Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Last Call For Deportation Nation, Con't

It's the Trump regime way: create a crisis, profit from it, then make it worse.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is charged with caring for unaccompanied migrant children, is "scaling back" or canceling activities at shelters, citing the need for more resources. 
A swell of migrants crossing the southern border has overwhelmed the agency's facilities, which house unaccompanied children until they are placed with a sponsor in the United States. The shelters provide schooling and activities for the children during their stay, but the increase of children arriving to the border has strained the department's resources. 
"This week, ORR instructed grantees to begin scaling back or discontinuing awards for (unaccompanied minors) activities that are not directly necessary for the protection of life and safety, including education services, legal services, and recreation," Evelyn Stauffer, spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, said in a statement. 
The Washington Post first reported the decision to scale back or stop some programs.
The office receives referrals from the Department of Homeland Security, which tries to move unaccompanied children out of its custody within 72 hours. 
As of April 30, the office has been sent around 40,900 children this fiscal year, putting the agency on track to care for the largest number of unaccompanied children in the program's history.

Forty. Thousand.  Kids.

And Trump is taking away everything that makes them human.

Adam Serwer was right.  The cruelty is the point.

But the real cruelty will begin when these kids are deported back to their countries of origin with no family and no hope.

Russian To Judgment, Con't

In what shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, it turns out that Russia's infiltration of Twitter ahead, during, and after the 2016 election was far worse than reported and we're seeing the exact same warning signs now as Russia is using social media to manipulate Americans' political stances on specific candidates.

Russia's infamous troll farm conducted a campaign on Twitter before the 2016 elections that was larger, more coordinated and more effective than previously known, researchfrom cybersecurity firm Symantec out Wednesday concluded.

The Internet Research Agency campaign may not only have had more sway — reaching large numbers of real users — than previously thought, it also demonstrated ample patience and might have generated income for some of the phony accounts, Symantec found. 
The company analyzed a massive data set Twitter released in October 2018 on nearly 3,900 accounts and 10 million tweets.

The research discovered that the average lag between account creation and first tweet was 177 days. The most retweeted account garnered 6 million retweets, and less than 2,000 of those came from within the IRA-linked network of accounts. The huge delay points to a lot of patient preparation, and the retweets indicate that a lot of unaffiliated Twitter users were amplifying the IRA's message.

While most of the accounts were automated, they frequently demonstrated evidence of manual manipulation, such as slight wording changes in an apparent bid to dodge detection, according to Symantec.

"While this propaganda campaign has often been referred to as the work of trolls, the release of the dataset makes it obvious that it was far more than that," the company wrote. "It was planned months in advance and the operators had the resources to create and manage a vast disinformation network."

Some accounts also appeared to generate revenue via URL shorteners, with one account even earning as much as $1 million, although those were apparently rogue accounts operating outside the IRA's main mission.

The research also found that the accounts played to both sides of the aisle more than previously believed, and that most of them were fakes pretending to be regional news outlets, while a smaller subset amplified those messages.

"The campaign directed propaganda at both sides of the liberal/conservative political divide in the U.S., in particular the more disaffected elements of both camps," Symantec found.

And the company warned in the closing message of its study: "The sheer scale and impact of this propaganda campaign is obviously of deep concern to voters in all countries, who may fear a repeat of what happened in the lead-up to the U.S. presidential election in 2016."

And remember, Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are doing everything they can to block any and all efforts to harden US internet against Russian operations like this.

They fully expect Russia to win them power again in 2020.  And Russia did such a good job that they actually made substantial Twitter ad revenue off the platform.  No wonder Twitter didn't bother to shut them down until last year.

Revenge Is A Dish Best Served In Senate Confirmations

You know you're screwed when Senate Republicans are openly predicting that you'll never get Senate confirmation for a Trump regime immigration job, but that's where former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli finds himself this week.

Ken Cuccinelli has spent years attacking Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans. Now, it’s time for payback.

President Donald Trump wants Cuccinelli, who most recently led the anti-establishment Senate Conservatives Fund, to be director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. But there may be nobody in Washington whom McConnell and his allies would take more pleasure in defeating, and the bottom line is Cuccinelli has little chance of getting approved for the job, Republican senators said.

“He’s spent a fair amount of his career attacking Republicans in the Senate, so it strikes me as an odd position for him to put himself in to seek Senate confirmation,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who ran the GOP’s campaign arm for two election cycles. “It’s unlikely he’s going to be confirmed if he is nominated.”

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the Senate GOP’s chief vote-counter, called the bid “a long shot,” adding, “They’ll go forward with it or they won’t, but I will suspect he’ll have plenty of obstacles once he gets here.”

The nascent nomination fight is again pitting the president against his own party in Congress. Just this spring, because of strong and very public opposition from Senate Republicans, Trump yanked his two preferred picks for the Federal Reserve’s board of governors before they even had been formally nominated.

And immigration has been a particular sore spot: Every leadership position at the Department of Homeland Security related to immigration is filled only by people serving in an acting capacity — and White House officials are mulling the prospect of having Cuccinelli do the same.
Some senators are still hoping to persuade Trump not to formally nominate or appoint Cuccinelli, but if the president goes through with it, the former Virginia attorney general likely will be either rejected or blocked from a floor vote entirely.

White House officials said Cuccinelli, always spoiling for a fight, is enthusiastic about another clash with McConnell. In a statement for this story, Cuccinelli showed no signs of backing down.

“My focus right now is on achieving President Trump’s immigration goals. It would certainly be my hope that senators’ primary interest is in the accomplishment of policy rather than politics,” he said.

While it's definitely amusing to see the Cooch get what's coming to him, never forget that the real issue is that the Trump regime continues to create a massive immigration crisis that has already cost the lives of refugee children, and they don't care how many families and lives they destroy if it opens the door to using force to hunt down undocumented immigrants in the country and round them up for deportation or worse.

Cuccinelli is there to make sure this happens, and he's chomping at the bit to do so.
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