11th Circuit Court of Appeals strikes down Florida law preventing felons from voting until they had paid their court-related fines. If you're tempted to say but they should complete their sentence before they get to vote, and the fine is part of their sentence, just know that I'm going to respond that they never should have lost their right to vote in the first place. Rights are rights; they're not privileges, and they don't only belong to people we like. (And yes, the "wealth" of ex-felons is, in fact, pertinent to the case and "exogenous" to their punishment, even when a fine is not precisely exogenous to their punishment.)
The New York Times looks over our President's recent pardons, and sees a pattern -- they all have "connections" to him. As in, "all 11 recipients had an inside connection or were promoted on Fox News," which almost does sound like they're repeating themselves a bit. Of course they're playing right into his hands by suggesting that "his own scalding encounters with investigations since taking office" (like they weren't deserved or something!) plays a role in his "mercy." Also, I wanted the First STEP Act passed, too, but that was a watered-down version of a watered-down version of what I really wanted, and I suspect a lot of folks that bill has left behind -- who are not lucky enough to get on Fox News or have connections within professional conservative circles -- feel the same.
From the "Wow, They're Actually Trying This?" file: surveillance corporation Clearview AI's CEO claims that his attempts to spy on people are protected by the First Amendment. Apparently, scraping someone's private data from the internet and then selling it to someone else is a speech act. But plenty of law already exists (see the fourth- and third-to-last paragraphs at the link above) to suggest that just because you "say" something, you don't automatically get our First Amendment's protections. You know, if common sense didn't already tell you that.
When I read that "(i)f you're having a hard time falling asleep, that sleep tracker on your wrist might be to blame," the first thing I think is I can totally relate! Having all that data was cool at first -- I never assumed there was an absolute one-to-one relationship between the data and the truth, but the worst thing you can do is try to measure up to previous days, wonder what on Earth you did wrong since you didn't have any caffeine after noon, and let that all build up. I accidentally wore my fitness tracker into the shower once, took it off before it suffered any damage, and then said (suddenly, or so it seemed to me at the time) why put it back on? I haven't looked back -- and I have never again wondered whether the amount of deep sleep I got last night fit snugly into the 12-18% range.
Finally, you all knew William Barr wasn't really going to quit over our President's twitterfarting making it "impossible" to do his job, right? Remember what I said at the beginning of this Administration: when Republicans fight each other in public, they're playing us, trying to lull us into a false sense of security about their unity. It's drama, and it's not even good drama. I suppose we can't discount the possibility that Mr. Barr was actually saying that his job is to protect the President from the consequences of his own actions.