Monday, November 4, 2019

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

Hey look, another White supremacist neo-Nazi terrorist looking to kill Jews, luckily stopped by the FBI before he could poison or blow up a synagogue possibly killing hundreds.

The FBI says it has prevented what it believes was an attempt to commit a major hate crime in Colorado. A known white supremacist named Richard Holzer arrested late Friday night in an alleged plot to blow up Temple Emanuel in Pueblo, according to newly unsealed federal court documents
“Federal law enforcement working in conjunction with the Pueblo Police Department has successfully stopped what we believe to be an imminent threat of domestic terrorism against a Colorado religious institution,” said Jason Dunn, United States Attorney for the District of Colorado. 
“According to the complaint affidavit, Mr. Holzer self-identifies as a skinhead and a white supremacist. During the investigation, FBI agents became aware of racist, anti-Semitic and threatening statements made by Mr. Holzer on social media. Mr. Holzer repeatedly expressed his hatred of Jewish people and his support of a racial holy war,” Dunn said. “(He) indicated that he wanted to do something that would let Jewish people in the Pueblo community know that they are not welcome and that — according to him, they should leave or they will die.” 
An FBI “Online Covert Employee” made contact with Holzer, 27, on Facebook. She said Holzer sent her buttons with swastikas and other items. He reportedly told her he used to be with the Ku Klux Klan. 
In the affidavit, FBI investigators said Holzer, who lives in Pueblo, used several Facebook accounts “to promote white supremacy ideology and acts of violence.”

I'm glad the FBI is finally paying attention to these bastards, but it's hard when they're Trump's most loyal base, and he keeps encouraging them to cause violence and death at his hate rallies.

Still, lives were saved this week from the trifecta of domestic terror, a skinhead, an anti-semite, and a klansman.  Why this guy was walking free until now, well, I guess he nearly blow up a temple before anyone was willing to stop him.

That Poll-Asked Look, Con't

A new Siena College/NY Times poll of six battleground states finds if the other 44 states and DC have the same 2016 results, Donald Trump would lose to Joe Biden 318-220 among likely voters, but he would beat Bernie Sanders 280-248 with Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes a tossup, and would crush Liz Warren with the same results from 2016, minus Arizona as a toss-up.

Despite low national approval ratings and the specter of impeachment, President Trump remains highly competitive in the battleground states likeliest to decide his re-election, according to a set of new surveys from The New York Times Upshot and Siena College.

Across the six closest states that went Republican in 2016, he trails Joe Biden by an average of two points among registered voters but stays within the margin of error.

Mr. Trump leads Elizabeth Warren by two points among registered voters, the same margin as his win over Hillary Clinton in these states three years ago.

The poll showed Bernie Sanders deadlocked with the president among registered voters, but trailing among likely voters.

The results suggest that Ms. Warren, who has emerged as a front-runner for the Democratic nomination, might face a number of obstacles in her pursuit of the presidency. The poll supports concerns among some Democrats that her ideology and gender — including the fraught question of “likability” — could hobble her candidacy among a crucial sliver of the electorate. And not only does she underperform her rivals, but the poll also suggests that the race could be close enough for the difference to be decisive.

In national polls, Mr. Trump’s political standing has appeared to be in grave jeopardy. His approval ratings have long been in the low 40s, and he trails Mr. Biden by almost nine points in a national polling average. But as the 2016 race showed, the story in the battleground states can be quite different. Mr. Trump won the election by sweeping Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina — even while losing the national vote by two points.

Democrats would probably need to win three of the six states to win the White House, assuming other states voted as they did in 2016 — an outcome that is not at all assured.

Having a likely voter model a year away from an election with impeachment in play is an...interesting choice.  But the fact all of these results are within the margin of error shows that Trump is going to get smashed in blue states, but still can play in battleground states.

Here's the big issue:

The major demographic cleavages of the 2016 election also remain intact. Mr. Trump struggles badly among college-educated white voters and nonwhite voters, though there are signs his standing among the latter group has improved modestly since the last presidential election. He counters with a wide lead among white voters who did not graduate from a four-year college.

