Nel's New Day

July 29, 2019

More Fodder for DDT’s Swamp

Determined to surround himself by incompetent sycophants, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) found a candidate for his intelligence chief, in charge of 16 agencies, after getting rid of Dan Coats, a Republican who served in that position for over two years. The new loyalist pick, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX), auditioned for director of national intelligence when he slammed special investigator Robert Mueller during last week’s House committee hearings and showed himself to be comfortable with protecting DDT through ignoring Russian interference in U.S. elections. Ratcliffe denied that DDT committed obstruction of justice and criticized Mueller for addressing it in his report. GOP senators will almost likely confirm the nomination.

Like most of DDT’s other appointments, the partisan Ratcliffe has little background for the position for which he is nominated, in this case a position which should be independent. For Ratcliffe, his ignorance is not a huge problem because Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, formerly CIA director, sets the agenda for the intelligence agencies.

The order creating the office after 9/11 requires military or intelligence experience for the director. Ratcliffe lacks both. He was a private practice lawyer until he became Chief of Anti-Terrorism and National Security for part of Texas for a few years in the early 2000s. During that time, he was also mayor of a city with a population of 8,000 people. In his third term for the U.S. House, he has been on the Intelligence Committee since January. His website states that he “put terrorists in prison,” no evidence exists that he has prosecuted a terrorism case. In opposition to the FBI investigation into Russian election meddling, Ratcliffe claimed that any interference benefitted Hillary Clinton. Sen Ron Wyden (D-OR) summed up Ratcliffe’s experience for leading 17 intelligence agencies:

“The sum total of his qualifications appears to be his record of promoting Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories about the investigation into Russian interference and calling for prosecution of Trump’s political enemies.”

GOP senators seem lukewarm about Ratcliffe’s appointment, and they may face more problems with DDT’s appointment of Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten as the next vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff after Army Col. Kathryn A. Spletstoser renewed her assertion that he sexually assaulted her in a California hotel room. The episode allegedly came after a number of unwanted touchings in 2017. She reported his behavior, but Hyten denied that it happened. During an inquiry, his wife said that his private-sector lie-detector test “did not go well,” and Hyten refused to take one for the Department of Defense. Yet investigators found “insufficient evidence to support any finding of misconduct.” The Senate Armed Services Committee is holding confirmation hearings for Hyten this week after meeting with him and Spletstoser in closed sessions.

After an appointment as chief of naval operations, Admiral William Moran, confirmed in May by a Senate voice vote, declined the position for an early retirement, perhaps because of emails between him and Cmdr. Chris Servello who retired in disgrace. Servello was investigated for allegedly acting inappropriately toward women during a Pentagon holiday party in 2016. The Navy found that his harassment didn’t constitute “criminal sexual harassment,” but Servello retired. He had been chief spokesman for Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson who was found to take little disciplinary action for not censuring Servello earlier when Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) began an examination into hundreds of sexual assault and harassment complaints in the armed forces. Richard will stay on as Chief until a replacement is confirmed.

DDT has followed his pattern of appointing people to cabinet positions who oppose the agencies’ missions with his nomination of Eugene Scalia, son of a former Supreme Court justice, to lead the Labor Department after Alex Acosta left during the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. The anti-labor lawyer tirelessly worked for large corporations to circumvent regulations and stop employees organizing efforts. His legal efforts benefitted Ford Motor, MetLife, American Petroleum Institute, Steve Wynn’s casinos, and major telecommunications and retail industry trade associations. Other Scalia successes are defeating the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Labor Department, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Federal Communications. Commission.

Thanks to Scalia, Walmart won its case against a Maryland law requiring companies with over 10,000 workers to either spend eight percent of payroll costs on health care of pay into a state Medicaid fund. Another Scalia win was against unions arguing that Boeing violated labor law in threats to open a South Carolina assembly plant if the union didn’t agree to a no-strike contract clause. Scalia also worked to protect Wall Street from the Dodd-Frank Act. DDT’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, wanted a far more aggressive anti-labor leader to head up the Labor Department.

Seventeen years ago, George W. Bush appointed Scalia the acting solicitor at the Labor Department in a recess appointment after Democrats opposed Scalia for his opposition to protecting workers from job-related repetitive stress injuries. Scalia was also AG Bill Barr’s special assistant under George H.W. Bush and wrote speeches for Ronald Reagan’s education secretary, William Bennett.

Mark Esper, top lobbyist for Raytheon receiving $18.1 billion in unclassified defense contracts last year, easily received confirmation despite his refusal to recuse himself from Raytheon issues. He also declined to commit to not working for a private defense company for four years after he leaves the Pentagon. Only eight senators voted against him, half of them women. A friend and former classmate of Pompeo, he will make a formidable team with the Secretary of State against national defense secretary John Bolton. As Open Secrets shows in this article, DDT seeks out lobbyists for his administration.

The FAA has moved from administration by Boeing to Delta in the Senate’s confirmation of a longtime Delta Air Lines executive Steven Dickson along party lines. He replaces acting secretary Daniel Elwell who had been a lobbyist for Boeing. Democrats opposed Dickson because of the company’s whistleblower retaliation while he was senior vice president of flight operations. Although Dickson said that safety would be a priority for him, Delta pilot Karlene Petitt was forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and barred from flying after she spoke out on safety issues, specifically inadequate pilot training and lack of pilot rest. Her whistleblower claim is before an administrative law judge who said that he was “really troubled” by her case. Dickson had failed to mention the case in his questionnaire and downplayed his involvement during the hearings. A medical expert at the Mayo Clinic said that “the evidence … does support an organizational/corporate effort to remove this pilot from the rolls.”

When DDT is not hiring lobbyists and industry officials, he shops for new people at Fox. Monica Crowley, who lost her chance to be on DDT’s National Security Council because of plagiarism, is now the Treasury Department spokesperson as assistant secretary for public affairs. Crowley spread conspiracy theories about President Obama being a secret Muslim on the side of Islam terrorists and being not born in the United States. She follows Morgan Ortagus who recently became the new spokesperson at the State Department who replaced former Fox anchor Heather Nauert. Just before that, former Fox reporter Lea Gabrielle became leader of the State Department’s Global Engagement Center. Cabinet members Ben Carson and Elaine Chao were also on Fox. The “joke” is that people can feed DDT information if they get on Fox—like the video that elicited DDT’s series of racist tweets for the past ten days. More Fox folk for DDT here.

Michelle Moons, White House correspondent for Steve Bannon’s Breitbart, has moved to the office of Domestic Policy Council.

As DDT hires lobbyists and journalists, professionals are moving out of his administration. Former State Department intelligence official Rod Schoonover resigned “in protest” for DDT’s blocking him from presenting evidence and data on the impacts of climate change in Congressional testimony. The excuse in cutting scientific information was that it did not fit with DDT’s official position. Critics of the testimony included National Security Council senior director William Happer who finds carbon dioxide beneficial. Schoonover quit after a decade of federal service at the same time that DDT blocks climate research from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and DDT’s new plan to help polluters, in opposition to EPA assessment that the plan will annually kill 1,400 people.

Lack of support by the UK new prime minister, Boris Johnson, caused Sir Kim Darroch to resign as British ambassador to the U.S. because of Darroch’s uncomplimentary statements about DDT. Even conservative MPs called Johnson’s conduct “contemptible.” Darroch will stay on the job until a new ambassador is appointment which doesn’t look eminent at this time. 

July 28, 2019

DDT: Week 131 – Disastrous Domestic Events

A second day of false and racist tweets from Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) about what he calls the “Cumming [sic] district” came from a slanted video by a guest on Fox & Friends who sought out the most struggling, severely impoverished Baltimore neighborhoods. The heavily gerrymandered district has urban, suburban and rural areas ranging from well-off to poor, but the video focused on only one aspect. DDT’s racist rants followed Cummings’ criticism of southern border detention centers, subpoenas for emails and texts of White House aides including Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, and Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony where Cummings asked people to pay attention to activities of DDT and his associates.

