This does not bode well for anyone

Judge rules Trump can’t block people from Twitter account
“This case requires us to consider whether a public official may, consistent with the First Amendment, ‘block’ a person from his Twitter account in response to the political views that person has expressed, and whether the analysis differs because that public official is the President of the United States,” the judge wrote in her ruling.

“The answer to both questions is no.”

I’m looking for the complete decision. If that story accurately portrays it, the ramifications are terrible.

First, the judge appears to turn a right to speak into a right that everyone listen. Not just on Twitter. Got troll commenting on your blog or forum? You may not be able to moderate them under this legal theory.

Second, it’s a lot worse than that. Remember CDA Section 230? That’s the one that gave web site owners some protection from liability for posts or comments made by other people.

Meet FOSTA, the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act”Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act.” It strips away many of those 230 protections, making web site owners responsible for things posted by users. Big outfits like Facebook like it because they can afford to comply, but it weeds out smaller competitors who can’t afford a 24/7 team of moderators and automatic filters.

So now I could be held responsible for libelous comments on my blog…

…and I may not be allowed to block offenders. I may not be able to block spammers and trolls.

Imagine getting busted for trafficking because a spammer posted an ad for cheap Chinese Fentanyl on your blog.

Imagine getting sued for defamation because some asshat posted lies about someone else.

With 230 gutted, I have to proactively block that stuff to cover my ass. By it sounds like this judge says I can’t proactively block it.

The devil is in the details; I need to see that decision, not just some ABC reporter’s take.

ETA: Still no complete decision, but some more detail that seems to confirm my fears.

The judge agreed but said that even considering the president’s First Amendment rights, preventing users from interacting directly with him on Twitter represented a violation of a “real, albeit narrow, slice of speech.”

You can’t stop users: “preventing users from interacting directly”.

ETA 2: I have the order (PDF, 75pp). It’s going to take a while to go through it.

ETA 3: This is a mess.

It’s not quite as bad as I feared, in one respect. The decision is limited to the @realDonaldTrump account, and not Twitter itself as a public forum.

@realDonaldTrump is legally a public forum because of something of which I was unaware: Trump uses government resources in the form of the White House Communications Director to manage the account and do some tweets. In Trump’s place, I would have kept it to myself as a personal venting venue. He didn’t. That eliminates my worst fears.

This part still bugs me:

We hold that portions of the @realDonaldTrump account — the “interactive space” where Twitter users may directly engage with the content of the President’s tweets — are properly analyzed under the “public forum” doctrines set forth by the Supreme Court, that such space is a designated public forum, and that the blocking of the plaintiffs based on their political speech constitutes viewpoint discrimination that violates the First Amendment.

That’s the troubling part. The “injury” of the plaintiffs that the judges found to real isn’t that they can’t read Trump’s tweets. They can by using another account, or simply by being logged out (which how I see the occasional tweet). The “injury” isn’t that they can’t tweet themselves, which they can.

The injury is that they can’t post reply tweets directly to Trump’s timeline. They can’t use Trump’s account to voice their opinions.

Imagine if you will: A county commissioner is giving an official statement on television. Joe Citizen disagrees with something said, and demands the mike.

And basically the TV station will have to let him rant, even if it runs past the scheduled timeslot. The station can’t merely offer Joe his own airtime the next day; he’s entitled to comments during the commissioner’s scheduled time, because it would an “injury” not to exercise his free speech as the commissioner speaks, to reach the same people who tuned in to hear what the commissioner had to say whether they like it or not.

Everyone is entitled to the mike.

You can’t “block” them — require them to rant on the own show/Twitter feed/blog — so long as they aren’t slandering, spouting obscenties, or indulging in other “unprotected” speech. Joe — and Mike, Mitzy, Jorge, Abdul, and everyone else — can commandeer the microphone to rant about voting rights for voles, while the commissioner wants to explain the proposed bond issue.

Free speech is great. But this is a new right to be heard. By everyone, not just the public official.

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Time for a new game name

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is so passé. It should be renamed…

Mueller Investigation.

1. Eight years ago, Trump was a shareholder in Affliction Entertainment.

2. Affliction Entertainment signed MMA fighter Emelianenko.

3. Emelianenko is from Russia.

4. [Redacted] emigrated from Russia as a small child.

5. I have worked with [Redacted].

I’m expecting an FBI visit at any time concerning my ties to Trump.

Wait… Stormy Daniels is Russian?

FBI raids office of Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen, report says
Federal investigators seized a number of records, including documents connected to payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, the Times reported.

Cohen’s lawyer told the Times that special counsel Robert Mueller made a referral allowing federal prosecutors to obtain a search warrant.

Huh. Wikipedia thinks she’s from Louisiana. Guess not. Somebody better put an immigration detainer on her before she skips town to Moscow.

If I didn’t understand this crap all too frickin’ well, I’d be kinda confused right now.

Trump announces he will not run for a second term

Bump-fire Banned
Let me drop this here before the sun sets.

