Thursday, March 14, 2019

Last Call For Critical Massie

When I say that my Congressman, GOP Rep. Thomas Massie, is a national embarrassment, idiocy like this is what I mean.

The House passed a series of bills on Tuesday meant to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin accountable for his country's actions, including a measure condemning the Russian leader and his government for their alleged roles in covering up the 2015 assassination of Putin political opponent Boris Nemtsov.

The package of legislation, all aimed at adding scrutiny on the Russian government, largely passed by voice vote.

The bill concerning Nemtsov's assassination overwhelmingly passed the House, with only one lawmaker — Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) — dissenting.

“It's been four years since his death, but there's been no proper investigation of his assassination and the cover-up and zero accountability for those responsible — that's certainly an outrage," House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said in a floor speech ahead of the vote. "This resolution condemns the Kremlin's systematic targeting of its political opponents and calls on the administration to impose sanctions on those responsible for Nemtsov's murder and cover-up.”

Nemtsov, a member of the opposition party who had eyed challenging Putin for the presidency in 2018, was shot and killed in 2015.

Five Chechen men have been charged in his death, but Tuesday’s resolution — introduced by Engel and Foreign Affairs ranking member Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) — claims that Russian officials have prevented others responsible for his murder to be charged.

A bill condemning the Russian annexation of Crimea also easily passed the House, with 427 lawmakers supporting the act. Again only Massie voted against it.

Under the legislation, led by Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Steve Chabot(R-Ohio), federal departments and agencies are barred from recognizing Russia's annexation of Crimea, which sparked international outrage in 2014.

Out of the entire House of Representatives, apparently this jackass believes that the people of Northern Kentucky want to side with Putin's assassination of Nemtsov and his invasion of Crimea.   Could have voted present or skipped the vote, fine.

But to vote no on these?

To openly side with Putin against his country?

What an arrogant asshole.

Construction Of A Scam

If you actually cared to know what former Trump chief racist strategist and human slouch/flop sweat elemental Steve Bannon has been up to lately, we'll he's been crossing the country screaming at white people in red states to give him money to build a private border wall, and I see no reason to dissuade stupid racists from losing their money to him.  He was here in Cincinnati on Tuesday playing to a crowd of...dozens...along with fellow racists Kris Kobach and David Clarke.

Even if the federal government doesn't build a wall along the Mexican border, Steve Bannon and a group of conservative activists will build one anyway, as early as next month.

Bannon, who is President Donald Trump's former chief strategist and the controversial right-wing editor of Breitbart, and the leaders of the group called We Build the Wall came into downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday to raise money and promote the effort to build a Mexican border wall on private land with private money.

We Build The Wall organizers chose Cincinnati as the second stop on a nationwide tour despite 1,400 miles separating the Mexican border and Cincinnati. Next stop is Detroit on Thursday.

"I'm in Cincinnati, because the border crisis is in Iowa," Bannon told the crowd of more than 200 people who came to the Hilton Netherland Plaza in Downtown Cincinnati. Some traveled as far away as rural West Virginia. "It's in Ohio. This border crisis is a national crisis."

When it comes to the border wall with Mexico, the country should have the president's back, Bannon said.

"This is a tragedy of biblical proportions," Bannon said. "The answer is not an open border...We can have President Trump's back to do it in the case he can't do it."

Construction on the privately funded wall will start in April, said Brian Kolfage, an Air Force veteran and triple amputee wounded in the Iraq War who founded We Build the Wall.

This is a great scam, frankly.  They can ask for money for decades, and these idiots will be dreaming of the day they can "use" castle doctrine or stand your ground laws to slaughter a truckload of "illegals" or something, and this will never, ever get built.

It's only a matter time before a lot of people go to jail for this, so enjoy the ride, I guess.

We Gotta Face The Facebook, Con't

The Justice Department has been extremely busy this week, announcing last night that social networking giant Facebook is now under a federal grand jury investigation over its business practices involving customer data.

A grand jury in New York has subpoenaed records from at least two prominent makers of smartphones and other devices, according to two people who were familiar with the requests and who insisted on anonymity to discuss confidential legal matters. Both companies had entered into partnerships with Facebook, gaining broad access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of its users.

The companies were among more than 150, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Sony, that had cut sharing deals with the world’s dominant social media platform. The agreements, previously reported in The New York Times, let the companies see users’ friends, contact information and other data, sometimes without consent. Facebook has phased out most of the partnerships over the past two years.

“We are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously,” a Facebook spokesman said in a statement. “We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions and pledged that we will continue to do so.”

It is not clear when the grand jury inquiry, overseen by prosecutors with the United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York, began or exactly what it is focusing on. Facebook was already facing scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission. And the Justice Department’s securities fraud unit began investigating it after reports that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, had improperly obtained the Facebook data of 87 million people and used it to build tools that helped President Trump’s election campaign.

The Justice Department and the Eastern District declined to comment for this article.

The Cambridge investigation, still active, is being run by prosecutors from the Northern District of California. One former Cambridge employee said investigators questioned him as recently as late February. He and three other witnesses in the case, speaking on the condition of anonymity so they would not anger prosecutors, said a significant line of inquiry involved Facebook’s claims that it was misled by Cambridge.

If there's one thing that people on the left anf right can agree on, it's that Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg needs to burn, and it looks like we're headed for some fun ahead.  There's the very real possibility that this will be settled as a fine and Facebook will throw a few hundred million dollars at the government to make this go away, but the company's stock is going to crater anyway, and maybe if Zuck loses a few billion off his net worth, so be it.

I still stand by Liz Warren's platform that Google and Facebook need to be broken up.


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