Kushner owns thousands of rental units in Baltimore County providing substandard housing to lower-income tenants and cited for hundreds of code violations. His company made repairs only after threats of fines for mice infestations, mold problems, and maggots. DDT wants Cummings to thank him for low unemployment figures for blacks, but most of the drop in unemployment rates for blacks came during President Obama’s terms (16.8 percent to 7.8 percent) and from Democratic policies.

Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney defended DDT’s racist comments, saying he would have been fired as representative if his district had Cummings’ problems. Compared to Cummings’ district, Mulvaney’s former district, South Carolina’s 5th district, has a lower median household income and a similar poverty rate, 14.9 percent versus 16.6 percent. The Baltimore Sun’s editorial ran with the headline, “Better to have a few rats than to be one.”

Afraid that Congress will see his tax returns, DDT is suing the House Ways and Means Committee, the New York state attorney general, and a New York state tax official to hide state tax returns—although the House has not tried to get the returns. His lawsuit follows a complaint from the House committee to get DDT’s federal tax returns.

A judge also ruled that   a lawsuit against DDT’s alleged deceptive and unfair business practices may proceed. Roberta Kaplan, who successfully argued the Supreme Court marriage equality decision in U.S. v. Windsor, represents the plaintiffs who claim that DDT and three of his children scammed them.

A federal jury convicted Michael Flynn’s former business partner Bijan Rafiekian because of the work that the two men did for Turkish interests during the last months of DDT’s presidential campaign in 2016—acting as an unregistered foreign agent and lying to the DOJ. Flynn was DDT’s national security adviser for 24 days; his sentencing is pending.

Four automakers—Ford, Honda, VW, and BMW—from three continents have a deal with California to sell the state more fuel-efficient cars after DDT rolled back tougher standards.

Election systems in all 50 states were Russian targets, according to the heavily-redacted Senate Intelligence Committee report. Subsequent volumes will report on Russia’s use of social media for influencing the vote. The committee recommended a paper trail for voter machines and backups for registration systems, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has refused to take any action. A new hashtag #Moscow Mitch came from Joe Scarborough who asked, “How can Moscow Mitch keep denying that Vladimir Putin continues to try to subvert American democracy?” Lobbyists for the two largest electronic voting machine vendors that provide 80 percent of the voting machines in the U.S. donated to McConnell’s campaigns. Fourteen states used electronic voting systems with no paper trail in 2018.

DDT thought he was home free after a judge ruled in favor of his new rule requiring asylum seekers to ask for protection in another country before crossing the southern border, but soon after that ruling, another judge blocked DDT’s rule. The second judge stated that the “new Rule is likely invalid because it is inconsistent with the existing asylum laws.”

In the UN, DDT blocked condemnation of Israel’s demolishing Palestinian homes on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Israel claimed that the 10 apartment buildings were a threat to Israeli armed forces, a barrier outlawed by the UN in 2004. Israelis performed the demolishment operation in the night and displaced Palestine refugees, some of them for a second time. https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/07/1042981

This is “who we are” as a country as DDT brings out the worst in people:

Three million more poor people may go hungry, thanks to Minnesota millionaire Rob Undersander who said he managed to get food stamps. Over 250,000 children won’t receive free school meals, no one with $2,000 in savings can receive food stamps, and people are discouraged from working longer, getting a job with better pay, and saving for education or emergencies. The change, claimed to save $2.5 billion, will require expenditures of extra paperwork, staff hours, and other costs.

DOJ’s AG Bill Barr plans to kill people by lifting the 16-year hiatus on federal capital punishment with five executions in December and January. Conviction for one of them has been described as “unreliable.” Twenty-one states abandoned capital punishment, and several others have frozen them.

Pedro Arriago-Santoya is the seventh person to die in ICE custody in the past nine months. At least 25 people have died in ICE custody since DDT was inaugurated, and another 12 have died in federal immigration custody that includes Border Patrol station and youth migrant detention centers.

ICE posted a job from a for-profit company for “lead physician” of a “facility” who will be “philosophically committed to the objectives of the facility” and “based on the company goals, objectives and philosophy.” That company, GEO, “permitted armed men to forcibly remove the fathers [from their children] from their rooms at the Karnes Detention Center by using bulletproof vests, shields, knee pads, boots, helmets, tear gas equipment and guns” and told them “that they would never see their sons again.” That “general practitioner” can make $400,000 a year without board certification.

Francisco Erwin Galicia, the 18-year-old U.S.-born citizen captured in Texas 75 miles from the Mexican border, was imprisoned in a detention center for 23 days. He lost 26 pounds and considered self-deporting just to escape horrific conditions. Locked up with 60 other men in an area so crowded that some of them slept in the toilet area, he was given only a few “HandiWipes” for cleaning—no showers, no clean clothes, no other hygiene. He had his papers, but, according to their own documents, border agents lied about his telling them that he was a U.S. citizen. Galicia was denied a telephone call to his mother for help and released only after Dallas Morning News reporting.

Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley West School District in Pennsylvania sent 1,000 threatening letters to parents, telling them their children could go into foster care if the lunch debt of over $10 wasn’t paid. Rep. Omar Ilhan (D-MN) has co-introduced a bill to stop multiple incidences of lunch debt shaming. Oregon gives free lunches to students up to three times above the poverty level.

Carrizo Springs, the “model” detention center for unaccompanied migrant minors used to show how well migrant children are treated, is closing. Opened last month, the facility has a five-year, $8.8 million lease; BCFS Health and Human Services received a $308 million contract through January 2020 to house up to 1,344 children at a cost of $750 to $800 per child per day. Children will be sent from the non-profit facility to for-profit centers like the already-crowded one in Homestead (FL) where inmates have been abused. 

After McConnell was forced by public decency to allow a vote for the House bill passing by 402-2 that provides health care for 9/11 First Responders, it passed that chamber by 97-2. Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart was instrumental in the bill’s House passage and watched McConnell take the bill to the Senate floor. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), one of the no votes, was furious because of no offset costs for the annual $1 billion expenditure. Paul supported the tax cuts for the wealthy and big business that cost taxpayers $1 trillion ever year.

Like deadbeat DDT, VP Mike Pence isn’t paying his bills, this one $24,000 for security at a fundraiser bringing him $700,000. The event was at the Caribou Club in Colorado owned by a gay couple.

The 40-percent tax cuts for big business failed; private-sector investments dropped for the first time in several years in opposition to GOP promises of increased business investment. Tax cuts aren’t paying for themselves, they aren’t boosting economic growth, and they don’t increase private-sector hiring. Businesses bought back their stocks and gave markets a false short term boost before they sheltered their benefits overseas.

The Equifax settlement promising $125 for each person whose personal data was stolen may be $.21 if all 147 million people apply, and the money won’t hide Social Security numbers. Yet people who do nothing automatically waive any right to take legal action against Equifax. People can check here to see if their data was stolen; the deadline is 1/22/2020. People who settle also waive any right to take legal action. Those who want to keep the option of taking legal action must mail a written “request for exclusion,” postmarked by Nov. 19, 2019, to the settlement administrator. Updates available here.

July 27, 2019

DDT: Week 131 – Racism Fuels Campaign, Covers Global Disasters

Filed under: Donald Trump,Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 9:14 PM
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Expanding his racist comments from female congressional members to males, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) attacked Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), chair of the Oversight Committee that has subpoenaed White House officials and DDT’s family for emails, accusing him of being a “brutal bully” and his mostly black district as being a “disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess.” DDT’s tweet included the accusation that “no human being would want to live” in Cummings’ district. Cummings had criticized DHS Director Kevin McAleenan for his treatment of children in southern border detention centers. DDT continued his hostile, racist tweets throughout the day while he played golf at his own resort at Potomac Falls (VA).

