27 thoughts on “News/Politics 4-9-18

  1. From powerlineblog:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/04/can-internet-oligarchs-tilt-the-playing-field-to-the-left.php

    __________________________

    … One could go on and on, but I don’t think there is any serious doubt that much of the infrastructure of the internet is controlled by leftists, and they are putting their thumbs on the scale in favor of left-wing policies and candidates. The question is, what to do about it?

    Conservatives could boycott Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but that would bring about exactly the result that liberals want–an absence of conservative voices from the most-used modes of communication. Conservatives could try to start their own competing services, but network effects guarantee that such efforts would by difficult at best, and probably impossible. (Although Paul, in a different context, suggests something of the sort here.)

    Some advocate antitrust action against Google, Facebook, and so on. But on what grounds? Monopolization, presumably, but the trouble with these companies is not that they have used improper means to gain or perpetuate market dominance, but rather that they are misusing their market dominance to further their collateral political goals. I am not aware that courts have recognized such a legal theory, and it is not obvious to me how it would fit within the framework of the Sherman Act or other antitrust statutes. …

    … In the meantime, tedious though the task is, it makes sense to continue exposing the leftward bias of the internet’s key players.
    _____________________________

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  2. Even The Woz has left Facebook, so you know things are bad.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2018/04/08/apple-co-founder-steve-wozniak-says-hes-leaving-facebook/497392002/

    “Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told USA TODAY he’s leaving Facebook out of growing concern for the carelessness with which Facebook and other Internet companies treat the private information of users.

    “Users provide every detail of their life to Facebook and … Facebook makes a lot of advertising money off this,” he said in an email to USA TODAY. “The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back.”

    Wozniak said he’d rather pay for Facebook than have his personal information exploited for advertising. And he heaped praise on Apple for respecting people’s privacy.

    “Apple makes its money off of good products, not off of you,” Wozniak said. “As they say, with Facebook, you are the product.””

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  3. And as DJ’s link points out, govy. intervention is probably not the answer.

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/04/it-begins-california-senator-introduces-bill-to-kill-free-speech-requires-state-sanctioned-fact-checkers-to-approve-online-content/

    “The bill is titled “SB1424 Internet: social media: false information: strategic plan.”

    It targets social media based in California. But as you read the bill, you see it appears to define social media as any Internet blog, website, or communication.

    SB1424 is brief. Read it:

    This bill would require any person who operates a social media, as defined, Internet Web site with a physical presence in California to develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Web site. The bill would require the plan to include, among other things, a plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories, the utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories, providing outreach to social media users, and placing a warning on a news story containing false information.

    (a) Any person who operates a social media Internet Web site with physical presence in California shall develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Internet Web site.

    (b) The strategic plan shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following:

    (1) A plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories.

    (2) The utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories.

    (3) Providing outreach to social media users regarding news stories containing false information.

    (4) Placing a warning on a news story containing false information.

    (c) As used in this section, “social media” means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site profiles or locations.

    Getting the picture?

    It’s a free speech killer.

    This is what the Democratic Party has become — intolerant fascists.”

    ——————

    https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/california-bill-would-shut-down-free-speech/

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  4. And if you think Rappaport and Gateway Pundit might be exaggerating, think again.

    https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB1424

    “THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

    SECTION 1. Title 14.5 (commencing with Section 3085) is added to Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code, to read:
    TITLE 14.5. False Information Strategic Plans
    3085. (a) Any person who operates a social media Internet Web site with physical presence in California shall develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Internet Web site.
    (b) The strategic plan shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following:
    (1) A plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories.
    (2) The utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories.
    (3) Providing outreach to social media users regarding news stories containing false information.
    (4) Placing a warning on a news story containing false information.
    (c) As used in this section, “social media” means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site profiles or locations.”
    ———————

    So will there be “state approved” fact checkers?

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  5. This is odd. Michael Anton, who wrote The Flight 93 Election article has left the White House. He was on the NSC staff and left right before Bolton’s first day.

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  6. Mueller is showboating again.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/04/fbi-seizes-documents-from-trumps-lawyer-michael-cohen/#more-246693

    “The New York Times has reported that the FBI raided the office of President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen. They seized documents related to a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with Trump, along with other material after they received a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

    From The New York Times:

    Federal prosecutors in Manhattan obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, according to Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, who called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.” The search does not appear to be directly related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation, but likely resulted from information he had uncovered and gave to prosecutors in New York.

    “Today the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York executed a series of search warrants and seized the privileged communications between my client, Michael Cohen, and his clients,” said Stephen Ryan, his lawyer. “I have been advised by federal prosecutors that the New York action is, in part, a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”

    A source told the NYT that the authorities took “emails, tax documents and business records” along with the material on Daniels.

    The records include communications between Daniels and Trump even though communications between lawyer and client are protected.”
    ————————

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  7. I was driving home from work and the radio reporter said Trump was going to speak about Syria. Instead, surrounded by Pence, the Jount Chiefs and the new National Security Advisor, Trump spent 90% of the briefing attacking Mueller. This is a new low, and that is really saying something.

