Nel's New Day

July 8, 2020

No Masks Called ‘Love and Compassion’

Filed under: Religion — trp2011 @ 10:50 PM
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On May 22, Oregon’s Union County, population 27,000, had only six COVID-19 infections when Island City’s Lighthouse Pentecostal Church decided to permit large gatherings. Within days, the number of cases in the county skyrocketed, now 349 cases with two-thirds connected to the church. On one day alone, the county’s infections comprised 47 percent of the day’s statistics for all of Oregon, a state with over four million people. For months, churches have sued to open, and Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) pandered to his evangelical base by opening churches as “essential workplaces.”

Infection and deaths from church events are common in the U.S.  A Texas pastor told congregants to hug each other, infecting 50 people. A Florida teenage girl died after her church’s youth party. Thus far, three members of Graystone Baptist Church in Ronceverte (WV) have died; 51 infections are connected to attending its mask-optional services.

In early May, a Southern Christian wrote her relative, my friend, who gave me permission to reprint it:

“This is my belief—choosing to not wear a mask and not hunker down shows great compassion.  It shows great love.

“I deeply care about people and I try to be compassionate about their struggles.  Everyone has a story.  Everyone has a reason for what they choose to do.  It is out of my love for others and my concern for continued health that I do not wear a mask (nor gloves) and I do not hunker down.  Now, I am not a doctor; I am not a government official.  I am just a healthy person who loves science, loves to live healthy, and chooses to educate myself regularly on how to best care for myself and my family. And, this is what I firmly believe – Healthy people must be exposed to this virus for the sake of those who cannot be exposed.  This allows the general public to build an immunity to it so that the transmission spread slows.  This is the natural course that takes place with a virus among people groups. 

“But good news, friends!!!  Our bodies were designed in a very special way.  When working efficiently and completely, our immune response starts within the airways.  In breathing.  Many believe that blocking the airways with a mask will filter the pathogens around them.  Sometimes, certain masks can be useful – but for limited amounts of time.  Inhalation of fresh oxygenated air and deep exhalation is part of our immune response in the human body.  I cannot exhale out toxins/pathogens as efficiently if my airways are partially blocked.  Our filtering mucous membranes in conjunction with deep cleansing breaths is the body’s first response!  Therefore, I have not worn a mask and will not wear a mask.

“Then there is the idea of Social distancing and hunkering down at home in a Lysol-sanitary environment.  During a short time out of concern for overloading the hospitals—that is a valid thought, but certainly not the answer for extended periods of time.  One real important reason is that the human body NEEDS to be exposed to many strains of bacteria and viruses on a regular basis in small amounts to keep the gut flora functioning in a healthy way and at peak efficiency.  True Health begins in the gut.  Our gut health is vital in fighting off pathogens.  A great resource in cooking gut-healthy dishes is Sally Fallon’s book – Nourishing Traditions.  It is full of the science behind foods and much more than a cookbook.  More great info about gut health can be found on the Weston Price Foundation webpage.

“Another reason hunkering down isn’t a good solution, is that there is GREAT importance in our mental and emotional and spiritual health.  The body is NOT just physical.  We were designed to thrive in community with one another.  We desire and need touch, conversations, smiles, hugs, warmth of friendship, interaction, and for Christians—assembly for worship.  So, make decisions that build the entire health of your household.  And think about the BIG picture.  Think about next week’s mental & emotional health being impacted by the decisions you make today.  Therefore, I will not hunker down.

“Then there is the whole vaccine issue.  I do not believe a vaccine given to the public for this virus is the answer.  This is a huge debate in our nation.  My belief is that through the vaccine that I’m sure will eventually be offered to the public, we will see quicker mutations within the virus that will later cause us to continuously need more strains of the mutated virus in the vaccine for this super-bug later.  Many people also have valid concerns about the effects of vaccines and how some of the ingredients in them are too toxic for their body to handle, compromising their body’s natural ability to fight off viruses and infections.  There are a growing number of people around the world who have seen negative effects of vaccines in themselves, their children, or others they love and cannot and will not take a vaccine.  There are many videos and books out there to educated yourselves in this area.  A great resource to check out would be “The Truth About Vaccines”.  So for the same reason I do not take a flu vaccine -ever, and I also will not take a covid vaccine.

“So, how does choosing to not wear a mask and not wear gloves and not hunker down show great compassion and great love?  Because those of us choosing to let our bodies be exposed gradually, and continuing to work and travel and shop and live in a pretty normal way—are building immunity for “those who cannot” and are keeping the economy going for “those who cannot.” 

“One day “those who cannot” will leave their homes… what will they find?  Will they find that from hunkering down, most of the population has weaker immune systems unable to handle ANY virus much less the current one, therefore overloaded hospitals?  Will they find that from everyone hunkering down, no one has built immunity?  Will they find that instead of viewing the person across from them at the store as a person, they view them as a hazard—a germ—a thing to avoid?  Will they find a ruined economy where we are all now dependent on government handouts for food and bills and healthcare?  Will they find a super-bug from vaccine intervention, more dangerous than before?  Will they find forced vaccines and forced testing and forced decisions made by our government?  Will they find a nation no longer free to make their own decisions for their health or their children’s health?

“My final thoughts.  First, DO NOT FEAR.  As a Christian, God tells me do not fear.  None of what is happening is a surprise to Him.  But our actions in the midst of crisis determines so much about our future.  God is not the author of fear.  Fear causes division, irrational thinking, malice, suspicion, and selfish behavior.  None of that will make you healthier.  Please do your own research – homework – prayer – thinking.  Do not let a doctor, a government official, a co-worker, or a friend on Facebook (like me) determine what is best for you and your family.  This is the perfect time to be thinking about your family’s health. Is your body breathing, consuming, and drinking things that promote good health?  Do homework on what builds the immune system, the respiratory system, and the other systems in your body.  But more important than anything else… we need to be asking ourselves what does our spiritual health look like?  I’ll always remember the analogy that Francis Chan used with a rope.  One small RED DOT on the rope showed our LIFE in comparison with the very very long and unending rope which represented all of ETERNITY.  Our Dot affects our Eternity.  This life is but a vapor.  James 4:13-15 reads, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business, and make a profit.” You do not even know what will happen tomorrow! What is your life? “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that.”   And, Psalm 144:4 says, “Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.”

“I know my story is not your story.  My little red dot looks different than yours.  But the next time you see someone out at the store who is not wearing a mask or gloves on, shopping for nonessential items with their 6 unmasked children in tow behind them, just remember that they may be doing you a great service in their actions. They may also be doing it out of love and compassion for you and everyone else in the community.

“In my little red dot… in my vapor of a life, I will show love and compassion and courage.  And, I will do this by not wearing a mask and by not hunkering down.”

Even with attempts to stop COVID-19 infections and deaths, the United States has racked up the largest number in the world. The virus infection of 3,158,932 in the U.S. is over one-fourth of the world’s cases, as is the U.S. number of deaths—134,862. The number of new cases in the U.S. hit 61,848 in the last 24 hours—three times as many as when the person wrote the “love and compassion” piece. Two months ago when the above commentary was written, the U.S. had 1,376,638 infections and 80,787 deaths. The person is hosting a family reunion; masks and social distancing are unnecessary.

July 6, 2020

PAIR – Put America in Reverse

Once upon a time, Fourth of July celebrations were redolent of picnics; people got together with friends and waited for dark for local fireworks. This year was very different and not only because of the COVID-19 threat. In the new normal, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) gave racist, divisive speeches to bolster his small base of voters who want to keep the revisionist history of a white nation where not even the Indigenous people belong. Anyone who disagrees belongs to the “angry mob” who wants to “trample on our freedoms.”

In the past week, DDT has lied about his ignoring the Russians’ paying Talibans to kill U.S. troops while he now accuses protesters for social justice of being “un-American.” This came after he called on military police to attack lawful peaceful protesters although he has no objection to people dying of COVID-19. His biggest fight at this time, however, is to protect the myth of the Confederate “lost cause” and keep school children from being “brainwashed” by teachers of history.

Frida Ghitis wrote that DDT has dropped his “MAGA” motto for “Hate One Another,” a strategy going back the 1960s. The appeal to white supremacists continued today when he attacked Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s only full-time Black driver, who said a noose-like rope hanging in his garage looked like a noose. DDT also had a meltdown over the organization’s banning of the Confederate flag. Even DDT’s lapdog Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) broke ranks with DDT when he said, “The Confederate flag is not a good way to grow your business.”

Ten military bases named for Confederate leaders honor people who fought to keep slavery and declared war on the United States. By supporting these leaders, the man who has the position of President of the United States opposes its own citizens to protect people who committed treason. Three-fourths of the people in the U.S. agree racism and discrimination are a “big problem” in the nation, and DDT’s appointed military Joint Chiefs of Staff want to ban Confederate flags on all military bases.

DDT cares only about getting reelected, and his new strategy is to ignore anything making him uncomfortable—just call them hoaxes. No Russian bounties on the heads of U.S. soldiers. No deaths from coronavirus. New White House messaging will tell people to accept all the illnesses and the deaths from COVID-19. Meanwhile he appears to be the second president of the Confederacy.