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), 2020 presidential candidate, said that DDT is worse than a racist because he uses race as a weapon. Like Democratic segregationist Alabama governor and presidential candidate George Wallace, DDT uses “racist tropes and racial language for political gains … to divide our national against itself,” Booker said, comparing DDT to the “Know Nothing Party, which was trying to stop Irish and German immigrants” and McCarthyism.

DDT-appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the majority of the 100 domestic terrorism arrests thus far this year came from “white supremacist violence,” an increase from last year during DDT’s promotion of racism. Wray also said in his testimony that Russia is determined to interfere in the 2020 election. Canada is adding white supremacists and neo-Nazis to its list of terrorist organizations, but DDT refuses to do the same. The U.S. pursues only foreign people of color on theirs. Both DDT and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refuse to take any action against Russia.

A systematic series of racist comments may not benefit DDT’s campaign: he “crossed the line” with his racist remarks, according to 63 percent of people—in a Fox poll. DDT slammed his former favorite network again after another Fox poll showed Joe Biden ahead of DDT for the presidential race.

Although DDT’s approval ratings went up in 11 Southern states after his racist comments, Charlotte (NC), the city hosting the Republican National Convention next year, passed a resolution, 9-2, condemning DDT’s “racist and xenophobic comments.” The infamous rally audience chanting “send her back” in Greenville (NC) is only 220 miles from Charlotte, the site of the white supremacist rally in 2017 that caused DDT to defend the supremacists. The RNC was accepted with a narrow 6-5 vote. Charlotte probably can’t afford to back out of hosting the GOP, but officials are receiving a number of angry communications about staying with the Republicans.

More bad news for DDT came from the government report that the three-percent GDP growth in 2018 was false. The 1.1 percent growth in the first quarter of 2019 is the slowest movement since President Obama’s second term. Bloomberg reports slower business investment and exports growth because of instability caused by DDT’s tariffs and a steep drop in exports. DDT had promised increases between three and four percent because of tax cuts for the wealthy and big business. Despite their tax cuts, corporations profits fell $18.6 billion in the last quarter of 2018.  

North Korea is still firing short-range ballistic missiles although DDT had consistently declared about his BFF Kim Jong-Un, “[T]here’s no missile testing, there’s no nothing.” In June, John Bolton, DDT’s national security adviser, determined that there’s “no doubt” the North Korean missile launches violated U.N. Security Council resolutions. Pat Shanahan, DDT’s then-acting Defense secretary, agreed. DDT is back in his alternate reality trying to convince people during his campaign that his foreign policy has been successful. And DDT lies about North Korea sending back the remains of fallen service members from war.

After DDT permitted the formerly blacklisted Chinese company Huawei Technologies Co. to sell to the United States, it was discovered that Huawei, the world’s largest telecom equipment manufacturer, secretly helped North Korea to build and maintain the country’s commercial wireless network in possible violation to U.S. sanctions. DDT had blacklisted the company in May but lifted the listing after China gave him right to brand 38 businesses with his name. 

The UK has refused DDT’s request for a multi-national effort to protect non-Iranian ships in the Persian Gulf. Yet the U.S. is not supportive of the UK: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the responsibility “falls to the United Kingdom to take care of their ships.” DDT is left with only autocratic nations for “allies.” His “America First” makes all former U.S. allies afraid of getting involved with the United States in a military conflict. Former British Foreign Secretary Jeffrey Hunt said that his country “will not be part of the U.S. maximum pressure policy on Iran because we remain committed to preserving the Iran nuclear agreement.” New Defense Secretary Mark Esper has figured out that it’s “America Alone” after France and Germany failed to provide military strength in the Gulf.

DDT supports China about the violent mobs beating up Hong Kong protesters opposing a proposal to more easily extradite people to mainland China as a way to target Chinese political opponents. At the recent G20 meeting, DDT promised Chinese President Xi Jinping that he would say nothing about Beijing’s attacks on Hong Kong’s already limited freedoms, and Pompeo stopped a speech by the outgoing U.S. consul general for Hong Kong offering support for protesters on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Ignoring images of the violence, DDT called the protests “relatively nonviolent.” In the United States, DDT damns socialism, but for Hong Kong he supports Communism.

Among his hand-picked journalists, DDT also prefers Communists. Kristian Brunovich Rouz, a reporter for the San Diego-based, DDT-endorsed One America News Network, also works for Russia’s official propaganda outlet, Sputnik, that participated in Russia’s 2016 election interference. Rouz’s reports include fabrications of Hillary Clinton secretly bankrolling antifa, George Soros’ collaboration with Nazis when he was 14 and secretly funding migrant caravans, and other hoaxes. OAN Network, a home for viewers too conservative for the Fox network, is dedicated to conspiracy theories and fake news, especially support of Russia’s global agenda.

DDT started with the claim that Mexico will pay for his wall. He moved on to explain that Mexico will pay for it some day. The next lie was that he was already building the wall, but he has been forced to admit that every inch of “new wall” is to repair the old ones. DDT’s handpicked Supreme Court now ruled 5-4 that he could use $2.5 billion in military funds for his wall, not on the merits but because the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to bring the case. Congress already passed a law that taxpayers will not pay for the wall, their constitutional right.

Another huge DDT whopper this week came from his claim in the Oval Office to Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked DDT to “be a mediator or arbitrator” in the 70+ year dispute between the two countries regarding the Kashmir region. India’s foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar denied DDT’s assertion after members of the Indian parliament demanded Modi to respond. The issue can be resolved only in direct talks with Islamabad, according to India. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, apologized to Jaishankar for DDT’s statement.

In his meeting with Khan, DDT also roiled Afghanistan by saying he could win the war there in a week but he didn’t want to kill ten million people.

“If I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the Earth. It would be gone. It would be over in—literally, in 10 days.”

Afghanistan has demanded an explanation of DDT’s statement. DDT said that Pakistan would help the U.S. to “extricate ourselves” from the war in Afghanistan, and former President Hamid Karzai said DDT had insulted all Afghans. Karzai added that DDT’s comments confirmed suspicions that the U.S. made “secret deals” with Pakistan to undermine Afghanistan’s sovereignty. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, national security adviser for Karzai, said that DDT’s words were “a terrible, racist political message.” The U.S. State Department is not saying anything about DDT’s comments.

DDT vetoed three bills blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo failed to bypass congressional review in declaring a national security emergency. The Saudis are embroiled in controversy after its conflict in Yemen causing the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis and its murder of U.S. resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The U.S. sells more weapons to Saudi Arabia than any other country and provides logistical support in Yemen that is starving ten million people. Only a two-thirds majority in both congressional chambers can override DDT’s vetoes. The House may be able to find the votes to block the veto, but the Senate would need a dozen Republicans. Senate Republicans are also at odds with DDT, who wants to protect Turkey after it bought a Russian antimissile system by waived mandatory sanctions.

And that’s DDT’s destruction of foreign policy for the week; domestic issue come next.

July 25, 2019

Mueller Testimony Shows Republicans Live in an Alternate Reality

The week of Robert Mueller’s testimony about his investigation before two House committees began with a letter from DOJ Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer, who earlier declared that he had nothing to do with the investigation, ordering Mueller about what he can and cannot tell say. Attorney Neal Katyal, formerly a DOJ member,  described the letter’s tone as “bizarrely adversarial” and “not a way to treat a former FBI director.” Another former DOJ official, Matthew Miller, commented:

“DOJ’s position is it’s OK for [AG Bill] Barr to talk about decision making, findings that go beyond the report, etc., but Mueller can’t.”

Dictator Donald Trump’s (DDT) tried to seem casual about Mueller’s testimony. Asked if he was worried, DDT said:

“No, I’m not going to be watching. Probably. Maybe I’ll see a little bit of it. I’m not going to be watching Mueller.”

