Big govt, Media, Politics

Alex Jones Censored by Big Internet Firms

Right-wing “conspiracy theorist” Alex Jones has been censored by major Internet platforms that have found his rhetoric too offensive. Facebook, Apple, YouTube, and Spotify have alleged violations of their user agreements by Jones. According to a Facebook spox on the problematic pages: “More content from the same pages has been reported to us-upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanising language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.” Jones’ incitement has often served as the catalyst for fringe speech by groups that mainstream media outlets attempt to associate with President Trump.

Here’s more from The Guardian…

All but one of the major content platforms have banned the American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as the companies raced to act in the wake of Apple’s decision to remove five podcasts by Jones and his Infowars website.

Facebook unpublished four pages run by Jones for “repeated violations of community standards”, the company said on Monday. YouTube terminated Jones’s account over him repeatedly appearing in videos despite being subject to a 90-day ban from the website, and Spotify removed the entirety of one of Jones’s podcasts for “hate content”.

Facebook’s removal of the pages – the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the Infowars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page – comes after the social network imposed a 30-day ban on Jones personally “for his role in posting violating content to these pages”.

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Big govt, Courts, Politics

Kavanaugh Smear Campaign Is Full Steam Ahead

With Sen. Rand Paul’s endorsement and at least public praise from Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, the Left’s chances of blocking Kavanaugh are slim. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t using this manufactured crisis to continue to malign the man in order to fundraise and undermine future decisions to be made from the bench of the Supreme Court by this nominee, if confirmed. Even that seems rather desperate and stretched thin, however, as their biggest “there” has to do with what Kavanaugh could have possibly witnessed as former Judge Alex Kozinski’s clerk. It’s the classic guilt-by-association strategy, as Kozinski was forced into retirement by a sexual harassment scandal.

Here’s more from Hot Air…

Senate Democrats are about out of plays to meet their pledge to defeat Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Rand Paul has openly pledged to support his confirmation, and both Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have offered public praise for Kavanaugh over the last few weeks. In their desperation, Politico reports that they’re going full steam ahead on a strategy to smear Kavanaugh by association:

Senate Democrats are gearing up to press Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on his decades-long relationship with former Judge Alex Kozinski, who was forced into retirement last year by a mounting sexual harassment scandal.

It’s not just what, if anything, Kavanaugh saw during his time as a Kozinski clerk in the early 1990s that’s on Democratic minds. They also want to know how President Donald Trump’s high court pick would address the judiciary’s ongoing internal reckoning with sexual misconduct that was sparked by Kozinski

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Big govt, Economy & Investments, Politics

Senate Reveals Sanctions Package Against Russia

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators revealed a massive legislative package last week designed to slam the Russian government for interference in the 2016 presidential election along with their role in aiding opposition forces in Ukraine and Syria. The package is a combination of economic sanctions and shoring up of resources to NATO, which would include critical aid to Eastern Bloc nations. The group demanded demonstrable changes in Russia’s behavior both with the U.S. and its allies before a trade group is normalized. It’s the first legislative response from Congress since the investigation into Russia’s activities began.

Here’s more from PJ Media…

A bipartisan group of senators introduced deep sanctions on Russia today in response to the Kremlin’s continued interference in the 2018 campaign cycle and nefarious activities in Syria and Ukraine.

The Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2018 is sponsored by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).

“Unless Russia fundamentally changes its behavior, we must not repeat the mistakes of past Administrations of trying to normalize relations with a nation that continues to pose a serious threat to the United States and our allies,” said Gardner.

It rolls in another bipartisan bill from Gardner, McCain, and Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) that would require two-thirds of the Senate to approve any presidential effort to withdraw from NATO. It also includes provisions “expediting the transfer of excess defense articles to NATO countries to reduce some NATO countries’ dependence on Russian military equipment.”

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Big govt, Courts, Politics

Maxine Waters Money Mailer Nets FEC Complaint

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has been fundraising off her politically charged rhetoric, calling for ‘resistance’ against President Trump. But now she may be in hot water. Of particular concern are her campaign fundraisers and the flow of three-quarters of a million in donor cash to her daughter, Karen Waters, vis-a-vis her public relations firm Progressive Connections. So far, two complaints have been filed with the Federal Election Commission asking for a full audit. The irony is that Waters has led the effort to impeach President Trump, yet she may come under investigation and prosecution instead.

Here’s more from Fox News…

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, one of the most outspoken members of the anti-Trump ‘resistance’ in Congress, is facing fresh questions about a longstanding controversy regarding how her campaign raises money and how those funds have flowed to her daughter.

The California congresswoman has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars each election cycle from some of her state’s biggest politicians paying to be listed on her slate mailers—sample ballots traditionally mailed out to about 200,000 voters in Los Angeles highlighting whom she supports.

Since 2004, the campaign in turn reportedly has paid $750,000 to the congresswoman’s daughter, Karen Waters, or her public relations firm Progressive Connections for help producing them.

A government watchdog in July filed the first of two complaints with the Federal Election Commission asking for a full audit of the Citizens for Waters campaign.The first complaint alleges Waters broke federal campaign finance law, and also names the California Democratic State Central Committee and Sen. Kamala Harris, a likely 2020 Democratic presidential contender.

