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Archive of Articles in the "Privacy" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Let's Replace Columbus Day With Leif Eriksson Day!

[ Posted Friday, August 16th, 2019 – 17:01 UTC ]

This week, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Donald Trump, for some strange reason, now wants to try to buy Greenland again. The Washington Post later followed up on the story:

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Spinning A Conspiracy Theory Of My Own

[ Posted Tuesday, August 13th, 2019 – 16:50 UTC ]

Donald Trump finally had to admit today that his tariffs are actually paid by American consumers and not China (as he's been saying all along). This is a fairly basic economic concept, but Trump has deluded himself up to this point that up is down and black is white. Finally, cracks are showing in this facade. The Trump administration announced (after a disastrous day on the stock market) that they would be holding off on inflicting another round of tariffs in September, and instead would wait until the middle of December to add this new tax to thousands of products made in China. This way, American consumers won't get hit by the Trump tax when they do all their Christmas shopping. But if Trump's version of reality were correct -- that China was paying all the tariffs -- then Christmas wouldn't even matter and there would be no reason to delay the new tariff. Trump even reluctantly had to admit this out loud to a reporter (although he included caveats like: "just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. consumers").

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A Real Twitter War

[ Posted Thursday, August 8th, 2019 – 17:15 UTC ]

A real Twitter war has now erupted. This is not a mere "tweetstorm," where people snipe at each other through Twitter messages, this is a dispute between Twitter itself and what looks to be the entire Republican Party election machine. How it all ends nobody knows, but it was almost inevitable that Twitter would eventually get sucked in to the partisan divide in one way or another. In this growing conflict, Twitter fired the first shot, by locking up Mitch McConnell's election site for posting a threatening video (the video was of protesters outside Mitch's house threatening him, so it wasn't like the campaign was threatening anyone else, in all fairness). The Republicans have returned fire by announcing they are pulling all election Twitter ad spending. So far, neither side has blinked.

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Throwdown In Motown (Part 2)

[ Posted Thursday, August 1st, 2019 – 17:53 UTC ]

Whew! The second Democratic presidential debates are now officially in the history books. Thankfully, this will likely be the last marathon two-night debate round, as the third debate is likely to cut the field so significantly that those who qualify might all be able to fit on a single stage.

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Throwdown In Motown (Part 1)

[ Posted Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 – 16:39 UTC ]

Last night was indeed a throwdown in the Motor City, with 10 Democrats sparring on one stage. My overall impression of the first round of the second debates was that this was, in many ways, the debate that I've been personally itching to see for at least four years now. It was a direct confrontation between the "moderate" or "centrist" wing of the Democratic Party versus the "progressive" or "Democratic" wing of the party. It rarely descended into personalities, and instead remained a purely ideological battle of different visions for how to lead both Democrats and the entire country into the future. We almost got such a debate last time, with Bernie mixing it up with Hillary, but there was far too much personality getting in the way of the purely ideological debate. Also, both the country and the Democratic Party have moved significantly since 2016, so the ground for this debate has shifted.

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Is It Really True That "No One Is Above The Law"?

[ Posted Wednesday, July 24th, 2019 – 17:09 UTC ]

While plenty of others have plenty of other things to say today about Robert Mueller's testimony in front of two House committees, what struck me the most was a rather large unanswered question. Indeed, it was hard to actually avoid thinking about the concept, because in the first hearing most of the Democrats finished their five minutes with some form of the following declaration: "No one is above the law," sometimes adding: "...not even a president" and sometimes just leaving it implied. But does this phrase have any real-world meaning or is it just so much sanctimonious nonsense?

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The Inevitability Of Legalization

[ Posted Wednesday, July 17th, 2019 – 17:19 UTC ]

Attending the breakout sessions on marijuana legal reform at Netroots Nation has only gotten better and better over the years. Each year's panel is unique, of course, but I'm speaking of a larger picture here, because over the past decade or so the question of legalizing marijuana for recreational adult use has gone from a literal pipe dream to an aspiration to a solid plan to (in state after state) a triumphant reality. And now there is an aura of inevitability about legalization for the entire country -- an concept which would have seemed wildly unrealistic just ten or twelve years ago. We're winning this battle, and we're going to win this whole war in the very near future. This lends a spirit of optimism to the discussion that just wasn't present a decade ago.

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The First Democratic Debate (Round 2)

[ Posted Friday, June 28th, 2019 – 18:12 UTC ]

Last night was the second of two nights of the first 2020 Democratic presidential debates, which showcased another ten candidates on stage sparring with each other. And it certainly lived up to its "adult table" billing, since Thursday night was a lot more high-energy than the previous night. There were fireworks, there was shouting, and there were a few punches landed. In other words, a good time was had by all (all the pundits watching, that is).

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The First Democratic Debate (Round 1)

[ Posted Thursday, June 27th, 2019 – 17:07 UTC ]

Along with millions of other Americans, I watched the first round of the first Democratic 2020 presidential debates last night. Although there were a few standout moments, the general impression I was left with was that any one of the people on that stage would do a much better job leading the country than the current occupant of the Oval Office. Of course, I could probably say the same thing about any random 10 people stopped on the street -- or even Michael Moore's ficus plant candidate -- so that's not really saying a whole lot. But it was indeed, as one late-night host pointed out later in the evening, sincerely refreshing to hear adults discuss the issues of the day in complete sentences, full paragraphs, and intelligent language without once resorting to playground bullying or other nasty taunts. In other words, it felt like a return to normalcy just to see them all up there.

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Illinois Becomes 11th State To Legalize Marijuana

[ Posted Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 – 15:30 UTC ]

Illinois just became the eleventh state in the country to legalize recreational marijuana for its citizens. When added to Washington D.C., this means that 23.5 percent of the country's jurisdictions have now fully legalized marijuana. The tide has obviously now turned on what used to be an unthinkable political concept.

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