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So Much for ‘Elon Musk, Free Speech Warrior.’
Plus: The Racial Element of Trump’s Attacks on His Prosecutors
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CHARLIE SYKES: Is it Time for the GOP to Panic?
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CATHY YOUNG: So Much for ‘Elon Musk, Free Speech Warrior.’
Late last week, a bizarre new chapter opened in the saga of Elon Musk’s reign as Twitter CEO. On Friday, users of the social media platform discovered that if they sent out a tweet with a link to a Substack page, interactions with it were so severely restricted that you might as well have tweeted into a void: no likes, no retweets, no replies—you could not even reply to your own tweet. In web browsers the Twitter site would give an error message; in apps and on Tweetdeck, the attempt simply failed. Quote-tweets still worked, and some Substack-based publications with custom domains seemed to have escaped the ax; but no one knew why or whether that would change. Later, attempts to get around the throttling resulted in Twitter warnings claiming that the links to Substack were “malicious.” And attempts to use Twitter’s search function to find tweets using the term “Substack” instead brought up results just for the generic term “newsletter.”
This was no Twitter glitch: The functions were deliberately disabled after Substack announced a new feature called Notes, a service for short posts which could be a potential Twitter alternative. These actions were taken with no official announcement from Twitter or Musk. (Disclosure: The Bulwark extensively uses both Substack and Twitter.)
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JILL LAWRENCE: The Racial Element of Trump’s Attacks on His Prosecutors.
Indictment season is officially underway and Donald Trump’s legal Houdini act is closing after a fifty-year run. Yes, he’s making history. But let’s focus for just a moment on the prosecutors leading the investigations that may finally hold him to account. Who they are, and the disturbing nature of Trump’s attacks against them, will shape the 2024 campaign and American democracy itself.
Before Trump became the first former president to be indicted, there was the first black person elected district attorney of Manhattan, Alvin Bragg. There was the first woman (and first black woman) elected district attorney of Fulton County, Georgia, Fani Willis. And there was Letitia “Tish” James, who in 2018 shattered “a trio of racial and gender barriers,” as the New York Times put it: first woman to be elected New York attorney general, first black woman to be elected to statewide office, first black person to serve as attorney general.
RALPH CLEM AND ERIK HERRON: Security in Europe Requires Investing in Ukrainians.
Even though the war in Ukraine shows no signs of ending soon, attention is already (and rightly) being paid to what it will take to rebuild Ukraine for the long-term. Recent estimates on the cost of rebuilding the country range from tens of billions of dollars to more than one trillion dollars. Providing immediate and continuing financial support—with appropriate caution and monitoring—and attracting foreign investment are critical to the country’s long-term prospects. Western governments and private capital firms are now engaged in financing and advising that effort. The International Monetary Fund has likewise just announced a major funding package to provide macroeconomic and structural support.
Ukraine’s future economic health is not just a Ukrainian concern. A vibrant, healthy, productive Ukraine will be a more valuable ally and partner for the EU, NATO, and the United States. A weak Ukraine that is unable to recover from the destruction visited upon it by the Russian military will be a vulnerable target for future Russian aggression. Investing in Ukraine’s economic and political future is therefore just as important as investing in its present defenses—hence the large sums foreign countries and international organizations are offering to help prop up the Ukrainian economy.
Happy Monday! If you celebrate Easter, I hope it was a blessed holiday. We smoked brisket, had ham and all the fixin’s. My purchase of dollar store plastic golf clubs more than paid off.
The Cleveland Blues… I listened to this interview over the weekend and was transported back in time, almost 25 years ago. To a factory, also in Cleveland, where I worked with a former international squash star who befriended me. (I talk about it here.) So if you like blues music, check out Fred Davis’s posthumous album. You can read more about him here.
Rep. Justin Jones… is headed back to the Capitol after the Metro council voted 36-0 to send him back. What will TN Republicans do next? (Hint: Double down.)
Be careful on the Twitters! You never know what Elon’s gonna change.
Fox opens up the pocket book… for a Venezuelan businessman who got pulled into the bonkers stolen election lies they repeatedly gave air time to.
Periodic George Santos update: He’s Jew-ish again. (If you can believe that.)
Here comes the King… Actually, the King of Beers didn’t come, nor did the Clydesdales, given the recent loony backlash from the American right over partnering with a trans influencer.
Meanwhile, in Saint Louis… Embattled prosecutor Kim Gardner is getting an opponent.
…and in Florida… A road rage incident resulted in two men wounding each others’ daughters. One of them is 5. And one of them isn’t facing charges.
…and in Texas… Bitcoin miners are making it more expensive for non-bitcoin miners to live there. And we all know how reliable Texas’s electrical grid is…
National Parks are back! And the consultants at Booz is cashin’ in. For every booking on Recreation.gov, they get a cut. “One thing I learned in B-school, for all that money, it’s a small number times a big number is a big number,” their President said. Indeed.
“When you tell the wedding planner you will pay her to fill the church...” That’s what our pal Stu Stevens observed reading news that a DeSantis Super PAC is going to build crowds… for this guy, who totally loves crowds. And people.
Recreating Notre Dame’s iconic spire… 60 Minutes takes you behind the scenes.
Watch deal of the week: A very chunky G-Shock Mudmaster.
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