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Facebook pulls virtual reality gun game from Conservative Political Action Conference

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Facebook pulled a virtual reality gun game from a major US conservative political gathering Friday, saying the demo was a mistake given the recent deadly school shooting in Florida.

“We removed the demo and regret failing to do so at the start,” Facebook virtual reality vice president Hugo Barra said in a tweet sent from his verified account.

“We got this wrong.”

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Facebook-owned Oculus shows off virtual reality games routinely at conferences, and the shooting content was among standard offerings, including action games with violence, according to Barra.

“These shouldn’t have been present, especially in light of recent events and out of respect for the victims and their families,” Barra said in the tweet.

The Facebook booth at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) near Washington gave attendees opportunities to try Oculus experiences. A video snippet of virtual, first-person gun wielding was posted on Twitter.

Outrage erupted, with people questioning the California-based social network’s morals and whether money mattered more than morals to the platform.

Thousands of Republicans converged on CPAC, where they gather each year to celebrate their causes — and, in 2018, the populist movement that swept Trump into office one year ago.

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But it was impossible to ignore the ever-present tragedy of rampaging gun violence, which has roiled American political discourse and put gun rights advocates and opponents under a hot spotlight.

Florida’s governor meanwhile announced that a police officer will be stationed at every public school in the state as part of a plan to improve security following last week’s deadly high school shooting.

And President Donald Trump repeated his call for arming some of America’s teachers and claimed the controversial proposal was increasingly drawing support.

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2020 Election

William Barr made it clear this week that he’d sign off on a sham investigation into the Dems’ 2020 nominee

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

A perfect storm propelled New York's sleaziest real estate developer to an Electoral College victory in 2016 despite winning three million fewer votes than his opponent, but Nate Silver made a compelling argument that the letter James Comey sent to Congress just 11 days before Election Day announcing that the FBI was re-opening its probe into Hillary Clinton's emails was decisive.

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Bill Barr is serving notice to DOJ officials that he’ll ruin them if they investigate Trump: MSNBC host

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An MSNBC discussion about Bill Barr running interference within the Justice Department for Donald Trump ended with "AM Joy" host Joy Reid suggesting that the attorney general's very public "media blitz" over the so-called "Horowitz Report" is a warning shot to anyone in the DOJ who thinks about investigating the president.

As Reid explained it, "He did a whole TV blitz to basically say that his own agency, the FBI, was spying on the Trump campaign, something that the inspector general said did not happen."

Reid took that to its logical conclusion.

"Now he’s saying, ‘Well, I’ve got a different report that’s going to find the motivations’ that he’s basically saying are bad motivations by people in the FBI.  And if you’re that FBI agent and then you hear that Donald Trump may be again looking for foreign help and maybe again getting help from Russia or forcing help from Ukraine, what do you do?" she asked. "Would you then not be concerned that, should you go ahead and investigate foreign interference in our election, that William Barr may come after you?"

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Stefanik voters turning on GOP lawmaker after she threw away her credibility to defend Trump

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Over the course of the impeachment hearings, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has gone from a relative backbencher who sells herself as a moderate to voters in Upstate New York, to a theatrical partisan grandstanding for President Donald Trump and a top target of ire from Democrats.

But according to Politico, at least some of her voters appear turned off by her new stance.

"While Stefanik once able to strike a delicate balance between her Republican identity and her positions on issues like climate change, some think those earlier convictions are gone, like Phillip Paige, a former Stefanik backer and a member of SUNY Potsdam’s College Republicans," wrote Politico's Anna Gronewald. "A native of the 21st district’s Madrid, New York, Paige said he started to lose faith in Stefanik when she began supporting Trump as the party’s nominee in 2016. Paige supported John Kasich’s candidacy in that election. 'A lot of her boots-on-the-ground young Republican crowd has really become quite disillusioned,' he said. 'We saw her as what we thought the future of the Republican Party was and that really has been disproven. Unless, maybe the future of the Republican party is Donald Trump.'"

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