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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Tue Nov-10-20 02:51 PM

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"Anatomy of a coup attempt (swipe + links)"
Tue Nov-10-20 02:57 PM by MEAT

  

          

White House tells federal agencies to proceed with plans for Trump’s February budget in latest sign of election defiance

https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/11/10/trump-federal-budget-post-election/


The White House budget office has instructed federal agencies to continue preparing the administration’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year, according to multiple administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details of private conversations.

The White House budget proposal is typically issued in February, which would be at least two weeks after President Trump is scheduled to depart the White House. He lost the Nov. 3 election to former vice president Joe Biden, and Biden is set to be sworn in on Jan. 20, though Trump has refused to accept the results.

The decision to proceed with Trump’s budget for the 2022 fiscal year has rankled and surprised several career staffers given Biden’s victory in the presidential election, as well as the fact that the incoming Biden administration is expected to submit its budget plan to Congress early next year.

The insistence on budget planning, even though Trump won’t be in office to offer a budget in February, is part of a recent pattern of behavior from White House officials and senior political appointees that have shown a rejection of the election results.

Asked if the fiscal year 2022 budget process was proceeding as planned, a spokesperson for the White House budget office said, “Of course.”

The annual budget proposal is a massive White House undertaking that articulates the administration’s proposals for spending and taxes. Though many of the proposals are later discarded by Congress, it serves as an important marker to kick off fiscal negotiations. These budgets involve input from every federal agency and are often released with a media blitz and congressional hearings in February. The budget proposal under development by the Trump administration would be for spending that runs from Oct. 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2022, a period well after Trump leaves office.

Two administration officials involved in the new budget process said it was highly unusual for the White House to not adjust its budget planning based on the results of the election.

“They’re pretending nothing happened,” one government official involved in the federal budget process said. “We’re all supposed to pretend this is normal, and do all this work, while we know we’re just going to have to throw it away.”

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the internal planning.

The White House budget proposal has been largely a symbolic document, particularly under Trump. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Congress have often ignored the administration’s policy priorities in favor of their own.

Chantel Boyens, a former senior OMB official under the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, said it is common for outgoing administrations to work on aspects of the budget after losing an election. But, Boyens said, normally that work changes dramatically as White House officials recognize the policy priorities for their budgets will not materialize.

“The preparations going on now are not surprising given the administration’s position on the outcome of the election,” said Boyens, now a policy associate at the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. “At the point at which you know the outcome of the election, it would not make sense to continue formulating policy recommendations for a new budget to be put out by the outgoing administration.”

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“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
Lack of transition of power
Nov 10th 2020
1
Resignation in protest
Nov 10th 2020
2
Nation's top diplomat publically signaling power grab
Nov 10th 2020
3
Top diplomat to travel abroad to signal second term to allies
Nov 10th 2020
39
      Top diplomat signals on state tv that he was not joking
Nov 10th 2020
41
Military resignations/firings ... loyalists installed
Nov 10th 2020
4
Allies being bullied to "fall in line"
Nov 10th 2020
5
Deputized police to bypass turning the military on citizens
Nov 10th 2020
6
Large arms sale to regional allie to current regime
Nov 10th 2020
7
Another loyalist put in charge of defense
Nov 10th 2020
8
In this scheme they're being reclassified as career officials
Nov 10th 2020
9
      He just moved the special forces away from control of the generals
Nov 18th 2020
60
Issuing loyalty demands
Nov 10th 2020
10
Nation's top cop up to shenanigans
Nov 10th 2020
11
Political operatives giving legal cover to illegality at the NSA
Nov 10th 2020
12
      Which is another civil servant reclassification
Nov 10th 2020
13
           Career prosecutors leaking warnings about the depth of Barr concern
Nov 11th 2020
48
Record destruction
Nov 10th 2020
14
ICE is still up to fuckery
Nov 10th 2020
15
President has nearly a billion in debt that comes due if he cedes office
Nov 10th 2020
16
That wall at the WH just got 10 ft higher.
Nov 10th 2020
20
Fantastic post. This should be anchored.
Nov 10th 2020
17
Extralegal enforcement: Violence and Incitement Trends Are Particularly ...
Nov 10th 2020
18
Extralegal enforcement declaring they are Nazis
Nov 11th 2020
47
RE: Extralegal enforcement: Violence and Incitement Trends Are Particula...
Nov 12th 2020
56
US nuclear bomb overseer quits after clash with energy secretary
Nov 10th 2020
19
Ignoring the election results: vetting political appointees for a second...
Nov 10th 2020
21
Setting up a barnstorming propoganda + covid tour to dispute election
Nov 10th 2020
22
Beating the war drum with Iran
Nov 10th 2020
23
Iranian top nuclear scientist assisinated
Nov 27th 2020
72
Wilmington N.C. 1898 SAYS HELLO
Nov 10th 2020
24
Intelligence leaders only meeting with one party
Nov 10th 2020
25
Aide to convicted criminal named undersecretary of intelligence
Nov 10th 2020
26
First state willing to get on board is Tennessee
Nov 10th 2020
27
This is bad and all. But...
Nov 10th 2020
31
There is no but. This is bad. Bad things have starting points.
Nov 10th 2020
32
      Not downplaying at all.
Nov 10th 2020
33
Faithless elector laws that penalize are in place in a lot of the contes...
Nov 11th 2020
44
Lame duck sessions gutted the Wisconsin governors power
Nov 11th 2020
45
Michigan GOP steps in to help the disruption
Nov 12th 2020
57
Wow Meat! Thanks.
Nov 10th 2020
28
The Vice President is signaling he's willing to go along
Nov 10th 2020
29
Civilian defense leadership ... wiped out in 24 hours
Nov 10th 2020
30
Presidential System needs to go. This is proof of that.
Nov 10th 2020
34
      He alone doesn't - Senate GOP and House are/have been allowing this - n/...
Nov 10th 2020
35
           RE: He alone doesn't - Senate GOP and House are/have been allowing this ...
Nov 10th 2020
36
Retired general publicly signally that these moves are serious.
Nov 10th 2020
37
Him sharing/retweeting his concerns about document destroying at the pen...
Nov 10th 2020
38
This guy is removing all the secretaries and directors that he has the
Nov 10th 2020
40
Intelligence community is leaking that the situation is dire
Nov 10th 2020
42
This post is informative, and terrifying.
Nov 11th 2020
43
So even if it isn't a coup he's creating an actual deep state.
Nov 11th 2020
46
is this Trump, or the repubs themselves with trump as figurehead
Nov 11th 2020
49
The GOP is the part of the Confederacy. They believe in ruling
Nov 11th 2020
50
      RE: The GOP is the part of the Confederacy. They believe in ruling
Nov 11th 2020
52
           Because white people.
Nov 11th 2020
53
RE: Anatomy of a coup attempt (swipe + links)
Nov 11th 2020
51
Cyber security being gutted
Nov 12th 2020
54
Using Lame Duck period to force through idealogues
Nov 12th 2020
55
Assistant to the President "we are working on a second Trump administrat...
Nov 13th 2020
58
RE: Anatomy of a coup attempt (swipe + links)
Nov 14th 2020
59
Donald Trump is personally making phone calls to undermine the election
Nov 19th 2020
61
And corruptly making the request in person tomorrow
Nov 19th 2020
62
I'm convinced the GOP cheated big time
Nov 19th 2020
63
The explanation for the corruption explained by the campaign
Nov 19th 2020
69
If any of these states gets even close to a legislature vote on this...
Nov 19th 2020
64
are folks up for a general strike?
Nov 19th 2020
65
      I am.
Nov 19th 2020
66
he kept talking about ways he was going to try to steal this election
Nov 19th 2020
67
that's one of the most frustrating parts of the last 4 years
Nov 19th 2020
68
Her name is Monica Palmer... his, William Hartmann. And his FB feed whoo...
Nov 19th 2020
70
Top diplomat secretly meeting with Netanyahu & MBS the Saudi Crown Princ...
Nov 23rd 2020
71
He's goin to attack Iran
Nov 27th 2020
73
      They just did.
Nov 27th 2020
74

MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Tue Nov-10-20 02:52 PM

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1. "Lack of transition of power"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue Nov-10-20 02:57 PM by MEAT

  

          

A Trump appointee is in charge of handing transition resources to Biden — and she isn’t budging

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-gsa-letter-biden-transition/2020/11/08/07093acc-21e9-11eb-8672-c281c7a2c96e_story.html



It amounts to a formal declaration by the federal government, outside of the media, of the winner of the presidential race.

But by Sunday evening, almost 36 hours after media outlets projected Biden as the winner, GSA Administrator Emily Murphy had written no such letter. And the Trump administration, in keeping with the president’s failure to concede the election, has no immediate plans to sign one. This could lead to the first transition delay in modern history, except in 2000, when the Supreme Court decided a recount dispute between Al Gore and George W. Bush in December.

“An ascertainment has not yet been made,” Pamela Pennington, a spokeswoman for GSA, said in an email, “and its Administrator will continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law.”

The GSA statement left experts on federal transitions to wonder when the White House expects the handoff from one administration to the next to begin — when the president has exhausted his legal avenues to fight the results, or the formal vote of the electoral college on Dec. 14? There are 74 days, as of Sunday, until the Biden inauguration on Jan. 20.

“No agency head is going to get out in front of the president on transition issues right now,” said one senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. The official predicted that agency heads will be told not to talk to the Biden team.

The decision has turned attention to Murphy, whose four-year tenure has been marked by several controversies involving the president, an unusually high profile for an agency little known outside of Washington.

“Her action now has to be condemned,” said Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), who leads a House oversight panel on federal operations. “It’s behavior that is consistent with her subservience to wishes of the president himself, and it is clearly harmful to the orderly transition of power.”

The delay has implications both practical and symbolic.

By declaring the “apparent winner” of a presidential election, the GSA administrator releases computer systems and money for salaries and administrative support for the mammoth undertaking of setting up a new government — $9.9 million this year.

Transition officials get government email addresses. They get office space at every federal agency. They can begin to work with the Office of Government Ethics to process financial disclosure and conflict-of-interest forms for their nominees.

And they get access to senior officials, both political appointees of the outgoing administration and career civil servants, who relay an agency’s ongoing priorities and projects, upcoming deadlines, problem areas and risks. The federal government is a $4.5 trillion operation, and while the Biden team is not new to government, the access is critical, experts said.

This is all on hold for now.

“Now that the election has been independently called for Joe Biden, we look forward to the GSA Administrator quickly ascertaining Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the President-elect and Vice President-elect,” a Biden transition spokesman said in an email. “America’s national security and economic interests depend on the federal government signaling clearly and swiftly that the United States government will respect the will of the American people and engage in a smooth and peaceful transfer of power.”

As the campaign wound down, President Trump gave signals that he would not easily hand over the reins to his successor, if there was one. But for people who have been through them, a presidential transition is a massive undertaking requiring discipline, decision-making and fast learning under the smoothest circumstances. Each lost day puts the new government behind schedule.

“The transition process is fundamental to safely making sure the next team is ready to go on Day One,” said Max Stier, president and chief executive of the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service, which has set up a presidential transition center and shares advice with the Biden and Trump teams. “It’s critical that you have access to the agencies before you put your people in place.”

The Biden team can move forward to get preliminary security clearances and begin FBI background checks on potential nominees requiring Senate confirmation.

Another senior administration official who was not authorized to speak publicly said each agency has drafted detailed transition plans for a new administration, but they will not be released to the Biden team until a winner is formally declared.

Trump has been resistant to participating in a transition — fearing it is a bad omen — but has allowed top aides to participate as long as the efforts do not become public, administration officials said. He is unlikely to concede he has lost or participate in traditional activities, the officials said.

In a call on Friday with administration officials, Mary Gibert, the head of the presidential transition team at the GSA, told colleagues the agency was in a holding pattern and not to host people from Biden teams until there is “ascertainment.” She gave no specific timeline on when it was expected.

The delay has already gummed up discussions on critical issues, including plans to distribute a possible coronavirus vaccine, this official said.

GSA has been part of transition planning since the Presidential Transition Act was signed in 1963. Since then, the agency has identified the winner within hours or a day of media projections, and weeks before the results were made official by the electoral college.

Chris Lu, who served as former president Barack Obama’s transition director in 2008, recalled that after Obama was declared the winner over the late senator John McCain on Nov. 4, he went to sleep to get up early the next morning to open the transition office. He missed the call from GSA’s acting administrator, Jim Williams, informing him that he had signed over transition resources to the Obama team.

“Jim made the call at 1 a.m.,” Lu said. “There was simply no controversy involved.”

Robert C. MacKichan Jr., an attorney who served as GSA general counsel for presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, said that because Trump is contesting the election and the electors have not yet voted, it’s too early for Murphy to make a call. Once the administrator issues the letter, the funds can be spent and can’t be recouped.

“I don’t think, at this point, I would feel comfortable making that determination now,” MacKichan said. “It’s premature.”

MacKichan said he was confident Murphy would handle a difficult situation fairly. “As an attorney and as a procurement official, I think she has the highest standard of integrity,” he said.

Murphy has not sought the limelight during her tenure and was described by former colleagues as a by-the-book person. She’s regarded as well-qualified, an expert on contracting with experience both at the agency, where she had previously served as chief acquisition officer, and on Capitol Hill, where she had been a staffer for multiple committees. Heading a federal agency unknown to most Americans seemed like an ideal assignment.

But under Trump, two issues of personal importance to the president became almost constant sources of controversy for her: the lease Trump’s company holds with the agency for its D.C. hotel, located in the federally owned Old Post Office Pavilion, and the planned consolidation of the FBI headquarters.

Both projects have pressed Murphy into duty defending the president, and her actions elicited criticism from the agency’s watchdog as well as from congressional Democrats.

Trump’s hotel lease was signed with the agency before Trump took office, and he resigned his position with the company when he entered office. But he retained ownership of his business, allowing him to profit from the property while in office.

Democrats held repeated hearings to get a better explanation of how the agency decided to allow Trump to keep the lease given that the Constitution bar presidents from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments, which often patronize the hotel. Under Murphy, the GSA repeatedly declined to provide documents to House Democrats, including the monthly income statements it receives from Trump’s company.

Last year, the agency’s inspector general determined that GSA “improperly” ignored those concerns in allowing Trump’s company to keep the lease. GSA defended itself by saying that the investigation “found no undue influence, pressure or unwarranted involvement of any kind by anyone.”

Trump has personally intervened in the most prominent real estate project in the agency’s entire portfolio: the plan to build a new FBI headquarters that would allow the bureau out of the crumbling and insecure J. Edgar Hoover Building. During his first year in office, Trump and the GSA abruptly canceled a bipartisan plan to build a new suburban headquarters for the agency, infuriating Democrats who had worked more than a decade on the project and who alleged that Trump canceled the project so a competing hotel could never be built in place of the Hoover building, a site down the street from his hotel. The White House said the president’s business had nothing to do with the decision.

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“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Tue Nov-10-20 02:58 PM

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2. "Resignation in protest"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/doj-s-election-crimes-chief-resigns-after-barr-directs-prosecutors-n1247220

The head of the branch of the Justice Department that prosecutes election crimes stepped down from his post Monday in protest over a memo from Attorney General William Barr to federal prosecutors authorizing them to investigate “specific allegations” of voter fraud before the results of the presidential race are certified.

Richard Pilger, who was director of the Election Crimes Branch of the DOJ, sent an email to colleagues saying he could not longer do his job in the wake of Barr’s memo, which was issued as the president’s legal team mount baseless legal challenges to the election results, alleging widespread voter fraud cost him the race.

“Having familiarized myself with the new policy and its ramifications, and in accord with the best tradition of the John C. Keeney Award for Exceptional Integrity and Professionalism (my most cherished Departmental recognition), I must regretfully resign from my role as Director of the Election Crimes Branch,” Pilger’s letter said, according to a copy obtained by NBC News.

Pilger is remaining at the Justice Department in another capacity, officials said.

“I have enjoyed very much working with you for over a decade to aggressively and diligently enforce federal criminal election law, policy, and practice without partisan fear or favor. I thank you for your support in that effort.”

Barr on Monday issued a memo authorizing prosecutors "to pursue substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities prior to the certification of elections."

That's a change of Justice Department policy, which had previously advised prosecutors that "overt investigative steps ordinarily should not be taken until the election in question has been concluded, its results certified, and all recounts and election contests concluded."

Barr, who's come under fire by right-wing media for not bolstering the president's evidence-free claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, declared that guidance outdated.

"Such a passive and delayed enforcement approach can result in situations in which election misconduct cannot realistically be rectified," Barr said in the memo.

A DOJ official told NBC News that the memo from Barr does not allege that there are substantial irregularities in the election. It authorizes local U.S. attorneys to investigate if they learn of “clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State.”

It added, "While serious allegations should be handled with great care, specious, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched claims should not be a basis for initiating federal inquiries. Nothing here should be taken as an indication that the Department has concluded that voting irregularities have impacted the outcome of any election."

On Tuesday a Justice Department official told NBC News that DOJ is “looking into” allegations of ineligible voters in Nevada and mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania.

NBC News and several other major media outlets projected Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election on Saturday after several states spent days counting ballots following a record turnout, including mail-in and absentee voting. Trump has refused to concede to President-elect Biden and one of his appointees in the General Services Administration has yet to sign paperwork to begin the presidential transition.

Barr was not asked or directed by the president, any lawmaker, or anyone in the White House to issue this memo to federal prosecutors, according to a Department of Justice senior official. Barr, however, met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., earlier Monday. McConnell defended the president earlier Monday on the Senate floor, arguing he has a right to pursue recounts and lawsuits in court.

Barr did not respond to questions when he left McConnell’s office and a DOJ spokesperson has declined to comment on what the two men discussed.

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Tue Nov-10-20 03:00 PM

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3. "Nation's top diplomat publically signaling power grab"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/10/pompeo-smooth-transition-second-trump-administration-435754

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that there would “be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration” in the coming months — shrugging off a question about a transfer of power by President Donald Trump even as America’s allies began calling to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.

The remarks from Pompeo came during a news conference at the State Department, after he was asked whether the department was preparing to engage with Biden’s transition team and was pressed on the potential national security risks posed by a delayed transition of power.

Although it was unclear whether Pompeo was joking, he refused to acknowledge the outcome of the White House race and insisted that the election was still in the process of being determined. His rhetoric echoed other statements by the president’s allies and congressional Republicans lending credence to the Trump campaign’s voting-related legal challenges.

“We’re ready. The world is watching what’s taking place here,” Pompeo said. “We’re going to count all the votes. When the process is complete, there will be electors selected. There’s a process. The Constitution lays it out pretty clearly.”

