Enjoy good journalism?
… then let us make a small request. The COVID crisis has slashed advertising rates, and we need your help. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.
Raw Story is independent. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.
We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.
Value Raw Story?
… then let us make a small request. The COVID crisis has slashed advertising rates, and we need your help. Like you, we believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We need your support to do what we do.
Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.
Democratic Congressman says the GOP is officially taking its cues and its money from Marjorie Taylor Greene now
MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace addressed the sad inability for the Republican Party to govern effectively because they have to balance fake battles to appease the far-right with bipartisan negotiation.
In one segment with Wallace, Politico reporter Eugene Daniels explained that President Joe Biden is genuinely trying to be bipartisan while holding meetings with Republicans, but in public, they say one thing for the cameras while they're saying another to Biden.
It's a problem that Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) said he sees firsthand while attempting to govern. He and Wallace referenced a tweet that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) posted calling Black Lives Matter the most powerful "domestic terrorist group in the United States." Republicans have dutifully fallen in line behind her.
"The point is whether voices like Marjorie Taylor Greene's are driving the decision-making in the Republican caucus, and there's proof that they are," he explained, recalling the 199 Republicans who supported keeping her on the Education Committee. "They had a chance to do the right thing, right? They just took $175,000 from her because she's raisings all the money. So, the point is they are taking their cue from Marjorie Taylor Greene, taking their money from Marjorie Taylor Greene. That's the difference between trying to say there's a person saying crazy things and a whole political caucus, one major political party going down the dark roads of racism and white supplement sit and conspiracy theories and all the things we now know she promotes."
Wallace agreed, noting that people could simply say they're "crazy" and that they can have their 8:00 p.m. Fox News talk hour, "but they're legislating at a really fast pace. We've covered for weeks the voter suppression laws, 108 of them in total. We've been talking today about laws to criminalize protests when all the violence really was on the right-wing extremists, and 97.7 of the Black Lives Matter protests were peaceful. It's no longer about dismantling the lies to you and your colleagues, you have to slow and stop the policymaking in response to the lies. How do you do that?"
The congressman noted that the one positive is that Democrats have the ability to govern while Republicans have collapsed on their fainting couches.
"While they seek to divide Americans, we are delivering for Americans, we are putting checks in people's pockets, shots in people's arms, hundreds of billions going to middle-class families trying to pay health insurance premiums, trying to put food on the table, keep their small business afloat," said Maloney. "We have to combat the other side's efforts to engage in gerrymandering in this desperate hope that their extremism can still cobble together a majority in the house. I think one more point, we should not deceive ourselves that the politics of this can be difficult. We are the party of John Lewis, right? We know that when we start to march across one of these bridges on the road to civil rights, there can be people on the other side with barking dogs and fire hoses and billy clubs. It's our job not to just walk blindly into that violence, but to understand the risks and to be smart about it so that we prevail and maintain the capacity to keep doing these good things we're doing for the American people."
Daniels asked Maloney if he and other Democrats would be willing to outright expel Greene, and the congressman confessed that he would be curious in talking about it. However, "I'm not going to take Kevin McCarthy off the hook." He also said that he thinks it's an issue for her district, why they'd want a member of Congress who has no power to help them.
"If there was a member on our side, there would be consequences. Let's remember, in the past they did discipline members like Steve King, so what has changed?" asked Maloney. "Why do they embrace a woman like Marjorie Taylor Greene, when they gave more criticism and more grief to someone like Liz Cheney, who committed the sin of saying the insurrection was wrong and Donald Trump had something to do with it. I don't want to let them off the hook. I think they should take responsibility for this."
See the discussions below:
the death of progress from the GOP www.youtube.com
Sean Patrick Maloney on the GOP www.youtube.com
On Wednesday, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr resigned his chairmanship of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), citing a "difference of opinion" over a robocall the group sent out promoting the "stop the steal" conspiracy theory.
"Carr, Georgia's GOP attorney general and a potential U.S. Senate candidate, wrote in a letter last week that he was quitting as the leader of the Republican Attorneys General Association because of an irreconcilable rift over the organization's direction," reported Greg Bluestein. "His letter cited the departure of the group's executive director, Adam Piper, who resigned shortly after it was revealed that RAGA's policy arm paid for robocalls urging supporters of then-President Donald Trump to march on the Capitol to press for overturning the outcome the election the day of the riot."
