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Capitol attack: army took three hours to approve urgent help request, says national guard chief – live Capitol attack: army took three hours to approve urgent help request, says national guard chief – live
(32 minutes later)
‘Frantic call’ for assistance during Capitol insurrection was met with alarming delay, Senate committees hear‘Frantic call’ for assistance during Capitol insurrection was met with alarming delay, Senate committees hear
House Democratic leaders are encouraging Joe Biden to choose Shalanda Young to replace Neera Tanden as his nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget.
The statement from House speaker Nancy Pelosi, majority leader Steny Hoyer and majority whip Jim Clyburn comes a day after Tanden withdrew her nomination as OMB director due to bipartisan opposition to her confirmation.
“Neera Tanden is an outstanding public servant who has dedicated decades to fighting to advance the health, financial security and well-being of the American people. We know that she will continue to bring her progressive values, bold vision for the future and valuable perspective to Democrats’ work to Build Back Better,” the three House leaders said in a statement.
“As longtime Members of the Appropriations Committee, we take great pride in recommending Shalanda Young as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. We have worked closely with her for several years and highly recommend her for her intellect, her deep expertise on the federal budget and her determination to ensure that our budget reflects our values as a nation.”
The Democratic leaders added that Young’s nomination would be “historic,” as she would be the first African American woman to lead OMB if she were confirmed.
Young, a longtime Capitol Hill staffer, has already been nominated for the deputy OMB director post, and that nomination has attracted praise from senators of both parties.
During her confirmation hearing yesterday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham explicitly told Young that he would be happy to support her if she were nominated for the top job at OMB.
Dr Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, noted that Americans can still follow best practices to limit their risk of contracting coronavirus, even if their states are lifting restrictions.
“Every individual is empowered to do the right thing here, regardless of what the states decide -- for personal health, for public health, for the health of their loved ones and communities,” Walensky said.
She added, “I would still encourage individuals to wear a mask, to socially distance and to do the right thing to protect their own health.”
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expressed disapproval of states lifting some of their coronavirus-related public health orders.
“We’ve been very clear that now is not the time to release all restrictions. The next month or two is really pivotal,” Dr Rochelle Walensky said.
Walensky’s comments come one day after the Republican governors of Texas and Mississippi announced they were lifting their mask mandates, despite health officials’ concerns about another potential surge in cases.
The White House coronavirus response team is now holding a briefing to provide an update on the vaccine distribution process.The White House coronavirus response team is now holding a briefing to provide an update on the vaccine distribution process.
Andy Slavitt, a senior White House adviser, said health insurance companies are stepping up their efforts to get all seniors vaccinated, given that the elderly are more likely to become severely ill after contracting coronavirus.Andy Slavitt, a senior White House adviser, said health insurance companies are stepping up their efforts to get all seniors vaccinated, given that the elderly are more likely to become severely ill after contracting coronavirus.
Dr Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also encouraged all Americans to “roll up your sleeves and get vaccinated with the first vaccine that’s available to you.”Dr Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also encouraged all Americans to “roll up your sleeves and get vaccinated with the first vaccine that’s available to you.”
The officials’ comments come one day after Joe Biden announced the US would have enough coronavirus vaccines for all American adults by the end of May.The officials’ comments come one day after Joe Biden announced the US would have enough coronavirus vaccines for all American adults by the end of May.
Joe Biden has reportedly agreed to phase out the $1,400 direct payments in the coronavirus relief package at a more rapid rate.Joe Biden has reportedly agreed to phase out the $1,400 direct payments in the coronavirus relief package at a more rapid rate.
Bloomberg News has details on the changes:Bloomberg News has details on the changes:
The move will likely spark intense criticism among progressives, who had already expressed disappointment that the checks were not the full $2,000 amount that Biden campaigned on.The move will likely spark intense criticism among progressives, who had already expressed disappointment that the checks were not the full $2,000 amount that Biden campaigned on.
