Monday, August 12, 2019

Last Call For Climate of Disaster, Con't

The Trump regime is gutting the Endangered Species Act across the board, eliminating protections for most species by subjecting them to cost-benefit analysis, as the Trump regime sets up death panels for birds, fish, mammals and plants.

The Trump administration on Monday announced that it would change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, significantly weakening the nation’s bedrock conservation law credited with rescuing the bald eagle, the grizzly bear and the American alligator from extinction.

The changes will make it harder to consider the effects of climate change on wildlife when deciding whether a given species warrants protection. They would most likely shrink critical habitats and, for the first time, would allow economic assessments to be conducted when making determinations.

The rules also make it easier to remove a species from the endangered species list and weaken protections for threatened species, a designation that means they are at risk of becoming endangered.

Overall, the new rules would very likely clear the way for new mining, oil and gas drilling, and development in areas where protected species live.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said the new rules would modernize the Endangered Species Act and increase transparency in its application. “The act’s effectiveness rests on clear, consistent and efficient implementation,” he said in a statement Monday.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement the revisions “fit squarely within the president’s mandate of easing the regulatory burden on the American public, without sacrificing our species’ protection and recovery goals.”

The new rules are expected to appear in the Federal Register this week and will go into effect 30 days after that.

Environmental groups denounced the changes as a disaster for imperiled wildlife. A recent United Nations assessment, they noted, has warned that human pressures are poised to drive one million species into extinction and that protecting land and biodiversity is critical to keep greenhouse gas emissions in check.

Climate change, a lack of environmental stewardship and mass industrialization have all contributed to the enormous expected global nature loss, the United Nations report said.

So yeah, kiss hundreds, if not thousands of species goodbye as we exterminate them so we can get oil and gas out of the ground and continue to exterminate the most endangered species on the planet, human beings.

The worst regime in American history continues unabated.

Deportation Nation, Con't

The Trump regime continues to target not just undocumented immigrants, but legal immigrants in order to drive them out of the country, and the latest effort at tightening the vice grip is automatically denying federal public benefits to legal green card holders if they live in a household that receives SNAP benefits.

Legal immigrants who use public benefits — such as Medicaid, food stamps or housing assistance — could have a tougher time obtaining a green card or U.S. citizenship under a policy change announced Monday that is at the center of the Trump administration’s effort to reduce immigration.

The new policy for “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds,” which appeared Monday on the Federal Register’s website and will take effect in two months, sets new standards for obtaining permanent residency and U.S. citizenship. The Trump administration has been seeking to limit those immigrants who might draw on taxpayer-funded benefits, such as many of those who have been fleeing Central America, while allowing more highly skilled and wealthy immigrants into the United States.

Wealth, education, age and English-language skills will take on greater importance in the process for obtaining a green card, as the change seeks to redefine what it means to be a “public charge,” as well as who is likely to be one under U.S. immigration law.

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told reporters at a White House briefing that his agency is moving to more clearly define a long-standing element of U.S. immigration law.

“Through the public charge rule, President Trump’s administration is reinforcing the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility, ensuring that immigrants are able to support themselves and become successful here in America,” Cuccinelli said.

The move comes as part of a broader effort by the Trump administration to build new bureaucratic obstacles to the U.S. immigration system, at the same time that the president seeks to put physical barriers on the Mexico border. The administration has slashed the number of refugees admitted to the United States, tightened access to the asylum system and expanded the power of the government to detain and deport those lacking legal status.

Analysts say the public charge change could dramatically reduce family-based legal immigration to the United States, particularly from Mexico, Central America and Africa, where economies have been suffering and incomes are lower.
The rule effectively circumvents earlier, failed efforts by the administration to build support in Congress for a similar “merit-based” overhaul to the immigrant visa system, and fulfills a longtime goal of senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller and other immigration hawks who have sought new bureaucratic tools to reduce immigration levels

Understand that Stephen Miller's goal has two parts, one is to end immigration, legal and otherwise, for anyone who is not white.  The other half involves getting rid of as many non-white people already in the country as possible.

It's white supremacy as a national policy.  That's been the case for 400 years, on and off, but it's rarely been so blatant as this, at least in my lifetime.  And for tens of millions of our friends and neighbors and co-workers, that's exactly the policy they want and will vote for.

"But these are the same rules that plenty of other countries use to limit legal immigration."

Yeah, and those countries aren't America, a nation of immigrants.

We are a white supremacist nation ruled by a corrupt white supremacist government.

Our Little Domestic Terrorism Problem, A Brief History

I can't stress enough that the Department of Homeland Security called out our little white supremacist problem a good ten years ago, and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano was pilloried for it as I noted a decade ago...

If you think that's bad, check out CNN's report on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano defending the report that right-wing domestic terrorists may pose a threat to the country. You get no mention that Obama has no plans for gun control legislation at all, only that the report "warned that the groups may use proposed restrictions on firearms" as "recruiting tools" without mentioning that there basically ARE no proposed additional gun control laws at this time. Then you get several paragraphs of verbatim Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage spouting lies, plus some pretty brutal attacks on Napolitano by the American Legion. Only at the very end of the article do you get the truth:

The Obama administration in January issued a warning about left-wing extremists. Both reports were initiated during the administration of President George W. Bush.