DDT then launched into his lies and “no obstruction” speech:

“Robert Mueller, I know he’s conflicted—he had a lot—there’s a lot of conflicts that he’s got, including the fact that his best friend is Comey. But he’s got conflicts with me, too. He’s got big conflicts with me. As you know, he wanted the job of the FBI Director. He didn’t get it. And we had a business relationship where I said, ‘No.’ And I would say that he wasn’t happy. Then, all of a sudden, he gets this position. But you know what? He still ruled—and I respect him for it—he still ruled ‘no collusion, no obstruction.’”

The day before Mueller’s testimony, DDT lied to an audience of conservative teenagers sponsored by Turning Point USA by claiming that the constitution’s Article II states that “I can do whatever I want.” This article explains impeachment if the president does anything that he wants. More DDT lies: immigrants “vote many times”; Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is a “bad,” “sick,” “vicious” person; mainstream media companies are close to failing; liberal judges are not following the Constitution and “trying to take your arms away”; 2016 was the most important election ever because the country was “going wrong”; the U.S. is “respected” again; Nike is trying to take “heritage” away from young people; two years ago the military was on the brink of collapse; only 11 percent of the people support impeachment (although the number from one poll is 37 percent to begin proceedings); and the FBI is “crazy.”  DDT then moved on racist comments and lies about foreign policy before, luckily, C-SPAN’s web feed died.

During his speech, DDT stood in front of a “revised” presidential seal that showed a two-headed eagle, reminiscent of empire and dominance like the Russian coat of arms and flags of Serbia, Albania and Montenegro. The 13 arrows in the left talon have been replaced by golf clubs, and the talon on the right is holding cash. The white objects on the blue background above red and white stripes in the flag crest are hammer and sickles. The seal also replaced the nation’s motto with “45 es un titere,” Spanish for “45 is a puppet.” Graphic designer Charles Leazott sells the seal on his web site, https://one-term-donnie.myshopify.com/. No one noticed the error until later.

The morning before Mueller’s testimony, DDT tweeted several attacks against Mueller, Hillary Clinton, Andrew McCabe, and James Comey while accusing the hearings of being unfair and accusing political opponents of fabricating crimes against him. DDT also complained about Mueller’s aide, Aaron Zebley, testifying with him as a witness, and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) did the same in the committee meeting on Wednesday morning.

Robert Mueller’s testimony before two different House committees for six hours stuck to Barr’s demands. He was careful with his answers, to the point of looking to conservatives as if he were flustered and confused. 

 

Pieces from Mueller’s testimony:

DDT “was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed” and could be indicted after he leaves office.

The investigation did not “fully exonerate” DDT, and Mueller did not find that DDT did not obstruct justice. Mueller confirmed multiple examples of DDT’s obstruction in his report. 

Mueller didn’t bring charges against DDT, not because of lack of evidence but because of DOJ rules that refuse to charge a sitting president with a crime.

DDT did not cooperate fully with the investigation because he refused to an interview and would not answer written questions about obstruction. Mueller also found DDT’s “written answers to be inadequate.” He also indicated that DDT had not been truthful in some answers.

Mueller did not subpoena DDT because DDT’s fight against it would prolong the Russia investigation. 

DDT lied under oath and asked his staff to falsify records for Mueller’s investigation. 

DDT lied when he said that Mueller was upset about not being appointed FBI director; Mueller said he was not a candidate for the post.

DDT’s encouragement of WikiLeaks are “problematic [as] an understatement.”

DDT and his campaign team lied about events in 2016 during the Russian election attacks.

Several people interviewed for the investigation lied.

Russia wanted DDT to win in 2016 and Russia worked to boost his election in a “sweeping and systematic fashion,” according to Mueller.  

Russia tampered in U.S. elections in the past, and “they’re doing it as we sit here.” DDT’s campaign welcomed this interference in 2016.

The investigation is “not a witch hunt.”

Mueller registered objections to GOP congressional members’ false interpretations of his report:

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) falsely accused Mueller of ignoring the FBI probe origins and not investigating a diplomat who said that DDT’s campaign aide said Russians had dirt on Clinton.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) falsely accused the investigation of being politically motivated.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) falsely accused Mueller of irresponsibly impugning DDT because he didn’t make a determination about DDT’s committing a crime and obstructing justice.

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) falsely claimed that Mueller agreed with AG Bill Barr’s representation of the report to the public.  (She also told Mueller that he didn’t use Fox “news” enough times in his report.)

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) falsely accused Mueller of leaving out evidence.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) falsely accused Mueller of weighting his team with anti-DDT members. (Two of them had each donated $2,700 to Clinton for her election. Democrats didn’t point out that Barr donated $51,000 to Republicans in the six months before he was appointed as AG.)

Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) used his questioning time as an interview for replacing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Most of the questions/comments from Republicans came from false Fox material. (Fact-checking the falsehoods.) Individually and collectively, Republicans treated Robert Mueller, a Republican who has served his country well in six other administrations, with complete disrespect while defending a person who dodged the draft and sold out the United States. 

Not all Republicans supported the GOP “head in the sand” denial practices toward DDT’s criminal behavior. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, a former representative who helped DDT during his campaign, tweeted:

“Jesus, forgive me for ever being a Republican.”

After Mueller’s testimony, Republican politicians had only two talking points: DDT is guilty of nothing, and Mueller gave a bad “performance.” They lied about the first and presented the second as if behavior, like reality TV and DDT’s rallies, are the substance. Republicans attacked Mueller for not memorizing 448 pages and a two-year investigation while they give a pass to DDT who can’t memorize ahalf page of notes. To summarize for the GOP, Mueller made clear that DDT was not exonerated, that DDT would and did benefit from Russia’s massive election interference, that DDT’s behavior met all three criteria for criminal obstruction of justice, that only being sitting president saved DDT from criminal prosecution, and that only DOJ saves DDT from indictment while he’s in the Oval Office. Less than two hours after Mueller’s testimony, DDT lied about all Mueller’s statements.

Transcript of Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.

If the Mueller investigation exonerated DDT, why are he and Republicans so bent out of shape about the findings? These ongoing activities may frighten the naysayers. They should become afraid when anti-DDT countries start their own election interference—like Iran. 

Senate Republicans polished off Mueller’s testimony about the danger of Russian interference in the next election by blocking two election security bills and a cybersecurity measure. The next day, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked the measures on Thursday, accusing Democrats of trying to give themselves a “political benefit.” One rejected House bill requires paper ballots and provides funding for the Election Assistance Commission. To McConnell, blocking Russian interference is “partisan legislation.” The other bill mandates notification of the FBI for “assistance offers” from foreign powers. Ironically, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report at the same time showing massive election interference from Russia since 2014. Republicans know, however, that they might not get elected if the United States has a free, unfettered voting system.

 In the past, fighting Russian control of the U.S. was bipartisan. Those days are gone, and DDT’s supporters live in an alternate reality.  

July 21, 2019

Religion Eliminates Human Rights

Thanks to the Republicans’ need for “religious freedom,” your house could burn down if firefighters disagree with your “moral” or “religious” beliefs. Or paramedics could decide not to save your life. Texas legislation protects “religious liberty and moral convictions” of individuals and businesses by allowing them to follow their religious or moral conviction. SB1978 came after a vote by the San Antonio City Council to block Chick-fil-a’s restaurant at the city-owned airport because of the company’s discrimination against LGBTQ people. The Federal Aviation Administration is now investigating the company’s exclusion at U.S. airports.

The protection of Chick-fil-a comes from the Congressional Prayer Caucus’s Project Blitz guidelines of 20 policy templates from establishing “In-God-We-Trust” options for license plates to eliminating adoption opportunities for LGBTQ people and criminalizing abortion. Fundamentalist Christianity is now blocking women from reproductive rights in red states throughout the nation. States are criminalizing abortions, arrested practitioners for murder, in Alabama even the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest.

