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The Daily Countable: Libel Laws, Surveillance & the Census

by Countable | 1.11.18

Greetings, Folks.

One Big Thing

The House voted today to reauthorize the government's surveillance authorities under FISA Section 702 for six years. The bill now heads to the Senate where it faces a filibuster threat.

On the Radar

President Donald Trump said, "Our current libel laws are a sham and a disgrace and do not represent American values or American fairness." Now that you know what Trump said, it's your turn—tell us what you think about libel laws here.

Under the Radar

The Department of Justice wants the Census Bureau to ask about citizenship during the 2020 census. What would this mean? And why are we talking about the 2020 census now? Find out here.

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in DC

  • The president will lead a prison reform roundtable in the afternoon.
  • Later in the afternoon the president will meet with his national security team.

The House of Representatives: In Session

  • Voting on a bill to reauthorize surveillance under FISA Section 702 for six years.

The Senate: In Session

  • Voting on the confirmation of Michael Brown to be U.S. District Judge for the Northern DIstrict of Georgia.
  • Cloture & possible confirmation vote on the nomination of Walter Counts to be U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Texas.

    Keep in touch, Countable folk. We’re anxious for your ideas and suggestions. — Countable Team
Countable

Written by Countable

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(42)
  • Dara
    01/11/2018
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    If you can’t take the heat trump, get out of the kitchen. You libel, slander, and bully people everyday. You can’t abridge free speech because you don’t like being called out for your lies, slander, and bullying. Don’t be a whiner!The laws are fine. Leave them alone.

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  • Susan
    01/12/2018
    ···

    Our libel laws are just fine. Just because 45 doesn’t like what’s being said about him doesn’t mean the laws need to be changed.

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  • Angela
    01/12/2018
    ···

    I am calling all of you tomorrow after this president’s racist remarks dividing our nation. Get these people out of our government. I am furious. We should not be dealing with this bologna. We should be on education, jobs and more equality and working with our neighbors to make our world a better and safer place. Why are you not doing anything!!!!!

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  • Jean
    01/12/2018
    ···

    My friend lives in South Africa, the third-generation daughter of a notable medical family. Donald Trump just called her country a "shit-hole" country, which would make this remarkable woman (in his mind) ... ? And Trump is fussing about alleged slander and libel against HIM? Give me a break!

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  • Beth
    01/12/2018
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    Trump better be prepared for a lot of slander lawsuits against him, I can think of three right off the top of my head, President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren and the list continues.

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  • Michele
    01/12/2018
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    Anyone in office who hides in word or in silence following the latest racist statements made by this sorry excuse for a human being should be removed from office ASAP. There is no place in this country for this attitude. He is a racist and anyone who does not speak out against this fool is complicit. Enough is enough!

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  • Jessica
    01/12/2018
    ···

    I am not worried about our libel laws. I am extremely worried about the temperament and mental fitness of a man who disparages nations of color while venerating the white ones. It’s disgusting and does not represent our values. SPEAK OUT. Use your words to fight his. We need your voice.

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  • MKnapp
    01/12/2018
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    Trump seems to have misspoken again. Here, I fixed his quote for him: "Our current [administration is] a sham and a disgrace and [does] not represent American values or American fairness." With the repeal of so many consumer protections, regulations, environmental policies, and the sale of our land, resources, and politicians open to the highest bidder, I think we have bigger concerns than the current libel laws.

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  • William
    01/12/2018
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    I feel like I’ve fallen through the mirror and am now in Wonderland, except the Queen of Hearts isn’t in charge; she’s been deposed by the Mad Hatter. Trump, the primary purveyor of Birtherism and Liar-in-Chief, wants to amend libel laws because his feelings are hurt? Poor baby. Putin has to be laughing all the way to the bank.

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  • William
    01/12/2018
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    Clearly trump is a racist BESIDES BEING a FASCIST AUTOCRATIC TYRANT. Also, make no mistake, the benefit some companies are “distributing” to their employees are back channel agreements solicited by trumps cronies to make it SEEM like the tax cut for the wealthy corporations are benefiting the people. Folks these are crumbs to seduce you - nothing else!!!! Some of us ( TRUE AMERICANS) are not fooled by this obvious gimmicks!!!!!! The average Americans will be left out in the cold - believe it!!!!!!