The White House has said the $1,400 checks, in combination with the $600 checks passed before Biden took office, collectively add up to $2,000 and thus the president is still keeping his promise.The White House has said the $1,400 checks, in combination with the $600 checks passed before Biden took office, collectively add up to $2,000 and thus the president is still keeping his promise.
But that will be harder to argue now that there is a segment of the American population who will no longer receive checks when they were previously expecting reduced payments.But that will be harder to argue now that there is a segment of the American population who will no longer receive checks when they were previously expecting reduced payments.
The US Capitol Police’s new warning clashes with a statement from the House sergeant at arms yesterday, which said chatter among far-right extremists about March 4 as the true inauguration date had somewhat subsided.The US Capitol Police’s new warning clashes with a statement from the House sergeant at arms yesterday, which said chatter among far-right extremists about March 4 as the true inauguration date had somewhat subsided.
The US Capitol Police says it has obtained intelligence about a militia group potentially attempting to breach the Capitol tomorrow.The US Capitol Police says it has obtained intelligence about a militia group potentially attempting to breach the Capitol tomorrow.
“We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4. We have already made significant security upgrades to include establishing a physical structure and increasing manpower to ensure the protection of Congress, the public and our police officers,” the USCP said in a new statement.“We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4. We have already made significant security upgrades to include establishing a physical structure and increasing manpower to ensure the protection of Congress, the public and our police officers,” the USCP said in a new statement.
“Our Department is working with our local, state, and federal partners to stop any threats to the Capitol. We are taking the intelligence seriously. Due to the sensitive nature of this information, we cannot provide additional details at this time.”“Our Department is working with our local, state, and federal partners to stop any threats to the Capitol. We are taking the intelligence seriously. Due to the sensitive nature of this information, we cannot provide additional details at this time.”
Other law enforcement officials have expressed concerns about potential violence on March 4, which far-right extremists have identified as the date that Donald Trump will be inaugurated as president.Other law enforcement officials have expressed concerns about potential violence on March 4, which far-right extremists have identified as the date that Donald Trump will be inaugurated as president.
The US Constitution previously mandated that presidents be inaugurated on March 4, but the 20th amendment pushed the presidential inauguration up to January 20.The US Constitution previously mandated that presidents be inaugurated on March 4, but the 20th amendment pushed the presidential inauguration up to January 20.
Of course, Trump lost the presidential election, and Joe Biden was sworn in as the rightful winner of the presidential race on January 20.Of course, Trump lost the presidential election, and Joe Biden was sworn in as the rightful winner of the presidential race on January 20.
A senior Pentagon official offered a conflicting account of when the deployment of DC National Guard troops was approved on January 6.A senior Pentagon official offered a conflicting account of when the deployment of DC National Guard troops was approved on January 6.
Robert G. Salesses, the acting assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and global security, confirmed that Capitol Police chief Steven Sund requested assistance at 1:49 pm on January 6.Robert G. Salesses, the acting assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and global security, confirmed that Capitol Police chief Steven Sund requested assistance at 1:49 pm on January 6.
“Following a call with the Mayor of DC and her staff, the Secretary of the Army met with the Acting Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to discuss the requests of the U.S. Capitol Police and the Mayor of DC (at approximately 2:30 p.m.),” Salesses said in his prepared opening remarks.“Following a call with the Mayor of DC and her staff, the Secretary of the Army met with the Acting Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to discuss the requests of the U.S. Capitol Police and the Mayor of DC (at approximately 2:30 p.m.),” Salesses said in his prepared opening remarks.
“The Acting Secretary of Defense determined that all available forces of the DC National Guard were required to be re-missioned to reinforce DC MPD and U.S. Capitol Police positions to support efforts to reestablish security of the U.S. Capitol Complex. The Acting Secretary of Defense approved full activation of the DC National Guard to provide support, and the Secretary of the Army directed DC National Guard personnel to initiate movement and full mobilization (3:04 p.m.).”“The Acting Secretary of Defense determined that all available forces of the DC National Guard were required to be re-missioned to reinforce DC MPD and U.S. Capitol Police positions to support efforts to reestablish security of the U.S. Capitol Complex. The Acting Secretary of Defense approved full activation of the DC National Guard to provide support, and the Secretary of the Army directed DC National Guard personnel to initiate movement and full mobilization (3:04 p.m.).”
