Patterico's Pontifications


Rand Paul: Poking Fun At Jeb And Hillary

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:10 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Slyly killing two dynasties with one stone, Rand Paul released a “fake” phone call between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton, humorously mocking the political dynasties of both families:

BUSH: “Hey, Hill. It’s Jeb.”

CLINTON: “Hey, Jeb. To what do I owe this pleasure?”

BUSH: “Well, it’s true — I’m thinking about running for president.”

CLINTON: “Well, Jeb, so am I.”

BUSH: “I just wanted to call and give you a heads-up in hopes we could work something out.”

CLINTON: “What do you mean, Jeb? It’s clearly my turn: Bush, Clinton, Bush. Now, Clinton.”

BUSH: “Well, Hillary, there hasn’t been a Republican White House without a Bush since 1977, and we’re ready to be back.”

CLINTON: “Let me shoot straight with you, Jeb, OK? Bill and I are dead broke and need a place to stay. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is calling me home — I’ve still got the back door key. Being president offers a lot more job security than writing another memoir.”

BUSH: “Well, the Bushes have weathered attacks before. And READ MY LIPS, Hillary: We’re not backing down this time.”

CLINTON: “Well, you’re right — maybe we can work something out. We both agree on so many issues: bigger government, Common Core, and amnesty for illegal immigrants.”

BUSH: “Well, we’ve both got problems. You’ve got problems with the grass roots, and I’ve got all those damn conservatives. What say, we make a deal?”

[Call beeps in.]

BUSH: “Sorry, Hillary, but I have to go. Mitt keeps calling.”

CLINTON: “Oh, for crying out loud.”

It’s pretty funny to listen to because the actors’ voices sound just like the real Bush and Clinton.


Facebook: Then And Now

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:49 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Then: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg right after the Charlie Hedbo attacks:

A few years ago, an extremist in Pakistan fought to have me sentenced to death because Facebook refused to ban content about Mohammed that offended him.

We stood up for this because different voices — even if they’re sometimes offensive — can make the world a better and more interesting place.

Facebook has always been a place where people across the world share their views and ideas. We follow the laws in each country, but we never let one country or group of people dictate what people can share across the world.

Yet as I reflect on yesterday’s attack and my own experience with extremism, this is what we all need to reject — a group of extremists trying to silence the voices and opinions of everyone else around the world.

I won’t let that happen on Facebook. I’m committed to building a service where you can speak freely without fear of violence.

My thoughts are with the victims, their families, the people of France and the people all over the world who choose to share their views and ideas, even when that takes courage. ‪#‎JeSuisCharlie‬

Now: Censoring pictures of Mohammed:

[F]acebook has complied with a Turkish court order demanding the blocking of a page it said offended the Prophet Muhammad.

If the social media platform had refused, the court had threatened to block access to the entire site.

The site is believed to have around 40 million members in Turkey.

Facebook declined to comment but it does have a policy of blocking access to content within a country if it breaks local law.

From an insider:

A person familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly confirmed to the Post that Facebook had acted to “block content so that it’s no longer visible in Turkey following a valid legal request.”

In less than a month, Zuckerberg (and Facebook) went from a #Je Suis Charlie champion of free speech to straight-up censorship.

The question of why Zuckerberg would choose to practice that which he condemned a short while ago instead of refusing to censor as ordered and be blacked out or pull out of the country altogether was addressed by Zuckerberg himself:

This gets to the heart of our mission. We want to help connect everyone and give people a voice. A government passing a law that you can’t say something is one barrier against people having a voice.

We try to push back whenever we get requests to block something. We review every request to make sure it’s within the law.

I can’t think of many examples in history when a company not shutting down in the face of a law and getting banned helped change that law. But continuing to operate can help the country in other ways, such as allowing people to connect with loved ones, learn, and find jobs. So I think overwhelmingly our responsibility is to continue operating.

