Reason Roundup

Busybodies on Both Sides of the Atlantic Are Trying to Kill the Internet

Plus: Senators move to end warrantless NSA spying and the "Paycheck Fairness Act" passes the House.

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MAURO GRIGOLLO/Westend61 GmbH/Newscom

Good news for Grindr, bad news for Airbnb, and mixed news for Section 230 in new court rulings. What do U.S. web regulation efforts and the new European Union Copyright Directive have in common? Both are brazenly branded by politicans as one thing while really being about censorship and control.

Kate Andrews of the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs notes that intellectual property protections can divide "the classically liberal community." But the EU's copyright directive, passed this week, "is in many ways not an issue of copyright law at all," she writes. "The legal right to protect one's work is being used as a guise to bring in taxes by stealth and burden online platforms with near impossible standards of conduct."

As part of this plan, Europe is imposing a "link tax" online that will fundamentally change the relationships between media, search engines, and social platforms. "Far from a copyright protection," adds Andrews, this is "really an attempt to find something new to tax in one of the few areas of everyday life that hasn't yet been slapped with a government price tag." (Read more on the EU directive from Reason's Scott Shackford here.)

In the U.S., meanwhile, the assault on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act continues. "Internet companies were once the darlings of Capitol Hill, celebrated by lawmakers as examples of American innovation," writes Jeff Kosseff in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. "It's safe to say the honeymoon is over."

Kosseff—a computer science professor at the Naval Academy and author of an upcoming book in Section 230—explains it like this:

Section 230 was enacted in 1996, but its origins can be traced back to a 1959 U.S. Supreme Court case and, of all things, a Los Angeles bookstore. In 1956, Eleazar Smith, the 72-year-old proprietor of a bookstore that was located on Main Street a few doors down from where the Nickel Diner currently sits, was arrested after a clerk at the store sold a copy of the pulp novel "Sweeter Than Life" by Mark Tryon, considered obscene under city and state law, to a Los Angeles police officer.

At trial, Smith testified that it took him months to read a single book, and therefore that there was no way he could personally review each of the thousands of books in his store. A local judge disagreed and sentenced Smith to 30 days in jail.

The U.S. Supreme Court reversed Smith's conviction, concluding that California law violated the 1st Amendment because the statute penalized Smith even if he had no reason to know of the obscene book. Smith vs. California resulted in 1st Amendment protections for bookstores, newsstands and other content distributors.

Section 230 is basically that, but for the digital sphere.

Kosseff seems to think that digital platforms haven't been strict enough about censoring content; I disagree. But he makes a good point in noting that there are many voluntary or at least narrower solutions to the perceived problems than to destroy this fundamental provision.

A recent case about the hookup app Grindr affirms the importance of Section 230. This week the Second Ciruit Court of Appeals found that the app was not responsible for a user impersonating his ex and directing men to his former partner's house. The ex-from-hell can be held legally responsible, but not the platform. Were things otherwise, a small handful of bad actors could topple every social community and app we know.

But a bad omen on 230 comes from a recent Airbnb case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court dismissed an Airbnb and Homeway challenge to a Santa Monica law that would hold those companies legally liable if users listed Santa Monica rental properties.

"Perhaps this decision may not be as obviously lethal to the Internet as the EU's passage of the Copyright Directive with Articles 11 and 13, but only because its consequences may, at the moment, be less obvious—not because they stand to be any less harmful," writes Cathy Gellis at Techdirt. More here.

FREE MINDS

Department of about damn time:

FREE MARKETS

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the "Paycheck Fairness Act," which "would make sweeping changes" to the existing Equal Pay Act, according to the National Law Review:

The EPA currently prohibits gender-based pay disparities unless they are based on one of the following four bases: (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by the quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex. The Paycheck Fairness Act would narrow the fourth "catch-all" basis to "a bona fide factor other than sex, such as education, training or experience." The Paycheck Fairness Act further provides that the "bona fide factor" justifying gender-based pay disparities would only apply where "the employer demonstrates that such factor: (i) is not based upon or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation; (ii) is job-related with respect to the position in question; (iii) is consistent with business necessity; and (iv) accounts for the entire differential in compensation at issue."