In contrast to recent national surveys, the Times/Siena polls find that the president’s lead among white, working-class voters nearly matches his decisive advantage from 2016. This group represents nearly half of registered voters in these states, and a majority in the Northern battlegrounds that decided the last election.
The poll offers little evidence that any Democrat, including Mr. Biden, has made substantial progress toward winning back the white working-class voters who defected to the president in 2016, at least so far. All the leading Democratic candidates trail in the precincts or counties that voted for Barack Obama and then flipped to Mr. Trump.
That's the key.  If Trump is keeping non-college white voters, and is actually doing slightly better among non-white voters, then he wins.


BUT.  And there's a huge but here...

The other 44 states and DC?  I don't think they're going to be the same as 2016.  I don't think that at all.  I think Trump is in real trouble in Iowa and Georgia.  If the electoral college map follows Trump's state-by-state approval ratings, he loses 358-180, a crushing defeat.

I don't buy this poll's likely voter model.

Not at all.  Two-thirds of Americans say Trump has not personally made their lives better off since being elected.  2016 is not 2020, and pretending it is is stupid.

This poll does precisely that.  Besides, it has Trump getting like 15% of the black vote.

Not happening.  This poll is garbage.

The Reach To Impeach, Con't

The White House is blocking any more testimony of executive branch officials in House Democratic impeachment depositions, as four scheduled depositions will go ignored today, despite House Democratic subpoena threats.

Four White House officials slated for closed-door depositions Monday are not expected to show up on Capitol Hill despite the threat of subpoena from the committees leading the growing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump related to Ukraine, multiple senior-level sources told ABC News.

House Democrats have a packed schedule this week as depositions continue behind closed doors.

On Monday, Democrats had hoped to hear from four current White House officials, including John Eisenberg, deputy counsel to the president for National Security Affairs; Michael Ellis, senior associate counsel to the president; Robert Blair, a top aide to the chief of staff; and Brian McCormack, an official with the office of management and budget.

Two of those officials, Eisenberg and McCormack, have already been subpoenaed for their respective depositions. Ellis and Blair have only been requested to appear at this time.

The White House has pushed back on permitting current and former officials to comply with requests and subpoenas from Congress in part because White House lawyers have not been permitted inside the closed-door interviews.

Current National Security Council adviser Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and former National Security Council aide Tim Morrison did comply with congressional requests last week, however, they are career officials and not political appointees like the four individuals slated for Monday.

Two of the individuals subpoenaed are filing suits with federal judges to determine who has priority, the White House, citing executive privilege over any testimony, or the House Democratic committee subpoenas.  Those cases aren't expected to be heard until December at the earliest, meaning that the Trump regime efforts to stonewall impeachment proceedings to a complete halt may end up working after all.

It looks like Trump wants any and all testimony from "his employees" to end, permanently.

The anticipated defiance toward impeachment investigators comes as Trump has grown enraged that so many of his “employees,” as he refers to them, are going to Capitol Hill and testifying, said a person who regularly talks with him and who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The president has asked for copies of witness statements so he can decide how to criticize them, complained that his lawyers are not doing enough to stop people from talking, and even encouraged members of Congress to question the credibility of people working in his own administration, current and former officials said.

“He is the war room,” press secretary Stephanie Grisham said on Fox News.

We'll see how Democrats react.  Tying up House subpoenas in court for months or years was always going to be part of the plan.  Whether or not Democrats will move ahead anyway, I don't know.

The decision to ignore a congressional subpoena comes with risk. House Democrats could hold Vought and his aides in contempt of Congress or take them to court to try to compel their testimony, as the party has done for former White House counsel Donald McGahn. Democrats have said they will not wait on the courts before they proceed with their impeachment inquiry. But by suing Trump officials, they could force testimony next year, shortly before the presidential election. 

Trump clearly thinks the country will turn on the Democrats the longer he's able to stall.

He's probably right.


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