Posts Tagged ‘Nevada’

How did Las Vegas shooter get his arsenal? Easily, and legally

October 3, 2017

AFP

© AFP / by Paul HANDLEY | In the United States, there are few barriers for someone without a criminal record to build up their own personal arsenal of weapons. Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock had dozens of guns, apparently all legal.

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Twenty-three guns in his hotel room. Nineteen more at home. Piles of ammunition, and devices that converted assault rifles to automatic weapons that fired like machine guns.How did Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock, who shot and killed 59 people from his 32nd story hotel window, amass an arsenal of firearms? In the United States, and particularly in states like Nevada, it’s easy. And totally legal.

Although the country is notorious for its lax gun laws, there are some restrictions on multiple sales of handguns. But if someone wants to build up a cache of rifles the way Paddock did, they could do so without anyone noticing.

Most gun sales are by federally-licensed vendors who must put buyers through background checks. The FBI will run their name through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which refers to three databases of offenders.

Those databases are not always perfect, relying on often spotty reporting from the states. Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine people in an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015, cleared a handgun purchase background check just weeks before, despite having a drug conviction on his record.

– No apparent red flags –

But if a person’s record is clean — and Paddock evidently did not raise any red flags — he can buy as many guns as he wants.

There are some controls, points out Laura Cutilletta, the legal director at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Licensed gun dealers, who handle perhaps 60 percent of all firearm sales, have to report multiple handgun sales to the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco. “Multiple” means two or more guns to the same purchaser within five business days.

Even then, Cutiletta says, “There is no requirement that law enforcement investigate.”

Three states — California, New York and New Jersey — prohibit sales of more than one handgun in 30 to 90 days, with slight variations between them.

Beyond that, the country is an open market, with private sellers of used guns not having to run background checks, and no restrictions on long gun purchases.

In Nevada, where gun laws are particularly lax and enforcement more so, it would have been easy for Paddock to accumulate all the guns he had unnoticed.

“There is no way that AFT or the FBI would know,” said Cutiletta.

– Easy to convert to automatic –

But what stood out in Sunday’s massacre, when Paddock unloaded his guns on a crowd of 22,000 at a country music concert, was the rapid pace of fire.

According to reports, he had modified some of his guns to work like automatic weapons, like machine guns, able to shoot many hundreds of rounds a minute with one trigger pull.

Automatic weapons have been banned in the United States for three decades.

But converting a semi-automatic weapon, including the AR-15 and AK-47-type assault rifles widely available in US gun shops, into an automatic weapon is easy.

For $40 you can buy a trigger crank, a small device that can be attached to the trigger. It can make the gun fire three or four times with each turn of the crank, significantly faster than using a finger to pull the trigger.

For as little as $99, you can get a bump stock, a spring-loaded stock that, with one pull of the trigger, keeps the weapon firing using its own recoil. It can enable the weapon to fire at a rate of 600 rounds a minute or more.

Trigger cranks and bump stocks are completely legal, they even come with ATF certifications that they do not constitute an illegal conversion of the guns. According to reports Paddock had two weapons with bump stocks.

Reports citing law enforcement authorities say Paddock also had a large stock of ammunition. That side of the business is also little-regulated, with only restrictions on certain types of ammunition like armor-piercing bullets.

by Paul HANDLEY
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Las Vegas Shooting Updates: More Than 50 Dead

October 2, 2017

• More than 50 people were killed and more than 200 were injured in a shooting at a concert near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, the police said.

• The police said they killed a gunman, Stephen Paddock, 64, at the hotel. They said they believed he was the only attacker. They said they were “confident” they had located a female person of interest described as his “companion” and “roommate.”

• Automatic gunfire can be heard in videos from the grounds of the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a country music event. Concertgoers were seen running and ducking for cover. Thousands of people fled.

At least two police officers have died.

Two off-duty Las Vegas police officers were killed in the shooting, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said at a news conference.

Two other officers responding to the scene were wounded, the sheriff said. One of them is in critical condition.

Continue reading the main story

Additionally, an off-duty officer from Bakersfield, Calif., who was attending the concert was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening.

Photo

A woman covered with blood at the festival. CreditDavid Becker/Getty Images

More than 20 people killed and more than 100 injured.

“Now as far as number of victims, I cannot give you an accurate number at this point,” Sheriff Lombardo said. “We have well in excess of a hundred-plus injured and excess of 20-plus that have died.”

The sheriff described the gunman as a “local resident.”

Police hunt for gunman’s ‘companion.’

The police are looking for a woman described as the gunman’s “companion” and identified as Marilou Danley.

Photo

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released this photo of Marilou Danley, the gunman’s “companion.” CreditLas Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

The authorities have called her a “person of interest” and the shooter’s “roommate.”

‘We do not believe there are any more shooters.’

‘We have numerous victims right now.’

“We have numerous victims right now. I don’t have a number,” Sgt. Jeff Clark, a spokesman for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, said at a news conference.

The police say one gunman is dead.

“One suspect is down,” the police said via Twitter several hours after the attack was first reported.

SWAT teams were sent to the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, where at least one gunman was believed to be located, according police radio traffic.

The authorities later confirmed there were no other gunmen.

“This is an active investigation. Again, please do not head down to the Strip at this time,” a post on Twitter read.

Las Vegas shooting: 20 killed, 200 wounded in mass shooting — Shooter killed by police

October 2, 2017

Police say at least 20 people have been killed in a mass shooting in Las Vegas. Dozens of victims have been admitted to a nearby hospital. Police report one suspect “down” and don’t believe that there are more shooters.

— Officials in Las Vegas say at least 20 people were killed in a mass shooting late Sunday. More than 100 victims have suffered injuries, at least a dozen of them critical injuries.

— Police report that at least one suspected shooter “is down” after officers “engaged” him. Authorities do not believe that there are any more shooters. They are looking for the suspect’s female “companion” and two vehicles registered to him.

— The sheriff says reports of shootings at other sites on the Strip were false.

All updates in UTC

0935 Mandalay Bay’s parent company has tweeted that, at the request of law enforcement, it has “put hotels in the vicinity on lockdown to ensure guest safety.”

Our thoughts & prayers are with the victims of last night’s tragic events. We’re grateful for the immediate actions of our first responders.

0930 Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has responded to the attack on Twitter, calling the shooting a “tragic & heinous act of violence.”

A tragic & heinous act of violence has shaken the  family. Our prayers are w/ the victims & all affected by this act of cowardice.

0900 Disturbing video has emerged from the scene.

Gunfire rings out at Mandalay Bay

0835 In a media briefing, Sheriff Joe Lombardo drastically raised the death toll in the shooting from two to more than 20. He said at least 100 people had been injured.

“I cannot give you an accurate number,” Lombardo told reporters.

Briefing with @ regarding the Strip shooting. At least 20 dead, 100 injured. The shooter was local.

Lombardo said police had identified the shooter, who they believe acted alone, as a local resident but did not give further information. He said police were looking for the man’s roommate for further questioning, as well as two vehicles registered to the suspect.

The sheriff said the shooter fired on the audience at the music festival from a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where officers later “engaged” and killed him. “We are comfortable that the primary aggressor in this event is expired or passed away,” Lombardo said.

Lombardo called on anyone who had footage of the attack to submit it to law enforcement, including the FBI, which is assisting in the investigation. The Red Cross is fielding phone calls from people seeking information on missing relatives.

The sheriff said reports of related shootings at multiple sites on the Strip were false: “The scene is static.”

0750 Flights have resumed at McCarran Airport, but delays will continue.

Limited flight activity has resumed at @LASairport. Please monitor flight status with your airline. Expect on going delays.

0732 Officers do not believe that there are any more shooters.

At this time we do not believe there are any more shooters. More information to come shortly from @.

0730 Police have confirmed that at least two people have died and two dozen suffered injuries in Sunday’s shooting.

0700 Police reported one suspect “down.”

Please do not livestream or share tactical positions of our officers on scene. This may put emergency responders in danger.

