Relax, y’all. The House of Representatives is taking care of business with this whole Russia thing. No, really, they’re taking care of businesses in the energy sector with a new report from the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Finally, the GOP is coming to the defense of the American people. “American people” is a cute nickname the GOP has for oil and gas companies.
Somehow a tweet from Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas ended up in my Twitter timeline. He’s one of the five million right-wingers with Southern accents. Cotton is mostly famous for that little side hustle where he tried to start a war with Iran. Here is Cotton’s tweet that links to the SST committee’s report called “The Russians Hurt My Boyfriend, The Energy Market.”
It’s heartening to see the GOP finally admitting that Russia has been running active measures on Americans by exploiting social media since, erm… the 80s? So, let’s take a look at the report from Cotton’s House buddies about what those mean Russians were up to, trying to bully our little fracking industry.
The report opens up by telling us that Chairman Lamar Smith (TX) wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin about Russian money-laundering schemes and how agents funneled money to U.S. environmental organizations to portray energy companies in a negative light. (Hillary Clinton: Bless their hearts.) Mnuchin is best known for marrying a woman who hashtag-brags on Instagram about scarves and does kinky stuff with hundred dollar bills. In the letter, Smith cites a former UN guy and mentions that even U.S. Presidential Candidates (Hillary Clinton) think Russia is backing anti-fracking environmentalist groups. How did he know that Hillary Clinton said that?
Because he got it from Russian front group, Wikileaks, that’s how. Smith has two different citations from articles sourced on the hacked emails that Russia stole and published through Wikileaks. I can’t put my finger on it but something is off here. Is it ethical to use a component of Russian active measures on us to warn us about Russian active measures?
GOP: Ethical? Who dat?
The letter goes on and tells us that social media platforms were used to exploit existing divisions in the U.S. in order to influence our energy markets, which I believe because half the Dakota Pipeline protest pictures came from Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein fans who have all unfollowed me on Twitter. *waves to BernieBros* Sorry I said he needs to go away and take up knitting. Also, Jill Stein can fuck off.
The report goes on with much of the same and gives us some findings about one of the Russian companies indicted by Robert Mueller, Internet Research Agency. Evidently, more than 4% of IRA tweets were related to energy or environmental issues. Only 8% of IRA tweets were related to the U.S. election so the report argues that 4% is way more important than it sounds. What was IRA tweeting about the other 92% of the time? Looking for a citation…looking…and there’s not one. It’s not in the Mueller indictment either so I guess it was info that Twitter gave the committee and we’ll just have to take Lamar Smith’s word for it.
GOP: Why won’t don’t you trust me? Will you help me find my puppy now?
Next page is about how U.S. fracking is threatening the Kremlin agenda and gives some boring numbers about the U.S. energy production boom which is super exciting for energy companies. Wait. I’m forgetting the point of this report. Right. Russia tried to sow political division and influence U.S. energy markets. It seems like they only succeeded in the political division part so it’s weird that this report is so worried about the energy market’s hurt feelings.
GOP: Hath not a gas company feelings? If you prick them, do they not bleed?
More bragging about our production and how we’re going to beat the Russians in energy blah, blah. Yay!
GOP: Isn’t this a good commercial?
Oh my god. This is an ad for the U.S. energy market disguised as something else. It’s like the Lego Movie but not as boring.
Okay, I’m on board with most of this commercial because I suspect the whole reason Russia screwed with our election is that they wanted sanctions lifted so Putin and his buddies could make a shit ton of cash selling oil and gas. Luckily for them, Trump appears to be ignoring sanctions.
GOP: Sank shuns? Whut?
We’re then treated to more or less a reprint of the first letter where Lamar Smith gets help from Wikileaks again to prove his point which I think is, “See? See? Hillary said something, so it must be true, right??”
This report is doing a very good job of telling us that Russia was pushing the anti-fracking movement. The logic here is that if Russia says fracking is bad, fracking must be good. So, by this little-known Newton’s Law, Hillary Clinton should be President.
GOP: *cocks head* Derp?
They further support the point about how the U.S. energy agenda (frequently referred to as Let This Motherf*cker Burn) clashes with Putin’s energy agenda by citing Senator Ben Cardin’s recent minority report on Russian manipulation of media and environmental NGOs. etc. The Cardin report is long but fascinating. It’s also the report that tells us about the Kremlin’s cozy relationship with the NRA.
GOP: Report? Who dis?
More examples of tweets and pics then a little page defending poor energy company victims followed by more pics. Wait. We’re at the conclusion part. Where is the nuclear-freeze 80s thing?
“Based upon the findings detailed above, it is clear that Russian agents are using social media to influence and impact U.S. energy markets.”
How is that clear? How have they influenced energy markets? Seriously, the pipelines are being built and the Trump administration is implementing an energy policy written by drunks who like to smash tequila bottles over the heads of white rhinos. The Russian influence campaign has succeeded in sowing political divisions, yes, but the GOP and their boyfriend, Energy Market, seem to be okay.
I’m glad that GOP members of Congress are at least acknowledging that we have a problem with an ongoing Russian influence campaign. Maybe they’ve given up on the “bleeeargh..unmasking…but mah FISA” deflection. Hopefully, they can convince their President to take Russian interference seriously.
GOP: LOL. Sucker.
My guard is up on this report even if I’m moderately grateful it’s out there. It seems to be setting the stage to frame future environmentalist efforts as Russian propaganda. Perhaps I’m just being cynical because I do agree that “the American people deserve to be free from foreign political interference.”
So, why not, I don’t know, do something to make sure we’re free of foreign political influence for reasons besides protecting the energy market’s bottom line?
GOP: See this report? This is the doing something part. Whar’s mah cookie?
Me: WHERE IS THE PART ABOUT THE NUCLEAR FREEZE, TOM?
Tom Cotton: You’re so mean! *weeps for boyfriend and eats pint of Phish Food*