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Shrinking of Cybersecurity Theater Should Be Celebrated...If True: Reason Roundup

It seems a little premature to say that President Donald Trump has "gutted" the forces meant to address election security and foreign influence in U.S. politics. It's even more strange to frame this as some sort of Trumpian cover-up.

The evidence offered is that two specific task forces, both created in response to the 2016 presidential election, now have fewer members. "One focuses in part on securing election infrastructure and the other focuses on foreign influence efforts, including social media disinformation campaigns," explain Erin Banco and Betsy Woodruff at The Daily Beast. These days, one is "half the size it was a few months ago, according to two [Homeland Security] officials familiar with the task forces," while "the other task force also shrank significantly shortly after the midterms."

But that's what was supposed to happen. Both task forces were intended as limited-purpose, limited-duration endeavors, according to the Beast's reporting. So it only makes sense that after a couple years, the government may be winding down their efforts. Why characterize this as some sort of shady maneuvering? Especially considering that a whole new agency was created to take over their functions.

Last November, Trump signed into a law a measure creating a permanent Cyber Security and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), housed within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The legislation transferred a range of responsibilites from these temporary task forces (as well as other programs) to the new, permanent agency. And it has big plans.

DHS spokesperson Sara Sendek tells the Beast that her agency is in the midst of expanding partnerships with state and local governments and bringing on more permanent staff, since the task forces' members had previously been plucked from other federal positions on temporary assignment. That's why the numbers recently dwindled, as those temporary assignments came to an end.

"Election security remains a priority for CISA," says Sendek. "The work of these task forces continues to this day and is being institutionalized as a permanent effort. While some of the personnel who were brought on to serve on these task forces in temporary assignments have returned to their regular roles, we are also currently hiring new employees into permanent election positions to build out our team and support our efforts for 2020 and beyond."

Some of the anonymous DHS officials the Beast quotes complain that instead of putting more resources into CISA, Homeland Security—which also houses Immigration and Customs Enforcement—is obsessed with our Southern border and with whipping up fear about migrant caravans. That's both obvious and no good. But the Russian election-meddling and foreign-influence fears are similarly stacked with political hype. Here's to dreaming of DHS getting out of both.

FOLLOWUP

Federal prosecutors dropped attempts to deport rapper 21 Savage on "aggravated felony" grounds. His lawyers said the conviction has been vacated and thus ICE's reasoning didn't stand up. From Buzzfeed:

The government is now pursuing his deportation only on the grounds that he had come from the UK at the age of 7 and had overstayed a visa, according to Charles Kuck, managing partner of Kuck Baxter Immigration, who represents the rapper.

"I think this case is emblematic of a lot of cases where people are detained for not correct reasons, but they don't always have resources to fight the system," he said. "This case is very emblematic of what happens in immigration court and detention."

QUICK HITS

  • A Bush-era Homeland Security official is using alleged Russian spy Maria Butina to push a spying-on-students agenda he never fullfilled during the war on teror.
  • Musician Ryan Adams is accused of a range of bad behavior in detailed accounts from multiple women, including actress (and his former wife) Mandy Moore, musician Phoebe Bridgers, and a bass player who was 15 when Adams (then in his late thirties) started sexting with her.
  • Sherrod Brown is expected to announce his bid for president soon, joining Amy Klobuchar and perhaps Joe Biden in what Slate describes as the Democratic primary's "center lane."
  • Happy Valentine's Day from the U.K. immigration office.

Photo Credit: modified from @DHSgov/Instagram

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Musician Ryan Adams is accused of a range of bad behavior in detailed accounts from multiple women...

    Hell, I still love you, New York... whether you really want it or not.

  • ||

    Hello.

    There's missing a 'B' in Ryan Adams.

    Sloppy journalism. Tsk, tsk.

  • Dillinger||

    new meaning to Summer of '69 no?

  • Mickey Rat||

    Who is this Ryan Adams and why should we care?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Check out Socrates over here.

  • chipper me timbers||

    this is 100% bullshit.

    every woman who hooks up with a musician knows what was going to happen. come on.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Sherrod Brown is expected to announce his bid for president soon, joining Amy Klobuchar and perhaps Joe Biden in what Slate describes as the Democratic primary's "center lane."

    dad-rock

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Springsteen rocks!