0640 As reports circulated online of police deploying to multiple venues, officers asked social media users not to share their “tactical positions.”

UPDATE: Flights in and out of @LASairport have been temporarily halted in response to reported shooting incident on Las Vegas Strip.

“We want people to steer clear of the area,” an officer told a short media briefing.

0520 The first reports started circulating that an active shooter or shooters had targeted fans at the Route 91 Harvest Festival of country music across from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the iconic Las Vegas Strip.

mkg/rt (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)

http://www.dw.com/en/las-vegas-shooting-20-victims-suspect-dead-live-updates/a-40772461

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Conservative victory in Alabama deepens split among Republicans, as insurgents challenge incumbent senators — Republicans and Democrats Aim To Throw the Senate Out

September 28, 2017
  Los Angeles Times

Roy Moore’s upset victory in the Alabama Senate primary sent shock waves through the Republican establishment Wednesday, portending a GOP civil war as outsider candidates in other states threaten to challenge incumbents.

The potential showdowns are reminiscent of the tea party uprising that just a few years ago cost Republicans the majority in the Senate. Now President Trump’s populist rise to power — honed by his former advisor Stephen K. Bannon — has generated a new wave of long-shot candidates capable of upending the 2018 midterms.

In Mississippi, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who met with Bannon to consider challenging two-term incumbent Sen. Roger Wicker, called the results in Alabama “a great awakening.”

“The GOP establishment’s stranglehold on American politics is finally coming to an end. It should encourage conservative challengers all across the republic,” he said. “The environment couldn’t be any better.”

Arizona’s Kelli Ward, who is challenging Sen. Jeff Flake, said after Alabama she felt “inspired and motivated.”

Image result for jeff flake, photos

Jeff Flake

“Voters elected President Trump to shake up the status quo and get big things accomplished,” she said.

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller is another incumbent who faces a challenge by a candidate, Danny Tarkanian, with potential backing from Bannon’s allies.

And in Tennessee, incumbent Sen. Bob Corker’s sudden retirement, announced hours before the polls closed in Alabama, sent several potential candidates scrambling for what promises to be an intense primary.

On Capitol Hill, Republicans braced for more incumbents to resign rather than face challenging nomination fights.

As a result, Republican professionals who until recently felt that their control of the Senate was secure because the states holding elections in 2018 mostly lean red have started to worry. The departure of incumbents and the rise of candidates who Democrats easily can attack as extreme might put their majority at risk, they fear. At minimum, the new wave of challengers likely means more money spent and a Senate Republican Caucus that will lean further right, and be harder to control, after the next election.

“You’re going to see in state after state after state people who follow the model of Judge Moore,” Bannon told a cheering crowd at Moore’s election night party in Montgomery. They are candidates “that do not need to raise money from the elites, from the crony capitalists, from the fat cats in Washington, D.C., New York City, in Silicon Valley,” he said.

The night before the election, Bannon specifically denounced Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has also been the target of Trump’s anger for the Senate’s failure to pass key elements of his agenda.

“Mitch McConnell and this permanent political class is the most corrupt and incompetent group of individuals in this country,” he told a crowd of Moore’s supporters. “They think you’re a pack of morons. They think you’re nothing but rubes.”

In the aftermath of Moore’s victory, Bannon’s allies continued to press that theme. “This is a repudiation of the Republican establishment,” said Andy Surabian, an ally of Bannon’s and now senior advisor at the Great America Alliance, which backed Moore’s campaign and is looking at other races.

“It’s a win for Trump and an absolute rejection of Mitch McConnell and the establishment.”

More establishment-oriented Republican strategists cautioned against reading too much into the outcome in Alabama, noting that special circumstances helped shape the race: Moore benefited from Luther Strange’s appointment to the Senate by a governor who named him just before resigning his own job in the midst of scandal. And Moore has a long history in Alabama politics, which gave him what one Republican strategist described as a “cult-like following” of evangelical Christians that is unlikely to be replicated.

As the former chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court, Moore was dramatically removed from the bench in 2003 for refusing to take down a display of the Ten Commandments at the courthouse. After being reelected by voters, he was suspended in 2015 for failing to abide by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling favoring same-sex marriages. He ultimately resigned.

Longtime Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) downplayed the ability of outsiders like Bannon to shape statewide races or claim credit in Alabama.

“I don’t know if he’s on Moore’s wagon,” Shelby said in an interview ahead of the election, “or if he’s creating a wagon for Moore.”

Still, the Senate Leadership Fund, a political action committee allied with McConnell, poured $9 million into the race, mainly on attack ads, but failed to dent Moore’s ramshackle campaign.

Image result for mitch mcconnell, photos

Mitch McConnell

That’s an indication of the limits of the establishment’s weapons, some Republican strategists suggested.

“Steve Bannon has declared war on the establishment, and so far he has one scalp on the rail,” said Rick Tyler, a Republican campaign consultant who previously worked for Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. “I would suspect he can do very well in Tennessee and the other states, and his patrons appear to be ready to part with their dollars to make that happen.”

The danger signal for Republican leaders is that even as Trump mused publicly and privately about being blamed for Strange’s loss — at a rally ahead of election day Trump suggested he may have made a mistake and endorsed the wrong candidate — the race in Alabama turned into a referendum on the failure of the GOP majority in Congress to deliver on the president’s agenda.

McConnell, in particular, loomed large as a symbol of the Republican logjam in Congress. The majority leader has become a favorite punching bag for conservative grass-roots challengers who take aim at their own party.

Republican leaders allied with McConnell are gearing up for a fight, much as they did to block the rise of tea party candidates in 2014 whom they saw as popular in primaries, but unable to win statewide general elections.

At the same time, they were rushing Wednesday to embrace Moore, determined not to give Democrats an opening in a red state such as Alabama in an election cycle in which Republicans were hoping they could spend their money on offense against incumbent Democratic senators.

“I urge all of our friends who were active in the primary to redouble their efforts in the general election,” McConnell said late Tuesday, after Moore’s victory, in a message to supporters.

The Democratic candidate in Alabama, former federal prosecutor Doug Jones, who is known in the state for having won convictions against former Ku Klux Klan leaders after reopening an investigation into the bombing in 1963 of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church, hit the campaign trail Wednesday greeting the lunchtime crowd at a popular diner in downtown Birmingham.

The general election in Alabama, which takes place in mid-December, remains a long shot for Democrats — the Deep South state hasn’t elected a Democratic senator in 25 years — but Moore’s nomination now gives Jones a chance to peel away centrist Republicans who don’t share his far-right views. Democrats are likely to step up their efforts. Former Vice President Joe Biden is headed to Alabama to campaign for Jones.

Image result for joe biden, 2017, photos

Former Vice President Joe Biden

“There’s an energy, I think, right now for change that we haven’t seen in this state in decades,” Jones said in a recent interview at his campaign headquarters in Birmingham.

“They’re realizing that a one-party state just hasn’t worked… and they’re looking for a little bit of political checks and balances.”

But Moore is also preparing for the fight ahead, well aware that his race has set the tone for those to come.

“Washington is watching this very closely because it’s a prelude to the 2018 elections,” Moore said after a campaign rally in Florence, in the far northern part of the state. “There’s a lot of people in these states – out West and across the South and the midsection — they’re waiting to see if someone can take on the Washington establishment. For better or worse, I’ve taken on the Washington establishment — or they’ve taken me on.”

lisa.mascaro@latimes.com

@LisaMascaro

Key Bloc of Conservative Lawmakers Endorse GOP Health Plan

March 17, 2017

Comments come after meeting Friday with group of 13 Republican lawmakers

President Donald Trump speaks to Vice President Mike Pence, left, and House Republicans at the White House Friday.