But DDT supports his supporters who fight for the “lost cause” of the Confederacy and oppose the other three-fourths of people he promised to protect. Mark Sumner’s take

“Confederate statues are killing people right now. You don’t need me to tell you this—just ask any Black American. People are still suffering from the attacks of the ‘brilliant’ Jackson. They are still being crushed by the ‘gallant’ Lee. The Lost Cause is in everything from the low wages at the nearest coffee shop, to the excess of Black people dying from COVID-19. This is not an argument about remembering something that happened in the 19th century, or even the 20th. This is about defining who we are now.

“The Southern cause is, and was, only ever about slavery. And slavery was only ever about greed. Even white supremacy is just a sideshow to that cause—a salve to excuse raw cruelty, abuse, and inhumanity toward fellow humans. Slavery didn’t happen because white men thought themselves superior. It happened because slavery was profitable. The myth of white supremacy was always there, always an excuse to repress and reject; to steal the effort and ideas of people of color. The convenience of that myth was that it justified the worst horrors and enabled the most profit. And after the war, the Southern cause became just … the cause. America’s cause. Because white Americans decided it was easier to compromise with slavery than eradicate it. Easier, and far more profitable.

“The connection between Donald Trump’s defense of 150-year-old traitors and the police murder of George Floyd isn’t a one-way street. It’s a gyre, one that spins around the settlement America made once it had ticked the moral high ground box by ‘defeating slavery.’ That settlement came in the form of a permanent Black underclass; in an agreement that gave every white person a small share of the advantage slave-owning southerners enjoyed during antebellum.

“Before the war, one Southern family in three owned slaves. The other two accepted that, and fought for that, because they wanted to own slaves. Owning slaves wasn’t just a symbol of wealth; it was an engine of wealth. It was wealth. People who lived alongside slave owners accepted and aspired to slave ownership the same way that people admire billionaires today. We forgive them whatever ludicrously unfair breaks government provides, we ignore their odious behavior, we accept their mistreatment of workers and callous disregard for those without a ten-figure stock portfolio. We accept them, because we want to be them.

“The idea that many of the memorialized Confederates did not actually support slavery is, and always has been, unpolished bullshit. The two hundred slaves owned by Robert E. Lee were a major corporation that swept great riches into Lee’s pocket. Lee never for a moment made any calculation other than the best way to protect that engine of wealth. The whole idea that Lee, or Longstreet, or other Southern generals sat around bemoaning the idea that they should have surrendered slavery to preserve the purity of “the cause” is pure revisionism. It’s not just putting words in their mouths; it’s placing completely alien thoughts in their heads. The cause was slavery. The open, stated, straightforward cause was conversion of human misery into profit. The Southern states wrote this proudly into their articles of succession. Spoke it loudly in their organizing speeches. Every other “cause” was a post-facto fabrication. ‘

“Stately, soft-talking, “Marse Robert’ Lee, portrayed in endless films and books, professing his love for his state, is also a man who regularly ordered the dispensation of 50 lashes to one of  the prisoners in his cruelty engine ‘for the education of the race.’ He loved Black people so much, he was willing to torture them until they were quiet cogs in his factory. Marse, Lee’s oft-used nickname, is a slang version of master.

“It’s not that ‘kindly master’ propaganda wasn’t in evidence decades before the war. There was. Uncle Tom’s Cabin had not been out a year before the market was flooded with rapid-response replies like Aunt Phillis’s Cabin, populated by slaves who were Just so thrilled with their lives. Songs, poems, essays, and pamphlets were all deployed in the effort to preserve the Southern profit center. That same effort—from minstrel shows to cotton songs to Birth of a Nation—was revived after the war to paper over both the real reason for the conflict and add a patina of false nobility to the most ignoble of causes.

“After the war was in the rear view, the Lost Cause mythology did not remain the Southern story. It became the national story. It was taught in schools on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. It pervaded culture. Americans, North and South, bought into the lionization of men like Lee, and the romance of ‘the last cavaliers.’ They erected Confederate statues in places where every soldier had been pro-Union, and they did it for the same base reason that drove slavery in the first place: profit.

“By buying into the idea that men like Lee were in some sense heroes, and that ‘state’s rights’ was the source of conflict, the nation avoided looking at what slavery was really about. If the war was over state’s rights and not slavery, then … was the question of slavery really settled? Were the justifications for slavery not acceptable after all? Didn’t Robert E. Lee look very fine up there mounted on Traveler?

“After the war, the profit from slavery was ground down fine, spread thin, and applied across the nation in the form of white privilege. Confederate revisionism made that possible, and it accomplished two things. First, it assured that even the lowliest white person would still have someone they could always look down upon. But even more importantly, it ensured the nation that there would always be cheap labor, poorly protected labor, labor whose safety, health, and intrinsic humanity could be disregarded. Black labor.

“That settlement with slavery is what’s really memorialized in statues of Confederate figures. They’re not about actual history, they’re about the agreement the nation made to transform that history into something that was worth celebrating, for the purposes of profit. That’s the compromise. That agreement is the reason that Black Americans are dying at such a high rate from COVID-19. It’s the reason that Black Americans are in “essential” roles but receive negligible pay and benefits. It’s the reason that George Floyd and so many others were treated as disposable men. It’s why American corporations can treat workers in ways that other nations find completely unacceptable, because we made a compromise that said the worst possible thing you can do to people isn’t so bad … as long as there’s money in it. 

“When Donald Trump champions the preservation of Confederate statues, it has nothing to do with distant events. It has to do with a deal that’s very much still in effect. ‘The past is not even past,’ and never will be so long as that compromise is maintained.”

This is the system that DDT protects on July 6 for his campaign strategy while he ignores the 132,979 deaths and 3,040,833 infections from COVID-19 in the U.S.

Not All Bad in Week 180

Each year, the Supreme Court is usually finished by the end of June, having dropped all its bombs from the cases it hears. This year, however, the Supreme Court is waiting until July for the first time in 24 years. These are the five biggest ones still not released by July 5:

Subpoenas for Dictator Donald Trump’s (DDT) financial records: The House wants bank and accountant records to achieve its responsibility of oversight, and New York wants access to DDT’s personal and corporate tax documents. The decision determines whether DDT’s tax returns will see the light of day while he’s in the Oval Office. By denying the subpoenas, the high court will give presidents blanket immunity from criminal process.

Contraception Mandate in Affordable Care Act: The ACA requires most insurance plans and employer to cover preventative care, including contraception, without cost sharing. President Obama allowed religious nonprofits to claim an exemption, but DDT extended that exemption to all companies voicing religious or moral objections. The question is how far to allow Christians to control the U.S.

“Faithless electors” voting for their preference in the Electoral College: The question is whether electors representing their states should be required to select a president based on the states’ votes.

Religious exemptions from discrimination suits centering on parochial schools: Are Catholic schools immune from discrimination suits if they violate the First Amendment safeguards because of religious beliefs. One of the teachers was fired because she had breast cancer. Schools are declaring every employee—teachers, janitors, etc.—“ministers” so schools can claim “ministerial exception” in firing them.

Native sovereignty in Oklahoma: The case concerns whether the state can prosecute a crime by an enrolled member of another tribe on land that could still be classified as a reservation because the government never took action to take it away. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation maintains the reservation was never dissolved and Congress never transferred authority over its land, which includes Tulsa. If the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Native Americans, other tribes could file lawsuits.

In other parts of the U.S., we the people are emerging victorious over fascist actions.

Two energy companies have dropped their six-year bid to build the 600-mile natural gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline tunneling under the Appalachian Trail because of uncertain investing after constant opposition. The company, Dominion, will sell other natural gas pipelines and storage assets to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy for $10 billion. Last week, Dominion completed the biggest wind farm project in the country, located 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The pipeline had been stopped in courts for its hasty and slipshod federal permitting process.

With the signature of Gov. Tate Reeves, Mississippi has completed the removal of the Confederate emblem from its state flag, the last one to feature the Confederate battle flag. A commission will develop a new flag with the phrase “In God, We Trust.”

Thanks to state voters, Oklahoma became the 37th state to approve Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Coverage begins July 1, 2021. The act should drive down the state’s 14-percent uninsured rate, and the federal government covers 90 percent of the cost of newly-covered adults.

DDT lost a restraining order against his niece’s new book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man. Simon & Schuster may continuing and distributing Mary Trump’s explosive insider account. Although a state Supreme Court judge imposed an order against the book, but the New York appellate division lifted it, permitting the book’s release on July 28.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, appointed by DDT, struck down DDT’s 2019 policy blocking thousand of Central American asylum seekers who didn’t first request protections in a nation between their home and the U.S. Like the ruling against DDT’s anti-DACA policy, the anti-asylum policy unlawfully bypassed the Administrative Procedure Act, requiring people to be informed and opportunity to respond. DDT ordered the policy to go immediately into effect.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has openly come out against its chair, former private equity lawyer Jay Clayton, because of his decision to give private equity billionaires the opportunity to take advantage of people with 401(k) retirement accounts. Last week, DDT issued a letter permitting the savings of 100 million workers and retirees to be put at risk in high-risk, high-fee firms. SEC’s purpose is to police the financial industry, and it issued a damning report documenting privity equity crimes. One of the Supreme Court’s rulings last week had restricted SEC’s power to punish thee firms. The law may require restitution for criminal actions but not financial punishment. DDT now wants his good friend Clayton to become U.S. Attorney in Manhattan after firing Geoffrey Berman. Confirmation gives Clayton the ability to control prosecutors, the last line of defense, against private equity crimes. In 2014, a top SEC official reported legal violations or control weaknesses in over half the examined private equity firm, including fee gouging.