The international community “should have every confidence that the transition necessary to make sure that the State Department is functional today, successful today, and successful with the president who is in office on Jan. 20, a minute after noon, will also be successful,” Pompeo said, referring to the date on which the next president will be inaugurated.

Pompeo, who served as CIA director at the outset of the Trump administration, also noted that he “went through a transition on the front end,” after the 2016 election. “I’ve been on the other side of this. I’m very confident that we will do all the things that are necessary to make sure that the government … will continue to perform its national security functions as we go forward,” he said.

The decision by America’s top diplomat to deny Trump’s election loss came as news broke of several world leaders reaching out to make contact with Biden. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister both tweeted that they spoke with the president-elect by phone. French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly called him, as well.

Pompeo said Tuesday that he was “getting calls from all across the world” about the U.S. election, and that foreign observers “understand that we have a legal process” and “understand that this takes time.” But he refused to say explicitly whether he supported the baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud leveled by the Trump campaign.

“I am very confident that we will count — and we must count — every legal vote,” Pompeo said, later flashing anger when asked whether Trump’s refusal to concede discredited State Department efforts to encourage free and fair elections around the globe.

“That’s ridiculous,” he told a reporter. “And you know it’s ridiculous. And you asked it because it’s ridiculous.”

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Tue Nov-10-20 09:56 PM

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39. "Top diplomat to travel abroad to signal second term to allies "
In response to Reply # 3


  

          

So here’s Pompeo saying he’s telling foreign governments that Biden has not been elected President. From Friday until Monday 11/23 he’ll be in France, Turkey, Georgia, Israel, Qatar, Saudi and the UAE.

https://mobile.twitter.com/attackerman/status/1326340561406746629

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Tue Nov-10-20 10:59 PM

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41. "Top diplomat signals on state tv that he was not joking"
In response to Reply # 39
Tue Nov-10-20 10:59 PM by MEAT

  

          

https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/1326370751788814337

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Tue Nov-10-20 03:02 PM

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4. "Military resignations/firings ... loyalists installed"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Day after defense secretary fired, top Pentagon policy official resigns

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/day-defense-secretary-fired-top-pentagon-policy-official/story?id=74131109

James Anderson, the acting under secretary for policy, who is considered to be among the Pentagon’s most important officials, has left the Department of Defense.

A defense official confirmed that Anderson resigned Tuesday and confirmed the contents of his resignation letter which was published by Politico.

A former defense official told ABC News that Anderson was asked to submit a resignation letter, which essentially means he was being fired. The Pentagon is not releasing the letter.
MORE: Trump says he's fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper

Anderson had been filling in as the acting policy chief since February when John Rood was fired by the Trump administration over policy disagreements.

The Pentagon is not confirming who Anderson’s successor will be.

Anderson's departure follows President Donald Trump's decision to fire Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday.

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Tue Nov-10-20 03:04 PM

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5. "Allies being bullied to "fall in line""
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/08/mexicos-president-wont-congratulate-biden-on-election-win-until-legal-challenges-over



Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said on Saturday he would not congratulate a winner of the US presidential election until legal challenges are concluded, in an apparent bid to avoid friction with Washington during the transition.

Democrat Joe Biden won the election on Saturday after a victory in the battleground state of Pennsylvania put him over the threshold of 270 electoral college votes.

Mexico is the United States’ top trade partner, with over $600bn of annual two-way commerce, and the bilateral relationship with its northern neighbour is by far the most important for Mexico.

“With regard to the US election, we are going to wait until all the legal matters have been resolved,” López Obrador, commonly known as Amlo, said at a news conference.

“I can’t congratulate one candidate or the other. I want to wait until the electoral process is over.”

Republican president Donald Trump has filed a raft of lawsuits to challenge the results, but electoral officials in states across the country say there has been no evidence of significant fraud, and legal experts say Trump’s efforts are unlikely to succeed.

The Mexican president linked his caution to his own allegations of fraud in two presidential elections he contested, in 2006 and 2012, before winning on his third bid in 2018.

His reluctance to comment on the US results stands in contrast to congratulations offered to Bolivia’s former president Evo Morales last year despite opposition claims of fraud in that re-election bid.

Mexican officials said the decision was born of a desire to avoid provoking Trump while he remained in the White House.

“Bolivia doesn’t have a 3,000-km border with Mexico,” an official said of the apparent contradiction. “It’s important to have a couple of months of peace and good neighbourly relations.“

In his remarks, Amlo said he had a good relationship with both Trump and former vice president Biden, whom he said he had known for a decade.

He has needed to toe a fine line with Trump, whose term is scheduled to end on 20 January. A Biden presidency could reset ties that have frayed since Trump made his first White House bid, tarring Mexican migrants as rapists and gun-runners and vowing to keep them out with a border wall.

Under Trump, Mexico has had to navigate abrupt demands to stem illegal migration or face trade tariffs.

However, by acceding to Trump’s migration dictates, Amlo has forged an uneasy relationship of some mutual convenience, in which Washington has mostly avoided criticising his economic policies.

“President Trump has been very respectful with us,” he said. “And we are thankful that he has not meddled.”

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Tue Nov-10-20 03:06 PM

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6. "Deputized police to bypass turning the military on citizens"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Fifty-six officers from the Portland Police Bureau were deputized as federal agents by the U.S. Marshal Service last month ahead of dueling political rallies in Portland so they could enter federal property such as the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse.


https://www.bluemountaineagle.com/news/state/oregon-city-commissioner-proposes-tighter-restrictions-on-federally-deputized-police-officers/article_2e990014-d081-57ab-88b4-083aebd28cfe.html

Oregon City Commissioner proposes tighter restrictions on federally deputized police officers
Tim Gruver | The Center Square


(The Center Square) – Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty wants tough restrictions placed on the dozens of federally deputized Portland police officers a week ahead of the general election with fears of escalated civil unrest.

Hardesty joined fellow City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly in calling on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to rescind its deputization of local police officers and state troopers as they continue to patrol Portland’s ongoing protests against police brutality.

Mayor Ted Wheeler has also requested that the DOJ rescind the deputization of city police in past weeks but has pursued no further action on the matter.

Fifty-six officers from the Portland Police Bureau were deputized as federal agents by the U.S. Marshal Service last month ahead of dueling political rallies in Portland so they could enter federal property such as the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse.

The DOJ has since declined the city’s requests to end local officers’ deputization.

Wheeler banned local officers from making arrests under federal law. An 18-year-old Oregonian has already been indicted on federal charges for hitting a police officer with an umbrella despite that ban.

Hardesty’s resolution bans officers from both making arrests under federal law and taking orders related to mass civil unrest from federal authorities or federally deputized local ones.

The resolution builds on prior legislation from the city council banning local officers from coordinating with federal agents deployed to the city under President Donald Trump’s executive order protecting federal monuments.

“Building on the mayor’s order to take no further action of any kind pursuant to the federal deputation, I am proposing a resolution that creates safeguards to further ensure these deputized officers remain under local control and protect Portlanders from being charged with bogus federal charges,” Hardesty wrote in a statement.

The only instances in which local officers can coordinate with federal authorities would be with the full permission of the city, the Portland police chief, or if Gov. Kate Brown assumed command of the Portland Police Bureau as she did briefly in September during a rally by the Proud Boys.

Under such conditions, any orders received would have to be shared with the Portland City Council.

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that he will not prosecute protesters for low-level misdemeanors unrelated to property or persons crimes.

“The deputation of the 56 Rapid Response Team officers is a clear attempt by the federal government to take over our local police force, circumvent DA Schmidt’s protest arrest policy, and threaten everyone’s right to free speech and assembly,” Hardesty wrote. “I have made clear that as long as these officers are deputized, they should not respond to protests.”

The Portland City Council will hear public testimony on the resolutions Wednesday afternoon.

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“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
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7. "Large arms sale to regional allie to current regime"
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https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2020-11-10/us-approves-2337-billion-sale-of-advanced-defense-equipment-to-uae-pompeo-says

U.S. Approves $23.37 Billion Advanced Arms Sale to UAE, Pompeo Says
By Reuters, Wire Service Content Nov. 10, 2020
3-4 minutes

By Matt Spetalnick and Pete Schroeder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration told Congress on Tuesday it had approved the U.S. sale of more than $23 billion in advanced weapons systems, including F-35 fighter jets and armed drones, to the United Arab Emirates, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

The formal notification followed a U.S.-brokered agreement in September in which the UAE agreed to normalize relations with Israel, becoming the first of three Arab states to make such a move in recent months.

"This is in recognition of our deepening relationship and the UAE’s need for advanced defense capabilities to deter and defend itself against heightened threats from Iran," Pompeo said in a statement.

The $23.37 billion package includes up to 50 F-35 Lighting II aircraft, up to 18 MQ-9B Unmanned Aerial Systems and a package of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions, the State Department said.

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committees - whose members have criticized UAE's role in civilian deaths in Yemen's civil war - review major weapons sales before the State Department sends its formal notification to the legislative branch.

Any deal the United States makes to sell weapons in the Middle East must satisfy decades of agreement with Israel that it must not impair Israel's "qualitative military edge" over its neighbors.

The announcement came just days after Democratic challenger Joe Biden won enough states needed to take the presidency from Trump, a Republican who made pro-Israel policies part of his re-election campaign.

Israel initially balked at the prospective sale of F-35 warplanes, valued at $10.4 billion, but dropped its opposition after what it described as U.S. guarantees that Israel's regional military superiority would be preserved.

The UAE, one of Washington's closest Middle East allies, has long wanted the stealthy jets and was promised a chance to buy them in a side deal when it agreed to normalize relations with Israel, part of a strategic regional realignment against Iran.

In the past, the F-35 has been denied to Arab states while Israel has about 24 of the jets. Israel is currently slated to purchase 50 of the fighters.

"The proposed sale will make the UAE even more capable and interoperable with U.S. partners in a manner fully consistent with America’s longstanding commitment to ensuring Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge," Pompeo said.

The $2.97 billon sale of armed drones would mark the first such export since the Trump administration reinterpreted a Cold War-era arms agreement between 34 nations to allow U.S. defense contractors to sell more drones to allies.

(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick and Pete Schroeder; additional reporting by Mike Stone; Editing by David Gregorio and Paul Simao)

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“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
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8. "Another loyalist put in charge of defense"
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https://www.wsj.com/articles/white-house-national-security-council-aide-is-named-to-top-pentagon-post-11605037916

President Trump has installed a National Security Council official and former congressional aide as chief of staff to new acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller https://wsj.com/articles/white-house-national-security-council-aide-is-named-to-top-pentagon-post-11605037916 via @WSJ

https://twitter.com/nancyayoussef/status/1326251877273579522?s=20


For those keeping score, Patel is the second former Nunes aide to be named to a senior national security post in as many days, after Michael Ellis was tapped for the NSA general counsel job. Both are views by Democrats as brazen political operatives.

https://twitter.com/dnvolz/status/1326253069907222529

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MEAT
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9. "In this scheme they're being reclassified as career officials"
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Making them harder to fire

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MEAT
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Wed Nov-18-20 10:28 AM

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60. "He just moved the special forces away from control of the generals"
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These moves don't happen for above board reasons

https://twitter.com/laraseligman/status/1329065639881879557

Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, himself a former Green Beret, announces that he has directed the Special Operations civilian leadership to report directly to the SecDef. This puts Special Operations command "on par with the military services for the first time."

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MEAT
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Tue Nov-10-20 03:17 PM

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10. "Issuing loyalty demands"
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https://www.rawstory.com/2020/11/trump-personnel-chief-threatens-to-fire-any-staffer-he-catches-sending-out-a-resume-cnns-tapper/

Trump personnel chief threatens to fire any staffer he catches sending out a resume: CNN’s Tapper

With President Donald Trump on his way out the door in less than three months, many White House staffers have reportedly started sending out resumes looking for new work.

However, a senior administration official tells CNN’s Jake Tapper that John McEntee, director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office, is warning staffers that they will be automatically fired if he catches them applying for other jobs.

“The news is dismaying to many members of the Trump administration who worry especially about young staffers who will soon need other sources of income given the fact that President Trump lost the election,” Tapper adds.

Even though it’s been two days since President-elect Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 race, Trump and his campaign staff have been in a state of denial that he will no longer be the president come noon on January 20th

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MEAT
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Tue Nov-10-20 03:18 PM

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11. "Nation's top cop up to shenanigans"
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https://www.vox.com/2020/11/10/21557852/bill-barr-election-memo-mitch-mcconnell-speech-fraud


What Bill Barr’s memo and Mitch McConnell’s speech mean for the election

Top Republicans are starting to sound somewhat sympathetic to Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of fraud. But how far will it go?

President Donald Trump has refused to concede the election to Joe Biden, making unsubstantiated claims that he only lost because of fraud — and top Republicans are beginning to sound at least somewhat sympathetic to him.

On Monday, Attorney General Bill Barr gave special authorization for US attorneys to investigate “substantial” allegations of election fraud, in a departure from the Justice Department’s typical practice of waiting until election results are certified to avoid influencing the results. After meeting with Barr, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor that Trump was “100 percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options,” adding that “the courts are here to work through concerns.”

Later on Monday, news broke that Richard Pilger, the career Justice Department official who headed the Election Crimes Branch, resigned from his post in protest of Barr’s move, writing in an email to colleagues that the new guidance was “abrogating the forty-year-old Non-Interference Policy for ballot fraud investigations.” (Pilger has not resigned from the department entirely, though, just from his particular post.)

It’s unclear whether Barr’s authorization of election fraud investigations will lead to anything at all, much less a second term for Trump. To get to 270 electoral votes, Trump would need to somehow overturn the outcome in at least three states where Biden leads by 10,000 votes or more. Among the many (largely dubious) claims of election irregularities the president’s legal team has made so far, there’s nothing close to a claim that would disqualify that many votes.

So it’s possible that this is an exercise mainly meant to humor the president and/or satisfy the Republican Party’s base — which, though it may be damaging to public confidence in the election system, won’t actually prevent Biden from being sworn in.

The more dangerous scenario would be as follows. First, Trump’s team or Justice Department officials lay out exaggerated or misleading claims of “fraud” to cast a cloud over the outcome in key states. Second, partisan Republican-appointed judges or GOP state legislators respond to these claims by blocking the certification of those key states for Biden.

To be clear, it seems unlikely that this would happen. Biden’s leads are probably too big in too many states. But it’s clearly what Trump wants to happen. And with December 8 as the deadline for states to certify election results, the president has four weeks to try to pull it off.
Bill Barr’s memo, explained

After a relatively quiet few weeks leading up to the election, Barr barged back into the political fray with a sudden change to the Justice Department’s practices on investigating potential election fraud. Barr laid out the change in a memo to US attorneys on Monday (you can read the full text of it at this link).

The practical change is that US attorneys now have blanket permission to investigate voting and vote-tabulation irregularities on their own. Before this, the general guidance was that federal prosecutors should consult with the department’s Elections Crimes Branch and wait to take overt investigative steps until the election results are certified, as a way to avoid influencing the outcome.

There are some important caveats, though. Barr wrote that any investigation “of claims of irregularities that, if true, would clearly not impact the outcome of a federal election in an Individual state” should be delayed until after certification. He also wrote that “specious, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched claims should not be a basis for initiating federal inquiries,” adding that “nothing here should be taken as any indication that the Department has concluded that voting irregularities have impacted the outcome of any election.”

Despite these qualifications, Pilger, the head of the department’s Election Crimes Branch, was sufficiently disturbed by Barr’s memo to step down from his post soon after Barr sent it. Pilger wrote in an email to colleagues that the change meant “abrogating the forty-year-old Non-Interference Policy for ballot fraud investigations in the period prior to elections becoming certified and uncontested.” He added that, having familiarized himself with the policy, he “must regretfully resign” from his role.

“I have enjoyed very much working with you for over a decade to aggressively and diligently enforce federal criminal election law, policy, and practice without partisan fear or favor,” Pilger added, seeming to imply something different was now going on.

The case for Barr’s change is this: If there actually was voter fraud on a scale large enough to impact the outcome of this election, it would be good to know that quickly. (Again, this seems extremely unlikely given that tens of thousands of votes would have to be affected across at least three states.)

But the reality is, the president has been making completely baseless assertions for months that there would be widespread voter fraud, and he continues to do so in an effort to explain his loss. And Barr and top Justice Department officials have often shown themselves — often dubiously — as eager to back up the president’s talking points.

Barr himself has opined that fraud in mail voting is widespread. And back in September, when a local office in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, opened and discarded nine ballots due to a contractor mistake, the US attorney for that district inserted himself into the matter, making unusual, partially erroneous public statements about his ongoing investigation.

So will Trump and Barr’s US attorneys truly play it straight with any investigation into voter fraud? Or will they mislead the public and/or misstate their findings in an effort to help the president politically — as Barr did with his letter framing special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia report?
What Mitch McConnell said

The networks may have called the election for Biden on Saturday, but few leading Republicans have done the same. Just a handful of GOP senators — Mitt Romney (R-UT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Ben Sasse (R-NE) — issued statements congratulating Biden, and even they tended to stress that Trump has the right to pursue legal challenges.

But in a Senate floor speech Monday, McConnell laid out his own take on the election results — and he’s not ready to congratulate Biden just yet.

“President Trump is 100 percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options,” McConnell said. “And notably, the Constitution gives no role in this process to wealthy media corporations. The projections and commentary of the press do not get veto power over the legal rights of any citizen, including the president of the United States.”

McConnell’s speech wasn’t a call to arms, exactly. He didn’t endorse Trump’s claims of voter fraud. He merely said that if Trump thinks there’s fraud, he can look into it and sue if he wants to. “The courts are here to work through concerns,” McConnell said. “This process will reach its resolution. Our system will resolve any recounts and litigation.”

But his message seemed to emphasize support of Trump’s rights and criticism of Democrats. And as one of the highest-ranking Republicans in Washington, it sent a message to many other GOP members of Congress out there: You don’t need to rush and declare this over just yet.

McConnell also met with Barr on Capitol Hill on Monday. It is not known what they discussed.
What’s really going on here?

So how should we think about all this?

One explanation that’s been put forth is that Republicans are trying to humor the president while understanding he’s headed for the exit. One anonymous senior Republican official told the Washington Post’s Ashley Parker just that, claiming, “No one seriously thinks the results will change.”

Of course, the downside would be that Republican voters lose confidence in the election system — a Politico/Morning Consult poll has already found that 70 percent of Republicans say they don’t believe the 2020 election was free and fair.

A second explanation is that this is about playing to the base. The Washington Examiner’s David Drucker reported that “Republican insiders privately concede Biden ousted Trump,” but they’re reluctant to acknowledge that because they fear “a rebellion by grassroots conservatives loyal to President Trump that would sink the party’s Senate majority.”