President Donald Trump speaks to Vice President Mike Pence, left, and House Republicans at the White House Friday. PHOTO: MIKE THEILER / POOL/EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

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Updated March 17, 2017 2:38 p.m. ET

The House Republican health-care plan picked up an important endorsement on Friday from leaders of a bloc of conservative lawmakers, after President Donald Trump agreed to back more stringent curbs on Medicaid funding and proposals to add work requirements for its beneficiaries.

“100% of the nos are yeses,” Mr. Trump said of the group of 13 lawmakers he hosted in the Oval Office Friday morning, who included leaders of the conservative Republican Study Committee. The president said that overnight his administration had worked to convince many of the people in the room to back the bill and that he was confident he had their support now. “Every single person sitting in this room is now a yes.”

Leaders of the Republican Study Committee, a caucus that includes most of the House GOP lawmakers, repeated their willingness to back the bill as they left the White House, citing Mr. Trump’s backing for block grants and support for states adding requirements that beneficiaries show they are working or attempting to do so.

It wasn’t clear how many rank-and-file members of the Republican Study Committee were on board and if the bill has the support of enough Republicans to pass the House, which is expected to vote on it Thursday. A smaller group of conservatives, the House Freedom Caucus, could yet torpedo the legislation if all members withhold their support.

“President Trump himself committed that he is all in, 100% in, for this bill,” House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.), who is in charge of rounding up lawmakers’ votes and a past leader in the committee.

Rep. Mark Walker (R., N.C.), the current chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said that lawmakers had held a conference call close to midnight to discuss the bill. He said that with commitments from the president to back block grants and work requirements in Medicaid, they were able to move “from undecided, or no, to a positive yes this morning.”

Reps Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) and Mia Love (R., Utah) emphasized the bill’s existing restrictions on abortion funding as a reason for support.

Several of the group’s members said after they left the White House that they entered undecided, but that Mr. Trump won them over by agreeing to two changes. One would let states impose a work requirement on Medicaid recipients. The second would allow states to choose between receiving their federal Medicaid funding in the form of a block grant or as a per capita allotment.

“Those are significant steps forward from my conservative perspective that make the bill much more agreeable,” said Rep. Jim Banks (R., Ind.), who now plans to vote for the bill.

Mr. Trump said he supported the calls from House conservatives to restrict federal funding for Medicaid by giving states “block grants” in exchange for more leeway in how they run the program. He said he wanted states to continue to have federal help for their neediest but also the flexibility states have requested in managing the program.

In his comments Friday, Mr. Trump praised the visiting GOP House members, saying that they had been tough negotiators. Criticizing the 2010 health law is a point around which Republicans have been able to rally; the mechanics of undoing the law have been more divisive.

“It’s on a respirator,” Mr. Trump said. “Obamacare is not an alternative.”

Some lawmakers in the meeting had already publicly pledged support for the bill, including Mr. Scalise, the House Majority Whip. Members of the whip team, in charge of counting the votes, said they were getting closer to the 216 votes the bill will need to pass the chamber. The bill still has opposition from both conservative and centrist Republicans.

“It’s still in the works, but we’re getting closer and closer,” said Rep. Dennis Ross (R., Fla.).

Mr. Trump spoke after four Republican governors announced their opposition Thursday night to the House GOP legislation, another signal of the political challenges it faces from moderates within the Republican party as well as its right-wing.

The four GOP governors come from Ohio, Michigan, Nevada and Arkansas, states that expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act. In a letter to congressional leaders, they cited the potential for the bill to strip people of Medicaid coverage.

The bill is still likely to be amended in the Senate, where a dozen Republicans have already indicated they consider the more conservative direction it is going in the House as unacceptable. Some centrist GOP senators say the legislation needs to give more generous support to rural, older and low-income people to help them buy health insurance.

Mr. Scalise said he was unruffled by that prospect Friday morning, because his responsibility was simply to get a bill out of the House.

“If they want to make additional changes, that’s called the legislative process,” said Mr. Scalise. “We’re just happy to get this bill passed through the House, that’s what we’re focused on, and the Senate can take care of their business.”

Write to Louise Radnofsky at louise.radnofsky@wsj.com, Michelle Hackman at Michelle.Hackman@wsj.com and Kristina Peterson at kristina.peterson@wsj.com

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Anti-Semitism Wave: Jewish community centers and schools in at least 12 states reported getting bomb threats on Monday — Disruptive intimidation — Vandalism of Jewish cemeteries

February 28, 2017

 itemprop

St. Paul Police officers stood out front of The St. Paul Jewish Community Center after it was evacuated after receiving a bomb threat Monday February 20, 2017 in St.Paul, MN. JERRY HOLT, STAR TRIBUNE

  • Jewish Community Centers and schools in states including New York, Virginia and Florida received bomb threats Monday
  • It is the fifth wave of such threats this year. Some centers affected today received their third threat this year
  • Comes after headstones were toppled at cemeteries in Philadelphia and St Louis
  • Jewish groups, Trump and Israel officials all condemned surge in such threats
  • Such incidents have stoked fears of a resurgence in anti-Semitism 

Jewish community centers and schools in at least 12 states reported getting bomb threats on Monday, the JCC Association of North America said.

It is the fifth wave of such threats this year that have stoked fears of a resurgence of anti-Semitism.

The threats, all of which appeared to be hoaxes, were received in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

For some centers, it was the second or third time this year that they had been targeted.

Jewish community centers and schools in at least 12 states reported getting bomb threats on Monday. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department K-9 officers searched the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada after an employee received a suspicious phone call

Jewish community centers and schools in at least 12 states reported getting bomb threats on Monday. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department K-9 officers searched the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada after an employee received a suspicious phone call

And people were evacuated because of a bomb threat at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center and David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie, Florida

And people were evacuated because of a bomb threat at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center and David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie, Florida

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The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD, and the Gesher Jewish Day School in Fairfax, VA, also received telephoned bomb threats, in addition to centers in Staten Island, Tarrytown and New Rochelle, NY. Pictured: Authorities at the Davie, Florida day school

The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD, and the Gesher Jewish Day School in Fairfax, VA, also received telephoned bomb threats, in addition to centers in Staten Island, Tarrytown and New Rochelle, NY. Pictured: Authorities at the Davie, Florida day school

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Other centers targeted included those in Cherry Hill, NJ; Providence, RI; Asheville, NC; Mobile, AL; Harrisburg, PA; Ann Arbor, MI; Talleyville, DE and Indianapolis, IN. Pictured: People in prayer at a Philadelphia cemetery that was vandalized

Other centers targeted included those in Cherry Hill, NJ; Providence, RI; Asheville, NC; Mobile, AL; Harrisburg, PA; Ann Arbor, MI; Talleyville, DE and Indianapolis, IN. Pictured: People in prayer at a Philadelphia cemetery that was vandalized

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department’s civil rights division have said they were investigating the threats alongside local law enforcement, but little information has been made public so far about any perpetrators.

The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Maryland, and the Gesher Jewish Day School in Fairfax, Virginia, also received telephoned bomb threats, according to a statement by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Police later gave the all clear.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department K-9 officers searched the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada after an employee received a suspicious phone call that led about 10 people to evacuate the building in Las Vegas on February 27.

And people were evacuated because of a bomb threat at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center and David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie, Florida.

Other centers targeted included those in Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Providence, Rhode Island; Asheville, North Carolina; Mobile, Alabama; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Talleyville, Delaware and Indianapolis, Indiana, the New York Daily News reported.

Three locations in New York – in Staten Island and the nearby Westchester County suburbs of Tarrytown and New Rochelle – were also hit with such calls.

The Staten Island and Tarrytown calls came at 9.30am and 10am, respectively, Fox 5 reported.