Salesses went on to say, “After reviewing the DC National Guard forces’ missions, equipping, and responsibilities to be performed at the Capitol Complex in support of DC MPD and U.S. Capitol Police, and conferring with the DC MPD at their headquarters at 4:10 p.m., the Secretary of the Army received the Acting Secretary of Defense’s approval at 4:32 p.m., and ordered the DC National Guard forces to depart the Armory for the Capitol.”Salesses went on to say, “After reviewing the DC National Guard forces’ missions, equipping, and responsibilities to be performed at the Capitol Complex in support of DC MPD and U.S. Capitol Police, and conferring with the DC MPD at their headquarters at 4:10 p.m., the Secretary of the Army received the Acting Secretary of Defense’s approval at 4:32 p.m., and ordered the DC National Guard forces to depart the Armory for the Capitol.”
In contrast, William J. Walker, the commanding general of the DC National Guard, said the acting secretary of defense’s approval was not relayed until 5:08 p.m., more than three hours after assistance was requested.In contrast, William J. Walker, the commanding general of the DC National Guard, said the acting secretary of defense’s approval was not relayed until 5:08 p.m., more than three hours after assistance was requested.
The Senate homeland security committee and the Senate rules committee is now starting their second joint hearing on the security failures that occurred during the Capitol insurrection.The Senate homeland security committee and the Senate rules committee is now starting their second joint hearing on the security failures that occurred during the Capitol insurrection.
In his prepared opening remarks, William J. Walker, the commanding general of the DC National Guard, said it took army leaders more than three hours to approve a request for Guard troops to be deployed to the Capitol on 6 January.In his prepared opening remarks, William J. Walker, the commanding general of the DC National Guard, said it took army leaders more than three hours to approve a request for Guard troops to be deployed to the Capitol on 6 January.
“At 1:49pm I received a frantic call from then chief of US Capitol Police, Steven Sund, where he informed me that the security perimeter at the Capitol had been breached by hostile rioters. Chief Sund, his voice cracking with emotion, indicated that there was a dire emergency on Capitol Hill and requested the immediate assistance of as many guardsmen as I could muster,” Walker said in his prepared remarks.“At 1:49pm I received a frantic call from then chief of US Capitol Police, Steven Sund, where he informed me that the security perimeter at the Capitol had been breached by hostile rioters. Chief Sund, his voice cracking with emotion, indicated that there was a dire emergency on Capitol Hill and requested the immediate assistance of as many guardsmen as I could muster,” Walker said in his prepared remarks.
“Immediately after the 1.49pm call with Chief Sund, I alerted the army senior leadership of the request. The approval for Chief Sund’s request would eventually come from the acting secretary of defense and be relayed to me by army senior leaders at 5.08pm – three hours and 19 minutes later. We already had guardsmen on buses ready to move to the Capitol. Consequently, at 5.20pm (in under 20 minutes) the District of Columbia National Guard arrived at the Capitol. We helped to re-establish the security perimeter at the east side of the Capitol to facilitate the resumption of the joint session of Congress.”“Immediately after the 1.49pm call with Chief Sund, I alerted the army senior leadership of the request. The approval for Chief Sund’s request would eventually come from the acting secretary of defense and be relayed to me by army senior leaders at 5.08pm – three hours and 19 minutes later. We already had guardsmen on buses ready to move to the Capitol. Consequently, at 5.20pm (in under 20 minutes) the District of Columbia National Guard arrived at the Capitol. We helped to re-establish the security perimeter at the east side of the Capitol to facilitate the resumption of the joint session of Congress.”
The delay is particularly alarming given that Mike Pence missed clashing with insurrectionists by a matter of minutes, around 2.15pm on 6 January.The delay is particularly alarming given that Mike Pence missed clashing with insurrectionists by a matter of minutes, around 2.15pm on 6 January.