In a good news, bad news story, Lt. Col. Alex Vindman, who testified in DDT’s impeachment process, is currently being blocked from a promotion to colonel. That’s the bad news. The good news? Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) is blocking all 1,123 military promotions to the rank of colonel or above until Defense Secretary Mark Esper guarantees in writing Vindman will not be punished for his testimony.

Dealing with DDT is becoming harder and harder for Senate Republicans. DDT has threatened to veto defense appropriations bill with an amendment to remove Confederate names from military bases. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), up for reelection, is particularly worried about a veto for the bill and said he hopes DDT doesn’t carry through with his threat. Removing the amendment before sending the bill on requires 60 votes—53 Republicans and seven Democrats. The popularity of the Black Lives Matter movement and the struggle for social justice could endanger congressional Republicans up for reelection—197 seats in the House and 21 in the Senate. Three of these senators up for reelection—Joni Ernst (IA), Martha McSally (AZ), and Mike Rounds (SD)—on the Armed Services Committee support the name changes. Ernst and McSally are in vulnerable positions.

Twitch and Reddit have joined Facebook and Twitter in removing DDT’s hateful rhetoric on social media. Among 2,000 subreddits, Reddit banned a longtime forum used by his supporters, The_Donald, for frequent rule-breaking, and video streaming platform Twitch temporarily suspended DDT’s channel for the same reason. Facebook also announced changes to ban hateful content and removed hundreds of boogaloo violent accounts. The decision came after several boogaloos were charged with crimes during the protesters. Facebook has already taken down accounts and pages from white supremacists Proud Boys, American Guard, and Northwest Front.

Facebook is most likely reacting to an advertising boycott quietly starting but reaching huge proportions. After only three days, 800 worldwide companies from Coca-Cola to Unilever pulled millions of dollars in advertising from Facebook. The visibility of the boycott also links Facebook with racism and hate with the hashtag #StopHateForProfit campaign. Facebook stock dropped 8.32 percent last Friday. Boycotters are still negotiating, with civil rights groups planning to meet with Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg. There may not be much success: Zuckerberg believes in free expression, no matter the lies and violence. Social media depends on engagement; Facebook’s business model uses controversy and outrage to get readers and thus ads. Yesterday, Zuckerman said he will make no policy changes.

Not all of DDT’s officials follow the party line. FDA Commissioner refused to comment on DDT’s claim that 99 percent of COVID-19 cases are “harmless” and  would not predict a timeline for vaccine availability after DDT asserted a vaccine or therapeutic would be ready “long before the end of the year.”

DDT is showing his fear and desperation by recommending people wear masks—despite his promotion of maskless activities. Last month, he told the Wall Street Journal people wore masks only to demonstrate their disapproval of him; last week, he told Fox, “I’m all for masks.” He added:

“Actually, I had a mask on. I sort of liked the way I looked, OK? I thought it was OK. It was a dark, black mask, and I thought it looked OK. Looked like the Lone Ranger.”  

A recent study shows a national mask mandate would save the economy from a five-percent GDP hit. But not if people wear them like the Lone Ranger.

July 5: The number of COVID-19 infections is due to top three million tomorrow. Today’s numbers: 2,982,928 – infections; 132,569 – deaths.

 

July 5, 2020

DDT: Week 180 – Failures for the Fourth

 Yesterday, July 4, people in the U.S. celebrated independence: 244 years ago, “colonials” fought against injustice and English oppression. In his speech last Friday, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) campaigned for injustice and white supremacy and against protesters fighting for equal rights. He defended treasonous people, Confederate leaders who fought to overturn the U.S., and dishonored the land in South Dakota where he spoke to people standing closely together without face masks while ordering fireworks dangerous to the land in the extremely dry condition. 

Four years ago, DDT ran on racism, first against Latinx and then against Muslims. This year he replicates his approach, attacking the rights of Black people. His choice of Mount Rushmore for his July 3 speech also expressed his racism regarding Indigenous people. Sixty-foot-tall faces of four white presidents who persecuted Native Americans are on a sacred place to almost 60 tribes. In 1868, the Fort Laramie Treaty determined the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux Reservation, but the government signing the treaty took land away from the Native Americans after the gold discovery in the 1870s.

The Black Hills still belonged to the Sioux Nation almost 50 years later when a KKK member led the Mount Rushmore project in 1927. In 1980, the Supreme Court ruled the tribes had not received compensation for the land and had not agreed to give it up. In United States v. Sioux Nation, the majority opinion stated, “A more ripe and rank case of dishonorable dealing will never, in all probability, be found in our history.” When indigenous people protested DDT coming on their land without their permission, DDT’s supporters told them, “Go home!”  

DDT lambasted “far-left fascism” and “totalitarianism” despite his own fascist actions. His approach follows that of Richard Nixon in 1964—“law and order” and vows for states’ rights in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. DDT’s business claims have fallen far short, and he has only a strategy of “white resentment politics.” His message was the importance of Mount Rushmore’s legacies while he ignored the legacy of the Indigenous people.  

In supporting statues, DDT signed an executive order for a National Garden of Heroes, “the greatest Americans to ever live,” and listed those who must be included such as Betsy Ross (who probably didn’t create the flag), Davy Crockett, George Patton, Audie Murphy, and Antonin Scalia. DDT said about Mount Rushmore, “This monument will never be desecrated.” The four faces, only 79 years old, are cracking.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr’s girlfriend, was not present. She has been diagnosed for COVID-19 and joins people sickened at DDT’s campaign rally in Tulsa (OK) such as former presidential candidate Herman Cain, seriously ill in a hospital; up to 15 Secret Service agents who prepared for the rally; and hundreds of people in Oklahoma.

DDT’s speech this weekend is part of his new campaign strategy: he plans to run as the challenger with Joe Biden the incumbent. By doing so, he doesn’t need to search for his non-existent accomplishments since he was inaugurated; he’ll just copy his winning 2016 campaign that pictured him as an outsider.  DDT’s campaign advisor Jason Miller said the campaign will portray Biden as “part of every job-killing, failed policy decision of the past 40 years.”

More DDT failures this week:

The RNC is having trouble raising money for an alternative location in Jacksonville (FL) for DDT to graciously accept the nomination for presidential candidate. Money from Charlotte (VA) won’t be returned, and donors are not happy about shelling out more cash for a place with skyrocketing COVID-19 infections and a majority of residents polling opposing DDT in their city. After the small crowd in Tulsa (OK), DDT may cancel for fear he’ll suffer another failure.

DDT’s supporters funded a private border wall and helped the builder get $1.7 billion in federal contracts. Months after the wall’s completion, it is falling into the Rio Grande River from runoff erosion. The builder denies the problem, claiming the erosion “a normal part of new construction projects.” Submitting the lowest bid, he had his prototype rejected by both the DHS and the Army Corps of Engineers. DDT’s pressure and support from Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) put the builder of the preapproved list. He donated at least $24,000 to Cramer’s 2018 campaign.

This week, DDT, lobbied by Fox network, pardoned 1st Lt. Clint Lorance after he was convicted of second-degree murder for ordering his men to kill three Afghans on a motorcycle. During Lorance’s three-day command, he threatened a farmer, pointed a rifle at a small boy, and ordered one of his NCOs to provide a false report to the Troop TOC (Tactical Operations Center). Since they returned home in 2013, five of the platoon’s three dozen soldiers have died, and at least four others were hospitalized from suicide attempts or addiction. The survivors tell the stories of how Lorance ruined their lives.

Project Airbridge, spearheaded by DDT’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, was to get private companies to rapidly deliver PPE and other medical supplies from Asia. Interviewing corporation executives, the House Oversight Committee found that the months-old idea delivered only 7 percent of PPE supplies distributed since the pandemic’s beginning and had no direction in directing supplies to hot zones. The government also had no restrictions on prices and didn’t require reporting costs. DDT pressured private medical supply companies to buy PPE at inflated prices from Build Your Dreams (BYD), a Chinese electric car and battery company subsidized by the Chinese government. Purchases were delayed because their N95 masks couldn’t be certified until June 8.  BYD has a $1 billion contract for 150 million masks. FEMA refuses to submit any documents about the program to the House.

Last week, DDT failed to give a coherent answer to Sean Hannity’s questions about his priorities during a second term. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told Hannity he was supposed to help DDT get reelected and scolded him for asking such a hard question. This week, Sinclair’s Eric Bolling offered DDT a “retake” at the answer and asked him for his “main focus.” DDT’s response:

“Well, I didn’t hear anybody who was upset with it, but I will tell you, it’s very simple: we’re going to make America great again. We are doing things that nobody could have done.”

He moved on to bragging about first-term “accomplishments”—such as “rebuilding the military” and bringing back manufacturers—which he didn’t do or took credit for President Obama’s achievements. Third time?

DDT also had a press conference to brag about his unemployment rate. At 11.1 percent, it remains higher than during the Great Recession over a decade ago. The added 4.8 million jobs were before states started shutting down and ignored the millions of people filing for unemployment for the same period of time. The number of jobs is currently down 14.7 million, about ten percent, from the beginning of the pandemic recession, and foot traffic to businesses indicate a dip in late June. The spike in infection combined with the end of enhanced unemployment benefits will create less spending, which results in fewer jobs. Without more federal aid, states and localities will continue to lay off more people in addition to the 1.5 million who have already lost their jobs. Also the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the real unemployment rate at one percent higher—12.1 percent.  