Police said  that about 100 headstones had been toppled at Mount Carmel Cemetary in Philadelphia. Pictured: Philly Mayor Jim Kenney, left, and David Pearl Jr lifting headstone of Pearl's grandfather which was damaged in the vandalism

Police said  that about 100 headstones had been toppled at Mount Carmel Cemetary in Philadelphia. Pictured: Philly Mayor Jim Kenney, left, and David Pearl Jr lifting headstone of Pearl’s grandfather which was damaged in the vandalism

The bomb threats were the fifth wave of such threats this year that have stoked fears of a resurgence of anti-Semitism. Jewish groups, U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli officials have all condemned the surge in disruptive intimidation and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries

The bomb threats were the fifth wave of such threats this year that have stoked fears of a resurgence of anti-Semitism. Jewish groups, U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli officials have all condemned the surge in disruptive intimidation and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department's civil rights division have said they were investigating the threats alongside local law enforcement, but little information has been made public so far about any perpetrators

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department’s civil rights division have said they were investigating the threats alongside local law enforcement, but little information has been made public so far about any perpetrators

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a satement: ‘These reprehensible and cowardly attacks are not limited to the Jewish community.

‘They are assaults on all New Yorkers and I vow that we will do everything in our power to catch those responsible for this wave of hate crimes.’

Jewish groups, U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli officials have all condemned the surge in disruptive intimidation, as well as the vandalism of Jewish cemeteries.

‘Members of our community must see swift and concerted action from federal officials to identify and capture the perpetrator or perpetrators who are trying to instill anxiety and fear in our communities,’ David Posner, a director at the JCC Association, said in a statement.

Police said on Sunday that about 100 headstones had been toppled at Mount Carmel Cemetary in Philadelphia, about a week after a similar act of vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon called the damage reported in Philadelphia ‘shocking and a source of worry.’

He referenced other attacks in the area recently, and added: ‘Evil and hatred must be stopped. Now.’

White House spokesman Sean Spicer raised the subject of the vandalism at a news briefing on Monday.

‘The president continues to condemn these and any other forms of anti-Semitic and hateful acts in the strongest terms,’ he told reporters, saying they were in breach of the country’s founding principles.

Some Jewish groups see the vandalism and threats as a sign that anti-Semitic groups have been emboldened by Trump’s election.

His campaign last year drew the support of white supremacists and other right-wing groups, despite his disavowals of them.

Trump has said he is the ‘least anti-Semitic person’ in the world, and noted that one of his daughters, his son-in-law and some of his grandchildren are Jewish.

Headstones vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in Missouri

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4265170/U-S-Jewish-centers-report-wave-hoax-bomb-threats.html#ixzz4ZzebyyWD
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St. Paul Jewish Community Center reopened after bomb threat

No devices found, but it’s the second such incident in as many months.
itemprop

JERRY HOLT, STAR TRIBUNESt. Paul Police officers stood out front of The St. Paul Jewish Community Center after it was evacuated after receiving a bomb threat Monday February 20, 2017 in St.Paul, MN.

The St. Paul Jewish Community Center was evacuated after receiving a bomb threat Monday morning — one of 11 incidents nationwide and the second such scare in the Twin Cities in as many months.

The center reopened within about 90 minutes, and St. Paul police said no bombs or other “dangerous devices” were discovered.

Nearly 200 children, caregivers and adult members were hustled out of the building on St. Paul Avenue and moved to a nearby fire station while the site was searched, police said.

Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), said in a statement that the threat was received by phone and that “leadership at the St. Paul JCC showed tremendous poise in responding.”

The threat was one of 11 made at Jewish Community Centers across the country, all of which turned out to be hoaxes, according to a statement by the organization’s parent group.

“While we are relieved … that not a single person was harmed, we are concerned about the anti-Semitism behind these threats, and the repetition of threats intended to interfere with day-to-day life,” said the statement by David Posner of the JCC Association of North America. JCC members “will not be cowed by threats,” Posner said.

Later Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice said its Civil Rights Division and the FBI would investigate the national series of incidents for potential violations of federal law.

The St. Paul JCC, which has hundreds of Jewish and non-Jewish members, has an athletic complex with youth sports programming, swimming lessons and basketball leagues, as well as a library, an early childhood center and classrooms used for lectures and community events.

Monday’s incident comes one month after a phoned-in bomb threat closed the Sabes Jewish Community Center in St. Louis Park. That threat was one of many in at least 17 states that day targeting Jewish institutions.

Jeff Van Nest, a spokesman for the FBI’s field office in Minneapolis, said the agency was coordinating with local law enforcement much as it did after the St. Louis Park bomb threat. Van Nest declined to comment on the Sabes investigation, noting that it is an ongoing matter, but did say agents are working to identify the source of the threat. “All of the resources of the FBI are available in a case like this,” Van Nest said. “Any time there’s a bomb threat, even if it’s a hoax, is a violation of federal law.”

In a joint statement, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Council Member Chris Tolbert, who represents the ward where the JCC is located, called the incident “something we all fear,” but added that it demonstrated the strength of the community and lauded the police and firefighters who quickly responded.

“These actions have no place in St. Paul, and they have no place in our country,” the statement said. “Our nation is feeling the weight of division, but … we will stand in solidarity with the Jewish community against any who try to sow the seeds of hate in our midst.”

http://www.startribune.com/st-paul-jewish-community-center-evacuated-after-bomb-threat/414257263/

Trump weighs mobilizing National Guard for immigration roundups (White House Denied This Report — DHS confirms it is 100% false)

February 17, 2017

Trump weighs mobilizing Nat Guard for immigration roundups

The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.

The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.

Four states that border on Mexico are included in the proposal — California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — but it also encompasses seven states contiguous to those four — Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the AP report was “100 percent not sure” and “irresponsible.” ”There is no effort at all to utilize the National Guard to round up unauthorized immigrants,” he said.

Governors in the 11 states would have a choice whether to have their guard troops participate, according to the memo, written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general.

While National Guard personnel have been used to assist with immigration-related missions on the U.S.-Mexico border before, they have never been used as broadly or as far north.

The memo is addressed to the then-acting heads of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It would serve as guidance to implement the wide-ranging executive order on immigration and border security that President Donald Trump signed Jan. 25. Such memos are routinely issued to supplement executive orders.

Also dated Jan. 25, the draft memo says participating troops would be authorized “to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States.” It describes how the troops would be activated under a revived state-federal partnership program, and states that personnel would be authorized to conduct searches and identify and arrest any unauthorized immigrants.

Requests to the White House and the Department of Homeland Security for comment and a status report on the proposal were not answered.

The draft document has circulated among DHS staff over the last two weeks. As recently as Friday, staffers in several different offices reported discussions were underway.

If implemented, the impact could be significant. Nearly one-half of the 11.1 million people residing in the U.S. without authorization live in the 11 states, according to Pew Research Center estimates based on 2014 Census data.

Use of National Guard troops would greatly increase the number of immigrants targeted in one of Trump’s executive orders last month, which expanded the definition of who could be considered a criminal and therefore a potential target for deportation. That order also allows immigration agents to prioritize removing anyone who has “committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.”

Under current rules, even if the proposal is implemented, there would not be immediate mass deportations. Those with existing deportation orders could be sent back to their countries of origin without additional court proceedings. But deportation orders generally would be needed for most other unauthorized immigrants.

The troops would not be nationalized, remaining under state control.

Spokespeople for the governors of Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon and New Mexico said they were unaware of the proposal, and either declined to comment or said it was premature to discuss whether they would participate. The other three states did not immediately respond to the AP.

The proposal would extend the federal-local partnership program that President Barack Obama’s administration began scaling back in 2012 to address complaints that it promoted racial profiling.

The 287(g) program, which Trump included in his immigration executive order, gives local police, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers the authority to assist in the detection of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally as a regular part of their law enforcement duties on the streets and in jails.

The draft memo also mentions other items included in Trump’s executive order, including the hiring of an additional 5,000 border agents, which needs financing from Congress, and his campaign promise to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

The signed order contained no mention of the possible use of state National Guard troops.

