimed the election was stolen from Mr. Trump, with users calling for aggressive protests last week when Congress met to certify the election of the President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.

These calls for violence quickly returned to haunt Mr. Matze, 27, a Las Vegas software engineer and CEO of Parler. As of Saturday night, Apple and Google pulled Parler from their app stores and Amazon said it would no longer host the site on its IT departments, saying it had not sufficiently monitored posts inciting violence and to crime. As a result, Parler was scheduled to disappear from the web on Monday.

This sparked a relentless effort to keep Talking Online. Mr Matze said on Sunday that he was running to back up the data of some 15 million Talking users from Amazon computers. He also called business after business to find one ready to support Talking with hundreds of computer servers.

“I believe Amazon, Google and Apple have been working together to try to make sure they don’t have competition,” Mr. Matze said on Talking Saturday night. “They will NOT win! We are the world’s last hope for free speech and free information. He said the app would likely shut down “for a week at most, as we’re rebuilding from scratch.”

Parler’s fate immediately drew condemnation from those on the right, who compared big tech companies to authoritarian lords. Rep. Devin Nunes, a Republican from California, told Fox News on Sunday that “Republicans have no way of communicating” and asked his supporters to text him to keep in touch. Lou Dobbs, the right-wing commentator, wrote on Speak that the app had a strong antitrust case against tech companies amid these “perilous times.”

Speaking has now become a test case in a renewed national debate over free speech on the internet and whether tech giants such as Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon have too much power. This debate has intensified since Mr. Trump was banned from posting on Twitter and Facebook last week after a violent mob, urged by the president and his social media posts, stormed the Capitol.

For years, Facebook and Twitter had championed people’s ability to express themselves freely on their sites, while Amazon, Apple, Google, and others had remained mostly uncontact with apps like Talk. This has allowed disinformation and lies to circulate on online networks.

Actions by tech companies last week to curb this toxic content with Mr. Trump and Talking have since been applauded by liberals and others. But the measures have also raised questions about how private companies can decide who stays online and who doesn’t, especially when politically expedient, with Mr Biden due to take office on January 20 and Democrats taking over. control of Congress.

The tech companies’ newly proactive approach is also providing water for Mr. Trump in the final days of his administration. Even if he faces another potential indictment, Mr. Trump is expected to try to stir up anger at Twitter, Facebook and others this week, potentially as a launching pad to compete head-on with Silicon Valley when ‘he will be leaving the White House. After being banned from Twitter, Mr. Trump said in a statement that he “would look into the possibilities of creating our own platform in the near future.”

Ben Wizner, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said it was understandable that no company wanted to be associated with the “repulsive speech” that encouraged the violation of the Capitol. But he said Parler’s situation was troubling.

Indeed, the removal of Parler by Apple and Google from their app stores and the shutdown by Amazon of its web hosting went beyond what Twitter or Facebook do when they limit a user’s account or their publications, he said. “I think we should recognize the importance of neutrality when we talk about Internet infrastructure,” he said.

In previous statements, Apple, Amazon and Google have said they have warned Speak Up Against Violent Posts on its site and have not done enough to remove them systematically. The companies have said they require sites like Parler to consistently enforce its rules. They declined to comment further on Sunday.

Tech companies that support certain websites are nothing new. In 2018, Gab, another alternative to Facebook and Twitter who is popular with the far right, was forced to log out after losing support from other companies, including PayPal and GoDaddy, because she had hosted anti-Semitic messages from a man who shot and killed. 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue. Gab later returned online with the help of a Seattle company, Epik, which hosts other far-right websites.

Even as Speak is getting dark, right-wing figures like Mr. Nunes who have built followings on the app are not short of other channels of communication. Many still have large followers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, who welcome any user who doesn’t break their rules, including threatening violence or posting hate speech.

Talk was founded in 2018 by Mr. Matze and a fellow programmer, one of many newcomers to social media who aimed to capitalize on the growing anger of Mr. Trump’s supporters towards Silicon Valley. But Parler had one significant advantage: money. Rebekah Mercer, one of Mr. Trump’s biggest donors, helped fund the site. Other investors include Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent and Fox News expert. He plans to eventually make money selling advertisements.

The app is basically a Twitter clone. It allows people to distribute messages – known as “talks” and not “tweets” – to subscribers. Users can also comment and “echo” – not “retweet” – other users’ posts. When creating a new account, people are asked to select their favorite color and are encouraged to follow a list of conservative voices, including Mr. Nunes, Fox News host Sean Hannity and actress Kirstie Alley. .

These “influencers” dominate the experience on the site. Speaking’s news feed on Sunday was a stream of their angry “talks”, taunting Big Tech and begging their supporters to follow them elsewhere.

