Our “august” body of U.S. senators began work on the controversial Cybersecurity Act last week with an overwhelming vote of 84 to 11 to debate it before leaving town for another long weekend back in their home states.
The bipartisan vote was achieved after its main sponsors, Senators Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Susan Collins, R-Maine, negotiated a new major provision that changes wording that would have mandated businesses to report and share data with the feds into a supposedly less onerous voluntary requirement.
Much of the cybersecurity bill still authorizes the heavy hand of Janet “Big Sis” Napolitano and her Department of Homeland Security as the overreaching “Big Brother,” and would “nudge” or incentivize America’s businesses to “voluntarily” opt in to share information. For the good of our national security, of course.
The 11 senators who voted against proceeding to the bill are leery that the “voluntary” provisions will eventually, inevitably and ultimately become mandatory once subsequent regulations are written after the bill becomes law, presuming that the bill does become law.
Inside Senate baseball
The 11 who voted against proceeding to the bill are GOP except for Max Baucus, D-Mont., and his state colleague John Tester. Tester, challenged in a tight race by Montana’s sole House Representative member Denny Rehberg, might have needed cover from Baucus for his vote against proceeding to debate because the cybersecurity bill will be a vehicle for an additional amendment that will weaken our 2nd Amendment rights.
Democrat senators are seizing the opportunity to hang a totally unrelated anti-gun measure on this cybersecurity Christmas tree, which would limit the purchase of high-capacity gun magazines.
Freedom Outpost reports that Senate amendment 2575 was sponsored by Democrats Frank Lautenberg, N.J., Barbara Boxer, Calif., Jack Reed, R.I., Bob Menendez, N.J., Kirsten Gillibrand, N.Y., Chuck Schumer, N.Y., and Dianne Feinstein, Calif.
These liberal senators are looking to make it illegal to transfer or posses large capacity devices that feed guns more than 10 rounds, with the exception of .22 caliber rim fire ammunition. Apparently you can have a 1,000-round drum of those on your weapon and you’re OK.
Skinning the cat
Veteran Hill watchers believe that current opposition from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce could lead to this bill dying in the GOP-led House of Representatives later this summer.
If the bill does pass the Senate but languishes in the House, watch out! Here’s a little trick known to insiders familiar with legislative “options” or “finding another way skin a cat”: Congress has yet to reauthorize the Intelligence community for the upcoming fiscal year. In this environment, the Intelligence Authorization Bill typically has little debate because of the top secret nature of the agencies it authorizes. So here’s the million dollar question: Could an even stronger cybersecurity bill quietly end up being part of the Intelligence authorization bill early this fall?
The same proposed cybersecurity bill contains consumer “candy,” an amendment that would give Facebook users the ability to share videos they have watched on Netflix. Facebookers already can reveal songs and articles.
Other amendments have been appended to the proposed legislation. The Senate takes up the Cybersecurity Act for debate and amendments this week.
Many catching Olympics on mobile devices
When it comes to the 17-day extravaganza known as the Olympics, CNN reports that this year, 40 percent of us “plan to follow the games on more than one device, with 35 percent checking in on their tablets and 27 percent using their smart phone, according to a new study by Harris Interactive.”
CNN has listed the five best ways you can follow the Olympics online: TV; apps for mobile devices including iPhone and Android; social media; online via NBCOlympics.com; and livestream. Find all the details here.
“#Restoring Love” goes viral on Twitter. Legacy media ignores.
Last weekend I attended the Glenn Beck-produced three-day “Restoring Love” event in Dallas, Texas. As reported in The Blaze, “#RestoringLove” was among the top 10 trending topics of conversation worldwide for most of Saturday night. The culminating event, which attracted a sold out crowd 80,000 attendees to Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, emphasized the ideals of charity, freedom and faith.
Twitter documents what people are talking about primarily through hashtags. Ideas or events become symbolized by putting a “#” in front of them.
Apple and Twitter pie?
Apple has reportedly been on the line, chirping with Twitter about investing in it. According to a published report, the move is a strategic one for Apple, which has already been incorporating Twitter features into its iPhone, iPad and computer software. It is also reported that Twitter has put more resources into managing its relationship with Apple.
Was it “hate speech” when they did it to “W”?
Have they forgotten what it was like when President George W. Bush was maligned in the realm of social media?
A recent study conducted by Baylor University and reported by TechNewsDaily claims that racism and hate speech is alive and well on Facebook, albeit in small numbers.
More than 20 Facebook groups and “pages” were analyzed, using the keywords, “hate,” “Barack Obama,” and “Michelle Obama” to identify them.
“Some people have declared the present a ‘post-racial’ era in that U.S. citizens elected a black president, maintaining that policies to address racism are no longer necessary,” Mia Moody, Ph.D., who led the Baylor study, said in a statement. “But depictions of minorities in new media show otherwise.”
Apparently. photos and photoshops of our 43rd president depicted as Hitler, beheaded, hanged, fanged and burned in effigy were rampant, especially during his second term. Was that considered “hate” speech by the left?
‘A little bummed out’
“They are probably a little bummed out right now,” says Herman Leung, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group.
Talking in an interview as reported by Bloomberg News, Leung said, “Facebook has to balance more of a fine line between delivering numbers for Wall Street and deciding how much monetization it’s going to push toward impacting its user base.”
What he was referring to is news that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune is shrinking as Facebook’s share price drops from $13.7 billion to $12.1 billion in the 2nd quarter. Think Zuck will be living under a bridge any time soon?