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Trump Emerges as Inspiration for Germany’s Far Right

Among German conspiracy theorists, ultranationalists and neo-Nazis, the American president is surfacing as a rallying cry, or even as a potential “liberator.”

Food for thought…cultural preferences and religion make for a strong union…T tapped into both.

American Christianity’s White-Supremacy Problem | The New Yorker

Much has been made of white evangelicals’ support for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. (According to exit polls, eighty-one per cent of white evangelical Protestants voted for him.) Less attention has been paid to the fact that sizable majorities of white Catholics (sixty-four per cent) and white mainline Protestants (fifty-seven per cent) also backed him. In November, President Trump will once again be reliant upon the white Christian vote if he hopes to defeat his Democratic opponent, former Vice-President Joe Biden. Trump’s racism has defined his Presidency—driving his exclusionary immigration policies, his Twitter tirades, his reluctance to condemn white-nationalist protesters in Charlottesville, and his scapegoating of China for the coronavirus pandemic. Yet polls show that most white Christians continue to approve of his job performance. It is a perplexing, distressing trend, one that may be irrevocably damaging to the church, as increasing numbers of people, particularly millennials, leave Christianity. In December, when Mark Galli, who was then the editor-in-chief of Christianity Today , the flagship publication of evangelicalism, wrote an editorial calling for Trump to be removed from office, he urged Christians to consider how their support of Trump influenced their “witness”—the degree to which their lives point to the example of Jesus Christ. “Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency,” he wrote. “If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come?”

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Donald Trump betrayed our Kurdish allies, let Americans be hunted for Russian bounties, told China concentration camps are great, bowed to tinpot dictators, and insulted allies. He is no man of peace and will NEVER deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. Period.

The man who nominated him also did so in 2018 with another Norwegian lawmaker:

Trump is being put at 20/1 odds, level with Bill Gates.

Ahead of him? WHO, Greta Thunberg, Jacinda Ardern, and Black Lives Matter.

Donald Trump nominated for Nobel Peace Prize — now has the same odds of winning as Bill Gates

PS: Remember when Trump had submissions forged twice? I do.


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Okay, September, what do you ha- :flushed:

What’s a ‘zombie fire?’ Dangerous underground fires spark record-setting wildfires in Arctic Circle

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What in the absolute ever-loving

What fresh hell is this

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Trump Adds Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, To List Of Potential SCOTUS Picks

Bernie Sanders Says Country Must Get Ready for Trump’s Refusal to Concede

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No surprises here…

After a day of huge revelations from Woodward’s book, to the Whistleblower, to the E J Carroll case now being handled from within the DOJ, T now turns to his buddies at FOX to help him out.

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A post was merged into an existing topic: :memo: Must Read Op-Ed and Profiles

It is sickening for an American president to fawn over a mass murderer and tyrant.

Transcript: Kim Jong Un’s letters to President Trump

Bob Woodward obtained the 27 “love letters” President Donald Trump exchanged with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un , 25 of which have not been reported publicly. The letters, filled with flowery language, provide a fascinating window into their relationship. Kim flatters Trump by repeatedly calling him “Your Excellency,” and writes in one letter that meeting again would be “reminiscent of a scene from a fantasy film.” In another, Kim writes that the “deep and special friendship between us will work as a magical force.” CNN has obtained the transcripts of two of the letters.

Woodward, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, was shown the letters but was not permitted to make copies or take photos. He dictated the letters into his tape recorder, and these are transcripts as he read them:

Dec. 25, 2018 letter from Kim Jong Un to Trump

25 December 2018

Your Excellency,

It has been 200 days since the historic DPRK-US summit in Singapore this past June, and the year is now almost coming to an end. Even now I cannot forget that moment of history when I firmly held Your Excellency’s hand at that beautiful and sacred location as the whole world watched with great interest and hope to relive the honor of that day. As I mentioned at that time, I feel very honored to have established an excellent relationship with a person such as Your Excellency.

As the new year 2019 approaches, critical issues that require endless effort toward even higher ideals and goals still await us. Just as Your Excellency frankly noted, as we enter the new year the whole world will certainly once again come to see, not so far in the future, another historic meeting between myself and Your Excellency reminiscent of a scene from a fantasy film.

I have already instructed my closest and most trusted colleagues and the relevant organs to speed up the preparations for holding a second DPRK-US summit and am prepared to achieve good results with Your Excellency during the next meeting.