“Please sign up for my daily newsletter today, before tech totalitarians ban everything,” wrote Mr Bongino, who also controls one of Facebook’s most popular pages.

Talking grew slowly until early 2020, when Twitter began calling Mr. Trump’s tweets inaccurate and some of his supporters joined in on Speaking in protest. After the November election, Parler grew even faster, with Facebook and Twitter cracking down on false claims the vote was rigged. So many users signed up that at times they overloaded the company’s systems and forced it to put a hold on new registrations.

In total, people downloaded Talking’s app more than 10 million times last year, 80% of which were in the United States, according to Sensor Tower, the app data company.

Last Wednesday, Mr. Trump encouraged his supporters to march to Capitol Hill to pressure lawmakers to reverse his election defeat, sparking a riot that left five people dead. The rally was scheduled on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere. On Parler, people posted advice on which streets to take to avoid the police; some have posted guns inside the Capitol.

In an interview with the New York Times hours after the riot, Mr Matze said: “I don’t feel responsible for any of this and neither does the platform, given that we are a neutral town square. who simply adheres to the law. “

But on Friday, Apple and Google told Parler it needed to more systematically remove posts that encouraged violence. On Saturday, Apple and Google removed Parler from their app stores, limiting its ability to reach new users on virtually every smartphone in the world.

“There is no room on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity,” Apple said in a statement. Google said, “We require apps to implement robust moderation for blatant content.”

Late Saturday, Amazon told Parler it would need to find a new place to host its site. Amazon said it sent Parler 98 examples of posts on its site that encouraged violence, but many remained active.

“We cannot provide services to a customer who is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others,” Amazon said.

Amazon was due to withdraw support for Parler just before midnight Sunday on the West Coast. Amazon said it will preserve Parler’s data so it can move it to other computer servers.

“It’s devastating,” Mr. Matze told Fox News on Sunday. “And it’s not just these three companies. Every provider, from text messaging to email providers to our lawyers all left us on the same day. He said he was having trouble finding another company to host Parler’s website.

But Jeffrey Wernick, COO of Parler, said in an interview that the app had heard from several companies wanting to help it. He refused to name them.

“What Talking will look like in a month, I can’t tell you,” he said. “But Parler won’t be gone.

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Biden’s cabinet: who he has been chosen so far

WASHINGTON – With the Trump administration clearing the start of the formal transition process, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is slowly appointing the people he hopes will guide him through his first term as president and help shape him its reflection in the years to come. .

Mr Biden has chosen cabinet candidates who are career civil servants and recognized experts in their fields, but they still face a confirmation process that has become bitterly polarized. And which party will hold the Senate during this process is unclear: Two rounds in Georgia could tip the balance for Democrats. If Republicans retain control of the chamber, Mr Biden’s candidates could face a more difficult path to confirmation.

Yet with a cast of well-known nominees and a newly created post focused on climate change, Mr Biden has already started to telegraph some of the issues he intends to prioritize. Here are the advisers he has chosen so far, and a few candidates he may announce later:

Secretary of State

By calling on Tony Blinken to take the post of Secretary of State, Mr. Biden appears determined to rebuild relationships with foreign leaders and international organizations that have atrophied under the isolationist policies that have defined the America’s program. first ”from President Trump.

If confirmed, Mr Blinken will take charge of a State Department that has shrunk in size and stature under Mr Trump as staff cuts and resignations have thinned its ranks.

With his years of experience in the department, Mr. Blinken, 58, is familiar with the mechanisms of diplomacy. He previously worked for the department under two previous administrations, most notably as Deputy Secretary of State under President Barack Obama.

In Mr. Blinken, Mr. Biden hopes to install a measured and well-trained negotiator who can both represent the United States internationally and restore a sense of purpose within the State Department.

Read more: The first tasks await Tony Blinken.

National Security Advisor

Jake Sullivan, Mr. Biden’s choice for adviser on national security matters, has been hailed in Washington as a gifted jurist, who has a long history of working with the president-elect.

Mr. Sullivan’s list of accomplishments is long. A Rhodes scholar and graduate of Yale Law School, Mr. Sullivan has written a long resume including an internship for Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer and works as chief advisor to Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for whom he worked as the department’s head of policy planning, described him as a “talent unique in a generation.”

Mr Sullivan also worked closely with other members of Mr Biden’s planned cabinet, succeeding Mr Blinken as Vice President Biden’s national security adviser in 2013. Mr Sullivan and Mr Blinken maintain a close friendship and a common philosophy on the United States’ role in the world that should shape Mr. Biden’s approach to international affairs.

