Friday, June 11, 2021

Last Call For The Big Lie, Con't

Trump cultists are threatening to kill election officials nationwide over the Big Lie, and because their Orange God-Emperor will never be declared Maximum Leader, we are going to see a mass casualty terrorist event slash political assassination, and soon.

Late on the night of April 24, the wife of Georgia’s top election official got a chilling text message: “You and your family will be killed very slowly.”

A week earlier, Tricia Raffensperger, wife of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, had received another anonymous text: “We plan for the death of you and your family every day.”

That followed an April 5 text warning. A family member, the texter told her, was “going to have a very unfortunate incident.”

Those messages, which have not been previously reported, illustrate the continuing barrage of threats and intimidation against election officials and their families months after former U.S. President Donald Trump’s November election defeat. While reports of threats against Georgia officials emerged in the heated weeks after the voting, Reuters interviews with more than a dozen election workers and top officials – and a review of disturbing texts, voicemails and emails that they and their families received – reveal the previously hidden breadth and severity of the menacing tactics.

Trump’s relentless false claims that the vote was “rigged” against him sparked a campaign to terrorize election officials nationwide – from senior officials such as Raffensperger to the lowest-level local election workers. The intimidation has been particularly severe in Georgia, where Raffensperger and other Republican election officials refuted Trump’s stolen-election claims. The ongoing harassment could have far-reaching implications for future elections by making the already difficult task of recruiting staff and poll workers much harder, election officials say.

In an exclusive interview, Tricia Raffensperger spoke publicly for the first time about the threats of violence to her family and shared the menacing text messages with Reuters.

The Raffenspergers – Tricia, 65, and Brad, 66 – began receiving death threats almost immediately after Trump’s surprise loss in Georgia, long a Republican bastion. Tricia Raffensperger started taking precautions. She canceled regular weekly visits in her home with two grandchildren, ages 3 and 5 – the children of her eldest son, Brenton, who died from a drug overdose in 2018.

“I couldn’t have them come to my house anymore,” she said. “You don’t know if these people are actually going to act on this stuff.”

In late November, the family went into hiding for nearly a week after intruders broke into the home of the Raffenspergers’ widowed daughter-in-law, an incident the family believed was intended to intimidate them. That evening, people who identified themselves to police as Oath Keepers – a far-right militia group that has supported Trump’s bid to overturn the election – were found outside the Raffenspergers’ home, according to Tricia Raffensperger and two sources with direct knowledge of the family’s ordeal. Neither incident has been previously reported.

“Brad and I didn’t feel like we could protect ourselves,” she said, explaining the decision to flee their home.

Brad Raffensperger told Reuters in a statement that “vitriol and threats are an unfortunate, but expected, part of public service. But my family should be left alone.”

Trump’s baseless voter-fraud accusations have had dark consequences for U.S. election leaders and workers, especially in contested states such as Georgia, Arizona and Michigan. Some have faced protests at their homes or been followed in their cars. Many have received death threats.

Some, like Raffensperger, are senior officials who publicly refused to bow to Trump’s demands to alter the election outcome. In Georgia, people went into hiding in at least three cases, including the Raffenspergers. Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, told Reuters she continues to receive death threats. Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson – a Democrat who faced armed protesters outside her home in December – is also still getting threats, her spokesperson said, declining to elaborate.


There's really no doubt that an attempt will be made (or several attempts) will be made on the lives of US election officials nationwide, but rather, when, and how successful they will be. I would hope that state and federal law enforcement are investigating right now to prevent a tragedy from happening. I expect that like the plot to kidnap and murder Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last year, we'll get wind of these plots being stopped soon.

It's better of course than the alternative, that the plots were carried out.

The bigger problem is that Trump's Big lie is going to get people hurt or even killed soon, and when it happens, Trump needs to be held responsible.

Climate Of Devastation, Con't

With more than a quarter of the US West now suffering from exceptional drought (and it's only June) and nearly 75% under some level of water shortage, farmers, ranchers, Native tribes, small businesses and residents are all facing rough choices this summer.

Tricia Hill tears up when she talks about the emotional toll the water shut-off in southern Oregon has had on her family. 
Amid historic, climate change-driven drought, the federal government in May shut down the water supply from the Upper Klamath Basin on the California-Oregon border to protect native fish species on the verge of extinction. As a result, Hill and other farmers like her in the region have been cut off from water they have used for decades. 
The drought has "definitely made it a lot harder for us to get by year after year, and it's making an already tight margin a lot tighter," Hill, a fourth-generation farmer, told CNN. "For all of us, we've got families, employees, customers -- people we have to figure out how to take care of." 
As the Klamath Basin dried up, an environmental crisis exploded into a water war this year that has pitted local farmers against Native American tribes, government agencies and conservationists, with one group threatening to take the water back by force. 
More than a century ago, the federal Klamath Project redrew the basin's landscape, draining lakes and redirecting rivers to build a farming community that today supplies horseradish, wheat, beets and even potatoes for Frito-Lay chips. 
But the project has since been a source of environmental controversy, and two native fish species were listed as endangered in the 1980s. Since then, federal water officials have sought to strike what some say is an impossible balance between providing water to local farmers and leaving enough to protect the fish that are central to the cultural practices of native Klamath Tribes. 
When the lake level plummeted earlier this year, federal officials decided to shutter a headgate that has delivered water to communities around the basin since 1907.

