scharrison's blog

Edward Snowden granted Russian citizenship

After hiding out there for nine years:

“Edward received a Russian passport yesterday and took the oath in accordance with the law,” lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency. “He is, of course, happy, thanking the Russian Federation for the fact that he received citizenship,” he continued. “And most importantly, under the Constitution of Russia, he can no longer be extradited to a foreign state.”

Snowden, 39, is wanted by Washington on espionage charges. He argues that his actions were in the interests of the United States. In any case, his revelations exposed the breadth of U.S. digital spying programs and altered the public’s understanding of technology, privacy and digital security.

Whether you consider him a hero or a traitor, the fact he's being treated so well by Putin while Brittney Griner is struggling to survive in a gulag in Mordovia should at least raise one eyebrow. But maybe not. Americans love to compartmentalize. This is as good a time as any to review what Snowden did to earn his notoriety:

Happy Thanksgiving open thread

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Jive Turkey would like to take a few moments to explain where his name comes from. He says it means somebody who is cool, stylish, and popular. But that's because he is a Jive Turkey and doesn't understand the true meaning, which is: a person who is vile, deceitful, pompous, and engages in deceptive, exaggerated, and meaningless talk. Some prime examples are Donald Trump and Herschel Walker, and the latter has been lying about his (nonexistent) college degree for several years now:

Say hello to your corporate landlords

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And goodbye to your already strained budget:

JLL Income Property Trust waded deeper into the single-family rental trend, launching a new program that plans to acquire up to $500M in single-family homes over the next two years, alongside development and operating platform Amherst. JLL will hold a 95% ownership in the venture, with Amherst holding the remaining 5%.

"Single-family rental homes are one of our highest conviction property sectors given numerous tailwinds that should provide resilient demand and the potential for attractive rent growth within this carefully selected portfolio," JLL Income Property Trust President and CEO Allan Swaringen said in a press release.

Bolding mine, because that goes to the core of the problem with investor-owned residential properties: the constant drive to line the pockets of shareholders on the backs of families struggling to make ends meet. And it's no surprise they are giddy that Republicans are taking over the (US) House:

Please vote for Lucy Inman for NC Supreme Court

Her opponent Richard Dietz doesn't believe in gun control:

It is not often that one has the opportunity to hear a talk by someone who has argued before the Supreme Court of the United States. Through the email newsletter of a local gun store and range, Pro Shots, I was fortunate to learn of such an opportunity here in my home town on May 1st. Richard Dietz, a local attorney, spoke at the monthly meeting of the Forsyth County Republican Party about his experience arguing on behalf of the petitioner in Abramski v. United States (No. 12-1493) in January 2014.

Bolding mine, because yes, that is Ted Budd's gun store/range. This blog was written two years before Budd was groomed by Club For Growth and squeezed through the 2016 Republican Primary for Congress with 20% of the vote. Dietz was appointed to the (NC) Court of Appeals later that year (2014) by Pat McCrory, and he's been riding that seat ever since. Here's more on the Abramski case:

Notes from the Kakistocracy: Trump EPA spoiled this Virgin island

The residents of St. Croix are living with a ticking time-bomb:

The idled plant on St. Croix, formerly known as the Limetree Bay refinery, experienced a series of accidents over the course of last year that spewed noxious fumes and showered oil droplets onto nearby homes, sending some residents to emergency rooms. Now deteriorating conditions at the massive facility, which was sold in a bankruptcy auction in December, pose a major test of the Biden administration’s commitment to environmental justice.

In September, the EPA conducted an inspection of the refinery and observed “significant corrosion” of equipment including valves, pipes and pressure relief devices, the agency said in a letter sent to the owners’ lawyers Oct. 13 and made public this week.

This facility was originally constructed over 50 years ago, and has been shut down several times for various reasons. But the Trump administration's negligent approach to environmental stewardship created an opportunity to squeeze more dollars out of it:

Right-wing conspiracy theorist breaks into Pelosi home

Attacking her husband Paul with a hammer:

Last year, David DePape posted links on his Facebook page to multiple videos produced by My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell falsely alleging that the 2020 election was stolen. Other posts included transphobic images and linked to websites claiming Covid vaccines were deadly. “The death rates being promoted are what ever ‘THEY’ want to be promoted as the death rate,” one post read.

He also posted content about the “Great Reset”– the sprawling conspiracy theory that global elites are using coronavirus to usher in a new world order in which they gain more power and oppress the masses.

It looks like Paul will make a full recovery, but if I had any doubts about an earlier declaration today to boycott Twitter (including here on BlueNC), this attack quashed those doubts. Elon Musk has already inspired the nut-jobs to slide out from under their rocks and spew their hateful and dangerous rhetoric:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

This, all day long. The roadmap has been in place for a long time, but Republicans refuse to take part. If they were just twiddling their thumbs, it would be bad enough. But they're shoveling tons of taxpayer dollars into private school vouchers, while lowballing public schools. Their legacy of bad behavior will haunt us for decades.

Trump faces subpoena from Jan 6 Committee

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It's time to put up or shut up, dude:

While the subpoena was anticipated, it is a remarkable escalation in the investigation into whether the deadly violence on Jan. 6 was the direct result of Trump’s actions in the weeks after he lost his bid for reelection.

“As demonstrated in our hearings, we have assembled overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and staff, that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multipart effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to obstruct the peaceful transition of power,” Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) and vice chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in a statement, part of a 10-page letter to Trump.

It's no coincidence that Steve Bannon was just sentenced to 4 months in prison for Contempt of Congress at roughly the same time this subpoena was issued:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

And there are considerably more early voting sites this year than the last mid-term election. But you should go early (early), because there will likely be long lines. Gerry has a link to all the locations right here:

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