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Twitter Was Going to Ban Alex Jones – Until Its CEO Stepped in and Stopped It: Report

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says he stepped in to stop the social media giant he co-founded from banning far right wing conspiracy theorist and fake news promoter Alex Jones, according to a report in Monday’s Wall Street Journal. Twitter “disputes” the claim.

“Last month, after Twitter’s controversial decision to allow conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to remain on its platform, Mr. Dorsey told one person that he had overruled a decision by his staff to kick Mr. Jones off, according to a person familiar with the discussion,” The Journal reports. The paper also says Dorsey intervened to allow white supremacist Richard Spencer to be reinstated on Twitter.

In August, Twitter came under fire from its users and even from some employees for not joining many of the top social media platforms in banning Alex Jones.

Jones peddles fake news, and is behind the promotion of horrific and damaging stories, including his repeated claim that the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, in which 20 young children and six school officials were murdered, was a “false flag” operation – a hoax – and child actors were used.

So when Facebook, YouTube, iTunes, Spotify and others banned Jones, Twitter claimed he had not violated its terms of service, the “rules of the road” that outline acceptable behavior. Only after CNN highlighted several tweets that clearly violated Twitter’s TOS did the social media platform suspend Jones – and only for one week.

(Ironically, perhaps, Jones’ tweets, had he published them on his own sites, would have violated his own terms of service, theoretically forcing him to ban himself.)

“Any suggestion that Jack made or overruled any of these decisions is completely and totally false,” Twitter’s chief legal officer, Vijaya Gadde, said in a statement. “Our service can only operate fairly if it’s run through consistent application of our rules, rather than the personal views of any executive, including our CEO.”

Dorsey will testify on Capitol Hill Wednesday. Part of his time will be spent answering to Republicans who falsely are claiming social media companies are censoring conservatives. In reality, right wing voices, and publications including Fox News, are thriving on platforms like Facebook.

Some on Twitter, hearing the news that Dorsey allegedly said he stepped in to prevent the ban of Alex Jones, expressed outrage:

 

Image by JD Lasica via Flickr and a CC license

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‘Part of the Authoritarian Playbook’: Trump’s Courthouse Rant Slammed by Fascism Scholars

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Inside New York’s State Supreme Court in Manhattan, Donald Trump unleashed his anger on the first day of Attorney General Letitia James’ $250 million civil fraud lawsuit that has already led to the judge ordering the ex-president’s business licenses be revoked and his businesses dissolved.

One of Trump’s rants was highly-criticized by a fascism expert who compared it to language used by authoritarian strongmen including “Mussolini, Hitler, Berlusconi, Erdogan.”

Trump told reporters Monday the New York fraud case “is a continuation of the single greatest witch hunt of all time.” He described Justice Arthur Engoron as a “rogue judge” and Attorney General James as a “racist attorney general” and a “horror show,” and the case against him “a scam” and “a sham.”

READ MORE: McCarthy ‘Could Be a Former Speaker by the End of This Week’: Report

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a New York University professor of history and Italian studies, responded to Trump’s remarks, saying “the witch hunt/victimhood rhetoric is part of the authoritarian playbook and was/is used by the following corrupt leaders: Mussolini, Hitler, Berlusconi, Erdogan. If extended to the whole country being victimized, add Putin, Xi, and more.”

Fascism expert Federico Finchelstein, a historian and history department chair at New York’s New School for Social Research, responded to Trump’s comments: “Fascist lies are about the projection onto others of what fascists are/do. Trump today as usually display his wannabe fascist mindset.”

Sherrilyn Ifill, the former President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) exclaimed, “So he’s in the courthouse calling the judge ‘rogue’ and calling the prosecutor ‘racist.’ Not on the steps outside the courthouse (bad enough) but inside the very courthouse.”

READ MORE: ‘These Are Our National Secrets’: Democrat Slams GOP for Ignoring Trump Classified Documents Found ‘In the S——’

Trump also told reporters at the courthouse Monday that he’s been indicted because he’s running for president. Multiple reports have revealed he announced his White House run in an effort to avoid prosecution.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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McCarthy ‘Could Be a Former Speaker by the End of This Week’: Report

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At noon on Monday as the House opens for business U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) may file a motion to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy for crossing the aisle and working with Democrats to avoid a federal government shutdown just hours before midnight on Saturday.

The Florida lawmaker, who is blamed by his fellow Republicans for leading the shutdown charge, has very publicly blamed Speaker McCarthy for the crisis. On Sunday he vowed to end McCarthy’s leadership. McCarthy said he’s unafraid, but how he can keep his job without the help of House Democrats is being questioned, and if he does, how he governs his volatile GOP conference is also being questioned.

“Bring it on,” McCarthy said on CNN.

READ MORE: ‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert

The Speaker also added, “let’s start governing.”

McCarthy’s call to “start governing” followed months of news reports detailing House Republicans’ infighting.

At the end of July, Axios ran a headline that read: “Congress gets a timeout after dysfunctional summer.”

“House members finally reached their August recess this weekend after a string of unusual, and at times contentious, incidents that clouded efforts to avoid a government shutdown,” the news outlet reported, pointing also to “January’s marathon speaker election to May and June’s close call on defaulting on the federal debt — not to mention conservatives’ unprecedented tactics to grind the House floor to a halt.”

On Tuesday, September 12, the House returned from its August recess.

“With less than three weeks remaining before government funding runs out on Sept. 30,” The New York Times reported Sunday, Sept. 10, “Congress has not cleared any of its 12 annual appropriations bills, though there has been more progress than in the recent past. Given the rapidly approaching deadline, leaders of both the House and the Senate agree that a temporary stopgap funding measure will be needed to avert a government shutdown beginning Oct. 1. But that usually routine legislation is facing major obstacles in the Republican-led House, making its path to President Biden’s desk unusually fraught.”

READ MORE: ‘Flying Monkeys on a Mission for the Wicked Witch’: Raskin Rips Republicans Over Impeachment ‘Inquiry’

Monday morning CNN’s Manu Raju reported, “McCarthy’s future could tested as soon as today. House opens at noon, and Gaetz could file his motion to oust him today. At that point, the speaker could try to table the motion — or kill it. That is what is expected. But if that fails, the motion to oust him would still be alive.”

The question may soon become, will Democrats save McCarthy’s speakership?

“One idea moderate Republicans are proposing to get Democrats on board with saving McCarthy is to revise the rules package that governs how the House operates – and discussing making changes to House Rules Committee,: Raju reports, adding House Democratic leaders are keeping their “powder dry,” meaning not indicating what they want their members to do.

Noting that the House is “lurching from crisis to crisis thanks to the dysfunction inside the GOP conference,” Punchbowl News Monday morning asked: “Can McCarthy survive?

Congressman Gaetz “acknowledged his effort is likely to fail, suggesting Democrats ‘probably will’ come to McCarthy’s rescue. Gaetz then criticized McCarthy for even considering the possibility of remaining speaker with Democratic support — despite the fact that Gaetz spent weeks courting Democrats in his bid to topple McCarthy.”

“Are we convinced McCarthy will get through this? No, not at all. McCarthy very well could be a former speaker by the end of this week,” Punchbowl News added.

Meanwhile, as questionable as McCarthy’s future is as Speaker, so is Gaetz’s future as a Congressman.

The Florida lawmaker faces a re-opened House Ethics Committee investigation into possible “sexual misconduct, illicit drug use and potential public corruption,” ABC News reported in July.

“House GOP members are seeking to quickly expel Gaetz if the ethics report comes back with findings of guilt,” CNN’s Jacqui Heinrich reported Sunday. “Following threats to vacate McCarthy, one tells me ‘No one can stand him at this point. A smart guy without morals.'”

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‘Bad News’ for Sidney Powell as First Trump Co-Defendant in Georgia RICO Case Takes Plea Deal: Legal Expert

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The first of 19 co-defendants in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ RICO and election interference case against Donald Trump has pleaded guilty in what is being described as a “plea deal.”

“Under the terms of an agreement with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office, Hall pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit election fraud, conspiracy to commit computer theft, conspiracy to commit computer trespass, conspiracy to commit computer invasion of privacy, and conspiracy to defraud the state,” NBC News reports. “Under the terms of the deal, he’s being sentenced to five years probation.”

CNN previously reported “Hall, a bail bondsman and pro-Trump poll-watcher in Atlanta, spent hours inside a restricted area of the Coffee County elections office when voting systems were breached in January 2021. The breach was connected to efforts by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists to find voter fraud. Hall was captured on surveillance video at the office, on the day of the breach. He testified before the grand jury in Fulton County case and acknowledged that he gained access to a voting machine.”

READ MORE: Will McConnell and Senate Republicans Use Feinstein’s Passing to Grind Biden’s Judicial Confirmations to a Halt?

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, a professor of law and frequent MSNBC contributor, says Hall “was in the thick of things with Sidney Powell on Jan 7 for the Coffee County scheme involving voting machines. If he’s cooperating, it’s a bad sign for her.”

Hall’s plea deal “spells bad news for, among others, Sidney Powell,” says former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman, an NYU Law professor of law. Goodman posted a graphic showing the overlap in charges against Hall and Powell, which he called “alleged joint actions.”

See the graphic above or at this link.

 

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