~ Featuring ~
Zuckerberg and the Facebook Data Black Hole
by Thomas Gallatin
DOJ shows House Intelligence the document 
that prompted Russia investigation, but with redactions
by Kelly Cohen
{ } ~ The Justice Department has shown the House Intelligence Committee the document that Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., says prompted the FBI’s investigation... into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. According to a Justice Department official, Nunes, ranking member scum-Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and all members of the committee were provided access to the requested document on Wednesday. “After numerous unfulfilled requests for an Electronic Communication (EC) related to the opening of the FBI’s Russia counterintelligence probe, Chairman Trey Gowdy and I met this afternoon with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein," Nunes said. "During the meeting, we were finally given access to a version of the EC that contained the information necessary to advance the Committee’s ongoing investigation of the Department of Justice and FBI. Although the subpoenas issued by this Committee in August 2017 remain in effect, I’d like to thank Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein for his cooperation today."...
Could Democrats Steal Paul Ryan's Seat?
{ } ~ On Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that he would won’t be seeking re-election in 2018... That will leave Ryan’s House seat in Wisconsin’s 1st District open. And while it’s not the most vulnerable seat the GOP has to defend in 2018, it’s far from safe. This graphic data is from Daily Kos Elections  shows Trump’s 2016 margin of victory in every currently Republican-held House district as well as the difference between Trump’s margin and Romney’s margin in each district. Wisconsin’s 1st District is highlighted. Ryan’s district might not be competitive if the national environment was neutral. Wisconsin’s 1st District moved right in the 2016 election. Trump won the district by 10 points after Romney took it only by four points in 2012 though 2012 may be an odd case because Ryan was the GOP’s vice presidential nominee. And in 2008, Barack liar-nObama won the area by about three points while winning the national popular vote by seven, suggesting that it took a real step to the right over the course of the last four to eight years. If you add that to Ryan’s incumbency advantage, you get a district that would’t typically be near the bottom of the GOP’s list of worries. But the national environment isn’t neutral. Democrats currently lead by 7.3 points in the RealClearPolitics generic ballot poll average which aggregates surveys that basically ask a national sample of voters who they’re going to vote for in the upcoming House elections, and Trump’s approval rating is historically low. Republicans have also underperformed Trump’s margin by double digits on average in legislative special elections. So Democrats are likely going to be able to reach into less-than-friendly territory and grab some right-leaning districts like Ryan’s... 
With Cuba to Soon Have a New Leader, 
What Does the Future Hold for the Communist Country? 
by Kerry Lear 
{ } ~ Cuba will name a new president within the next two weeks, meaning the country will no longer have a Castro... as its leader for the first time in 60 long years. Miguel Diaz-Canel, the country's current vice president is expected to be Raul Castro’s successor. However, his ascension to the presidency is not guaranteed. Back in January, a bronze replica of the famous statue of José Martí that was in New York’s Central Park for over half of the century was inaugurated in Old Havana. Martí was a Cuban national hero and often referred to as “Apostle of the Cuban Revolution.” “As a set-piece of propaganda, the unveiling of the bronze statue of José Martí that evoked Cuba’s greatest independence hero at the moment of his death was a flop. But as a mournful scene from the closing act of the Castro brothers’ 60-year rule, the official event that took place outside Havana’s Museum of the Revolution this January spoke volumes,” writes the Financial Times.  “Just as important for Cuba’s leadership, though, the monument was an expression of revolutionary purpose extending from Martí’s death 123 years ago up to this day. That sense of continuity is especially important to Cuba’s Communist party as it faces a delicate and perhaps even uniquely vulnerable moment this year.”... 
Israel on Highest Alert as Iran Threatens to Attack 
{ } ~ Israel's military forces have been put on high alert after Iran threatened to retaliate over the bombing early Monday... of an air base in central Syria. The T-4 Air Base had reportedly been a headquarters for Iranian drones being used in support of the Syrian regime. Israel viewed that and all other Iranian military forces in Syria as an unacceptable threat to the security fo the Jewish state. While Israel maintained its policy of ambiguity regarding the T-4 base bombing, Russia, Syria, Iran and the United States all said that Israeli aircraft had been responsible. "The crimes will not remain unanswered," insisted Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei...
Trump’s wall is a minor expenditure 
compared to the money Washington has spent abroad
{ } ~ The same pols who say that America can’t afford Trump’s proposed wall have spent lavishly on the protection of borders outside the country... Every year they give billions of dollars to governments across Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. That American largesse, combined with the astronomical costs of U.S. military protection, allow those countries to seal off their borders. Meanwhile, America’s southern border remains largely unprotected and pols pretend they lack the funds to address the crisis. As President Trump put it in his inaugural address, “We’ve defended other nations’ borders while refusing to defend our own.” Compared to the trillions America has spent in the Middle East, Trump’s proposed wall represents a minor expenditure. Or take the billions of dollars spent year after year protecting South Korea from North Korea. Somehow Washington can find the money to pay for thousands of soldiers to man borders at the other end of the world. But America’s own border with Mexico? No, protecting that is unthinkable, claim pols. The wall is too “expensive,” says Chuck clown-Schumer. This is the same senator who turned up last year at a “Global Citizen Festival” in Central Park to decry proposed cuts to the “international affairs budget,” insisting that America could afford to send money to “all corners of the world.” The price of Trump’s wall is pocket change next to the foreign aid budgets Washington has treated as untouchable for decades. Even the most outlandish estimate of the wall’s costs pale in comparison to the money squandered on countries that hate us. Trump wanted $18 billion or so for the wall. America’s recent misadventures in the Middle East have cost around $6 trillion... 