It would also forbid employers from asking about salary history and make the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission collect pay data, would make the Labor Department study and disseminate these statistics, and would provide federal funds for salary-negotiation training for women.

QUICK HITS

  • "Because Democrats and their media allies invested so much political capital in the now-discredited Russia collusion theory, they have not only failed to topple Trump, they've actually strengthened his hand immeasurably," suggests Michael Tracey at Fortune. "Democrats have ended up giving the moral, political, and logical high ground to a president who is perhaps the most venal and sleazy individual to ever walk the Earth. Trump is a chronic complainer, often about the pettiest of slights, but Russiagate is the one subject about which his complaints have actually been legitimate. It's astonishing but true: Democrats and the national media chose to spend three years validating Trump's one grievance that actually has merit."
  • An interesting review of self-help books by Jordan Peterson and Amy Alkon, from Australian liberarian Helen Dale.
  • An update on the federal case against Columbus Police Officer Andrew Mitchell:
  • "The Center for Reproductive Rights has expanded their current lawsuit in Mississippi, adding a challenge to the state's six-week abortion ban recently signed into law," notes WLBT. "The Center is asking a federal court to block the law before it takes effect on July 1."
  • "A federal judge ruled today that New York's notoriously nonsensical law criminalizing 'gravity knives'—which groups have said for years is used by New York City to selectively prosecute people, especially the working class and minorities, for carrying common folding knives—is unconstitutionally vague," reports C.J. Ciaramella.
  • The ACLU of Ohio is challenging an Akron-area anti-pandhandling ordinance:

NEXT: Why Presidential Candidate Arvin Vohra Wants Libertarians to Wage a Culture War

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  1. The ACLU of Ohio is challenging an Akron-area anti-pandhandling ordinance

    really cracking down on home baked goods at the source

    1. Hello.

      “and logical high ground to a president who is perhaps the most venal and sleazy individual to ever walk the Earth.”

      And Michael does his part in engaging in the very lies and hyperbole that turns us off from legacy media.

      Get a grip already.

      1. “His retarded opponents are playing right into his hands!”

        1. (Which is true, but the fact that the media has to frame anything unfavorable about the Resistance as “playing into Trump’s hands” shows the rhetorical somersaults they have to engage in to avoid being called pro-Trump)

      2. So, was Rufus party to a first-amendment challenge to an anti-post-hijacking law years ago?

  2. It would also forbid employers from asking about salary history and make the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission collect pay data…

    So long as someone is allowed/has to know your pay history.

  3. Denmark to deny citizenship to children of Islamic State members
    Children born to Danish Islamic State members in Syria will no longer automatically receive Danish citizenship, the country’s immigration ministry has ruled in a decision which has drawn strong criticism from human rights groups.

    “Their parents have turned their back on Denmark, so there is no reason why their children should become Danish citizens,” the country’s immigration minister Inger Stojberg said in a statement on Thursday.

    1. In about 10 years we’ll be saying the same thing about Minneapolis

    2. This isn’t too much of a surprise–Denmark is as much of an nationalist country as one can exist within the EU. Immigrants are expected to assimilate into Danish culture, the country’s resisted taking in large numbers of refugees, and they actually quarantine criminal migrants on an island so they can’t mix in with the locals.

      The usual suspects are chiming in at the moment with “these aren’t Danish values!”, but multiculturalism has never been a Danish value.

      1. “and they actually quarantine criminal migrants on an island so they can’t mix in with the locals”

        Hollywood pricks up its ears.

      2. And the Swedes consider the Danes as backwards hicks with a guttural language. Apropos of nothing, I suppose, but funny, nonetheless.

  4. “Multiple victims, when asked if they had reported these incidents, consistently responded that they could not ‘report it to the police because it was the police.'” https://t.co/MClGKScaYk
    ? Emily Shugerman (@eshugerman) March 28, 2019

    Duh.

    1. It’s a feature, not a bug.

  5. suggests Michael Tracey at Fortune.

    twitter has let me know that tracey and greenwald are quite polarizing within libertarian-friendly circles
    maybe its because tracey sounds like sean astin a little bit.