According to the draft memo, the militarization effort would be proactive, specifically empowering Guard troops to solely carry out immigration enforcement, not as an add-on the way local law enforcement is used in the program.

Allowing Guard troops to operate inside non-border states also would go far beyond past deployments.

In addition to responding to natural or man-made disasters or for military protection of the population or critical infrastructure, state Guard forces have been used to assist with immigration-related tasks on the U.S.-Mexico border, including the construction of fences.

In the mid-2000s, President George W. Bush twice deployed Guard troops on the border to focus on non-law enforcement duties to help augment the Border Patrol as it bolstered its ranks. And in 2010, then-Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced a border security plan that included Guard reconnaissance, aerial patrolling and military exercises.

In July 2014, then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry ordered 1,000 National Guard troops to the border when the surge of migrant children fleeing violence in Central America overwhelmed U.S. officials responsible for their care. The Guard troops’ stated role on the border at the time was to provide extra sets of eyes but not make arrests.

Bush initiated the federal 287(g) program — named for a section of a 1996 immigration law — to allow specially trained local law enforcement officials to participate in immigration enforcement on the streets and check whether people held in local jails were in the country illegally. ICE trained and certified roughly 1,600 officers to carry out those checks from 2006 to 2015.

The memo describes the program as a “highly successful force multiplier” that identified more than 402,000 “removable aliens.”

But federal watchdogs were critical of how DHS ran the program, saying it was poorly supervised and provided insufficient training to officers, including on civil rights law. Obama phased out all the arrest power agreements in 2013 to instead focus on deporting recent border crossers and immigrants in the country illegally who posed a safety or national security threat.

Trump’s immigration strategy emerges as detentions at the nation’s southern border are down significantly from levels seen in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Last year, the arrest tally was the fifth-lowest since 1972. Deportations of people living in the U.S. illegally also increased under the Obama administration, though Republicans criticized Obama for setting prosecution guidelines that spared some groups from the threat of deportation, including those brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Last week, ICE officers arrested more than 680 people around the country in what Kelly said were routine, targeted operations; advocates called the actions stepped-up enforcement under Trump.

___

The AP National Investigative Team can be reached at investigate@ap.org

Follow Garance Burke on Twitter at @garanceburke

******************************************

– The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.

The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.

Four states that border on Mexico are included in the proposal — California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — but it also encompasses seven states contiguous to those four —  Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the AP report was “100 percent not sure” and “irresponsible.” “There is no effort at all to utilize the National Guard to round up unauthorized immigrants,” he said.

Governors in the 11 states would have a choice whether to have their guard troops participate, according to the memo, written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general.

While National Guard personnel have been used to assist with immigration-related missions on the U.S.-Mexico border before, they have never been used as broadly or as far north.

The memo is addressed to the then-acting heads of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It would serve as guidance to implement the wide-ranging executive order on immigration and border security that President Donald Trump signed Jan. 25. Such memos are routinely issued to supplement executive orders.

Also dated Jan. 25, the draft memo says participating troops would be authorized “to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States.” It describes how the troops would be activated under a revived state-federal partnership program, and states that personnel would be authorized to conduct searches and identify and arrest any unauthorized immigrants.

Requests to the White House and the Department of Homeland Security for comment and a status report on the proposal were not answered.

The draft document has circulated among DHS staff over the last two weeks. As recently as Friday, staffers in several different offices reported discussions were underway.

If implemented, the impact could be significant. Nearly one-half of the 11.1 million people residing in the U.S. without authorization live in the 11 states, according to Pew Research Center estimates based on 2014 Census data.

Use of National Guard troops would greatly increase the number of immigrants targeted in one of Trump’s executive orders last month, which expanded the definition of who could be considered a criminal and therefore a potential target for deportation. That order also allows immigration agents to prioritize removing anyone who has “committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.”

Under current rules, even if the proposal is implemented, there would not be immediate mass deportations. Those with existing deportation orders could be sent back to their countries of origin without additional court proceedings. But deportation orders generally would be needed for most other unauthorized immigrants.

The troops would not be nationalized, remaining under state control.

Spokespeople for the governors of Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon and New Mexico said they were unaware of the proposal, and either declined to comment or said it was premature to discuss whether they would participate. The other three states did not immediately respond to the AP.

The proposal would extend the federal-local partnership program that President Barack Obama’s administration began scaling back in 2012 to address complaints that it promoted racial profiling.

The 287(g) program, which Trump included in his immigration executive order, gives local police, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers the authority to assist in the detection of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally as a regular part of their law enforcement duties on the streets and in jails.

The draft memo also mentions other items included in Trump’s executive order, including the hiring of an additional 5,000 border agents, which needs financing from Congress, and his campaign promise to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

The signed order contained no mention of the possible use of state National Guard troops.

According to the draft memo, the militarization effort would be proactive, specifically empowering Guard troops to solely carry out immigration enforcement, not as an add-on the way local law enforcement is used in the program.

Allowing Guard troops to operate inside non-border states also would go far beyond past deployments.

In addition to responding to natural or man-made disasters or for military protection of the population or critical infrastructure, state Guard forces have been used to assist with immigration-related tasks on the U.S.-Mexico border, including the construction of fences.

In the mid-2000s, President George W. Bush twice deployed Guard troops on the border to focus on non-law enforcement duties to help augment the Border Patrol as it bolstered its ranks. And in 2010, then-Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced a border security plan that included Guard reconnaissance, aerial patrolling and military exercises.

In July 2014, then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry ordered 1,000 National Guard troops to the border when the surge of migrant children fleeing violence in Central America overwhelmed U.S. officials responsible for their care. The Guard troops’ stated role on the border at the time was to provide extra sets of eyes but not make arrests.

Bush initiated the federal 287(g) program — named for a section of a 1996 immigration law — to allow specially trained local law enforcement officials to participate in immigration enforcement on the streets and check whether people held in local jails were in the country illegally. ICE trained and certified roughly 1,600 officers to carry out those checks from 2006 to 2015.

The memo describes the program as a “highly successful force multiplier” that identified more than 402,000 “removable aliens.”

But federal watchdogs were critical of how DHS ran the program, saying it was poorly supervised and provided insufficient training to officers, including on civil rights law. Obama phased out all the arrest power agreements in 2013 to instead focus on deporting recent border crossers and immigrants in the country illegally who posed a safety or national security threat.

Trump’s immigration strategy emerges as detentions at the nation’s southern border are down significantly from levels seen in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Last year, the arrest tally was the fifth-lowest since 1972. Deportations of people living in the U.S. illegally also increased under the Obama administration, though Republicans criticized Obama for setting prosecution guidelines that spared some groups from the threat of deportation, including those brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Last week, ICE officers arrested more than 680 people around the country in what Kelly said were routine, targeted operations; advocates called the actions stepped-up enforcement under Trump.

Washington Post Says No Need For Election — Hillary Clinton Team and Mainstream Media Say She Can Do Nothing And Still Achieve A Resounding Electoral College Victory

October 17, 2016

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By John Wagner, Abby Phillip and Jose A. DelReal
The Washington Post

October 16 at 6:58 PM

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Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton faces a striking choice in the final three weeks of the campaign: to expand her efforts to states that Democrats haven’t won in a generation, or to stay a current course that, if conditions hold, would deliver her a resounding electoral college victory.

After two tumultuous weeks focused on Donald Trump’s behavior toward women, Clinton is ahead in nearly all of the key battleground states where her campaign has directed the most resources, according to many recent polls. But some once-solidly Republican states — notably Arizona, Georgia and Utah — now also appear to be in play.

Clinton aides said they see advantages to running up the score in the electoral college, where 270 votes wins the White House. Victories in unexpected places could boost that total, handing her more of a mandate come January and decreasing the potency of Trump’s complaints of a “rigged” election.

But victories in core battleground states such as Pennsylvania and New Hampshire would almost assuredly cut off Trump’s path as well. Those states are also home to key down-ballot races that will determine control of the Senate, an important factor in how much support Clinton would have while launching an agenda in January.

