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DHS memo reveals security forces deployed to Portland lacked proper training: New York Times

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Department of Homeland Security agents in Portland (DHS photo via Twitter)

Federal agents deployed to Portland have been derided as “Secret Police” and “Storm Troopers” for snatching up protesters off the street, along with gassing firing at those petitioning their government to end unjust policing.

A new memo obtained by The New York Times reveals the deployments are expected in other U.S. cities — and that the agents involved are not trained for the task.

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“The heavily armed federal agents facing a growing backlash for their militarized approach to weeks of unrest in Portland were not specifically trained in riot control or mass demonstrations, an internal Department of Homeland Security memo warned this week,” The Times reported Saturday.

“The message dated Thursday was prepared by the agency for Chad F. Wolf, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, as he arrived in Portland to view the scene in person, according to a copy of the memo obtained by The New York Times. It listed federal buildings in the city and issues officers faced in protecting them,” the newspaper explained. “The memo, seemingly anticipating future encounters with protesters in other cities as the department follows President Trump’s guidance to crack down on unrest, warns: ‘Moving forward, if this type of response is going to be the norm, specialized training and standardized equipment should be deployed to responding agencies.'”

The Department of Homeland Security has been highly criticized for the actions of the agents in Portland.

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2020 Election

Trump-Biden race could hinge on how this one Florida county swings

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Betty Jones voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, but the lifelong Republican has her doubts she will do it again this year.

The federal response to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed about 200,000 Americans and forced older adults to restrict their activities has her contemplating a leadership change.

It “makes me unsure,” said Jones, 78, of Largo, in Pinellas County, Florida. Before COVID-19, she said, she would have definitely voted for Trump.

Polls show that many people will have the pandemic and its public health and economic consequences on their minds when they cast their votes — whether by mail or in person — this fall. Early in-person voting starts Oct. 19 in most Florida counties, including Pinellas.

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2020 Election

Cindy McCain crosses party lines to endorse Joe Biden

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The widow of late U.S. Sen. John McCain plans to endorse Joe Biden on Wednesday, giving the former vice president another boost from a prominent Republican.Biden leaked Cindy McCain’s political plans during a fundraising call Tuesday evening.“Maybe I shouldn’t say it,” Biden told campaign donors, “but I’m about to go on one of these Zooms with John McCain’s wife, who is first time ever, is endorsing me.”The last straw for McCain was a report from The Atlantic saying Trump told staff that American soldiers killed in combat were “suckers” and “losers,” according to Biden.“Because of what he talk... (more…)

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2020 Election

‘They’ll get away with it’: Strategist explains how GOP federal judges will help Trump steal election

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President Donald Trump will remain in power if he narrowly loses the 2020 presidential election, with conservative judges poised to help him "steal" the election, a longtime Democratic Party strategist warned on Tuesday.

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed James Carville about the Supreme Court vacancy and how it could impact any legal wrangling about counting the votes.

"James, that's a pretty neat trick, the president is gaslighting out in advance voter fraud that he is promoting, ergo the need for nine justices on the court, which doesn't exist in law. The court has functioned just fine with eight during times of a death or a recusal," Williams noted. "Be that as it may, if Trump fills this seat before the election, in your view, how does that change the dynamic of the election?"

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