President Trump plans to visit the concrete-and-steel prototypes of his beloved border wall in San Diego after his State of the Union address on Jan. 30, sources tell Axios.
Why it matters: Trump insiders say that as they think about 2020, no promise is more vital in Trump Country. He can’t blame Democrats for the fact that there’s not a wall — he has to find a way to deliver one. It was such a central and symbolic promise that there’s no averting your gaze from it.
The wall rhetoric and reality are as removed from each other as sanity and KKKremlin Caligula’s thought processes. To many, deportation is a death sentence as shown by this New Yorker article.
When Donald Trump announced his bid for the Presidency, he made anxieties about whiteness under siege a signature part of his platform. On the campaign trail, he promised to “deport all criminal aliens and save American lives.” After his Inauguration, the Department of Homeland Security created an office for the victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, called voice—Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement. The office is compiling an online database to track “illegal alien perpetrators of crime.” (Data show that immigrants actually commit crimes at lower rates than U.S. citizens.) There is, however, no White House initiative to track a more sprawling set of legal violations involving immigrants—violations for which the U.S. government is largely responsible.
In the past decade, a growing number of immigrants fearing for their safety have come to the U.S., only to be sent back to their home countries—with the help of border agents, immigration judges, politicians, and U.S. voters—to violent deaths. Even as border apprehensions have dropped, the number of migrants coming to the U.S. because their lives are in danger has soared. According to the United Nations, since 2008 there has been a fivefold increase in asylum seekers just from Central America’s Northern Triangle—Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador—where organized gangs are dominant. In 2014, according to the U.N., Honduras had the world’s highest murder rate; El Salvador and Guatemala were close behind.
Politicians often invoke the prospect of death by deportation in debates about the fate of these immigrants and others with precarious status, like the Dreamers. In February, 2016, in a speech criticizing the lack of legal representation for Central American children seeking refuge, Harry Reid, at that time the Senate Minority Leader, warned Congress, “Deportation means death for some of these people.” That summer, Senator Edward J. Markey, of Massachusetts, told the press, “We should not be sending families back to situations where they can be killed.” He added, “That’s just un-American.”
These conversations have been largely theoretical, devoid of names and faces. No U.S. government body monitors the fate of deportees, and immigrant-aid groups typically lack the resources to document what happens to those who have been sent back. Fear of retribution keeps most grieving families from speaking publicly. In early 2016, as the director of the Global Migration Project, at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, I set out, with a dozen graduate students, to create a record of people who had been deported to their deaths or to other harms—a sort of shadow database of the one that the Trump Administration later compiled to track the crimes of “alien offenders.” We contacted more than two hundred local legal-aid organizations, domestic-violence shelters, and immigrants’-rights groups nationwide, as well as migrant shelters, humanitarian operations, law offices, and mortuaries across Central America. We spoke to families of the deceased. And we gathered the stories of immigrants who had endured other harms—including kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault—as a result of deportations under Obama and Trump.
As Congress and the White House negotiate a deal to legalize nearly 800,000 undocumented DREAMers brought to the U.S. as children, they aren’t facing the usual pressure from hard-line groups lobbying for lower immigration levels.
“Rip off the Band-Aid and give them a green card,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, one of the groups that usually mobilizes against any effort to grant what they call “amnesty” for anyone who entered the country illegally.
Congressional leaders have until Mach 5 to restore deportation protections and work permits for DREAMers after President Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program established by President Barack Obama.
Roy Beck, who has led NumbersUSA for over 20 years and jokes that the organization is known as the “great anti-amnesty organization,” said: “We’re open to it.”
And Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said members of Congress wouldn’t face major backlash from his group’s supporters if they balance a DACA solution with extensive improvements to immigration enforcement.
Nearly 200,000 Salvadorans who’ve had temporary permission to live in the United States for the past 17 years will have until Sept. 9, 2019, to leave the US or face deportation, the Trump administration announced Monday.
The Salvadorans become the latest group of foreigners to lose what’s known as Temporary Protected Status after spending years in the United States because of natural disasters in their home countries. The Salvadorans were granted TPS after a pair of 2001 earthquakes slammed the country.
“Based on available information the secretary determined that the conditions supporting El Salvador’s TPS designation on the basis of environmental disaster, specifically the devastation cause by major earthquakes in 2001, no longer exist,” a senior Department of Homeland Security official said.
In recent weeks, the Department of Homeland Security also has announced an end to TPS for about 60,000 Haitians and 2,500 Nicaraguans. However, DHS postponed a decision on 57,000 Hondurans.
Salvadorans make up the largest group with TPS and have about 192,700 US-citizen children, many of whom are likely to be forced to leave with their parents to resettle in a country they’ve never lived in.
Last week Salvador Sánchez Cerén, the president of El Salvador, asked Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to once again extend TPS, arguing that even if the US decides to send Salvadorans back it would give the government time to prepare to receive its compatriots.
In making the decision to end TPS Nielsen looked at whether conditions specific to the pair of 2001 earthquakes had improved and whether El Salvador was prepared to take back the nearly 200,000 people, a senior DHS official said.
Gang violence plaguing the country was not a factor in deciding whether to end TPS. Once their protections run out in 2019, the Salvadorans will be eligible for deportation. The US State Department currently has a travel advisory for El Salvador citing “high rates of crime and violence.”
