A Chinese online activist said Tencent Holdings Ltd. shut down his WeChat instant messaging account after he set up a chat group called “Shorting China” to share information on protecting human rights in the country.
The supercommittee’s failure to reach a substantial agreement this week is disappointing but unsurprising. The old model of politics, in which bipartisan agreement was the key to success, simply doesn’t work anymore. In the new model, there is almost no overlap in views across party lines, and government function requires either domination by one party (as was the case for much of President Barack Obama’s first two years in office) or more automatic decision-making (as I have suggested elsewhere).
In 2008, with the U.S. divided between red states and blue states, then-candidate Barack Obama called for unity over division, a common shout-out among politicians and others determined to preserve America’s under- siege, allegedly shared values. Yet such calls ignore the fact that there are no shared “American values.” We’ve always been divided. And not truly along state lines.
The Washington Post’s David Beard is maintaining a “roundup of vote irregularities." If you had no other information about U.S. politics but Beard’s list, you would know quite a lot about the state of the nation’s two major political parties in 2012.
Beijing will force microblog users to verify their identities, tightening control of the world’s largest Internet market as a siege at a village in southern China underscores the threat of social unrest.