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  • Mark
    01/12/2018
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    If you want the authorization and the authority given by WE THE PEOPLE then you must hold those accountable who abuse and miss use this power, we want justice (protect none) that have abused this trust we gave to them!!!! 🇺🇸

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  • Eileen
    01/12/2018
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    The current laws on the books are fine. They need to be used against Sarah Hucckabee Sanders and trump and pence for all of their lying to the American people, the swipes at our bill of rights, and the slamming of the media! They get the first warrants! This administration is absolutely ridiculous in its lying, cheating, and malevolent behavior! They have embarrassed, lied and misrepresented the United States of America and need to be thrown in jail NOW!

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  • Brent
    01/12/2018
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    What we know: 1) The Obama admin spied on the Trump team 2) DOJ & FBI leaders knew about it & supported the efforts 3) Many of those DOJ & FBI leaders were anti-Trump 4) The FBI did not notify Congress about the investigation according to their own procedures

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  • Marsha
    01/12/2018
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    Our twitter in chief is a disgrace to the U. S. If any one dares criticize him , he resorts to trying to limit our first amendment rights. As my mom always said,”If you can’t take the heat, get out of the damn kitchen. Trump’s tweets libel, slander, and bully people, nations, and our allies. Trump took an oath to protect our constitution. All he has done is assault our first amendment rights. That is not upholding the constitution. He wants to destroy it. You guys in Congress had better wake up Do not be complicit in destroying our country. We are no longer the LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD.

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  • SneakyPete
    01/12/2018
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    There are often misconceptions between the terms “Libel” and “Slander”. The fundamental distinction between libel and slander lies solely in the form in which the defamatory matter is published. A person who defames another may be called a "defamer", "libeler", or “slanderer". One must first need to clarify, in their mindset, the difference between what is entailed between “Libel” and “Slander”: 1). Slander is offending material that is published in some fleeting form, such as by spoken words or sounds, sign language, gestures 2). Libel is defined as defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form OTHER THAN by spoken words or gestures. Lets be clear about Democrats and Republican using both libel or slanderous rhetoric. They both most surely do but with one striking difference. We are continuing in seeing the Democratic use,through their “MSM” and political surrogates, using their often employed techniques of: 1). Propaganda:,Which is information that is not objective and is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, 2). Misinformation: Which is false or incorrect information, that is spread intentionally or unintentionally. 3). Disinformation: Which is false information spread deliberately to deceive. 4). Distraction: Which distracts, divides the attention, or prevents concentration on the Truth/Facts. PROVING LIBEL: There are several things a person must prove to establish that libel has taken place. In the United States, a person must prove that 1) the statement was false, 2) caused harm, and 3) was made without adequate research into the truthfulness of the statement. These steps are for an ordinary citizen. For a celebrity or public official, a person must prove the first three steps, and that the statement was made with the intent to do harm or with reckless disregard for the truth, which is usually specifically referred to as "actual malice". SEE: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation SEE: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_defamation_law

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  • Susan
    01/12/2018
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    As long as this administration is in power, including Congress, NO changes need to be made on any laws or regulations. One must be able to trust those who have the power to alter our government. The majority of Americans do not trust the current Congress, or the current Executive Branch. We Americans need sweeping reform in both these branches of government, and I truly hope the 2018 elections reflect our discontent.

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  • William
    01/12/2018
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    ANYONE who continues to support trump in any way has NO IDEA what it means to be an American- very sad, very, very sad for America and our dwindling DEMOCRACY!!!!!!!!!! If our congressmen and senators don’t do something to end this their legacy will be the congress (115) that destroyed America democracy!!!!

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  • Loretta
    01/12/2018
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    Racist,Bully,Liar,Cheater,Tweeter,incompetent are all words describing 45. At what point are the Congress and Senate going to Stop this and invoke 25?

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  • Pearl
    01/12/2018
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    DT would be hurt more than anyone with this new law. It is ironic and seems to be a waste of time.

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  • KansasTamale
    01/12/2018
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    Sounds good if slander, bullying, and name calling are added to this libel bill. That way everyone who has lived with these types of shameful speech from Trump can sue him.

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