The right went berserk over that report.  At Wired back in 2012, Spencer Ackerman profiled Daryl Johnson, the DHS analyst behind that right-wing violence report, and how his career was destroyed as a direct result.

DARYL JOHNSON HAD a sinking feeling when he started seeing TV reports on Sunday about a shooting in a Wisconsin temple. "I told my wife, 'This is likely a hate crime perpetrated by a white supremacist who may have had military experience,'" Johnson recalls.

It was anything but a lucky guess on Johnson's part. He spent 15 years studying domestic terrorist groups – particularly white supremacists and neo-Nazis – as a government counterterrorism analyst, the last six of them at the Department of Homeland Security. There, he even homebrewed his own database on far-right extremist groups on an Oracle platform, allowing his analysts to compile and sift reporting in the media and other law-enforcement agencies on radical and potentially violent groups.

But Johnson's career took an unexpected turn in 2009, when an analysis he wrote on the rise of "Right-Wing Extremism" (.pdf) sparked a political controversy. Under pressure from conservatives, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) repudiated Johnson's paper – an especially bitter pill for him to swallow now that Wade Michael Page, a suspected white supremacist, killed at least six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. For Johnson, the shooting was a reminder that the government's counterterrorism efforts are almost exclusively focused on al-Qaida, even as non-Islamist groups threaten Americans domestically.

"DHS is scoffing at the mission of doing domestic counterterrorism, as is Congress," Johnson tells Danger Room. "There've been no hearings about the rising white supremacist threat, but there's been a long list of attacks over the last few years. But they still hold hearings about Muslim extremism. It's out of balance." But even if that balance was reset, he concedes, that doesn't necessarily mean the feds could have found Page before Sunday's rampage.

What I'm trying to tell you is that the fact that the Obama DHS folded completely on the notion of tracking white supremacist terrorists in law enforcement, the military, groups like the Three Percenters and Promise Keepers and in neo-Nazi and skinhead hate groups as a major domestic terror threat isn't news.

Why the NY Times is reporting it as news, I don't know.

Not long after Barack Obama took office in 2009, a Homeland Security Department analyst produced a report presciently predicting that the deep economic downturn, the rise of social media and the election of the first black president would combine to make race-driven extremism a growing and serious threat to national security.

But when the report was made public, it ignited a storm of protest, mostly from the right. Mike Pompeo, then a Republican congressman from Kansas and now secretary of state, said focusing on domestic terrorism was a “dangerous” undertaking born of political correctness that denied “the threat that radical Islamic terrorism poses.”

Inside the Obama administration there was concern that highlighting the issue would only fuel white supremacist conspiracy theories or give unwarranted publicity to fringe figures, according to six former administration officials.

Within weeks, Janet Napolitano, then the homeland security secretary, rescinded the threat assessment. The report’s primary author left the government, and the department’s unit dedicated to tracking domestic terrorism was essentially disbanded.

A decade later, there is clear evidence that violence by white extremists is an undeniable and intensifying problem, especially after the racially motivated mass shooting in El Paso. But the question of how the government should attack domestic extremism, especially white supremacists, remains as politically fraught as ever, if for far different reasons, under President Trump.

Federal law enforcement has been tracking the rise of domestic terrorism. The F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, told lawmakers last month that the bureau had arrested almost as many domestic terrorists as foreign terrorists this year. He said most of the racially motivated domestic terrorism cases were probably connected to white supremacy.

But a look at the experience of the Homeland Security Department, which is responsible for collecting data on and analyzing threats to the United States, shows how political considerations have constrained efforts to give the problem more prominence and develop policies to counter it.

During the Obama years, the pressure to minimize the problem came largely from outside the administration, primarily from Republicans who saw it as a diversion from fighting Islamic extremism but also to a lesser degree from people on the left concerned about the implications for the civil liberties of American citizens.

Under Mr. Trump, the skepticism is rooted inside the White House

Officials at the department have felt they could not broach topics like domestic terrorism and white supremacist violence with Mr. Trump because he was not interested in those concerns, two people familiar with deliberations inside the administration said.

At one point, Kirstjen Nielsen, then the homeland security secretary, sought a regular meeting with Mr. Trump to brief him on a variety of topics including domestic terrorism, but her proposal was rejected by the White House, a person with knowledge of the effort said.

Ahh, and now we get to the root of the problem.

Republicans have been protecting white supremacists long before Donald Trump ever set foot in the Oval Office.

It's easy to blame Obama, and there's plenty of blame to share and fingers to point at Democrats.

But the GOP has been on the side of these organizations for years now.  And now, these guys are shooting up Walmarts and schools and streets and outdoor concerts and festivals, all in an effort to rack up a kill count in the name of white power.

One party sadly underestimated the threat and made the honest choice to bow to civil liberties issues.

One party actively sided with the terrorists.

There's a difference.


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