Facebook Oversight Board Says Trump Ban Will Remain (For Now)

Donald Trump (image: public domain)

The Facebook Oversight Board (made up of lawyers, activists and journalists) announced its decision this morning to uphold the ban of ‘former guy’ Donald Trump from the social media platform.

From the New York Times:

Facebook’s Oversight Board, which acts as a quasi-court over the company’s content decisions, said the social network was right to bar Mr. Trump after the insurrection in Washington in January, saying he “created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible.” The panel said the ongoing risk of violence “justified” the move.

But the board also said that an indefinite suspension was “not appropriate,” and that the company should apply a “defined penalty.” The board gave Facebook six months to make its final decision on Mr. Trump’s account status.

Sifting through Twitter, it seems most folks were very surprised Facebook’s Oversight Board upheld the decision.

Trump released a statement calling the decision a “total disgrace.”

“What Facebook, Twitter, and Google have done is a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our Country,” read Trump’s statement. “Free Speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because the Radical Left Lunatics are afraid of the truth, but the truth will come out anyway, bigger and stronger than ever before.”

Dog Rescue Spends $1.9 Million At Trump Country Club

Fifty-four percent of Americans believe Donald Trump should be impeached

Fifty-four percent of Americans believe Donald Trump should be impeached
You’ll recall Eric Trump, second son to ‘the former guy,’ was discovered to have funneled money to the Trump Organization by holding his cancer charity’s annual event at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York.

Eric told folks it was “efficient” to use the Trump Golf Club because it was “free.” But then an investigation revealed the golf club was actually charging for its use and making money in the process.

Well, they’re still at it only now it’s a dog charity down in Florida which has spent as much as $1.9 million at Trump’s Mar-a-lago country club.

Yahoo News reports:

A dog rescue charity with links to Lara Trump has spent as much as $1.9 million at former President Donald Trump’s properties over the last seven years and will drop an additional quarter-million at his Mar-a-Lago country club this weekend.

According to a permit filed with the town of Palm Beach, Florida, Big Dog Ranch Rescue estimates it will spend $225,000 at the club where Donald Trump has taken up full-time residence since leaving the White House. All the profit from that spending winds up in his pocket.

Internal Revenue Service filings show that the group has spent as much as $1,883,160 on fundraising costs at Mar-a-Lago and Trump’s golf course 18 miles north in Jupiter starting in 2014.

Read the full article here.

And yes, the Donald made a “surprise” appearance at the event. The local NBC News affiliate reports he told attendees he wasn’t “prepared” for the event but happened to be walking by and wondered what was going on.

Impeachment: Senate Votes 56-44 That Trump Trial Is Constitutional

U.S. Senate votes that second impeachment of Donald Trump is constitutional
U.S. Senate votes that second impeachment of Donald Trump is constitutional
(screen capture via C-Span2)

As the first day of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial got underway, House Managers leading the prosecution against Trump began with a powerful video presentation compiled from actual footage from the January 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol building.

Following the video, Trump’s own lawyers, during a meandering speech, acknowledged the video was a very compelling argument.

It’s worth noting that, in a written response a day ago, Trump’s lawyers described the mob who attacked the U.S. Capitol building “a small group of criminals.”

“A small group?” That sounds like five, six people…a dinner party…

Does this look like a “small group of criminals?”

Weeks ago, five Republicans voted with Senate Democrats that the impeachment proceeding was constitutional.

After today’s presentations, Sen. Cassidy (R-LA) changed his mind and made it six Republicans who believe the impeachment is constitutional as the final vote was 56-44.

Many sources are reporting that Trump was irate to the point of screaming at the TV as his lawyer failed to make a full-throated defense.

Even Trump-friendly legal expert Alan Dershowitz admitted on the far-right leaning outlet Newsmax that Trump’s team didn’t score any points today.

Trump Lies: ‘No True Supporter Of Mine Could Endorse Violence’

Donald Trump

Donald Trump pretends he could never endorse violence

Donald Trump released a video message today admonishing “violence and vandalism” in regard to the invasion of the U.S. Capitol building last week.

“No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence,” says Trump in the clip. “No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag.”

Oh, my sides…

The video came shortly after the House approved an article of impeachment against Trump by a vote of 232-197 making him the first president ever to be impeached twice.

Plus, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell began hinting he may vote to convict Trump.

This comes across as a preemptive legal defense against impeachment to me. Trust and believe, he did not write a word of this.

From the New York Times:

“I want to be very clear,” he continued. “I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week. Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement. Making America great again has always been about defending the rule of law” and supporting law enforcement officials.

As a candidate in 2016, Mr. Trump once encouraged rally attendees to physically attack protesters. But in the video on Wednesday, he said that “mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for. No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence.”

“If you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement, you are attacking it, and you are attacking our country,” he said. “We cannot tolerate it.”

There was no mention of the people who died in the melee last week including one Capitol Police officer who was reportedly bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher.

Looking ahead to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, Trump added, “There must be no violence, no lawbreaking and no vandalism of any kind.”

CYA: Trump Urges ‘No Violence, No Lawbreaking’

Trump issues a statement calling for no violence
Donald Trump

Lacking his social media platforms, Donald Trump issued a statement ‘old-school’ today discouraging any further violence.

“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind,” read the statement from the White House Press Secretary. “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for.”

“I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank you.”