An Alabama woman whose fetus was killed in a shooting was indicted for manslaughter because the fetus didn’t survive. She didn’t fire the shot, but officials declared that she started the fight when another woman shot her. The shooter was not indicted, but the victim faced 20 years in prison until the case was dropped. Many people in Alabama still want the woman in prison because of their Christian “personhood” beliefs. 

Led by two prominent Southern Baptist congressional representatives, the Prayer Caucus playbook includes lies about LGBTQ disease, mental health, “moral instabilities,” and pedophilia as well as falsely equating support of transgender children expression with child abuse. According to their beliefs, only married heterosexual couples should be able to adopt children—sometimes only conservative Christians and not even Catholics. These people are getting their way through executive orders and laws.

Sixty “religious liberty” laws in 31 states were passed in 2017 and 2018, and the DHS Office of Civil Rights created the Conscience and Religious Freedom Unit, institutionalizing conscience and moral convictions above human rights. Homophobic and transphobic lawyer, Roger Severino, directs the office after having worked at the billion-dollar fundamentalist think tank, the Heritage Foundation and the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society in the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity. This new form of social control allows exclusion, restrictions, isolation and punishment of people who don’t follow the narrow evangelical Christian beliefs.

Part of authoritarianism requires scapegoats, and the current administration provides these with claims of threats by LGBTQ people, Latinx, blacks, and Muslims. All of these groups are classified as “sexual deviants,” “criminals,” and “terrorists” who should be eliminated, as shown by the cries of “send her back” and “America—Love it or leave it.”

The “religious freedom” laws largely evolved from the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Its purpose was to protect Indigenous religious practices, but new laws are weighted toward permission of fundamentalist Christianity to reject and discriminate against “others.” Most of the publicity has come from refusals of florists, bakers, photographers, and other “artists” to discriminate against same-gender couples who have been protected in the past by state laws. Women also face discrimination since the 1994 Hobby Lobby decision when the Supreme Court recognized for-profit businesses as having “religious beliefs” that permit them to circumvent labor laws and deny health coverage. A publicly funded adoption and foster agency in South Carolina refused a lesbian couple from fostering a child in state custody.

These 60 laws are not designed to freely practice a religion: they impose a set of fundamentalist Christian morals on the entire population of taxpayers. Behind the laws are Islamophobes in southern states who block the building of mosques to preserve a narrow view of Christian values in publicly funded institutions. Like the Stand Your Ground laws that protect only whites murdering unarmed children instead of abused women trying to protect themselves.

The “moral” view goes far beyond these laws. In New York City, Eric Garner, a black man, was killed because he was selling single cigarettes in violation of a law. While he was held down by police officers, he called out 11 times that he couldn’t breathe; he died of asphyxia. The police officers were exonerated. The DOJ refuses to bring criminal civil rights charges against the police officer who killed Garner in a chokehold. The officer has stayed on the force for the past five years since Garner’s death.

On the federal level, a civil rights office in the Department of Education has ruled against protecting transgender students. HUD now allows discrimination against LGBTQ people in homeless shelters and emergency shelters during disasters. Conservative states have long used the term “rights” to block unions and collective bargaining—as in “right to work”—and forcing taxpayers to pay for religious schools in “right to choose” charter schools.

Health care is a serious concern after HHS released the rule “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care” that allows all health care providers to refuse care for patients even if the entities receive federal funding. HHS ignored the majority of the 242,000 public comments expressing concern about wilful permission to eliminate health care. Although some people may think that moral and religious excuses might be limited to reproductive rights, health care providers can refuse care for LGBTQ people, single women, people of color—in short, anyone. The excuse is to equate religious restrictions with civil rights, despite First Amendment rights, and enforced by the commission that consolidates authority over 25 federal laws allowing religious refusals.

An early attempt to clarify religious liberty came from James Madison’s treatise “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments” leading to the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom and guiding both the United States Constitution and the First Amendment. Madison’s position about religion, coming from the religious persecution of Baptists when he was young, is to not favor one faith above another and leave the checks and balances to religious groups. Like early capitalism, religion should have open competition with rules to keep the largest ones from undermining new groups. The concept led to states’ eliminating their religious regulations, but persecution of unpopular religious minorities, such as Catholics and Mormons, continued. The Ku Klux Klan, including the father of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), whipped anti-Catholic belief into a frenzy in the 1920s, complete with pervasive conspiracy theories. The prejudice against Catholic beliefs was like that of attacks on Muslim sharia code of behavior. Presidential candidate Al Smith was smeared as being beholden to the Pope despite his assertion about separation of church and state.

In the 1930s, mobs switched their violence toward Jehovah’s Witnesses who refused to salute the flag or be drafted. Their lawsuits, 37 of them reaching the U.S. Supreme Court, changed history when the high court ruled that the First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause applied to state and local government, not just to Congress. World War II cemented the value of religious freedom in opposition to fascism and communism. Despite Dwight Eisenhower’s focus on God being placed onto money and into the pledge of allegiance, religious freedom remained as the Supreme Court restricted government’s role in favoring one religion over another. The 1965 immigration act allowing more non-European people into the U.S. brought more non-Christians. At this time, the Anglicans and Congregationalists who settled America comprise only 1.7 percent of the United States.

Although George W. Bush tried to prevent Islamophobia, evangelical Christians’ bigotry grew with Billy Graham’s Son Franklin and popular televangelist Pat Robertson. DDT helped bigots attack President Obama as a secret Muslim born in a foreign country. Conservative outlets such as Fox promoted hatred for Muslims with DDT’s mentor Brian Kilmeade of Fox and Friends saying, “All terrorists are Muslims.” With DDT at the nation’s helm, people have changed their position that attacks on minority religions are un-American. He insisted that Muslims don’t assimilate and that they are dangerously disloyal. He refused to focus on terrorists and attacked all Muslims, reinforcing the multiplication of violent attacks on American Muslims.

Gone is Madison’s belief that government should not favor one religion over another as DDT loaded his government with extremist anti-Muslim activists and gone is the model of religious freedom. DDT has demonized all religions except fundamentalist Christianity while destroying people under the guise of religious freedom. He started with the Muslim ban, that the conservatives on the Supreme Court upheld and claimed that he wanted Muslims to be forced to register so that they could be tracked down, and continued to take human rights from everyone in the name of “religious freedom.” Evangelicals rule.

July 20, 2019

DDT: Week 130 – Ethical Moves Backward from Space Race

Tweets from Republicans show how they think, and this one from Diamond and Silk, Fox Nation hosts and vloggers, have a doozey:

“Nancy Pelosi said the WORDS that the President used were racist. But those same words are in the Dictionary. Does that mean that the Dictionary is now racist? Should all Dictionaries be banned since Democrats are offended by words?”

When the sisters, strongly supported by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), saw Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) eating chicken to mock AG Bill Barr’s cowardice in not testifying before the House, they called him “racially insensitive.” Ladies, the word “chicken” is in the Dictionary (sic), and one white man was ridiculing another white man. In another foray into stupidity, D&S lambasted Beto O’Rourke for opposing a wall on the southern border because he lives in a house with walls

Dumbness predominates in about 16 million people in the U.S. who don’t believe that two U.S. men walked on the moon 50 years ago. Some of them go farther in a belief that the earth is a flat disc with the Arctic in the center and a 150-foot-tall wall of ice in the Antarctica surrounding the rim. NASA employees guard the wall to keep people from falling off. And gravity is an illusion.

While DDT diverted people with his racism:

The EPA will not ban a pesticide associated with developmental disabilities and other health problems in children, a pesticide banned before DDT was inaugurated. Now permitted for agricultural food use, chlorpyrifos was banned from residential use in 2000 because of causing memory problems, lower IQs, reduced breathing capacity, and increased risks of children born with autism as shown by a study of children living in California. The negative effects are permanent. Last year, a federal court said there was “no justification” for such a decision.