Over the past 20 years, MS-13 and its rival, 18th Street, have carved up territory in Central America, said a federal law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
“If you grow up in one of these havens, that’s it. You are MS because your father was MS and your grandfather was MS,” he said. “And for you to be able to walk down the street and get a Coca-Cola or what have you, you have to make sure you are part of something so you’re not preyed upon. That’s their safety net.”
In these gang-controlled neighborhoods, satanism persisted.
“What the two gangs do have in common is the belief that life and death are somehow intermingled,” Pablo Trincia wrote in the Independent. “This belief partly explains the bones and devils tattooed on their bodies, as well as their satanic rituals, such as hacking a victim to death and scattering the organs on the ground in a pentagonal shape.”
As MS-13 violence returned to the United States with a vengeance in the mid 2000s — including a spate of high profile murders in the Washington region — so did reports of the gang’s satanism.
“The brutality of the gangs’ crimes is increasingly horrific,” the Los Angeles Times reportedin 2004. “Homicide victims, including many women and teenage girls, often are found so mutilated that Spanish priest Jose Maria Morataya, who runs a San Salvador rehabilitation and job training center for former gang members … suspects that some gang members practice satanic rituals.”
A year later, the Virginia Gang Investigators Association hosted a seminar for law enforcement officials on MS-13 and satanism.
In 1964, I was a little girl sitting on the linoleum floor of my mother’s house in Milwaukee watching Anne Bancroft present the Oscar for best actor at the 36th Academy Awards. She opened the envelope and said five words that literally made history — “The winner is Sidney Poitier.”
Up to the stage came the most elegant man I ever remembered. His tie was white, his skin was black — I’d never seen a black man being celebrated like that. I’ve tried many, many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl, a kid watching from the cheap seats as my mom came through the door bone-tired from cleaning other people’s houses.
But all I can do is quote and say that the explanation [is] in Sidney’s performance in “Lilies of the Field,” ‘Amen, amen. Amen, amen.’ In 1982 Sidney received the Cecil B. Demille Award right here at the Golden Globes, and it is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award.
Two sources close to the situation told Business Insider that after the taping was done Miller was asked to leave several times.
He ignored those requests and ultimately security was called and he was escorted out, the sources said.
CNN declined to comment.
Miller’s appearance on the cable network quickly went off the rails when Tapper pressed him on explosive claims about President Donald Trump that appeared in the book “Fire & Fury: Inside The Trump White House” by Michael Wolff.
Miller repeatedly attempted to pivot the conversation toward criticism of CNN, a favorite target of Trump’s. He then referred to Trump as a “political genius” and lamented his treatment during the interview, leading Tapper to reply that there was only “one viewer you care about right now.”
“I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time. Thank you, Stephen,” Tapper said, bringing the interview to an abrupt end.
Shortly after the interview ended, Trump tweeted, “Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration.”
Steve Bannon expressed regret Sunday after he created a furor with comments critical of President Donald Trump’s family in a new book, dragging the controversy into its fifth day as the White House kept up its attacks on both the former chief strategist and “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff.
“Donald Trump, Jr. is both a patriot and a good man. He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around,” Bannon said in a statement. “I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr has diverted attention from the president’s historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency.”
I really don’t know how much more of these people I can take.
Need to ask you to feed the kitty a little this month so we can keep the fancy Designer Font for Sky Dancing. The price has gone up and I’m torn between keeping it and letting it go. Problem is that I really like it! So, if you can donate a little that’s about all it would take.
Anyway, let me know what’s on your reading and blogging list today!!!
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I’m not in the mindset to come up with the words today. In fact, I doubt that my brain can wrap itself around any type of news that poured out of London late last night.
When I heard the sirens on the television, my parents were watching live coverage, I did not have to see the screen to know that some attack had taken place…and that the target was somewhere in Great Britain. You can tell by the sound of those sirens, distinctive bitches aren’t they?
I used to think that I hated certain politicians. Yeah, we all hate Ted Cruz and Santorum. Geez…remember the good old days of Bush 1 and 2?
But…the hate I feel for tRump is so deep, it almost disturbs me. Maybe my defenses are so worn down from what I’ve been dealing with…my mom and the rest. I don’t know…it has become a struggle to look at a news feed or read anything that connects to the outside world.
Every day there is a new onslaught of bad shit. Like a blitz of bad news that keeps proving tRump and all his merry men need to go…but still nothing is happening. I thought the despondent feeling I suffered from during the campaign was something I would not feel again.
Foolishly I thought: Hey, once the stories started to break…people would finally snap out of it.
I can’t understand how folks who used to be so anti-Russian and all “fuck the commies” has turned into the kind of Putin loving population they are today. (I’m not talking the GOP politicians who obviously have been blackmailed or are otherwise indebted to Russian interests. ) I’m taking about the kind of people in towns like Banjoville who put tRump in office. These are the people who still think that fluoridation is a conspiracy.
Can someone explain it to me?
Is it as simple as the repurposed neo-Nazi slogan tRump uses…Make America Great Again?
Make America White Again?
Take a look at twitter now, after this latest attack, and see how the people around the world are reacting to tRump’s first Tweet when the news about #LondonBridge broke. That asshole’s words reflects on our country no matter what anyone says. People around the world are disgusted with tRump. They are disgusted with us too.