Indeed, those two special elections in Georgia in January are surely on McConnell’s mind, as they’ll determine whether he’s Senate majority leader or minority leader next year. But even beyond Georgia, Republicans are aware their base loves Trump, and that if they’re perceived as being disloyal or having stabbed him in the back, they could pay the price in future primaries. Theoretically, the hope here might be that Trump will eventually decide to throw in the towel, so they don’t have to publicly undercut him before that. And maybe he will.
But what if Trump doesn’t want to throw in the towel?

Currently, Biden leads by about 146,000 votes in Michigan, 45,000 votes in Pennsylvania, 36,000 votes in Nevada, 20,000 votes in Wisconsin, 14,000 votes in Arizona, and 12,000 votes in Georgia. For Trump to get 270 electoral votes, he would have to change the outcome in at least three of those states — a tall order.

Trump also faces a deadline: December 8, when states have to have their election results certified. (Six days after that, on December 14, the Electoral College will vote, setting its results in stone. Congress has the role of counting those electoral votes in January, but it would take a majority in both the House and Senate to sustain any objection to the initial count.)

So Trump evidently hopes he can concoct a narrative of fraud that will win over Republicans — and that some combination of Republican state officials, legislators, and judges will block the certification of results in key states for Biden.

That seems far fetched. Trump’s suits have had little legal success so far, Republican state officials involved in the counts have insisted they’ve found no fraud, and some GOP leaders in state legislatures have said they won’t or can’t change the outcome. But Trump has four more weeks to try to change their minds.

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“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
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12. "Political operatives giving legal cover to illegality at the NSA"
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https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/former-gop-political-operative-michael-ellis-named-as-nsa-general-counsel/2020/11/09/8c7c025a-22cc-11eb-8672-c281c7a2c96e_story.html



The Pentagon general counsel has named a White House official and former GOP political operative to be the top lawyer at the National Security Agency, the U.S. government’s largest and most technically advanced spy agency, U.S. officials said.

The selection of Michael Ellis, which has not yet been announced, was made Monday, said officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. The appointment was made under pressure from the White House, said a person familiar with the matter.

The NSA declined to comment. The Pentagon and White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Ellis, who was chief counsel to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), a staunch supporter of President Trump and then-chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has been at the White House since early 2017, when he became a lawyer on the National Security Council and then this year was elevated to senior director for intelligence.

In March 2017, he gained publicity for his involvement in a questionable episode involving Nunes, who was given access at the White House to intelligence files that Nunes believed would buttress his baseless claims of the Obama administration spying on Trump Tower.

News reports stated that Ellis was among the White House officials who helped Nunes see the documents — reportedly late at night, earning the episode the nickname “the midnight run.”

Ellis also has figured in the controversy over Trump’s effort last year to pressure Ukraine’s president to undertake what a whistleblower said was a politically motivated investigation of Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

According to testimony from another NSC official, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, whom Trump fired earlier this year, it was Ellis who first proposed moving a memorandum of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president to a highly classified server.

The job of NSA general counsel is highly demanding, requiring candidates to have broad professional legal experience, an authoritative knowledge of statutes and executive branch regulations, and an ability to lead a legal office of about 100 lawyers for a sprawling agency — the equivalent of the legal shop for a multibillion-dollar global corporation.

Ellis, if he passes the background and security clearance checks, would be succeeding Glenn Gerstell, who was general counsel from 2015 through January of this year. Gerstell practiced law for nearly 40 years at an international law firm, Milbank LLP, where he had been managing partner of the firm’s Washington office and led its Singapore and Hong Kong offices.

Gerstell declined to comment on Ellis’s selection. But, he noted, the agency and its legal office have “a deep tradition of being nonpartisan and it would be important for anybody in the position of general counsel to discharge the job that way.”

Ellis graduated from Yale Law School in 2011 and clerked for Judge Jeffrey Sutton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit and Judge Amul Thapar of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

As general counsel, he will no longer be a presidential appointee, but a senior civil servant with civil service protections. A future Pentagon general counsel could choose to assign him to a different civil service position.

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MEAT
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13. "Which is another civil servant reclassification"
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MEAT
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48. "Career prosecutors leaking warnings about the depth of Barr concern"
In response to Reply # 13


  

          

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/11/us/politics/justice-department-barr-public-integrity.html

Barr’s Decision on Voter Fraud Inflames Existing Tensions With Anticorruption Prosecutors
By
KATIE BENNER
nytimes.com
8 min
View Original

The department’s handling of President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and a potential case against the former interior secretary exacerbated tensions with career prosecutors.
Attorney General William P. Barr said that he wanted to allow prosecutors to look in to voter fraud allegations before the results of the presidential race had been certified.
Attorney General William P. Barr said that he wanted to allow prosecutors to look in to voter fraud allegations before the results of the presidential race had been certified.

WASHINGTON — As the scandal over President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine unfolded in Washington last fall and prompted his impeachment, public corruption prosecutors in the Justice Department were stewing.

They had examined Mr. Trump’s actions and found no campaign finance violations, and were initially given the green light to pursue a potentially explosive inquiry into whether he had broken any other laws.

But Attorney General William P. Barr and other top officials held them back while Congress investigated the same matter during impeachment hearings. After the Senate acquitted the president, Mr. Barr in effect took the case away from the Public Integrity Section, sending all Ukraine-related inquiries to the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn, according to six people familiar with the matter.

Compounding the prosecutors’ dissatisfaction was a stalled case around that time against a member of Mr. Trump’s cabinet, the former interior secretary Ryan Zinke. The deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, told the section’s lawyers that they needed a stronger case.

The details of their case are not public, making it difficult to evaluate its strength, but the response from Mr. Rosen exacerbated a sense inside the Public Integrity Section that top department officials would hinder investigations into Mr. Trump and his officials, according to several people familiar with the inquiry who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive investigations.

The boiling frustration was a critical moment in the long-running tensions between the Public Integrity Section and the Trump administration that began under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. They spilled into the open this week Mr. Barr issued a memo authorizing prosecutors to investigate voter fraud claims before the results of the presidential race are certified, prompting the section’s lawyer who oversees voter fraud investigations, Richard Pilger, to step down from the post in protest.

“Having familiarized myself with the new policy and its ramifications,” Mr. Pilger wrote in an email to colleagues, “I must regretfully resign from my role as director of the Election Crimes Branch.”

The encounters were the latest example of Trump appointees at the top of the Justice Department overruling career prosecutors, drawing criticism that the administration was eroding the department’s typical separation from politics. Critics have also accused Mr. Barr of using the department to protect Mr. Trump and further his interests.

“All of these incidents coming to light show that Barr has been single-minded in his efforts to end the longstanding norm that the Justice Department be independent from politics,” said Vanita Gupta, a former department official under the Obama administration and now the head of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

The Public Integrity Section was created as a post-Watergate safeguard against abuses of power. It has secured bribery and extortion convictions against politicians as part of the Abscam scandal of the 1970s and early 1980s and a corruption conviction against the lobbyist Jack Abramoff in 2006.

Its reputation suffered with the botched prosecution of Senator Ted Stevens, Republican of Alaska, a case the department ultimately dropped.

The mistrust between lawyers in the Public Integrity Section and Trump officials began soon after Mr. Sessions became attorney general early in 2017.

He asked public corruption lawyers to brief him on high-profile investigations that they had declined to prosecute under the Obama administration and whether they could be reopened — including inquiries into Bill and Hillary Clinton’s foundation and an I.R.S. employee’s denial of tax-exempt status to conservative groups, according to two people with knowledge of the conversation.

Though public corruption staff members expressed views that Mr. Sessions’ questions were inappropriate, they were relieved when he did not push them to act after they explained why the cases had been closed, the people said.
The mistrust between lawyers in the Public Integrity Section and Trump officials began soon after Jeff Sessions became attorney general early in 2017.Credit...Erin Schaff for The New York Times

Mr. Sessions said in a statement that he did ask for briefings on “certain high-profile cases” that been heavily scrutinized, defending his requests as “entirely proper.”

“Ensuring the professionalism and integrity of the department is the high duty of the attorney general,” Mr. Sessions said. “No member of the department and no part of their work is above supervision and review.”

Mr. Trump also took aim at the work of public corruption prosecutors in Washington and at U.S. attorney’s offices around the country, issuing pardons and commutations for people they had prosecuted, including Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona, a staunch supporter of the president who had been convicted on contempt of court charges.

Mr. Barr’s confirmation hearing early last year did little to alleviate the prosecutors’ fears of continued interference. He testified that he had urged Mr. Sessions to end the department’s bribery and corruption prosecution of Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, whose first trial had ended in a hung jury. The department did withdraw the case under Mr. Sessions.

He said that the case was similar to some he had taken issue with during his first stint as attorney general in the first Bush administration and that he “the prosecution was based on a fallacious theory” that could have long-term consequences for the department.

The anti-corruption lawyers’ fears about Mr. Barr were put to the test in August 2019 when the department learned that Mr. Trump had urged President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in a phone call to work with Mr. Barr to announce investigations that could help Mr. Trump politically.

Mr. Barr deterred two intelligence officials from forwarding a whistle-blower’s complaint about the phone call to Congress and said that the department would handle the criminal referral against Mr. Trump. The Public Integrity unit, which examines allegations of political corruption including campaign finance law violations, took on the matter.

Officials asked Mr. Pilger, who oversaw election-related crimes, and another lawyer to look into the matter, according to three people familiar with the inquiry. He and a colleague determined after about two weeks that Mr. Trump’s actions did not meet the threshold necessary to open an investigation into violations of campaign finance law, the subject of the referral.

“All relevant components of the department agreed with this legal conclusion, and the department has concluded the matter,” the department said in a statement in September 2019. Officials said at the time that the campaign finance determination did not preclude further investigatory work on any other potential issues.

Mr. Trump’s allies seized on that determination on the narrow question of campaign finance law to declare his innocence. But lawyers in the Public Integrity section had not examined any other potential violations, according to five people familiar with the section’s work.

It was not clear whether that office pursued an inquiry into Mr. Trump.

Their swelling frustration was a test for the new head of the section, Corey Amundson, who had joined from the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility that September.

At the start of his tenure, Mr. Amundson told staff members that he had prewritten a resignation letter that he would submit if he felt he was asked to act unethically. He soothed tempers in the Ukraine matter in part by agreeing that the reconstructed transcript of the call issued by the White House left open questions about whether Mr. Trump had violated other statutes, according to four people with knowledge of the discussions.

He said that more investigation was warranted and notified his boss, Brian A. Benczkowski, then the head of the criminal division, about the tensions over the Ukraine call. Mr. Benczkowski agreed that further inquiry would be appropriate, the people said.

But once Congress began its impeachment inquiry, top Justice Department officials decided that an investigation of Mr. Trump had been overtaken by the events of impeachment, according to two people briefed on the matter. Then any inquiry into the call was consolidated with other Ukraine matters at the beginning of this year under the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office. Under the Trump administration, the department has often moved politically fraught work to prosecutors far from Washington. Those investigations have rarely resulted in charges.

Around that time, the deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, also told prosecutors in the section that they could not proceed with charges against Mr. Zinke of making false statements to federal investigators, a case that stemmed from a referral from the Interior Department inspector general, according to three people familiar with the case.

Mr. Rosen expressed doubts about the strength of the case and sought a stronger prosecution. The prosecutors agreed to work further, and the inquiry has not been officially closed, according to people familiar with the matter.

The presidential race reignited the tensions in the weeks leading up the election. Mr. Barr told leaders in the criminal division, which oversees the Public Integrity Section, that he wanted to allow prosecutors to look into voter fraud allegations before the results of the presidential race had been certified, according to two people briefed on his conversations.

Such a move would not only contravene a longstanding department policy intended to keep the department from inadvertently affecting the results of the race, but it would also allow federal prosecutors to bypass the Public Integrity Section and Mr. Pilger, who had long been assigned to approve requests to conduct election fraud investigations that fell outside of the department’s guidelines.

Mr. Barr had a fundamental disagreement with Mr. Pilger over the original policy, which presumed that any overt investigative steps like questioning witnesses could harm an election. Mr. Barr had argued that fraud allegations should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, according to a department official.

The head of the criminal division, Brian Rabbitt, Mr. Barr’s former chief of staff, pushed back on the attorney general’s proposal. He and his staff considered the matter resolved when Election Day passed without Mr. Barr issuing any edict.

But the attorney general concluded it was ultimately his call, the department official said. He made it on Monday, saying that with all the votes cast it was proper for prosecutors to look into claims of voting irregularities.

The move stunned Mr. Rabbitt, Mr. Amundson, Mr. Pilger and others inside the criminal division, according four people who spoke with them. Mr. Pilger stepped down from his post within hours for a nonsupervisory role at the department.

Some colleagues expressed hope that his protest would send a message to the public and to other officials that they did not condone Mr. Barr’s memo. They told others that they feared he had set the stage for a U.S. attorney in a battleground state to announce an inquiry or take investigative steps that advance Mr. Trump’s debunked narrative that the election was stolen.

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Tue Nov-10-20 03:22 PM

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14. "Record destruction"
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https://thehill.com/homenews/house/525308-house-committee-leaders-urge-federal-agency-to-comply-with-record-keeping-laws

House committee leaders urge federal agency to comply with record-keeping laws amid transition
3-4 minutes

A number of House committee chairs have urged the Trump administration to comply with record-keeping laws and preserve information related to congressional investigations amid the anticipated transition to a Biden administration.

The leaders sent letters to the White House and more than 50 federal agencies urging them to save documents and data that could be related to a congressional inquiry that was initiated during the 116th Congress, including text messages, phone-based message applications and encryption software.

The letters come as President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenPence to attend Senate GOP lunch on Tuesday Biden transition team to mull legal action over agency's transition delays: reports Manchin shoots down chance that Senate Democrats nix filibuster, expand court MORE’s team moves ahead with transition planning after being projected to win the presidential election on Saturday.

“As the Trump Administration prepares for the transition of power to the new Biden Administration, we write to remind you that all Executive Office of the President employees and officials must comply with record preservation obligations set forth in federal law and preserve information relevant to congressional oversight,” the leaders wrote to White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

Democrats have repeatedly accused the administration of obstructing its investigations by not providing necessary information and says it is now on the outgoing administration to preserve those records.

Democrats are projected to retain control of the House chamber but with fewer seats in the majority.

“You are obligated to ensure that any information previously requested by Congress—and any other information that is required by law to be preserved—is saved and appropriately archived in a manner that is easily retrievable.”

Multiple news outlets projected Biden as the winner of the presidential election on Saturday, but President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence to attend Senate GOP lunch on Tuesday Biden transition team to mull legal action over agency's transition delays: reports Trump campaign lawyers worry about pushing lawsuits that could undermine election: report MORE has yet to concede.

Biden’s team has hit a roadblock however, with the General Services Administration (GSA) not yet recognizing his projected win, preventing access to millions of dollars in federal funding for salaries and travel, prompting the team to mull legal action over the agency’s delay.

A GSA spokesperson told The Hill on Monday that Emily Murphy, a Trump appointee, is reportedly waiting to see that “a winner is clear.”

"An ascertainment has not yet been made. GSA and its Administrator will continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law," the spokesperson said.

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Tue Nov-10-20 03:25 PM

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15. "ICE is still up to fuckery"
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https://www.vice.com/en/article/wx85k5/ice-tried-to-deport-yet-another-potential-witness-in-the-gynecology-scandal

ICE Tried to Deport Yet Another Potential Witness in the Gynecology Scandal
Greg Walters, Carter Sherman, Neda Toloui-Semnani
9-12 minutes

Yanira was three years old when she was brought to the United States from Mexico. This week, the 36-year-old could become the latest woman to be deported after undergoing gynecological procedures while detained in an Immigration Customs and Enforcement facility in Georgia.

She is just one of the more than 50 women who have come forward in the wake of an explosive whistleblower complaint released in September, which alleged “jarring medical neglect” and confusing medical care at the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia.

Through medical records, interviews with detained women, and interviews with attorneys, VICE News has uncovered the accounts of 15 women who said that they underwent gynecological procedures that they didn’t want, didn’t understand, or found deeply painful while detained at Irwin.

Although the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General has launched an investigation into the facility, VICE News has learned of six potential witnesses, including Yanira, who said that ICE deported or attempted to deport them before they could testify or fully testify in that investigation.

Yanira, who was picked up by immigration officials after being jailed in South Carolina, is still facing the prospect of being deported to Mexico even though she said she doesn’t speak fluent Spanish and she’s only met her family there a handful of times. She has an 11-year-old daughter who is a U.S. citizen.

“I'm about to be separated from her,” she told VICE News from inside the facility on Sunday. “And I'm gonna have to call her and let her know that I might be getting deported.

“I don't know how she's going to take it.”

Like other women who say they experienced medical mistreatment while detained at Irwin, Yanira was a patient of local gynecologist Dr. Mahendra Amin, who has denied all wrongdoing. Her account and allegations against Amin were provided to federal investigators in late October. Yet Yanira, whom VICE News is identifying only by her first name, first suspected she was scheduled to be deported after the money in her commissary account was wiped over the weekend.

When VICE News reached her on Sunday night, she was preparing to leave for an early Monday morning flight to Acuña, in the Mexican state of Coahuila.

Yanira said she was sitting in a van, waiting to get on a plane, when she learned that her deportation was being halted. She said that when two of the ICE officials who were transporting her learned that she was potentially involved in an investigation, they suggested that women were lying about Amin.

“That's a bunch of damn lies that everybody is making,” Yanira recalls one officials saying.

As of Monday night, Yanira was back at Irwin, where she has been detained for more than 10 months.

“ICE holds its employees to the highest standards of professional conduct and any accusation of inappropriate behavior should be reported through official channels,” ICE said in a statement.

The Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia. (Photo: Juanita Ceballos/VICE News)

Last week, Ana Cajigal Adan, another potential witness, said that ICE told her that she would soon be deported to Mexico, a country that Adan has not lived in since she was just six months old. Ultimately, Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat, stepped in to stop Adan’s deportation, but her attorneys told VICE News that they still feared she could be deported at any time.

Adan said that she didn’t consent to a procedure where Amin inserted an instrument with a condom-like covering into her vaginal canal.

Amelia Wilson, an attorney with the Immigrants Rights’ Clinic at Columbia Law School who is working on Yanira’s case, said that ICE is now trying to cover up evidence.

“ICE is engaging in retaliatory deportations in an effort to silence witnesses and victims who are critical to the DOJ's investigation into Dr. Amin's monstrous activity,” Wilson said.

In response, ICE issued VICE News a statement and said that the agency “fully cooperates” with the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general office.

“ICE has been notifying the DHS OIG , through ICE Office of Professional Responsibility, about any planned transfers or removals of Irwin detainees who were former patients of Dr. Amin, and is fully supporting the efforts by both the DHS OIG and DOJ Civil Rights Division,” an ICE spokesperson told VICE News in an email. “Any implication that ICE is attempting to impede the investigation by conducting removals of those being interviewed is completely false.”