The Biden administration’s use of the video teleconferencing app Zoom to conduct its unclassified meetings has raised some security concerns in relation to China.The Biden administration’s use of the video teleconferencing app Zoom to conduct its unclassified meetings has raised some security concerns in relation to China.
The Washington Post reports:The Washington Post reports:
This is Joan Greve in Washington, taking over for Martin Belam.This is Joan Greve in Washington, taking over for Martin Belam.
The Senate homeland security committee and the Senate rules committee will soon hold their second joint hearing on the security failures that occurred during the Capitol insurrection on 6 January.The Senate homeland security committee and the Senate rules committee will soon hold their second joint hearing on the security failures that occurred during the Capitol insurrection on 6 January.
Last week, the former chief of the US Capitol Police largely blamed the security failures on a lack of intelligence about the likelihood for violence at the 6 January pro-Trump march in Washington.Last week, the former chief of the US Capitol Police largely blamed the security failures on a lack of intelligence about the likelihood for violence at the 6 January pro-Trump march in Washington.
But testifying before the Senate judiciary committee yesterday Christopher Wray, the FBI director, said members of the US Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department were made aware of a 5 January field office report, which warned of potential violence at the Capitol the next day.But testifying before the Senate judiciary committee yesterday Christopher Wray, the FBI director, said members of the US Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department were made aware of a 5 January field office report, which warned of potential violence at the Capitol the next day.
Wray’s testimony only intensified questions over why DC law enforcement leaders did not adequately prepare for an attack that many saw coming.Wray’s testimony only intensified questions over why DC law enforcement leaders did not adequately prepare for an attack that many saw coming.
The hearing will begin in about half an hour, so stay tuned.The hearing will begin in about half an hour, so stay tuned.
The Guardian’s Daniel Strauss reports:The Guardian’s Daniel Strauss reports:
The Donald Trump-aligned North Carolina congressman Madison Cawthorn now has a Democratic opponent.The Donald Trump-aligned North Carolina congressman Madison Cawthorn now has a Democratic opponent.
Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara of Buncombe County, an ordained minister and executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, kicked off her campaign Wednesday morning with a biographic video:Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara of Buncombe County, an ordained minister and executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, kicked off her campaign Wednesday morning with a biographic video:
Cawthorn is the 25-year old congressman from North Carolina who is closely aligned with the pro-Trump wing of the Republican Party.Cawthorn is the 25-year old congressman from North Carolina who is closely aligned with the pro-Trump wing of the Republican Party.
A number of women have come forward to accuse Cawthorn of sexual misconduct. The Washington Post also published a deep dive into the falsehoods that helped drive Cawthorn’s ascent.A number of women have come forward to accuse Cawthorn of sexual misconduct. The Washington Post also published a deep dive into the falsehoods that helped drive Cawthorn’s ascent.
Beach-Ferrara has assembled a team of veteran strategists in her bid. Jeffrey Liszt of ALG Research is doing polling. Clare Gannon and Mattis Goldman of Three Point Media are handling media. Eric Goldman of Break Something Strategies is doing digital. Nadia Garnett and Adnaan Muslim of Deliver Strategies are doing the mail. Eric Hyers, a veteran Democratic campaign manager, is also advising the campaign.Beach-Ferrara has assembled a team of veteran strategists in her bid. Jeffrey Liszt of ALG Research is doing polling. Clare Gannon and Mattis Goldman of Three Point Media are handling media. Eric Goldman of Break Something Strategies is doing digital. Nadia Garnett and Adnaan Muslim of Deliver Strategies are doing the mail. Eric Hyers, a veteran Democratic campaign manager, is also advising the campaign.