 

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Big govt, Politics

Facebook Bans Conservatives in Brazil

Once again it seems Facebook is playing politics from behind the scenes of social media profiles with more than 196 pages and 87 individual profiles belonging to ideological conservatives shut down. In a country of more than one hundred million users–half the country’s population–and a presidential election on Oct. 7, the timing is raising questions in Washington, D.C. Offering no evidence, Facebook defended its bans, claiming that the blocked pages and profiles “…were part of a coordinated network that disguised itself using fake accounts and hid from the public the nature and origins of its content, with the purpose of causing division and spreading disinformation.” This appears consistent with the trend of shadow-banning at Twitter and has Congress raising another eyebrow.

Here’s more from The Daily Signal…

Conservative groups in Brazil are protesting against Facebook after it banned 196 pages and 87 individual profiles, many of them on the right side of the ideological spectrum.

The Facebook purge has raised concerns that the platform may be pursuing a political agenda in the run-up to the Oct. 7 elections for a new president, a new National Congress, and new state assemblies.

Facebook has more than 100 million users in Brazil, about half of the country’s population.

The Facebook accounts were removed on July 25 without any notification. One of the organizations affected is Brasil 200, a free-market group founded by businessman and former presidential candidate Flavio Rocha.

Other banned pages have links to Movimento Brasil Livre (the Free Brazil Movement), the main grassroots movement behind the massive protests that successfully demanded the impeachment of leftist President Dilma Rousseff in 2016.

 

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Big govt, Courts, Politics

Kavanaugh Confirmation Sparks War Over Constitution

As we move closer to the GOP’s imposed deadline for the Senate confirmation vote on Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, the debate that continues to take center stage between Republicans and Democrats is the very essence of the Constitution. Kavanaugh’s conservative credentials since his appointment to the federal court by President George W. Bush reveal his opinion, like that of the conservatives on the Supreme Court, that the Constitution has an original intent imbued by the framers. This notion is anathema for Democrats who have argued since the beginning of the progressive era under President Wilson that the Constitution is a “living, breathing” document that must evolve over time to reflect changing social mores. It is that debate that could get heated as the Supreme Court threatens to become Trump’s.

Here’s more from The Daily Signal…

Legal experts say the fight for the original meaning of the Constitution will play a significant role in the confirmation process for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

“The fork in the road as it plays out in the Supreme Court is now going to be the centerpiece of these confirmation hearings,” said John Eastman, founding director at the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence.

Eastman made his remarks at an event Wednesday at The Heritage Foundation about federal appeals court Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the high court.

“Are we going to have a Constitution that means what it says … that it’s the source of authority for judges to have judicial review in the first place,” Eastman said, “or are we going to have a ‘living’ Constitution, where the document itself can be molded and shaped to meet what the judges believe is kind of the modern exigencies of the day.”

Kavanaugh, 53, was nominated by Trump on July 9 to fill the seat of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced June 27 that he’s retiring.

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Adriana Cohen, Big govt

The Irony of the Plastic Straw Ban

You know you’re a misguided environmentalist if you support banning plastic straws — the latest enviro craze sweeping the nation — while still consuming trendy Frappuccino-like drinks contained in big ol’ plastic cups.

Cups that also have plastic lids.

Has it ever occured to enviro “elites,” who never hesitate to ban any product they dislike, that the plastic cups they routinely use will end up in the same landfill or ocean as those plastic straws?

Perhaps the extremist crowd in Santa Barbara, a city that has criminalized the use of plastic straws and will jail and fine offenders, hasn’t noticed that the single-use plastic cups they buy and chuck everyday from their local coffee joint has a significantly bigger plastic load than the little plastic straws and stirrers they want to keep out of the ocean. The same goes for all the juices, soft drinks and other beverages contained in plastic that they continue to consume — not to mention scores of other plastic products they purchase across industries.

Do facts matter, or are “banners” more interested in “feel-good” symbolic environmentalism than actually curtailing marine pollution?

And how about the K-Cup crowd?

There are millions of consumers worldwide that use single-cup coffee brewing machines that require single-use, disposable coffee pods choking landfills in a town near you. How many of these shortsighted folks have jumped on the bandwagon calling for bans on plastic water bottles and/or plastic straws? Shouldn’t they ditch their single-use coffee machines — which add billions of non-recyclable, non-biodegradable brewing pods into the waste stream — before stripping their neighbors’ liberty to use a plastic straw or coffee stirrer?

And when it comes to the economy, any sensible human must consider the impact on manufacturers and the jobs that these enviro activists will systematically destroy by stressing industries that produce targeted products.

Yes, keeping trash out of the ocean is a worthwhile pursuit. So far, 15 U.S. towns have implemented bans on plastic straws; But before another zip code takes measures to ban the next random product, consider the big picture. Is it worth taking away millions of Americans’ consumer choice, destroying businesses and losing significant tax revenue from targeted industries when there are millions of disposable plastic products contributing to ocean pollution worldwide?