Zuckerberg and the Facebook Data Black Hole

by Thomas Gallatin:  On Tuesday, Facebook creator and CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced pointed questions in a Senate hearing prompted by the recent kerfuffle over Cambridge Analytica’s accessing of Facebook-generated user data. Senators on both sides of the aisle grilled Zuckerberg. A particularly revealing exchange that got right to the heart of the problem Congress should address — protecting Americans’ privacy rights — occurred between Zuckerberg and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).
               scum-Durbin: “Would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?” 
     Zuckerberg (taking a long pause): “Um, no.”
     scum-Durbin: “If you messaged anybody this week, would you share with us the names of the people you’ve messaged?” 
     Zuckerberg: “I would probably not choose to do that publicly here.” 
     scum-Durbin: “I think that may be what this is all about. Your right to privacy. The limits of your right to privacy. And how much you give away in modern America in the name of ‘connecting people around the world.’ A question basically of what information Facebook’s collecting, who they’re sending it to, and whether they ever asked me, in advance, my permission to do that. Is that a fair thing for a user of Facebook to expect?”
     Zuckerberg: “Yes, senator. I think everyone should have control over how their information is used.”

               scum-Durbin deserves credit for not grandstanding about fake news, but focussing on the real issue — private data dissemination by social media aggregators.
                   AMark Alexander noted prior to the hearings, “Congress has the authority to enact, and should, legislation requiring social media and other aggregators of individual user data be required to obtain specific and explicit user permissions for each and everytransfer of such data, prior to that transfer. And the financial penalties for failing to do so should be steep.”
               But Zuckerberg also faced other serious inquiries, most notably Facebook’s practice of suppressing conservative content, which their PC censors have done with Patriot Postcontent. Both Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Ben Sasse (R-NE) took the opportunity to grill Zuckerberg over the issue of censorship. Sasse suggested that Facebook’s policies are “less than First Amendment full-spirit embracing.” He also pressed Zuckerberg to define “hate speech,” which the tech guru could not do, after Zuckerberg had admitted it’s a category used by Facebook as a guideline for limiting speech. Sasse pointedly stated, “I’m worried about the psychological categories around speech. We see this happening on college campuses all across the country. It’s dangerous.”
               Cruz also called out Zuckerberg over Facebook’s leftist bias, asking, “Do you consider yourself a neutral public forum or are you engaged in political speech, which is your right under the First Amendment?” Zuckerberg responded, “Well, senator, our goal is certainly not to engage in political speech.” But Cruz didn’t let him off the hook and followed up by listing multiple instances where conservative content was limited or censored. Zuckerberg then suggested he was unaware of the biased censoring of political content, but he did admit that Facebook’s location in Silicon Valley “is an extremely left-leaning place.” That’s putting it mildly.
               There are two issues at play here; one deals with protecting Americans’ privacy rights, the other with free speech. Facebook plays fast and loose with users’ data. As Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) bluntly opined, “Here’s what everybody has been trying to tell you [Zuckerberg] today, and I say this gently: Your user agreement sucks!” Meanwhile, Zuckerberg and the Left would love to paint Facebook’s primary problem as one of needing help in preventing the dissemination of “fake news” and propaganda, not one of needing to better protect user data. What has made Facebook so profitable has been its ability to accumulate and then sell user data, and that’s why it’s the last thing Zuckerberg wants regulated. Instead, he would love for the focus to be on protecting Americans against the “dangerous” influence of propaganda — from conservatives, of course.   ~The Patriot Pos