The Department of Defense has this morning issued a scathing review of Representative Ronny Jackson during his time serving as the top White House physician. The report was obtained by CNN, and conclude that he made “sexual and denigrating” comments about a female subordinate, drank alcohol while on a presidential trip, and took prescription-strength sleeping medication that prompted colleagues to be worried about his ability to provide proper care. CNN writes:The Department of Defense has this morning issued a scathing review of Representative Ronny Jackson during his time serving as the top White House physician. The report was obtained by CNN, and conclude that he made “sexual and denigrating” comments about a female subordinate, drank alcohol while on a presidential trip, and took prescription-strength sleeping medication that prompted colleagues to be worried about his ability to provide proper care. CNN writes:
CNN analysis showed that of the 60 witnesses interviewed by the Defense Department IG about the command climate under Jackson, only 13 had positive comments, while 38 spoke about “unprofessional behavior, intimidation and poor treatment of subordinates.”CNN analysis showed that of the 60 witnesses interviewed by the Defense Department IG about the command climate under Jackson, only 13 had positive comments, while 38 spoke about “unprofessional behavior, intimidation and poor treatment of subordinates.”
Events detailed in the report include “Jackson ‘pounding’ on the door of his female subordinate’s room” after he had been drinking on a presidential trip. On another occasion he was witnessed drinking a beer while he was serving as the physician to the President and in charge of providing medical care for a presidential trip, despite regulations prohibiting him.Events detailed in the report include “Jackson ‘pounding’ on the door of his female subordinate’s room” after he had been drinking on a presidential trip. On another occasion he was witnessed drinking a beer while he was serving as the physician to the President and in charge of providing medical care for a presidential trip, despite regulations prohibiting him.
Read more here: CNN – Rep Ronny Jackson made sexual comments, drank alcohol and took Ambien while working as White House physician, Pentagon watchdog findsRead more here: CNN – Rep Ronny Jackson made sexual comments, drank alcohol and took Ambien while working as White House physician, Pentagon watchdog finds
Parler, the social media app popular among American right-wing users, has dropped its case against Amazon for cutting off its web-hosting services, court documents from late last night showed.Parler, the social media app popular among American right-wing users, has dropped its case against Amazon for cutting off its web-hosting services, court documents from late last night showed.
Reuters report that the app went dark in January as many service providers pulled back support, accusing it of failing to police violent content related to the attack on the US Capitol, the nation’s legislative seat, by followers of Donald Trump. Google removed the application from its Play Store and Apple from App Store.Reuters report that the app went dark in January as many service providers pulled back support, accusing it of failing to police violent content related to the attack on the US Capitol, the nation’s legislative seat, by followers of Donald Trump. Google removed the application from its Play Store and Apple from App Store.
Parler sued Amazon, accusing it of making an illegal, politically motivated decision to shut it down to benefit Twitter.Parler sued Amazon, accusing it of making an illegal, politically motivated decision to shut it down to benefit Twitter.
A US judge rejected its demand that Amazon restore services for the platform later in January. A month later, Parler re-launched its services online and said the new platform was built on “sustainable, independent technology” – albeit apparently from Russia.A US judge rejected its demand that Amazon restore services for the platform later in January. A month later, Parler re-launched its services online and said the new platform was built on “sustainable, independent technology” – albeit apparently from Russia.
Amazon has said that Parler ignored repeated warnings to effectively moderate the growth of violent content on its website, including calls to assassinate prominent Democratic politicians, leading business executives and members of the media.Amazon has said that Parler ignored repeated warnings to effectively moderate the growth of violent content on its website, including calls to assassinate prominent Democratic politicians, leading business executives and members of the media.
Parler, however, has said there was no evidence apart from anecdotes in the press that it had a role in inciting the riots in US Capitol and argued that it was unfair to deprive millions of law-abiding Americans a platform for free speech. It should be noted that the “anecdote in the press” that Parler refers to were the media quoting what Parler had allowed to be published on its website – as document, for example, here.Parler, however, has said there was no evidence apart from anecdotes in the press that it had a role in inciting the riots in US Capitol and argued that it was unfair to deprive millions of law-abiding Americans a platform for free speech. It should be noted that the “anecdote in the press” that Parler refers to were the media quoting what Parler had allowed to be published on its website – as document, for example, here.