    1. Tracey and Greenwald are phony progressives and notorious #TrumpRussia denialists. They’ve both been hilariously melting down on Twitter the past week now that they’ve been exposed as frauds.

      1. That settles that, then

      2. “Melting down,” in this case, meaning “taking a victory lap” for not falling for Hitlery’s smoke-n-mirrors show.

    2. They’re both great at critiquing but have very few solutions.

  6. Because Democrats and their media allies invested so much political capital in the now-discredited Russia collusion theory, they have not only failed to topple Trump, they’ve actually strengthened his hand immeasurably…

    It might have been the best thing to happen to him in the long run.

  7. introduce legislation to permanently end the domestic metadata program amid growing recognition of its operation challenges

    finally, this will allow the government to return to the days of doing it without telling us.

  8. Our Betters At Work. This is, of course, lying CYA on their part.

    Article 13 will wreck the internet because Swedish MEPs accidentally pushed the wrong voting button
    In the EU, if a Member of the Parliament presses the wrong button on a vote, they can have the record amended to show what their true intention was, but the vote is binding.

    Today, the European Parliament voted to pass the whole Copyright Directive without a debate on Articles 11 and 13 by a margin of five votes.

    But actually, a group of Swedish MEPs have revealed that they pressed the wrong button, and have asked to have the record corrected. They have issued a statement saying they’d intended to open a debate on amendments to the Directive so they could help vote down Articles 11 and 13.

    1. At least they don’t have ballots with hanging chads.

      1. Once Chad was hung, that ended the issue – – – –

    2. Not even the Swedish Chef was that careless.

  9. Were things otherwise, a small handful of bad actors could topple every social community and app we know.

    Libertarians prefer the owners do that themselves.

  10. Robby Soave with the latest on the convoluted Jussie Smollett case.

    Oh, sure, Soave defends connected Manafort – WHITE CIS MALE – getting a light sentence, but when it happens to Smollett…

    Hey, I’m pretty good at this.

  11. “who is perhaps the most venal and sleazy individual to ever walk the Earth”

    What’s the point of stupid hyperbole like this? He’s awful but come the fuck on.

    Besides we all know that crown goes to Tony.

    1. +1

    2. It’s the only way to get the limo liberals to listen to him. It’s called priming

    3. TDS

      Trump does not even come close to Mao, Stalin, Hitler or the sorts. Hell, he doesn’t even support the stoning, execution, or imprisonment of gays like the leaders of some countries today.

      Trump hasn’t imprisoned people just because of their race as FDR did. If we went to war with Japan, he probably would. But he hasn’t.

      1. He has yet to put a whistleblower in jail, so he’s not even on Obama’s level

    4. Dubya called it catapulting the propaganda, whatever that means.

      1. Flinging poo, by any other name, ….

    5. Venal, per the OED, means:

      Of persons: Capable of being bought over or bribed; ready to lend support or exert influence for purely mercenary considerations; of an unprincipled and hireling character.

      Sleazy, per the same source, means:

      “Dilapidated, filthy, slatternly, squalid; sordid, depraved, disreputable, worthless.”

      So, not only is “to ever walk the Earth” stupid hyperbole, “to occupy the White House in the last twenty years” is debatable, given that would include the last years of the man who rented out the Lincoln Bedroom and used an intern’s genitalia as a humidor.

  12. The debate over NSA surveillance has officially returned to Congress. @RonWyden, @DrRandPaul, @justinamash and @RepZoeLofgren introduce legislation to permanently end the domestic metadata program amid growing recognition of its operation challenges https://t.co/aIG3NXoHe0
    ? Dustin Volz (@dnvolz) March 28, 2019

    They said they’re not listening to your boring phone calls anymore. What more do you want?

  13. Trump is perhaps the most venal and sleazy individual to ever walk the Earth.

    MIGRANT CARAVAN!

    1. Hey, why are you still posting here after you got banned? Wjy won’t you respect Reason’s property rights?

      1. Quit lying, you miserable cocksucker.

        Why are you trying to run off all non-conservatives? Go to Bratfart where they ban all classic liberals.

        1. “Bratfart”! Good one!