He also stated that pulling out of a country like Turkey wouldn’t impact him that much financially as there are already countries the company does not do business in. Yet, if that’s so, then what has he got to lose by standing firm on his #Je Suis Charlie credo? Why not be consistent so people won’t suspect you as being a sellout? But perhaps it’s a bit too late for any assumed altruism:

Censoring images at the request of a government notorious for punishing dissenting and offensive speech—a government led by a man who considers social media sites evil—is about keeping Facebook’s sense of responsibility to its shareholders, who want market growth and revenue, not about adopting an ameliorative censorship policy to help people in Turkey communicate.

And for the record, the old adage, where there’s a will, there’s a way was never more true than when Twitter was banned in Turkey and unsurprisingly, the social media’s site traffic from the country increased. Go figure.


A.G. Nominee Loretta Lynch: Illegal Imigrants Have a “Right” to Work in This Country

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:40 am

A.G. nominee Loretta Lynch faced questioning yesterday, and in responding to questions from Jeff Sessions, she said that illegal immigrants have a “right” to work in the United States:

SEN. SESSIONS: Let me ask you this: In the workplace of America today when we have a high number of unemployed, we’ve had declining wages for many years, we have the lowest percentage of Americans working, who has more right to a job in this country? A lawful immigrant who’s here, a green-card holder or a citizen, or a person who entered the country unlawfully?

LYNCH: Well, Senator, I believe that the right and the obligation to work is one that’s shared by everyone in this country regardless of how they came here. And certainly, if someone here, regardless of status, I would prefer that they be participating in the workplace than not participating in the workplace…

Sessions went on to ask whether she would take action against an employer who said: I’m going to give preferential treatment in hiring to U.S. citizens over illegal immigrants holding Obama-issued work permits. She dodged that one.

Some of the best questioning has come from Ted Cruz, who asked Lynch if “prosecutorial discretion” could justify non-deportation of all illegal immigrants. She dodged that one too, as you can see in the video below. Cruz asked the question a second time, and she said she could not answer the question. Cruz asked her three times if she had ever issued permits for people to violate the law, and she ultimately said no, because the U.S. Attorney’s Office is not a licensing agency.

Critically, he asked Lynch whether a President could simply decline to enforce tax laws. After one dodge, there was this exchange, which I present a transcript for below, in order to give you a flavor of the direct questions and circuitous circumlocutions that passed for answers:

CRUZ: Let me ask about your understanding of prosecutorial discretion. Would it allow a subsequent president — President Cornyn — to state that there are other laws that the administration will not enforce – labor laws, environmental laws – would it allow a President Cornyn to say every existing federal labor law shall heretofore not apply to the state of Texas because I am using my prosecutorial discretion to refuse to enforce those laws? In your judgment, would that be constitutional?

LYNCH: Well, I certainly can’t imagine President Cornyn taking that step. [Laughter] But with respect to the hypothetical you present, again, Senator, again, I would have to know what legal basis was being proposed for that. And certainly I would review that law. And if I were the person providing advice to future President Cornyn, advise him as to whether or not there was a legal framework for it, or whether there was not a legal framework for it. If there was not, that would be the advice that I would provide to him.

CRUZ: I must say I find it remarkable that you are unable to answer that question. I can answer it straightforward. It would be patently unconstitutional for any subsequent President to refuse to enforce the tax laws, or the labor laws, or the immigration laws for the very same reason that President Obama’s actions refusing to [en]force immigration laws are unconstitutional. And it is discouraging that a nominee who hopes to serve as Attorney General will not give a straightforward answer to that question.

By most accounts, Lynch is a well-respected prosecutor with a record of fairness. That being said, she is supporting (or refusing to take issue with) the unlawful actions of the President who nominated her. I guess one could say that’s what she “has” to do — but I don’t think that saying what you need to say, knowing that you’re not being forthright, in order to promote your career, is admirable behavior. It’s common behavior, to be sure — I’m not naive — but it’s not admirable.

Lynch is probably a very nice person and a good prosecutor. I would vote against her nomination if I were in the Senate, and I support any Senator who does vote no on her nomination.

Relatively few will.

Ted Cruz will.

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