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GOP Activist Investigating Hillary Clinton’s Lost Emails
Found Dead — Apparent Suicide By Black Plastic Bag Republican activist Peter Smith was found dead in his hotel room in May 2017 in Rochester, Minnesota.

The hotel staff found Smith with a black plastic bag on his head. He was trying to obtain Hillary Clinton’s lost emails.

UPDATE: Mueller and Congressional investigators have interviewed Smith’s acquaintances several times. Our sources say there is much more to this story.

The Wall Street Journal reported:

Peter W. Smith, a Republican political activist and financier from Chicago who mounted an effort to obtain former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails from Russian hackers, died on May 14 after asphyxiating himself in a hotel room in Rochester, Minn., according to local authorities. He was 81 years old.

Mr. Smith’s body was found by a hotel clerk in the Aspen Suites hotel, located across the street from the Mayo Clinic, according to a Rochester Police Department report. An associate of Mr. Smith said that he had recently visited the clinic. A representative for the facility wouldn’t confirm if Mr. Smith was a patient.

Mr. Smith died about 10 days after an interview with The Wall Street Journal in which he recounted his attempts to acquire what he believed were thousands of emails stolen from Mrs. Clinton’s private email server. He implied that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, then serving as the senior national security adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump, was aware of his efforts…

…The police report said Mr. Smith was found by a hotel clerk with a plastic bag around his head attached tightly with black rubber bands. Mr. Smith “left documentation on why he committed suicide, medical records, his written obituary, and life insurance” on a table in his room, the report said.


Massachusetts Man Arrested After Trying To Hire
A Hit Man On Twitter To Kill ICE Agents For $500

A 33-year-old lefty from Cambridge, Massachusetts named Brandon Ziobrowski was arrested Thursday after offering anyone on Twitter $500 to kill ICE agents.

Ziobrowski also expressed his desire to slit John McCain’s throat in several tweets.

FOX News reported:

A Massachusetts man was arrested in New York on Thursday after trying to hire a hit man on Twitter to kill ICE agents for $500 and sharing his desire to slit the throat of Sen. John McCain, federal officials said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said that Brandon Ziobrowski, 33, from Cambridge, Mass. was charged with one count of use of interstate and foreign commerce to transmit a threat and injure another person for the alleged Twitter posts this year.

Federal officials said Ziobrowski tweeted a murder for hire solicitation to kill Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for $500, and repeatedly tweeted his desire to slit the throat of McCain, R-Ariz.

“The agents and officers out there enforcing federal laws are doing their job, plain and simple,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said at a news conference. “There is a difference between public debate and putting others in fear of their lives.”

Federal officials said Ziobrowski in March started tweeting threatening messages against federal agents that work for ICE.

On July 2, the 33-year-old allegedly tweeted: “I am broke but will scrounge and literally give $500 to anyone who kills ICE agent. @me seriously who else can pledge get in on this lets make this work.”

The Justice Department released a statement on the arrest of Ziobrowski:

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