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell painted a dark picture of the economy if COVID-19 is not contained. San Francisco Federal Reserve president Mary Daly said, “I would hesitate to call this a recovery.”

Polling shows that more and more people see DDT as a failure:

  • 60 percent disapprove of DDT’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • 65 percent think that the pandemic is getting worse.
  • 51 percent support the Black Lives Matter movement with only 32 percent in opposition.
  • 70 percent think that the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction with only 22 percent disagreeing.
  • 53 percent approve of the Affordable Care Act, and 49 percent want to see it expanded. 
  • 75 percent believe the country is “out of control,” compared to 14 percent who think it’s under control.
  • 81 percent of people ages 65 and older describe the country in a fiasco; 68 percent of those ages 30 to 44 agree.
  • 47 percent approve of DDT’s economy, 16 percent lower than January. This was to have been the lynchpin of his campaign.
  • 12 percent are satisfied with the state of the nation, down from 55 percent in April. Only 19 percent of Republican are satisfied.
  • 39 percent approve of DDT.
  • 37 percent believe DDT has the right experience to be president; 61 percent believe DDT doesn’t have the right experience.
  • 67 percent think Biden has the right experience to be president.

For the first time in over 50 years of polling, more people want more immigration to the U.S. than those who want to cut immigration—34 percent to 28 percent.

The Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index dropped 134 points to +4 for the second quarter, the lowest in almost seven years and the biggest quarterly drop in history.

According to a new study, “Europeans’ trust in Trump’s America is gone.”

On July 4, COVID-19 infections – 2,935,982; deaths – 132,318.

July 4, 2020

The U.S., a Failing State

A definition for 2020 is clear sight or “accurate discernment, judgment, or assessment hindsight.” The year 2020 clearly shows the United States as a failing state, defined by Rebecca Gordon as “a political entity whose government has ceased to perform most or all of its basic functions. Such a condition can result from civil war, untrammeled corruption, natural disaster, or some combination of those and more.” The Fund for Peace has four criteria:

  1. “Loss of control of its territory, or of the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force therein
  2. Erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions
  3. Inability to provide public services
  4. Inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community”

1. Loss of control: The administration of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is replacing the rule of law with the wishes of one man who threatens his citizens with military force, ordering law enforcement to attack legal peaceful protesters to show his power. DDT encouraged his rally audience to “knock the crap out of hecklers” and congratulated a GOP congressman for physically attacking a reporter. DDT sees white supremacists who commit violence as “very fine people” and encourages to physically menace legislators debating Michigan’s stay-at-home policies. 

2. Erosion of legitimate authority: The growing suppression of voting increasingly removes collective decisions and replaces them with control by the wealthy. The Supreme Court elimination of the 1965 Voting Rights Act accelerated unequal access to the polls in 25 states during the past decade with voter ID mandates and restrictions on early voting, number and placement of polling places, and vote-by-mail. DDT failed to find voting fraud with a now defunct presidential commission and now spreads lies about vote by mail. DDT’s goal is to undermine confidence in elections to cover himself if he loses in November. For months, people have asked what can be done if DDT loses but stays in the White House. Today, DDT’s Supreme Court majority temporarily froze a decision from a lower court: people in Alabama are stopped from safely voting in its July 14th primary through requesting mail-in ballots. 

3. Failure to Provide Public Services: Just this year, DDT failed to stop COVID-19, causing a tripling of the unemployment rate and pushed a disastrous recession that could destroy the nation’s economy. Six months after an awareness of the disease in China, the government lacks enough equipment and supplies to care for millions of infected people. DDT insisted on reopening businesses and created a massive surge in the virus. He favors his friends and donors by giving them contracts. For example, Fillakit, a new contractor, took $7.3 million for plastic tubes for making soda bottles instead of the ordered test tubes. The contaminated product doesn’t fit the racks for lab analysis. Without masks and in the open air, employees used snow shovels to put the unsterilized tubes into plastic bins. In the early onslaught of COVID-19 in the U.S., the White House knew the CDC distributed contaminated tests to states.  As the number of infections and deaths hit a new peak, DDT has gone to court to remove healthcare for 23 million people in the U.S. Without the preexisting condition requirement, the millions of people contracting COVID-19 cannot be covered for any issues attributed to the virus.

4. Inability to interact with other states: Since his inauguration, DDT consistently cozied up to world dictators and alienated countries of the free world. He pulled the U.S. out of successful and hopeful treaties such as denuclearization of Iran and a world-wide climate agreement. He threatened to drop NATO and placed sanctions on cooperative countries of the International Criminal Court. He even pulled out of the World Health Organization in the midst of a pandemic. This past week, DDT turned his back on global cooperation in buying the entire three-month stock of remdesivir—a medication that might lessen stays in the hospital for people with COVID-19—so no one else could have any at a cost of $1.56 billion.

Today, the U.S., with 4.25 percent of the world’s population, has 26 percent of the over 11 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 25 percent of the world’s deaths, and cases are rising in 36 states. Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress this past week the new COVID-19 cases, over 55,000 for each of the past four days, may rise to 100,000 a day. The count for today, July 3: 2,890,588 infections; 132,101 deaths. Statistics would show more infections and deaths if the reporting was honest.

The increasing numbers of deaths within jails and prisons brings to light the unnecessary and cruel incarceration in the U.S. along with the massive disconnect in healthcare services between the well-off and the marginalized communities. Homelessness suffers from the same health disaster in the greatest income inequality since the Gilded Age from tax cuts for the rich and the destruction of public services including education and infrastructure. In the U.S., 63 million people lack clean drinking water. As the virus expanded during the first three months of 2020, over $6.5 trillion in household wealth in the global economy equivalent to the combined economies of France and the UK; since March 18, U.S. billionaires have gained 20 percent in wealth–$584 billion.

Federal officials failed to protect healthcare workers by closing many of the over 4,100 coronavirus-related workplace safety complaints without taking action. At least 35 healthcare workers died after OSHA received safety complaints about their workplaces. Other than 275 fatality ongoing probes and 1,300 open healthcare complaints, the remainder of the complaints are listed “closed” in OSHA’s database. Its only citation was a $3,900 fine for a Georgia nursing home.

The man in the Oval Office declared himself a wartime president against COVID-19 and then surrendered. This week he said people will just have to “live with it” about millions of people contracting the disease, hundreds of thousands of people dying from it, and the economy crashing. DDT also claimed “not one governor needed anything” when VP Mike Pence’s questions. Yet across the nation, governors have asked Pence for help with viral spikes in their states.

Instead of trying to solve the COVID-19 disaster, DDT’s HHS Secretary Alex Azar is campaigning in election battleground states and pushing for reopening businesses. Last Sunday, Alex Azar called the virus a catastrophe but laid responsibility for handling it anyplace except the federal government.

A serious loss for democracy is this week’s decision from the Supreme Court, putting the Christian church in charge of the nation. Forcing taxpayers in Montana to pay for religious education, the high court violated the separation of church and state in the First Amendment. This ruling adds to DDT’s order that evangelicals can discriminate against women, LGBTQ people, Catholics, Muslims, atheists, differently abled, etc. in other areas such as fostering children. Private schools became popular in the mid-20th century to oppose racial integration.

The Supreme Court also conceals information about DDT by taking an appeal from a lower court decision making grand jury materials from the Mueller report available to members of Congress. Even if the Supreme Court were to affirm the lower ruling—which is unlikely—the decision won’t come down until after the election. DDT will be protected from public knowledge about Russian interference in his 2016 win until after his next election.

Acting as DDT’s fixer, AG Bill Barr is picking off U.S. attorneys general, and Richard Donoghue, representing the Eastern District of New York, is the most recent one. The Brooklyn post investigated, among other people close to DDT, Tom Barrack who chaired his inaugural committee. Donoghue was also in charge of all DOJ investigations about Ukraine. Now he’s headed for Washington, and a good friend of Barr will likely replace him. On Memorial Day weekend, Barr also removed Joseph Brown, U.S. Attorney for eastern Texas, who had been blocked in his attempts to criminally charge Walmart for its part in an opioid case, and replaced Brown with Stephen Cox, one of the Washington officials who blocked the charges. 

Some state governors collaborate with DDT in making the U.S. a failed state. Although Texas Gov. Greg Abbott now requires wearing masks in public, less than two months ago his state attorney, Ken Paxton, threatened cities such as Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio with lawsuits if they require masks and sheltering in place. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who wants to preserve the economy by letting older people die, still insists, without evidence, the state reopen because infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci “doesn’t know what he’s talking about” and “has been wrong every time in every issue.” Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts threatened cities with not giving them federal virus relief funding if they require people to wear masks in government buildings.  Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey blocked cities and counties from restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 until June 17. All three of these states have serious spikes in the disease.

The United States is becoming a failed state, and Republicans work hard for it to happen.  

July 2, 2020

Could Russia Be DDT’s Waterloo?

When the world learned that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) ignored information about Russians putting bounties on the heads of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, he hoped the firestorm would disappear in a few days. Instead, it has been on the media as much as the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. for the past five days and seems to be getting worse. Each one of those days has brought out more information.

Tonight, the New York Times reported about Rahmatullah Azizi, the chief go-between who took money from the Russians to give it to Taliban-connected fighters. About six months ago, security agencies arrested dozens of his relatives and associates, but Azizi had sneaked back to Russia, leaving about a half million dollars in one of his homes in Kabul. The dead body of a U.S. military member is worth $100,000.