In late October, a team of independent doctors and nursing experts submitted a report to Congress in which they concluded that they’d found a “disturbing pattern” of questionable gynecological procedures performed on women detained at Irwin County Detention Center. After reviewing more than 3,200 pages of records from 19 women, these experts said that “many women either underwent abdominal surgery or were pressured to have a surgery that was not medically indicated and to which they did not consent.”

“None of the women appear to have received adequate informed consent,” they added.

Scott Grubman, Amin’s attorney, said that the records reviewed for the report were “severely incomplete, at best.” There are signed consent forms for Amin’s patients, Grubman said; VICE News has independently found four consent forms signed by women who were detained at Irwin.

Although the experts acknowledged that they had not seen all of the patients’ medical records, one of the report’s authors, Dr. Ted Anderson of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told VICE News that they had seen enough to make their conclusions.

“Consent is actually a conversation that you have, and not a piece of paper,” Anderson said. “There are documents we got from the detention center in which the patients report asking why they had surgery and say they don’t understand what happened. That clearly indicates there was not informed consent.”

Anderson told the Washington Post that, in one instance, Amin may have saved a woman’s life. That detail isn’t included in the report submitted to Congress.

Yanira said she first saw Amin in February, after she felt a rush of hot flashes and tiredness. She wanted something like the estrogen medication that she had taken since 2014, when she had a hysterectomy; medical records reviewed by VICE News confirm that she made this request.

During her first visit to Amin’s office, Yanira thought the examination would only include questions about her hysterectomy. Instead, Amin told Yanira that he wanted to perform a transvaginal ultrasound.

“He said it was standard procedure that he liked to do on, you know, his patients when he first evaluates them,” Yanira said. She agreed to the procedure.

“He then inserted some monitor to do the ultrasound and he jammed it in there, you know, very rough, without even being gentle or anything, just jammed it up in there like it was nothing,” she said. “And he caused me a lot of pain and a lot of discomfort.”

VICE News has reviewed medical records that confirm Yanira underwent an ultrasound through Amin’s practice. After that ultrasound, Yanira said that Amin performed an exam involving his fingers, which was also painful.

“I started squirming away,” Yanira said. “I told him that it hurts, and he told me to just hold still, for me to scoot back down. And I told him I couldn't because it was hurting me so much and he then withdrew his fingers.”

Afterward, Yanira said that she bled for days. She needed to take ibuprofen.

Yanira said she once again ran out of her medication in September, and she went back to Amin. Although she just wanted more of her medication, Yanira said she was convinced to also undergo a Pap smear.

“When he grabbed his tool to do my Pap smear, he just again, he just like, shoved it in there, like it was nothing,” Yanira said.

Grubman initially declined to comment unless Yanira signed off on a legal waiver to let Amin speak about her case, citing federal privacy laws. After VICE sent him a waiver that had been provided by Yanira's legal team, Grubman declined to accept it unless he communicated with “the patient or the patient’s representative.” When a member of Yanira’s legal team (who was a law student working on the case) sent him the waiver, Grubman once again refused to accept it, saying that he needed to speak directly to a lawyer.

“It would then take at least one week for us to be able to do a thorough review of the relevant records, so you’re not going to have an answer by your deadline,” Grubman told VICE News in an email.

A member of Yanira’s legal team, another law student, then tried to call Grubman to discuss the waiver. According to that student, Grubman hung up on them. He told VICE News in an email that he was “tied up for the rest of the week,” so he wouldn’t be able to do enough of a review to fully respond to Yanira’s allegations.

“Dr. Amin treats all patients with care and respect, and any allegation of improper treatment is simply false,” Grubman said. “Dr. Amin continues to cooperate fully with investigators and is confident that those investigations will clear him of any and all wrongdoing.”

After being charged with a minor drug offense, Yanira's case was concluded in October 2019. She pleaded guilty, she said, because she didn’t have money for a lawyer and believed she would go to jail for 90 days. But in January, she was transferred to ICE detention.

“I don't think it's the way that we deserve to be treated or disrespected or neglected,” Yanira told VICE News Sunday of her experience at Irwin. “We're not animals. We're still human beings.

“We deserve to get another chance. Everybody, you know, a lot of people get second chances. Why can't we?”

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
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Tue Nov-10-20 03:31 PM

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16. "President has nearly a billion in debt that comes due if he cedes office"
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https://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2020/10/19/trump-will-have-900-million-of-loans-coming-due-in-his-second-term-if-hes-reelected/?sh=13da8ed95f37

Trump Will Have $900 Million Of Loans Coming Due In His Second Term If He’s Reelected
Dan Alexander
9-11 minutes
The president would likely have to engage in a series of high-stakes transactions that could produce unfathomable conflicts of interest.

Trump header

DESIGN BY FORBES. PHOTOS: PHOTO BY JABIN BOTSFORD/THE WASHINGTON POST VIA GETTY IMAGES, RICKY CARIOTI/THE WASHINGTON POST, GEORGE ROSE/GETTY IMAGES, GETTY CREATIVE.

Whether or not Donald Trump wins the election, lenders will expect his businesses to pay back an estimated $900 million in the next four years, an alarmingly accelerated timetable that involves more than twice as much debt as the president previously indicated. In order to emerge unscathed, Trump will likely have to engage in a series of high-stakes, big-money transactions—deals that could produce arguably the biggest conflicts of interest that an American president has ever had to face.

About half of the debt coming due from the start of 2021 to the end of 2024 is secured against assets that the president and his children own outright. He will have to pay back loans against his hotel in Washington, D.C., his golf resort in Miami and his tower in Chicago. He’ll also have to sort out the debt against Trump Tower and Trump Plaza in New York City.

Trump National Doral

The president has two mortgages, totaling $125 million, against his Miami golf resort. Both come due in 2023.
PHOTO BY JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES

The rest of the loans are held against 1290 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan and 555 California Street in San Francisco, office buildings in which the president has a 30% limited partnership interest. Those properties currently have a combined $1.5 billion in debt against them, and Trump’s indirect share of their liabilities adds up to an estimated $447 million. As a limited partner, however, he presumably has less control over those obligations, as well as some protection if the properties fail to pay back their loans. “You know what limited means—limited as to liability,” Trump explained in a 2015 interview with Forbes, adding, “Where that is good is in bad times. If the world collapses, I’m not responsible for putting up any money.”

But make no mistake, the loans still have an enormous effect on his business. Trump’s interests in 555 California Street and 1290 Avenue of the Americas are the two most valuable holdings in his entire portfolio. The amount of money he can extract from them depends largely on the amount of debt they carry. Right now, the California skyscraper is encumbered with a loan of an estimated $541 million, expiring in September 2021. It’s the first in a series of loans set to come due in Trump’s second term. The president’s business partner, publicly traded Vornado Realty Trust, owns the other 70% of the building and is in charge at the property. It’s currently pondering what to do with the debt, having announced in June that it was considering recapitalizing the building.

If Vornado decides to sell, it would likely have to take a steep discount. After all, investors aren’t exactly clamoring to make big bets on office space these days. The potential conflict: maybe someone would be interested in paying top dollar if it meant pushing a large sum of money toward the president of the United States. If Vornado instead decides to refinance, it may not be able to secure its desired appraisal. On the other hand, big banks might be eager to help the president extract a fortune from the property.

Those same kinds of questions would likely complicate the decision-making around every expiring loan in the president’s portfolio. About a year after the debt against 555 California Street matures, the loan against Trump Tower is scheduled to be due, on September 6, 2022. The president borrowed $100 million against that property in 2012, and he has been paying only interest on it since then. But about two years into his potential second term, his lenders will be expecting a fresh $100 million.
The Looming Loans
The president would have to pay back two of his most troubled loans in the final year of his second term.

Timeline desktop

In November 2022, a couple of months later, the loan against 1290 Avenue of the Americas is set to mature. Trump’s indirect share of that loan, which amounts to $285 million, appears to be the single largest liability in the president’s portfolio. Assuming all goes well, Trump’s empire will have reworked an estimated $547 million worth of debt by the time he pays back that loan.

But that’s when things will get really complicated. By 2023, the Trump Organization will have to figure out what to do about the Deutsche Bank mortgages against Trump National Doral, the Miami golf resort, which total $125 million. It won’t be easy to sell the property—certainly not for the reported $363 million Trump has invested in it. Forbes estimates the place is worth only $153 million today. Lenders might also be wary of extending new debt there, given that Doral’s profitability plunged after Trump’s politics turned off many of the liberal Northeasterners who used to fly in for a few days of golf.

As Trump enters the final full year of his second term, his financial situation will grow even more fraught. His business will have to figure out what to do with the $170 million Deutsche Bank mortgage against the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., which comes due in 2024. The Trump Organization reportedly tried to deal the property before the pandemic, hoping for an absurd $500 million sale. One real estate investor, named Brian Friedman, offered $175 million, but the Trumps turned him down. The market for luxury hotels ended up crashing as the coronavirus infected the country. The D.C. hotel now appears to be underwater, or close to it, and it seems clear that the place is not producing enough profit to cover its interest expenses.

The Trump International Hotel located at 1100 Pennsylvania Ave, NW.

The Trump Organization got a $170 million mortgage from Deutsche Bank to build out its D.C. hotel. The loan comes due in 2024.
JONATHAN NEWTON / THE WASHINGTON POST VIA GETTY IMAGES

The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago could also pose problems. The president has another Deutsche Bank loan against that property, for what appears to be $45 million. Documents obtained by the Washington Post show that the hotel, in which the president still owns an estimated 52% of the rooms, turned an operating profit of just $1.8 million in 2018. It’s hard to imagine the financial picture is any prettier these days.

For Trump, there is a way out of this mess. If Vornado refinances 1290 Avenue of the Americas and 555 California Street and borrows roughly 50% of the value of the assets, that would take care of the debt on those properties and allow the president to extract an estimated $50 million of additional cash. He could also refinance 40 Wall Street, again at 50%, and probably pull out another $60 million. In 2017, Trump paid off bonds against 6 East 57th Street in midtown Manhattan. Since that building is worth an estimated $179 million, he could presumably secure a new, $90 million loan against it without much trouble.

Then there are the vanity assets. Mar-a-Lago has no debt against it, so Trump could probably sell the Florida club and clear another $180 million before taxes. He could still retire at one of his other three houses in Palm Beach. If he got rid of his planes and helicopters, that would probably provide another $24 million or so. He could ditch his penthouse in New York City for an estimated $45 million. The winery in Virginia might go for $30 million. His home in St. Martin could probably fetch $12 million. And a mansion in New York, named Seven Springs, could trade for $30 million.

First son Eric Trump, who is handling day-to-day management of the business while Donald Trump serves as president, is staying positive—and employing a bit of Trumpian exaggeration. “We remain seriously underleveraged and maintain very low levels of debt,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the selloff may already be under way. From 2017 to 2019, the president generated an estimated $118 million by dealing various properties. The St. Martin home is currently listed for sale, and the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the Trump Organization is considering selling Seven Springs as well. In all, refinancing and selling the aforementioned assets would seemingly free up close to $1 billion, enough to cover Trump’s looming debts. With every new deal, however, there would be additional questions about conflicts. Did a bank finance a certain loan because it believed in the transaction, or because it wanted to curry favor with Trump? Did the buyers really want to own those properties, or were they just looking to put millions in the president’s pocket?

Those are the sorts of concerns the Trump team claimed it was avoiding when the president refused to sell his assets around the time he took office. “Selling, first and foremost, would not eliminate possibilities of conflicts of interest,” Trump’s lawyer, Sheri Dillon, argued in a press conference nine days before the 2017 inauguration. “In fact, it would exacerbate them.”

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“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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legsdiamond
Member since May 05th 2011
68082 posts
Tue Nov-10-20 03:37 PM

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20. "That wall at the WH just got 10 ft higher. "
In response to Reply # 16


          

****************
TBH the fact that you're even a mod here fits squarely within Jag's narrative of OK-sanctioned aggression, bullying, and toxicity. *shrug*

  

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Cold Truth
Member since Jan 28th 2004
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Tue Nov-10-20 03:32 PM

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17. "Fantastic post. This should be anchored."
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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
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Tue Nov-10-20 03:33 PM

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18. "Extralegal enforcement: Violence and Incitement Trends Are Particularly ..."
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https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/violence-and-incitement-trends-are-particularly-worrying-following-the-us-election/

Violence and Incitement Trends Are Particularly Worrying Following the US Election – Amnesty International USA
2-3 minutes

In the wake of the US election, social media platforms such as Facebook are seeing a dramatic increase in violent content, including posts that seek to incite others to commit violence, Amnesty International USA said today.

In the last week alone, Facebook saw a 45% increase in violence and incitement trends. Amnesty International is calling on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to prohibit such content in line with international human rights law.

“No company can ignore its human rights responsibilities,” said Michael Kleinman, Director of Amnesty International USA’s Silicon Valley Initiative. “Companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter themselves acknowledge this responsibility, as they already have clear policies against posts that incite violence. Yet we have seen again and again how easily users can weaponize these platforms, including how their focus on maximizing user engagement sometimes leads them to privilege false and incendiary content.

“In reports including Surveillance Giants and Toxic Twitter, Amnesty International has documented the ways in which social media companies maximize user engagement and fail to protect users’ human rights. We are extremely concerned that companies remain unprepared to address possible incitement to violence, given heightened tensions and user engagement following the election.”

Social media platforms’ focus must include potential incitement from public officials and others in positions of influence, including the President, given his history of incendiary comments. The Rabat Plan of Action, developed by the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights to balance the freedom of expression against incitement to hatred, highlights the importance of considering “the speaker’s position or status in society” when determining when speech constitutes incitement to violence.

To that end, Amnesty International calls on all social media platforms to proactively enforce their existing policies in line with their human rights responsibilities, including via transparent and impartial application of content moderation policies that comply with international human rights law.



------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
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Wed Nov-11-20 01:04 PM

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47. "Extralegal enforcement declaring they are Nazis"
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https://www.rawstory.com/2020/11/civil-war-brewing-inside-proud-boys-as-top-leader-says-hes-done-pretending-he-isnt-a-nazi/

Civil war brewing inside Proud Boys as top leader says he’s done pretending he isn’t a Nazi
Published 3 hours ago on November 11, 2020 By Brad Reed
2 minutes

The far-right Proud Boys gang has long denied that it is a white nationalist organization and has instead claimed that it only exists to defend “Western Civilization.”

However, Newsweek reports that some members of the group are ready to openly embrace being a racist organization and are dropping any pretenses of wanting support of non-white people.

The civil war within the Proud Boys started when Kyle Chapman, the founder of the Proud Boys’ so-called “tactical defense arm,” sent out a message to supporters that he no longer wanted to pretend that he wasn’t a white nationalist.

“Due to the recent failure of Proud Boy Chairman Enrique Tarrio to conduct himself with honor and courage on the battlefield, it has been decided that I Kyle Chapman reassume my post as President of Proud Boys effective immediately,” Chapman wrote. “We will no longer cuck to the left by appointing token negroes as our leaders. We will no longer allow homosexuals or other ‘undesirables’ into our ranks. We will confront the Zionist criminals who wish to destroy our civilization.”

He also made clear that he believed talk of defending “Western Civilization” was really just a racist dog whistle all along.

“We recognize that the West was built by the White Race alone and we owe nothing to any other race,” he wrote

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“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
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Thu Nov-12-20 05:32 PM

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56. "RE: Extralegal enforcement: Violence and Incitement Trends Are Particula..."
In response to Reply # 18


  

          

https://www.mediamatters.org/infowars/militia-leader-stewart-rhodes-says-he-has-men-stationed-outside-dc-ready-engage-violence

Militia leader Stewart Rhodes says he has men stationed outside of D.C. ready to engage in violence on Trump’s order
4-5 minutes

Oath Keepers militia leader Stewart Rhodes said that he has armed men on standby outside of Washington, D.C., to supposedly prevent the 2020 presidential election from being stolen from President Donald Trump. Echoing elements of the QAnon conspiracy theory during an appearance on far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ program, Rhodes said the only way to prevent his men from engaging in a “bloody fight” would be Trump declassifying information to supposedly expose pedophiles in the “deep state” and allow the president to stay in power.

Rhodes also indicated his militia will be involved in a rally to support Trump planned for this weekend in the nation's capital.

Rhodes’ Oath Keepers militia, which comprises “former law enforcement officials and military veterans,” is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “one of the largest radical antigovernment groups in the U.S. today.” But, as Rhodes recent public comments have made clear, the organization’s purpose has shifted from opposing the government to instead act as a pro-Trump vigilante group that is willing to violently support Trump’s unjust attempts to stay in power after losing the 2020 election.

Rhodes joined Jones and Infowars host Owen Shroyer during the November 10 broadcast of The Alex Jones Show. Rhodes claimed that, in order to stop the election from being stolen from him, Trump needs to declassify information exposing members of the “deep state” so that Americans will “all know exactly who the pedophiles are.” According to Rhodes, judges -- including Supreme Court Justice John Roberts -- politicians, and members of the legal community, academia, and media are all part of the “deep state.” These comments echoed a central tenet of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims that Trump is engaged in a battle with a cabal of pedophile elites.

Rhodes said Trump should task special forces leaders in the military to gather and process the information because “he cannot trust the normal military intelligence services.” Noting that he has previously been opposed to U.S. military intervention in domestic matters, Rhodes said that in this case Trump should invoke The Insurrection Act to accomplish this goal.

Rhodes then said that, in support of Trump, “we have men already stationed outside D.C. as a nuclear option in case they attempt to remove the president illegally, we will step in and stop it” and emphasized that these men are “armed” and “prepared to go in, if the president calls us up.” In addition to activity outside of the capital, Rhodes said he will have Oath Keepers inside the city this coming weekend to support a caravan of Infowars supporters being led by Shroyer who say they will hold an event on November 14. The Infowars contingent is one of several far-right groups that say that they will rally in the city to support Trump. Stewart added that his group has been doing “recon” for the past week in the Washington, D.C., area.

Rhodes called on supporters of Trump to converge on the capital in the same manner as far-right militia members gathered at a Nevada ranch in 2014 to threaten federal law enforcement officers who were attempting to enforce a court order against rancher Cliven Bundy. He also made it clear during his appearance that the only alternative to Trump staying in power would be violence, saying, “It’s either President Trump is encouraged, and bolstered, strengthened to do what he must do or we wind up in a bloody fight. We all know that. The fight’s coming.”

