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Archive for February, 2017

Marijuana Advocates Worried Trump Administration Will Crack Down on Legal Pot

Photo by Steve Neavling.

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Marijuana advocates are bracing for what could be a harsh crackdown on pot in states where it’s legal for recreational and medicinal use.

The biggest concern is Trump’s choice for attorney general, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who 10 months ago in a Senate hearing room said “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

Eight states have legalized recreational use of marijuana.

Under Obama’s administration, the federal policy was to let states set their own laws.

“There are people in this administration who will crush this industry if they see the opportunity,” Steve DeAngelo, a guru among pot entrepreneurs, told the Los Angeles Times. “I don’t think people who don’t have firsthand experience with the irrationality of federal intervention understand what a threat we are facing.”  

Border Patrol Agents Say Trump Has Boosted Morale

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Among the biggest supporters of Donald Trump during the presidential election were Border Patrol agents because of the Republicans pledges to crack down on illegal immigration.

Agents have long complained that the border is too porous and doesn’t have enough federal protection.

Now agents are hoping President Trump will change that.

“When Trump was elected, there was an increase in optimism among the agents, but nothing like what we’ve seen in the past few days,” Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, told Fox News

Trump has already pledged to hire 5,000 more federal agents, build a wall and suspend “catch and release.”

Agents said morale had plummeted under President Obama, but hopes are now high.

12,000+ Tweets about Assassinating Trump Create Challenge for Secret Service

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Since Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day, more than 12,000 people have tweeted “assassinate Trump,” causing a headache for the Secret Service.

Some of the tweets are jokes or hyperbolic, but some are serious, Mashable reports. 

But it’s unclear how serious the Secret Service is taking the tweets.

There are reports of agents arriving at the homes of social media users, including a Kentucky woman who tweeted, “If someone was cruel enough to assassinate MLK, maybe someone will be kind enough to assassinate Trump.” 

An Ohio man was charged with making threats to Trump following several tweets about killing the Republican on election night. 

“It’s the people who have a true and genuine intent to do harm that the Secret Service is worried about,” said former U.S. Secret Service special agent Tim Franklin, who is now a criminology and criminal justice professor.

President Trump’s Federal Hiring Freeze Could Hurt TSA

Airport crowdBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump has pledged to make airports and planes safer, but his federal hiring freeze could impact TSA’s ability to adequately staff airport security lines.

“It’s our understanding that there is a hiring freeze for TSA and other departments inside of Homeland Security,” J. David Cox, the national president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), said at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Thursday, The Hill reports. 

Trump signed an order last week freezing the hiring of federal employees, except for military personnel.

“I think some type of correspondence should go out to the administration in terms of maybe looking at that freeze in this area,” said Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) “Making sure that the traveling public is safe should not be something that’s curtailed. I really think that’s something that needs to be addressed.”

Cox said the TSA has lots a lot of security officers.

The TSA still has “5,000 less transportation security officers today than… several years ago,” Cox said. “So we have less people doing more screening. That 5,000 that’s been lost needs to be returned.”

CIA’s New Deputy Director Is First Female Spy to Hold Position

CIA headquarters

CIA headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The CIA has its first career female officer serving as deputy director.

The White House appointed Gina Haspel, a 31-year veteran of the agency who will served under CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Retired intelligence chiefs applauded the appointment, the Miami Herald reports.

Michael Hayden, a former Air Force general who headed the agency from 2006 until 2009, said Haspel is “a wonderful choice” who knows how to maneuver the “sometimes opaque corridors of American espionage.”

Morale has plummeted at the CIA since the presidential election, when Donald Trump began slamming intelligence agencies. 

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Received Multiple Warnings about Man Who Killed Transit Official

Suspect Joshua Cummings

Suspect Joshua Cummings

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man accused of shooting and killing an armed transit security official in downtown Denver late Tuesday night was on the federal terrorism watch list and kicked out of a mosque in Texas.

Local law enforcement warned federal authorities, including the FBI, that Cummings was in Colorado and staying at a hotel, CBS4 reports. 

Cummings, 37, was arrested Tuesday night after authorities say he shot and killed Scott Von Lanken, a 56-year-old Regional Transportation District security guard.

About a month ago, local police alerted the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in Colorado to Cummings’ presence.

It’s unclear whether federal authorities did anything with the information.

San Francisco Police Pull Out of FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force

ca_-_san_francisco_policeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

San Francisco police are pulling out of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force as the city continues to distance itself from the Trump administration.

Civil liberty leaders have long criticized the collaboration with the FBI because the task force authorized police to gather intelligence on people engaging in protests and religious services, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. 

Police suggested they stopped participating in the task force because the memorandum of understanding was set to expire.

“We are committed to community policing,” Deputy Chief Michael Redmond said at Wednesday’s Police Commission meeting. “We want to work collaboratively with the stakeholders when the work begins on the general orders.”

Chicago Mayor to Trump: ‘Send More FBI, DEA, ATF Agents’

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears to be taking President Trump up on his offer to send in federal help to quell violence in the Windy City.

“Send more FBI, DEA, ATF agents. We don’t have to talk about it anymore. Just send them,” the mayor said Wednesday.

The mayor advocated more federal prosecutions for gun crimes and additional federal agents to help police fight gangs and gun violence.

“Invest in law enforcement with our Police Department,” Emanuel said. “Every major city has to do more. Move more FBI, DEA, ATF. They do a great job. Use the ability to prosecute gun crimes at the federal level, and maximize that potential.”

The mayor said he has already talked about the need for more federal resources with the president, vice president and the president’s chief of staff.

“In that sense, they are aware of what our requests are, and we will look forward to working with them on that,” he said. “Supporting our police officers, supporting our kids, investing in our neighborhoods and communities are key.”