Azizi’s role has been confirmed in a dozen interviews with U.S. and Afghan officials, neighbors and friends, and business associates of the other middlemen. He began as a drug smuggler in his 20s, moving his product into Iran. When he returned to Afghanistan, U.S.-led coalition forces gave him contracts to build roads in Kunduz before he moved on to a connection with Russia. One of his friends said he went from “not even having a blanket” to having security escorts and owning several expensive houses and cars. Other evidence against Azizi came from large financial transfers from Russia’s GRU to Taliban-connected militants.

For years, both U.S. and Afghan officials have believed that Russia was undermining the U.S. in Afghanistan and aiding the Taliban through covert operations. Only recently, however, did the U.S. confirm that the Russians were paying bounties on members of U.S. military out of its overseas assassination arm of the Russian military intelligence, Unit 29155 called GRU that helped DDT get elected.  A couple of their activities since DDT moved into the White House are the hacking of Democratic Party email accounts in 2016 and the nerve agent attack in Salisbury (England) in 2018.

Intelligence reports that the Russia has tired of prolonged U.S. presence and switched allegiance to the Taliban but tried to look as if it supported the U.S. until Afghanistan picked its power source. U.S. discovery of the bounty money in 2019 was at the same time as negotiations with the Taliban to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

Today’s reporting also reveals that the bounty information was in the written February 27, 2020, President’s Daily Brief (PDB), much to the frustration of White House officials who insisted that DDT was never told. The officials shifted to insistence that the information was uncertain, but intelligence agencies don’t put anything into daily briefings until it has been thoroughly vetted. DDT has changed his own story almost daily in the past five days, perhaps settling on never having heard of it while going back to his favorite word, “hoax.”  

The day before DDT ignored the PDB about Russia paying the Taliban to kill U.S. troops, he had a press briefing to assure the people of the United States that COVID-19 would disappear within the week. [Four months and four days later, the U.S. has 2,779,953 confirmed cases and 130,798 deaths from the disease. The number of new cases hit a high of 51,097 yesterday.] VP Mike Pence, assigned at the virus press briefing to solve the problem, spent February 27, 2020 at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and met with Trumper media, including Sean Hannity and Eric Bollins (Sinclair TV host).

DDT’s schedule for February 27, 2020, lists a 45-minute meeting with lead actors of a low-budget conservative play about what he calls the Deep State. Phelim McAleer, the playwright of FBI Lovebirds: Undercovers slamming fired FBI agent Peter Strzok and fired FBI lawyer Lisa Page who had discussed DDT’s campaign in 2016, said that the meeting last three times as long as scheduled. “He loves it, he loves the play,” McAleer said about the play’s concept. A video of the play was presented to CPAC the next day.

The other responsibility on DDT’s schedule for February 27, 2020, was meeting with his vlogger fans Diamond & Silk (left) along with about 20 other Black supporter including Candace Owens, Isaiah Washington, and Alveda King. They all gave him lavish praise and huddled around him for a prayer. He bragged about his criminal reform which benefits white-collar criminals and called the 25 confirmed COVID-19 cases a “miracle” from the U.S. “incredible achievement” in defeating the disease. He wanted credit for his handling and said, “If we were doing a bad job, we should also be criticized. But we have done an incredible job.” [FYI: He’s doing a bad job and keeps lying about his accomplishments or ignores the pandemic.]

Otherwise, he was rattled by the plummeting of the stock market from the COVID-19 crisis and the slow movement of the peace agreement with the Taliban. An intelligence briefing was scheduled for 2:30 pm, his preferred time so he can tweet in the morning, and a reception for African American History Month was at the White House that evening. He added a few people to his new coronavirus task force throughout the day and muddied up the leadership. Two days after DDT’s PDB included info on Russia’s paying the Taliban to kill U.S. troops, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed an agreement with the Taliban to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan.  

Six months ago, former Republican Max Boot wrote a piece explaining how DDT acts as a Russian asset:

  • His long financial history with Russia.
  • Russian interference to help elect DDT president.
  • DDT’s encouragement for Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails on July 27, 2016.
  • His attempt to cover up the 101 contacts between his campaign and Russia-connected operatives.
  • The number of DDT’s campaigners—Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and Michael Flynn—close to Russia.
  • Manafort’s admission he offered his Russian-connected business partner with polling data, useful for Russians using social media to interfere in the presidential campaign on DDT’s part.
  • Roger Stone’s advance knowledge about Russians hacking Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails.
  • DDT’s firing FBI Director James Comey to stop the investigation of the “Russia thing” and bragged about it to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister in the Oval Office while revealing top-secret information to them.
  • DDT’s firing AG Jeff Sessions because he did end the special counsel investigation after Comey was fired.
  • DDT’s constant refusal to acknowledge Russia interfered in the U.S. election or mobilize an effort to stop future interference because he accepts Vladimir Putin’s denial in doing it.
  • DDT’s attacks on and undermining of the DOJ, the FBI, the European, and NATO to support Russia.
  • His support of populist, pro-Russian leaders in Europe; i.e., Viktor Orban (Hungary) and Marine Le Pen (France).
  • DDT’s praise and worship of Putin, “a strong leader,” while denigrating almost everyone else from celebrities to leaders of allied nations.
  • DDT’s hiding his conversation with Putin, even taking notes from his interpreter and telling her not to tell anyone about the meeting.
  • DDT’s defense of Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan.
  • His repetition of pro-Russian talking points.
  • His pulling U.S. troops out of Syria, presenting the country to Russia and Putin’s ally Iran.
  • DDT’s refusal to respond to the Russian attack on Ukrainian ships in international waters to encourage greater Russian aggression.
  • DDT’s sowing chaos in the U.S. government with a partial government shutdown and multiple “acting” appointments in key posts to meet the Russian goal of undermining the United States.

Former national security adviser Susan Rice added to the ways DDT supports Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Russia has escalated its aggression toward the U.S. in the past few weeks—new cyberattacks on U.S. employees working from home, Russian jets testing U.S. air defenses off the Alaska coast, etc. Yet DDT’s administration has no strategy for deterring Russia behavior. Pompeo is still claiming Crimea will never be Russian territory although Russia annexed that part of Ukraine six years ago. In his new book, however, John Bolton wrote DDT “repeatedly objected to criticizing Russia and pressed us not to be so critical of Russia publicly.” DDT’s only strategy with Russia is to be “friends.”

For once, Republican lawmakers have not come out en masse to support DDT’s denial. Maybe some of them found a sale on spines. But Republicans still refuse to support a bill requiring presidential campaigns to report offers of foreign election help. One excuse—not reason—might be the ignorance of Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee: GOP members refuse to attend.

Military veterans have been loyal to DDT for almost four years despite his selling them out, over and over. Allowing Russians to pay the Taliban to kill U.S. troops may be a bridge too far for them. The fractures started with DDT’s threats to militarize states in the midst of protests become wide fissures after the public learned that DDT’s administration has ignored widespread assassinations of their comrades in active duty under the leadership of their commander in chief. The loss of their votes in November will hurt him as much as his loss of white suburban women.

June 30, 2020

Bittersweet News from SCOTUS, Bad for DDT

Before the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the sometimes “moderate” justice kept women’s rights on life support. His resignation left Chief Justice John Roberts in that position, one he fulfilled today in the 5-4 decision that struck down a Louisiana law created to strike down all except one clinic in the state that performs abortions. The gist of the law was the state mandate requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, almost identical to a case about Texas law SCOTUS overturned just four years ago. In that decision, a 5-4 court determined the unconstitutional law served no benefits to patients but significantly burdened their access to abortion.

Brett Kavanagh, who promised Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) he is pro-Roe v. Wade to get Kennedy’s position, showed he is no Kennedy: he and Justice Neil Gorsuch joined ideologues Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas against women’ reproductive rights. Roberts voted against the majority four years in his desire to keep the Texas law, and he wrote his own opinion to prove he’s still a conservative—just wanted to preserve stare decisis, deference to precedent, and not overturn a former SCOTUS ruling. Because Roberts is the swing vote for this case, opposition to abortions will be the key to future cases, permitting restriction just short of their illegality. He sets a high hurdle to keeping right: benefit is irrelevant, and decision is based on a substantial obstacle.   

Slate’s court reporter Mark Joseph Stern questions the extent of the victory of constitutional rights for pro-choice. In his analysis of the high court’s opinion, Stern maintains Roberts “marks a retreat” from the earlier case declaring the Texas law unconstitutional. Under the new ruling, a woman could be forced to wait a week for an abortion and visit the clinic hundreds of miles away three times to see anti-abortion documentaries—no medical benefit to the patient while imposing burdens. Yet the court could determine this requirement doesn’t meet the level of “a substantial obstacle.” Next year, Roberts could find a way to overturn Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) which prevents laws banning abortion before viability. As Stern wrote, “A chill wind still blows.”

Roberts is not wedded to precedence. He voted with the majority in Citizens United (2010) to overturn long-held principles of campaign finance and in Janus (2018) used the same rationale of free speech to overturn a unanimous 1977 decision allowing public sector labor unions to collect fees against the wishes of employees.

A chill wind also blows for Collins, whose vote is a major reason Kavanaugh is casting far-right votes on SCOTUS. He already voted to deport Dreamers and allow employers to fire LGBTQ people on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Collins said she believed Kavanaugh when he promised not to overturn Roe v. Wade and guaranteed he would respect precedence, “essential to maintaining public confidence. And she’s up for reelection in under five months.