Putin is succeeding, the people who want to see the United States fail are also succeeding. Our standing in the world is falling dramatically.
I know this post is about London and I have managed to turn it around into a rant about tRump and how he has brought our nation down. But there is a point to all this.
Last night, when I heard those sirens on the TV, and knew something “terroristic” had happened in England…it no longer surprised me. I did not feel anything. Not even a hint of concern. I have become desensitized to the violence.
This realization, while staring onto a screen with bright lights from ambulances and cop cars which caused the living room to dance in colors of red and blue, I felt nothing. So what…I felt nothing. And, what’s more…that I was indifferent, meant nothing at all.
This is an open thread. Post whatever you want. I do not have the capacity to care anymore. What good does it do anyway?
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Living under the rule of a crazy person surrounded by ideologues isn’t any thing I ever thought we’d see in my country. It’s no longer tis of me or thee. Tis of white nationalists and a greedy insane baby man stroking his ego and filling his coffers with Tax Payer dollars and access money.
We’ve again got a selective ban of countries Trump wrongly believes are responsible for terrorism in this country. It’s basically a wholesale denial of VISAs. I can’t imagine this will hold up in court. It’s interesting that the countries where we’ve actually had foreign national terrorists hatch are still not on the ban list and still “coincidentally” are places where the Trump Syndicate Thugs operate. Evidently some Pentagon and NSA leaders managed to get Iraq taken off the list but the others remain.
The new guidelines mark a dramatic departure from Trump’s original ban. They lay out a far more specific national security basis for the order, block the issuance of only new visas, and name just six of the seven countries included in the first executive order, omitting Iraq.
The order also details specific sets of people who would be able to apply for case-by-case waivers to the order, including those previously admitted to the U.S. for “a continuous period of work, study, or other long-term activity,” those with “significant business or professional obligations” and those seeking to visit or live with family.
“This executive order responsibly provides a needed pause, so we can carefully review how we scrutinize people coming here from these countries of concern,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in announcing the order had been signed.
Even before the ink was dry, though, Democrats and civil liberties groups asserted the new order was legally tainted in the same way as the first one: it was a thinly disguised Muslim ban.
“While the White House may have made changes to the ban, the intent to discriminate against Muslims remains clear,” said New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman (D), who had joined the legal fight against the first ban. “This doesn’t just harm the families caught in the chaos of President Trump’s draconian policies – it’s diametrically opposed to our values, and makes us less safe.”
As the White House struggles to gain its footing almost two months into Donald Trump’s presidency, administration officials increasingly put the blame on one person: Reince Priebus.
In interviews, more than a dozen Trump aides, allies, and others close to the White House said Priebus, the 44-year-old chief of staff, was becoming a singular target of criticism within the White House.
They described a micromanager who sprints from one West Wing meeting to another, inserting himself into conversations big and small and leaving many staffers with the impression that he’s trying to block their access to Trump. They vented about his determination to fill the administration with his political allies. And they expressed alarm at what they say are directionless morning staff meetings Priebus oversees that could otherwise be used to rigorously set the day’s agenda and counterbalance the president’s own unpredictability.
The finger-pointing further complicates life in an already turmoil-filled West Wing, one that has been hobbled by dueling power centers and unclear lines of command.
“There’s a real frustration among many — including from the president — that things aren’t going as smoothly as one had hoped,” said one senior administration official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. “Reince, fairly or not, is likely to take the blame and take the fault for that.”
“It’s sheer incompetence,” said another White House official. “There’s a lack of management, and a lack of strategy.”
As Paul Krugman reminds us in his Monday column, there’s a reason why the Republican party gravitated towards Trump in the first place. And it’s hardly surprising that they can’t get it together to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act or reform corporate taxes, as promised.
“They have no idea how to turn their slogans into actual legislation, because they’ve never bothered to understand how anything important works,” Krugman says.
For seven years, “Republicans kept promising to offer an alternative to Obamacare any day now, but never did,” Krugman notes.
From what we know about the new plan—and Republicans have gone to tragicomic lengths to keep it a secret—it’s not very good. As Krugman observes:
Politically, it seems to embody the worst of both worlds: It’s enough like Obamacare to infuriate hard-line conservatives, but it weakens key aspects of the law enough to deprive millions of Americans — many of them white working-class voters who backed Donald Trump — of essential health care.
The plan was hatched by “smart” Republicans like Paul Ryan, who the media never tires of painting as the wonky intellectual of the GOP. But there are glaring inconsisencies in the GOP’s Obamacare replacement.
First off, as Krugman notes, “the only way to maintain coverage for the 20 million people who gained insurance thanks to Obamacare is with a plan that, surprise, looks a lot like Obamacare.” But instead of admitting their political failure, Ryan and Co are aiming to shove this bill down the throats of the American people before anyone has a chance to understand what’s in it.
Charles Blow has he best advice I’ve seen in short form. While Krugman argues that the Republicans are a party not ready to govern, Blow says Pause this Presidency”
The American people must immediately demand a cessation of all consequential actions by this “president” until we can be assured that Russian efforts to hack our election, in a way that was clearly meant to help him and damage his opponent, did not also include collusion with or coverup by anyone involved in the Trump campaign and now administration.
This may sound extreme, but if the gathering fog of suspicion should yield an actual connection, it would be one of the most egregious assaults on our democracy ever. It would not only be unprecedented, it would be a profound wound to faith in our sovereignty.