DDT rolled back programs to detect weapons of mass destruction by canceling training exercises and driving out scientists and policy experts. U.S. citizens now face greater risks from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks since DDT appointed James McDonnell as director of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office before he was promoted to lead the new Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office. Over 100 people who raised concerns about lack of readiness were taken out of their areas of expertise. Disbanded programs helped law enforcement officials detect potential threats and worked to detect foreign states trying to provide radiological or nuclear material to terrorists.

Not satisfied with getting rid of 80 percent of scientists in two USDA agencies by moving them to Kansas City, DDT has exiled one-fifth of the Interior Department, most of the Bureau of Land Management’s D.C. workforce further from Washington, D.C.—to west of the Rockies where they will be more susceptible to pressure from the fossil fuel industry. DDT is also trying to get rid of the government’s human resources agency, the Office of Personnel Management, planning to “furlough” up to 150 employees if Congress refuses to follow his orders.

The Pentagon tripled its presence on the southern border by sending 1,100 active-duty troops and 1,000 Texas National Guard soldiers to join 2,500 active-duty and 2,000 National Guard troops already there.

AG Bill Barr gave $51,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee immediately before his Senate confirmation hearings for attorney general. Before that, Barr had only occasionally donated to the GOP.

The Agriculture Department blocked the release of a multiyear plan on how to respond to climate change finalized in the early days of the Trump administration. It showed ways for farmers to understand, adapt to, and minimize the effects of climate change.

A defense contractor employee with access to sensitive information threatened to kill Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) because she supported a bill to vaccinate school children. 

The Washington Post has a report on its investigation into how acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is working to create a fiefdom in his goal of deregulating the government. His primary goals are immigration and health care in his work to force out chiefs of staff in these departments. One senior official said that only economic advisor Larry Kudlow and national security adviser John Bolton are not under Mulvaney’s control. He is behind permission for health-care providers, insurers, and employers to refuse coverage for medical services with the excuse of religious and/or moral beliefs, including banning taxpayer-funded clinics from making referrals for abortions.

DDT’s immigration expands its cruelty. When Border Patrol separated parents in a Honduran family, sending one to Mexico and leaving the other in the United States, three-year-old Sofia, who has a heart condition even after surgery, was asked to pick which parent she wanted. The family had already been sent back twice to Mexico. The girl’s mother had seen her mother killed; her sister-in-law, also a witness, was later kidnapped, tortured, and murdered to keep her from testifying.  

U.S. citizen children—at least those appearing to be Latinx—can’t go anywhere without a danger of being kidnapped by the U.S. government.

Thirteen-year-old Heydi has died after hanging herself because her father was turned away from asylum three times. Her father was finally reunited with her daughter after she lay brain-dead in the hospital. 

This is in what some people call the greatest nation in the world. 

GOP quandaries:

DDT has claimed that the U.S. military shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, but Iran claims that all its drones returned to their home bases. Iran suggests that the U.S. might have shot down one of its own drones. Considering DDT’s history of lying, people might be more likely to believe Iran. The question might be whether DDT is ginning up a war after his week of criticism on his racist attacks.

Democrats took the House partly because they supported health care for people. After spending almost a decade trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act, Judge Richard Leon of D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that ACA doesn’t have to provide for pre-existing conditions. Watch for the Democrats’ campaign ads—and the GOP candidates lying about their positions as Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) in her last campaign when she told people that she voted for pre-existing conditions. Democrats will likely appeal Leon’s decision. Wonder what Republicans will do.

After the House passed a bill by 402 to 12 that made permanent a compensation program for 9/11 responders who contracted diseases linked to exposure, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has tried to block presenting the bill with 75 co-sponsors in the Senate and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) demanded that all cost should be offset by cuts in spending. Paul called the bill’s supporter Jon Stewart, formerly of the The Daily Show, a “guttersnipe” and the legislation a “completely irresponsible” measure with support only because senators are “overwhelmed” by the comedian’s celebrity. The senator said, “If Jon Stewart could read, maybe he’d read the bill and say, ‘Oh my God, who would vote for a bill that doesn’t have a dollar amount in it?’ ” Bad press may have led McConnell to declare that a vote will take place next week. 

The Senate may need to deal with another bill passed by the House that raises the minimum wage to $15 over the next six years and takes between 27 million and 33 million people out of poverty. Accounting for inflation, the wage peaked at $11.79 per hour in 1968

Things for Republicans to deal with:

Texas may gain three to four congressional seats after the census, but only with an accurate count. The state is refusing to fund the census; just a one-percent undercount could cost Texas $300 million in federal funding a year. California, with a population of 40 percent more than Texas, is spending $154 million. Texas can lose billions of dollars with its short sightedness. 

A few positive things:

The House voted to block the sale of billions of dollars of arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirate. DDT had tried to use emergency powers to sidestep Congress for 22 deals worth more than $8 billion.

The 10th Circuit Court has upheld a lower court’s decision that San Juan County (Utah) had violated constitutional rights of residents with racially gerrymandered districts and affirmed the new court-imposed districts. Anglos were upset with new districts that gave the ability of Navajos to be elected after whites had put most of the Navajo residents, 52 percent of the county’s population, into one of the three districts. One of the whites plans to appeal to the entire circuit court.

DDT is at his Bedminster resort with no keepers. Tomorrow may be more tweet-filled. 

July 19, 2019

DDT Uses Racism to Avoid Problems

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) faced three major blows this week:

Court documents indicate that DDT was involved in hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who both claimed to have an affair with him, in a scheme that began the day after the release of the Access Hollywood tapes when DDT bragged about grabbing “pussy” one month before the 2016 presidential election. Released materials show that former White House communications director Hope Hicks might have lied in her sworn testimony to the House Judiciary Committee when she said she had no direct knowledge of the payments and no contact during DDT’s campaign with key participants. But if the attorneys are not talking, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff is. As AG Bill Barr protects DDT, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff said that “ample evidence [exists] to charge Donald Trump with the same criminal election law violations for which Michael Cohen pled guilty.” House Democrats are questioning U.S. Attorney’s Office for Southern District of New York about its decision to not indict DDT for his campaign finance crimes.

Child molester and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, former friend of DDT, was denied bail because of being a flight risk, especially after a falsified passport showing that his home is in Saudi Arabia was discovered. His safe also contained $70,000 in cash and 48 loose diamonds. The judge said, “I doubt any bail package can overcome [danger to the community].”

After falsely smearing Omar Ilhan—a woman, person of color, liberal, resident of the United States, and an elected representative of the nation’s highest legislative body—and passively standing by for 13 seconds while the crowd chanted “send her back,” DDT tried to clear himself the next day. He said he was “not happy” about the chant and tried to stop the crowd by speaking quickly. A video shows DDT silently pausing and looking around at his audience for 13 seconds while they chant. DDT also claimed that he did not initiate the attack chant, but he earlier said that the four U.S. representatives—all women of color—should leave the country. All four are U.S. citizens, and three were born in the United States.

DDT used the Klan mantra: “America – Love It or Leave It” that mimics the Nazi signs in 1930s German cities: “Jews, immigrate to your land.” DDT has claimed that no one who criticizes the United States should be allowed to stay in the country.

Examples of DDT’s negative comments about the U.S.:

Make America Great Again: DDT said he started his slogan “Make America Great Again” on the day that President Obama was elected to his second term. He said, “I looked at the many types of illness our country had, and whether it’s at the border, whether it’s security, whether it’s law and order or lack of law and order.”

Crippled America: DDT’s 2015 book referred to the U.S. as “this mess” and “Uncle Sucker,” pointing out the multiple weakness of the U.S. He “wrote,” The idea of American Greatness, of our country as the leader of the free and unfree world, has vanished … I couldn’t stand to see what was happening to our great country. This mess calls for leadership in the worst way.”

American Carnage: The day that DDT was inaugurated, he described the U.S. as a dystopian nightmare by saying, “Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.”

Ridicule of U.S.: Starting in 2011, DDT tweeted that other countries were laughing at the U.S., that the government is “on the hook for more than a third of the world’s entire debt.”