While people cheered for today’s pro-choice rights decision, most of them ignored a disastrous decision in Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, allowing a president to fire the director of the supposedly independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau without cause. Again Roberts was the swing vote, this time a conservative 5-4 vote putting other independent agencies at risk. The opinion didn’t go as far as to declaring the entire agency unconstitutional which the plaintiff under CFPB investigation had requested. The law creating the agency specified the presidentially-nominated director, who must be Senate-confirmed, could be fired only “for cause,” specifying “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.” Other agencies with the “for cause” firing limitation include the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission. They may suffer the same fate in loss of independence.

The current CFPB director, financial sector defender Kathleen Kraninger, will likely stay for the next few months because agency investigations have drastically slowed down since the occupation of the Oval Office by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). She may disappear with a Democratic president, however, a loss for Wall Street’s corruption. Between its inception in 2010 and 2016, the CFPB returned $12 billion to defrauded consumers. 

In the dissent by four justices, Elena Kagan wrote the five conservatives failed to respect the high court’s role in allowing the other two government branches, Congress and executive, the decision in structuring the executive branch. She also pointed out the vote removes “independence from political pressure.” Another part of the dissent told originalist justices the constitution has nothing about separation of powers and the president’s removal authority.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who originally envisioned the agency, was more positive, cheering about a conservative SCOTUS recognizing the constitutionality of the agency “and the law that created it.”

In addition to issuing decisions today, the Supreme Court turned down two cases. One, a challenge to AG Bill Barr’s return to the federal death penalty, opens up the possibility of executions next month for the first time since 2003. It also refused to hear a case about waivers of federal laws for border wall construction that kills wildlife and destroys the environment. Lower courts have ruled the waivers don’t violate the separation of powers.

Other big news today pointed out possible cracks in DDT’s Teflon. The discovery that intelligence told DDT about Russians paying the Taliban to kill U.S. troops has taken the U.S. by storm. The New York Times initially reported the information on Friday, and within three days, DDT’s stories keep changing. A few facts:

Intelligence knew as far back as January—when DDT was negotiating a peace agreement with the Taliban—and briefed DDT.

The bounty has been linked to deaths of U.S. military members.

In March, DDT learned about the intelligence reports but failed to respond.

In the past few months, DDT has had several friendly phone calls with Vladimir Putin, including five hidden ones in early April after the briefing.

DDT called Putin and Russia friends of the U.S., sent humanitarian aid to Russia, and pushed the other six members of the G7 summit to taken Russia back.

On Saturday, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany claimed DDT knows nothing. Little did McEnany know, her defense of DDT depicted him as ignorant, uncaring, negligent, lazy, and incompetent. And a liar like DDT. Part of her faulty defense was for his tweeting a video advocating “white power” staying up for three hours while DDT was unavailable on the golf course. (The White House claims DDT couldn’t hear the cries for “white power.”)

This timeline shows Russian support for the Taliban, U.S. clashes with Russian mercenaries, “destabilizing [Russian] activity in Afghanistan, three U.S. Marines killed by Taliban, and discovery of $500,000 in a Taliban outpost confirming U.S. intelligence suspicions about Russia paying bounties.

Since the reporting, DDT has said, in this order: (1) he never got any briefings; (2) he hadn’t been briefed because it was bogus; and (3) he was briefed but the intelligence wasn’t credible. According to respected political columnist David Ignatius, Pentagon officials were “pounding on the door” to get DDT to do something about the Russians’ damage.

People are left to decide which of the three is right: (1) DDT knew about the Russian’s paying the Taliban to kill U.S. troops and did nothing; (2) intelligence couldn’t tell DDT because they were afraid of him or what he would tell people; or (3) DDT didn’t bother to read vital national security information. Each of the three decisions shows a completely incompetent leader of the free world. In an effort to save his skin, DDT provided Republicans a briefing about the situation today but made Democrats wait until tomorrow. The briefing should have been for both parties at the same time, but DDT wants the GOP to have a one-day advance to prepare a defense for him.

Seven years ago, DDT tweeted: 

Ignorance is inexcusable; it’s the surest way to fail. No acceptable reason exists for not being well informed.”

Yesterday he tweeted:

“Nobody briefed or told me … about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians…. Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us…..”

Because DDT cares only about the election, he’s terrified about voters’ reactions. This TV ad reflects the reaction from VoteVets.

DDT’s problems with COVID-19 aren’t over either. Its new mutations make contagion easier and correlates with far greater cases in younger people. World infections topped 10 million over the weekend (today 10,412,433) with deaths over a half million (508,228). New infections in the U.S. are still soaring—44,734 for June 29—with the total up to 2,681,811 and 128,783 deaths. Federal officials such as HHS Secretary Alex Azar went on Sunday news shows to talk about the virus’s catastrophe while saying it isn’t their problem to fix. And DDT ignores the disease.

June 28, 2020

Law Sometimes on Side of People

For the first time since the agency was created almost two decades ago, DHS has classified white supremacy a domestic terrorist threat because of recent mass shootings. The far-right may protest the decision, but white supremacists committed 39 of 50 extremist-related attacks last year. 

Mississippi lawmakers are moving toward removing the Confederate flag from the state flag, and for the first time Gov. Tate Reeves said he would sign such a bill if it reaches his desk. No other state has the Confederate symbol on its flag.

Judges not siding with Dictator Donald Trump (DDT):

For the second time, a court ruled DDT’s transfer of $2.5 billion into border wall funding illegal. Two of the three-judge 9th Circuit Court panel determined the transfer of military funds an illegal overreach of executive authority because “the U.S. Constitution exclusively grants the power of the purse to Congress.” The lone dissenter on the panel is a DDT appointee. Mexico has paid nothing for the wall, despite DDT’s promises, and DDT has weaseled $15 billion out of U.S. funds for his pet project. When the Supreme Court lifted a lower-court injunction against the transfer, it didn’t rule on its legality. DDT got the money by declaring a national emergency but said there wasn’t any emergency; he did it for convenience. 

A federal judge in Los Angeles ordered migrant children held over 20 days released from the country’s three family detention centers by July 17 because of COVID-19. Some of the 124 children in the facilities as of June 8 tested positive for COVID-19. One of the attorneys for the plaintiffs said the children are living in “horrific conditions.”

A federal judge overruled Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos preventing students with loans from getting their stimulus money. The law paused federal payments, reset the interest rate to 0 percent, and stopped debt collection until October 1, 2020. DeVos ignored the law and kept the stimulus checks from borrowers having overdue debt. When the law stopped her in May, she demanded students receiving emergency assistance through community colleges be eligible for financial aid under Title IV of the Higher Education Act. Her plan was to eliminate aid for “undocumented, international and DACA recipient students in addition to those with poor grades and previously defaulted student loans.” The assistance helps students with rent, child care, technology, and groceries. The judge ruled withholding these emergency funds would cause irreparable harm and injury during a global pandemic.

DDT wants police to have unlimited immunity from lawsuits, but the 4th Circuit Court vacated a lower court ruling granting five officers qualified immunity for the 2013 murder of Wayne Jones, a homeless black man with schizophrenia. Four officers shot him 22 times in two seconds, mostly in the back and buttocks, while he lay limp and unmoving after Tasing and a chokehold. Jones couldn’t understand their questions and had a small fix-blade knife. The court ruled a jury should be allowed to determine if the 22 shots killing Jones were the use of excessive force.

DDT sues people so often that it rarely hits the news. Among the thousands of lawsuits, or at least threats, are against media outlets, TV stations, authors, politicians, his sexual assault victims, other countries, states, local governments, social media, campaign manager Brad Parscale, whistleblowers, the FBI, even a 92-year-old widow in Scotland—a long list. Last week, he threatened to block his niece from publishing her book, due out a month from today, because she settled an estate dispute with a nondisclosure agreement.

A clinical psychologist, Trump may be well qualified to write Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man., described as “a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse.” DDT left the dirty work of suing to his brother Robert, who has thus far failed. A Queens County (NY) judge said his court lacked jurisdiction in the case where Robert submitted a restraining order request and suggested he take the case to another court. The judge also cited “several improprieties” in Robert’s filing, making it “fatally defective”: it is based on the official disposition of patriarch Fred Trump Sr.’s estate, wrapped up in 2001 and thus for legal purposes “nonexistent.” Robert’s lawyer said he picked Queens County because the family estate was settled there in 2011. He plans to file with the New York Supreme Court. Mary’s book is due to come out a month from today.

More lawsuits to watch:

Judge Emmet Sullivan isn’t rolling over for AG Bill Barr. When two of three judges on a DC Circuit Court panel told the district court judge to dismiss charges against Michael Flynn, Sullivan didn’t follow the order and may ask the entire circuit court to hear the case. Twice, Flynn pled guilty to lying twice to the FBI under oath about his secret conversations with the Russian ambassador during the last few months of President Obama’s second term with the promise DDT would go easy on Russia after his inauguration. In exchange for his testimony and providing information, Flynn also got out of acting as unregistered agent for Recep Erdoğan in a plot to kidnap a U.S. citizen for the Turkish president. When Barr became DDT’s personal lawyer, Flynn saw a way out and reversed his guilty plea.

In a Flynn casualty, the DOJ fired FBI’s top lawyer, Dana Boente, at the end of May. DDT heard Fox network Lou Dobbs accuse Boente of collaborating with FBI Director Christopher Wray to block release of evidence to clear Flynn.  