Viewed through the serious lens of those epic implications, no action to put this presidency on pause is extreme. Rather, it is exceedingly prudent.
Some things must be done and some positions filled simply to keep the government operational. Absolute abrogation of administrative authority is infeasible and ill advised. But a bare minimum standard must be applied until we know more about what the current raft of investigations yield. Indeed, it may be that the current investigative apparatuses are insufficient and a special commission or special counsel is in order.
In any event, we can’t keep cruising along as if the unanswered question isn’t existential.
Americans must demand at least a momentary respite from — my preference would be a permanent termination of — Trump’s aggressive agenda to dramatically alter the social, economic and political contours of this country.
Greg Sargent also has a point: “At the root of Trump’s new fury: Total contempt for American democracy”. We don’t need a reboot of the Trump insurgency, we need a reboot of our democracy. The system is trying to right itself and its causing Trump to have temper tantrums of epic proportions as well as a frequent need to run to his private resort to repad his fragile feefees.
President Trump is now wallowing in fury, we are told, because he can’t make the Russia story disappear; he can’t stem the leaks to the media; and he can’t seem to realize his promises. Some reports tell us that unflattering comparisons to Barack Obama’s early accomplishments are “gnawing at Trump,” while others say he went “ballistic” when Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe, because it telegraphed capitulation to Trump’s foes.
But all of these things are connected by a common thread: Trump is enraged at being subjected to a system of democratic and institutional constraints, for which he has signaled nothing but absolute, unbridled contempt. The system is pushing back, and he can’t bear it.
On Monday morning, the latest chapter in this tale — Trump’s unsupported accusation that Obama wiretapped his phones — took another turn. Trump’s spokeswoman said on ABC News that Trump does not accept FBI Director James Comey’s claim — which was reported on over the weekend — that no such wiretapping ever happened.
As E.J. Dionne writes, this episode is a “tipping point” in the Trump experiment. Trump leveled the charge based on conservative media. Then, after an internal search for evidenceto back it up produced nothing, the White House press secretary called on Congress to investigate it and declared the administration’s work done. While the previous administration did wiretap, the problem is the recklessness and baselessness of Trump’s specific allegations, and the White House’s insistence that the burden of disproving them must fall on others — on Congress and on the FBI. Trump’s allegations must be humored at all costs, simply because he declared them to be true — there can be no admission of error, and worse, the White House has declared itself liberated from the need to even pretend to have evidence to back up even Trump’s most explosive claims.
It appears that POTUS knows full well the phone tap claim is bogus. Seems to be a bitter attempt to get back at media for negative coverage.
Mr Trump is growing increasingly angry at the performance of his senior staff and at the way the Russia investigation is overshadowing his political message, several sources told multiple publications.
He called his inner circle to the Oval Office at the end of last week to talk about this week’s schedule, but the meeting became heated when the topic turned to Mr Sessions.
Sources told CNN Mr Trump used “a lot of expletives” and “nobody has seen him that upset”.
Other sources told Politico there were “fireworks” during the “robust discussion”.
The Supreme Court on Monday vacated a lower court’s ruling in favor of a Virginia transgender student after the Trump administration withdrew the federal government’s guidance to public schools about a controversial bathroom policy.
The justices were scheduled to hear the case later this month. But after the government’s position changed, the court said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit should reconsider the dispute between the Gloucester County school board and 17-year-old Gavin Grimm.
In what had been a big victory for Grimm and the transgender movement, the 4th Circuit had relied on the government’s guidance that schools should let transgender students use the bathroom that corresponds with the student’s gender identity.
The Trump administration withdrew that guidance, which was issued by the Obama administration.
A juror’s use of racial or ethnic slurs during deliberations over a defendant’s guilt can be a reason for breaching the centuries-old legal principle of secrecy in the jury room, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.
The justices ruled 5-3 in a case from Colorado that lower courts can take the unusual step of examining jury deliberations when there are indications that racial bias deprived a defendant of his right to a fair trial.
The decision followed another ruling last month in which the court took a hard line against racial bias in the criminal justice system. In that case, the justices ruled in favor of an African-American prison inmate in Texas whose death sentence may have been tainted by troubling references to race in court testimony.
In Monday’s case, defendant Miguel Angel Pena Rodriguez appealed to the Supreme Court after two jurors reported that a third juror tied Pena Rodriguez’s guilt to his Hispanic heritage.
The juror’s statements reportedly saying Pena Rodriguez was guilty because he is “Mexican, and Mexican men take whatever they want” only came to light after he was convicted of inappropriately touching teenage girls.
Colorado courts ruled against Pena Rodriguez because of a legal rule that protects jury deliberations.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority “that blatant racial prejudice is antithetical to the functioning of the jury system and must be confronted in egregious cases like this one despite the general bar of the no-impeachment rule.” The court’s four liberal justices joined with Kennedy to form a majority.
Let’s keep hoping, praying and wishing for resilient institutions! Resist!!! Hopefully, the leaky T-Rump White House will help put out this National Dumpsterfire.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
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Once again we see the results of toxic religious zealotry and resentment whipped up to the point that some nutter feels compelled to kill in the case of the Orlando massacre. This occurs all too frequently in this country. You may recall the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting where we saw Robert Dear go on a shooting spree with the same deadly combination of anger whipped up by right wing politicians and preachers, mental illness, and easy access to weapons. One claimed ISIS inspiration and Islamofascism. The other was inspired by Christofascists in the US that bring you terror in the name of Fetus Fetishism.