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  8. The lawyers in The Trump Cult realize he is in trouble.

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  9. Andrew McCarthy has been one of Trump’s biggest defenders in the Mueller investigation. Today he reminded everybody that he had predicted that the payoff to Stormy Daniels could cause big problems because of violation of election laws.

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  10. I find the right’s obsession on media bias amusing. The American media is corporate owned and thus the only bias they have is profit.

    Sinclair and Fox genuflect before Trump snd in fact Fox and Friends give Trump his instructions. And yet the media is thought to be run by the left. Strange logic to think corporations support socialists.

    Media chase profits. Facebook for one protects it’s image not an agenda. For example, they take down both pro Palestinian and pro Israel sites.

    Some media is conservative, some liberal, whatever position makes money. There’s no persecution or bias just money to be made.

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  11. It must have been a compelling case for a judge to sign a search warrant of a lawyer. I wonder how wide the scope of the warrant is; does it include Trump’s tax records?

    It would be amusing, ironic and karma if a porn star helped provide the material that helps end the Trump admin.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve been busy & have missed much of the news today.

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  13. hwesseli, studies and common sense have shown that mainstream media has, generally speaking, leaned left; very few reporters are conservative and, yes, it does seep into coverage. The media has been resistant to dealing with this criticism, much to our frustration.

    http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/Media-Bias-Is-Real-Finds-UCLA-6664

    Corporate views may have been reflected in publisher’s positions, but reporters who are actually reporting the news are, by far, mostly Democrats.

    That said, if reporters are trained well and take their craft seriously, they step back from those biases. As a colleague once said to me, we should all leave our politics at the door when we walk into the newsroom every day. Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. “media,” of course, is now going through a wild shift and what we’re ending up with are two polar opposites of biased reporting. Great. Just what we needed.

    The noble effort to be objective is sadly getting lost in the yelling & chaos.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. All that said, I agree that some folks have become obsessed and see bias where none exists and that is frustrating for those of us inside the business — we’ve all had our share of nasty emails accusing us of all kinds of conspiracies.

    I’d love to see the media do some self searching and recommit to the value of being objective. I’d also love to see readers take a breath and not assume bias around every corner.

    Diversity in media is a good thing, though it requires even more of the reader in being wary and cross-checking what he or she reads or watches or otherwise consumes. Extreme partisanship is now running rampant and it’s all getting pretty ugly.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. DJ, We appreciate what you and your colleagues do.

    I am really disgusted with Carlson. I understand that he is not an objective journalist and never has been. However, he used to be an honest conservative commentator. He has sold out to get the big bucks by portraying a Trumper every night on Fox. It is pathetic.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. From Rickey’s NYT link; Trump: “Its an attack on our country in the truest sense of the word.” L’etat c’est moi. The state is me. Forget Mussolini Trump thinks he’s Louis XVI.

    DJ. I agree most journalist and media types are democrats but as the Sinclair episode demonstrates ownership matters. Besides a Clinton style Democrat is as left wing as Nixon and to the right of Eisenhower.

    And yes cable news killed journalism by creating conflict in the name of ratings.

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  18. That’s funny Ricky….

    I don’t remember “find more old and embarrassing info on the president from years back that isn’t a crime” being part of Mueller’s directive..

    As for it being big news….

    MSN doesn’t even have it mentioned, nor does Yahoo. Seems a bigger deal to you Never-Trumpers, not much anyone else. Sorry, there’s no shock value left.

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  19. Overreach.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/alan-dershowitz-today-is-a-very-dangerous-day-for-lawyer-client-relations

    “Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz warned Monday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s decision to raid President Trump’s personal lawyer’s office is an assault on the privileged lawyer-client relationship.

    Dershowitz said on Fox News that he believes the decision to raid Michael Cohen’s office would be a sign that Mueller is trying to turn Cohen against Trump.

    “This may be an attempt to squeeze Cohen,” he said. “He’s the lawyer, he’s the guy who knows all the facts about Donald Trump, and to get him to turn against his client.”

    “This is a very dangerous day today for lawyer-client relations,” he added.

    Dershowitz, who has drawn the ire of Democrats for defending Trump, said Mueller’s move is also dangerous because it gives the FBI the option of deciding what information seized from Cohen to pursue.

    “I tell [clients] on my word of honor that what you tell me is sacrosanct,” he said. “And now they say, just based on probable cause … they can burst into the office, grab all the computers, and then give it to another FBI agent and say, ‘You’re the firewall. We want you now to read all these confidential communications, tell us which ones we can get and which ones we can’t get.'”

    “If this were Hillary Clinton being investigated and they went into her lawyer’s office, the ACLU would be on every television station in America, jumping up and down,” he added.

    “The deafening silence from the ACLU and civil libertarians about the intrusion into the lawyer-client confidentiality is really appalling,” Dershowitz said.”

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