File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up." Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools…
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April Fools' Day Four Days Late? Google Objects to OpenAI Using YouTube to Train Its Own Generator

File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up."

Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools' Day headline, in fact.  Google, with its deep history of scraping and scanning other sources' substantive content for its own uses, now objects to OpenAI using YouTube content to train its text-to-video generator:

The use of YouTube videos to train OpenAI’s text-to-video generator would be an infraction of the platform's terms of service, YouTube Chief Executive Officer Neal Mohan said."

Optimists might hope that Google is finally recognizing and preparing to correct its wayward course, while realists and cynics will roll their eyes at what they'll label naivete.  As the old adage goes, however, "every saint has a past, every sinner has a future," so we'll maintain hope.…[more]

April 05, 2024 • 05:09 PM

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Democratic Lawfare vs. Donald Trump Print
By Byron York
Wednesday, December 27 2023
So that is six cases, including the Colorado case, driven by Democrats and their appointees and activists.

The story of the 2024 campaign so far is the effort by Democrats and their appointees to use criminal charges and lawsuits to force former President Donald Trump out of the race for a second term in the White House. The name for such an effort is "lawfare"  that is, "the strategic use of legal proceedings to intimidate or hinder an opponent," to cite one law dictionary.

The latest development, of course, is the Colorado Supreme Court ruling disqualifying Trump from being on the state ballot. All seven members of Colorado's highest court were appointed by Democrats. The case was started by a Washington-based, aggressively anti-Trump activist group called CREW, or Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which recruited local Coloradans to file suit against Trump.

The Colorado case, of course, comes amid a growing number of Democratic legal efforts to bring down Trump. Here are five additional examples. All were brought by Democratic or Democratic-appointed prosecutors, and three of the five are being tried before Democratic-appointed judges.

1. New York Attorney General Letitia James, an elected Democrat, won office on a platform of going after Trump. After considering various criminal charges against the former president, James decided instead to file a lawsuit intended to destroy Trump's business empire in New York. James' case received a boost when Judge Arthur Engoron, a Democrat, ruled that Trump was guilty before the trial began. Trump is now awaiting Engoron's decision on damages.

2. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, also an elected Democrat, also won office on a platform of going after Trump. In late March, Bragg became the first prosecutor to indict Trump, charging him with 34 felonies related to the hush money Trump arranged to pay to porn actress Stormy Daniels in the 2016 presidential campaign. Bragg's indictment is widely regarded as the weakest of the criminal cases against Trump. It was assigned to Judge Juan Merchan, who made three small political contributions in 2020: $15 to Joe Biden, $10 to the Progressive Turnout Project, and $10 to a group called Stop Republicans.

3. Special counsel Jack Smith, appointed by the Biden Justice Department, began his investigation of Trump a few months after the New York Times reported in April 2022: "As recently as last year, Mr. Biden confided to his inner circle that he believed former President Donald J. Trump was a threat to democracy and should be prosecuted, according to two people familiar with his comments. And while the president has never communicated his frustrations directly to [Attorney General Merrick] Garland, he has said privately that he wanted Mr. Garland to act less like a ponderous judge and more like a prosecutor who is willing to take decisive action over the events of Jan. 6." Smith was appointed six months later. He indicted Trump over Jan. 6 and the 2020 election in August 2023. The case is being heard under Judge Tanya Chutkan, who was nominated to the federal bench by President Barack Obama and also contributed to Obama's 2008 campaign.

4. Smith, again acting under his appointment by the Biden Justice Department, indicted Trump in June of this year on 40 felony counts in the classified documents case. In contrast to the other cases, this one is being presided over by Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed to the bench by President Trump.

5. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, an elected Democrat, indicted Trump on 13 felony counts relating to the 2020 election. Willis alleged a huge RICO conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election that included 19 defendants. That group would have been even larger, but Willis was barred from prosecuting one target, Republican State Rep. Burt Jones, after news came out that Willis had hosted a fundraiser for Jones' Democratic opponent.

So that is six cases, including the Colorado case, driven by Democrats and their appointees and activists. Party leaders, of course, would deny that there is any political motivation at work. But the reality is, the prosecutions and lawsuits are all the work of Trump's political opponents. If they succeed, they will result in him going to prison, paying huge fines and losing his business. They would, in short, once and for all, remove Trump from the American political scene.

It is as if anti-Trump leaders concluded that elections did not succeed in getting rid of him, and media attacks did not succeed in getting rid of him, and investigations did not succeed in getting rid of him, and now the next step is lawfare. That's where we are now.

It is hard to overstate how crazy this situation is. In the two federal criminal cases, the Biden administration is prosecuting the sitting president's main political opponent in the runup to an election. In the two local criminal cases and the New York lawsuit, elected Democrats who ran for office promising to pursue a single political target  Trump  are making good on their promises. And in the Colorado case, Trump's political opponents have dreamed up a novel use for a clause in a Reconstruction-era constitutional amendment that was long thought dead.

We all know the political impact of this. Immediately after the first indictment (Bragg's), support for Trump in the Republican primary race shot upward. It rose further amid later indictments and lawsuits, going from 44% support before the Bragg indictment to 63% support today in the RealClearPolitics average of polls. Some Republicans are clearly using support of Trump as a way to express their disapproval of the wave of prosecutions and lawsuits. Whether that will last is unclear. But the Democratic lawfare campaign has been relentless, and it will surely provoke continuing Republican reaction in the months to come.


Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.

COPYRIGHT 2023 BYRON YORK

Notable Quote   
 
"Progressives are using legal loopholes and the power of the federal government to maximize Democrat votes in the 2024 election at taxpayers' expense, RealClearInvestigations has found.The methods include voter registration and mobilization campaigns by ostensibly nonpartisan charities that target Democrats using demographic data as proxies, and the Biden administration's unprecedented demand that…[more]
 
 
— Ben Weingarten, Real Clear Investigations
 
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