  • Libertymike||

    He had a wife and kids in Lagos, Jack.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Short bus in the slow lane?

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    WaPo: Trump's war on socialism will fail
    Nonetheless, Jerome Frank was right: Those slurred as socialists really do have a good track record of making capitalism work better and more justly. The s-word is not now, and, in its democratic forms, never should have been, an obscenity.

  • Libertymike||

    It is an obscenity. But maybe not for slaves and slave-holders.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    The s-word is not now, and, in its democratic forms, never should have been, an obscenity.

    Note the qualifier.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    If it is up to the govt to protect us from our own stupidity, their first task is to protect us from our own stupidity when voting. They represent the 99% whether we like it or not, so it is 'democracy' if they have power.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Who protects us from the stupidity of those in government? And the ones who profess to be socialists are especially stupid, and worse, they don't know they are stupid.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    So government theft and coercion is OK as long as we vote for it?

    Just like 3 guys who pick up a woman, and then take a vote on a gang-bang, right?

  • Ray McKigney||

    Sorry, bub, it's an obscenity and should be an obscenity.

  • ||

    Dionne is a useful idiot retard.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is at odds with telecommunications providers over robocalls.

    Another bot himself! How about doing something about the NPC-calls. Am I right, fellow internet people?

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

  • loveconstitution1789||

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A federal judge has ruled that Paul Manafort did indeed breach his plea agreement by lying to prosecutors on multipl occasions.

    Only one side of that equation gets to lie.

  • ||

    A federal judge has ruled that Paul Manafort did indeed breach his plea agreement by lying to prosecutors on multipl occasions.

    This is what comes of not telling slavers to fuck off...

  • Bee Tagger||

    But that's what was supposed to happen. Both task forces were intended as limited-purpose, limited-duration endeavors, according to the Beast's reporting.

    it is pretty beastly to claim a government program isn't supposed to live forever and continually grow.

  • Bee Tagger||

    #Rosesareredvioletsareblue, if your marriage is a sham we'll be on to you: http://t.co/DKP2l37D #happyvalentinesday

    — Home Office (@ukhomeoffice) February 14, 2013

    home wreckers's office

  • Conchfritters||

    It's no wonder so many of those fucking wankers end up moving to the US

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    I hope they go after Prince Philip, the filthy hun.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    Greek, you imbecile.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    I did not know. My ignorance was appalling.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

  • Don't look at me!||

    Oh , those poor frightened bastards.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Turning home invaders into closed-casket cases is a public service.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Video shows woman firing several shots at home intruders

    Check out this tiny Asian lady shoots at burglars in Georgia.

    She killed one who died in the driveway.

    Firearms...the great equalizer. Little lady can fight off 3 young men.

  • Juice||

    I keep seeing people spreading this headline around and I don't get it. They're not expressing sympathy for the home invaders. Is that what you think they're doing?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    3 home invasion suspects killed, 2 wounded after Houston resident opens fire

    They're calling the home invading criminals "victims" so you be the judge.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Anti-Wall Beto O'Rourke Uses Fences, Barricades at El Paso Rally

    Ronald Reagan: Mr. O'Rourke tear down this wall!

  • Libertymike||

    I don't think the Gipper gives a shit to be honest with you.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    No wonder there weren't as many people there as the Trump rally--those walls killed everyone who showed up!

  • Ray McKigney||

    And I'm sure those fences and barricades accomplished absolutely nothing.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Sherrod Brown is expected to announce his bid for president soon, joining Amy Klobuchar and perhaps Joe Biden in what Slate describes as the Democratic primary's "center lane."

    Center lane? The way the party's ideology is skewed now, that's still an on-ramp to Venezuela Highway.

  • Drave Robber||

    They've come to a fork in the road and are trying to take it.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

  • Don't look at me!||

    Ya think?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    A FUCKING COUP ON UNITED STATES SOIL!!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If the only the media would hound those Deep State bureaucrats until they left their jobs.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    More bad economic news. The Drumpf economy is so bad by so many important metrics that we might be looking at another Great Depression.

    A Record 7 Million Americans Are 90 Days Behind on Their Auto Loan Payments

    If Clinton hadn't been cheated out of the Presidency, she would have continued the amazing Obama economy. In that case probably fewer than 700,000 people would be 90 days behind. Instead we have ten times that number.

    #DrumpfRecession
    #UnbanPalinsButtplug

  • Libertymike||

    Has PB been banned?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Yes.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Tragically it seems that way. See this topic which has several people replying to (Sarah) Palin's Buttplug comments that have been deleted.

    Until Reason reverses this mistake, the best we can do is welcome our new commenter moneyshot. His / her / their posts are intentionally designed to capture the Buttplug spirit — economic news, Stormy Daniels references, etc.

    #MoneyshotIsTheNewPalinsButtplug

  • Earth Skeptic||

    OMG! Where will those poor people sleep?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    U.S. Congress advances border security bill

    The House Appropriations Committee said the bill would set a path for reducing immigrant detention beds to about 40,520 by the end of the fiscal year, down from a current count of approximately 49,060.

    Under the bill, the government could hire 75 new immigrant judge teams to help reduce a huge backlog in cases and hundreds of additional border patrol agents.

    With the 2020 decennial census nearing, the bill provides a $1 billion increase for the nationwide count. Also, federal workers, battered by the record 35-day partial government shutdown that began on Dec. 22 as Trump held out for wall funding, would get a 1.9 percent pay increase if the bill becomes law.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    1.9% raises AND back pay for those that didn't work during those 35 days?

    Sounds like government employment to me.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It seems a little premature to say that President Donald Trump has "gutted" the forces meant to address election security and foreign influence in U.S. politics.

    Voter ID's and border security?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Musician Ryan Adams is accused of a range of bad behavior in detailed accounts from multiple women, including actress (and his former wife) Mandy Moore, musician Phoebe Bridgers, and a bass player who was 15 when Adams (then in his late thirties) started sexting with her.

    Serves him right for daring covering Tay-Tay's 1989. What a piece of garbage.

  • Libertymike||

    Yeah, but what about shriek? Has his alter ego, Palins Buttplug, been banned? OBL claims this is the case.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Yes, he was banned.

  • Libertymike||

    Why?

    Who manned the barricades in his defense?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Why?

    He posted sort of an online tutorial about how to access child pornography.

    Who manned the barricades in his defense?

    lol he's a leftie so no one.

  • John||

    He posted sort of an online tutorial about how to access child pornography.

    No shit? I always knew there was something deeply wrong with him but even I am surprised by that. What a fucking wierdo.

  • Libertymike||

    Well, then one can hardly blame Reason for banning him.

  • Libertymike||

    Thanks, Crusty.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    McCabe says he quickly opened FBI investigation of Trump for fear of being fired

    "I was speaking to the man who had just run for the presidency, and won the election for the presidency, and who might have done so with the aid of the government of Russia, our most formidable adversary on the world stage, and that was something that troubled me greatly," McCabe said, recalling his first meeting with Trump.

    The Deep State ladies and gentlemen.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    our most formidable adversary on the world stage

    Funny how this changed in the span of four short years.

  • John||

    If you take these people at their word, and granted that is a big leap of faith that they are not lying, they wanted to remove Trump from office because he wasn't sufficiently warlike towards Russia. Basically, the law enforcement and national security aparatus of this country decided that it had a right to remove a lawfully elected President from office because they didn't agree with his policies and specifically objected to his efforts to improve relations with a hostile power.

    You would think that reason, a magazine that prides itself on objecting to US interventions and wars, would be pretty upset about that instead of either saying nothing or when they do say something carrying water for the national security establishment. Reason has hit a new low over this.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Coups are not part of the buttsex, 'Mesicans, and drugs for fun agenda.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    How the tragic friendly fire death of NYPD detective Brian Simonsen unfolded

    Still holding his gun high and dry-firing it, Ransom emerged from the store to find himself in the middle of two waves of blue, with a group of cops including Gorman to his right, and Simonsen among a squad to his left, sources said.

    "He's coming out of the store and they're down the block to the right and left," said NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan at a Wednesday briefing. "You're investigating a possible crime and all of a sudden somebody's pointing what is ­believed to be a firearm at you."

    Seven officers opened fire, squeezing off a total of 42 rounds.

    Gorman fired 11 times. Simonsen shot twice.

    What color is the boathouse at Hereford?

  • Conchfritters||

    So basically a circular firing squad? And they want to pin that on the robber?

  • ||

    You can train a 5 year old child to delay gratification, but you can't train a grow-ass cop not to pull the trigger when he doesn't have a clear line of fire.

    2 cops shot, 1 cop dead and the suspect with the toy gun lived, struck by 8 of the 42 rounds fired. Only 19% of shots fired hit the target. Not sure what is worse, their aim or their situational awareness.

    Serious question: would this trigger a court-martial if a similar situation happened in a military unit?

  • ||

    Cops are trained continually in firearm safety and situational awareness. How can anyone take them seriously as "professionals" when they are this bad at the shit for which they are supposed to be the experts.

    I have heard the police are the only professional association where the members have an average IQ lower than that of the general populace (i.e.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The House just passed a resolution saying Washington must withdraw support for Saudi aggression in Yemen, a measure similar to one that passed the Senate in December.

    The Democrats have for years downplayed Black on Black violence in the USA.

    Now Muslim on Muslim violence?

    Congress doesn't want Trump to remove troops/support from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan but Yemen...yes.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So it only makes sense that after a couple years, the government may be winding down their efforts.

    A government agency voluntarily closing?

    Why characterize this as some sort of shady maneuvering?

    I think you know why.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    One of FBI's Most Wanted gunned down by agents in hotel room

    Agents tracked Greg Alyn Carlson — who was accused of multiple violent sex crimes in Los Angeles — to a hotel in Apex, North Carolina.

    When officials entered his room at the Woodspring Suites, a struggle over a gun broke out and Carlson was shot and killed.
  • Libertymike||

    He died on top of the world.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Better than prison.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    #Rosesareredvioletsareblue, if your marriage is a sham we'll be on to you: http://t.co/DKP2l37D #happyvalentinesday
    — Home Office (@ukhomeoffice) February 14, 2013

    On the other hand, it did take them six years to get this tweet out.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...and a bass player who was 15 when Adams (then in his late thirties) started sexting with her.

    It ain't the summer of '69 anymore, Ryan.

    (Meh, name's close enough.)

  • John||

    There is absoluttely no reason to ever have any election that doesn't have paper ballots. You can't hack paper. And paper ballots can be kept and used as evidence of a fair election. Electronic ballots will be the death of democracy if we are not careful. It doesn't matter how secure they are because there will always be some doubt in the public's mind that they are not. And if the public percieves an election to be fixed, it might as well have been fixed because its the same effect either way.

  • Libertymike||

    John, has PB been banned? Did I miss that? Upthread, OBL's hashtag suggests that is the case.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Yes, he was banned.

  • John||

    He was. I didn't see it or hear about it until later. I have no idea why or what happened.

  • Conchfritters||

    You forget hanging chads. Leave it to Florida to find a way to even fuck up paper ballots.

  • Juice||

    You can't hack paper.

    Are you saying that paper ballots can't be replaced by forged ones?

  • Earth Skeptic||

    So the only hack-proof voting method will require us to all gather at the same time, and then stand on opposite sides of the room/stadium/continent.

    Come to think of it...

  • Crusty Juggler||

  • Mongo||

    A fly walks into a bar and sez: "Water for my horse and piss for me."

    The bartender AÖC replies: "You're not here to eat my ass, mamabicho?"

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Mandy Moore, musician Phoebe Bridgers, and a bass player who was 15 when Adams (then in his late thirties) started sexting with her."

    Women generally tell anybody and everybody who will listen everything that's going on in their lives, and the chances of a 15 year old girl not telling anybody that you're sexting with her start at zero percent and would only get worse over time if they could.

    In areas where the police tolerate whorehouses (and they're illegal), it's usually because the police like to talk to the prostitutes. The prostitutes will tell the police everything they've seen and heard. Guys seem to imagine that the women in their lives can be trusted--so it's okay to unload their burdens.

    You might trust your mom not to tell everybody everything she knows about you. On the other hand, if you heard all the thing she tells her friends about you, you'd probably be embarrassed as hell. When women say they're good at keeping secrets, it often means they're good at hearing secrets.

    There isn't an affair that happens in the office that no one knows about. All your wife, girlfriend, or significant other's friends know all about what you like to do and the size of your johnson. Being disappointed in a woman for telling everybody everything they know is like being disappointed in a bird for flying around and singing.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Everyone is looking for the holy grail: a hooker with a heart of gold.

    It doesn't exist. It doesn't exist. It doesn't exist.

  • Dillinger||

    Shelly Long? Love Brokers!

  • Crusty Juggler||

    If only there was some sort of proof...

  • Cathy L||

    Jesus you're an idiot.

  • $park¥ is the Worst||

    Wimmin! Amirite?

  • John||

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/a.....sgrace.php

    Ilhan Omar appears to be barely literate. Wow.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    These are the people Shika and chemjeff think the country needs more of.

  • John||

    But there is some Somalie Muslim somewhere who is a great guy. And that totally makes it okay.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I blame Jane Fonda Syndrome.

    Opposing the Vietnam War can be done on rational grounds, but that's not enough for some people. For some people, you gotta vouch for good treatment of American POWs who are being tortured.

    This isn't as bad, but it's the same principle--making the case for immigration doesn't mean it's necessary to defend the indefensible. Fonda would have gained more credibility by honestly denouncing the mistreatment of American POWs and just oppose the war on other grounds.

    Shika and company have no good reason to defend that particular hill. Being honest enough to denounce your own side when they get out of line is the key to credibility.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If more open border people just argued that position by itself without hyperbole, like you do Ken, there might actually be more compromise on the issue.

    Instead, we secure border types are gonna clean house and get every point that we want because the Lefties have taken advantage of our good nature. No more major concessions since that is what happened in the 1980s.

  • Mongo||

    Al Shaba'ab issued a statement: "What kind of country of dogs allow woman to argue with powerful male? Allah surely has cursed the Land of Infidels."

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Why does her plaque say "Ms. Omar" when she is married?

    Shouldn't it say "Mrs." or السيدة

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    "...Abrams is a leading advocate of human rights and democracy–not a promoter of genocide."

    Well, maybe not genocide, but death squads do tend to show up wherever Abrams is "advocating". Elliot has more blood on his hands than the average neocon, but only because he's been at it so long. I'm not defending the congress critter, just pointing out that Abrams is, in fact, a pos.

  • $park¥ is the Worst||

    It's even more strange to frame this as some sort of Trumpian cover-up.

    If by strange you mean expected.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Not feeling the love? Blame Trump, racism and war says self-described sex doc

    "It has had a big impact. For some people Trump's campaign and presidency has created a type of PTSD — what I call 'Post-Trump Sex Disorder'," she said during an interview with Salon, a liberal publication.

    "Trump has created feelings of fear, loathing, and nausea," she added. "People just don't want to have sex. This would mainly be seen with women who are just appalled at how creepy Trump is. He takes what is often a positive male attributes of confidence and pushes it way over the line into a rape-like and rape-entitled kind of arrogance."

    lol cucks

  • John||

    If someone is so neurotic that they allow whoever is President to make them so upset they can't have sex where they really someone worth having sex with in the first place? I am going to say no.

  • ||

    I can't believe no one has posted this about the wall yet:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PErUiAyVoGc

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    The walls are closing in on the Drumpf regime. This is the beginning of the end.

    To be clear, the Senate intelligence committee has not found evidence exonerating Trump, either.

    No. Exonerating. Evidence. Which is another way of saying he's clearly guilty of colluding with Russia to win a hacked election.

    #TrumpRussia
    #ItsMuellerTime

  • John||

    We found no evidence that you didn't commit that crime that isn't even a crime. Devistating stuff.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Just wait until Mueller submits his final report. I still predict he'll remove Putin's Puppet from office by the end of this year.

  • Dillinger||

    and don't lie about what didn't happen either, Paul

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Even more bad economic news.

    These Are the Signs a U.S. Recession May Be Coming

    Paul Krugman predicted all this the very same night Drumpf stole the election. And the guy didn't win a Nobel Prize by being clueless about economics.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Still more bad economic news!

    U.S. Retail Sales Unexpectedly Fall the Most in Nine Years

    This is terrible, but not surprising. How are people supposed to buy things when everybody is working two jobs just to afford food?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    GOP senators Rick Scott, Mike Braun introduce bill to end congressional pensions

    Currently, pensions are calculated by averaging a member's three highest paying salaries, their years in office, and the set accrual rate.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Oh by the way, anyone who would trust Bezo the Bozo to actually keep his word about anything is a fuckin' idiot. Serves those silly New Yorkers right. He's about as big a comically lying sack of shit as anyone you'll ever see.

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