Sam Levin reports for us from Los Angeles on the legacy of the brutal beating of Rodney King by the LAPD, which happened thirty years ago:Sam Levin reports for us from Los Angeles on the legacy of the brutal beating of Rodney King by the LAPD, which happened thirty years ago:
LAPD in recent years has faced scrutiny from a new wave of activists who have organized against police killings of civilians, discriminatory arrests and traffic stops, harassment and surveillance of Black and Latino residents, and militarized responses to protests. Arguing previous reforms have done little to curb the department’s brazenness, they are calling for sweeping change: take away power, and funding, from LAPD.LAPD in recent years has faced scrutiny from a new wave of activists who have organized against police killings of civilians, discriminatory arrests and traffic stops, harassment and surveillance of Black and Latino residents, and militarized responses to protests. Arguing previous reforms have done little to curb the department’s brazenness, they are calling for sweeping change: take away power, and funding, from LAPD.
“LAPD is still corrupt and violent and brutal,” said Melina Abdullah, co-founder of Black Lives Matter LA. “Since Rodney King, LAPD has just gotten slicker. Very little has changed, other than they’ve gotten better at PR.”“LAPD is still corrupt and violent and brutal,” said Melina Abdullah, co-founder of Black Lives Matter LA. “Since Rodney King, LAPD has just gotten slicker. Very little has changed, other than they’ve gotten better at PR.”
The calls to defund LAPD gained traction during last year’s uprisings after the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor – and activists are launching a new campaign to build on that momentum. “We can reimagine public safety by divesting from police and freeing up those dollars to invest in the things that actually bring about safe communities,” said Abdullah.The calls to defund LAPD gained traction during last year’s uprisings after the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor – and activists are launching a new campaign to build on that momentum. “We can reimagine public safety by divesting from police and freeing up those dollars to invest in the things that actually bring about safe communities,” said Abdullah.
Recent data has repeatedly shown that LAPD officers stop and search Black and Latino residents at significantly higher rates than white residents. In the last two years, officers have been accused of falsely labeling civilians as gang members in databases, citing fabricated information. Last year, the LA Times found that the police department appeared to have repeatedly violated its own rules when it used force against protesters, in some cases causing significant injury. And in the last month, LAPD has been twice forced to apologize – first after officers allegedly circulated an offensive meme mocking George Floyd, then after the chief admitted he gave hugely inaccurate data to the LA Times that falsely suggested a major decline in controversial traffic stops.Recent data has repeatedly shown that LAPD officers stop and search Black and Latino residents at significantly higher rates than white residents. In the last two years, officers have been accused of falsely labeling civilians as gang members in databases, citing fabricated information. Last year, the LA Times found that the police department appeared to have repeatedly violated its own rules when it used force against protesters, in some cases causing significant injury. And in the last month, LAPD has been twice forced to apologize – first after officers allegedly circulated an offensive meme mocking George Floyd, then after the chief admitted he gave hugely inaccurate data to the LA Times that falsely suggested a major decline in controversial traffic stops.
“There have been reforms on paper, but if you ask community members if anything has changed, they say nothing has, really,” said Andrés Dae Keun Kwon, a lawyer with the ACLU of Southern California. “It’s the same old disproportionate stops, targeting, harassment, brutalizing and killing.”“There have been reforms on paper, but if you ask community members if anything has changed, they say nothing has, really,” said Andrés Dae Keun Kwon, a lawyer with the ACLU of Southern California. “It’s the same old disproportionate stops, targeting, harassment, brutalizing and killing.”
“We were hopeful that this kind of confirmation of our experiences would mean that there would be justice and meaningful change,” Abdullah, of BLM, said of the King footage. Instead, “we saw police double down on violence and brutality … telling the world, ‘Don’t believe your lying eyes.’ It reminded us that the truth wasn’t really important to a system that put targets on the backs of Black people.”“We were hopeful that this kind of confirmation of our experiences would mean that there would be justice and meaningful change,” Abdullah, of BLM, said of the King footage. Instead, “we saw police double down on violence and brutality … telling the world, ‘Don’t believe your lying eyes.’ It reminded us that the truth wasn’t really important to a system that put targets on the backs of Black people.”