          LOLOLOLOLOL

        2. What lie? You got banned. You chamged your name and still post here.

          What lie?

        3. Being into child pornography kind of kills what little credibility you had. Go away.

          1. https://reason.com/blog/2019/02…..nt_7690893

            “moneyshot|2.26.19 @ 12:12PM|#

            Reason has my email address.

            For all I know some conservative asswipe in IT made an editorial decision on his own.

            fuck him — and you too.”

            Here he is admitting he got banned. His excuse… well you can see it.

            1. Reason never bans anyone for editorial reasons. They only ban people when they try to crash the site, like the infamous White Indian did, or dox someone like Mary Stack or whoever she was did, or put up something illegal. The claim is that he put up directions for downloading child porn and that got him banned. That would definitely get someone banned. I see no reason why people would make that story up and his claim that he was banned for his views is implausible to say the least.

              1. “or put up something illegal”

                So if the US banned memes like in the UK, would I get banned for linking to one?

              2. They only ban people when they try to crash the site, like the infamous White Indian did, or dox someone like Mary Stack or whoever she was did, or put up something illegal.

                Did they actually ban the guy who doxed Mary? My recollection is that she was running the White Indian postings, and fucked up on one post where she changed the screenhandle and forgot to de-link her email address. The guy that doxed her did some simple Google-fu and found out who she really was, and splashed her info out. I don’t remember that person getting banned for doing it, because they kept posting for a while after the incident, but they also haven’t posted here for several years.

                I think Mary was running some HnR-obsessed Twitter/YouTube account for a while called Kizrow Kapone or something like that, but as far as I know, she hasn’t darkened HnR’s door for a good long while.

                1. I am not sure about if they banned the guy who doxed her. But Mary was doxing people on here including me and that got her banned.

      2. You really need some new material.

    1. Holy shit they really ran a whole story and headline about Bed Bath and Beyond cutting 0.23% of their employees? AYFKM.

  14. “and would provide federal funds for salary-negotiation training for women”

    What’s my cut? I should get a percentage since I’m paying for it.

    1. Your cut is getting your wife to finally stop sabotaging your car price haggling.

      1. Hmmm. I’m liking this more than I expected to…

        1. Yeah, but the downside is that backrub isn’t going to be enough to get her in the mood anymore. What else you got, big boy?

            1. I can’t read that in any voice other than Rod Roddy.

    2. Lesson one:
      Push-up bra and tight sweaters.

      Class dismissed.

      1. Yep. In the bad old seventies the advice was “wear your hair long and your skirt short”

  15. I’ve been saying for months Tulsi Gabbard is Putin’s favorite Democrat. Predictably, she’s also a #TrumpRussia denialist.

    Mueller reported Trump did not collude with Russia to influence our elections. Now we must put aside partisan interests, move forward, and work to unite our country to deal with the serious challenges we face.

    What a bunch of nonsense. She’s the only 2020 Democrat I wouldn’t enthusiastically vote for.

    #LibertariansForGettingToughWithRussia

    1. #Trump-Russia bitter clingers.

  16. “A federal judge ruled today that New York’s notoriously nonsensical law criminalizing ‘gravity knives’?which groups have said for years is used by New York City to selectively prosecute people, especially the working class and minorities, for carrying common folding knives?is unconstitutionally vague,” reports C.J. Ciaramella.

    Until judges do their jobs and strike down these violations of the 2nd Amendment, we will always have politicians and bureaucrats jockeying for control of weapons.

    2nd Amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    This protection includes knives, swords, pistols, rifles, planes, ships, grenades, bombs, crossbows, throwing stars, tanks, BUMP STOCKS, ammo, silencers, and any other future Armament ever created.

  17. Vox: Cardi B says she used to rob men. Her image was built to withstand scandals like this.
    For one thing, there’s the difference in degree between what Cardi says she did and what Cosby and Kelly’s accusers say they did. Cosby and Kelly have been accused of repeatedly, over a period of decades, using the power they accumulated as celebrities to drug and rape women (in Cosby’s case) and to rape and abuse women and young girls (in Kelly’s case). Cardi says that she drugged and robbed men before she became a rich and powerful celebrity, in order to survive. Cosby and Kelly have been accused of repeated violent and sadistic abuses of power over decades; Cardi has admitted to a crime of survival.