Obama Administration legalized bump stocks. BAD IDEA. As I promised, today the Department of Justice will issue the rule banning BUMP STOCKS with a mandated comment period. We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns.
— Donald J. Trump, 1:50 PM – 23 Mar 20181:50 PM – 23 Mar 2018

In case you’ve forgotten how stupid (and contrary to physical reality) this is.

And yes; The Zelman Partisans opposes this. Accepting this is in no way a compromise. We did not get reciprocal carry. We did get a dangerous Fix NICS. And this isn’t a merely bump-fire ban; it’s effectively a ban on semiautomatic firearms (and if you think Feinstein, Schumer et al aren’t aware of that, you weren’t paying attention): parts is parts.

As in: all parts of a machinegun are a machinegun, under federal law and rules.

How stupid is this?

This stupid:

SMOD is starting to look better, eh?

It’s just Wednesday, and we have…

“Stroke of the pen, law of the land. Kinda cool.”
“By the way, bump stocks, we’re writing that out. I’m writing that out myself, I don’t care if Congress does it or not, I’m writing it out myself, OK? You put it into the machine-gun category, which is what it is, it becomes essentially a machine gun.”

— President Donald Trump, February 26, 2018

Bump-fire stock ban by executive order, contrary to the language of statutory law. I’ve heard conspiratorial claims that this is Trump being a genius; that the plan is to issue a blatantly unconstitutional order that SCOTUS will conveniently strike down as… blatantly unconstitutional, thus closing the door forever on ban by fiat.

Bull shit. Please recall the current SCOTUS rejection of RKBA challenges. Gorsuch has been so effective

Meanwhile…

President Donald Trump embraced Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) gun control bill but rejected Rep. Steve Scalise’s (R-LA) push for national reciprocity during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers Wednesday afternoon.
[…]
The Manchin/Toomey gun control bill is the same universal background check legislation supported by Barack Obama in the wake of the heinous attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School. It the very bill that was defeated in the Democrat-controlled Senate on April 17, 2013.
[…]
Trump spoke of the using the Manchin/Toomey bill “as a base” to which other gun bills can be added, and then continued taking comments from various senators and representatives in attendance.
[…]
Trump shut down Scalise’s reciprocity push, suggesting the gun control package being pieced together would never pass if national reciprocity were added to it.

Oh boy; the return of Manchin-Toomey-Gottlieb. What? You forgot that Alan Gottlieb admitted to helping draft that human/civil rights-raping monstrosity?

On the bright side, I get to resurrect some old graphics (which, frankly, I hoped I’d retired for good).

 

Please note: Trump considers Manchin-Toomey-Gottlieb “‘a base’ to which other gun bills can be added.” As bad as it is, Trump means that as a mere start.

I’m sorry to have been right. I warned you that Trump wasn’t necessarily a good anti-HRC vote: “assault weapon” bans, waiting periods… gun-free zones. Just wait.

And this…

Trump: ‘Take the Guns First, Go Through Due Process Second’
“I like taking the guns early, like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida … to go to court would have taken a long time,” Trump emphasized. And he said this:

“Take the guns first, go through due process second.”

Which is no due process at all.

I still have some Sweet Meteor O’Death 2016 signs for sale, if you’d like to retro-edit reality and disavow any pro-Trump vote out of sheer embarrassment.

 

See the right sidebar for other options.

Brennan Testimony: TL;DR

o John Brennan, the former CIA director is testifying before the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

Congresscritter: Do you have evidence that the Russian government colluded with the Trump campaign to affect the election?

Weasel: I believe they did. (actually took about five minutes to say that)

Congresscritter: Do you have evidence that the Russian government colluded with the Trump campaign to affect the election?

Weasel: No. But they did. (that was around ten minutes and counting, when I walked out)

Lather, rinse, repeat, go to start.

Lamestream Muddia: Seth Rich nonstory

If you’re the sort who normally reads my ramblings, you probably heard the latest on the Seth Rich case. If you aren’t, if you rely on the mainstream media for your approved facts, then you probably didn’t.

News media blackout over Seth Rich revelations
The story that many conservative media considered a “bombshell” Tuesday didn’t even register as a blip on the screens of CNN, ABC and CBS.

All three of the networks completely ignored the revelations by a private investigator that DNC staffer Seth Rich, who was shot dead last July while walking home from a bar, had leaked more than 44,000 internal DNC emails to WikiLeaks before his death.

If you’re in the second, less-informed group, Rich was the DNC staffer who was killed — shortly after emails embarrassing to the the Clinton campaign and the DNC went public — in a robbery in which nothing was taken: not his smartphone, wallet, expensive nor wristwatch. Upon hearing those little facts, even I — who generally prefer to avoid unsubstantiated conspiracy theories other than for entertainment — immediately thought Hmm, a DNC staffer with access to the system allegedly hacked by “Russians” mysteriously dies after Hillary is outed and embarrassed; how convenient… again.

Oh well. You want the “real news” to cover the story? Start passing along an “unconfirmed rumor” that Rich was a Trump mole killed to hide the link. Instant 3 inch headline above the fold.