Harassing and encouraging anger is just one political tool used regularly by Republicans these days. I have noticed that the silence is deafening right now on James Wesley Howell. The press can is clearly focused on the bloodbath and the sensational background of the Pulse Shooter rather than wondering why we manage to get bigger and badder displays of hatred and anger these days. I’m not sure that most people realize that any Abrahamic-based religion is going to beget violence in some folks. It goes with territory. A few of them take retribution and strict commandments from their angry sky fairy way too seriously. This is especially the case if they have some kind of severe emotional or mental disorder.
(Spoiler Alert) It’s the easy access to guns of all kinds in this country. The irresponsible and cynical use of anger and outrage to gain power and money is out of control. Religion is just another vehicle to whip up the anger and the outrage and it frequently turns deadly.
There were calls to ban the weapon after the Newtown shootings, which led to a spike in sales. Gun manufacturers have called the AR-15 one of the most popular weapons in the U.S., with more than 3 million estimated to be in circulation.
“It was designed for the United States military to do to enemies of war exactly what it did this morning: kill mass numbers of people with maximum efficiency and ease,” lawyer Josh Koskoff, who’s representing Newtown families in their lawsuit against the gun industry, said Sunday.
Regulations on magazine capacity for the weapon vary from state to state, but it can fire 45 rounds a minute.
Most forms of the gun had been prohibited under the 1994 federal assault weapons ban that was allowed to expire in 2004, following ferocious lobbying by the National Rifle Association.
The NRA has used its lobbying might in the years since to bury attempts to revive the ban.
“During the decade of the ban, there were half as many casualties in mass shootings as the decade before, and a third as many casualties in mass shootings as the decade after,” said Richard Aborn of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, a strategist involved in the original legislation.
Hillary Clinton has called for the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban in the wake of the worst mass shooting in American history that left 49 people and the gunman dead at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
In forthright comments a day after the massacre at the Pulse Club, the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic party issued a call for a return to “commonsense gun safety reform” and lambasted the Republican-controlled Congress for what she called a “totally incomprehensible” refusal to address the country’s lax gun laws.
“We can’t fall into the trap set up by the gun lobby that says if you cannot stop every shooting you shouldn’t try to stop any,” she said.
Clinton’s tough stance on gun control sets up a torrid fight with her Republican rival for the White House Donald Trump, who has positioned himself as a champion of the second amendment and dismissed any calls for greater gun controls as weakness. She insisted that while she did believe that law-abiding American citizens have the right to own guns, it was also possible to see that “reasonable, commonsense measures” could be taken that would make people more safe from guns.
A day after the deadliest mass shooting in US history, questions are mounting over why the shooter Omar Mateen was legally able to buy an assault rifle and handgun despite having been investigated twice by the FBI for suspected terrorist sympathies.
Mateen, 29, launched his attack on Pulse club, an LGBT venue in downtown Orlando celebrating its popular Latin dance night, at 2.02am on Sunday morning.
Twenty minutes into the spree he took the bizarre step of making a 911 call in which he reportedly referred both to Islamic State and the Tsarnaevs, the brothers who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013.
Sunday’s attack – which left 49 clubgoers dead and 53 injured – was launched by Mateen using a .223-caliber assault rifle and 9mm semi-automatic pistol with multiple rounds of ammunition that had been purchased quite lawfully in the week before the rampage using Mateen’s firearms license. Mateen was shot dead by police.
He also held a permit to work as a security guard, which he did at a courthouse in Port St Lucie, Florida, even though he was interviewed three times by the FBI in 2013 and 2014 following separate reports of extremist behavior and connections to terrorism that were in the end deemed insubstantial.
Mateen was released because no evidence of wrongdoing was found by the FBI. He’s a natural born American so that provides him the usual protections. This is something that appears to have blown completely pass Donald Trump whose rhetoric and bragging were dialed up to 11 yesterday. He revisited his call to ban all Muslims from entering the country despite the fact that all three of the shooters claiming support for Islamofascim–Nidal Hassn (Fort Hood),Syed Rizwan Farook, (San Bernardino) , and Mateen (Orlando)–were American citizens. Only Farook’s wife–Tashfeen Malik–was foreign born.
The presumptive Republican nominee pulled no punches in a lengthy statement yesterday, going so far as to call for Barack Obama to resign and reiterating his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States (despite the fact that the shooter was born in New York).
“In his remarks today, President Obama disgracefully refused to even say the words ‘Radical Islam’. For that reason alone, he should step down,” Trump said in his press release. “If Hillary Clinton, after this attack, still cannot say the two words ‘Radical Islam’ she should get out of this race for the Presidency. If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore. Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen – and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can’t afford to be politically correct anymore.”
“We admit more than 100,000 lifetime migrants from the Middle East each year. Since 9/11, hundreds of migrants and their children have been implicated in terrorism in the United States,” Trump added. “Hillary Clinton wants to dramatically increase admissions from the Middle East, bringing in many hundreds of thousands during a first term – and we will have no way to screen them, pay for them, or prevent the second generation from radicalizing.” (To be fair, this mischaracterizes Clinton’s position.)