U.S. Criminal Acts: Asked about Vladimir Putin being a killer, DDT said, “You think our country’s so innocent?”

Infrastructure: In his speech to the 2016 GOP convention, he said, “Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in third-world condition.”

Anti-Semitism: DDT called his opponent Hillary Clinton corrupt and tweeted her image over a bed of money beside a six-pointed Jewish star. He also tweeted and retweeted other anti-Semitic messages.

Vulgarities: Rep. Omar Ihan (D-MN) has never used vulgar language or images, as DDT accused, but DDT said African and Caribbean countries are “shithole countries,” that he would bomb the “shit” out of the Islamic State, and businesses wanting to return to the United States from overseas should be told to “go [mouths the f-word] themselves.”

2014 Tweets: “Our country has become so politically correct that it has lost all sense of direction or purpose.” “Our country and our ‘leaders’ are getting dumber all the time.” “Have you ever seen our country look weaker or more pathetic…”

DDT may have felt he was safe with his racist comments because a voter study showing that those most susceptible to DDT’s appeal tend to view people of color, non-Christians, and feminist women as the undeserving “other.” The last week has reflected this attitude as Republicans become more supportive of DDT while independents are moving away from him. Four years ago, DDT began his 2016 campaign by describing immigrants as “criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.” Now he’s appealing to his base by openly declaring that female women of colors, born in the United States and elected to the U.S. Congress, should be forced out of the country. The official position of the Grand Old Party is now “send her back.”

After lying about objecting to the chants for a day, DDT declared that the people who chanted “Send her back!” at his Wednesday rally are “incredible patriots.” Gone is his declaration that he was “not happy” and tried to stop them. Or the White House comment that DDT couldn’t hear the chants. According to DDT, criticism of the U.S. is unacceptable (aka free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment) and the four female elected representatives “can’t get away with” it, “not when I’m the president.” He also said, “We have First Amendment rights also—we can … say what we want.” He didn’t specific who the “we” are. Now he claims to be unhappy “with the fact that a congresswoman can say anti-Semitic things.” Ilhan didn’t, but DDT has.

Asked if the “Send her back!” chant is racist, he responded:

“No, you know what’s racist to me? When somebody goes out and says the horrible things about our country, the people of our country, that are anti-Semitic, who hate everybody, who speak with scorn and hate …. We’re dealing with people who hate our country.” [Note DDT’s criticism above as well as his lies about Ilhan.]

DDT plans to change the questions for becoming a citizen. Most of the people born in the U.S. can answer only one out of three at this time. How would you do

Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of U.S. men walking on the moon. In the past half century, we have made this progress: the last week focused on the man elected as U.S. president racially attacking four women of color elected to the Congress, abuse and neglect of people seeking asylum at the U.S. southern border because of U.S. regime changes in their countries, increased polarization of the nation through Republicans packing the U.S. courts with xenophobic and misogynist bigots, a rapidly ballooning national debt because of huge tax cuts for only the wealthy and big businesses, vastly increased health issues and deaths of U.S. residents from loss of clean environment, horrible heat waves from a climate crisis, voter suppression and permission for foreign governments to selected U.S. elected officials, a movement toward fascism including greatly increased military expenses, excessive violence and killings including by law enforcement, high inequality in income and wealth, increased loss of workers’ rights, and racism to “make American white again.” That’s what developed from the space race of the 1960s.  

July 17, 2019

GOP Stays Quiet about Racism or Sees It as a Strategy

Today is the fifth day that the racism of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has been on full display and consumed media coverage. Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of a man walking on the moon; today is the day that DDT promoted rally chants of “send her back” after five days of racist remarks that began with calling on four women of color congressional members—all residents of the United States and three born in the United States—to go back to their country. Once again, DDT looks for shiny objects to divert people from his illegal activities and push his supporters to more vile reactions toward his campaign philosophy of supremacy of white people.

If the media weren’t focused on DDT’s opposition to people of color in the nation, they might be pointing out that tomorrow is the bail hearing for child molester and trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, close associate of DDT in the past and let off by DDT’s former Labor Secretary Alex Acosta. (Video of DDT and Epstein at DDT’s party with 28 NFL cheerleaders.)

Tomorrow is also the day that a judge has required federal prosecutors to release information about a probe into DDT’s business role in hush money payments to women who claimed affairs with DDT. No one other than DDT’s former fixer Michael Cohen is being charged, and DDT’s current fixer, AG Bill Barr, has tried to hide the materials discovered in the probe about other people involved in the payoff. Cohen had implicated DDT in the payoff to help him with his presidential campaign. The investigation closed down soon after Barr took the position leading what should be an independent judicial agency. 

In another buried news article, DDT’s deficit for the past year will go over $1 trillion because of tax cuts after he promised to eliminate the debt. 

DDT’s started his war last Saturday when he tweeted that four women of color in the U.S. House should “go back [to] totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Those would be New York, Detroit, and Cincinanti—places he described as having “governments [that] are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all).” In his attacks, DDT has also re-united what some people believe to be a fractured Democratic party instead of diverting people from his own “crime infested” corruption.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (R-MN), whose family fled civil war-torn Somalia when she was a child and became a citizen when she was a teenager, recently introduced an amendment passed in the House requiring that the U.S. military provide Congress the cost and the supposed national security benefits of all foreign bases and operations. Like other members of Congress, she has pointed out the control of Israel over the United States that DDT has promoted.

Republicans stayed silent about DDT’s tweets for a day, but Fox & Friends’ hosts praised his comments, laughed, and called DDT “comedian in chief.” Facing media criticism about his racist comments, DDT doubled down to repeat that the women from the United States should go back to their own country. Asked by Fox’s John Roberts about his common cause from white nationalist groups for his message, DDT said he had no concern “because many people agree with me.” The statement, made during an event to highlight U.S. manufacturing, followed DDT’s tweets calling on the Democratic women of color in Congress to apologize for their “foul language & racist hatred.” DDT also accused Pelosi of making “a very racist statement” after she said he wanted to “make America white again.” After DDT started his racist war, GOP approval went up five points while his approval rating stayed at 41 percent because independent support dropped from 40 to 30 percent. 

Forced by publicity to comment on DDT, Republicans had a variety of responses—negating what was in the tweets and saying that DDT’s statement were “clearly not racist.” VP Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, said that DDT couldn’t be racist because he appointed a Chinese American woman—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) wife—as transportation secretary, a woman whose ethically-challenged connections have personally benefitted DDT. New acting Citizenship and Immigration Services director Ken Cuccinelli couldn’t explain why DDT’s tweets were not racist, but Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), changing his position that DDT engaged in “race-baiting” and was “xenophobic” now that he is running for re-election, went full-bore on Fox & Friends:

“We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists. They hate Israel. They hate our own country. They’re calling the guards along our border—Border Patrol agents—concentration camp guards. They accuse people who support Israel of doing it for the Benjamins. They’re anti-Semitic. They’re anti-America.”

Most of the strongest statements from Republicans about DDT were that the tweets were “inappropriate” and “really uncalled for.” GOP senators up for re-election in 2020 went to their corners by Tuesday: 

  • McConnell declared that DDT is not a racist but “political rhetoric has gotten … overheated.”
  • Martha McSally (AZ) had no comment.
  • Cory Gardner (CO) didn’t go farther than disagreeing with DDT’s language.
  • Joni Ernst (IA) agreed that DDT’s comments were racist. (Iowa is turning blue.)
  • Susan Collins (ME), in trouble after her votes after her votes for Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the tax reform bill in a state turning blue, said the tweets were “way over the line” and should be deleted.
  • Thomas Tillis (NC) doesn’t know anything about DDT/s tweets but look at the economy.
  • David Perdue (GA) said Monday it was “outrageous” to describe Trump’s language as racist, arguing “of course they’re not racist.”