“It’s true more and more states are emerging as truly competitive,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said. “We are closely following the situations in those states even as we refuse to take anything for granted in the core battlegrounds, which also happen to be the sites of some of the biggest Senate races.”

What’s in the new Washington Post-ABC News poll Embed Share Play Video1:23
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/as-trump-stumbles-clinton-weighs-a-striking-choice-expand-the-map-or-stick-to-the-plan/2016/10/16/f0f77470-93a7-11e6-bb29-bf2701dbe0a3_story.html

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The newest Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Democratic presidential Hillary Clinton with a 4-percentage-point lead over Republican nominee Donald Trump among likely voters. Respondents were also asked about Donald Trump’s lewd comments about women, and how locked-in their votes are. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

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The issue is predominantly about resources. Clinton and the Democratic Party entered October with twice as much money in the bank as Trump and the Republicans, but some in Clinton’s camp have cautioned against any late moves that could jeopardize a victory in states she appears to have nailed down.

“We’ve got to get our win,” said a senior Clinton aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the campaign’s strategy. “We have to make sure we focus on keeping the pressure on and doing the things we need to build up as many electoral votes as we can.”

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The campaign is expected to decide in the coming days whether to make a more aggressive play for states such as Georgia, which is being eyed as one of the more promising opportunities for Clinton, and Arizona, where a couple of high-profile surrogates are being deployed this week: Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) on Tuesday and Chelsea Clinton on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is not willing to concede publicly that any states on the map are lost, maintaining that Clinton’s low favorability ratings and Trump’s anti-establishment message will push undecided voters and independents to break for Trump in the final leg of the campaign.

“We’re seeing a much more competitive contest than you’re analyzing them to be. We’re still playing a very active role in these states and obviously making as big of a play as possible,” said Trump spokesman Jason Miller. “There isn’t anything that’s not a priority. We don’t want to isolate it and say, everything comes down to these states.”

Added Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway: “Every time they get overconfident, we snap back.”

Conway said there may be a need to reallocate resources in the remaining weeks, but she noted that it’s “a little premature” to announce when or where that might happen.

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“There’s no shame in saying we’re going to reallocate our resources, dollars, personnel, data operation, ground game, candidate time, both [Indiana Gov. Mike] Pence’s and Trump’s time, in places where we’re more competitive,” she said.

The shifting poll numbers come amid the nastiest stretch of this year’s campaign, in which a videotape emerged showing Trump bragging in lewd terms about forcing himself on women sexually. Following the video’s publication in The Washington Post on Oct. 7, multiple women have accused Trump of kissing or groping them without their consent.

[The growing list of women who have stepped forward to accuse Trump of touching them inappropriately]

Both Trump and his running mate, Pence, have hinted that they recognize the shift. Trump has stepped up his disparagement of a “rigged” election at campaign stops across the country and on social media, urging his supporters to monitor polling places closely on Nov. 8.
On Sunday, Trump noted on Twitter that there are national polls showing him within striking distance of Clinton despite the intense media focus on the accusations against him.

“Polls close, but can you believe I lost large numbers of women voters based on made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED. Media rigging election!” Trump tweeted.

Pence sought to play down Trump’s rhetoric, saying, “We will absolutely accept the result of the election,” during an appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” But he also appeared to embrace, at least partly, the notion of a “rigged” election.

“The American people are tired of the obvious bias in the national media,”Pence said. “That’s where the sense of a rigged election goes here.”

Even as some polls have shown Clinton with only a modest lead nationally — one published Sunday by The Washington Post had her up four points over Trump — her advantage on the electoral map appears sizable.

One such tally, maintained by The Post’s blog The Fix, projects that Clinton would win 341 electoral votes to Trump’s 197 if the election were held today.

Several states that Trump initially sought to contest, including Colorado and Virginia, have now seemingly slipped out of reach. Clinton was up by 15 points in Virginia, according to a poll released Sunday by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. And Trump has pulled resources from Virginia.

Trump’s failure to perform in such states, Clinton aides said, will allow her campaign to shift attention even more to North Carolina and Florida — two must-win states for Trump — to choke his path to 270 electoral votes.

Clinton is running television ads tailored to seven states: Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio and Iowa. Because they cost millions of dollars to sustain, such ad purchases are the clearest clue about which states are a campaign’s top priority.

.
With “smart” technology, cities will be able to address infrastructure challenges, food and water shortages, and constrained budgets.

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The vast majority of Clinton’s campaign appearances and those of her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, have been concentrated in those states, and most of the high-profile surrogates dispatched by the campaign have focused their efforts there as well.

Trump’s campaign now appears intent on remaining competitive in four battleground states: Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

He has maintained a far busier travel schedule than Clinton, hitting all four of those states last week, as well as New Hampshire and Maine. Trump appeared in Florida on three consecutive days last week, underscoring how crucial the state is to his strategy.

Trump will spend the early part of this week in Wisconsin and Colorado before heading to Nevada for Wednesday’s debate. His campaign operations in key battlegrounds continue to suffer from ongoing tensions with both state and national GOP establishments and a dearth of on-the-ground investments.

Last week, the campaign fired Trump’s state co-chairman in Virginia, Corey Stewart, after he took part in a protest against the Republican National Committee.

In Ohio, where Trump has fallen behind in the polls, the campaign severed ties with Matt Borges, the chairman of the state Republican Party. In a scathing letter, Trump’s Ohio state director, Robert Paduchik, accused Borges of going on a “self-promotional media tour with state and national outlets to criticize our party’s nominee.”

While the Clinton campaign has begun exploring new opportunities, it has also redoubled its efforts in some of its strongest states. The campaign increased investments recently in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Nevada, according to a Democrat who was familiar with the strategy but was not authorized to speak publicly.

The planned visits to Arizona this week by Sanders and Chelsea Clinton, meanwhile, mark what some Democrats see as a longer-term shift in the state’s electoral politics.

Only one Democrat — Bill Clinton — has carried Arizona since 1948. Bill Clinton lost the state in 1992 but narrowly prevailed in 1996.

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Alexis Tameron, the state’s Democratic party chairwoman, said the demographics of the state are trending in the right direction for Democrats, and the state’s voting patterns could resemble Colorado within a few cycles.

Even as it weighs whether to invest heavily in new states, the Clinton campaign is increasingly reaching out to voters in those places through local media, an effort to maintain a presence without reallocating resources to the state.

Kaine spoke to a Salt Lake City television station remotely from New York on Thursday, relaying that the Clinton campaign wants to step up its focus on the state, which Democrats have not won since 1964.

“Hopefully we’ll even have candidates or spouses or high-profile surrogates visit,” Kaine told KTVX. “We’re 3 1/2 weeks out in a state that we didn’t think was in play. Now it is.”

In Georgia, where the last Democrat to carry the state was Bill Clinton in 1992, there’s a clear sense that the contest is more meaningful than in recent cycles, said Michael Smith, communications director for the Georgia Democratic Party.

“Instead of using Georgia to mobilize people to go to North Carolina, they’re staying in our state. It’s night and day,” Smith said.

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Democrats are running coordinated campaigns in the battleground states, meaning money is being to spent to promote the entire ticket, not just Clinton.

That stands to benefit Democratic Senate candidates, including Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania, Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire, Deborah Ross in North Carolina and Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada — all of whom are in competitive races.

Priorities USA Action, the pro-Clinton super PAC, is considering devoting television air time to Senate races in four states: Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, according to a person familiar with the discussions. A decision is expected to be made by the middle of the week.

In an effort to help down-ballot candidates across the country, Clinton and her surrogates, especially President Obama, have stepped up their case against Republicans in general, seeking to steer voters away from giving congressional candidates a pass for “enabling” Trump.