Nevertheless, what worries me is that it may not reflect positively on us should both sides appear to stubbornly insist on our respective positions regarding the location of the summit. It could also result in wasting a lot of time. Therefore, my position is to urgently hold senior-level contact between the DPRK and the US to internally (translator’s note: privately) discuss and coordinate issues regarding the location.

I hope that Your Excellency will once again demonstrate great decisiveness and excellent leadership to accomplish results in the second DPRK summit. I wholeheartedly hope that the things that Your Excellency seeks to achieve will come to great fruition.

I wish the honorable First Lady, your family and those close to you good health, happiness and great success.

Sincerely, with unchanging respect for Your Excellency the President,

Chairman State Affairs Commission

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Kim Jong Un

25 December 2018

June 10, 2019 letter from Kim Jong Un to Trump

June 10, 2019

Your Excellency Mr. President,

I am writing this letter to you as we are nearing the first anniversary of our meeting in Singapore on June 12 – the historic moment of great significance that captured the attention of the world and left an imprint still indelible in my memory – as well as to congratulate you on your birthday, which is just days away. I take it as a great honor to be able to send such a letter to Your Excellency.

I extend my sincere and warm regards to Your Excellency on the occasion of your birthday. My regards also to the First Lady and the rest of your family and all your people, and I wish everyone good health and happiness and hope that everyone’s dream will become a beautiful reality.

Like the brief time we had together a year ago in Singapore, every minute we shared 103 days ago in Hanoi was also a moment of glory that remains a precious memory. Such a precious memory that I have in my unwavering respect for you will provide impetus for me to take my steps when we walk toward each other again someday in the future.

I also believe that the deep and special friendship between us will work as a magical force that leads the progress of the DPRK-US relations, clearing all the hurdles we face in the process of bringing about the developments we seek to achieve.

Your Excellency Mr. President, I still respect and lay my hopes on the will and determination that you showed in our first meeting to resolve the issue of our unique style that nobody had ever tried, and to write a new history. Today’s reality is that without a new approach and the courage it takes, the prospects for resolution of the issue will only be bleak.

I believe the one day will come sooner or later when we sit down together to make great things happen, with the will to give another chance to our mutual trust. Such a day should come again. It may well be recorded as yet another fantastic moment in history.

I assure Your Excellency that my respect for you will never change.

Happy birthday once again, Your Excellency. I hope Your Excellency will always be in good health and achieve success in your work. I extend my best wishes on behalf of my family to the First Lady and the rest of your family.

Sincerely yours,

Kim Jong Un

June 10, 2019


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Trump re-tweeted a random tiny post of somebody making a fat joke about him. Everybody, including the person who made the joke, who is very much NOT a Trump fan, is confused.

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This is an opinion piece on why there are so many women adherents to QAnon…and some theories. Just interesting to see where this might attract more women…given it’s messianic zeal to save children at any costs, etc (forgeting of course the conspiratorial origins of the stories.)

As with all things QAnon, it’s difficult to speak definitively. But my own hypothesis is that QAnon’s apparent success with women has more to do with how its digital network has developed than the actual content of the theory itself.

Most other far-right communities are much more insular, and usually make an attempt to draw their digital borders along race- or gender-based lines by emphasizing purity. In practice it never quite works, because of the porous nature of digital subcultures, but it makes for a hostile environment for non-white, non-male newcomers.

QAnon, by contrast, has looked for converts anywhere it can find them, making the slogan “where we go one we go all” (usually abbreviated to the hashtag #WWG1WGA) its rallying cry. It’s no surprise that anti-Semitism, a familiar staple of so many conspiracy theories, can be found in QAnon communities, but in general, racial purity isn’t a central factor.

It has also mutated as it has spread. QAnon may have started on 4chan and 8chan, but it quickly left such message boards behind for more mainstream platforms like Facebook and Instagram, Ms. Crawford said — platforms where young women are very active. It engaged in a partial “rebrand,” appropriating “#SavetheChildren” and other already-existing human trafficking campaigns and hashtags. And when majority-female anti-vaccine groups on Facebook began suggesting dark forces were at play in the Covid-19 crisis and expanded into anti-mask, anti-lockdown sentiment, QAnon eagerly folded all of these conspiracies into its own master narrative.

Today, the lines between the two have blurred; who is “just” an anti-vaxxer and who has gone full QAnon? It’s not clear that participants themselves draw a distinction. The “Covid-skeptic” communities I monitor on Facebook casually drop in comments about “the cabal” and child trafficking with little to no resistance from the rest of the group and, crucially, no platform moderation. It’s clear that even if these users wouldn’t recognize QAnon itself, or view themselves as supporters, they’re certainly familiar with its talking points.

Those videos of mothers bemoaning the brainwashing of their children? They’re not only compelling and dramatic content, but are also easily shared in other parenting groups with little indication of their far-right origins. It’s not just that women are more likely to become prominent influencers in the QAnon digital network; it is actively useful for QAnon for them to do so.

Why does the gender of those who subscribe to QAnon matter? It matters less for what it tells us about women and what they may or may not believe, and more for how it could potentially shape our own response to QAnon.

Conspiracy theories are no less dangerous even when they claim to be driven by maternal love. At the heart of QAnon lies an undeniably frightening ethos that demands harsh punishment, even execution, for its ever-growing list of political enemies. History teaches us that sex panics do not end well for society’s most vulnerable minorities; QAnon and its offshoots must be rejected in the strongest possible terms.

But this becomes more personally and politically difficult if the theory’s adherents look less like our traditional conception of fascists and more like ordinary concerned mothers taking a stand for child sex abuse victims. The alt-right, for instance, cloaked and distracted from its dangerous views with khakis and polo shirts; we must be careful to avoid the same pattern here, of allowing unexpected aesthetics to obscure a toxic ideology.

If QAnon is indeed mutating as it spreads, we must not to be fooled by its changing appearance. Our answer must be a balance of empathy for those who have been drawn in by QAnon’s seductive message, coupled with a firm rejection of its lies.

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When the Administration wanted to push that there were thousands of illegal immigrants on the border, it tried to get NBC to state that there were more than 6 people at the border.

A new whistleblower complaint alleges that in late 2018 and early 2019 former senior officials at the Department of Homeland Security sought to inflate the publicly reported number of known or suspected terrorists crossing the border in a move to increase support for a border wall.

In early 2019, a DHS spokeswoman pushed NBC News to retract a story based on accurate figures the agency had disclosed in a document to Congress in the months prior that were far lower than the nearly 4,000 in a year the administration had been citing publicly.

The January 2019 NBC News story reported that contrary to those public statements by Trump administration officials, only six immigrants who were known or suspected terrorists had been encountered at the southern border in the first half of fiscal year 2018.

At the time, the administration was repeating the 4,000 figure in an effort to justify the government shutdown over Trump’s border wall, and the lower, more accurate figure undercut their argument.

That 2019 NBC News story was based on non-publicized figures provided by Customs and Border Protection to Congress in May 2018.

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Apocalyptic scenes out of the west.

‘Do not let your guard down’: Northern California blazes grow to historic proportions just as fire season starts

‘We have never seen this’: 10% of Oregon under evacuation orders; death toll at 26 from Western wildfires

New Report Details Dozens of Trump Rollbacks During Pandemic

Charleston, SC Becomes First City in U.S. South to Sue Big Oil for Climate Costs

Trump Is Conveniently Ignoring the Climate-Fueled Fires Raging in the West

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‘Reckless, violent, massacre’ of 570 wolves and wolf pups in Idaho bolsters alarm over Trump attack on species protections

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I have been watching this Senate race in Maine, where Sen Susan Collins pales to Democrat contender Sara Gideon who is articulate and has a thin lead +8 points Senate Maine Polls

Sen Collins will never admit to voting (or wanting to) for Trump, but Gideon is in full support of Biden. The judges that Sen Collins voted in, particularly Brett Kavanaugh and the 170 judges Mitch McConnell pushed through were debated as well.

Hope there is a big win for the Dems come November.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/maine/articles/2020-09-11/collins-gideon-to-face-off-in-1st-debate-in-us-senate-race

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Democrat Sara Gideon sought to link Republican Sen. Susan Collins, of Maine, with President Donald Trump during their first debate Friday night, and she demanded several times that Collins say whether she’ll vote for him — a dare Collins wouldn’t take

Collins, who has said she didn’t vote for Trump four years ago, brushed off the question, saying voters are more interested in talking to her about issues than who she supports in the presidential race. “Let me say this: I don’t think the people of Maine need my advice on whom to support for president,” Collins said.

But Collins was critical of Trump’s handling of the pandemic after the president acknowledged on tape months ago, to journalist Bob Woodward in comments only recently released, that he deliberately played down the danger.

“I believe that the president should have been straightforward with the American people. The American people can take hard facts. He had an obligation as president to be straightforward,” Collins said.

Collins, who is seeking a fifth term and long enjoyed a reputation as a moderate who reached across the partisan aisle, is facing the toughest campaign of her career, and Democrats view unseating her as key to retaking control of the Senate.

In attack ads, Democrats have been hammering away at her votes for Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court and for Trump’s tax breaks.

Collins was forced during the debate to defend her support for Kavanaugh, saying she has supported judges nominated by Democrats and Republican over the years as long as they were qualified and committed to precedent and the rule of law.

But Gideon, the speaker of the Maine House, said many of the federal judges nominated by Trump were incompetent.

“What we have seen over the past four years is a concerted effort to change the face of the judiciary, and we have seen nominees come from this president that are unqualified and not fit to be judicial nominees. Yet Sen. Collins has voted, as of this week, for 170 of them,” Gideon said…

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QAnon Website Shuts Down After N.J. Man Identified as Operator

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2020-09-11/qanon-website-shuts-down-after-n-j-man-identified-as-operator

A popular website for posts about the conspiracy group QAnon abruptly shut down after a fact-checking group identified the developer as a New Jersey man.

Qmap.pub is among the largest websites promoting the QAnon conspiracy, with over 10 million visitors in July, according to web analytics firm SimilarWeb Ltd., and served as the primary archive of QAnon’s posts. The website aggregates posts by Q, the anonymous figure behind the QAnon theory, and the creator of the Qmap.pub website is known online only as “QAppAnon.”

The fact-checking site Logically.ai identified Jason Gelinas of New Jersey on Sept. 10 as the “developer and mouthpiece” for the site. New Jersey state records connect QAppAnon to Gelinas’s home address, Bloomberg found.

Reached outside his home, Gelinas declined to comment on the Logically report, saying only that someone had sent it to him on Twitter after it was published.

“I’m not going to comment on any of that,” Gelinas said when asked if he was behind the website Qmap. “I’m not going to get involved. I want to stay out of it.”

Wearing an American flag baseball cap, Gelinas said that QAnon is a “patriotic movement to save the country.”

Hours after the initial contact from Bloomberg News, the website was no longer accessible.

A LinkedIn profile for Gelinas says he works as an information security analyst at Citigroup. Citigroup declined to comment.

The QAnon theory posits that President Donald Trump is battling a “deep state” ring of child-sex traffickers. It has already motivated some domestic extremists to violent acts or to threaten violence, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

As some in Trump’s inner circle have shown signs of support for the conspiracy or its followers, questions have swirled about the identities of those responsible for promoting it. In August, Trump said that QAnon followers are “people who love our country.” The president’s director of social media, Dan Scavino, as well as the President’s son, Eric Trump, have posted QAnon imagery.

QAppAnon, the online name of qmap’s creator, also runs a Patreon account, which receives more than $3,000 a month in donations, according to the Patreon site. In March, QAppAnon announced on Patreon an upcoming Android app named “Armor of God,” a social network for followers of QAnon.

In Armor of God’s Google Play Store profile, the service describes itself as a platform “designed for patriots worldwide to create and share content including prayers, news, memes and posts.” The developer’s email address listed on the Google Play page is “[email protected]

According to New Jersey state business records, Patriot Platforms LLC’s address matches Gelinas’s home address. After a Bloomberg News investigation, the Armor of God app was no longer accessible on the Google Play store.

According to its website, Patriot Platforms “is a technology company building next generation social media applications and tools.” The description is similar to the buisness purpose stated on the New Jersey business record linked to Gelinas’s home address: “create next generation news and social media platforms.”As of Friday, the Patriot Platforms website was also offline.

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Smoke chokes West Coast as wildfire deaths keep climbing

Wildfire smoke that posed a health hazard to millions choked the West Coast on Saturday as firefighters battled deadly blazes that obliterated some towns and displaced tens of thousands of people, the latest in a series of calamities this year.

For people already enduring the coronavirus pandemic, the resulting economic fallout and political tensions evident in the Black Lives Matter protests and far-right counter protests, the fires added a new layer of misery.

“What’s next? You have the protests, coronavirus pandemic, now the wildfires. What else can go wrong?” lamented Danielle Oliver, 40, of Happy Valley, southeast of Portland.

The death toll from the fires in California, Oregon and Washington stood at 31 and was expected to rise sharply. Most of the fatalities were in California and Oregon.

Oregon’s emergency management director said officials were preparing for a possible “mass fatality event” if many more bodies turn up in the ash. And the state fire marshal resigned after abruptly being placed on administrative leave. The state police superintendent said the crisis demanded an urgent response that required a leadership change.

Oliver has an autoimmune disorder that makes her vulnerable to wildfire smoke, so she agreed to evacuate. She was nervous about going to a shelter because of the virus, but sleeping in a car with her husband, 15-year-daughter, two dogs and a cat was not a viable option.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown toured the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem, Ore., Saturday afternoon, Sept. 12, 2020, where she spoke with volunteers and evacuees. Brown also toured the animal facility where evacuated animals are being kept. Fires along Oregon’s Cascade Range grew Saturday, but at a slower rate than earlier in the week. (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP, Pool)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Wildfire smoke that posed a health hazard to millions choked the West Coast on Saturday as firefighters battled deadly blazes that obliterated some towns and displaced tens of thousands of people, the latest in a series of calamities this year.

For people already enduring the coronavirus pandemic, the resulting economic fallout and political tensions evident in the Black Lives Matter protests and far-right counter protests, the fires added a new layer of misery.

“What’s next? You have the protests, coronavirus pandemic, now the wildfires. What else can go wrong?” lamented Danielle Oliver, 40, of Happy Valley, southeast of Portland.

The death toll from the fires in California, Oregon and Washington stood at 31 and was expected to rise sharply. Most of the fatalities were in California and Oregon.

Oregon’s emergency management director said officials were preparing for a possible “mass fatality event” if many more bodies turn up in the ash. And the state fire marshal resigned after abruptly being placed on administrative leave. The state police superintendent said the crisis demanded an urgent response that required a leadership change.

Oliver has an autoimmune disorder that makes her vulnerable to wildfire smoke, so she agreed to evacuate. She was nervous about going to a shelter because of the virus, but sleeping in a car with her husband, 15-year-daughter, two dogs and a cat was not a viable option.

The temperature checks and social distancing at the American Red Cross shelter helped put her mind at ease. Now the family waits, hoping their house will survive. She has previously experienced homelessness.

“I’m tired. I’m tired of starting all over. Getting everything, working for everything, then losing everything,” she said.

Those who still had homes were not safe in them. A half-million Oregonians were under evacuation warnings or orders to leave. With air contamination levels at historic highs, people stuffed towels under door jambs to keep smoke out. Some even wore N95 masks in their own homes.

Some communities resembled the bombed-out cities of Europe after World War II, with buildings reduced to charred rubble piled atop blackened earth. Residents either managed to flee as the flames closed in, or perished.

Millicent Catarancuic’s body was found near a car on her 5-acre property in Berry Creek, California. The flames came so quickly she did not have time to get out.

On Tuesday, she packed several of her dogs and cats in the car but later called her daughter to say she decided to stay. Firefighters had made progress battling the blaze. The wind was calm. The flames still seemed far away. Then they rushed onto the property.

“I feel like, maybe when they passed, they had an army of cats and dogs with her to help her through it,” said her daughter, Holly Catarancuic.

In Oregon alone, more than 40,000 people have been evacuated and about 500,000 are in different levels of evacuation zones, Gov. Kate Brown said.

Fires along Oregon’s Cascade Range grew Saturday, but at a slower rate than earlier in the week, when strong easterly winds acted like a bellows, pushing two large fires — the Beachie Creek Fire and the Riverside Fire — toward each other and the state’s major population centers, including Portland’s southeastern suburbs.

Fire managers did get a spot of good news: Higher humidity slowed the flames considerably.

In California, a total of 28 active major fires have burned 4,375 square miles, and 16,000 firefighters are trying to suppress the flames, Cal Fire Assistant Deputy Director Daniel Berlant said. Large wildfires continued to burn in northeastern Washington state too.

In all, 22 people have died in California since wildfires began breaking out across the state in mid-August.

President Donald Trump will visit California on Monday for a briefing on the West Coast fires, the White House announced.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and the governors of California, Oregon and Washington state — all Democrats — have said the fires are a consequence of global warming.

“We absolutely must act now to avoid a future defined by an unending barrage of tragedies like the one American families are enduring across the West today,” Biden said.

The same smoke that painted California skies orange also helped crews corral the state’s deadliest blaze of the year by blocking the sun, reducing temperatures and raising humidity, officials said.

Smoke created cooler conditions in Oregon too, but it was also blamed for making the dirtiest air in at least 35 years in some places. The air quality index reading Saturday morning in Salem, the state capital, was 512.

The scale normally goes from zero to 500.

“Above 500 is literally off the charts,” said Laura Gleim, a spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Because past air quality was rarely so poor, the government’s yardstick for measuring it capped out at 500, Gleim said. The department started monitoring in 1985.

The weather conditions that led up to the fires and fed the flames were likely a once-in-a-generation event, said Greg Jones, a professor and research climatologist at Linfield University in McMinnville, Oregon.

A large high-pressure area stretching from the desert Southwest to Alaska brought strong winds from the east toward the West Coast, reducing relative humidity to as low as 8% and bringing desert-like conditions, even to the coast, Jones said.

Instead of the offshore flows that the Pacific Northwest normally enjoys, the strong easterly winds pushed fires down the western slopes of the Cascade Range.

It isn’t clear if global warming caused the conditions, Jones said, but a warmer world can increase the likelihood of extreme events and contribute to their severity.

The smoke in Portland filled the air with an acrid metallic scent like dull pennies. It was so thick that Ashley Kreitzer could not see the road when she headed out to work as a ride-hailing driver.

“I couldn’t even see five feet ahead of me,” she said. “I was panicking, I didn’t even know if I wanted to go out.”

George Coble had no home to return to. He came with some of his employees Saturday to a wasteland of charred tree trunks just outside Mill City, Oregon. Coble lost everything: his fence-and-post business, five houses in a family compound and vintage cars, including a 1967 Mustang.

The family – three generations that lived in the compound — evacuated with seven people, three horses, five dogs and a cat.

“We’ll just keep working and keep your head up and thank God everybody got out,” Coble said. “There are other people that lost their family. Just be thankful for what you did get out with.”

Erik Tucker spent the day hauling buckets of water through what remained of his neighborhood to douse hot spots smoldering in tree trunks five days after the wildfire tore through the area.

Tucker, who lives in Lyons, Oregon, had expected the worst but found his family’s home still standing while homes just down the street were gone. He was coated in ash and smudged with charcoal.

“No power, debris everywhere, smoke, can’t breathe,” he said.

Wildfires scorch millions of acres in Western U.S. as Oregon braces for ‘mass fatality event’

Historic wildfires are burning millions of acres and destroying homes and entire towns in California, Oregon and Washington state, as officials brace for more fatalities and evacuations.

The fires have killed at least 20 people across the states and dozens more are missing.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Friday that people are still missing and more than 40,000 have fled their homes as the state prepares for a “mass fatality event.”

President Donald Trump will visit California on Monday to be briefed on the state’s wildfires.

Historic wildfires are burning millions of acres and destroying homes in California, Oregon and Washington state, as officials brace for more fatalities and evacuations.

The fires have killed at least 20 people across the states and dozens more are missing. More than 1 million acres of land in Oregon have been burned and at least 10% of the state’s population is in evacuation zones. The state has dealt with the worst destruction as blazes have already decimated two towns.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Friday that people are still missing and more than 40,000 have fled their homes. The state is preparing for a “mass fatality event” and has declared a state of emergency.

Authorities said a man has been arrested and charged with arson in connection with a fire in southern Oregon that has burned hundreds of homes. Oregon’s state fire marshal Jim Walker, who has served since 2014, had been put on administrative leave “pending the outcome of an internal personnel investigation,” the state police department said on Saturday.

In California, more than 3 million acres have burned, a record in the state’s history. The August Complex that started from a series of lightning strikes last month has become the biggest wildfire ever in California.

The weather in California could potentially improve with forecasts of less wind and some rainfall. However, the National Weather Service on Saturday issued a red flag warning in parts of Oregon and Northern California over the weekend, citing gusty winds and low humidity that could worsen the blazes.

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California gave a bleak update on the situation on Friday afternoon, saying the worst forecasts of climate change has impacted his state. He vowed to direct his administration to speed up California’s environmental goals and invest more in green energy.

“California, folks, is America fast forward,” Newsom said during a press conference at the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area in Butte County, which is damaged from the North Complex Fire. “What we’re experiencing right here is coming to communities all across the United States of America unless we get our act together on climate change.”

President Donald Trump will visit California on Monday where he will join local and federal fire and emergency officials to be briefed on the fires. The president is set to visit McClellan Park in Sacramento County, where the state’s fire agency Cal Fire has based its operations.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the amount of land burned by the fires in just the past five days amounts to the state’s second-worst fire season following the season in 2015, and said the fires should be called climate fires, not wildfires. Fires in the state destroyed most of the homes in the town of Malden and killed a 1-year-old boy.

Climate change has triggered excessive heat and drought conditions across the world that exacerbate wildfires. In fire-prone California, six of the 20 biggest wildfires in state history have occurred this year.

“This is not an act of God,” Inslee said at a news conference Friday. “This has happened because we have changed the climate of the state of Washington in dramatic ways.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday said that the state is sending roughly 190 additional firefighters and 50 more trucks to California. Fire crews are also being sent in from Utah and Colorado.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said the fires demonstrate that climate change poses an “existential threat to our way of life.”

“Our thoughts are also with the millions of Americans living just outside the path of these fires, forced into an awful choice between relocating in the midst of an ongoing pandemic or staying put in a place where every breath they draw forces them to inhale smoke,” Biden said in a statement on Saturday.

“The science is clear, and deadly signs like these are unmistakable — climate change poses an imminent, existential threat to our way of life,” Biden said. “President Trump can try to deny that reality, but the facts are undeniable.”

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A post was merged into an existing topic: WTF - Get Out the Vote - Voter resources 2020 & Obstacles

Trump promises to erase troops’ 2021 deferred tax debt, but lawmakers say he can’t

President Donald Trump promised this week to forgive all deferred payroll taxes (including those included in troops’ paychecks) if he wins re-election this fall, but lawmakers dismissed the assertion as unconstitutional and amounting to little more than pandering.

The news comes just days after federal officials confirmed that millions of federal workers — including service members from all five branches and Defense Department civilian employees — will see a pay boost of more than 6 percent for the rest of 2020, but have to pay back all of that money next year under Trump’s payroll tax deferral plan.

The move, designed to act as an economic stimulus in response to the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic, has drawn criticism as a short-term ploy that could cause long-term financial damage for families whose paychecks will fluctuate over the next half year.

Many advocates have expressed concerns that troops and their families may not be able to handle significant reductions in pay for several months next year, but Trump on Thursday promised to handle that problem when it arises.

“When we win I, as your President, will totally forgive ALL deferred payroll taxes with money from the General Fund,” he said in a tweet.

“I will ALWAYS protect Seniors and your Social Security! (Democratic presidential candidate) Joe Biden will do the opposite, he will raise your taxes and DESTROY our Country!”

When we win I, as your President, will totally forgive ALL deferred payroll taxes with money from the General Fund. I will ALWAYS protect Seniors and your Social Security! Sleepy Joe Biden will do the opposite, he will raise your taxes and DESTROY our Country!

The White House did not offer any explanation of how Trump might wipe away the debt, since Congress holds the power of taxation under the constitution.

In his memo outlining the payroll tax deferral, Trump instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to explore ways to eliminate the requirement to repay those taxes, to include lobbying Congress to adopt new legislation erasing the debt.

Democrats in Congress immediately attacked the president’s tax pledge.

The House of Representatives is not going to subject its staff to Donald Trump’s payroll tax scheme.

This policy will just create headaches for workers and give them smaller paychecks next year.

The Administration should let military service members and federal workers opt out. https://twitter.com/Fritschner/status/1304428322944946177

— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) September 11, 2020

Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., said that the administration “should let military service members and federal workers opt out” of the “payroll tax scheme.” Others called for the entire plan to be reversed.

The tax deferral affects all enlisted members, virtually all warrant officers and all officers up through the grade of O-4. Others who earn more than $8,666.66 a month will not have their Social Security taxes deferred and will continue to pay the payroll taxes.

Federal employees and servicemembers should not be forced into deferring their payroll taxes.

Trump’s policy will undoubtedly cause undue burden on so many individuals whose lives have already been turned upside down due to the pandemic. https://money.yahoo.com/amphtml/trumps-payroll-tax-deferral-is-mandatory-for-22-million-federal-employees-and-military-members-194730143.html

— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) September 10, 2020

Repayment of the taxes would begin as early as January 1, when troops are expected to see a 3-percent pay raise go into effect. However, Congress still has not finalized plans for that annual raise, and it would not completely cover the money owed.

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