In the letter, Carr wrote, "The fundamental difference of opinion began with vastly opposite views of the significance of the events of January 6 and the resistance by some to accepting the resignation of the executive director. The differences have continued as we have tried to restore RAGA's reputation internally and externally and were reflected once again during the process of choosing the next executive director."
The Capitol riot, which has led to scores of arrests and resulted in multiple deaths, was preceded by a rally headlined by multiple elected allies of Trump, including sitting members of Congress like Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks.
Federal agencies have taken advantage of legal loopholes to collect massive amounts of personal information from cell phone and internet users without congressional or judicial authorization for years, but that practice is being challenged by a bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers who introduced legislation on Wednesday that would prevent the U.S. government from buying individuals' information from data brokers without a court order.
"Every time federal agents buy data from unregulated and exploitative data brokers they're violating the spirit of the Fourth Amendment."
—Sandra Fulton, Free Press Action
Led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a group of 20 senators introduced the Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act (pdf) in the upper chamber of Congress. Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) also unveiled an equivalent bill in the House.
By closing major loopholes in federal privacy laws—including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—the newly proposed legislation seeks to protect everyone in the U.S. from unlawful searches and seizures, one of the key civil liberties spelled out in the Bill of Rights.
In a press release (pdf), the lawmakers said that "while there are strict rules for consumer-facing companies—phone companies like AT&T and Verizon and tech companies like Google and Facebook—loopholes in the law currently permit data brokers and other firms without a direct relationship to consumers to sell Americans' private information to the government without a court order."
Media reports in the past year "revealed that a data broker named Venntel is selling location data collected from Americans' smartphones to government agencies," the lawmakers continued. "While it would be unlawful for app developers to sell data directly to the government, a legal loophole permits app developers to sell data to a data broker, which can then sell that data to the government."
"Another controversial data broker, Clearview.AI, has compiled a massive database of billions of photos, which it downloaded in bulk from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube, in violation of their terms of service," the lawmakers added. "Clearview.AI uses these illicitly obtained photos to power a facial recognition service it sells to government agencies, which they can search without a court order."
The Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act would require law enforcement agencies to obtain a court order before accessing data about people through third-party brokers that "aggregate and sell information like detailed user location data, surreptitiously gathered from smartphone apps or other sources," The Verge reported Wednesday.
In addition, the bill would close loopholes that enable the national security state to buy metadata about U.S. residents' international calls, texts, and emails, and to collect records about their web browsing of foreign websites. While this is information that would typically require a warrant to access, the intelligence community has found ways to circumvent the Fourth Amendment, routinely violating individuals' constitutional rights in the process.
"Intelligence and law enforcement agencies have an unhealthy interest in the personal information of people in the United States—which their historical abuses have repeatedly demonstrated is dangerous to our democracy," Sean Vitka, senior policy counsel for Demand Progress, said in a statement.
Calling the proposed legislation "foundational to the future of privacy," Vitka added that "the founders meant it when they protected our rights against warrantless searches. Intelligence and law enforcement agencies must come to understand that the American people are off limits to warrantless mass surveillance, no matter how it is done."
In what Free Press Action called "one of the most alarming examples" of unconstitutional surveillance, the U.S. military has been purchasing location and other personal data extracted from prayer and dating apps popular with millions of Muslim users.
"Intelligence and law enforcement agencies have an unhealthy interest in the personal information of people in the United States—which their historical abuses have repeatedly demonstrated is dangerous to our democracy."
—Sean Vitka, Demand Progress
"This kind of tracking is an abuse of power and a violation of our Fourth Amendment right to privacy... [and] a harsh truth is that regardless of which party is in power, immigrant communities and people of color are disproportionately targeted," the organization noted.
According to Free Press Action, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement "regularly purchase location-tracking data from shady 'data mining' tech companies. The privacy and civil rights implications of this are staggering—and mean that the communities that were targeted most by the Trump administration remain at risk under the Biden administration."
Sandra Fulton, government relations director at Free Press Action, said that "every time federal agents buy data from unregulated and exploitative data brokers they're violating the spirit of the Fourth Amendment."
"The intelligence community has manipulated legal loopholes to create a sweeping public-private surveillance mechanism that targets immigrants, people of color, and other vulnerable communities," she said. "The bill is a much needed response to repeated abuses by federal agencies."
Fulton added that "it's time we shut down these dangerous practices, and ensure that the Fourth Amendment is not a relic of the past."
Free Press Action is urging people to tell their senators and representatives to protect the right to privacy by passing the Fourth Amendment is Not For Sale Act.
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month