“I mean, I know some of them now are walking away, but why did it take you this long?” Obama said at a campaign stop for Clinton in Cleveland on Friday.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/as-trump-stumbles-clinton-weighs-a-striking-choice-expand-the-map-or-stick-to-the-plan/2016/10/16/f0f77470-93a7-11e6-bb29-bf2701dbe0a3_story.html

Related:

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Hillary Clinton ally David Brock’s super PAC offers money in exchange for damaging audio or video on Donald Trump — Democrats should be worried — Exhausted, stale, and unredeemable — Clinton supporters wallow in anxiety — We’re on the clock

September 17, 2016

David Brock

David Brock / AP

By 
September 15, 2016 5:22 pm

Hillary Clinton ally David Brock is offering to pay for new information on Donald Trump, hoping that damaging audio or video on the Republican presidential candidate will be submitted to his super PAC.

Brock, founder of the left-wing Media Matters and operator of Correct the Record super PAC, recently posted the plea on Correct the Record’s website and is referring to the project as “TrumpLeaks,” NBC News reported.

Brock asked for video or audio of Trump that has yet to be released.

“One of the most important things for voters to evaluate in any election is the full measure of a candidate’s views, ideas, and temperament over time,” the website states. “In making a choice for president, voters must also consider how various candidates present themselves to the public and to the world. There are few things more important in that regard than access to video or audio in the form of prior television or radio interviews or more candid video from events a candidate may have attended.”

Brock’s super PAC goes on to say they can offer compensation to anyone who has new video or audio that has been obtained legally.

“TrumpLeaks is an effort to uncover unreported video or audio of Donald Trump so voters can have access to the Donald Trump who existed before running for president and before his recent affinity for teleprompters,” the website says of the project. “TrumpLeaks can provide some compensation to those who have usable, undoctored video or audio that has been legally obtained or is legally accessible.”

NBC News noted that the project is “highly unusual” and seems to “cross a new line” in modern day politics.

http://freebeacon.com/politics/david-brock-offers-money-new-dirt-donald-trump/

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Column: Why Democrats should be worried

Donald Trump arrives on the RNC stage

Donald Trump arrives on the RNC stage / AP

By 
September 16, 2016 5:00 am

“This shouldn’t be close, but it’s close,” President Obama told the audience at a fundraiser this week in New York. “The presidential race, we should win. But Donald Trump got the nomination, so weird stuff happens.”

How weird? The president’s approval rating is at 51 percent, unemployment is at 4.9 percent, incomes rose in 2015, Democrats lead the generic ballot, and the Republican presidential nominee is historically unpopular. Yet Donald Trump is closing in on Hillary Clinton, narrowing her lead to two points in the Real Clear Politics average. The battleground states are tight as well.

The odds favor Clinton. But the fact that she is not running away with the election in the final weeks should worry Democrats. At the very least it should inspire them, and Republican opponents of Trump, to ask why she is underperforming. Here are some theories.

Hillary Is a Terrible Candidate

Hillary Clinton

Clinton’s problems are legion. Ask yourself what her message is. Stronger together? Please. That’s not a reason to elect her president. It’s not even true. Sometimes we’re better off alone.

She’s unpopular and distrusted. Until recent days she has benefited from being less disliked than Trump. That is changing, however. The bump in favorability she experienced after her successful convention is eroding.

Her medical episode on 9/11 makes things worse. The trouble is not that she’s ill. It’s that she’s a liar. The muddled stories of what happened at Ground Zero—allergies, dehydration, pneumonia—combined with the visual evidence reinforce the Clinton stigma of opacity and deception. Another coughing fit or stumble won’t just call into question her physical condition but will remind the public that it desperately wishes it had another choice for president.

The demographics that Democrats believe guarantee victory are not saving Clinton. NBC News reports that “Clinton is underperforming among key parts of the Obama coalition: Latinos and young voters.” NBC points to Nevada where Clinton’s lead among Hispanics is shallower than Obama’s four years ago. This lack of enthusiasm opens a space for Trump supporters, leading to close races in Nevada, Florida, Ohio, and Iowa. Obama inspired a country. Clinton inspires revulsion.

Trump Is Getting His Act Together

Donald Trump

One of the most extraordinary developments of the campaign has been Trump’s recent performance. Since replacing his campaign team in mid-August, a candidate known for making unforced errors has committed hardly any. He’s taken on the semblance of the presidency, visiting flood victims in Louisiana, minority communities in Michigan and Ohio, the president of Mexico.

Remarkably he has stuck to script. He has not attacked the parents of a fallen warrior, hasn’t said ethnicity prevents a judge from ruling impartially, hasn’t even insulted a woman’s appearance.

I understand that’s a low bar. What matters in politics, though, isn’t where the bar is set. It’s whether the candidate steps over it.

The law of averages says that one of these days Trump will trip up. His authentic self will be revealed, distracting the media from Clinton and sending his campaign into defense. Yet Trump has an incentive to follow the path he is on. He cannot help noticing that his numbers have improved as he has listened to Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, and Roger Ailes.

This creates a positive feedback loop. Trump loves nothing more than touting polls. And Trump’s braggadocio is self-reinforcing. There is a bandwagon effect where Trump’s discussion of winning encourages more voters to help him win. It worked in the primaries. Might it work for him now?

The GOP Might Not Be In As Bad Shape As We Thought

Rob Portman, Marco Rubio / AP

Trump’s campaign does not extend past Fifth Avenue and Fifty-Sixth Street and the RNC headquarters in Washington. But he might not need it to.

Why? Because the two weeks since Labor Day have been good not only for Trump but also for congressional Republicans. Democrats are likely to pick up seats but not control the House. Meanwhile Senate Democrats have all but conceded Ohio. Marco Rubio is ahead in Florida. Pennsylvania is a jump ball. Republican Joe Heck has a slight lead in Nevada. Limiting Republican losses to Wisconsin, Illinois, and one or two other contests would be an incredible feat, maintain a slight GOP majority, and provide Trump the “ground game” he lacks.

The Poles of Global Politics Have Reversed

Child migrants from Central America, Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem, Syrian refugees crossing border into Turkey / All images via AP

For decades, politics has been divided over the question of the size of government. Liberals expand government to alleviate inequalities. Conservatives empower markets to preserve freedom. The consensus was for a Goldilocks state: neither Leviathan in scope nor small enough to deprive citizens of entitlements.

So Bill Clinton said the era of big government was over. George W. Bush promised compassionate conservatism. Barack Obama faced resistance when he sought to put America on a “new foundation.”

In 2014 something changed. My thesis is that the child migration on our southern border and President Obama’s expansion of his executive amnesty to the relatives of minors brought here illegally—despite his repeated insistence that he lacked any such authority—reversed the poles of American politics.

No longer are our debates about government. They are about the nation. Do we have one? What are its interests? Who benefits from it?

This political pole reversal, like its magnetic counterpart, is incredibly disruptive. Both parties experienced populist insurgencies. Neither nominee invokes the Constitution or limited government. The fiercest supporters of Trump are voters who feel abandoned or harmed or scared by the demographic and socioeconomic transformation of America. “The rise of Trumpism in the past year,” writes George H. Nash in The New Criterion, “has laid bare a potentially dangerous chasm in American politics: not so much between the traditional left and right but rather (as someone has put it) between those above and those below on the socio-economic scale.”

Donald Trump has benefited from this reversal more than anyone else. He understood its implications. He seized its opportunities. His Republican opponents played by the old rules. He had no rules and he won. Clinton? She hasn’t learned the lesson. As Joshua Mitchell of Georgetown University puts it:

On each of these issues—borders, immigration, national interest, the spirit of entrepreneurship, federalism, and PC speech—Hillary Clinton responds with ‘globalization-and-identity-politics-SPEAK,’ the language that has given us a world that is now exhausted, stale, and unredeemable. It is against this sort of world that citizens are revolting.

Be cautious, however. It remains unlikely the revolt will succeed. Eight weeks is a long time. Trump screws things up.