The statement followed a stream of self-congratulatory tweets.
Hillary Clinton on Monday broke from President Barack Obama in referring to the terrorist attack as “radical Islamism,” countering Donald Trump’s accusations that both she and Obama are weak on tackling terrorist threats.
In an interview with NBC’s “Today” on Monday morning, Clinton said words matter less than actions, but that she didn’t have a problem using the term.
“And from my perspective, it matters what we do, not what we say. It matters that we got Bin Laden, not what name we called him,” Clinton said. “But if he is somehow suggesting I don’t call this for what it is, he hasn’t been listening. I have clearly said we face terrorist enemies who use Islam to justify slaughtering people. We have to stop them and we will. We have to defeat radical jihadist terrorism, and we will.”
Both terms “mean the same thing,” Clinton continued, adding, “And to me, radical jihadism, radical Islamism, I think they mean the same thing. I’m happy to say either, but that’s not the point.”
“I have clearly said many, many times we face terrorist enemies who use Islam to justify slaughtering innocent people. We have to stop them and we will. We have to defeat radical jihadist terrorism or radical Islamism, whatever you call it,” Clinton said later on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” reiterating, “it’s the same.”
The U.S. cannot, on the other hand, she added, “demonize, demagogue and declare war on an entire religion.” Clinton also said she could assure Americans that she is equally committed to fighting Islamic extremism as well as protecting law-abiding Muslims.
President Obama said Monday that the Orlando mass murder was “inspired” by violent extremist propaganda on the internet and there’s no evidence the killing spree was ordered by ISIS.
“We see no clear evidence that he was directed externally,” Obama said from the Oval Office, using another name from the Islamic State terror group. “It does appear that at the last minute he announced allegiance to ISIL.”
Obama said investigators are tracing Omar Mateen’s “pathway” to murder by reviewing his internet searches and other materials.
“It appears that the shooter was inspired by various extremist information that was disseminated over the internet,” Obama said.
“All those materials are currently being searched … so we will have a better sense of pathway that the killer took in the making a decision to launch this attack.”
Obama made the brief remarks after meeting with FBI Director James Comey, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and other security officials.
The Orlando shooting and the shooting that might have been in California both are rooted in hate and easy access to guns. Both shooter and potential shooter had histories of mental illness. The Orlando shooter had a history of Domestic violence which in many states would stop him from getting access to any gun. Clearly, we have a problem in this country with hate and guns turned on the hapless population. One of our political parties has weaponized hatred and bigotry then enabled shooters by catering to all the whims of the most radical elements of the NRA gun lobby.
Clinton is right. This has to end on all accounts.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
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Approximately 20 people are dead and scores wounded after a gunman opened fire and took hostages at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, police said.
Officials said a hostage situation developed after the gunman stormed the Pulse Nightclub about 2 a.m Sunday. The assailant was shot dead about three hours later when a SWAT team entered the club, police said.
The incident is being investigated as an act of terrorism.
“We are looking at probably in the range of 20 [dead], but we don’t want to give you an exact figure,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said.
Police said a uniformed officer working extra duty engaged in a gun fight with the shooter after he opened fire at the entrance to the club. Mina said the incident then developed into a hostage situation.
“A little after 5 a.m. this morning we made the decision to go in on a rescue,” Mina said, adding that an officer was injured after being shot in the head.
“It appears his helmet saved his life,” he said. “So he has an injury to his eye, but it looks like the bullet did hit his helmet.”
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said the incident “could definitely be classified as domestic terrorism.”
Revelers described scenes of horror inside the club. One witness told MSNBC that they had to crawl over bodies to escape.
A post to the club’s Facebook page at around 2 a.m. warned “everyone get out of Pulse and keep running.” Witness video from outside showed dozens of first responders at the scene, and several victims on the ground.
“It was tragic,” club-goer Christopher Hansen told MSNBC. “I wasn’t sure if it was the music, because … it went with the beat almost until you heard just too many shots.
“It was just like — bang, bang, bang, bang, bang bang — and that’s when you just know chaos is just, it was in turmoil,” he added.
The gunman, who has not been identified, was carrying an assault rifle, a handgun and a “device.” The Orange County Sheriff’s Office hazardous device team is now searching the area.
The FBI is assisting with the investigation. Agents say they cannot rule this out as an act of domestic terrorism and that the suspect, who is not from Orlando, may have leanings toward extreme ideologies.
Witnesses said they heard at least 40 shots fired inside the popular gay club and estimated that at least 20 people had been shot.
Dozens of emergency vehicles surrounded the chaotic scene at the club at 1912 S. Orange Ave. after the 2 a.m. shooting and rescue squads were transporting multiple victims to area hospitals.
The Orlando Fire Department called for its bomb squad and hazardous material team to the scene after 3 a.m. Police K-9 dogs are searching the area around nearby Orlando Regional Medical Center with an armed deputy in head-to-toe military gear.
Emergency workers were seen taking victims away from the scene in large trucks–in one case, an emergency worker was doing chest compressions on one of the victims.
Just after the shooting, Pulse Orlando posted a note to its web page that said “Everyone get out of Pulse and keep running.” The popular gay bar was full of people at the time of the incident.
