Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Last Call For Our Little Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

Because the white nationalist in the White House doesn't consider white supremacist groups to be an actual threat (after all, they're allies, and why would he care if they shot up a few mosques or synagogues, they're not Trump voters anyway) the Department of Homeland Security has now completely disbanded the intelligence task force unit looking into white supremacists groups in the US.

The Department of Homeland Security has disbanded a group of intelligence analysts who focused on domestic terrorism, The Daily Beast has learned. Numerous current and former DHS officials say they find the development concerning, as the threat of homegrown terrorism—including white supremacist terrorism—is growing.

In the wake of this move, officials said the number of analytic reports produced by DHS about domestic terrorism, including the threat from white supremacists, has dropped significantly. People in and close to the department said this has generated significant concern at headquarters.

“It’s especially problematic given the growth in right-wing extremism and domestic terrorism we are seeing in the U.S. and abroad,” one former intelligence official told The Daily Beast.

The group in question was a branch of analysts in DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A). They focused on the threat from homegrown violent extremists and domestic terrorists. The analysts there shared information with state and local law enforcement to help them protect their communities from these threats.

Then the Trump administration’s new I&A chief, David Glawe, began reorganizing the office, which is the DHS component that has a place in the Intelligence Community. Over the course of the reorganization, the branch of I&A focused on domestic terrorism got eighty-sixed and its analysts were reassigned to new positions. The change happened last year, and has not been previously reported.

“We’ve noticed I&A has significantly reduced their production on homegrown violent extremism and domestic terrorism while those remain among the most serious terrorism threats to the homeland,” said one DHS official.

Former officials pointed to a spate of domestic terror attacks in recent years as evidence that DHS erred by shuttering this branch. From the massacre that left 11 people dead at a Pittsburgh synagogue to a shooting targeting Republican members of Congress in June 2018 to bomb threats that a deranged Trump fandirected at prominent Democrats and CNN, violent attacks informed by homegrown hatred have left Americans increasingly terrorized.

Meanwhile, the DHS has been tracking Black Lives Matter activists for years, and still hasn't done a thing about the mysterious deaths of six Ferguson, Missouri black men tied to Black Lives Matter.

If nobody's there to report it was going to happen, nobody can take note that Trump should be responsible for his own deadly rhetoric.

The Party Of Corruption, Con't

If you're wondering how the NC GOP was so corrupt that it would allow Mark Harris to nearly get away with stealing an election, it's because NC GOP party chair and former Congressman Robin Hayes is a corrupt as they come, and today the piper paid him a visit.

A federal grand jury has indicted multiple people in connection with an ongoing investigation involving donations made to the North Carolina Republican Party.

NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes, who spent a decade in Congress representing a district that stretched from the Charlotte area to Fayetteville, surrendered himself to authorities and made a first appearance at the US Courthouse in Charlotte on Monday

The charges center around a wealthy Durham businessman named Greg Lindberg, who has been under the microscope of federal investigators for white collar crimes related to his business empire and, later, for contributions he made to politicians in North Carolina.

Lindberg was also indicted and made a first appearance in court. Two other people who worked for Lindberg, John Gray and John Palermo, also appeared in court in connection two the indictments.

Lindberg made sizeable contributions to both political parties, campaign finance records show, including a six-figure contribution to the North Carolina Democratic Party and nearly $2 million to the North Carolina Republican Party.

A portion of Lindberg’s contribution to the NCGOP—$240,000 –was then forwarded to North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, who is also a Republican.

In October, NCGOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse confirmed to WBTV that the party sent Causey the money but said it was legal because, he said, the party steered the money to Causey after Lindberg made the contribution.

In March, WBTV reported that Causey made a secret recording of a meeting between Lindberg, an associate, Causey and Hayes.

During the meeting, multiple sources familiar with the recording told WBTV, Lindberg and Hayes reached an agreement for the NCGOP to pass $240,000 of Lindberg’s contribution to Causey’s campaign.

An attorney for Lindberg has not responded to messages from WBTV seeking comment.

Lindberg was the NCGOP's personal slush fund manager, in other words.  And it looks like he's taking Hayes with him.  Hayes's charges include wire fraud, false statements, and bribery as he was taking cash in order to then direct money with federally funded programs to benefit donors like Lindberg, and then aiding and abetting a criminal conspiracy to tie all that together in defrauding the NC Insurance Commission.

Stay tuned.  A lot of people are going down over this back home.

As The Vote Goes In Ohio

Ohioans could vote this fall on a measure to award the presidency to the candidate who wins the national popular vote — regardless of which candidate wins the Buckeye State.

The proposed constitutional amendment, if approved, would bypass the electoral college by apparently authorizing Ohio’s membership in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

But several more states still must approve the measure for it to potentially impact the 2020 presidential race between Republican incumbent Donald Trump and a Democratic challenger.

Since 2006, the District of Columbia and 13 states with 184 electoral votes have enacted a popular-vote measure into law. States representing 86 more electoral votes are needed to reach the majority of 270 Electoral College votes to guarantee the most-popular candidate becomes president. Ohio has 18 winner-take-all electoral votes.

It would bring the total closer. If states with pending legislation to join the compact like Florida, Georgia, NC, and another state or two join along with Ohio (like Indiana, Minnesota, Arizona or SC) that will put the total number of electoral votes in the Compact over 270, and if those are the states involved, Clinton would have won in 2016 just based on Florida, NC, Georgia, and Ohio.

How far this will get before Republicans tie it up in legal duct tape, I have no clue.  But it's got a far better shot than abolishing the electoral college, which would take a full Constitutional amendment to overcome.


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