Read more: Biden chooses close confidant to head national security.

UN Ambassador

When Mr Biden nominated some of his candidates on Tuesday, they seemed determined to completely reject the “America First” isolationism of the current administration.

“Diplomacy is back,” said Linda Thomas-Greenfield, choosing Mr. Biden to represent the United States as ambassador to the United Nations. Mr Biden plans to restore the post to the cabinet level after Mr Trump downgrades him, giving Ms Thomas-Greenfield a seat on the National Security Council.

Ms. Thomas-Greenfield brings more than 35 years of foreign service experience, having worked as the United States Ambassador to Liberia and held positions in Switzerland, Pakistan, Kenya, Gambia, Nigeria and Jamaica.

Ms. Thomas-Greenfield has also worked in the private sector. She was previously Senior Vice President at Albright Stonebridge Group, the consulting firm founded by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, overseeing the firm’s Africa practice.

special presidential envoy for the climate

Highlighting his intention to address the global threat posed by climate change as a pillar of his political agenda, Mr Biden chose John Kerry, the former Secretary of State, to take up a newly created post at cabinet level as his “climate czar”.

Mr Kerry’s work will also result in a seat on the National Security Council, marking the first time that an adviser fully dedicated to the issue of climate change has joined the forum and placing him among other top national security and foreign policy advisers. . arena.

Mr Kerry’s approach to the role is likely to be strongly informed by his experience working with other countries on agreements to set meaningful benchmarks on carbon emissions and encourage sustainable growth. While secretary of state under former President Barack Obama, Mr Kerry was a chief negotiator for the United States on the Paris agreement on climate change, which Mr Biden said he would engage again on the first day of his administration.

Mr. Kerry will not have to face Senate confirmation, according to Mr. Biden’s transition team.

Learn more: A cabinet-level voice on climate.

Secretary of the Treasury

In search of a trusted economist to pull the country’s economy out of a pandemic downturn, Mr Biden chose Janet Yellen, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve.

If confirmed, Ms Yellen would be the first woman to lead the Treasury in its 231 year history.

During her tenure as Fed chairman from 2014 to 2018, Ms. Yellen oversaw a record economic expansion that would continue to reduce unemployment to its lowest rate in 50 years and which helped produce a thriving economy that was devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. .

In selecting Ms Yellen, Mr Biden appeared to have gone for a safe and proven name, and a candidate who should survive the confirmation process with some ease, unlike other economists proposed by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party who reportedly may have been less acceptable to Republicans in the Senate.

Read more: Former Fed chairman looks set to lead the Treasury Department.

Director of National Intelligence

The first woman to potentially be the country’s top intelligence official, Avril Haines has close ties to the intelligence community, having served in the Obama and George W. Bush administrations.

A physicist by training, Ms Haines also helped oversee a number of secret programs at the National Security Council from 2010, and then as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2013 to 2015, including the controversial murder program targeted involving precision drone strikes, some of which killed civilians.

Although Ms Haines has been criticized by some progressives for her involvement in the drone program, her work to increase surveillance of those operations, as well as her strong credentials in intelligence work, should satisfy enough senators to open the door to her. way. be confirmed in what has traditionally been a non-partisan role.

Read more: Progressives worry about Biden’s choice of national intelligence.

SECRETARY OF INTERNAL SECURITY

After four years of immigration policy closely tailored to Mr. Trump’s personal whims, Mr. Biden called on Alejandro Mayorkas, a lawyer and former Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security, to reorient the Department of Homeland Security.

A former director of the ministry’s legal immigration agency, Mr. Mayorkas is very likely to reverse the more punitive immigration policies of the Trump administration in his new role. If confirmed, he would approach this task as the first immigrant to take the job, as well as the first Latino.

Mr Mayorkas faces the challenge of rebuilding an agency that has suffered from vacancies and a string of interim leaders in recent years, as well as an agency that has been embroiled in scandal, among other things, by the politics of separation of children from the Trump administration.

Learn more: The challenges for Alejandro Mayorkas.

While several of the key positions spanning foreign policy and national security now have candidates, other sizeable choices have yet to be announced, with pressure being put on Mr. Biden by activists and interest groups in favor of their preferred candidates.

A number of Democrats and liberal groups have spoken out in recent days in support of Representative Deb Haaland, Democrat of New Mexico, as head of the Home Department. If selected and confirmed, Ms Haaland would be the first Native American woman to do so.

Mr Biden’s team reportedly considered appointing Senator Bernie Sanders, the Independent Progressive from Vermont, to head the Labor Department, a move that would appeal to progressives but would likely meet strong opposition from many Republicans in the Senate. .

More than a dozen other positions have yet to be announced.