Why single out plastic straws, which make up less than four percent of the plastic waste stream? Shouldn’t activists focus on reducing the environmental impact of the other 96 percent? Let’s also address the fact that China, the world’s biggest polluter, along with third world nations with little to no interest in sustainability, won’t be curtailing its massive contribution to marine pollution anytime soon.

While you ponder the latest crusade to make the plastic industry the new whipping boy, consider that single product bans rarely succeed in achieving its primary objective — reducing plastic waste. To the contrary, misguided bans often have the unintended consequence of causing a mass consumer shift to replacement products that are even more detrimental to mother nature.

All the more reason communities across the United States should bolster effective recycling initiatives and worthwhile education initiatives versus heavy-handed product bans.

Protecting the ocean is noble. Misguided solutions, however, won’t resolve the problem.

Adriana Cohen is a syndicated columnist with the Boston Herald. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16. To find out more about Adriana Cohen and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

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Big govt, Courts, Politics

Executive Power Becomes Issue in Kavanaugh Confirmation

As Senate Republicans continue to drill down on a final deadline for the confirmation vote on Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats have been working to coalesce on a single point of contention, and that point appears to be Kavanaugh’s perspective on executive power. During the Bush administration, Kavanaugh was associated with the Independent Counsel investigation of Ken Starr during the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton. That association has Democrats charging that Kavanaugh might decide in favor of the White House in instances where executive privilege is an issue. Democrats will likely argue that Kavanaugh would have defended Richard Nixon had the matter come to the Supreme Court.

Here’s more from Washington Examiner…

As Democratic senators continue to push for the release of more than a million pages related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the judge’s views on executive power have taken center stage in an already fiery confirmation battle.

Kavanaugh’s views on executive power have emerged as a flashpoint in the battle over his nomination, with Senate Democrats and the judge’s opponents questioning whether Kavanaugh would rule in cases before the Supreme Court in a manner that protects the president who appointed him to the bench.

The concerns over his views on executive power are amplified by the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, who for the past year has been examining Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether Trump obstructed justice.

“Question of the day: If Kavanaugh would have let Nixon off the hook, what is he willing to do for President Trump?” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., asked Monday.

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Big govt, Courts, Politics

Democrats Refuse to Meet with Kavanaugh

On the heels of President Trump’s landmark nomination of a second Supreme Court justice, Senate Republicans are pushing forward with a plan to confirm Brett Kavanaugh by October 1, but there’s a problem with that schedule because Senate Democrats, according to reports, are refusing to meet with Kavanaugh ahead of confirmation deliberations. That has Majority Leader Mitch McConnell threatening to drag the session out until election day if necessary. It’s a catch-22 for Democrats in that members running for reelection need to get back to their states to campaign, but stonewalling the confirmation of Kavanaugh may prevent that.

Here’s more from Washington Examiner…

Many Senate Democrats have refused to hold the traditional meet and greet events with Supreme Court nominee Judge Kavanaugh, arguing they have not received all of the millions of pages of documentation related to Kavanaugh’s time working in the Bush White House.

Their shut out could ultimately delay the confirmation process and has prompted a threat from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to keep the Senate in session until Election Day if that time is needed to confirm Kavanaugh.

Republicans want to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1, which is the start of the next Supreme Court term. To show they mean business, Republican leaders have said they won’t adjourn for all-important campaigning this fall if Kavanaugh isn’t on track to making that deadline.

“We will stay here until the bitter end, up to the elections on Nov. 6,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Monday. “That would be the consequence of dragging this out for no good reason. But we will vote on his nomination before the midterm election.”

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Big govt, Politics

Dem Gov. Cuomo Pardons Seven Criminal Aliens

ABC news reported yesterday that Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo had pardoned seven illegal immigrants just ahead of processing for deportation. During his announcement, Cuomo blasted the Trump administration for an “agenda of hate and division”. But what wasn’t discussed in Cuomo’s announcement was the fact that those pardoned had previously been convicted of possession and/or intent to sell drugs (one of whom was also run up on a DWI). As we move headlong toward the November elections, the contrast between Democrat and Republican policies on immigration are working against the Democrats. And it’s a reality that appears yet to occur to them despite opinion polls overwhelmingly in favor of tough enforcement.

Here’s more from The Daily Caller…

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pardoned seven illegal immigrants that are facing deportation on Monday morning.

“At a time when President Trump and the federal government are waging a war on our immigrant communities, New York stands firm in our belief that our diversity is our greatest strength. While President Trump engages in politics that rip children out of the arms of their mothers and tries to ramp up the deportation of New Yorkers to advance his political agenda of hate and division, we will protect our immigrant communities,” Cuomo said, according to ABC News.

Said ex-criminals have allegedly led crime-free lives over the last seven years, at minimum, which was the base requirement of Cuomo’s decision to pardon these seven individuals and excuse their old crimes.

Five of the seven recipients were arrested for either possession of or intent to sell a controlled substance, one of whom was convicted for possession and charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. The other two faced petty larceny charges.

This is the third time Cuomo has pardoned a group of criminals that were potentially getting deported.

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