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August 06, 2018 07:33 AM UTC

Monday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“The more desperate you are, the more mistakes you make.”

–Canelo Alvarez


28 thoughts on “Monday Open Thread

  1. Alert!!!!

    Special election in Ohio tomorrow!!!!!  Emerson Polling has Democrat Danny O'Connor up 1 point on Republican Troy Balderson!!!!  May O'Connor win and deal another political black eye to the Evil Stinky Benedict Donald and his evil minions.

    1. Yes, and here is the real kicker. There is a Green Party candidate polling at 2 percent.

      Attention, Ohio 's Useful Idiots: here is your chance to show that there is no difference between the major parties!

      1. Tune of "Let me hear your body talk"

        We're gonna have Jilliots, Jilliots.

        Let me see your IQ drop

        Vote for Jilliots, Jilliots

        Fascism is the very next stop.

      1. The best way to bring Jones down; along with his sidekick Jerome ""deep state" is after Trump" Corsi; is to sue the crap out of him. Which is what some of the Sandy Hook families are doing.

        Otherwise, it's a slippery slope for freedom of speech.  French philosopher Voltaire said something like: I may disagree with what you say. But I will defend to the death your right to say it. 

        1. How is this action a slippery slope for freedom of speech?  There's no right to speak on private platforms.  Pols could (and should, I'd wager) block me from posting today.  My only recourse would, and should, be to cry about it.

          If you're looking for the "slippery slope," it's in saying that the ravings of a loony rise to a level of defamation severe enough for the apparatus of the state to use its coercive power to silence or punish him, e.g. the lawsuit you praise.  If there's a "threat" to "freedom of speech," that's it.

          Win or Lose, the Alex Jones Lawsuit Will Help Redefine Free Speech

          1. It's a private lawsuit brought by Sandy Hook families. I've not heard a courtroom described before as the state using its "coercive power" to silence someone. And the other, older, suits that you cite involved public figures.

            1. But a "public figure" can be someone brought into a public controversy — even without their own action.

              If the parents have stood up in a public meeting, been in a public photograph as they met the President, written or called their Representative, or otherwise gone public with their story in a "gun control" environment, they may well have to prove, by a preponderance of evidence, the "actual malice" of the defamatory source.

              Even as extreme First Amendment supporter, putting that level of burden on someone because they are engaged in a "public controversy" seems counterproductive, if not totally insane.

            2. Every order of the court is backed by the power of the state to deprive you of liberty or property.  That's the entire point of having them.

              Also, that the article cites cases involving public figures is a strange argument, since it specifically sets out to discuss whether the parents of the murdered children are themselves public figures under the law.  It also discusses whether anything Jones said could be defamation regardless.  It uses those past cases, as do the courts that will hear the Jones case, to try to apply the law to this situation.

        2. True enough, CHB. But Facebook and the other companies seem universal and public, but in reality, they are privately-held, for-profit companies.

          As such, they are under no obligation to host content that they find offensive but that the user has a  1st amendment right to say in public spaces. In effect, they (and paid FB users and advertisers) are paying for the user's right to express themselves.

          And if they don't want to pay for Alex Jones' crazy shit that he's going to get sued over, more power to them, say I. It would have been nice if Facebook and Apple had had this awakening to their corporate responsibilities, say, in late summer of 2016, when every other FB meme I got was apparently spawned and directed by Russian hackers pretending to be Bernie bros.

          Let Alex Jones join Glenn Beck in some obscure internet site, or Andrew Anglin with Stormer on the dark web. Let people have to struggle and search and turn over rocks to find that crap.

          1. Facebook is getting close to being a public platform. Myself, I'd rather leave as much of the the crap up for public ridicule as possible. But I'm not defending the crap either. 

              1. The problem is that many people view what they see on the Internet as gospel truth.

                I, on the other hand, view most of what I see as being akin to the supermarket tabloids. Sure, they may occasionally get the story right about the politician getting caught in flagrante delicto or the celebrity going through a really messy divorce, but most of what they print is for entertainment only. I mean Big Foot interviews, Hillary's alien love child, and the weekly Elvis sightings.

                If I want news, I will go to NY Times, WaPo and occasionally Wall Street Journal (for a conservative point of view).

        3. I don't think there is enough there to justify a civil judgment.

          Judge George B. Daniels dismissed a lawsuit brought by the parents of Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee staffer who was killed in July 2016, apparently the victim of a botched robbery attempt. …

          [Judge ruled] a claim for emotional distress needs to clear one heck of a hurdle. In fact, the offending behavior must be “so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized society,” notes a 1999 legal precedent cited by Daniels. Fox News’s activities in the Rich case, argued the judge, didn’t meet that standard.

          And apparently, the conduct has to be intolerable in the current American society, as well.

  2. Judge's ruling invalidates FEC regulation allowing anonymous donations to 'dark money' groups


    A U.S. District Court judge on Friday issued a ruling invalidating a Federal Election Commission regulation that has allowed donors to so-called dark-money groups to remain anonymous, the latest development in a years-long legal battle that could have major implications for campaign finance.

    Judge Beryl A. Howell ruled the FEC's current regulation of such groups, including 501(c) 4 non-profits, fails to uphold the standard Congress intended when it required the disclosure of politically related spending.

    "The challenged regulation facilitates such financial 'routing,' blatantly undercuts the congressional goal of fully disclosing the sources of money flowing into federal political campaigns, and thereby suppresses the benefits intended to accrue from disclosure … ," wrote Howell, an Obama appointee to the D.C district court. The decision is likely to be appealed.

    1. "likely to be appealed" is perhaps one of the safest bets possible.

      In the current judicial climate, the only way the decision will stand is if Congress made such a disclosure very, VERY explicit in the legislative history. I haven't gone back to look at the debate, but I can't imagine it was that explicit in a pre-Citizens United context.

      1. Maybe.  If I remember Citizens United correctly, it did deal with the reporting requirements in McCain-Feingold and explicitly upheld them (maybe except Thomas?  I think he wrote something separate).

      1. Evidently the Trump team is now renting out high school gyms for the president to speak in, like in Ohio this past weekend. That way, they can still say he is speaking to a full house.

        1. I'm surprised they would do that. Why not use a cavernous venue? Trump can visualize the room as being filled to the rafters with ranging fanatics. And when the media reports that it is half empty, he can scream FAKE NEWS and tell everyone there were more people present for the speech than watched Obama's inauguration.

        2. 2,500 capacity. The venue was changed on Thursday from a county fair coliseum with 1,500 seats.

          And I saw this morning that Gov. Kasich says Trump flew in WITHOUT an explicit invitation from the candidate. The Trump political operation apparently contacted the candidate and said something along the lines of "the President would like to come and support you."

          And today, Trump tweeted out support for Kris Kobach in tomorrow's Kansas Republican primary for governor.  No visit, darn it.

  3. Crazy – Trump spending his days watching, bragging about his own taped rallies

    Once again, this is such odd, befuddling, childish behavior that it's difficult to imagine any other president doing it. If reports came out that Barack Obama or George W. Bush were obsessively watching their own old debates and campaign rallies, over and over and over, they press would openly wonder if they had a few screws loose. Trump, however, has no screws. He is screwless. There are no more fasteners left to come undone.

    If anything, his staff is probably grateful he spends so much time parked in front of the TV-mirror, because it means there's less time for him to foul up his day job.

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