Trump’s attack on the free internet (§230)

Under the direction of Donald Trump, the NTIA has petitioned [PDF] the FCC “to clarify the provisions of section 230”. Such clarification is unnecessary. The proposed rule would not, in fact, be mere clarification, but a fundamental rewriting of §230 for nakedly political purposes.

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Bad rules, partisan hacks, and transphobia

The US Department of Education, under the direction of partisan hack Betsy DeVos, has issued a decree (not presently available via official channels) that contradicts, not just its own previous regulations, but statutory law as well. Not only, under this decree, is discrimination against trans people somehow permissible under Title IX, but the Department will now mandate discrimination and threaten the federal funding of those who dissent.
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Equality Act passes House

In a 236–173 vote, the House has passed the Equality Act (H.R. 5). Although imperfect, it could be a useful tool to ameliorate harm. The 173 “nay” voters, and the bill’s Senate and White House opposition, should be condemned for their refusal to help people.

Incidentally, I would like to give special attention to Ross Spano (R-FL15), who seems to have confused it with a porno.

The Mueller report finally dropped, and it doesn’t fucking matter

I’m not going to bother spending too much time on this. The Mueller report is finally public (well, most of it, anyway). But does it change anything? Trump’s supporters will insist that Mueller’s decision not to charge Trump means Trump did absolutely nothing wrong (even though that decision was made at the outset of the investigation). Trump’s opponents just have more evidence and details for what’s already been established.

In principle, the report could be used as the basis of impeachment. Indeed, Mueller makes it quite clear that it’s intended to be the basis of an impeachment. Unfortunately, Republicans don’t want to impeach Trump, and there are maybe five Democrats who would be willing to make Republicans either join the impeachment train or reveal themselves as being that unwilling to hold Donald Trump accountable, so it’s not going to happen, especially since Nancy Pelosi isn’t one of the five. As in too many other situations, mainstream Democrats are more concerned with some amorphous qualification of “electability” than with actually doing anything to make it worth electing them. (Republicans could be subject to their own criticism, of course, but what would be the point? Democrats at least have a chance, however slim, of changing.)

Trump’s trans military ban

Just six months after taking office, in July 2017, Donald Trump declared that trans people would be banned from working for the US military.

Six months after that, in February 2018, (since resigned) Secretary of Defence James Mattis issued a memo formally defining the policy, which was adopted about a month later. This was, almost immediately, met with legal challenges, but the Supreme Court has strongly signalled that they will support the ban, and the Pentagon have announced that they will begin implementing it.
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Two witnesses

In today’s hearing regarding accusations that lying serial rapist SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh is, in fact, a serial rapist, two witnesses were heard: Dr Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh. No others were heard — not Mark Judge, not Deborah Ramirez, not Julie Swetnick. And how did the two act at that hearing?
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Brett Kavanaugh: Consistently anti-choice

When Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh, everyone knew why the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation had put him on Trump’s list of twenty-five potential nominees: he wanted to overturn Roe v. Wade — or, as he coyly referred to it in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, an unnamed “case that deserves to be overturned”. That, in itself, is enough to gain anyone the “anti-choice” label. But that’s not enough for him! In Doe ex rel. Tarlow v. D.C, Kavanaugh ruled that the government could force disabled people to get undesired surgery — including, for Jane Does I and III, abortions.

Kavanaugh is, of course, not the first person to oppose voluntary abortion while supporting forced abortions, but if he is confirmed to the Supreme Court, he may be among the most powerful of them. And given Dr Blasey’s accusation against him, it seems his opposition to people choosing what to do with their own bodies extends well beyond the topic of abortion; instead, it’s a consistent principle of his.

But hey, he’s really good at carpooling!
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