    1. But no mention of reparations from her.

    2. So I guess every poor woman in America drugs and robs men because “they had very limited options”? Good to know that the hipster doofus Voxen hold poor black women in such high regard.

    3. Bad news for the Democrats – she just proved all social welfare programs can be discontinued because they are not available and don’t work

    4. And not one charge was filed against her. (Which I’m cool with, for reasons beyond the fact that she’s the most libertarian rapper in the game)

      It was international whore day in the round-up, not one mention of a popular celebrity admitting to prostitution leading to assault and robbery and getting away with it…. and not many people caring.

      Really kills the narrative around here.

    5. At least she didn’t steal anyone’s kidneys.

      Or am I thinking of the wrong urban legend.

  18. ‘Unprecedented,’ ‘uncharted’: The largest border surge in Border Patrol history
    The Department of Homeland Security has announced that the March border apprehension numbers will likely reach 100,000. A record 4,117 migrants were apprehended or “encountered” on Tuesday. If the numbers for March wind up smashing the February numbers, it would show an annual pace of 1.2 million.

    1. But Trump destroyed the Constitutiuon by claiming this was an emergency or has anything to do with National Security. The learned men of Volkh, who combined have never served a day in the military or heard a shot fired in anger but are “experts” on all things national security, assure me of this.

      1. It was interesting yesterday to see a bunch of democrats call the border goings-on a “crisis” …. including Kamala Harris

        1. Its a crisis when it suites their purposes. It is not a crisis crisis.

          1. Exactly.

            I wonder what Harris’s plan is to address the crisis she speaks of.

            1. Whatever it is it’s gonna cost 100s of billions of dollars, at least.

          2. But the majority of people, being half brain-dead sheep, will associate the two. I feel like this plays right into Trumps hands.

            The whole caravan thing doesn’t make sense as an open borders strategy. People love to blame Soros but it would make a whole lot more sense if people who wanted a border were paying for that charade.

      2. The learned men of Volkh, who combined have never served a day in the military or heard a shot fired in anger but are “experts” on all things national security, assure me of this.

        Trump must have become learned in this during one of his 4 college deferments, I suppose.

        1. yeah, because he made the decision on his own and without any imput from the people below him. You called it. Only a nut would think national security has anything to do with the border. Of all the insane things Trump has done, saying the border could be a national security issue has to be the craziest right?

          1. The timing is rather inconvenient, you do have to admit. I have control of both chambers for 2 years and I don’t even think about wall funding. Then I lose the House, lose a vote and a budget showdown, and suddenly it’s a #NationalEmergency that requires immediate action?

          2. I’m open borders, you know. In all actuality I don’t see the border wall as antithetical to that position anyway. I think it’s a stupid waste of money, and that it won’t be effective at stopping drugs from crossing the border.

            The worst thing about the border wall has become the shady way in which it has been funded. Not only does it further open up the Pandora’s box on using national emergencies to get your way, but it’s a major grab of Presidential power. Had the House passed the funding, I wouldn’t be nearly as upset about it.

            1. First they came for the Pentagon’s pocket change…

            2. You think that because you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground about government fiscal law or the National Emergency Act. If you ever are interested in knowing something, let me know and I will try and use the crowbar of knowledge to pry your head out of your ass.

            3. Poor Leo. Is an open border person and does not understand how Congressional appropriations work.

        2. He read a Beetle Bailey comic strip once and that’s enough for a man like Donald Trump.

          1. I’m sure he’s seen Hogan’s Heros a few times too.

      3. “Learned”, Pepe; it’s pronounced “learned”.

    2. Illegal Immigrants know that time is running out to get under the umbrella of asylum hearings and other loopholes.

      If the current American trend keeps going, we will have a pretty secure border, relatively quick immigration deportation process, and most illegals will not spend more than a month or two on US soil.

      Once most of the illegals are deported, a deportation or asylum hearing will go quick. It won’t be worth it for illegals to get to the USA just to be deported in a matter of days.

