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The Hill, Rebecca Beitsch, 2/1/2021

“With far-right domestic terror threats on the rise, experts are urging President Biden to go beyond his initial executive actions and ensure national security forces are better equipped to address homegrown threats….

“The Biden administration faces the dual threats not just of the rise in white nationalist and extremist groups, she said, but also the increasingly dangerous impact of disinformation….

“‘The key point here is that we want fact-based analysis on which we can base policies,’ White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. ‘So this is really the first step in the process, and we’ll rely on the appropriate law enforcement and intelligence officials…'”

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/536587-growing-extremist-threats-put-more-pressure-on-biden

The Washington Post, Jackson Diehl, 1/31/2021

“For the past four decades, U.S. presidents have wrestled with the question of ‘democracy promotion’ — that is, where and how to encourage free speech, free assembly and free elections in other nations. President Biden will be the first executive since the middle of the 20th century to face an entirely different and far graver challenge: preventing democracy from succumbing to autocracy as the dominant form of human governance….

“The first step is understanding and embracing the challenge. The good news is that Biden and his incoming national security team have done that. In their confirmation hearings, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines readily agreed with Republicans about the threat from Beijing, reflecting an appropriate sea change from the Obama administration, in which both served. Under Xi Jinping, Blinken said, China is ‘making clear that they seek to become, in effect, the leading country in the world, the country that sets the norms and standards and puts forth a model that they hope other countries and peoples will ascribe to.’ That model, he said, is ‘inimical to our own interests….'”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/trump-left-us-democracy-in-shambles-biden-has-to-build-it-back/2021/01/31/0d15463c-6171-11eb-afbe-9a11a127d146_story.html

The Washington Post, Josh Dawsey, Tom Hamburger, Amy Gardner, 1/31/2021

“The implosion of former president Donald Trump’s legal team comes as Trump remains fixated on arguing at his second impeachment trial that the 2020 election was stolen from him, a defense that advisers warn is ill-conceived and Republican strategists fear will fuel the growing divide in the GOP….”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-legal-team-exited-after-he-insisted-impeachment-defense-focus-be-on-false-claims-of-election-fraud/2021/01/31/5af05d04-63e9-11eb-8c64-9595888caa15_story.html

The New York Times, Luke Broadwater, Matthew Rosenberg, 1/29/2021

“Paul Gosar (AZ) [has] posed with a picture with a member of the Proud Boys…. In 2014, he supported the armed standoff of the cattle rancher Civen Bundy, who had refused to stop trespassing on federal lands.

“Andy Biggs (AZ), the chairman of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, was seen by leaders of the Stop the Steal movement as an inspiration and has spoken at events hosted by extremists, including one at which a founder of the oath Keepers called for hanging Senator John McCain.

“Lauren Boebert (CO) said on Twitter that ‘Today is 1776’ on the morning of Jan. 6…

“Marjorie Taylor Green (GA) has for years trafficked in conspiracy theories, expressed support for QAnon and … also appeared at a campaign event alongside members of the Three Percenters….”

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/29/us/republicans-trump-capitol-riot.html

Philadelphia Inquirer, Trudy Rubin, 1/28/2021

“There was the Air Force veteran inside the Senate Chamber during the Capitol riot wearing tactical gear, and the New Jersey reservist who works at a naval weapons station. There was the Air Force veteran shot and killed by beleaguered Capitol police as she shoved through a shattered window.

“The presence of service members and vets at the Capitol riot should have come as no surprise to a Pentagon that has long downplayed the problem of white nationalism and far-right activism in the ranks — despite warnings for decades….”

Read more: https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/germany-extremists-us-military-biden-lloyd-austin-20210128.html

ABC News, 1/27/2021

“‘DHS is concerned these same drivers to violence will remain through early 2021 and some [domestic terrorists] may be emboldened by the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. to target elected officials and government facilities,’ the bulletin added….

“Violent supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol three weeks ago, many of them believing — based on unfounded claims from Trump himself — that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from Trump through fraud….”

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/dhs-uses-alert-system-for-1st-time-in-a-year-to-warn-of-domestic-terrorism-threat/ar-BB1d94lt

Politico, Zack Colman and Ben Lefebvre, 1/27/2021

“…Biden drew a sharp line between his plan to fight climate change and the Trump administration, which rolled back regulations, denigrated the science and turned its back on the global efforts to rein in the greenhouse gases pumping up the Earth’s temperatures. Wednesday’s flurry of executive orders have their roots in the policies he rolled out during the campaign and the pledge to make climate change policy one of the administration’s top priorities.

But the new president’s approach also represents a striking change from Obama’s efforts, which included a doomed attempt to pass climate legislation in 2009 that unraveled amid opposition from Republicans and fossil fuel advocates….”

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/27/biden-climate-orders-energy-463051

“WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2021 — Due to the national public health emergency caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the temporary suspension of past-due debt collections and foreclosures for distressed borrowers under the Farm Storage Facility Loan and the Direct Farm Loan programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). USDA will temporarily suspend non-judicial foreclosures, debt offsets or wage garnishments, and referring foreclosures to the Department of Justice; and USDA will work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to stop judicial foreclosures and evictions on accounts that were previously referred to the Department of Justice. Additionally, USDA has extended deadlines for producers to respond to loan servicing actions, including loan deferral consideration for financially distressed and delinquent borrowers. In addition, for the Guaranteed Loan program, flexibilities have been made available to lenders to assist in servicing their customers….”

Read more: https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2021/01/27/usda-temporarily-suspends-debt-collections-foreclosures-and-other