As the House is currently debating an article of impeachment at this very moment, this seems like Trump probably got advice from his lawyers that he needs to at least ‘appear’ to discourage violence like the hideous insurrection that occurred at the U.S. Capitol building last week.

Trump calls for no violence as House debates impeachment

60% Of Trump Supporters Say Rioters Hurt Democracy

Trump supporters say the insurrectionists undermined democracy
Donald Trump speaks at the White House (photo: public domain)

A majority of Trump supporters say the individuals who stormed the U.S. Capitol last week were undermining U.S. democracy rather than protecting it.

From the Quinnipiac University poll:

• 62% of respondents who voted for Trump said the rioters were undermining democracy, 19 % said they were protecting it

• 80% said the rioters were undermining democracy, 10% said they were protecting it

• 56% of voters say they hold Donald Trump responsible for the storming of the U.S. Capitol, while 42 percent say they do not hold him responsible

• 52% of voters say Trump should be removed from office, 45% disagree; 53% also say he should resign as president, 43% disagree

• 84% of Trump voters said there was widespread voter fraud, even though there is no evidence to support those claims

• 8 in 10 Trump supporters said they approve of how the president is handling his job, 10% said they disapprove, 10% had no opinion

• Among registered voters overall, however, 60% disapprove of the job Trump is doing while 33% approve of Trump’s performance (which ties his all-time low)

• 45% of voters say Trump is mentally stable, while 48% say he is not mentally stable

House Dems Introduce Article Of Impeachment

House Democrats have introduced an article of impeachment regarding Donald Trump's incitement of violence at the U.S. Capitol building
House Democrats have introduced an article of impeachment regarding Donald Trump's incitement of violence at the U.S. Capitol building
Donald Trump (photo: White House/public domain)

From the New York Times:

House Democrats on Monday introduced an article of impeachment against President Trump for inciting a mob that attacked the Capitol last week, vowing to press the charge as Republicans blocked a separate move to formally call on Vice President Mike Pence to strip him of power under the 25th Amendment.

The dual actions came as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her caucus sought to ratchet up pressure on Mr. Pence to intervene and push Mr. Trump to resign. If they did not, the Democrats promised immediate consequences for Mr. Trump’s role in an attack that put the lives of the vice president, members of Congress and thousands of staff working on Capitol Hill at risk as officials met to formalize President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.

“The president’s threat to America is urgent, and so too will be our action,” Ms. Pelosi said on Monday.

The article of impeachment calls out Trump specifically for “incitement of insurrection.” Trump’s own former toadie, Chris Christie, told ABC News on Sunday he believes Trump definitely committed an impeachable offense.

You can read the article of impeachment at the New York Times.

A House vote on the single article of impeachment could come as early as Wednesday.

While most of us watched the events at the Capitol unfold via live news streams, since that time much more video and photographic evidence has been made available which illustrates the breadth of the violent insurrection. Check out this report from NowThis News.

Twitter Permanently Suspends Donald Trump’s Account

Twitter has permanently suspended Donald Trump's account

Twitter has permanently suspended Donald Trump's account

A case of ‘a little too late,’ but Twitter just announced it has permanently suspended Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.

In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action. Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open.

However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.

Twitter locked Trump’s account for 12 hours over inflammatory tweets on Wednesday evening, but gave him back the keys.

Earlier today, Axios reported that Twitter had suspended the accounts of former national security adviser Michael Flynn and President Trump’s lawyer Sidney Powell on Friday for breaking the platform’s “Coordinated Harmful Activity” policy.

Twitter Locks Trump’s Account Over Policy Violations

Donald Trump
Twitter locks Donald Trump's account
Donald Trump (screen capture)

Twitter has locked Donald Trump’s personal Twitter account for 12 hours due to “repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy” as his nutjob cultists invaded the US Capitol on Wednesday.

According to the @TwitterSafety account, the violations were connected to three tweets.

One included a video message shared to his followers and another defended the extremists who invaded the Capitol today: “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.”

Those tweets have since been deleted.

“If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked,” Twitter added. “Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account.”

Facebook and YouTube also removed his video message to the insurrectionists.

Podcast: The Best of 2020 – LGBTQ Edition

TJ Osborne makes history at the CMA Awards, new documentary 'Mayor Pete' takes you behind the scenes of the 2020 presidential campaign, LGBTQ people are getting vaccinated at much higher rates than heterosexuals

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

There was a lot in 2020 that was just heinous and I’m happy to leave it behind. But I did want to take a pause to look at some of the good news and big moments of the past year in this ‘Best of 2020 – LGBTQ edition.’

In this episode, I’m going to revisit some of the best songs, movies, TV, and top LGBTQ news stories of the year (at least in my opinion).

I know folks like to make Top 10 lists, but one of the hallmarks of The Randy Report is supposed to be brevity. Plus, if I’m putting my name on a “Best of…” list I want to feel strongly about them. So I’m going to try to stick to Top 5’s in this show.

I won’t give it all away but I cover:

• The 2020 election cycle and how LGBTQ folks were impacted and took part

• The forward progress of LGBTQ rights around the world

• Celebrities and politicians standing up for transgender people

• LGBTQ movies like Uncle Frank, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and The Boys in the Band

• And music from terrific out indie artists like Milahroy, VINCINT, mxmtoon, Robby Hart, and Jakk Fynn

So, sit back and chill as I recap the Best of 2020 – LGBTQ Edition.