The DOJ set an interesting precedent by siding with Google against the DOJ. This DOJ action transcends presidential administrations. The DOJ ordered Google to hand over email info about a few New York Times reporters—without Google telling the newspaper. Google resisted the government on the basis of its private contract with the New York Times. Finally, the DOJ caved and allowed a top executive to know, which led to negotiations and legal counsel.
Based on the DOJ having cooperated with Google’s private contract on user privacy, we now have a precedent that no digital company would be obligated to hand over user information without informing the users, not even in the face of a court order. Therefore, there is no excuse for censorship of private users on social media, including former President Trump. Companies only take users content and information if they want to, never because they must because, well, they don’t need to anymore.
We don’t know what Trump really thinks because social media giants found an excuse to mute him. If they want us to know what he truly thinks, they will unmute him. But, they don’t unmute him, so no one can trust hearsay about what Trump thinks. The latest nonsense was about him being re-instated in August. But, if Trump really thought that, Twitter and Facebook would allow him to say it for himself because it would be so embarrassing. If he’s too dangerous to be allowed to speak, then what they say he says is too dangerous to trust.
Social media giants are losing their power. Facebook objected to “digital services” taxes around the world. Now, all corporations face a flat 15% corporate tax, in G7 markets. Leaders facetiously thanked Facebook for urging governments to remove “digital services” tax. Facebook will get its way, which means Facebook will pay more, so Facebook won’t get its way because Facebook got its way. The same could be said about what Facebook doesn’t let Trump say for himself.
The theory presented on September 10 and November 19 proved useful enough to predict White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s departure. No one announces in advance that someone is leaving—before the departure, without also announcing a replacement. Nobody cares about a boss whose boss already announced would be leaving. That’s how to cripple any malevolent powers of an administrator that can’t be quickly unplugged, but needs to go—and do so without raising suspicion that the administrator did anything wrong. Even in his dismissal—not a “retirement”—Kelly fits the bill as the author of the “New York Times essay”, right down to getting tossed out in a way that no one would suspect a darned thing.
France is in trouble. The president who snubbed Trump has fallen into disfavor with his own people. This largely comes down to grandiose promises made by socialist agendas that everyone should have known could not deliver because of foresight rooted in hindsight. Socialism never delivers anything but what we see in France now. As for ado about Brexit, there’s no point in worrying so much since the queen can decide anyway, if she wants to. That’s what the British always tell Americans is so wonderful about the UK’s constitutional monarchy. But, acting like this is a problem helps keep the British press afloat.
A Trump campaign payment is now being compared to a situation with 2004 Democratic candidate John Edwards. But, that has three major holes in its boat: 1. The accusation encircles alleged campaign finance violations surrounding the Trump organization’s lawyer, Cohen, whose job it was to give legal advice; Trump is not a lawyer, Edwards was. Can a lawyer be witness against the client he advised, or secretly recorded? 2. The Mueller investigation sought to understand whether there was wrongful involvement with Russia and Trump. The Fourth Amendment limits the scope of search and seizure to a probable cause and any seized items must be specified by the warrant in advance. By starting with an investigation between Trump and Russia, but ending with a campaign finance accusation against a candidate accused by the lawyer who advised him, this has gone well beyond the scope that the Fourth Amendment was intended to limit. If courts allow this, it shows how much our legal justice system has wandered from the Constitution. 3. The electorate will want a good explanation for why Hillary wasn’t treated this way. The best reason so far would be that the courts have been usurped as a cudgel for political rivals. It’s not Trump who needs to be worried about an indictment; it’s the legal justice system itself that is about to go on trial.
Taiwan held something akin to a “mid-term” election this past Saturday. The people revolted against the previous revolt. When electing the DPP two years ago, the people were fed up with the capitulation policies of Ma. Now, they are fed up with bad management of infrastructure, also an “establishment culture” surfacing in what should be the “opposition party”, among other grievances. Taiwan’s government cautioned China to wait and see how the election affects cross-strait policy before jumping to any conclusions—because they think China can’t figure that out.
China’s government and the Western press are going head to head. China held the American children of an estranged father and money laundering defendant. The New York Times made sure to plaster the picture of the young adult brother and sister at the top of the story. Exploiting children to sway outcomes just isn’t fair.
But, it didn’t stop at children. The New York Times also posted about cheap labor building Chinese AI. And, Forbes published an article with a graph that makes it look like China’s economy has bottomed out. The battle between China and its great and powerful foe—the Western press—rages on. China is at an unfair disadvantage, but presses forward fearlessly and valiantly.
Assuming Jeff Sessions does not recuse himself again, if and when he investigates the mole undermining the will of the people now elected to the White House, he should look for someone akin to a spotless East Coast grad with a sense of personal duty, a history of “high grad” military status over real life, reverence for sailors like John McCain, little time in life to have acquired entrepreneurial startup bearings, and knowing how to correctly use the word “lodestar” along with a proper em dash—. In other words, they should look for someone similar to John Kelly.
As for the economy, it’s the economy stupid. Republicans should win the midterm. Everything else is just excitement about excitement. Blue collar union workers usually vote blue, but don’t count on it with them getting higher pay. As if that wasn’t enough, this little maritime-savvy maverick hero from the White House just might bring out the vote enough to boost the republican electorate participation. Then, we also have all those #walkaway peeps, who are snowballing against the snowflakes.
The biggest mistake in Woodward’s book was spelling Trump’s name correctly. All press is good press, especially when the economy is clipping along.
As for Elon Musk’s fall in stock prices, that sure does fit with his goal of making the company private again. If prices fall below his promised $420/share, his offer would seem attractive.