Putin must be loving this:  “The Birth of a Militia.”   One more reason he was happy to support the NRA.  Arm angry Americans with assault weapons; stoke their anger with fake tweets; sit back and enjoy the show.

Brian Schwartz: “Why is it that the Guardian does such a great job of exposing this and it appears nowhere in the USA so far?”

. . . Operating largely in secret, Bortac agents are trained for Swat-style raids on organized gangs smuggling immigrants or drugs across the US border. They have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jenn Budd spent six years working as a senior border patrol agent until 2001 when she blew the whistle on a station chief who was himself smuggling drugs. She was offered promotion in exchange for her silence on the subject, but resigned in disgust.

In Budd’s experience, Bortac agents are among “the most violent and racist in all law enforcement”.

The quasi-military nature of the unit goes beyond their training, percolating into their state of mind. “They don’t exist within the realm of civilian law enforcement,” Budd said. “They view people they encounter in the military sense as enemy combatants, meaning they have virtually no rights.”

“They don’t do normal vehicle stops. They will rip drivers from their seat, throw him against the side, put him in handcuffs – the same tactics you are now seeing Bortac agents use in Portland.”

Under the rules of the border patrol they are allowed to operate within 100 miles of any US border, including those with Mexico and Canada as well as both coasts. As a result, their writ covers almost two-thirds of the population of the country – some 200 million people – and embraces nine of the nation’s 10 largest cities, many of which Trump is now targeting. . .

If you have time, read the whole story.  We really have to win in November and begin healing the divide.

As a thought experiment only, not advocating a second trial, Fred Hiatt updates the things Trump could plausibly be impeached for — each far more nationally significant than lying to conceal an affair.

Sorry.  It’s just irresistible.

Finally, it may be time to rethink your 401(k) contributions.  The author makes a strong case that the advantages have disappeared for median-income taxpayers.

There’s much to be said for having cash automatically sucked out of your paycheck so you’re not tempted to spend it on $2,000 of kite-surfing equipment you wind up never using once you find out how difficult kite-surfing truly is.  But you may be able to set up an automatic transfer from your paycheck to a Vanguard or Fidelity Roth IRA, avoiding the 401(k) fees.

Of course, if your employer matches your contribution, keep contributing it up to the amount of the match.  It’s hard to beat free money.

But see if your employer will direct the match to your Roth IRA instead, as some will.  Better still.



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