DDT put Michael Pack in charge of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, responsible for the Voice of America, to turn the independent broadcaster into his own propaganda machine. Immediately after the Senate confirmed Pack, he fired the top executives and advisory boards. A lawsuit filed on behalf of the Open Technology Fund argues Pack lacked the authority to fire staff or board or board members. The suit also claims Pack violates the federal broadcasting law protecting government-funded news outlets from political interference.

Nineteen attorneys general are suing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for overturning a rule protecting students from predatory higher education institutions and denying federal funding if their students graduated with disproportionately heavy debt loads and weakened career prospects. California is also suing DeVos for failing to implement the department’s forgiveness program for student loans. Loans were supposed to be forgiven after a decade of on-time payments while the borrower is in a public service for a decade. Between May 2018 and May 2019, however, 99 percent of the applications were rejected.

DDT may be pleased with his filing to do away with the Affordable Care Act, but voters put Democrats into the House at the thought of losing health care. He insists people will keep their preexisting conditions, but the 82-page brief and legal team say the opposite. DOJ’s argument is that Republicans who voted for the tax cuts also voted to destroy the entire ACA. The issue will be huge in the rest of the 2020 campaign because it won’t be settled before November. Almost one-half million people signed up for healthcare plans after losing their jobs through the virus.

Traumatized by the “Black Lives Matter” painted on the renamed street of the same name in front of the White House, DDT went on another rant at the same phrase painted in front of the New York Trump Tower. In a tweet, DDT lied about protesters calling for the killing of police officers, using a 2015 protest shown on Tucker Carlson’s Fox program for his claim. Twitter responded by calling DDT a “snowflake.” Volunteers painted the same slogan on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. 

The following news gets the label “good” for the hope it gives. Mark Zuckerberg promises Facebook will remove posts inciting violence or suppressing voting, even by political leaders and DDT, and label posts violating hate speech or other policies. Zuckerberg’s statement came after major companies pulled ads from Facebook to protest his inadequate action against “hateful lies and dangerous propaganda” in a “#StopHateforProfit” advertising boycott already costing him over $7 billion. The announcement was made on Twitter. A few of the participating companies

Banks are getting close to minimum capital levels because of COVID-19, and the Federal Reserve plans new restrictions for the third quarter to suspend their share buybacks and cap dividend payment at the current level. In addition, banks will be required to resubmit payout plans again this year, possibly every quarter. According to the Fed formula, Wells Fargo has the biggest risk of a dividend cut.

When “small companies” were threatened with investigation, at least 63 public corporations returned $510 million to the federal PPP program intended for struggling companies, probably about 20 percent of public companies borrowing from the program. The remaining 80 percent of public companies have kept over $900 million. The Treasury Department claims any borrower receiving less than $2 million meets “the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith.” Some companies earlier refusing to return money have reversed their position.

DDT speeded up testing a tiny bit by keeping open five of the 13 federal testing sites scheduled for cancelation. All five are in Texas.

Polling for DDT is so bad Fox raised the question of whether he will drop out of the presidential race before the election. Charles Gasparino tweeted an insider “described Trumps current psyche as ‘fragile.’

Today, June 28: New COVID-19 cases of 40,540 bringing the total to 2,637,077; 128,437 deaths—or far more.

June 27, 2020

DDT: Week 179 – No ‘Law & Order,’ Confusion

This week, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) spent time in the latest COVID-19 hot zones of Arizona, and New Jersey told him he would be quarantined for 14 days if he went to his resort in Bedminster. At first he said he wouldn’t do it but then claimed he had to stay in Washington, D.C. over the weekend to “make sure LAW & ORDER is enforced.” DDT then went to his Sterling (VA) for his 271st round of golf since he was inaugurated.

Here are some “law and order” acts he’s ignoring:

Last March, the U.S. intelligence agencies told DDT a Russian military intelligence unit wanted to pay Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops. DDT kept the information secret and continued to rave about how wonderful Russia.

DDT plans to move 9,500 military members from Germany to Poland because is “delinquent in their payments” to NATO.  Twenty-two GOP members of the House Armed Services Committee oppose moving the troops because it will hurt the military because U.S. bases in Germany provide a stopover for troops headed to worldwide locations. Bipartisan congressional leaders call DDT’s plan shortsighted and dangerous.

The Wall Street Journal reports Chinese nationals paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to get DDT reelected. The RNC provides these Chinese contributors insider insight into its strategy for DDT’s campaign, giving them useful information for controlling him.

Last month, DDT’s beloved human spaceflight hit a glitch after NASA’s head of the program, Doug Loverro, quit one week before a test flight sending astronauts up in a capsule from the private company SpaceX. Astronauts haven’t launched since space shuttles stopped flying in 2011, and DDT wanted people walking on the moon by 2024. Less than six months ago, DDT picked Loverro as acting head of spaceflight after NASA dumped Bill Gertenmaier last year. Loverro’s resigned after he was caught in private conversations with a senior Boeing executive about a bid for a contact worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Using inside information, Boeing tried to amend the contract but failed to win it. Concerned about a breach in ethical and procedural protocols, NASA’s inspector general investigated Loverro’s unauthorized contact with Boeing’s officials.  

Another DDT appointee may cause him headaches. Social Security Administration Commissioner Andrew Saul bought stocks in companies enriched by COVID-19, including Abbott Laboratories, UnitedHealth, thecloud workflow company ServiceNow, and Eurofins, a foreign company manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers. He hasn’t yet submitted his annual financial disclosure form, due May 15.

The stimulus $1,200 checks were sent to over one million people no longer living at a cost of $1.4 million, but IRS counsel determined they did not have the legal authority to deny payments to deceased people who had filed a return last year. The IRS is demanding states claw back checks send to prisoners although the law doesn’t prevent inmates from receiving the money.

To please DDT at the Tulsa rally, his campaign demanded removal of thousands of social distancing “Do Not Sit Here, Please!” stickers from seats despite instructions to the contrary from the BOK Center. The arena purchased 12,000 tickers for the rally for every other seat. DDT’s campaign also banned signs asking for social distancing.

Brad Parscale, former T-shirt salesman, is still hanging onto his job as DDT’s campaign manager after the Tulsa debacle, but sources question how long he’ll stay. Press secretary Kayleigh “I-will-never-lie-to-the-media” McEnany declared DDT wasn’t upset with his campaign rally non-crowd, but others in the White House say he is so furious that heads will roll. The audience of 6,200 was only ten percent of aides’ worst-case scenario of 60,000, and the “overflow” audience for a canceled speech was only 25, the number of women who have accused DDT of sexual assault. In DDT’s last presidential campaign, he replaced manager Corey Lewandowski with Paul Manafort almost exactly four years ago on June 20, 2016; Manafort lasted less than two months to be replaced by Kellyanne Conway. A White House source indicated Parscale may resign and Jared Kushner could be another “casualty.”

In addition to his salary from DDT, Parscale does other campaign work through private firms. His Facebook page claims to be a DDT campaign property and makes money from DDT’s ads, but the only link on “About” directs people to Parscale’s private consulting firm, Parscale Strategy.

Conservative voices initially slammed military leaders for criticizing DDT, claiming they should never say anything negative about the commander-in-chief. DDT’s increasing fascist actions, however, may have silenced the conservatives along with research showing white supremacists instigating violence and only 32 percent disapproval of the protests. As DDT increased his fascist actions, however, the comments changed to criticisms of protesters. Polls show only 32 percent disapproval of the protesting every night for the past month.

Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez is the most recent military leader to blast DDT and the first to call him a racist. Sanchez stated he kept quiet while DDT attacked Muslim Gold Star parent, praised white supremacists, tried to deport DACA recipients, etc., but the tipping point came with teargassing peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square for a photo-op with DDT waving an upside-down bible.

The former commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq added his voice in denigrating DDT to retirees Adm. Bill McRaven, the former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command; Navy Adm. James Stavridis; three-star Adm. Joseph Maguire, DDT’s former acting director of National Intelligence; Gen. Tony Thomas; four-star Marine Gen. John Allen; three-star Lt. Gen. Russel Honore; four-star Gen. Michael Hayden; Maj. Gen. Steven Lepper; four-star Gen. Barry McCaffrey; and four-star Gen. John Kelly, DDT’s former White House chief of staff. Three of the last four chairs of the Joint Chiefs (Mark Milley, Martin Dempsey, and Michael Mullen) have openly criticized the actions by DDT and his fixer AG Bill Barr as have the two highest-profile Defense secretaries in the past decade, James Mattis and Robert G. Gates—author of Exercise of Power about the disaster of U.S. leadership. In addition, 280 people signed an op-ed protesting DDT, including 78 Defense Department officials; over 20 retired generals; and four former Pentagon chiefs (two Democrats and two Republicans).

In another response to DDT’s photo-op, Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley apologized for walking to the church with him, regretting his compromising his commitment to separate the military from politics. “As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it.” Milley also said he was “outraged” by the “senseless, brutal killing” of George Floyd. “The protests that have ensued not only speak to his killing but also to centuries of injustice toward African Americans.”

During an interview, Sean Hannity gave DDT a chance to brag about his plans during another four-year term when he asked DDT what his #1 priority would be if he were elected. The answer:

“Well, one of the things that will be really great, you know, the word experience is still good. I always say talent is more important than experience. I’ve always said that. But the word experience is a very important word. It’s an, a very important meaning.”

