SEATTLE — Ten minutes before a 17-year-old Ingraham High School student was fatally shot in a hallway last week, he was involved in a fight in a bathroom with five other students in a failed attempt to take a handgun from one of the teens, according to King County prosecutors. The 14-year-old suspected shooter, who was also involved in the bathroom fight, was charged Monday with premeditated first-degree murder in the 17-year-old’s shooting death and also with first-degree assault, as charging papers say he is accused of shooting at a second 17-year-old boy. Prosecutors also filed a motion Mon...
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A new analysis is shedding light on the political devolution of Elon Musk as far-right ideologies threaten to erode Twitter amid the billionaire's takeover of the social media platform.
In a piece published by Axios, national security reporter Zachary Basu began with a timeline of Musk's political progression just in the last six months of this year.
"Elon Musk's public musings over the last six months have cemented an unmistakable new reality: The world's richest man, and owner of the de facto public square, has become more and more Republican," Basu began.
While Musk's transformation may not seem pivotal to some, Basu notes that it is important to take the business mogul's voting history into consideration. For decades, Musk has been a supporter of the Democratic Party.
"It's a stunning political transformation for the Obama, Clinton, and Biden-voting CEO of the most successful electric-vehicle company on Earth," Basu pointed out, adding, "And it's one with major real-world implications, given the significant influence Musk now wields in shaping the rules of online public debate."
In another turn of events, Musk also admitted that he would be open to voting for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) if he opted for a presidential bid in 2024.
Despite speculation of Musk switching parties, he has insisted that there is a need for "balance" in politics. According to Basu, Musk has also insisted that he "is 'neither conventionally right nor left' — but he also says the threat to free speech allegedly posed by Democrats has triggered a 'battle for the future of civilization' that trumps all other policy issues."
However, Basu pointed out that Musk has become increasingly critical of Democratic leaders and lawmakers over the last several months. "Musk has frequently trolled Democrats and engaged with right-wing commentators who view him as a like-minded culture warrior," he wrote, citing a recent tweet from Musk.
"The woke mind virus has thoroughly penetrated entertainment and is pushing civilization towards suicide," Musk tweeted last week. "There needs to be a counter-narrative."
But despite Musk's growing support of Republican ideologies, Basu pointed out one potential problem that could arise in the near future: the prospective conflict of interest between Musk's business dealings and his political views.
Basu concluded by writing, "One sleeping giant threatens the Musk-GOP symbiosis: The Tesla CEO has massive business interests in China, a regime viewed by Republicans as the No. 1 geopolitical threat facing the U.S."
At 2:00 PM ET on Wednesday the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security published its latest terrorism threat report, and for the first time LGBTQI+ people were listed as "targets of potential violence," which DHS warned could be "lethal." Barely hours later, MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace shared the news with Chasten Buttigieg, who was so stunned for several seconds he was speechless.
"I don't know, I didn't see that, and that – that hurts to that hurts to hear," replied Buttigieg, who is married to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
Chasten Buttigieg had been invited to discuss his moving Medium essay, which he explained he wrote in response to Republican Senators on Capitol Hill debating his marriage, and the marriages of hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples, on the floor of the U.S. Senate Tuesday ahead of their vote on legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriages.
"My marriage has filled this house with so much love it makes me want to be a better husband, father, and citizen every day," Buttigieg wrote. "It’s called me to something bigger than myself while recognizing that my kids are now the most important thing in life, and I’d do anything to protect them. Our family and our union push me to make sure we leave our kids a country and a world they can thrive in so that they, too, can enjoy all of the love and light and happiness that Pete and I have known simply by falling in love with one another."
Wallace, during their interview, sprung the news on Buttigieg that LGBTQIA+ people are now potential targets of domestic terrorism.
"Chasten, the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin warning about threats to the LGBTQ community specifically, and obviously there is – in addition to rhetoric and hate speech, much of it showcased on conservative media outlets – you've also got the Senate Republican Leader who didn't vote for this bill," she noted, referring to the Respect for Marriage Act that passed the Senate in a 61-36 vote on Tuesday.
"I mean, what is what makes that threat so pervasive," Wallace asked, "that DHS had to issue a warning to local law enforcement yesterday in your view?" (The warning was issued Wednesday, not Tuesday.)
"I don't know, I didn't see that, and that – that hurts to that hurts to hear," he replied seconds later.
"Again, this is already a vulnerable community. Focusing and targeting on an already vulnerable community that – by the way, just wants to live," Buttigieg explained. "They just want to survive and exist in a country that sees them for who they are and go about their lives just the way everybody else is, especially trans Americans."
"Honing in on an already vulnerable community and picking on them and attacking them, many people who just want to go about their lives and exist freely and openly and safely just like every other American."
The Dept. of Homeland Security on Wednesday published the new "Summary of Terrorism Threat to the United States," which states: "Targets of potential violence include public gatherings, faith-based institutions, the LGBTQI+ community, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel, U.S. critical infrastructure, the media, and perceived ideological opponents."
As Buttigieg's response shows, learning you are now considered a "target of potential violence" can be stunning.
The Terrorism Threat Summary warns the United States "remains in a heightened threat environment."
"Lone offenders and small groups," DHS adds, "motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and/or personal grievances continue to pose a persistent and lethal threat to the Homeland."
The tone of the law enforcement language is chilling.
"Domestic actors and foreign terrorist organizations continue to maintain a visible presence online in attempts to motivate supporters to conduct attacks in the Homeland. Threat actors have recently mobilized to violence, citing factors such as reactions to current events and adherence to violent extremist ideologies."
DHS warns that "threat actors could exploit several upcoming events to justify or commit acts of violence, including certifications related to the midterm elections, the holiday season and associated large gatherings, the marking of two years since the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and potential sociopolitical developments connected to ideological beliefs or personal hostility."
"Targets of potential violence include public gatherings, faith-based institutions, the LGBTQI+ community, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel, U.S. critical infrastructure, the media, and perceived ideological opponents."
"Some domestic violent extremists who have conducted attacks have cited previous attacks and attackers as inspiration," the bulletin goes on to warn. "Following the late November shooting at an LGBTQI+ bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado—which remains under investigation—we have observed actors on forums known to post racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist content praising the alleged attacker."
Watch Chasten Buttigieg's interview with Nicolle Wallace below or at this link.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has reportedly advised his close allies to refrain from publicly weighing in on the controversy surrounding former President Donald Trump's highly publicized dinner meeting with far-right influencer Nick Fuentes.
According to Rolling Stone, three individuals with inside knowledge of what is going on have shared details about DeSantis' proposed approach to dealing with the debacle, which has led to deep bipartisan criticism of Trump.
In short, DeSantis believes it's best to do the one thing Trump seems unable to do: remain silent.
"According to three people with knowledge of the directives, DeSantis’ lieutenants have told his allies not to attack Trump over the now-notorious dinner," the news outlet reports. "Instead, the potential 2024 Republican primary candidate and his advisers have aimed to keep the focus on Trump’s decision to dine with Kanye West, a vocal anti-Semite, and Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist agitator."
Dan Eberhart, a longtime Republican donor who heavily backed Trump's presidential campaign, also weighed in with details about his conversations with the Florida governor's team.
Like many other Republicans, Eberhart has distanced himself from Trump and is now in favor of DeSantis running for president in 2024. Speaking to Rolling Stone, he shed light on the perspective of DeSantis' team.
“In ongoing discussions following his reelection, including this week, I’ve been asked to keep my powder dry,” said Eberhart. “My understanding is that the DeSantis team doesn’t see upside in kicking off the fight with Trump this early, even if it may be inevitable. Wading into the Fuentes fiasco just isn’t worth it for them. The media will harpoon Trump without Team DeSantis lifting a finger.”
According to Rolling Stone's Asawin Suebsaeng, it appears DeSantis' strategy is part of a bigger agenda.
"DeSantis’s calculated silence is in line with the Florida governor’s broader strategy for now in challenging — or, to be more precise, Suebsaeng wrote. "The twice-impeached former president, who announced his 2024 White House bid earlier this month, has taken to enthusiastically trashing DeSantis, going as far as to publicly threaten to air alleged dirt about his likely 2024 GOP primary opponent."
He further noted that the Florida governor has made it a point to steer clear of the political squabbles Trump has a reputation of inciting. Suebsaeng added, "DeSantis, meanwhile, has generally declined Trump’s attempts to lure him into a very public mud fight."