      1. Some of that but also there are groups down there telling people that all they have to do is get to the border and they will get in. Open borders fanatics are creating a humanitarian crisis. Moral hazzards apply to immigration. Who knew?

        1. The humanitarian crisis will require us to open the border out of humanitarian reasons.

          Basically hostage taking.

          1. Yup. Lefties and most open border people don’t care about the immigrants themselves.

            They are simply tools for whatever political reason is needed. Socialist voters- check. Cheap labor with no recourse since their illegals- check. Keep the drug corridors open-check.

    3. If this unchecked aggression against the Fath– er, U.S. continues, we will have no choice but to invade Pol– er, Mexico.

  19. Bernie Sanders knew Drumpf was Putin’s Puppet two years ago.

    What hold does Russia have over President Trump?

    #LibertariansForBernie

    1. Who is this useful idiot Krassenstein guy?

      Jesus, reading through those comments is torture.

      1. You haven’t seen him and his brother? They’re paid internet trolls, resistance grifters, and pyramid schemers

    2. They have a really, really, really long string tied to his ball sack.

  20. “Trump turns Mueller probe’s findings into political weapon”
    […]
    “Presenting himself as both vindicated and vindictive, a fired-up President Donald Trump on Thursday turned the findings of the Russia investigation into a political weapon at a Michigan rally that was part victory lap, part 2020 campaign push.
    Trump unleashed a fervent diatribe about the inquiry, which he deemed “the greatest hoax in the history of our country.” He warned that those behind the probe “would be held accountable,” aired his grievances about the “unfair” media coverage and seethed that the matter was an attempt “to tear up the fabric of our great democracy.”
    http://www.apnews.com/adb5b00a…..38961039da

    It never was anything but a political weapon, but now he gets to shoot back.

    1. Republicans are always pouncing on the hapless Demcorats.

      1. This is why Chuck Schumer always looks so put upon.

    2. If someone else drops the rocket launcher, you pick up the rocket launcher.

  21. “An interesting review of self-help books by Jordan Peterson and Amy Alkon, from Australian liberarian Helen Dale”

    Finally someone who gets Peterson and need not ridicule.

    1. There is something to be said for normality, for averages, for social rules. Anyone who thinks Jordan Peterson in particular is running some sort of cult needs to realise that people read his book because they have no idea, and that fact is not their fault.

      It is almost like she wrote the review for Matt Welch.

  22. Michael Tracey is one of the few hard left people that I can take seriously. Watching him drag liberals through the mud on twitter has been a truly satisfying experience

      1. He would chant lock her up. He would also chant “lock him up”

        Consistency is a beautiful thing

  23. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    >>>>>>>>>> http://www.GeoSalary.com

  24. Sort of related to ENB’s platform story, I think this story is huge:

    “Federal charges alleging Facebook Inc.’s algorithm-driven advertising platform violated the Fair Housing Act raise the odds of similar liability for other companies, technology company advocates say.

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development accused Facebook of violating fair-housing laws by enabling real-estate companies to improperly limit who can view home sales and apartment rental ads on its platform, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

    HUD also sent letters to several other technology companies, including Alphabet Inc. unit Google and Twitter Inc., asking for additional information about their sophisticated advertising systems, an agency official said.”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/fa…..553851800?

    1. As I understand it, the fundamental question will become whether Facebook’s targeted advertising model violates the the Fair Housing Act and the Civil Rights Act, among other things.

      If Facebook serves ads based on demographic factors like race, color, religion, sex, national origin, etc., but the FHA and CRA prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, then what does that mean for advertisers who offer “public accommodations” and only show those listing to their intended targets?

      If Facebook’s algorithm is only targeting people who turn out to be 99% Caucasian, Asian, etc., then what does that mean for Facebook’s customers who advertise home sales, restaurants, hotels, retail, and other “public accommodations”?

      And I’m not sure it’s just a question of whether Facebook’s current algorithm violates the FHA and CRA. How do Facebook and other targeted advertising platforms accomplish targeted advertising showing ads based on demographic information–without discriminating against anybody with a protected status?

