Social Media Censorship

Facebook’s management is making some moves in the name of its version of transparency.

Facebook Inc will soon require that advertisers wanting to run ads on hot-button political issues go through an authorization process first, a move the social network hopes will prevent the spread of misinformation across its platform.


In October, Facebook unveiled a similar authorization requirement for election-related ads. The latest move will cover “issue ads”—those that don’t specifically mention a candidate but weigh in on a divisive issue, including during an election campaign.

Trump Not a Target?

It seems that Special Counselor Robert Mueller has told President Donald Trump’s lawyers that Trump is not a criminal target of Mueller’s “investigation;” Trump is merely a subject of it.

While WaPo has based its story on sources that may or may not exist (“three people familiar with the discussions;” we don’t get to know who they are, we don’t even know if “three” is accurate), let’s take the story as accurate, arguendo.  Some of Trump’s advisors think Mueller’s remarks are just an attempt to bait Trump into sitting for a Mueller interrogation.

Abuse of the Special Counsel Function

It turns out that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein authorized—in a secret memo, yet—Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Paul Manafort, Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s sometime campaign manager, regarding Manafort’s work for the Ukrainian government.

To the extent what Manafort did is a crime—Mueller has indicted him on charges of

conspiring against the US, conspiring to commit money laundering, acting as an unregistered foreign agent, and making false statements. A subsequent indictment…alleges he committed tax and bank fraud.

and Manafort has both denied the accusations and formally pled not guilty—his actions would not be out of the ordinary, and they don’t warrant a special counsel’s investigation.

Identity Politics

This time it’s via rank sexism.  Lots of women, lots more than in past campaigns, are running for office, and they’re doing it on the basis of their gender as much as, or more than, their policies.

Erin Collier, a 34-year-old economist, made a late entry into the crowded race [primary, to determine the Progressive-Democrat candidate who will run against Congressman John Faso (R, NY)] in March with an announcement video that ended: “I’m not going to let those boys beat me.”

Not because her policies are better for the district than those of her competitors.

A Board Whose Time has Come and Gone

The National Labor Relations Board is supposed to protect all workers, but it’s been focused on union workers exclusively for far too long.  In the effort, too, it’s become far too politicized to be useful or able to be rehabilitated.

For instance, it ignores the courts.

In [a] DC Circuit case…the NLRB ignored the court’s longstanding precedent on an employer’s bargaining obligations under a collective-bargaining agreement, forcing a Michigan health clinic to defend itself against charges it knew the court would reject.

More Nonsense

Or more Progressive-Democrat contempt for conservative women.  On tour to promote her book, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri says about the election outcome,

It does show that we don’t have any models for our young girls and young women who are coming up in the world now to look at for how to lead.

Sure.  Because Condoleezza Rice, Provost of Stanford University, ex-NSA, and ex-Secretary of State is such a terrible role model.

Because Nikki Haley, ex-State Representative in the South Carolina House, ex-Governor of South Carolina, and current UN Ambassador is such a terrible role model.

A Good Move

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has declined, for now, to appoint a special counselor to investigate DoJ and FBI handling of the Hillary Clinton email “investigation” and other matters.

Instead, Sessions has gone one better.  He’s appointed John Huber, US Attorney for the District of Utah, and so not a denizen of the Beltway (like Special Counselor Robert Mueller is) to investigate the nature of the FBI’s surveillance of Carter Page and connections, if any, between the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One, and to work with the DoJ IG to look into the FBI’s handling of Clinton’s email fiasco and the FBI’s interaction with the FISA star chamber court.

Warning Labels

Never minding a number of studies that indicate that coffee intake ranges from harmless to net beneficial, California has decided to require coffee companies must put cancer warning labels on their coffee.  Even more ludicrous, the presiding judge, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle wrote in part,

Defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving…that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health.

This is the wrong criterion and the wrong holder of the burden.  California alleged carcigenic risk; it’s on them to prove the risk.  Beyond that, it’s not the State’s function to demand proof of beneficial outcomes; it’s the State’s function to demand lack of material harm.

The FBI’s Subpoena Response

After Attorney General Jeff Sessions told FBI Director Christopher Wray to cut the stonewalling and deliver up, promptly, the documents Congress had requested and then subpoenaed, Wray doubled the number of agents he had assigned to the task.

Wray also assured Congress he’d mended his ways.

Mr Wray’s statement pledges the FBI will be “transparent and responsive to legitimate congressional requests.” If not, Mr [House Judiciary Chairman Bob (R, VA)] Goodlatte and the House leadership must be willing to use their powers of contempt and impeachment to impose consequences.

Counting US Citizens is Illegal

That’s what California’s Attorney General, Xavier Bacerra (D), says.  The Commerce Department has said the 2020 census form will include a question asking whether the respondent is an American citizen, and Bacerra doesn’t like it.  In the op-ed he co-wrote with California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) for the San Francisco Chronicle, he wrote

Including a citizenship question on the 2020 census is not just a bad idea—it is illegal[]

and he repeated that claim in one of his tweets.

Never mind that there’s plenty of precedent: the Census Bureau asked this question during its decennial census-takings every time from 1820 through 1950, and every year through today on its annual census sampling.