More of his incoherence. The Wall Street Journal’s response to DDT’s ramblings:

“As of now Mr. Trump has no second-term agenda, or even a message beyond four more years of himself.”

During his three campaign rallies in the last week, DDT consistently used racist terms for COVID-19, and Kellyanne Conway flip-flopped to defend him. Three months ago, she found the racist comments “highly offensive,” “hurtful,” and “wrong,” citing her husband’s Filipino background. In her attack on an Asian-American reporter, she said DDT has an “incredibly important” job to keep China on the hook.

The purpose of VP Mike Pence’s last week press briefing about COVID-19 was to tell people states with surging virus cases, such as Florida and Texas that are closing businesses like bars, are “in a much better place.” Offering no new strategies to stop the spread of the virus, he claimed “all 50 states” are “opening up safely and responsibly”  and called increases among people under age 35 “very encouraging news.” His only strategy to stop the spread of the virus, Pence recommended prayer. Dr. Anthony Fauci said increased testing doesn’t explain the increases, and Deborah Birx asked everyone to wear a mask, something Pence didn’t do at the briefing.

DDT’s strategy is to continue opening businesses and “accept” what happens. On today, June 27, he wants people to accept 43,582 new cases for a total of almost 2.6 million with 128,152 deaths. Or maybe ten times that number. The Dow Jones lost a month’s gain yesterday when it dropped 730 points, about 2.8 percent.  

U.S. residents probably won’t be traveling to Europe for a while: the EU has recommended to its members to create a travel ban from the U.S. to it countries because of the massive COVID-19 infections in our nation. The EU will develop specific criteria this coming week. DDT plans new tariffs on EU products such as chocolates and olives but claims it isn’t retaliation.

June 26, 2020

DDT Uses COVID-19 to Erase Democracy

GOP members of Congress are like the Confederates marching up the hill at Gettysburg in Pickett’s Charge and getting picked off by the thousands: they blindly follow Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) to calamity but can’t turn around. Some of them will survive their next elections, but an increasing number of formerly staunch Republican voters grow disillusioned by the leadership’s lack of ethics, moving the United States away from democracy. This week’s abysmal actions representative of autocracy continue GOP behavior under DDT’s fascist direction.

The worst of these may come from courts removing the habeas corpus—the constitutional guarantee of due process for imprisonment in the Suspension Clause (Clause 2) in Article One, Section 9.

“The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.”

Rights include a fair and speedy trial, counsel, trial by a jury of peers, appearance before accusers, and freedom from unlawful and seizure. Habeas corpus was suspended during the Civil War and to put Japanese-Americans into detention camps during World War II. Forty-four years later President Gerald Ford rescinded that executive order, and Japanese-Americans have received an apology and reparations. After 9/11, the Military Commissions Act (2006) reversed habeas corpus for those detained by the U.S. deemed an enemy combatant, and but the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the act in Boumediene v. Bush (2008). The far-right is now using the pandemic to void habeas corpus.

A New York State Supreme Court judge denied the release of hundreds of protesters in jail for more than 24 hours, contrary to the law, because of the virus. “All writs are denied,” Justice James Burke wrote. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called it “a suspension of habeas corpus.” Chicago police denied protesters their right to attorneys.

In a 7-2 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court denied habeas corpus to people seeking asylum in the U.S. The case concerned Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam, a member of the minority Tamil population in Sri Lanka, was abducted by unidentified men in his home country and severely beaten. Undocumented immigrants caught within 100 miles of a land border within 14 days of arrival can be deported without a hearing; Thuraissigiam was 25 yards from the border. In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote:

“Taken to its extreme, a rule conditioning due process rights on lawful entry would permit Congress to constitutionally eliminate all procedural protections for any non-citizen the Government deems unlawfully admitted and summarily deport them no matter how many decades they have lived here, how settled and integrated they are in their communities, or how many members of their family are U.S. citizens or residents.”

DDT plans to discontinue the practice of informing Congress about entering into major weapons deals after lawmakers blocked his arrangement to provide Saudi Arabia and UAE with U.S. bomb to kill Yemeni civilians. The Arms Export Control Act (AECA) requires the president to formally notify Congress of major foreign arms sales 30 days in advance, but former State Department officials have given informal notice earlier to allow input from lawmakers.

In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Assistant US AG Aaron Zelinsky described the corrupt pressure on line prosecutors to give DDT’s friend Roger Stone special treatment, including the sentencing override with “a new sentencing memorandum that included statements and assertions at odds with the record and contrary to Department of Justice policy.” Zelinsky said the instructions came down from Acting US Attorney for District of Columbia, Timothy Shea, because Shea was “afraid of the President.” Zelinsky’s “objections were not heeded,” he said, and he resigned from his position, returning to Maryland. His supervisor had told Zelinsky to not follow DOJ guidelines for Stone’s sentencing recommendation.

AG Bill Barr is also subverting the voting process to skew the results:  [visual trump vote cartoon]

  • He exonerates people who helped interfere in the 2016 election.
  • He destroys confidence in the government ‘s ability to protect the 2020 election.
  • He lets people suppressing the vote that he will give them special treatment.
  • He spreads disinformation about the possibility of voter fraud.

Gearing up for a loss in November, DDT spread lies about “the most corrupt election in the history of our country”—stolen ballots, forged by foreigners or kept from GOP voting districts—beliefs totally debunked by the ten percent of the nation legally voting by mail.  

The drastic spike of COVID-19 in Texas did not sway the U.S. Supreme Court to allow people in Texas to vote by absentee if they wish to avoid the virus. The court ruling is for the July 14 primary runoff; the separate request for the November election remains pending.

GOP politicians use mail-in ballots because they’re homeless. DDT already used his club in Florida for his residence address although it’s not his residence. VP Mike Pence and his wife Karen are another case of falsifying their address: they used the Indiana governor’s mansion on April 13. They moved out of the place at the end of 2016 to go to Washington, D.C. The current governor, Eric Holcomb, registered to vote at the same address. 

DDT and Barr continue to blame “antifa” and “anarchists” for violence in the month-long protests, but a WaPo factcheck by Meg Kelly and Elyse Samuels could not find one example of antifa-incited violence. They interviewed witnesses and reviewed arrest records, federal charges, intelligence reports, online conversations and dozens of videos and photos of violent incidents from the early days of protests in Minneapolis for their report through protests in over 140 cities. According to U.S. officials within the joint terrorism task force, most of the violence “local hooligans, sometimes gangs, sometimes just individuals that are trying to take advantage of an opportunity.” At different protests, “some antifa …. stood back, did not engage, certainly not in a violent way.”

The majority of 14,000 arrests in 49 cities since May 27 were for low-level offences such as curfew violation and failure to disperse. Eighty federal charges, including murder and throwing Molotov cocktails at police vehicles, show no evidence of an antifa plot reveal no evidence of an antifa plot; four people among those facing the most serious federal charges identify with the far-right extremist “boogaloo” movement. The Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, which tracks white supremacist and far-right groups, found almost 200 appearances by vigilantes and far-right extremists at protests in the U.S. protests. At the same time, law enforcement is collaborating with white supremacists in many locations where they receive easier charges for their violence.

In his purpose of appearing part of DDT’s “law and order,” anti-protest schtick, Barr is taking over state responsibilities in prosecuting protesters for crimes. Some of these cases may be serious, but two incidents are breaking police car windows. A case of throwing a Molotov cocktail was considered a federal regulation of foreign commerce because the device used an imported bottle of tequila. Constitutional experts declare Barr’s actions are not in keeping with the Constitution’s limited role for the federal government and federal law enforcement. In one case, the federal government arrested protesters on the basis of interstate commerce. They never affected it, but a directive, not followed through, warned drivers of trucks bearing hazardous materials to divert.

Today, DDT signed an executive order telling Barr to prioritize prosecution for anyone who damages federal monuments and religious property. The Veterans’ Memorial Preservation Act imposes up to ten years for damage to structures on public property commemorating veterans. The order also permits the dispatch of military to protect these monuments and other property at the request of the secretaries of Interior or Homeland Security or Administrator of General Services. Barr directed the DOJ to form a task force combating “anti-government extremists.” DDT also threatened to remove federal support from state and local governments who don’t protect the monuments.

DDT blamed the virus for canceling H-1B “highly-skilled worker” and H-2B  seasonal non-agricultural laborer visas until the end of the year or longer “as necessary.” About 525,000 people, including cultural and educational exchange worker J visa holders, will be denied entry.

Hate for the World Health Organization (WHO) caused DDT to order U.S. diplomats and health officials justification for any engagement with the WHO as being necessary for national security and public health safety. Disasters with DDT’s disconnect with WHO:

The U.S. has been cut out of developing the seasonal influenza vaccine, and the U.S. could lack access to an eventual COVID-19 vaccine. For example, centers in over 100 countries collect samples from sick people, isolate viruses, and search for new ones as part of the process to choose the flu strains for the annual vaccine. The CDC would no longer have access to data and virus samples protecting U.S. people from deadly strains of flu.

The U.S. could have no knowledge about health threats in another part of the world and initiatives to combat infectious diseases such as the eradication of polio still in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The U.S., without WHO, would need to take on some of its responsibilities, drawing its attention from the response to the virus.

China would fill in the U.S. vacuum and be dominant in the world.

A second term for DDT means the complete end of democracy in the United States, thanks to the Republican party.

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