      1. If targeted adverstising using an algorythem violates the acts, then wouldn’t almost any sort of advertising that appeared in a publication mostly read by one race also violate it? That is an absurdly broad reading of the law.

        1. But the advertising in a magazine or on television is seen by anyone who reads the magazine or watches the television–regardless of their race.

          With Facebook, the rental is only paying for the ads seen by its targeted viewers, and those viewers may be 99% white. If you’re black, you may never see that the apartment is for rent.

          And I think it’s that way for all sorts of things–including retail. What if black people can’t see your ad? The class action litigators may be lining up for this already.

          The solution may not be to argue for Facebook. Maybe the FHA and the CRA, in their present forms, aren’t compatible with 21st century technology.

          1. They were never compatible with libertarian attitudes, so there’s that.

    2. Discrimination on the basis of completely voluntarily self-reported demographic data?

      These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

  25. “would provide federal funds for salary-negotiation training for women.”

    Oh fuck that. It’d be better to just write every woman a check.

    1. Reparations for the wymons my preciousssss

  26. “and would provide federal funds for salary-negotiation training for women.”

    Speaking of discrimination based on sex – –

    1. I work for a non-profit that is very fair with their pay and has ladder promotions. For example, the position of Program Director 1 pay X. Anyone who gets that job, man, woman, trans, whatever, gets X salary. There is NO negotiation of salary whatsoever. It think it’s a fair way of doing it.

    2. If I say I’m a woman today can i get in on the negotiation training ?

      1. In a more functional education system this skill would be taught at some point. Recognizing and coping with sociopaths would help as well.

        1. And how to use a wood chipper

  27. “It would also … provide federal funds for salary-negotiation training for women.”

    Wait. I gotta pay the government to have people trained on how to negotiate better pay from me? WTF

    1. There’s a fantastic business opportunity here – offer salary negotiation training to women for an outrageous price. What are they going to do, negotiate a better price?

  28. “The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the “Paycheck Fairness Act,” ”

    I feel reasonably confident Trump will not sign this mess.

  29. “Democrats have ended up giving the moral, political, and logical high ground to a president who is perhaps the most venal and sleazy individual to ever walk the Earth. ”

    This histrionic hyperbole is a bit much. The rest of it is entertaining but come on, he’s not even the most venal and sleazy person in DC *today* much less ever to walk to the earth.

    1. It’s hard to imagine Donald Trump admitting that he’s not the greatest everything, so I’m not sure you’d get a demurral from Trump on the issue of whether or not he’s the most fantastically venal and yugely sleazy person in history, and many people, many, many people – successful people, famous people, people like you wouldn’t believe – have privately told him so. Just the other day he was talking to a foreign leader, I won’t say which one because I don’t want to embarrass him, but believe me, if I said who it was you’d know who I was talking about because he’s one of the biggest of the foreign leaders, and he said to me, he says, and this is the truth, this is exactly what he said to me, he says, “Mr. Trump, how did you get to be so amazingly venal and sleazy with so little effort?” True story, he actually said that. And I gotta say, I don’t know how it happens, I’m just naturally gifted at venality and sleaze I guess, I’m just better than everybody else just like I’m better at most things.

    2. Roy Cohn was much worse than Trump. Dick Cheney is probably much worse than Trump.

  30. Genuine question here… Given the language of the Paycheck Fairness Act, what’s to stop a woman with less work experience than her male counterparts from claiming that the “bona fide factor” in her pay disparity IS “based upon or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation” in the event that her lack of comparative experience is derived from a workplace absence stemming from childbirth? In other words, since men can’t have babies, would paying women who do choose to pop out a kid less based on the time they spend away from work be considered discrimination under the new statute?

    1. At this point in the movie, the entire Congress pulls out revolvers and executes the member seated nearest them. And there was much rejoicing.

  31. “The U.S. Supreme Court reversed Smith’s conviction, concluding that California law violated the 1st Amendment because the statute penalized Smith even if he had no reason to know of the obscene book”

    Then why is 230 necessary to protect websites? Why is an industry-specific carve-out necessary for addressing the same issue as brick-and-mortar booksellers have that is addressed by a 60-yr old SC precident?

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