In a press conference on Sunday morning, an FBI spokesman said investigators believed the attacker may have had extremist beliefs, and would consider possible links to Isis, but cautioned they were pursuing multiple leads. Authorities earlier said a controlled explosion had taken place inside the club, and urged media to avoid reporting inaccuracies.
Police also confirmed an officer on duty at the club exchanged shots with the gunman, and the situation then descended into a “hostage situation”. The situation was resolved when a Swat team stormed the nightclub after receiving messages from club patrons who were hiding in the club while the gunman was still at large.
Several explosives and an armoured vehicle were used to break through a wall of the nightclub and rescue approximately 30 hostages. The suspect was shot by a police officer during this intervention.
John Mina, the chief of police, said they were still trying to identify the gunman, but he appears to have been “well-organised”. They could not confirm if the man was operating as a lone wolf or in coordination with others, but believe there is no increased threat to Orlando or the surrounding areas.
Police confirmed several “suspicious devices” were found in and around the nightclub, including one on the gunman and one on his car.
“This is an incident, as I see it, that we can definitely classify as a domestic terrorism incident,” said the Orange County sheriff, Jerry Demings.
When asked if the suspect had any affiliation with Islamic State, the FBI assistant agent in charge, Ron Hopper, said: “We do have suspicions that the individual may have leanings toward that ideology.” Though when pushed as to what led him to believe that, he clarified that all possibilities were being investigated.
The club itself posted a message on its Facebook page about 3 a.m.: “Everyone get out of pulse and keep running.”
Customers streamed out of the club into a chaotic situation with little idea of where to go. “Cops were saying, ‘Go, go, clear the area,’ ” Christopher Hansen told an Orlando television station. “You don’t know who’s what and who’s where.”
As the sun came up, helicopter-shot video showed a situation that seemed to be under control, although windows on one side of the club appeared to be shot out.
Phone camera videos shot at the scene show police cars, ambulances and other emergency vehicles outside the club on South Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando. Streets around the the club were shut down for several blocks.
In one video, shots could clearly be heard as men and women ran from Pulse. Some of the clubgoers told local television reporters that the music was so loud it was difficult, at first, to distinguish the shots from the pulsing beat.
More than 100 people were believed inside the club when the shooting began about 2 a.m.
Many of the wounded were taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, about three blocks from the club, which was placed on lockdown after receiving several gunshot victims. “Only essential workers are being allowed access into the building,” the hospital said in a statement.
“Out of an abundance of caution, Arnold Palmer Hospital and Winnie Palmer Hospital have also been placed on lockdown,” the statement added.
On Pulse’s Facebook page, club officials promised to post updates as they came in: “As soon as we have any information, we will update everyone.”
“Please keep everyone in your prayers as we work through this tragic event,” the nightclub post said. “Thank you for your thoughts and love.”
Local television stations broadcast interviews with people outside the club and the Orlando Regional Medical Center, about three blocks away from the club, anxiously waiting to hear from people who they said were still inside.
WKMG and WESH broadcast interviews with the crowds milling outside the hospital. One woman said she rushed to the area after she got a call from her daughter, who said, “Please come get us and come get us now.”
One mother told CNN: “A girlfriend of my son called and said he got shot, he got shot and she was crying.”
She said could not find her son, or even get information on where he had been taken. Some of the victims had been transferred to other hospitals “because this hospital was full,” she said outside Orlando Regional Medical Center.
The club, which calls itself “Orlando’s Latin Hotspot,” hosts an “Upscale Latin Saturdays” party on Saturday night with three D.J.s and a midnight show.
A terrorist opened fire inside a popular Orlando gay club near closing time early Sunday leaving “approximately” 20 people dead and 42 others wounded, according to authorities.
The 2 a.m. attack was “well organized and well prepared,” said local cops as FBI officials painted the attack as domestic terror. The shooter, who was not from the Orlando area, may have had “leanings” toward radical Islam, Special Agent Danny Banks revealed.
“I heard 20, 40, 50 shots,” Alamo said. “The music stopped.”
Christopher Hansen was in the VIP area when the tragedy began to unfold.
“I was thinking, are you kidding me? So I just dropped down. I just said, ‘Please, please, please, I want to make it out,’” he said. “And when I did, I saw people shot. I saw blood. You hope and pray you don’t get shot.”
The chaos continued as a barrage of gunshots were heard erupting at the nightclub after police detonated a “controlled explosion.”
Moots, who lives across the street from the club, said he saw police officers putting wounded clubbers into trucks and ambulances.
“We saw people being taken away with bullet wounds on their arms and abdomen,” Moots told The News.
Hillary Clinton has earned enough delegates to become the presumptive Democratic nominee, making her the first woman ever to win a major party nomination, the Associated Press reported on Monday night.
A combination of pledged and superdelegates put Clinton over the mark in her contest against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to the AP count.
Clinton’s historic victory — coming as a surprise, only hours before voters head to the polls on the last multi-state day of the Democratic primary — is likely to be tempered by her opponent Bernie Sanders’ reluctance to bow out of the race.
Before the AP updated its count and put her over the top, Clinton was just 23 delegates shy of the 2,383 needed to clinch the nomination, and with six states holding primaries or caucuses, she was expected to easily cross that threshold.
Six states will be voting tomorrow and Clinton’s campaign director has indicated that the candidate is working for each vote still. She currently holds a commanding lead in pledge delegates, voters, and super delegates.