The shutdown has upended agricultural practices, taxed the community and added financial burden to farming families. Some are threatening to take matters into their own hands. 
In April, Dan Nielsen and Grant Knoll bought property next to the irrigation canal headgate in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Soon after, they erected a large red and white tent and plastered it with American flags and signs that read things such as, "Stop Rural Cleansing" and "Help Amend the Endangered Species Act." 
"We're here because we're trying to stand up for our private property," Nielsen said. "We've been trying to be nice, but we're getting to the end of the rope. You just go in there and pull the bulkheads and open the headgates." 
"We're going to do it peacefully," he added, "unless the federal government turns on us like they usually do."


Let's remember that the most recent attacks on the federal government by the white supremacist militia goons began in earnest out in the West, with the Bundy clan of domestic terrorists. This drought is the perfect excuse for more violence against federal park officials and Native tribes.
In 2001, during a previous water standoff with the federal government, enraged farmers -- including Nielsen and Knoll -- breached a chain-link fence and forced open the headgates of the main canal with saws, crowbars and blowtorches until the US Marshals were called in to put an end to it. 
The same farmers are threatening to blow the gates open again with the support of anti-government activist Ammon Bundy, known for leading an armed group to occupy Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016. Bundy later faced federal charges for his role in the 41-day standoff with federal agents but was acquitted by a jury
One of Bundy's men, Robert LaVoy Finicum, was killed by law enforcement during that takeover. Now, among the posters hanging in Nielsen's Klamath Basin tent is Finicum's rallying cry: "There are things more important than your life and freedom is one of them. I am prepared to defend freedom." 
"He's a nice guy, he's just like me," Neilsen said of Bundy. "He's just willing to stand up on what's right and wrong." 
I fully expect another round of devastation from these clowns, and this time, the death toll could be brutal. Keep an eye on Washington DC, yes...but keep an eye on Washington State, too.

Retribution Execution, Con't

The Trump Justice Department under Jeff Sessions didn't just illegally investigate journalists from CNN, the NY Times, and the Washington Post in 2017, they illegally seized phone records and metadata from House Intelligence Committee Democrats, including ranking member and now chairman Rep. Adam Schiff and his family., and Bill Barr continued the investigation when he took over.

As the Justice Department investigated who was behind leaks of classified information early in the Trump administration, it took a highly unusual step: Prosecutors subpoenaed Apple for data from the accounts of at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, aides and family members. One was a minor.

All told, the records of at least a dozen people tied to the committee were seized in 2017 and early 2018, including those of Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, then the panel’s top Democrat and now its chairman, according to committee officials and two other people briefed on the inquiry. Representative Eric Swalwell of California said in an interview Thursday night that he had also been notified that his data had been subpoenaed.

Prosecutors, under the beleaguered attorney general, Jeff Sessions, were hunting for the sources behind news media reports about contacts between Trump associates and Russia. Ultimately, the data and other evidence did not tie the committee to the leaks, and investigators debated whether they had hit a dead end and some even discussed closing the inquiry.

But William P. Barr revived languishing leak investigations after he became attorney general a year later. He moved a trusted prosecutor from New Jersey with little relevant experience to the main Justice Department to work on the Schiff-related case and about a half-dozen others, according to three people with knowledge of his work who did not want to be identified discussing federal investigations.

The zeal in the Trump administration’s efforts to hunt leakers led to the extraordinary step of subpoenaing communications metadata from members of Congress — a nearly unheard-of move outside of corruption investigations. While Justice Department leak investigations are routine, current and former congressional officials familiar with the inquiry said they could not recall an instance in which the records of lawmakers had been seized as part of one.

Moreover, just as it did in investigating news organizations, the Justice Department secured a gag order on Apple that expired this year, according to a person familiar with the inquiry, so lawmakers did not know they were being investigated until Apple informed them last month.

Prosecutors also eventually secured subpoenas for reporters’ records to try to identify their confidential sources, a move that department policy allows only after all other avenues of inquiry are exhausted.

The subpoenas remained secret until the Justice Department disclosed them in recent weeks to the news organizations — The Washington Post, The New York Times and CNN — revelations that set off criticism that the government was intruding on press freedoms.

The gag orders and records seizures show how aggressively the Trump administration pursued the inquiries while Mr. Trump declared war on the news media and perceived enemies whom he routinely accused of disclosing damaging information about him, including Mr. Schiff and James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director whom prosecutors focused on in the leak inquiry involving Times records
Straight up Watergate abuses, covered up by Sessions and Barr for years, and it's barely in the top ten of reasons why Trump should be in prison right now. He wanted to lock up reporters and Democrats and directed the Justice Department to make it happen. Trump didn't just have an enemies' list, he used it.

Hearings, of course, but we'll see what else happens.
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