Friday, September 4, 2020

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

I wonder how quickly this DHS draft report on Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem™ being the number one terrorism threat in the US right now gets buried by the Chad Wolf.

White supremacists present the gravest terror threat to the United States, according to a draft report from the Department of Homeland Security.
Two later draft versions of the same document — all of which were reviewed by POLITICO — describe the threat from white supremacists in slightly different language. But all three drafts describe the threat from white supremacists as the deadliest domestic terror threat facing the U.S., listed above the immediate danger from foreign terrorist groups.

“Foreign terrorist organizations will continue to call for Homeland attacks but probably will remain constrained in their ability to direct such plots over the next year,” all three documents say.

Russia “probably will be the primary covert foreign influence actor and purveyor of disinformation and misinformation in the Homeland,” the documents also say.

Former acting DHS Sec. Kevin McAleenan last year directed the department to start producing annual homeland threat assessments. POLITICO reviewed three drafts of this year’s report — titled DHS’s State of the Homeland Threat Assessment 2020 — all of which were produced in August. Ben Wittes, the editor in chief of the national security site Lawfare, obtained the documents and shared them with POLITICO. The first such assessment has not been released publicly, and a DHS spokesperson declined to comment on “allegedly leaked documents,” and on when the document will be made public.

None of the drafts POLITICO reviewed referred to a threat from Antifa, the loose cohort of militant left-leaning agitators who senior Trump administration officials have described as domestic terrorists. Two of the drafts refer to extremists trying to exploit the “social grievances” driving lawful protests.

The cut-off date for information analyzed in the earliest draft is August 3, 2020, while the cut-off date for the next two is August 27.

John Cohen, who oversaw DHS’s counterterrorism portfolio from 2011 to 2014, said the drafts’ conclusion isn’t surprising.

“This draft document seems to be consistent with earlier intelligence reports from DHS, the FBI, and other law enforcement sources: that the most significant terror-related threat facing the US today comes from violent extremists who are motivated by white supremacy and other far-right ideological causes,” he said.

Wittes, meanwhile, said the change in language on white supremacist terrorism is significant.

“It diminishes the prominence of white supremacy relative to other domestic violent extremism, and, without being inaccurate, puts it in a basket along with other violent activity that may be more palatable for the administration to acknowledge,” he said.

The drafts explicitly name white supremacist groups as both the most common and the most lethal domestic terrorism threat in the US right now, noting that 2019 was the deadliest year for DVEs, what the drafts call "domestic violent extremists", since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

One of the big reasons why both Kirstjen Nielsen and Kevin McAleenan both were booted from DHS is that they actually listened to intelligence on white supremacist terrorist groups.

And Trump didn't like it, so out they went.  Chad Wolf on the other hand is playing ball, telling Tucker Carlson that Black Lives Matter "leaders" are soon to be rounded up by the Barr "Justice" Department.

White supremacists?  Hell, they are the Justice Department.

The Return Of The Revenge Of The Son Of Shutdown Countdown, Again

Government shutdown happens on September 30, and even in a Presidential election year, the Trump regime may still be incompetent enough to hand Joe Biden a guaranteed victory.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have tentatively agreed to use a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown at the end of September, according to Capitol Hill aides.

The agreement on government funding comes even as the White House and top Democratic officials have been unable to reach a compromise on a new Covid relief package. Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke for more than 30 minutes earlier this week but remain hundreds of billions of dollars apart on additional stimulus efforts to help the slumping U.S. economy.

Yet separating the issue of government funding from coronavirus relief talks removes at least one nightmare scenario from the political landscape two months before Election Day — a stalemate on more economic stimulus coupled with federal agencies shut down and vital services halted in the middle of a pandemic.

“House Democrats are for a clean continuing resolution," Drew Hammill, deputy chief of staff for Pelosi, said in a statement.

Mnuchin may be confident, but I smell trouble in the Senate.

There is no consensus for how long the stopgap would extend government funding past Sept. 30, Hill aides said. House and Senate Democratic leaders haven't formally discussed the issue yet, although a mid-December deadline would be the traditional practice during an election year.

The Senate returns to session next week, while the House is not back from its summer recess until midmonth. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other top Senate Republicans are trying to gather support for a narrow coronavirus relief package that can get at least 51 GOP votes. Democrats will oppose the plan, so it's unlikely to get the 60 votes needed to advance.

The new Senate Republican proposal — costing as much as $1 trillion — is expected to include $300 in weekly federal unemployment benefits through the end of December, another round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, $105 billion for education, and liability protections for companies, schools and health care providers amid the pandemic, according to a draft proposal. The bill would also provide billions to the U.S. Postal Service by converting an existing loan into a grant. The House has passed legislation calling for $25 billion in new funding for the Postal Service, but the White House has supported only $10 billion.

This territory is ripe for a Rand Paul special, or maybe even a Lindsey Graham special if the polls are any indication.  I just don't see a continuing resolution pass without something going wrong thanks to the Senate GOP, Mitch's election and Trump's both be damned.

And hey, Trump could just blow everything up himself.

Might want to pull up a chair for this one.

Orange Meltdown, Con't

Donald Trump continues to be caught in situations where the controversial and awful things that he has done are actually indicators of far worse behavior in private, and the leaks are starting to become a flood.

When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

Belleau Wood is a consequential battle in American history, and the ground on which it was fought is venerated by the Marine Corps. America and its allies stopped the German advance toward Paris there in the spring of 1918. But Trump, on that same trip, asked aides, “Who were the good guys in this war?” He also said that he didn’t understand why the United States would intervene on the side of the Allies.

Trump’s understanding of concepts such as patriotism, service, and sacrifice has interested me since he expressed contempt for the war record of the late Senator John McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said in 2015 while running for the Republican nomination for president. “I like people who weren’t captured.”

There was no precedent in American politics for the expression of this sort of contempt, but the performatively patriotic Trump did no damage to his candidacy by attacking McCain in this manner. Nor did he set his campaign back by attacking the parents of Humayun Khan, an Army captain who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

Trump remained fixated on McCain, one of the few prominent Republicans to continue criticizing him after he won the nomination. When McCain died, in August 2018, Trump told his senior staff, according to three sources with direct knowledge of this event, “We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,” and he became furious, according to witnesses, when he saw flags lowered to half-staff. “What the fuck are we doing that for? Guy was a fucking loser,” the president told aides. Trump was not invited to McCain’s funeral. (These sources, and others quoted in this article, spoke on condition of anonymity. The White House did not return earlier calls for comment, but Alyssa Farah, a White House spokesperson, emailed me this statement shortly after this story was posted: “This report is false. President Trump holds the military in the highest regard. He’s demonstrated his commitment to them at every turn: delivering on his promise to give our troops a much needed pay raise, increasing military spending, signing critical veterans reforms, and supporting military spouses. This has no basis in fact.”)

Except of course that Trump's seething hatred for John McCain was very public and caught on camera. He feels the same way about our military today. The injured and the dead? Nobody "wants to see that" Trump said.

Never forget that Trump divides the world into two groups: people who praise him, and losers.

Dead veterans can't praise Trump, so they are losers.

Class dismissed.


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