President Obama called Sen. Bernie Sanders Sunday afternoon, according to a source familiar with the conversation, reports CBS News’ Julianna Goldman.
While the source didn’t characterize the conversation, Sanders spokesman told CBS News’ Kylie Atwood that the two have spoken on multiple occasions.
The call between the two lasted 30-45 minutes, CBS News’ Nancy Cordes reported. Sanders also spoke with the president by phone in mid-May.
The Vermont senator took the president’s call on the side of the road in the financial district in San Francisco, at around 2:30 p.m. ET. Atwood said that as the press bus drove by, Sanders could be seen standing on Market Street, legal pad in hand, as he talked on a cell phone.
Atwood asked Sanders about the conversation Tuesday, but he declined to say much about it.
“I have spoken to President Obama many many times about many issues, and I really think it’s not appropriate to talk about my discussions with the president,” he told Atwood. “I try to keep that private.”
On Tuesday, six states will hold election contests, and 694 delegates are at stake. Sanders’ opponent, front-runner Hillary Clinton is expected to surpass the 2,383 number of delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination early Tuesday evening. She needs just 23 delegates, according to CBS News’ count, to reach 2,383.
Hillary Clinton has secured enough delegates to win the Democratic presidential nomination, according to The Associated Press, emerging from a long and bruising primary to become the first woman to lead a major party in the race for the White House.
A bitter presidential contest that Clinton was once expected to win in a walk ended abruptly late Monday, as she claimed exactly the number of delegates needed to secure the nomination in her contest against Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, according the AP’s latest tally.
Clinton was widely expected — even inside her own campaign — to clinch the nomination on Tuesday, when California, New Jersey and four other states are scheduled to vote. But according to the AP, Clinton continued to pick up newly committed delegates over the weekend and on Monday that effectively guarantee her the nomination.
With that milestone, the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state has ended more than two centuries of national history in which only men have been the standard-bearers for the major political parties. She also overcame her own crushing loss in the 2008 Democratic primary against Barack Obama, as well as a political environment this year that favored outsiders at the expense of Clinton’s establishment credentials. And she became the first spouse of a former president to win the presidential nomination in her own right.
“My supporters are passionate, they are committed, they have voted for me in great numbers across the country for many reasons,” Clinton said Monday on the campaign trail in California. “But among the reasons is their belief that having a woman president would make a great statement — a historic statement — about what kind of country we are, what we stand for. It’s really emotional.”
Next up on the agenda, making sure that Donald Trump never gets near the White House.
Should we celebrate now or dance tomorrow?
Hillary will be appearing on the Maddow show shortly. She’s live from Long Beach, California if you’d like to watch her.
The Sanders Campaign has just provided a press release that declares that it’s not a real thing until Philadelphia. The AP says that she has 2384 pledged delegates as of right now.
Meanwhile, I’m going to just sit here and bask in all those glass shards. Millions and Millions of them.
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Speaker Boehner just announced he will be retiring his seat and plans to quit the speakership. The embattled Speaker was facing yet another grueling fight over mundane financing issues from the radical right wing of his party.
Speaker John Boehner plans to resign from Congress in late October, he told member of his conference Friday morning in a closed door meeting, according to multiple reports emerging from the meeting room.
Boehner is second in line to the presidency, after Vice President Joe Biden. He was first elected to Congress in 1990. He has served as speaker since Republicans took control of the House in 2011.
Boehner was meeting with his conferenceto discuss plans to avert a government shutdown, looming next week. The speaker was under enormous pressure to keep the government open and satisfy conservative members of the conference who were refusing to vote for any bill that would provide funds for Planned Parenthood.
Republican sources say an ally of Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) has attempted to recruit a primary challenger against the GOP lawmaker who introduced a measure to oust the Speaker.
Three senior GOP sources told The Hill they’ve heard Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) has reached out to Republicans in North Carolina’s 11th District to gauge their interest in launching a primary challenge against Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.).
Meadows is a Tea Party favorite who generated national headlines this summer after floating a plan to depose Boehner. McHenry is the chief deputy whip and a member of Boehner’s leadership team.
Boehner has been having his usual trouble with the party’s extremist religious right who is trying to defund Planned Parenthood and had threatened to shut down the government. The Senate has shutdown that possibility.
Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress on Thursday began advancing bills urgently needed to avoid federal agency shutdowns on Oct. 1 while navigating conservatives’ demands to punish Planned Parenthood over an abortion controversy.
The Senate defeated Republican efforts to use a funding extension bill to cut off money to Planned Parenthood, clearing the way for a version without that provision that extends all previous funding through Dec. 11.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has set the first procedural vote on that measure for Monday, two days before the federal fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.
I’m posting this so we can follow up with some live updates as they happen. So far, no names to replace the Speaker have been mentioned in the media,
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The Sky Dancing banner headline uses a snippet from a work by artist Tashi Mannox called 'Rainbow Study'. The work is described as a" study of typical Tibetan rainbow clouds, that feature in Thanka painting, temple decoration and silk brocades". dakinikat was immediately drawn to the image when trying to find stylized Tibetan Clouds to represent Sky Dancing. It is probably because Tashi's practice is similar to her own. His updated take on the clouds that fill the collection of traditional thankas is quite special.
You can find his work at his website by clicking on his logo below. He is also a calligraphy artist that uses important vajrayana syllables. We encourage you to visit his on line studio.