Democrat Steny Hoyer mentioned “prejudice” and “racism” when referring on the House floor to Republican Jason Smith of Missouri telling a Democrat to “go back to Puerto Rico.” Hoyer’s comments came during a floor fight Thursday that led to a vote on a Democrat spending bill getting delayed until a do-over next week.
That Democrat, Tony Cardenas, is the chairman of BOLD PAC, which led 30 Democrats to a trip in Puerto Rico during the government shutdown with 109 lobbyists and corporate executives. Also, Cardenas is Mexican-American, not Puerto Rican.
“Congressman Smith’s comment was directed at all the Democrats who were vacationing down in Puerto Rico last weekend during the government shutdown, not towards any individual member,” Jason Smith’s office said in a statement.
Here is Steny Hoyer’s disgustingly misleading display:
Despite an ongoing government shutdown reaching unprecedented lengths, it appears that many Congressional Democrats haven’t let potential negotiations with the President get in the way of a celebrity-starred vacation to the tropical paradise of Puerto Rico.
At least 30 Democrats from the House and Senate are said to be kicking back on the islandin a trip sponsored by lobbyists from companies like Facebook, Amazon, Comcast and Verizon. They’ll have a chance to view a showing of the hit musical Hamilton, and get acquainted with the show’s cast.
BOLD PAC, a political component of the ethnic-lobby House Hispanic Caucus, is said to have chartered a Boeing 737 to transport visitors to the Caribbean island, still said to be recovering from the effects of Hurricane Maria.
A photo surfaced of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez enjoying himself on a Puerto Rican beach.
Spotted: Sen. Bob Menendez on the beach at a resort in Puerto Rico on Day 22 of the partial government shutdown. Reports say dozens of Dems are in PR for the CHC BOLD PAC winter retreat — including meetings on Maria cleanup, and a party with PR’s “Hamilton” cast. pic.twitter.com/6FaBYKPo4L
— David McAlpine (@DavidMcAlpine) January 12, 2019
The fuss about government employees having to wait for an end to a shutdown to receive paychecks doesn’t seem to apply for these 30 Democrats, who are unwilling to cancel a luxurious trip to negotiate with Republicans on an end to the shutdown.
Perhaps Menendez should be more careful about signing himself up for lavish overseas trips. (Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States located in the Caribbean Sea.) The Senator was charged with accepting bribes in the form of gifts, most notably trips to the nearby Dominican Republic, where it’s alleged he was provided underaged prostitutes by a doctor named Salomon Melgen. Despite being charged by prosecutors in regards to the trips themselves, Menendez got off easy in a ‘not guilty’ ruling that left many anti-corruption advocates shaking their heads.
Hopefully Menendez will be inclined to act in a more responsible manner on this trip on account of being surrounded by his Democratic colleagues and corporate lobbyist handlers.
YOUR NEW MASTER: Twitter’s Head of Conversational Safety, a “Young, Queer Asian-American Businesswoman,” is “Rethinking” the Concept of User Safety
Do you trust someone like her to make Twitter “a safer place”?
The media company Protocol, a sister site of Politico, recently published an article about Twitter’s new “head of product for conversational safety,” Christine Su. It claims that Su, a “young, queer Asian-American businesswoman,” is revolutionizing what “user safety” on social media means.
Twitter hired Su around six months ago to be in charge of “what might be the most difficult task on Twitter,” despite having no apparent experience in politics, programming, and media relations. But Twitter seems to like her for her “creative” and “somewhat radical new ideas” about user safety.
“As a queer woman of color who is an Asian American in tech in rural America, that experience is a very intersectional one. I’ve had plenty of experiences moving through spaces where I wanted more safety,” Su said.
Protocol writes that Su’s vision incorporates “transformative and procedural justice.” Transformative justice ostensibly refers to a non-retributive form of repairing harm done to someone and preventing it from happening again; procedural justice to enacting a set of rules that “make harm rarer in the first place.”
This all sounds nice and dandy—but beware. So-called transformative and procedural justice will not benefit you, but will crush you. Anything that’s perceived as “harmful” against “women and people from marginalized groups” can and will be used to censor you. Christine Su may reassuringly claim that “the point is not to make the entire world a safe space,” but she’s open about the fact that she will help give the Coalition of the Fringes more control over what people are allowed to do and say on Twitter.
Examples from the article:
- Creating an audio hangout feature called “Spaces,” which will allow users to determine who is allowed to participate, as well as who can speak and when. (Note that it’s being tested on “women and marginalized groups of people” first.)
- Potentially doubling down on functions that “encourage people to read content before reposting it.” (Which is exclusively done to censor or limit the reach of conservative and other right-wing content.)
- Building tools that “create private pathways for apologies, forgiveness and deescalation.” (The finer details are still a work in progress according to Su.)
- Defining what a “meaningful conversation” is. (Would people like Su think that anything right-wingers say or believe belongs in a “meaningful conversation”? Let’s just say I wouldn’t bet money on it…)
You know full well that a company like Facebook would shortly follow suit. After all, it’s not just Twitter that Su is “revolutionizing,” but the concept of social media itself. Figure out where all this is heading.
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