Rhodes previously claimed during an appearance on Jones' show to have Oath Keepers stationed outside of Washington, D.C., for Election Day, to prevent an unhinged scenario he predicted in which opponents of Trump, aided by foreign terrorists, would storm the White House, and the Secret Service would run out of bullets, necessitating backup from members of his militia. While making those comments, Rhodes hyped the prospect of his Oath Keepers members engaging in widespread violence against the left in a civil war scenario.

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“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
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19. "US nuclear bomb overseer quits after clash with energy secretary"
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https://www.stripes.com/news/us/us-nuclear-bomb-overseer-quits-after-clash-with-energy-secretary-1.651371

US nuclear bomb overseer quits after clash with energy secretary
By ARI NATTER AND JENNIFER JACOBS | Bloomberg News | Published: November 7, 2020
4-5 minutes

Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty

ENERGY DEPARTMENT

WASHINGTON (Tribune News Service) — The U.S. official overseeing the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile resigned Friday after clashing with Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette.

Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration and undersecretary of energy for nuclear security, resigned after being told by Brouillette's office that President Donald Trump had lost faith in her ability to do her job, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Some administration officials were disappointed that she'd been pushed out, saying that she was widely viewed by those in her field as capable, the people said.

Gordon-Hagerty and representatives of the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Energy Department declined to comment. NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator William Bookless was named acting administrator.

"As administrator, Ms. Gordon-Hagerty oversaw the modernization of NNSA's infrastructure and the strengthening of its world-class workforce," the agency said in a statement announcing her departure but misspelling her last name. "She also made significant strides in improving NNSA governance."

Her resignation came after a budget dispute between the NNSA and Brouillette and other officials spilled into the open earlier this year.

Gordon-Hagerty had sought to enlist Brouillette to support a $20 billion request for fiscal 2021, but Brouillette and others instead asked her to sign a letter endorsing a lower amount while offering assurances the NNSA's mission could still be achieved, according to the people.

The nuclear agency is a semiautonomous arm of the Energy Department that is responsible for producing and dismantling nuclear weapons as well as cleaning up the toxic legacy left behind from previous nuclear bomb manufacturing across the U.S.

Gordon-Hagerty, who was confirmed as its leader in 2018, was the first woman to hold that position. According to the Department of Energy's website, she began her career as a health physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

In a statement Friday, Sen. Jim Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, praised Gordon-Hagerty as "an exemplary public servant and remarkable leader" of the NNSA while slamming Brouillette.

"That the secretary of energy effectively demanded her resignation during this time of uncertainty demonstrates he doesn't know what he's doing in national security matters and shows a complete lack of respect for the semi-autonomous nature of NNSA," Inhofe said.

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“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
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Tue Nov-10-20 03:39 PM

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21. "Ignoring the election results: vetting political appointees for a second..."
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https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-white-house-still-vetting-for-job-openings-for-a-second-term-thats-not-happening/

White House is still vetting political appointees for a second term, an effort being led by John McEntee

Trump White House Still Vetting for Job Openings For a Second Term That’s Not Happening
Asawin SuebsaengWhite House ReporterPublished Nov. 10, 2020 3:25PM ET
5-6 minutes

In yet another sign that the president is for now refusing to initiate a smooth, orderly transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden, Donald Trump’s White House is continuing to vet possible political appointees for a second term—despite the fact that there isn’t going to be one.

According to two sources familiar with the situation, as well as written communications reviewed by The Daily Beast, the White House Presidential Personnel Office (PPO) is still in the process of vetting candidates for job openings in various parts of the federal government, positions that the White House intended to fill by early next year. The office, which is tasked with staffing the federal agencies, is headed by Trump uber-loyalist and purge-overseer John McEntee. And it is still contacting listed references and conducting background checks, even though major networks called the 2020 presidential election for Biden on Saturday.

The planning around second-term staffing has come as no surprise to administration officials and senior campaign aides who are, at the moment, being forced to operate under the false hope that Trump will serve an additional four years. On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that “the White House budget office has instructed federal agencies to continue preparing the administration’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year.” Earlier in the day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said to reporters, when asked about a Trump-Biden presidential transition process, that “there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”

A White House spokesman did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

Despite the apparent clear-cut nature of his defeat, President Trump, his campaign staff, and team of lawyers have launched a public-relations blitz smearing the legitimacy of the 2020 election. They have also launched multiple legal challenges that have either been dismissed by the court or which experts in the field widely believe are doomed and groundless.

This is all being conducted against the backdrop of Trump administration officials’ attempts to make the transition, and the start of the Biden era, as inconvenient as they can for the incoming president. Trump officials, some of whom had long expected Biden to win, have been trying to find concrete ways to further complicate policy initiatives that the former vice president had said would be at the fore of his first-year agenda, including reentering the Iran nuclear deal. On Monday, the president began fulfilling what he’d previously envisioned as second-term staffing priorities, including the firing of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, largely for insufficient fealty. Furthermore, an obscure Trump administration appointee has declined to sign a piece of paper that would allow the Biden team to officially start much of the painstaking, post-election tasks that come with a peaceful transition of presidential power.

President Trump, of course, had famously declined to commit to the democratic tradition of a peaceful, orderly transition, when pressed on the topic during this election cycle. And he doesn’t look close to abating from his post-election tantrums any time soon.

Among the president’s inner circle, most of the major players are backing Trump's mission to overturn, or at least cast reckless doubt on, the election, even as many quietly acknowledge to each other that it’s over. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior White House aide, “has been more hardcore in fighting back on this than anybody,” said Jason Miller, a top Trump campaign aide.

Among other efforts, the Trump campaign (or what’s left of it) has launched a hotline for supporters and tipsters to call or message in with leads on alleged voter fraud that Republicans should investigate. However, the tip line has largely been a massive bust. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the hotline has been flooded with apparent crank callers impersonating figures such as Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, and popular podcaster and comedian Joe Rogan, as well as hideous, loud vulgarities, farting noises, and threats of physical violence—all delivered to junior and mid-level staff on the Trump team who are assigned to man the hotline.

It’s yet another instance in which staff have been put in the position of holding jobs and carrying out assignments for Trump that they recognize as a road to nowhere. This applies to administration staffers, too. On Monday, CNN’s Jake Tapper reported that McEntee had also been “spreading the word throughout the administration that if he hears of anyone looking for another job they will be fired.”

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“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
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Tue Nov-10-20 03:42 PM

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22. "Setting up a barnstorming propoganda + covid tour to dispute election"
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https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/08/politics/donald-trump-campaign-messaging-election-problems/index.html

CNN)President Donald Trump's campaign is planning a messaging blitz to fuel its argument -- unsupported by any evidence to date -- that the President's second term is being stolen from him through corrupt vote counts in battleground states, three sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
One of the ways it plans to do that is presenting obituaries of people the campaign will claim voted in the election and considering having campaign-style rallies to amplify the message, according to two of the sources.
So far, the litigation put forward by the campaign has not included any proof to support allegations of widespread fraud. And nothing campaign officials have put forward would change the outcome in any state.
But the President is being urged by his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, attorney Rudy Giuliani and campaign adviser Jason Miller to hold rallies throughout the US pushing for recounts of votes, sources close to Trump told Jake Tapper. Kushner did not offer a comment on this story. Miller denied the story in a tweet.

Asked for comment, Giuliani replied in a text to CNN: "Nothing to do with rallies. Working on PA and Mich cases."
CNN reported earlier Saturday that Kushner had approached Trump about conceding the election, two sources told CNN. But his position grew murkier as the day went on as it emerged he was also trying to placate Trump by suggesting rallies.
The goal of the messaging blitz is to raise enough doubt about the results that secretaries of state in battlegrounds feel pressure to open investigations or call on their own for recounts -- something that would prolong the process and potentially give the campaign more time to advance its litigation through the courts.
A previous fact check by CNN of claims by a handful of prominent Republicans, such as members of Trump's family and supporters like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, of dead people voting in Michigan fell apart under scrutiny. A CNN analysis of the claim and the purported backing for it did not find a single instance of that happening.
Claims that dead people voted went viral. These are the facts
Claims that dead people voted went viral. These are the facts
One idea being tossed around the campaign is whether it can run out the clock enough to put forward a Republican slate of electors in key states where President-elect Joe Biden won the popular vote. State laws vary on whether they can appoint electors that don't reflect the will of the people. One of the sources cautioned it was unclear how seriously this idea is being considered.
Axios was first to report the planned presentation of obituaries and the upcoming rallies to cast doubt on the results.
Campaign aides told CNN prior to Election Day that a post-election push involving anything from a surrogate operation to rallies was possible in the event the results were close on November 3, as they initially appeared to be. But Biden has amassed enough of a lead in multiple states to win the race, despite the President's refusal to acknowledge the loss.
Many of the aides around the President want him to continue fighting -- if not for a change in outcome, which is not considered possible by experts at this point, then for the Trump supporters who remain hungry for a fight against results they don't believe. Some of those around Trump, however -- including Kushner and first lady Melania Trump -- have discussed whether he should acknowledge his defeat, sources told CNN this weekend. But others have been urging Trump not to give up.
'Trump can still win': The President's supporters remain defiant after Biden's victory
'Trump can still win': The President's supporters remain defiant after Biden's victory
One person familiar with the plans said the team wants to continue the battle for closer scrutiny of the ballot tallies even though Trump himself has not always seemed privately to believe he will be successful.

"Of anything, our worry is getting Trump more fired-up, not tempering him," the official said.
This story has updated with additional reporting and reaction.

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
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23. "Beating the war drum with Iran"
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https://uk.reuters.com/article/iran-nuclear-usa-sanctions/update-1-u-s-imposes-iran-related-sanctions-on-individuals-companies-idUKL1N2HW1NT

U.S. imposes Iran-related sanctions on individuals, companies
Daphne Psaledakis
3 minutes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday imposed Iran-related sanctions on six companies and four people, accusing the network of supplying sensitive goods to an Iranian military firm in the Trump administration’s latest move to increase pressure on Tehran.

FILE PHOTO: An Iranian flag is pictured near in a missile during a military drill, with the participation of Iran’s Air Defense units, Iran October 19, 2020. Picture taken October 19, 2020. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

The U.S. Treasury Department in a statement accused the companies and individuals of facilitating the procurement of sensitive goods, including U.S.-origin electronic components, for Iran Communication Industries, an Iranian military firm blacklisted by Washington and the European Union.

The firm produces military communication systems, avionics and missile launchers, among other items, the Treasury said.

Tuesday’s action, taken under an authority that imposes sanctions on weapons of mass destruction proliferators and their supporters, freezes any U.S. assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them.

“The Iranian regime utilizes a global network of companies to advance its destabilizing military capabilities,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

“The United States will continue to take action against those who help to support the regime’s militarization and proliferation efforts,” he added.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have soared since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew in 2018 from the Iran nuclear deal struck by President Barack Obama and began reimposing U.S. sanctions that had been eased under the accord.

The move blacklisted Iran-based Hoda Trading; Hong Kong-based Proma Industry Co., Ltd.; DES International Co., Ltd.; Brunei-based Soltech Industry Co., Ltd.; China-based Naz Technology Co., Ltd.; and Iran-based Artin San’at Tabaan Company, as well as several individuals.

Soltech Industry Co., Ltd., DES International Co., Ltd., and one of its employees blacklisted Tuesday, Chin Hua Huang, were also charged in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia with criminal conspiracy to violate Iranian sanctions, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

“Violations of the sanctions diminish their effectiveness and delay the day when Iran will cease its belligerent activity,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said in the statement.

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MEAT
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72. "Iranian top nuclear scientist assisinated"
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https://twitter.com/aliarouzi/status/1332322276692414465

BREAKING: Iranian media reporting that high level nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been assassinated. Widely referred to as Iran’s Robert Oppenheimer. He is by far the most important Iranian nuclear scientist to be assassinated to date. Netanyahu had mentioned him by name

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Musa
Member since Mar 08th 2006
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Tue Nov-10-20 04:13 PM

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24. "Wilmington N.C. 1898 SAYS HELLO"
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.

<----

Soundcloud.com/aquil84

(HIP HOP)
http://aquil.bandcamp.com

  

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MEAT
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Tue Nov-10-20 04:49 PM

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25. "Intelligence leaders only meeting with one party"
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Tue Nov-10-20 04:50 PM by MEAT

  

          

https://twitter.com/LauraLitvan/status/1326272472187068419

CIA Director Gina Haspel just entered Mitch McConnell’s office.

https://twitter.com/LauraLitvan/status/1326279669646323717

Gina Haspel's meeting w Mitch McConnell last just over 20 minutes.

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
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26. "Aide to convicted criminal named undersecretary of intelligence"
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Aaaaaaand the Pentagon just made Michael Flynn aide Ezra Cohen-Watnick acting undersecretary for intelligence.

https://twitter.com/attackerman/status/1326282360015495169


https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/ezra-cohen-watnick/534615/

The Man McMaster Couldn't Fire
Rosie Gray
28-36 minutes

Thirty-one-year-old Ezra Cohen-Watnick holds the intelligence portfolio on the National Security Council—but almost everything about him is a mystery.

July 23, 2017

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Patricia Hofmeester / Julia Luzgareva / Shutterstock / Defense Intelligence Agency / Zak Bickel / The Atlantic

Just 24 days into his tenure as Donald Trump’s national-security adviser, Michael Flynn was forced to resign, having reportedly misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian officials. When Flynn departed, the men and women he’d appointed to the National Security Council grew nervous about their own jobs, and with good reason. The new national-security adviser, General H.R. McMaster, promptly began clearing out Flynn’s people, among them Dave Cattler, the deputy assistant to the president for regional affairs, Adam Lovinger, a strategic affairs analyst on loan from the Pentagon, and KT McFarland, Flynn’s deputy, who was eased out with the ambassadorship to Singapore. Even Steve Bannon, among the most powerful people in the White House, was removed from the meetings of the NSC Principal’s Committee, where he had been installed early on in the administration.

There was one person, however, who McMaster couldn’t get rid of: Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence programs. McMaster tried to remove him in March, but President Trump, at the urging of Bannon and Jared Kushner, told McMaster that Cohen-Watnick was staying, as first reported by Politico. According to a senior White House official, the two men had a sit-down meeting the following week in which McMaster acknowledged that he hadn’t been able to do what he wanted to do, and that they would keep things as they are and “see how they go for a while.” That was over four months ago. That Cohen-Watnick, 31 years old and largely unknown before entering the administration, has become unfireable reveals how important he has become to the Trump White House, where loyalty is prized.

The senior in Cohen-Watnick’s title reflects the importance of his job, if not the level of experience he brings to it. The senior director for intelligence programs on the NSC is a powerful position, designed to coordinate and liaise between the U.S. intelligence community and the White House.

"If the incumbent has an effective working relationship with the national-security adviser or even the president directly, the senior director for intelligence has an opportunity to exercise considerable influence on intelligence policy, covert actions, and sensitive collection operations," said Stephen Slick, a former CIA official who held the position during the Bush administration.

The CIA has traditionally had control over who fills this position, and normally the job is staffed by a more experienced official. McMaster, assuming he’d be allowed to relieve or reassign Cohen-Watnick, had gone so far as to interview Cohen-Watnick’s potential replacement, Linda Weissgold, a veteran CIA officer.

Despite his prominent, and apparently quite secure, position in Trump’s NSC, little is known about Cohen-Watnick, who had spent much of his short career as a low-ranking official at the Defense Intelligence Agency. Information about him in publicly available sources is scarce. Few higher-ups from the DIA remember him. Only one picture of him can be found online, a snapshot unearthed by Al-Monitor’s Laura Rozen.

Unlike other White House officials who have become public figures in their own right, Cohen-Watnick never speaks for himself publicly, leaving others to fill the void. Yet he hardly comes into sharper focus when you talk to co-workers, friends, and former colleagues. Ask around about Ezra Cohen-Watnick, and people get defensive. Some profess not to know him, or ask why anyone would want to write about him. Others simply refuse to discuss him.

“I won’t talk to any journalist about Ezra,” said Michael Ledeen, a Flynn confidant who knows Cohen-Watnick well.

“Is it one of your hit pieces?” asked Bannon, who didn’t respond to a further request for comment.

Bannon and Ledeen may be wary of talking about Cohen-Watnick after his first, and thus far only, turn in the national spotlight. Washington got its first real look at Cohen-Watnick when he was identified as one of two White House sources who provided House Intelligence chairman Devin Nunes with evidence that former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the “unmasking” of the names of Trump associates in intelligence documents. In the intelligence world, incidental collection refers to intelligence agencies obtaining, in the course of monitoring foreigners, communications that either refer to or involve Americans, whose names are typically “masked” unless officials request that they be “unmasked.”

The incident, coming in the aftermath of Trump baselessly accusing his predecessor of wiretapping Trump Tower, became one of the first dust-ups related to the investigations into possible Russian collusion during the 2016 campaign that have gripped the White House. The president later accused Rice of having committed a crime; for her part, Rice has denied that she ordered the unmasking for political purposes.

Despite that early controversy, Cohen-Watnick retains one of the most consequential intelligence jobs in the nation, and his influence is rising. He is in the thick of some of the most important policy fights at the White House; he is viewed as an Iran hawk and has been characterized, for instance, as a main proponent of expanding U.S. efforts against Iran-backed militias in Syria. And beyond policy specifics, he’s become a flashpoint in the long-running tension between Trump and the intelligence community, a part of the U.S. government that the president has at times openly disdained.

Yet what we don’t know about Cohen-Watnick far outstrips what we do. Was he a central player in the Nunes scandal, or just a bystander? Has he retained his job due to his talent, or is he being protected because he's advancing the agenda of powerful West Wing patrons? What, besides loyalty to the president, are his credentials? Is he Flynn's mole on the council, or does he not even know the deposed national-security adviser all that well? Is he brash and difficult to work with, or modest and brilliant? And perhaps most important: Now that he has the president’s ear, what will he whisper into it?

Cohen-Watnick was raised in Chevy Chase, Maryland, an affluent suburb of Washington. His father is a lawyer; his mother a doctor; the couple is separated. Liberal, affluent Montgomery County is not exactly a hotbed of right-wing sentiment. Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine won 74 percent of the vote there in 2016.

Cohen-Watnick attended Bethesda Chevy-Chase High School, graduating in 2004. It was in high school when Cohen-Watnick seems to have become politically active. One person who knew him at the time said that, together with a friend, Cohen-Watnick set up a table outside the Barnes and Noble in downtown Bethesda in the summer of 2003 to “just sort of argue with people about the Iraq War ... just to get into fights with Bethesda liberals.” A White House official denied this anecdote, saying it was “false.”

“Ezra’s politics are not at all normal for the cultural milieu in which he grew up,” this person said. (Cohen-Watnick did, however, intern for then-Senator Joe Biden in high school.)

Cohen-Watnick entered the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 2004. He struck one classmate there at the time as a libertarian, but over the years seemed to shift in a more hawkish direction, the classmate said. Cohen-Watnick was involved in an on-campus Terrorism Awareness Week connected to the controversial conservative writer David Horowitz’s “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” events.

"We need people to be passionate about the problem of terrorism,” he’s quoted as saying in a Daily Pennsylvanian article about the event, advocating more courses devoted to the subject.

As a sophomore, Cohen-Watnick told The Daily Pennsylvanian that from a young age he had wanted to serve in the Navy. “Cohen said it was very important to him to be able to give back to something he has benefitted from—in this case, the national security that has kept generations of his family safe,” the paper reported.

But in September 2007, he also told a friend that his main goal was working for the CIA. Cohen-Watnick talked about his goal of becoming a spy “all the time,” this person said. “He did talk about the DIA,” this person said. “He always talked about it as the backup to his CIA goals.”

One White House colleague who has known Cohen-Watnick for a long time described 9/11 as a formative event for him, and remarked that members of his age group were old enough to remember the attack vividly, but young enough that it happened before they had embarked on careers. This person pointed out that Cohen-Watnick’s career path was unusual for his milieu: “Not many folks from our sort of sphere were making the decision to go into public service.”

Cohen-Watnick’s history becomes murkier around 2008, his final year at Penn. His friend from school says the last time they saw him or heard from him was before the spring semester that year. Cohen-Watnick is listed on an online roster among a group that attended the Penn in D.C. internship program in Washington in 2008, in his case interning with the Office of Naval Intelligence. Cohen-Watnick took a civilian job with the Navy after college.

A DIA spokesperson confirmed that Cohen-Watnick had joined the DIA in 2010, and left it in January of 2017, but would otherwise not confirm or comment on the details of his service. One colleague of Cohen-Watnick’s said that his last job was three or four ranks higher than the one in which he began.

Newsweek reported that Cohen-Watnick entered the Defense Clandestine Service in 2012 and was sent to “The Farm,” the CIA training facility in Virginia, in 2013. Al-Monitor’s Laura Rozen reported on Twitter that Cohen-Watnick had done work on Haiti while based out of the Department of Defense’s Miami office. Records show he registered to vote in 2012 with a Miami address, as a Republican and as a Hispanic male (his mother is Colombian).

According to a former senior intelligence official, Cohen-Watnick later served overseas in Afghanistan at a CIA base. “He was embedded with the Agency guys,” said a person familiar with Cohen-Watnick’s career. “But the Agency guys were all like ‘Fuck this guy, he’s just here to spy on us for Flynn and the DIA.’”

A White House official said that Cohen-Watnick did not know Flynn at the time he was in Afghanistan but did not dispute that there were “rivalries between CIA and DIA.”

It was Cohen-Watnick’s connection with Michael Flynn that would catapult him into the top ranks of America’s intelligence officials. But even the seemingly straightforward question of how and when they met yields contradictory and conflicting accounts. One person familiar with his career asserted that Cohen-Watnick had met Matt Flynn, Michael Flynn’s son, at “The Farm.” Another, a former senior intelligence official, said he had briefed Flynn at the DIA.

According to a third person familiar with the matter, the real story is that Cohen-Watnick actually met Flynn much later, in 2016, at a coffee arranged by Michael Ledeen’s wife Barbara, who Cohen-Watnick knows from growing up outside of Washington. Ledeen is a friend of Flynn’s and co-authored the book Field of Fight with him. Barbara introduced him to Cohen-Watnick; the couple connected the young officer with Flynn, and the two kept in touch over the course of the year. Flynn became a prominent surrogate for the Trump campaign, famously leading a “lock her up” chant at the Republican National Convention, and was even considered as the running mate.

Flynn’s time at the helm of the DIA was notoriously troubled. The general came in with a brash approach that rubbed his colleagues the wrong way and eventually led to his being forced out in 2014 by then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Mike Vickers.

This appears to have been a time at which Cohen-Watnick was at a crossroads. In the summer of 2016, Cohen, unhappy at the DIA, began applying for positions on Capitol Hill, interviewing with the House Armed Services Committee, a congressional staffer said. He was notified on August 16, 2016, that he wouldn’t be getting the job. Later that year, in November, Cohen-Watnick married Rebecca Miller, according to a notice on his family’s synagogue’s website.

Trump’s election changed everything for Cohen-Watnick, as it did for many people in Washington. He was chosen for the NSC job during the transition, surprising his new colleagues.

“I didn’t know Ezra from Adam,” said one former intelligence officer who is a member of the NSC. “I didn’t know what job he was going to have in the transition. I met him a few times. I didn’t realize he was running it at first.”

“It’s a very important position and essentially it’s a deep cull,” said a White House colleague who has known Cohen-Watnick for years. “It’s an early pick.” This official described Cohen-Watnick as someone who would seem like a natural choice for the job in five or 10 years’ time, but not now.

“It is noteworthy that someone with very limited experience (a very junior GG-12 in DIA) is appointed to such a senior and critical position,” said Doug Wise, who was for a time Flynn’s top deputy at the DIA . (GG-12 is the equivalent of an Army captain in the DIA; Cohen-Watnick’s rank before he left was actually GS-13, equivalent to a major, according to a source familiar with his career). “This is especially noteworthy when you compare Cohen to some of the individuals who have served in that position, George Tenet, David Shedd, Mary Sturtevant, Stephen Slick, and other very experienced officers were already members of the Senior Intelligence Service when they were appointed. These and the other officers who served in that position were career intelligence officials with serious credentials, demonstrated maturity, and a wealth of experience."

One way or another, Michael Flynn seems to have elevated Cohen-Watnick to his high station in the Trump administration. What remains a mystery is who exactly has protected him since Flynn went down, and why.

Cohen-Watnick’s ability to hang on despite the direct attempt by his superior to remove him raised eyebrows across Washington, and especially in the intelligence world.

“It is very unusual that when H.R. McMaster tried to move Cohen to another position within the NSC, his decision was publicly overturned by the president,” Wise said. “This says much more about Cohen’s political connections than his experience in the intelligence business."

Here, again, multiple officials directly familiar with the events offer contrasting versions of what took place. Some insist that Kushner and Bannon were willing to expend capital on behalf of Cohen-Watnick. According to one person with direct knowledge of the meeting, the roots of their loyalty to Cohen-Watnick stem from a briefing he delivered during Trump’s first visit to the White House situation room in February, at which Kushner was present as well as Pence. Kushner and the president were apparently impressed with the young briefer and took an interest in him.

“Ezra is deeply thoughtful, hard working, and committed to serving the president,” Kushner said, offering a rare on-the-record comment, which is itself a testament to Cohen-Watnick’s importance.

But a favorable first impression doesn’t quite explain the president intervening to prevent his boss from removing him. Others stressed his commitment to Trump’s worldview, such as it is Trump’s foreign policy statements have been long on rhetoric, but short on specifics—prompting leading figures within the White House to contend for influence, seeking to persuade the president to back their preferred approaches. Those drawn from the ranks of the Republican foreign-policy establishment tend to favor its traditional views: committed to longstanding alliances like NATO, skeptical of Russia, and supportive of nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan. Others, who supported Trump’s insurgent campaign early on, tend to favor the ideas he advocated on the stump: concern that allies are freeloading, interest in strengthening ties with Russia, and a focus on the threat posed Islamic extremism in nations like Iran.

This split has created a decision-making process in which the responses to each unfolding event can point in a different policy direction than the last. After the Assad regime used chemical weapons against civilians in April, for example, Trump ordered strikes against one of their airbases, angering Syria's ally Russia. But the Trump administration recently announced a ceasefire agreement for southwest Syria negotiated with Russia.

In this context, a staffer who personally briefs the president on his options can be an invaluable ally to other senior officials. And in an administration that has struggled to fill senior national-security roles with appointees sympathetic to Trump’s ideas, a staffer whose views are closer to the president’s than to the think-tanks that line Massachusetts Avenue may be too valuable to lose.

“I would describe President Trump’s foreign-policy vision as absolutely one Ezra completely supports,” said the White House colleague who has known Cohen-Watnick for years. “Ezra has consistently provided value, insight, and support at the highest levels of the White House.”

This may be why several White House staffers used the same word to describe Cohen-Watnick: loyal. One White House official praised Cohen-Watnick as a "true professional and most importantly he is incredibly loyal to the president and this administration.”

“He’s loyal to the president and he’s made a super impression on everyone that deals with him, me included,” said the former intelligence officer who is now a senior NSC official.

The Nunes scandal cemented Cohen-Watnick's reputation as a loyalist and as someone who could withstand the heat of public controversy. But once more, different officials offer flatly contradictory versions of what transpired.

The story was first reported by The New York Times, and then expanded by other outlets. On the night of March 21, House Intelligence chairman Nunes got a call from a source, jumped into another car, and didn’t tell his staff where he was going. He was going, it turned out, to the White House. The next day, Nunes gave a now-infamous press conference at the Capitol in which he described how “the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.” Though the phrase “incidental collection” by definition refers to the communications individuals who are not targets of surveillance, Nunes’s statement was taken by Trump supporters as vindication of the president’s tweet accusing Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower, an incident intelligence chiefs have told Congress never happened.

Nunes claimed at one point that his source had been an intelligence official, not White House. Citing four U.S. officials, the Times later reported that his sources on the intelligence reports were Cohen-Watnick and Michael Ellis, a lawyer in the White House Counsel’s Office focused on national security. But the question of who cleared Nunes onto White House grounds, and why Cohen-Watnick was looking into the material, have never been fully answered. The strong implication of the stories about the incident has been that either Cohen-Watnick, Ellis, or both cleared Nunes onto the campus.

But one official with knowledge of the incident offered a sharply different account. Cohen-Watnick was asked to look at unmasking procedures by a civil servant working in the Situation Room as part of a review, this official claimed, weeks before the Nunes visit to the White House. In a tweet on March 4, Trump had accused the Obama administration of wiretapping Trump Tower during the election. Cohen-Watnick asked to see examples of unmasking and was given a block-calendar year to review. In those, he saw “something that made him concerned” and informed John Eisenberg, the NSC legal adviser.

Weeks later, according to this official, Cohen-Watnick went over to Eisenberg’s office on a different matter and found the door closed; he was told that another White House staffer was inside the office with Nunes. He did not enter the office. According to the official, this was the extent of Cohen-Watnick’s involvement in the Nunes affair.

The incident snowballed quickly. On March 27, Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking member on HPSCI, called for Nunes to recuse himself. Nunes eventually bowed to pressure—and an ethics complaint—and announced his recusal on April 6. In doing so, he blamed “leftwing activist groups” and said the charges against him were “entirely false and politically motivated.”

(Nunes has gone on to claim that he never recused himself from the investigation, and has issued subpoenas relating to the probe. His spokesman did not respond to requests for an interview for this story.)

Whether or not Cohen-Watnick was actually one of Nunes's sources, the public reports tied him to the controversy. They also left the impression that, to defend the president against claims he had leveled unsubstantiated charges of wiretapping against his predecessor, Cohen-Watnick had been prepared to attack the actions of NSC officials and of other elements of the intelligence community. The reports about the Nunes episode suggested to career staffers, perhaps unfairly, that the NSC’s senior director for intelligence was less interested in presenting their views to the president than in imposing the president’s views on them.

Since then, the conflicts within the NSC have settled down, at least publicly. But this is the Trump White House, a hotbed of resentments even when they're not spilling over into public view. Cohen-Watnick survived, but he's remained a topic of gossip and a target of leaks—a flashpoint in the ongoing fight over the administration’s foreign policy.

The Washington Post reported in April that days after McMaster’s effort to remove Cohen-Watnick, the CIA’s liaison to the White House was fired. The Guardian’s story on the firing cited sources describing it as an “act of retaliation” against the CIA for encouraging McMaster to sack Cohen-Watnick, a report unlikely to endear him to his colleagues.

But then, McMaster himself became the target of unflattering leaks. In May, Bloomberg reported that Trump had “screamed” at McMaster in a phone call and had become “disillusioned” with him, and that Flynn loyalists on the NSC perceived McMaster as trying to “trick” the president into supporting nation-building efforts. Also in May, Foreign Policy reported that “the knives are out” for McMaster over internal conflicts on Afghanistan policy, with him on one side and Bannon on the other. Foreign Policy noted that McMaster has become the target of online critics, most notably Mike Cernovich, the pro-Trump activist and blogger. Cernovich has also targeted other McMaster allies in the NSC such as Dina Powell.

Cernovich has cited White House sources repeatedly in his reports, though he has told me that he doesn’t know who his sources are and relies on burner phones to keep in touch with them.

One of the most recent McMaster-related leaks was to the AP last week; sources said McMaster had told foreign officials he disapproves of Trump’s closeness with Russia. The story made West Wing senior staff “furious,” according to a senior White House official, who added “if true, a man of honor would resign.”

The leaks have created an atmosphere of suspicion on the NSC, where morale has never been particularly high since the start of the administration. But they’re not always unflattering; some leaks have suggested a prominent policy role for the young staffer. Cohen-Watnick has developed a reputation as one of the primary proponents of an aggressive, Flynn-style stance towards Iran within the NSC. A recent story in The New York Times said that Cohen-Watnick was pushing for regime change in Iran from within the administration. And another recent story in Foreign Policy tagged him and Derek Harvey, the NSC’s top official on Middle East issues, as pushing for increased action against Iranian-backed forces in Syria.

“I don’t think it was accurate at all,” said the former intelligence official on the NSC of the Foreign Policy piece, calling it “fake news recycling other fake news.” This official argued that Cohen-Watnick, in his role as the liaison between the White House and intelligence agencies, has no purview over Iran policy: “I’ve never heard Ezra talk about; it’s not in his lane and he’s not involved in those regional policy discussions.”

Furthermore, this official said, those who think NSC officials are exerting broad influence over policy are misreading the current NSC by comparing it to the Obama-era one, where “they were micromanagers who had a long screwdriver and were fundamentally calling the shots even on tactical- level operations in places like Syria and Iraq.”

“I’ve never seen the media united about a topic than around Ezra and that’s a cause of curiosity amongst anyone with some sense of skepticism,” said the White House official who is close to Cohen-Watnick.

Cohen-Watnick’s allies see the leaks about him as evidence of a concerted campaign backed by his detractors in the intelligence community. They suggest that this is motivated by his conflict with the CIA. And they have a different theory as to why he has retained his job, and why he’s drawn attacks: It’s because, they insist, he’s good at what he does.

“He’s a genuinely funny, sardonic, very intelligent, interesting human. He’s not a robot or the way he’s been portrayed,” said one of the senior White House officials. “That human element has been I think completely lost in all of the coverage of him.”

“He’s very engaging, very personable, he tries to connect with people,” said the former intelligence officer on the NSC. But he is “able to parse and probe in a way that makes some of his interlocutors very uncomfortable.” Plus, “the fact that he’s younger than many of these people creates a natural backlash.”

This official described a recent interagency meeting in which Cohen-Watnick was asking about the reasons for covert programs in a country that “on the surface seemed to make sense,” but Cohen “identified a waste of resources and ineffective application,” a duplication of efforts costing an extra $30 million.

Cohen-Watnick’s intense approach, this person said, “causes some people to respond negatively rather than saying a-ha, this is a good thing, now we can reprogram.” CIA representatives pushed back on Cohen-Watnick, and the atmosphere was “frustrated.”

Like most people in this kind of job, Cohen-Watnick is a workaholic, sometimes sleeping on his couch in case he has to respond to something or go somewhere in the middle of the night, the White House colleague who knows him well said. Asked what he does for fun, the colleague said Cohen-Watnick works out and reads military history and philosophy.

It’s an appealing account. The trouble is, like most everything else about Cohen-Watnick, it’s all but impossible to verify, or to reconcile with other versions. Perhaps it’s because he’s emerged so swiftly from the murky world of intelligence. Or maybe it’s because he sits on the fault line of a fractured administration. But now that he’s in the spotlight, he may find further scrutiny hard to avoid.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
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Tue Nov-10-20 05:05 PM

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27. "First state willing to get on board is Tennessee"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue Nov-10-20 05:07 PM by MEAT

  

          

https://twitter.com/RyanDEnos/status/1326279945946075137

We are in real trouble.
For this coup to move forward, all it takes is the GOP-controlled legislatures in a few states to change their own laws to appoint their own electors. Letters like this signal a willingness to do it.


https://twitter.com/tnsenategop/status/1326264144593563649

Today, TN Senate GOP members signed a letter to Tennessee voters expressing their support for @realDonaldTrump
’s efforts to challenge the unofficial results of the 2020 Presidential Election.
https://tngopsenate.com/2020/11/10/sen


Senate Republicans sign letter supporting President Trump’s legal challenges of election results

Dear Tennessee Voters,

The Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus stands absolutely and unequivocally with President Donald J. Trump as he contests the unofficial results of the Presidential Election of 2020.

While this election may have been “called” by various media outlets, the election process is far from over. This election was extremely close in multiple states across the country. The coronavirus pandemic led to an extraordinary amount of absentee ballots and voting by mail. We believe that, due to unprecedented mail-in voting and razor-thin margins in multiple states, the ultimate result remains uncertain.

There have been reports of irregularities in many critical states such as Michigan, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Until these irregularities have been thoroughly investigated and court appeals have been exhausted, no winner should be declared.

This is not an unprecedented situation. In 2000, the Presidential election result was not clear until December 13. This was after several recounts and court challenges. President Trump has at least another month to contest this election through recounts and litigation, as Al Gore did. We support him in this effort to ensure the integrity of our election process is preserved.

This is an important election. There is no reason to come to a premature conclusion with this many lingering questions. While the results of most presidential elections are clear on or around election day, the results become official only when the presidential electors vote in December. President Trump has a right to challenge the results of this election until at least that point.

We support him in doing so and encourage all Tennesseans and Americans to be patient until the result of this election can be determined.

Sincerely,

Lt. Governor Randy McNally

Jack Johnson

Ken Yager

Ferrell Haile

Paul Bailey

Mike Bell

Rusty Crowe

Becky Massey

Steve Southerland

Bo Watson

Janice Bowling

Joey Hensley

Ed Jackson

Jon Lundberg

Frank Niceley

Mark Pody

Bill Powers

Shane Reeves

Kerry Roberts

Paul Rose

John Stevens

Art Swann

Page Walley

Dawn White

PDF file: TN Senate GOP letter supporting Pres. Trump

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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Ryan M
Member since Oct 21st 2002
40787 posts
Tue Nov-10-20 05:34 PM

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31. "This is bad and all. But..."
In response to Reply # 27


  

          

Am I just being naive in thinking if Biden won by just one state it'd be a real problem? But he didn't. He's won somewhere between 279-306 electoral votes. Faithless electors would have to go along with this plan in multiple states where the vote was clearly for Biden for this to happen...and while a failed coup attempt is still a coup attempt...I'm not all that worried about it right now.

Doomscrolling is not healthy for me to do so I have tried not to since the election was called but...this feels extreme especially when this administration is just such a shitshow at getting things done.

------------------------------
'19-'20 Bubble Lakers

X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X

2020 NBA Champions

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
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Tue Nov-10-20 05:46 PM

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32. "There is no but. This is bad. Bad things have starting points."
In response to Reply # 31


  

          

I just posted like 20 plus individual links along with the specific problem in the subject.

Taken all together why would you want to downplay any of it

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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Ryan M
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Tue Nov-10-20 06:55 PM

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33. "Not downplaying at all."
In response to Reply # 32


  

          

I agree it's all bad.

But I also am optimistic that they can't actually do it.

I think that's fine. It may also be naive but...here we are.

------------------------------
'19-'20 Bubble Lakers

X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X

2020 NBA Champions

  

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J305
Member since Dec 07th 2008
7218 posts
Wed Nov-11-20 02:49 AM

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44. "Faithless elector laws that penalize are in place in a lot of the contes..."
In response to Reply # 27


  

          

Not saying this to minimize the seriousness of what's going on, but were faithless electors to move forward they'd be subject to penalty in some of the contested states:

https://www.npr.org/2020/07/06/885168480/supreme-court-rules-state-faithless-elector-laws-constitutional

"Thirty-two states have some sort of faithless elector law, but only 15 of those remove, penalize or simply cancel the votes of the errant electors. The 15 are Michigan, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Washington, California, New Mexico, South Carolina, Oklahoma and North Carolina. Although Maine has no such law, the secretary of state has said it has determined a faithless elector can be removed."

peace

J305
___________________

People of color are NOT a minority. Think Global.

Don't Let Hollywood fool you.

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
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Wed Nov-11-20 08:28 AM

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45. "Lame duck sessions gutted the Wisconsin governors power"
In response to Reply # 44
Wed Nov-11-20 08:28 AM by MEAT

  

          

They gutted the North Carolina governors power
The Michigan state house upended a few ballot initiatives.


The rules in place aren’t enough to prevent bullshit
All they have to do is change them, then petition the courts which still continues to be packed by the GOP right now today.

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
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Thu Nov-12-20 05:59 PM

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57. "Michigan GOP steps in to help the disruption"
In response to Reply # 27


  

          

https://twitter.com/ChrisCPandolfo/status/1326998552179073027

NBOX: Michigan GOP state senators are requesting a full audit of the 2020 General Election.

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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SuiteLady
Member since Oct 19th 2004
14990 posts
Tue Nov-10-20 05:07 PM

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28. "Wow Meat! Thanks."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

♥ Inescapably Me ♥

"Love is never any better than the lover" Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye)

  

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MEAT
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Tue Nov-10-20 05:11 PM

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29. "The Vice President is signaling he's willing to go along"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://twitter.com/anniekarni/status/1326269336143716352

Pence message today to Senate Republicans, per source:

I want to keep serving with you (as president of the Senate), and I think I will.

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
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Tue Nov-10-20 05:32 PM

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30. "Civilian defense leadership ... wiped out in 24 hours"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Pentagon finally confirms near total decapitation of civilian leadership in the last 24 hours. Secretary of Defense Esper fired Monday, the top Pentagon Policy official, top Defense Department intelligence official, and chief of staff to the Defense Secretary all out today


https://twitter.com/rabrowne75/status/1326284851268489217

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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allStah
Member since Jun 21st 2014
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Tue Nov-10-20 08:48 PM

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34. "Presidential System needs to go. This is proof of that."
In response to Reply # 30


          

No way should the president have this kind of authority.

__________________________
Baseball: White Sox, Yankees
Basketball: Bulls - Fock Lakers
Soccer: Chelsea, Real Madrid
NFL: Bears
CFB: Notre Dame , Buckeyes
CB: Illinois

  

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cp900
Member since Aug 20th 2006
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Tue Nov-10-20 09:18 PM

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35. "He alone doesn't - Senate GOP and House are/have been allowing this - n/..."
In response to Reply # 34


  

          

GT: SoulGatherer

  

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allStah
Member since Jun 21st 2014
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Tue Nov-10-20 09:32 PM

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36. "RE: He alone doesn't - Senate GOP and House are/have been allowing this ..."
In response to Reply # 35
Tue Nov-10-20 09:40 PM by allStah

          

They can try to veto it, but that is no guarantee, that depends on a VOTE, which goes back to my point of being able to do it. Same thing goes with an executive order. He can implement it, but congress has to go a referendum to remove it.

Presidential system leads to stuff like that, which is why it has to go.

Too much gridlock and bullshit

__________________________
Baseball: White Sox, Yankees
Basketball: Bulls - Fock Lakers
Soccer: Chelsea, Real Madrid
NFL: Bears
CFB: Notre Dame , Buckeyes
CB: Illinois

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
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37. "Retired general publicly signally that these moves are serious. "
In response to Reply # 0
Tue Nov-10-20 09:50 PM by MEAT

  

          

https://twitter.com/genmhayden/status/1326346254092267520?s=21

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
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Tue Nov-10-20 09:51 PM

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38. "Him sharing/retweeting his concerns about document destroying at the pen..."
In response to Reply # 37


  

          

https://twitter.com/itasanders/status/1326294677260099584?s=21

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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allStah
Member since Jun 21st 2014
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Tue Nov-10-20 10:15 PM

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40. "This guy is removing all the secretaries and directors that he has the "
In response to Reply # 0


          

power to remove, and he is replacing them with loyalists who will execute his orders.

The fear here is that not only could this make the DOD vulnerable, he could start to pull troops out of certain regions, as well as having Troops deployed against mass protests against his presidency.


This is very serious.

__________________________
Baseball: White Sox, Yankees
Basketball: Bulls - Fock Lakers
Soccer: Chelsea, Real Madrid
NFL: Bears
CFB: Notre Dame , Buckeyes
CB: Illinois

  

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MEAT
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Tue Nov-10-20 11:01 PM

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42. "Intelligence community is leaking that the situation is dire"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-will-leave-the-question-is-how-much-damage-hell-do-to-national-security-before-then/2020/11/10/551d31a4-239d-11eb-a688-5298ad5d580a_story.html

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Trump will leave. The question is how much damage he’ll do to national security before then.
By
David Ignatius
washingtonpost.com
4 min
View Original

President Trump’s senior military and intelligence officials have been warning him strongly against declassifying information about Russia that his advisers say would compromise sensitive collection methods and anger key allies.

An intense battle over this issue has raged within the administration in the days before and after the Nov. 3 presidential election. Trump and his allies want the information public because they believe it would rebut claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin supported Trump in 2016. That may sound like ancient history, but for Trump it remains ground zero — the moment when his political problems began.

CIA Director Gina Haspel last month argued strongly at a White House meeting against disclosing the information, because she believed that doing so would violate her pledge to protect sources and methods, a senior congressional source said. This official said a bipartisan group of Republican and Democratic senators has been trying to protect Haspel, though some fear that Trump may yet oust her.

Rumors have been flying this week about Haspel’s tenure, but a source familiar with her standing as CIA director said Tuesday that national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows had both “assured her that she’s good,” meaning she wouldn’t be removed. Haspel also met personally with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Tuesday. She sees him regularly as a member of the “Gang of Eight” senior congressional leaders. But Tuesday’s visit was another sign of GOP support.

Haspel’s most unlikely defender has been Attorney General William P. Barr, who opposed a pre-election push to declassify the sensitive material, according to three current and former officials. At a showdown meeting at the White House, Barr pushed back against revealing the secret information.

Gen. Paul Nakasone, who heads U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, has also argued vehemently against disclosure, according to a senior defense official and the senior congressional source. Like Haspel, Nakasone took the unusual step of directly opposing White House efforts to release the intelligence, because he feared the damage that disclosure would cause.

The issue may have played a role in Trump’s surprise decision on Monday to fire Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper. According to the senior defense official, Esper wrote a letter last month to John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, strongly endorsing Nakasone’s position and “urging that the information not be released due to the harm it would do to national security, including specific harm to the military,” the senior defense official said.

Trump’s ceaseless attempts to argue that the Russia investigation was a “hoax” — and to force the intelligence community to declassify information he believes would support this view — may animate some of his otherwise inexplicable moves.

At the Pentagon, Trump replaced Esper with acting defense secretary Christopher Miller, a former National Security Council official who had been nominated in March to run the National Counterterrorism Center. The job was vacant because Trump had fired Russell E. Travers, the previous acting NCTC chief, who had worked closely with former acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire, who was bounced in February. Maguire’s supposed crime was that he had allowed intelligence officials to brief Congress on Russian efforts to support Trump in the 2020 election.

At the NSA, the Trump team just installed as general counsel Michael Ellis, a former chief counsel to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a locus of pro-Trump arguments that the Russia investigation was poisoned fruit. As the spy agency’s chief legal officer, Ellis could be an ally in a Ratcliffe-led campaign to declassify intelligence that would otherwise be tightly held because it might reveal sources and methods.

Senate Republicans, who might stop the post-election revenge campaign, face a growing tension between Trump’s demands and the country’s interests. The senior congressional source described it this way: “How much do you stay quiet during the tantrum period? What damage will it do to national security? That’s a real-time discussion that’s going on.”

Trump will depart the White House Jan. 20, barring an unlikely legal miracle. The question is how much damage he will do to national security before he leaves.

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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J305
Member since Dec 07th 2008
7218 posts
Wed Nov-11-20 02:36 AM

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43. "This post is informative, and terrifying."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Please keep posting.

peace

J305
___________________

People of color are NOT a minority. Think Global.

Don't Let Hollywood fool you.

http://www.twitter.com/Jtronic
http://www.last.fm/user/Jtronic

  

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dagu
Member since Nov 25th 2005
1465 posts
Wed Nov-11-20 09:42 AM

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46. "So even if it isn't a coup he's creating an actual deep state."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I know it's been said a million times before but everything Trump accuses you of...

---------------------

http://www.last.fm/user/dagu85

  

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rdhull
Charter member
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Wed Nov-11-20 03:36 PM

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49. "is this Trump, or the repubs themselves with trump as figurehead"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

if so, thats worse and probably what it is..trump doesn't know about doing this shit

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Wed Nov-11-20 03:43 PM

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50. "The GOP is the part of the Confederacy. They believe in ruling"
In response to Reply # 49


  

          

It's the reason why a real fear is which state houses are willing to go along with this.

Pennsylvania is flirting with it, Tennessee, and Georgia too.
What happens when the Michigan and Wisconsin state houses start to get in on this also?

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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rdhull
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Wed Nov-11-20 11:04 PM

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52. "RE: The GOP is the part of the Confederacy. They believe in ruling"
In response to Reply # 50


  

          

>It's the reason why a real fear is which state houses are
>willing to go along with this.
>
>Pennsylvania is flirting with it, Tennessee, and Georgia too.
>What happens when the Michigan and Wisconsin state houses
>start to get in on this also?

I wonder why..drastic measures..arent taken regarding the leaders in play of those states and the ones who already are. They should be careful playing this nonsense.

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Wed Nov-11-20 11:57 PM

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53. "Because white people. "
In response to Reply # 52


  

          

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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squeeg
Charter member
34188 posts
Wed Nov-11-20 08:50 PM

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51. "RE: Anatomy of a coup attempt (swipe + links)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

www.isthisacoup.com

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Thu Nov-12-20 02:05 PM

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54. "Cyber security being gutted"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-resignation/senior-u-s-cybersecurity-official-asked-to-resign-amid-trump-transition-tumult-idUSKBN27S2RW

Senior U.S. cybersecurity official asked to resign amid Trump transition tumult
Christopher Bing
2 minutes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior U.S. cybersecurity official is leaving government after being asked to resign, an official familiar with the matter said Thursday, part of a wider thinning of President Donald Trump’s administration following Joe Biden’s election win.

Bryan Ware, the Assistant Director for Cybersecurity for the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), confirmed to Reuters that he had handed in his resignation on Thursday.

He didn’t provide details, but a U.S. official familiar with the matter said the White House asked for Ware’s resignation earlier this week.

CISA and the White House did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

The news was first reported here by cybersecurity-focused news site CyberScoop.

Ware is one of several officials who’ve left national security-related posts after Trump’s loss, which the president has yet to concede.

The churn is being closely watched amid concern for the integrity of the transition from Trump to Biden.

Reporting by Christopher Bing. Additional reporting by Raphael Satter in Washington. Editing by Nick Macfie

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Thu Nov-12-20 02:31 PM

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55. "Using Lame Duck period to force through idealogues"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://twitter.com/StevenTDennis/status/1326968667209404421

! Judy Shelton could get a Senate confirmation vote as early as next week, per Cornyn.

Lisa Murkowski tells @LauraLitvan
she’d vote to confirm.

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Fri Nov-13-20 09:37 AM

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58. "Assistant to the President "we are working on a second Trump administrat..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1327258450661957634?s=20

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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squeeg
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Sat Nov-14-20 12:30 AM

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59. "RE: Anatomy of a coup attempt (swipe + links)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://www.nytimes.com/article/electors-vote.html

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Thu Nov-19-20 12:30 PM

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61. "Donald Trump is personally making phone calls to undermine the election"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Trump targets vote certification in late bid to block Biden
By ZEKE MILLER, CHRISTINA A. CASSIDY and COLLEEN LONG
8-10 minutes

https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-targets-vote-certification-29da6aac9cc41e47f3095855e7af7031


WASHINGTON (AP) — Getting nowhere in the courts, President Donald Trump’s scattershot effort to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory is shifting toward obscure election boards that certify the vote as Trump and his allies seek to upend the electoral process, sow chaos and perpetuate unsubstantiated doubts about the count.

The battle is centered in the battleground states that sealed Biden’s win.

In Michigan, two Republican election officials in the state’s largest county initially refused to certify results despite no evidence of fraud, then backtracked and voted to certify and then on Wednesday flipped again and said they “remain opposed to certification.” Some Republicans have called on the GOP statewide canvassers to so the same. In Arizona, officials are balking at signing off on vote tallies in a rural county.

The moves don’t reflect a coordinated effort across the battleground states that broke for Biden, local election officials said. Instead, they seem to be inspired by Trump’s incendiary rhetoric about baseless fraud and driven by Republican acquiescence to broadsides against the nation’s electoral system as state and federal courts push aside legal challenges filed by Trump and his allies.

Still, what happened in Wayne County, Michigan, on Tuesday and Wednesday was a jarring reminder of the disruptions that can still be caused as the nation works through the process of affirming the outcome of the Nov. 3 election.

There is no precedent for the Trump team’s widespread effort to delay or undermine certification, according to University of Kentucky law professor Joshua Douglas.

“It would be the end of democracy as we know it,” Douglas said. “This is just not a thing that can happen.”

Certifying results is a routine yet important step after local election officials have tallied votes, reviewed procedures, checked to ensure votes were counted correctly and investigated discrepancies. Typically, this certification is done by a local board of elections and then, later, the results are certified at the state level.

But as Trump has refused to concede to Biden and continues to spread false claims of victory, this mundane process is taking on new significance.

Among key battleground states, counties in Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin have all made it through the initial step of certifying results. Except for Wayne County, this process has largely been smooth. Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia still haven’t concluded their local certifications.

Then all eyes turn to statewide certification.

In Wayne County, the two Republican canvassers at first balked at certifying the vote, winning praise from Trump, and then reversed course after widespread condemnation. A person familiar with the matter said Trump reached out to the canvassers, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, on Tuesday evening after the revised vote to express gratitude for their support. Then, on Wednesday, Palmer and Hartmann signed affidavits saying they believe the county vote “should not be certified.”

Time is running short for Trump. Across the nation, recounts and court challenges must wrap up and election results must be certified by Dec. 8. That’s the constitutional deadline ahead of the Electoral College meeting the following week.

Matt Morgan, the Trump campaign’s general counsel, said last week the campaign was trying to halt certification in battleground states until it could get a better handle on vote tallies and whether it would have the right to automatic recounts. Right now, Trump is requesting a recount in Wisconsin in two counties, and Georgia is doing an hand audit after Biden led by a slim margin of 0.3 percentage points, but there is no mandatory recount law in the state. The law provides that option to a trailing candidate if the margin is less than 0.5 percentage points.

Some in the Republican president’s orbit have held out hope that by delaying certification, GOP-controlled state legislatures will get a chance to select different electors, either overturning Biden’s victory or sending it to the House, where Trump would almost surely win.

Full Coverage: Election 2020

But most advisers to the president consider that a fever dream. Trump’s team has been incapable of organizing even basic legal activities since the election, let alone the widescale political and legal apparatus needed to persuade state legislators to try to undermine the will of their states’ voters.

Lawsuits have been filed by Trump allies in Michigan and Nevada seeking to stop certification. Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani argued to stop vote certification in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, the first time he’d been in a courtroom in decades. And the same day, the Arizona Republican Party asked a judge to bar Maricopa County, the state’s most populous, from certifying until the court issues a decision about the party’s lawsuit seeking a new hand count of a sampling of ballots.

The party is also putting pressure on county officials across the state to delay certification, even though there hasn’t been any evidence of legitimate questions about the vote tally showing that Biden won Arizona.

“The party is pushing for not only the county supervisors but everyone responsible for certifying and canvassing the election to make sure that all questions are answered so that voters will have confidence in the results of the election,” said Zach Henry, spokesman for the Arizona Republican Party.

While most counties in Arizona are pressing ahead with certification, officials in Mohave County decided to delay until Nov. 23, citing what they said was uncertainty about the fate of election challenges across the country.

“There are lawsuits all over the place on everything, and that’s part of the reason why I’m in no big hurry to canvass the election,” Mohave County Supervisor Ron Gould said Monday.

Officials in all of Georgia’s 159 counties were supposed to have certified their results by last Friday. But a few have yet to certify as the state works through a hand tally of some 5 million votes.

“They are overwhelmed, and they are trying to get to everything,” said Gabriel Sterling, a top official with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. “Some of these are smaller, less resourced counties, and there are only so many people who can do so many things.”

In addition, a few counties must recertify their results after previously uncounted votes were discovered during the audit.

Once counties have certified, the focus turns to officials at the state level who are charged with signing off on the election. This varies by state. For instance, a bipartisan panel in Michigan certifies elections, but in Georgia it’s the responsibility of the elected secretary of state, who has already faced calls by fellow Republicans to resign.

In Nevada, Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske’s role in certification is largely ministerial, but she still got a batch of emails urging her not to certify “potentially fraudulent election results,” a spokeswoman said Wednesday. The Justice Department had been looking into one potential case of fraud in the state over voter rolls, but an AP analysis found the case doesn’t appear to hold much water.

In Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County, a Republican board member, Joyce Dombroski-Gebhardt, said she will not certify the county’s election without an audit of at least 10% of the votes to ensure that some voters did not vote twice.

Trump won the county, where the election board is made up of three Democrats and two Republicans. A Democrat on the board, Peter Oullette, said he had no doubt that the rest of the board will sign the certification on Monday.

Philadelphia also had plans to certify results on Monday.

And some delays could still happen given the crushing workload election officials faced this year during the pandemic, according to Suzanne Almeida with Common Cause Pennsylvania, a good government group that helps with voter education and monitors election work in the state.

“A delay in certification doesn’t necessarily mean there are shenanigans; sometimes it just takes longer to go through all the mechanics to get to certification,” Almeida said

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Thu Nov-19-20 12:30 PM

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62. "And corruptly making the request in person tomorrow"
In response to Reply # 61


  

          

https://twitter.com/AmyEGardner/status/1329468989983125505

More Michigan news: Lawmakers are flying into DC to meet with President Trump tomorrow, at his request.

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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Stadiq
Member since Dec 21st 2005
4024 posts
Thu Nov-19-20 02:28 PM

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63. "I'm convinced the GOP cheated big time"
In response to Reply # 62
Thu Nov-19-20 02:31 PM by Stadiq

          

If they are willing to do all of this shit in plain view, what did they do behind closed doors on election day, etc?

I've seen some tin foil hat tweets about Miami-Dade numbers, Kentucky, South Carolina, etc.

Happens every election but if they are this brazen they probably had some GOP state lawmakers more than willing to play ball.


If the Biden admin simply "turns the page" and the Dems don't do their best to make structural changes to our election process we are fucked. Completely fucked.

They need to use all of this fuckery to torch the EC, as well as call the GOP bluff and invest heavily in election security, etc.

Total election reform needs to be a huge priority.

One small saving grace the last four years has been how shockingly stupid and incompetent Trump and his people are.

Could you imagine if these were competent people?

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Thu Nov-19-20 04:16 PM

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69. "The explanation for the corruption explained by the campaign"
In response to Reply # 62


  

          

A senior Trump campaign official told Reuters its plan is to cast enough doubt on vote-counting in big, Democratic cities that Republican lawmakers will have little choice but to intercede. The campaign is betting that many of those lawmakers, who come from districts Trump won, will face a backlash from voters if they refuse to act. The campaign believes the longer they can drag this out, the more they will have an opportunity to persuade lawmakers to intervene, the official said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-strategy/trumps-election-power-play-persuade-republican-legislators-to-do-what-u-s-voters-did-not-idUSKBN27Z30G


reuters.com
Trump's election power play: Persuade Republican legislators to do what U.S. voters did not
Michael Martina, Karen Freifeld, Jarrett Renshaw
7-9 minutes

DETROIT (Reuters) - President Donald Trump’s strategy for retaining power despite losing the U.S. election is focused increasingly on persuading Republican legislators to intervene on his behalf in battleground states Democrat Joe Biden won, three people familiar with the effort said.

FILE PHOTO: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney to U.S. President Donald Trump, holds what he identified as a replica mail-in ballot as he speaks about the 2020 U.S. presidential election results during a news conference in Washington, U.S., November 19, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Having so far faced a string of losses in legal cases challenging the Nov. 3 results, Trump’s lawyers are seeking to enlist fellow Republicans who control legislatures in Michigan and Pennsylvania, which went for Trump in 2016 and for Biden in 2020, the sources said.

Michigan’s Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield has said the person who wins the most votes will win the electoral votes of his state, where Trump trails by more than 150,000 votes.

But Chatfield and Michigan’s Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey will on Friday visit the White House at the president’s request, a source in Michigan said, adding they were going to listen and see what Trump had to say.

In the United States, a candidate becomes president by securing the most “electoral” votes rather than by winning a majority of the national popular vote. Electors, allotted to the 50 states and the District of Columbia largely based on their population, are party loyalists who pledge to support the candidate who won the popular vote in their state.

Typically, a state certifies a slate of electors based on which candidate won the popular vote, as Biden did in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

States have until Dec. 8 to meet a “safe harbor” deadline for resolving election disputes and choosing the electors who will select the president. The electors will convene as a so-called “Electoral College” on Dec. 14 to formally select the next president, who will take office on Jan. 20.

Trump’s lawyers are seeking to take the power of appointing electors away from the governors and secretaries of state and give it to friendly state lawmakers from his party, saying the U.S. Constitution gives legislatures the ultimate authority.

A person familiar with the campaign’s legal strategy said it has become a “more targeted approach towards getting the legislators engaged.”

As things stand, Biden has captured 306 electoral votes nationwide to Trump’s 232, well ahead of the 270 needed for victory. Were the combined 36 electoral votes in Michigan and Pennsylvania to go to Trump, he would trail by 270-268 electoral votes, meaning his campaign would still need to flip at least one more state to retain the White House.

A senior Trump campaign official told Reuters its plan is to cast enough doubt on vote-counting in big, Democratic cities that Republican lawmakers will have little choice but to intercede. The campaign is betting that many of those lawmakers, who come from districts Trump won, will face a backlash from voters if they refuse to act. The campaign believes the longer they can drag this out, the more they will have an opportunity to persuade lawmakers to intervene, the official said.

A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll published this week suggested the Trump campaign had succeeded in stirring doubt — however unfounded — about the presidential election. The survey found about half of Republicans think Trump “rightfully won” the election he lost.
UPHILL FIGHT

Trump faces an uphill fight. Officials have said repeatedly there is no evidence of widespread voting irregularities.

Legislators in Michigan and Pennsylvania have sought not to become involved. Several leading Republicans in Michigan privately express dismay at the extent to which Trump has tried to game the election results, believing it will irreversibly tarnish the party’s image in the state for years to come.

Part of the Trump campaign effort involves trying to delay certification, the normally routine process by which election results are finalized, either through recounts or by stalling at the local level, the campaign official said.

That happened on Tuesday in Detroit, Michigan, where Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers briefly refused to certify the results, citing small discrepancies in the number of votes. The Republicans reversed themselves after hours of heated public comment, only to say in affidavits late on Wednesday that they felt threatened and wanted to rescind the certification.

One of the Republicans, Monica Palmer, said in an affidavit that the election in Wayne County “had serious process flaws which deserve investigation.” She said she voted to approve the results because she thought the state would conduct an audit.

Palmer told Reuters in a text on Thursday that Trump called her after she voted to certify the results. She said “there was no discussion of an affidavit” during the call, but did not say whether the two discussed the certification vote in detail.

Trump’s campaign dropped a federal lawsuit on Thursday challenging the election results in Michigan, citing the Wayne County officials’ affidavits.

But Tracy Wimmer, a spokeswoman for Michigan’s secretary of state, said it was too late for the Republicans to rescind their certification. “Their job is done,” she said.

Trump’s lawyers already have implemented the strategy in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of Pennsylvania, where Trump trails by 82,000 votes. In a court filing on Wednesday, his lawyers said they would ask a federal judge to either block the state from certifying the results or to declare that they were “defective” and allow the state’s Republican-led legislature to choose its own slate of electors.

A senior Biden legal adviser has dismissed the Trump litigation as “theatrics, not really lawsuits.”

Trump’s effort to enlist state lawmakers emerged after the president turned his legal efforts over to his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, a person familiar with the effort said. Trump, the person said, “didn’t like the results and he put a guy in he knows and trusts, emulates his style.”

Asked at a news conference on Thursday if the campaign’s aim was to block state certifications so Republican lawmakers could pick electors, Giuliani laughed and said the goal was to get around what he called an “outrageous iron curtain of censorship.”

Election officials and experts believe the Trump campaign has little chance of success.

“The results in Michigan and Pennsylvania are not particularly close, and the Trump campaign has come forth with no facts or legal theory that would justify disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of voters or throwing out the election results,” said Rick Hasen, an expert on election law at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law.

“This is a dangerous though almost certainly ineffective attempt to thwart the will of the voters or to delegitimize a Biden presidency based upon false claims of a stolen election,” he said.

Reporting by Michael Martina, Karen Freifeld, Jarrett Renshaw, Brad Heath, Andy Sullivan and Tom Hals; Writing by Brad Heath; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Howard Goller

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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select_from_where
Member since Jan 03rd 2011
4310 posts
Thu Nov-19-20 02:38 PM

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64. "If any of these states gets even close to a legislature vote on this..."
In response to Reply # 61


  

          

The public response will be uncontrollable. Probably dangerous

this is dictator-level stuff that usually leads to civil war.

  

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Stadiq
Member since Dec 21st 2005
4024 posts
Thu Nov-19-20 02:44 PM

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65. "are folks up for a general strike? "
In response to Reply # 64


          


Cuz that's all I see having any kind of a chance to stop it if things get that far.

  

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Hitokiri
Charter member
20857 posts
Thu Nov-19-20 03:35 PM

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66. "I am."
In response to Reply # 65


  

          

This country though... idk.
I have a hard time seeing it.

--
"You can't beat white people. You can only knock them out."

"There is only one god and his name is death. And there is only one thing we say to death: not today."

  

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mista k5
Member since Feb 01st 2006
13342 posts
Thu Nov-19-20 03:47 PM

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67. "he kept talking about ways he was going to try to steal this election"
In response to Reply # 61


  

          

i figured and very much HOPED there was a plan to prevent it. i also figured there were going to be other ways he would try, this is one of those that i didnt really know about.

if there is a way he can technically steal this election he will try it.

im sure a lot of this is a way for him to get money from his stans, a way to keep them fired up but i have no doubt he is also really trying to stay in office.


i did have some hope that the GOP would be more willing to move on from him once the election happened. i guess from their point of view (mitch and em) they know if trump somehow finds a way to stay in office and they publicly went against him they would be paying for it. if biden rightfully takes office in january there are no consequences for them not speaking out against trump so what do they have to lose?

  

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ternary_star
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15134 posts
Thu Nov-19-20 03:57 PM

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68. "that's one of the most frustrating parts of the last 4 years"
In response to Reply # 67


  

          

this mother fucker doesn't sugar coat anything. he tells you exactly what he plans to do.

and everyone - even after 4 years of this - is still trying to laugh him off. it's so fucking stupid and dangerous.

  

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rdhull
Charter member
32037 posts
Thu Nov-19-20 09:29 PM

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70. "Her name is Monica Palmer... his, William Hartmann. And his FB feed whoo..."
In response to Reply # 61


  

          

Has a LOT odfracist material..how is he on the board to certify?


>Trump targets vote certification in late bid to block Biden
>By ZEKE MILLER, CHRISTINA A. CASSIDY and COLLEEN LONG
>8-10 minutes
>
>https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-targets-vote-certification-29da6aac9cc41e47f3095855e7af7031
>
>
>WASHINGTON (AP) — Getting nowhere in the courts, President
>Donald Trump’s scattershot effort to overturn
>President-elect Joe Biden’s victory is shifting toward
>obscure election boards that certify the vote as Trump and his
>allies seek to upend the electoral process, sow chaos and
>perpetuate unsubstantiated doubts about the count.
>
>The battle is centered in the battleground states that sealed
>Biden’s win.
>
>In Michigan, two Republican election officials in the
>state’s largest county initially refused to certify results
>despite no evidence of fraud, then backtracked and voted to
>certify and then on Wednesday flipped again and said they
>“remain opposed to certification.” Some Republicans have
>called on the GOP statewide canvassers to so the same. In
>Arizona, officials are balking at signing off on vote tallies
>in a rural county.
>
>The moves don’t reflect a coordinated effort across the
>battleground states that broke for Biden, local election
>officials said. Instead, they seem to be inspired by Trump’s
>incendiary rhetoric about baseless fraud and driven by
>Republican acquiescence to broadsides against the nation’s
>electoral system as state and federal courts push aside legal
>challenges filed by Trump and his allies.
>
>Still, what happened in Wayne County, Michigan, on Tuesday and
>Wednesday was a jarring reminder of the disruptions that can
>still be caused as the nation works through the process of
>affirming the outcome of the Nov. 3 election.
>
>There is no precedent for the Trump team’s widespread effort
>to delay or undermine certification, according to University
>of Kentucky law professor Joshua Douglas.
>
>“It would be the end of democracy as we know it,” Douglas
>said. “This is just not a thing that can happen.”
>
>Certifying results is a routine yet important step after local
>election officials have tallied votes, reviewed procedures,
>checked to ensure votes were counted correctly and
>investigated discrepancies. Typically, this certification is
>done by a local board of elections and then, later, the
>results are certified at the state level.
>
>But as Trump has refused to concede to Biden and continues to
>spread false claims of victory, this mundane process is taking
>on new significance.
>
>Among key battleground states, counties in Michigan, Nevada
>and Wisconsin have all made it through the initial step of
>certifying results. Except for Wayne County, this process has
>largely been smooth. Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia still
>haven’t concluded their local certifications.
>
>Then all eyes turn to statewide certification.
>
>In Wayne County, the two Republican canvassers at first balked
>at certifying the vote, winning praise from Trump, and then
>reversed course after widespread condemnation. A person
>familiar with the matter said Trump reached out to the
>canvassers, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, on Tuesday
>evening after the revised vote to express gratitude for their
>support. Then, on Wednesday, Palmer and Hartmann signed
>affidavits saying they believe the county vote “should not
>be certified.”
>
>Time is running short for Trump. Across the nation, recounts
>and court challenges must wrap up and election results must be
>certified by Dec. 8. That’s the constitutional deadline
>ahead of the Electoral College meeting the following week.
>
>Matt Morgan, the Trump campaign’s general counsel, said last
>week the campaign was trying to halt certification in
>battleground states until it could get a better handle on vote
>tallies and whether it would have the right to automatic
>recounts. Right now, Trump is requesting a recount in
>Wisconsin in two counties, and Georgia is doing an hand audit
>after Biden led by a slim margin of 0.3 percentage points, but
>there is no mandatory recount law in the state. The law
>provides that option to a trailing candidate if the margin is
>less than 0.5 percentage points.
>
>Some in the Republican president’s orbit have held out hope
>that by delaying certification, GOP-controlled state
>legislatures will get a chance to select different electors,
>either overturning Biden’s victory or sending it to the
>House, where Trump would almost surely win.
>
>Full Coverage: Election 2020
>
>But most advisers to the president consider that a fever
>dream. Trump’s team has been incapable of organizing even
>basic legal activities since the election, let alone the
>widescale political and legal apparatus needed to persuade
>state legislators to try to undermine the will of their
>states’ voters.
>
>Lawsuits have been filed by Trump allies in Michigan and
>Nevada seeking to stop certification. Trump personal attorney
>Rudy Giuliani argued to stop vote certification in
>Pennsylvania on Tuesday, the first time he’d been in a
>courtroom in decades. And the same day, the Arizona Republican
>Party asked a judge to bar Maricopa County, the state’s most
>populous, from certifying until the court issues a decision
>about the party’s lawsuit seeking a new hand count of a
>sampling of ballots.
>
>The party is also putting pressure on county officials across
>the state to delay certification, even though there hasn’t
>been any evidence of legitimate questions about the vote tally
>showing that Biden won Arizona.
>
>“The party is pushing for not only the county supervisors
>but everyone responsible for certifying and canvassing the
>election to make sure that all questions are answered so that
>voters will have confidence in the results of the election,”
>said Zach Henry, spokesman for the Arizona Republican Party.
>
>While most counties in Arizona are pressing ahead with
>certification, officials in Mohave County decided to delay
>until Nov. 23, citing what they said was uncertainty about the
>fate of election challenges across the country.
>
>“There are lawsuits all over the place on everything, and
>that’s part of the reason why I’m in no big hurry to
>canvass the election,” Mohave County Supervisor Ron Gould
>said Monday.
>
>Officials in all of Georgia’s 159 counties were supposed to
>have certified their results by last Friday. But a few have
>yet to certify as the state works through a hand tally of some
>5 million votes.
>
>“They are overwhelmed, and they are trying to get to
>everything,” said Gabriel Sterling, a top official with the
>Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. “Some of these are
>smaller, less resourced counties, and there are only so many
>people who can do so many things.”
>
>In addition, a few counties must recertify their results after
>previously uncounted votes were discovered during the audit.
>
>Once counties have certified, the focus turns to officials at
>the state level who are charged with signing off on the
>election. This varies by state. For instance, a bipartisan
>panel in Michigan certifies elections, but in Georgia it’s
>the responsibility of the elected secretary of state, who has
>already faced calls by fellow Republicans to resign.
>
>In Nevada, Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske’s role in
>certification is largely ministerial, but she still got a
>batch of emails urging her not to certify “potentially
>fraudulent election results,” a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
>The Justice Department had been looking into one potential
>case of fraud in the state over voter rolls, but an AP
>analysis found the case doesn’t appear to hold much water.
>
>In Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County, a Republican board member,
>Joyce Dombroski-Gebhardt, said she will not certify the
>county’s election without an audit of at least 10% of the
>votes to ensure that some voters did not vote twice.
>
>Trump won the county, where the election board is made up of
>three Democrats and two Republicans. A Democrat on the board,
>Peter Oullette, said he had no doubt that the rest of the
>board will sign the certification on Monday.
>
>Philadelphia also had plans to certify results on Monday.
>
>And some delays could still happen given the crushing workload
>election officials faced this year during the pandemic,
>according to Suzanne Almeida with Common Cause Pennsylvania, a
>good government group that helps with voter education and
>monitors election work in the state.
>
>“A delay in certification doesn’t necessarily mean there
>are shenanigans; sometimes it just takes longer to go through
>all the mechanics to get to certification,” Almeida said

  

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MEAT
Member since Feb 08th 2008
20245 posts
Mon Nov-23-20 10:06 AM

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71. "Top diplomat secretly meeting with Netanyahu & MBS the Saudi Crown Princ..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://twitter.com/barakravid/status/1330774237322375168?s=21

BREAKING: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu travelled secretly yesterday to the city of Neom in Saudi Arabia and had a trilateral meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israeli source tells me. Netanyahu's office didn't deny the story

------
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus

  

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handle
Charter member
16915 posts
Fri Nov-27-20 11:14 AM

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73. "He's goin to attack Iran"
In response to Reply # 71


          

Meanwhile Marco Rubio is worried about Biden's "Ivy League" cabinet.

(Oh, yes, Trump did graduate from an Ivy League school.)

------------


Gone: My Discogs collection for The Roots:
http://www.discogs.com/user/tomhayes-roots/collection

  

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Hitokiri
Charter member
20857 posts
Fri Nov-27-20 11:30 AM

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74. "They just did."
In response to Reply # 73


  

          

https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/27/middleeast/iran-top-nuclear-scientist-killed-intl/index.html

--
"You can't beat white people. You can only knock them out."

"There is only one god and his name is death. And there is only one thing we say to death: not today."

  

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