Read more of Sam Levin’s report here: Rodney King – 30 years after brutal beating, activists say LAPD ‘still corrupt and violent’Read more of Sam Levin’s report here: Rodney King – 30 years after brutal beating, activists say LAPD ‘still corrupt and violent’
Alexi McCammond at Axios reports on the push by the progressive wing of the Democratic party to get itself in a position to challenge a host of centrist incumbents during the next primary season. She writes:Alexi McCammond at Axios reports on the push by the progressive wing of the Democratic party to get itself in a position to challenge a host of centrist incumbents during the next primary season. She writes:
Read more here: Axios – Progressives ready challenge to Democratic old guardRead more here: Axios – Progressives ready challenge to Democratic old guard
Jeff Sessions has expressed regret that migrant children were separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border, reports Ted Hesson for Reuters.Jeff Sessions has expressed regret that migrant children were separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border, reports Ted Hesson for Reuters.
As attorney general, Sessions was the cabinet official responsible for Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” border strategy and a US Department of Justice internal watchdog report released in January said Sessions’ office was “a driving force” behind the administration’s decision to refer families for criminal prosecution, and that Sessions himself was aware it could lead to family separations.As attorney general, Sessions was the cabinet official responsible for Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” border strategy and a US Department of Justice internal watchdog report released in January said Sessions’ office was “a driving force” behind the administration’s decision to refer families for criminal prosecution, and that Sessions himself was aware it could lead to family separations.
The policy charged parents with federal immigration offences and sent them to jails, while children were labeled “unaccompanied” and placed in shelters.The policy charged parents with federal immigration offences and sent them to jails, while children were labeled “unaccompanied” and placed in shelters.
Between April and June 2018, nearly 3,000 migrant children were separated from their parents at the border while another 1,000 children were separated from their parents during a pilot program in 2017.Between April and June 2018, nearly 3,000 migrant children were separated from their parents at the border while another 1,000 children were separated from their parents during a pilot program in 2017.
Efforts are still ongoing in court to locate the parents of more than 500 separated children.Efforts are still ongoing in court to locate the parents of more than 500 separated children.
Despite the Trump administration only making a belated and ineffective effort to reunite families, Sessions expressed regret for the separations:Despite the Trump administration only making a belated and ineffective effort to reunite families, Sessions expressed regret for the separations:
“It was unfortunate, very unfortunate, that somehow the government was not able to manage those children in a way that they could be reunited properly,” said Sessions. “It turned out to be more of a problem than I think any of us imagined it would be.”“It was unfortunate, very unfortunate, that somehow the government was not able to manage those children in a way that they could be reunited properly,” said Sessions. “It turned out to be more of a problem than I think any of us imagined it would be.”
Launched in April 2018, Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy provoked widespread criticism, leading the Republican president to effectively reverse it months later.Launched in April 2018, Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy provoked widespread criticism, leading the Republican president to effectively reverse it months later.
Within days of taking office, Joe Biden, created a task force in February to reunite families still separated by the policy, calling it a “moral and national shame” and a “stain” on the reputation of the United States.Within days of taking office, Joe Biden, created a task force in February to reunite families still separated by the policy, calling it a “moral and national shame” and a “stain” on the reputation of the United States.
Moustafa Bayoumi writes for us this morning on what he says is a new low – using utility bills to hunt undocumented immigrants:Moustafa Bayoumi writes for us this morning on what he says is a new low – using utility bills to hunt undocumented immigrants:
The startling truth is that signing up for even basic utilities in this country has turned into a gamble for many people, particularly undocumented immigrants. Last week, the Washington Post revealed that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has paid tens of millions of dollars since 2017 for access to a private database that contains more than “400m names, addresses and service records from more than 80 utility companies covering all the staples of modern life, including water, gas and electricity, and phone, internet and cable TV”. The information has been mined by Ice, the Post reported, for immigration surveillance and enforcement operations.The startling truth is that signing up for even basic utilities in this country has turned into a gamble for many people, particularly undocumented immigrants. Last week, the Washington Post revealed that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has paid tens of millions of dollars since 2017 for access to a private database that contains more than “400m names, addresses and service records from more than 80 utility companies covering all the staples of modern life, including water, gas and electricity, and phone, internet and cable TV”. The information has been mined by Ice, the Post reported, for immigration surveillance and enforcement operations.