Yet he is also picking up speed exactly when it matters. How will Clinton slow him down? The debates? Everyone expects her to do well. Expectations for Trump are so low that he may “win” just by confounding them. More advertising? She’s already spent $100 million and her lead is dissipating. Investigating the Trump Foundation? The double standard is obvious.

Liberals are showing signs of panic. They’re saying the New York Times is biased for Trump (!), calling at least half his voters racist, urging Clinton to “talk about herself,” debating poll samples, announcing a “national emergency.” They are right to be alarmed. It was only in the last week that the nation’s capital began to understand it could wake up the morning of January 21, 2017, to unified Republican government under President Donald J. Trump.

http://freebeacon.com/columns/weird-wild-stuff/

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For The story below, The New York Times Website used the page one headline “Clinton supporters wallow in anxiety”

Hillary Clinton’s Backers Thought She Couldn’t Lose. Now, ‘I Can’t Go There.’

Beside the olive display at Zabar’s, that iconic hub of lox and neurosis on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Linda Donohue was trying to talk herself down.

Surely the polls she tracked anxiously were not to be trusted, she said. Surely Donald J. Trump, the man with the garish golden tower across town, would not be allowed to reach the White House.

“We have to have more faith in the American public,” said Ms. Donohue, 61, a longtime New Yorker now living in Seattle.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/17/us/politics/hillary-clinton-voters.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Wikileaks Dumps Democratic National Committee E-Mails — Bernie Sanders Almost Beat Hillary Clinton, Even Though Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC Were Maligning Bernie At Every Opportunity

July 23, 2016

Maligning definition, to speak harmful untruths about; speak evil of; slander; defame: to malign an honorable man. See also malignant as in invasive, uncontrollable, dangerous, deadly, fatal, incurable. As in “Hillary Clinton has a malignant inability to play by the rules and tell the truth.”

Wikileaks published 20,000 leaked DNC e-mail messages, many of which proved controversial for the purportedly neutral committee.

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By Kim LaCapria

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News leaks web site Wikileaks published a massive cache of 20,000 Democratic National Committee (DNC) e-mails on 22 July 2016, just days before the start of the Democratic National Convention.

Interested parties immediately began sorting through the mountain of communications between DNC staffers and contacts such as news media personnel and lawmakers. In the first few hours after the dump occurred, several documents were flagged as particularly noteworthy, primarily because the DNC outwardly maintained they favored neither of the leading Democratic candidates (i.e., Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders) and had attended to both equally.

In a 26 April 2016 e-mail written for attribution to DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the committee drafted an announcement that Sen. Bernie Sanders had dropped out of contention for the Democratic nomination (even though Sanders did not drop out of the race and remained an active candidate as of 22 July 2016):

Hi all — We are starting to plan ahead with messaging to our supporters for the end of the primary and transition to the general.

Below are a handful of emails and graphic copy for the initial few days of that change, arranged below in the order in which we’ll send them as we’ve laid out in a memo to Amy:

* Emails from DWS thanking Bernie (similar to what we did when MOM dropped out)
* Copy for unity-themed graphics
* Hillary emails from Amy (our first Hillary-focused emails)
* Hillary graphic copy
* Emails from POTUS for when he endorses

Sender: Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Subject: Friend … I want to thank Bernie Sanders for bringing them to the forefront of his campaign and putting these Democratic values we share into the spotlight. I want to thank him for his unwavering commitment to equality for all and his dedication to improving the lives of Americans everywhere. For his insistence that we can do better. Because I agree — we can do better, and we must do better, for the sake of every parent who wants their kids’ lives to be a little brighter, for every student who wants to reach higher and go further, and for every person who sees this country as a place with opportunity for all. NAME, as a presidential candidate and as a member of Congress for more than two decades, Bernie Sanders has excited the people of this country, and I know he’ll continue to, no matter what he does next. So as he ends his campaign today, add your name to mine to thank him for everything[.]

A second version from the same April 2016 chain of e-mails read:

Today, as he suspends his presidential campaign, I want to thank Bernie Sanders for his everything he has brought to this race — and I want you to join me … Thanks … now onward to November and victory! Debbie

Despite the DNC’s repeated discussion of Clinton’s presumptive win, a 6 May 2016 DNC e-mail labeled media allegations that the committee was planning on a Clinton nomination as “#bernieclickbait.” In another message, DNC operatives discussed a Politico item about Clinton that was provided to the DNC for review before publication. That e-mail included National Press Secretary and Deputy Communications Director Mark Paustenbach, whose fingerprints appeared on more than a few of the controversial communications.

Another message involved what appeared to be a competing “narrative” regarding a controversial claim over chairs supposedly thrown by Sanders supporters at a Nevada caucus that was debunked on 19 May 2016. On 21 May 2016, Paustenbach pitched an idea to fellow DNC member Luis Miranda for a planted story maligning the Sanders campaign:

Wondering if there’s a good Bernie narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never ever had his act together, that his campaign was a mess.

Specifically, DWS had to call Bernie directly in order to get the campaign to do things because they’d either ignored or forgotten to something critical.

She had to call Bernie after the data breach to make his staff to respond to our concerns. Even then they didn’t get back to us, which is why we had to shut off their access in order to get them to finally let us know exactly how they snooped around HFA’s data.

Same was true with the standing committee appointments. They never got back to us with their names (HFA and even O’Malley got there’s in six weeks earlier) for the committees. So, again, the chair had to call Bernie personally for his staff to finally get us critical information. So, they gave us an awful list just a few days before we had to make the announcements.

It’s not a DNC conspiracy, it’s because they never had their act together.

Miranda responded by saying that:

True, but the Chair has been advised to not engage.

So we’ll have to leave it alone.

Miranda and Paustenbach were also copied in on a particularly troublesome 5 May 2016 message during which staffer Brad Marshall appeared to suggest finding a reporter to highlight Sanders’ Jewish heritage and question his faith:

It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.

Staffer Amy K. Dacey responded to that message with: “AMEN.”

A 19 May 2016 e-mail raised questions about the proper handling of funds by the DNC and the Clinton campaign, in which one staffer appeared to admonish another staffer for leaving a paper record of potentially prohibited funds transfers. In another message sent ahead of the Rhode Island primary, staffers discussed “getting out ahead” of anticipated outcry over insufficient polling places to support presumptive Sanders voters (he led by four points in that state) even though the state’s governor was “one of ours.”

On 11 May 2016, Miranda told a Wall Street Journal reporter that the inclusion of Sanders’ delegates in standing committees was a courtesy performed by Debbie Wasserman Schultz. In a follow-up message, Miranda affirmatively employed the “no fingerprints” strategy of press engagement, nudging and winking about their information exchange having been made in “in good faith”:

WikiLeaks_-_Search_the_DNC_email_database
Wikileaks themselves highlighted several specific e-mails via Twitter:

A searchable archive of the leaked messages is availake at the link. hosted here.

Kim LaCapria is a New York-based content manager and longtime snopes.com message board participant. Although she was investigated and found to be “probably false” by snopes.com in early 2002, Kim later began writing for the site due to an executive order unilaterally passed by President Obama during a secret, late-night session (without the approval of Congress). Click like and share if you think this is an egregious example of legislative overreach.

http://www.snopes.com/2016/07/22/wikileaks-dumps-dnc-emails/

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Released Emails Suggest the D.N.C. Derided the Sanders Campaign

Top officials at the Democratic National Committee criticized and mocked Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the primary campaign, even though the organization publicly insisted that it was neutral in the race, according to committee emails made public on Friday by WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks posted almost 20,000 emails sent or received by a handful of top committee officials and provided an online tool to search through them. While WikiLeaks did not reveal the source of the leak, the committee said last month that Russian hackers had penetrated its computer system.

Among the emails released on Friday were several embarrassing messages that suggest the committee’s chairwoman, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, and other officials favored Hillary Clinton over Mr. Sanders — a claim the senator made repeatedly during the primaries.

Read the rest: