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Trump Just Made It Easier to Tell Federal Workers ‘You’re Fired’ – Won’t Say if ‘Deep State’ Conspiracies Involved



President Donald Trump just made it easier to fire federal government workers.

Via a set of executive orders Trump will sign, workers who receive a poor performance review will have just 30 days – down dramatically from 120 – to improve, as Talking Points Memo reports. TPM adds the new executive orders will also:

  • Encourage federal agencies to terminate poor performers rather than suspending them.
  • Direct federal agencies to renegotiate their union contracts, and make those contracts  publicly available online “so American people can see them.”
  • Encouraging agencies to conclude labor negotiations in less than a year.
  • Severely restrict the use of federal worker unions’ “official time” — which elected shop stewards currently use to mediate workplace grievances. Going forward, federal workers can spend no more that 25 percent of their time on union or other non-agency business.
  • Charge unions rent for the use of federal office space for that “official time” work.

Meanwhile, the White House isn’t responding to questions asking if the move aligns with his “deep state” conspiracy theories, according to Buzzfeed.

“Senior administration officials did not give an explicit answer either way when asked if they believed in the so-called ‘deep state.’ Instead, officials said on a Friday conference call with reporters that the new actions were about ‘efficient use of government resources.'”

The head of the nation’s largest union that represents civilian, non-postal employees disagrees.

Calling the move “democracy busting,” American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox Sr. said: “Our government is built on a system of checks and balances to prevent any one person from having too much influence.”

Cox says, “President Trump’s executive orders will undo all of that. This administration seems hellbent on replacing a civil service that works for all taxpayers with a political service that serves at its whim.”

Trump has a history of tweeting about the so-called “deep state.”


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QAnon Cultists Pledge Loyalty to Matt Gaetz Despite Learning of His Underage Sex Trafficking Probe



Some backers of the QAnon conspiracy theory are proudly sticking with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) even after learning he’s facing a sex trafficking investigation involving a 17-year-old girl.

Twitter account @pinealdecalcify, which follows QAnon Telegram channels, has found that many Q devotees believe that Gaetz is being set up by the feds as a way to cover up for Democrats’ purported global sex trafficking ring.

“The SMEARING of MAGA patriots has no end!” declared one QAnon devotee.

“Not surprising for the deep state FBI,” wrote another. “Hang in there Matt.”

Many Q believers also raised suspicions about the fact that Gaetz is being investigated for potentially dating a 17-year-old girl — the number 17 has specific relevance to QAnon supporters, as Q is the 17th letter in the alphabet.

“The ’17’ is a dead giveaway on BS!” wrote one Q fan.

QAnon fans’ defense of Gaetz is particularly ironic because the entire point of the conspiracy theory is to uncover a global underage sex trafficking ring supposedly being run by the leaders of the Democratic Party.

Check out some more messages from QAnon devotees defending Gaetz below.


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Donald Trump’s ‘Eyes and Ears’ at DOJ Was Just Barred From the Building: Report



The Associated Press reported Thursday that President Donald Trump’s eyes and ears at the Justice Department was barred from entering the building.

The report revealed that Heidi Stirrup, “an ally of top Trump adviser Stephen Miller,” was pressuring Justice Department staff to hand over sensitive documents and information about alleged “election fraud” and other issues that are important to Trump.

Attorney General Bill Barr told the AP on Tuesday that there was no widespread election fraud or voter fraud, as Trump has claimed for the past several weeks since losing the 2020 election. Trump alleged that Barr “hasn’t looked very hard.”

Stirrup was put into the DOJ as a kind of go-between to hand information to the White House.

“She was told within the last two weeks to vacate the building after top Justice officials learned of her efforts to collect insider information about ongoing cases and the department’s work on election fraud,” the Associated Press reported, citing sources.

Less than 20 minutes later, Trump appointed the aide to the Board of Visitors to the US Air Force Academy.


Image: Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian via Flickr 

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Federal Agencies Tapped Phones of Portland’s Racial Justice Protestors to Prove They’re Terrorists



Two current officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have confirmed that the DHS and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) teamed up with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) during this summer’s racial justice protests in Portland, Oregon for a covert operation focused on “extracting information from protester’s phones.”

The officials told The Nation that a DHS colleague with expertise in electronic surveillance was sent to Portland as part of “an interagency task force” using a classified cell phone cloning attack to “intercept protesters’ phone communications.”

“Cell phone cloning involves stealing a phone’s unique identifiers and copying them to another device in order to intercept the communications received by the original device,” The Nation explains. It’s a tactic conducted to better understand your target, their network and their planning. The DEA is believed to have had a “special key” to help carry out the surveillance.

While it’s unclear who specifically was targeted by the surveillance, “They were abusing people’s rights,” one official said. The DHS hasn’t responded to congressional calls to explain the program either.

The officials quoted in The Nation’s article say that colleagues from the DHS were asked to “volunteer” to participate in the program, something departments do to conduct operations outside of the department’s official and legal capacity.

The overall goal, the officials state, was to substantiate thin claims by Attorney General William Barr that Antifa (anti-fascist) activists are receiving foreign sponsorship, something that is a necessary criterion to formally designate the group as a terrorist organization, something Trump vowed to do as recently as yesterday.

Considering that the U.S. has a long history of surveilling, harassing and possibly even killing racial justice activists since before the Civil Rights era, this newest program is hardly surprising, albeit still frightening.

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