Neither Ice nor any other federal agency should have unfettered access to this data. In fact, there are strict protocols and regulations that determine how the federal government can gather your information and when it can infringe on your privacy, much of this is codified in the Privacy Act of 1974, as the Post notes. So how are federal agencies like Ice getting around these legal safeguards, which would otherwise prevent them from scooping up such data on their own and without a court order? Simple. They just buy it. With taxpayer money.Neither Ice nor any other federal agency should have unfettered access to this data. In fact, there are strict protocols and regulations that determine how the federal government can gather your information and when it can infringe on your privacy, much of this is codified in the Privacy Act of 1974, as the Post notes. So how are federal agencies like Ice getting around these legal safeguards, which would otherwise prevent them from scooping up such data on their own and without a court order? Simple. They just buy it. With taxpayer money.
Ice paid almost $21m for access to a database called Clear, which is owned by the multinational media conglomerate Thomson Reuters. Clear is reported to contain billions of your records, including employment and housing information, credit reports, criminal histories, vehicle registrations and data from utility companies in all 50 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands. It’s also updated daily.Ice paid almost $21m for access to a database called Clear, which is owned by the multinational media conglomerate Thomson Reuters. Clear is reported to contain billions of your records, including employment and housing information, credit reports, criminal histories, vehicle registrations and data from utility companies in all 50 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands. It’s also updated daily.
This isn’t just surveillance capitalism. It’s worse. The main idea behind surveillance capitalism is that we, the world’s internet users and smartphone aficionados, have been persuaded to give up the wealth of our personal information in meager exchange for convenient access to big data’s apps and platforms. But what Ice has been doing is different. The marriage of government and surveillance capitalism reveals yet another depth to our contemporary, pixelated nightmare.This isn’t just surveillance capitalism. It’s worse. The main idea behind surveillance capitalism is that we, the world’s internet users and smartphone aficionados, have been persuaded to give up the wealth of our personal information in meager exchange for convenient access to big data’s apps and platforms. But what Ice has been doing is different. The marriage of government and surveillance capitalism reveals yet another depth to our contemporary, pixelated nightmare.
Because the power of the government is so immense, the union of government might with surveillance capitalism should worry every single one of us. Facebook may want to know everything about your shopping and surfing habits, but perhaps the worst it can do to you individually is put you in a metaphorical “Facebook jail”. Governments, needless to say, can send you to a real prison.Because the power of the government is so immense, the union of government might with surveillance capitalism should worry every single one of us. Facebook may want to know everything about your shopping and surfing habits, but perhaps the worst it can do to you individually is put you in a metaphorical “Facebook jail”. Governments, needless to say, can send you to a real prison.
Read more here: Moustafa Bayoumi – Ice reached a new low: using utility bills to hunt undocumented immigrantsRead more here: Moustafa Bayoumi – Ice reached a new low: using utility bills to hunt undocumented immigrants
Overnight, Giovanni Russonello’s On Politics newsletter for the New York Times had a focus on voting rights restrictions that Republicans are attempting to impose across the US in the wake of their November election defeat.Overnight, Giovanni Russonello’s On Politics newsletter for the New York Times had a focus on voting rights restrictions that Republicans are attempting to impose across the US in the wake of their November election defeat.
There are over 250 bills pending in 43 states that would restrict access to voting. He spoke to Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU’s law school, and she had this to say about the efforts:There are over 250 bills pending in 43 states that would restrict access to voting. He spoke to Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU’s law school, and she had this to say about the efforts:
The Democratic party is fighting back with an attempt at federal legislation of its own – with the For the People Act. As Weiser explains it:The Democratic party is fighting back with an attempt at federal legislation of its own – with the For the People Act. As Weiser explains it: