Billionaire Elon Musk says banning then-President Donald Trump from Twitter over his actions surrounding the January 6, 2021 insurrection was a “mistake,” “flat-out stupid,” and “morally wrong.” He says he would reverse the permanent suspension if his attempt to close the massive $44 billion deal to buy the social media giant and take it private is successful.
Claiming it was “not correct to ban Donald Trump,” Musk on Tuesday said: “I think that was a mistake, because it alienated a large part of the country, and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” The New York Times reports.
“Mr. Musk called the decision to ban Mr. Trump ‘morally wrong and flat-out stupid.’ He said individual posts to Twitter could be hidden, and that individuals could still be temporarily suspended ‘if they say something that is illegal or otherwise just, you know, destructive to the world.’ But he said that ‘permanent bans just fundamentally undermine trust in Twitter.'”
Full video. pic.twitter.com/CHCqOdsqzR
— Moshe Schwartz (@YWNReporter) May 10, 2022
Musk, who has no formal public policy education or training, no experience running a social media platform, and a history of controversial remarks himself on Twitter, made his remarks at a Financial Times conference Tuesday.
Musk’s remarks appear to show his focus would be on protecting Twitter’s reputation on the right, more than concerning himself with regulating how the platform, which has tremendous impact on public opinion and policy, will be used.
“Banning Trump was in no way a ‘moral’ decision,” says WUSA9’s Jordan Fischer. “It was driven purely by Twitter’s legal exposure in allowing anyone, president or otherwise, to continue using their platform to incite violence. Legal exposure that would then fall on Musk if he were to take the company private.”
Ethics experts are also concerned.
“Giving someone who tried to overturn an election and helped incite an insurrection a major forum to continue undermining democracy is dangerous,” says Noah Bookbinder, President of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). “Neither Elon Musk nor anyone else should reverse Donald Trump’s Twitter ban.”
Of course Elon Musk would allow Donald Trump back on Twitter despite Trump using Twitter to plot his Jan 6 terrorist attack. Musk does not care about the USA. He is South African. He then moved to Canada. The US is just a place for him to use to make $ until he returns home.
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) May 10, 2022
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) May 10, 2022
Elon Musk says Trump's ban from Twitter actually "amplified" him. Based on – what, exactly?
Online discussion about Trump plunged after the ban to a five-year low: https://t.co/etdmQHXQQM.
— Drew Harwell (@drewharwell) May 10, 2022
— Media Matters (@mmfa) May 10, 2022
As Elon Musk announced he’d end Trump ban, he also said tweets “destructive to the world” would be made “invisible or have very limited traction.”
What could go wrong w/ massive union-buster who exploited his way to the top determining what content is “destructive to the world”
— Jordan (@JordanChariton) May 10, 2022
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Santos May Owe Thousands in Unpaid Traffic Violation Fines and Fees Across Two States: Report
When he left for Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. George Santos also appears to have left a string of unpaid traffic violation fines and fees in two states, including red light, double parking, and overtime parking citations totaling thousands of dollars.
The embattled serial liar and freshman New York GOP lawmaker “may owe more than $3,400 in unpaid citations, according to records from New York City and Florida,” CBS News reports.
Included in that total is $1,299.10 from Florida for toll violations that “racked up late fees and were ultimately sent to collections agencies.”
It appears that in November of 2016, as soon as he got his New York driver’s license after having one in Florida, a car previously ticket via a red light camera whose plates match one registered to Santos “began piling up citations in New York City — 29 in the next two and a half years, according to city government records, which do not identify the drivers of vehicles being ticketed.”
“More than $1,800 in payments were made for 17 citations, but another 12 remain unpaid, with $2,142.61 still due, according to city records.”
CBS News also points to a New York Post report from January revealing “a Nissan Rogue driven frequently by Santos in recent months had been issued speeding tickets at least five times since he was elected on Nov. 8, ‘including four times in school zones.'”
Santos is under numerous state and federal investigations that span the gamut from campaign finance to allegedly stolen charity funds donated to save the life of a veteran’s service dog. The dog died after the vet could not afford to pay for the operation.
‘Breathtaking’: Economists Stunned by Job Growth ‘Boom’ as Unemployment Drops to Level Not Seen Since 1969
The year was 1969: Congress certified the results of the election, officially declaring Richard Nixon would be the 37th President of the United States, Joe Namath led the New York Jets to win Super Bowl III, The Beatles released the soundtrack from their hit film “Yellow Submarine,” and unemployment was 3.4%.
It’s been 54 years since unemployment was at 3.4%, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released January’s report Friday morning, stunning economists who expected unemployment to go up, not down.
Economists projected 187,000 new jobs would be added to the U.S. economy in January. Instead, the number came in at 517,000, Forbes reported. Prior months were also adjusted to be better than first reported.
“This is a breathtaking number. That spike in stories about layoffs? It was about a small unrepresentative slice of the economy. Real America is still getting back to work,” crowed Professor Justin Wolfers, the popular University of Michigan School of Economics professor, a senior fellow at Brookings.
“Average job growth over the past 3 months is a cracking +356k. A boom!” Wolfers cheered.
“We haven’t seen unemployment this low since before Woodstock, baby,” he added. “Groovy.”
Wolfers wasn’t done. He blasted those who continue to talk about recession: “This is a final nail in the coffin of all the 2022 recessionistas. When average job growth is this high we call it a BOOM.”
For those who just want the bottom line, Wolfers offered this take on the jobs report: “It’s all good news.”
“January marked the 25th straight month of solid job growth,” The Washington Post reports, observing that the “labor market shattered expectations.” The Post adds: “the labor market remains formidable, inflation is beginning to normalize and there are signs that the global economy may be on stronger footing than originally feared.”
Image: President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy, Thursday, January 26, 2023, at Steamfitters Local 602 United Association Mechanical Trades School in Springfield, Virginia. Official White House Photo by Erin Scott via Flickr
‘When Was Your Most Recent Period?’: Student Athletes in Florida May Be Required to Share Menstrual History
For the past two decades teenaged women participating in Florida high school athletics have been asked to submit their menstrual history, including the date of their first period, the date of their last period, and how many periods they have had in the last 12 months. The board of directors of the Florida High School Athletic Association, the organization in charge of coordinating high school athletics in the Sunshine State, will debate later this month if they will make divulging that information mandatory for participating in sports. According to the FHSAA website that board is comprised of 14 men and two women. Not one is a physician or medical professional.
Critics are voicing concerns over a variety of issues, including the right to privacy, the need for the highly personal medical information, who has access to it, how it is stored, and how it could be used against the students, including to determine possible pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, or if the athlete is transgender.
“Many parents and doctors are worried that schools will use the menstrual data to monitor students for late or missed periods, a possible sign of pregnancy, or to out transgender students by watching for girls who don’t get periods or boys who do,” The New Republic reports, calling it “a terrifying glimpse of our dystopian post-Roe world.”
The three-page form, called the Preparticipation Physical Evaluation, asks:
“When was your first menstrual period?” “When was your most recent menstrual period? “How much time do you usually have from the start of one period to the start of another?” “How many periods have you had in the last year? and “What was the longest time between periods in the last year?”
A draft form slightly alters the questions, asking instead, “Have you had a menstrual period?” and “How old were you when you had your first menstrual period?” in addition to the other three questions.
While it currently states answering is optional, at the end of this month those questions could become mandatory, although the reason for the possible change has not been disclosed.
Because the information is not being given by the athletes to a physician or other medical professional or organization, the information is not subject to HIPAA regulations. And in some school districts the inform action is stored on a third-party platform, possibly exposing it to other entities.
“This is clearly an effort to further stigmatize and demonize transgender people in sports [and] meant to further exclude people who aren’t assigned female at birth in girls sports,” the president of PRISM, a South Florida nonprofit organization that provides sexual health information to LGBTQ+ youth, Maxx Fenning, told The Tampa Bay Times. “Beyond that, I think there’s concern among LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ [students] alike. This is an extremely invasive mode of gleaning into someone’s reproductive history, which is especially dangerous in this post-Roe world we live in.”
TIME adds that critics “have noted that this policy would be a major challenge for transgender athletes who may have to out themselves with their responses to the questions. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis approved a bill last year—which is currently under legal fire—that bans transgender female students from playing on women and girls’ sports teams.”
According to the fan-checking site Snopes, “these written forms with students’ medical information are submitted to school officials, contrary to a number of other states where only a doctor’s signature is required to clear an athlete for play.”
Snopes adds that “concerns grew as many states worked to criminalize abortions after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and transgender athletes faced scrutiny. In Florida, abortions are banned after 15 weeks, with only a few exceptions.”
“Any forms (physical or digital) could be subpoenaed. Meanwhile, in Palm Beach County, nearly all athlete-registration forms moved online, which meant reproductive data for athletes was being stored by a third-party software company called Aktivate. Other counties were also planning to digitize their forms.”
Last October NBC News reported that an Aktivate spokesperson said a student’s information could be removed but only with parental and school district consent.
Image via Shutterstock
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