A large eruption at the La Soufrière volcano in the eastern Caribbean early Monday is sending a rapidly moving avalanche of hot rocks and volcanic ash down the mountain, raising fears that some communities could be destroyed. Satellite imagery show the eruption produced dangerous pyroclastic flows traveling faster than a river down the mountain in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as ash filled the air. “I suspect quite a bit of the mountain now, and the communities, the buildings and the structures that are on the mountain, are destroyed and damaged,” said Richard Robertson, the lead geologist w...
National terrorism alert warns domestic extremists could strike as states begin easing COVID-19 restrictions
According to ABC-13, the latest National Terrorism Advisory System alert released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) serves as an extension of the previous warning of possible civil unrest before the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. The previous alert regarding Jan. 6 was set to expire on Saturday, May 15.
While the alert does not offer details about any isolated threat, it warns of "potential danger from an increasingly complex and volatile mix that includes domestic terrorists inspired by various grievances, racial or ethnic hatred and influences from abroad," per the publication.
Those types of threats are said to have intensified since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic due to "conspiracy theories and deepened anger at the government in some quarters over the shutdown of the economy."
"Violent extremists may seek to exploit the easing of COVID-19-related restrictions across the United States to conduct attacks against a broader range of targets after previous public capacity limits reduced opportunities for lethal attacks," the bulletin said.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas weighed in on the latest alert and the present-day terroristic threats in the United States. "Today's terrorism-related threat landscape is more complex, more dynamic, and more diversified than it was several years ago," Mayorkas said.
In wake of the growing concerns about domestic terrorism, DHS has incorporated a new domestic terrorism monitoring division within its Office of Intelligence and Analysis. Approximately 7.5% of the federal agency's grant funding has been designated for monitoring terroristic threats.
According to Washington Post columnist Monica Hesse, one need only look at the two-year-old video of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) harassing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to see that she is living the dream her male GOP colleagues wish they could by using being a woman as a shield from accusations of misogyny.
Under a headline reading, "Marjorie Taylor Greene's vapid gender politics," the columnist makes the case that the Georgia Republican believes "I am a woman. So I can get away with this" --- and she may well be right.
With one admirer of Greene writing on Twitter, "It seems to me that some people on these social media platforms the left leaning liberals can't stand a strong conservative woman like Taylor Greene," Hesse makes the case that the image Taylor Greene wants to present is working and Republicans have taken notice.
"In Greene, Trump conservatives have something precious: a 'nasty woman' of their very own, who can behave execrably to other women without being tagged as sexist," she wrote. "Someone without the male baggage of Trump ('grab 'em by the p---y') or Mitch McConnell ('nevertheless, she persisted') or James M. Inhofe (warning an EPA nominee that if she didn't 'behave' he would 'talk to her daddy') or Matt Gaetz (under federal investigation for alleged sex trafficking) or Brett M. Kavanaugh (obvious reasons)."
"She's also willing to say what many conservative men are beginning to learn they definitely should not, which makes her the embodiment of weaponized conservative femininity: She hates liberal women and makes it okay for you to hate them, too. She preaches retrograde beliefs and uses her status as a woman to abracadabra these beliefs into something parroting feminism," Hesse observed.
Adding, "You can see how this party might benefit by having a woman doing most of the talking," Hesse took issue with what comes out of Taylor Greene's mouth when it comes to women.
"But when you're asserting your proud American femininity by yelling at another proud American woman about how much you think she sucks, that should be a warning sign of what your own pride is worth. A woman kneeling outside of another woman's office, calling her a baby and demanding she come out and fight is not a strong woman — she's a desperate woman. She is not demonstrating that her party isn't sexist. She's only showing that everything that comes out of her mouth is junk mail," she concluded.
You can read more here.
Experts still believe the National Guard delay on Jan. 6 was politically driven -- even after this week's testimony
As a number of officials testified during congressional committee hearings held this week to examine how things went awry amid at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, they attempted to place blame on others refusing to accept accountability for the deadly events that transpired on that fateful day.
According to Talking Points Memo, former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller explained why he made the decision to hold back. In his opening statement, he noted the "already-tense atmosphere surrounding the day, alluding to calls by Michael Flynn for Trump to invoke martial law and a Washington Post op-ed by all 10 living former defense secretaries calling on Miller by name not involve the military in election disputes."
However, experts point to a number of other issues that likely contributed to the obstacles Capitol Police faced during the insurrection. Weighing in with their take on the Capitol insurrection, multiple experts laid out their grievances with the egregious response:
Per the publication, experts believe the following are to blame for what created "a perfect storm" at the U.S. Capitol: "an egregious lack of preparation, a reluctance to take a clear threat seriously and a wariness about stepping on a volatile President's toes seem to have added to layers of complexity and confusion atop those fears."
"The politics were pretty crummy because of that incident outside the White House," Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Steve Blum, former chief of the National Guard Bureau, told TPM. "I think they wanted to avoid those optics."
The former Defense official claims he believed the presence of uniformed troops could have made things worse as he cited concerns about previous calls to invoke martial law. Since overuse of law enforcement sparked outrage last summer when Black Lives Matter protesters were aggressively dispersed from Lafayette Square, Miller claimed he feared a repeat of that episode.
However, experts do not believe that is the case. Since the entire day was fueled by former President Donald Trump's rhetoric and Big Lie claims about the election being stolen from him, experts believe the Trump-appointed Defense Secretary's actions were politically driven.
Juliette Kayyem, a senior lecturer at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government who also served as former assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the Obama administration, made it clear that she did not buy the explanations because those in authority "should have known better."
"Those who were involved should have known better — or were chosen because they didn't know better," Kayyem, said, adding, "Miller tried to confuse people who don't know how this works by saying he can't just make a phone call and deploy people — if that's happening you already made a mistake," Kayyem said. "That call should have happened three weeks before."
She also did not buy the claim that Miller was concerned about optics. "No one is saying they should have put the military solely in charge; the military should have been in a support function like we do all the time," she said.
Blum also noted that there were alternative options that could have been incorporated to have military personnel in place without them being in public sight unless the situation went awry.
"If this had been taken seriously, they would have called up the Guard a day or two before and brought them to the Armory close to the Capitol," Blum said. "They would have been ready if needed."
The former military lieutenant general also admitted that the only time these types of delays occur is when politics enter the picture. Blum added, "There's no delay when they need it," Blum said of the Washington D.C. National Guard. "The only time there's a delay is when politics enters into it — and obviously, that's what happened."
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