When Social-Media Blocking Goes Political

I’ve talked about free speech often in the past. I even said, quite recently and quite angrily, that getting blocked on social media is not a violation of your free speech.

However… it would appear that some Twitter users have found an exception… and I’m not sure I can think up an argument against this…

President Donald Trump may be the nation’s tweeter-in-chief, but some Twitter users say he’s violating the First Amendment by blocking people from his feed after they posted scornful comments.

Lawyers for two Twitter users sent the White House a letter Tuesday demanding they be un-blocked from the Republican president’s @realDonaldTrump account.

“The viewpoint-based blocking of our clients is unconstitutional,” wrote attorneys at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University in New York.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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That’s It. We’re Out. And the Earth is Dying.

(Warning… strong language)

h/t Caine

First, from the Washington Post

President Trump announced Thursday afternoon that he is withdrawing the United States from the landmark Paris climate agreement, an extraordinary move that dismayed America’s allies and set back the global effort to address the warming planet.

God fucking damnit. We’re really screwed.

Trump’s decision set off alarms worldwide, drawing swift and sharp condemnation from foreign leaders as well as top environmentalists and corporate titans, who decried the U.S. exit from the Paris accord as an irresponsible abdication of American leadership in the face of irrefutable scientific evidence.

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This is Unfiltered, Unbridled Propaganda

(h/t PZ Myers)

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. This is Fox News, after all. Of course it’s courting this transparent propaganda. But here I am, actually shocked that this disgusting piece was aired. Here’s the full YouTube Video. I’m also going to include a transcript below the fold, with my responses (though starting of with PZ’s response to the beginning, because it was perfect).

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German Car Sales Are Destroying America!

From Paste

Trump’s ever-expanding axis of evil (i.e. anybody he doesn’t find “tremendous”) grew just a little bit more yesterday. Along with Muslims and exercise, Trump has now decided that Germans are “very bad.” Trump, eloquent as ever, has taken offense to Germany’s trade surplus with the United States. According to German news outlet Der Spiegel (presumably German for “fake news”), Trump made his remarks while voicing his frustration during a meeting with top EU leaders.

Elon James White *blink*

Animated gif of Elon James White blinking in confusion…

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Jared Kushner Actually Thought this Would Work?

From Salon

This hasn’t been a good week for Jared Kushner.

After it was revealed yesterday that the presidential son-in-law was being targeted by the FBI as a “person of interest” in the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, the Washington Post dropped another shocking revelation today in a report stating that Kushner asked Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak if they might set up a “secure communications channel” in a “Russian diplomatic facility,” which would allow the Trump team to have an open and private channel to the Kremlin.

Um… that’s not… you can’t…

What?!?

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Breakdowns of Agent Orange’s Budget Proposals

Angry Peter Capaldi

Angry Peter Capaldi

I’m genuinely getting sick of talking about the Thin Skin in the White House. I had to take a break. But here I am, again, because details of his nasty budget are out, and it isn’t pretty. Dude wants to cut a whole lot of important stuff.

We’ve already seen a bit of this. The blueprint of this was released back in March. And it’s even worse than that…

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Ivanka Trump as Our First Woman President? Please No.

This is a seriously surreal article over at Ozy magazine. I don’t know how to handle it…

While the world remains distracted by the constant circus surrounding the Trump White House, I sense a different kind of power play, and potential American future, brewing beneath the surface at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: Ivanka Trump becoming the first female president of the United States.

Whatever you think of the character and presidency of Donald Trump, it’s clear he adores his daughter Ivanka, and cherishes the totemic power of his name. And what better way to ensure his family’s legacy than by setting up his daughter, already installed in the West Wing, to assume the presidency? In our current topsy-turvy political era, stranger things have already happened. Let’s take a look at a few potential Twilight Zone scenarios, which aren’t as unlikely as they once might have seemed.

And we’re already off to perhaps one of the most horrific episodes of The Twilight Zone ever dreamed up…

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Agent Orange Asked Comey to Stop Investigating Flynn

This is looking worse and worse…

From the New York Times

President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

The documentation of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia. Late Tuesday, Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, demanded that the F.B.I. turn over all “memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings” of discussions between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey.

Such documents, Mr. Chaffetz wrote, would “raise questions as to whether the president attempted to influence or impede” the F.B.I.

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He Actually Leaked Classified Info to the Russians. Seriously.

I don’t even know what to do with this…

From the New York Times

President Trump boasted about highly classified intelligence in a meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador last week, providing details that could expose the source of the information and the manner in which it was collected, a current and a former American government official said Monday.

The intelligence disclosed by Mr. Trump in a meeting with Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, was about an Islamic State plot, according to the officials. A Middle Eastern ally that closely guards its own secrets provided the information, which was considered so sensitive that American officials did not share it widely within the United States government or pass it on to other allies.

So… he just wants us to know that he was hand-picked by Putin, doesn’t he?

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Agent Orange Launches a Voter Fraud Commission

From the Washington Post

President Trump signed an executive order Thursday that sets up a commission to review his controversial allegations of widespread voter fraud, along with reports of voter suppression.

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity will be led by Vice President Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), who has aggressively pursued allegations of voter fraud in his state.

About a dozen other election officials representing both parties will fill out the commission, which will deliver a report to the president next year, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday.

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