Questioned about what country DDT meant when he told the congressional women of color to return, White House aide Kellyanne Conway asked Jewish reporter Andrew Feinberg what his ethnicity is. Feinberg said that it wasn’t relevant, but she declared it is and lied that DDT said “originally” before she launched into “America” first.” Underlying questions about “ethnicity” are insinuations that people are from another country, possibly loyal to a foreign government and usually inferior people.  Before asking about Feinberg’s ethnicity, Conway called the four women of color who DDT attacked, “the dark underbelly” of the United States. She added that the DDT team isn’t racist, they’re just “sick and tired” of “dark” Americans.

In the House, 187 Republicans voted to support racism while all Democrats, four Republicans (including the sole black GOP House member), and one newly-announced independent supported a censure resolution to condemn DDT’s racist tweets and statements against four representatives. Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) failed to have House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) description of DDT’s statements as racist removed from the House record. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) earlier called the four women “anti-American.” Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), who filed the censure resolution, compared DDT to the racist slave-holding President Andrew Jackson who “led to the Trail of Tears against Native American Indians.” Jackson was also censured for withholding documents about his defunding the Bank of the United States.

Racism is the belief in one race’s superiority over another that results in discrimination against someone of a different race or ethnicity. People who think that DDT is not a racist should read about his history. And all the racism he’s exhibited since his inauguration. Nicholas Kristoff describes how every bone in DDT’s body is racist.

According to an interview with the Daily Mail, DDT takes pride in his racism and told the reporter that he isn’t “unhappy” about the events that led to the censure resolution. He repeatedly says that what the four women have done is so horrible he can’t even tell people about their actions. His behavior in this event may be mild, compared to what will happen before the 2020 election. To keep people from thinking that DDT suffers from a lack of filter on his language, a symptom of dementia, his supporters and campaign strategists have stopped defending DDT as not racist and now argue that it’s a clever move to connect all Democrats to the four women’s progressive politics. Not all GOP consultants agree.

DDT may need to direct media attention toward his racist comments because his highly touted immigrant deportations last Sunday came to nothing. The media almost ignored DDT’s announced mass deportations last Sunday that showed few removals, perhaps because the fear and terror from his announcement resulted in an extensive “Know Your Rights” educational campaign. An internet search shows almost no articles about the deportations since Sunday when they were supposed to go into effect. On Monday, he lied when he said that ICE was focusing on violent criminals. Many people who voted for him now know that he lied about targeting ony dangerous people.

People vote not for what they want but for who they are. DDT supporters don’t care if they lose their health care, pay more taxes to support the rich, and lose clean air and food. They support a racist no matter what—that’s who they are.

July 14, 2019

Hatred: Conservative Religion in U.S.

Today, highly religious VP Mike Pence undoubtedly prayed to his god in a fundamentalist church after ignoring the plight of immigrants. Frustrated by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) assertions that the detention centers are “concentration camps,” Pence visited them himself. A video shows he wrinkled his nose at the stench, made no eye contact with the men, and turned his back on them to leave after a minute. He didn’t take his wife with him and have dinner in the center, as he had promised. After his visit, Pence praised “the care that our Customs and Border Protection personnel are providing.” He tried to whitewash the situation by saying “I was not surprised” and that something should be done about overcrowding.

Reporters stayed for 90 seconds and reported that the foul-smelling McAllen (TX) border facility had almost 400 immigrant men in sweltering cages without mats or pillows on the concrete floor. The heat index in McAllen on Friday was 110 degrees, and some of the men said they had been there for over 40 days. Agents claimed they could brush their teeth once a day and have water when they wanted, but the inhabitants refuted these claims. They said they couldn’t have water without permission to go outside the cage and were not provided showers. Men said that they were hungry.

The DHS Inspector General report reported adults and children with no access to showers, adults fed only bologna sandwiches, and immigrants held in standing room-only cells, some standing on toilets for breathing space. One for-profit company is billing the U.S. $775 for each child for one day of detention in Dictator Donald Trump’s (DDT) “tent cities.” These are the facilities where understaffing requires children to care for toddlers and some infants don’t even have diapers. That $775 doesn’t provide mattresses, clean clothes, bed linens, sufficient food, soap, etc. DOJ lawyer Sarah Fabian tried to argue that migrant children don’t need amenities such as soap and toothbrushes. 

Pence chuckled in an interview with Jake Tapper about detained migrant children lacking toothbrushes and soap and about the “stench.” “It’s all part of the appropriations process,” Pence said. 

Fox’s Shep Smith called Clint’s facility “horrendous” and said that conditions would violate the Geneva Convention of the incarcerated were prisoners of war. A doctor permitted into a McAllen (TX) facility after five infants were taken from there to neonatal intensive care from flu compared conditions to torture. One toddler was “completely unresponsive,” and her eyes rolled to the back of her head. The doctor said that minors were subjected to “extreme cold temperatures, lights on 24 hours a day, no adequate access to medical care, basic sanitation, water, or adequate food.” The diseases easily spreads from denial of access to washing hands and cleaning baby bottles.

Dismayed by the lack of hygiene products for children, six people paid $340 for diapers, wipes, soaps, and toys that they took to a detention facility in Clint (TX). They were ignored at the facility, and others have been told that no donations of such necessities as toothbrushes, soap, towels, etc. are accepted.

Pence gave sufficient warning that he would be visiting detention centers, but other government officials are prevented from inspection. Five Democratic candidates for president including two U.S. Senators were denied entry into the Homestead (FL) facility that holds 3,000 children. Two other candidates, also senators, were earlier refused entry.

When migrant children in an Arizona facility reported bad food and water, the CBP agents removed mats from their cells and forced them to sleep on concrete. Agents also offensively treated the children and sometimes sexual assaulted them. These are not problems from overcrowding; they were denied phone calls, showers, warm blankets while sleeping outside, and enough food. Dinner wasn’t served until after 9:00 in the evening. Lack of funding is no reason for the abusive behavior of agents toward the detainees and the retribution they suffer if they tell the truth about their treatment.

A report from the House Oversight Committee shows that at least 18 migrant infants and toddlers under the age of two were separated from their parents at the border “including nine infants under the age of one” for between 20 days and six months. Some children were detained in Border Patrol facilities longer than the allowed 72 hours, sometimes moved to multiple facilities to give the appearance of staying within the law. Media reports caused 300 children to be removed from a Texas facility where children were left filthy and neglected. Yet agents returned 100 of them within a few days, saying that the Clint facility was a “consolidated” holding facility. In early June, DDT canceled English classes, recreational programs, and legal aid for unaccompanied minors in detention centers. Licensing laws may not allow him to carry out that plan, but Florida has not licensed the Homestead facility.

Tropical Storm Barry officially begins this year’s hurricane season, and children in Homestead are in tents, metal trailers, and a former U.S. Job Corps building—all in the second-most vulnerable hurricane zone in Florida. HHS claims that its plans are secret, but history shows a serious lack of planning from that agency about undocumented immigrants.

DDT plans to eliminate interpreters for undocumented migrants, using only videos to videos in multiple languages to explain rights and the proceedings. After that, no one will be available to answer questions in their language. Immigrants speak diverse indigenous languages and frequently don’t speak Spanish. Many of them don’t have attorneys and lack representation.

CPB agents and private companies with detention centers are creating a serious and permanent public health crisis replete with pulmonary diseases, fungal infections, skin infections, and a large number of illnesses such as mumps, measles, and chicken pox. Conservatives claims that the people came with these diseases; even if that were true, DDT’s policies are greatly excerbating the problem because of no attention and care.  If people in prolonged detention escape these diseases, they still suffer from mental health conditions from panic attacks to psychosis. Young people can have irreversible neurological impact both physical and emotional, and the problems can be genetic for future generations. Those not arrested and deported live in constant terror and fear that parents or spouses will be taken from them, affecting the health of blood pressure, metabolism, psychological well-being, etc. The number of abusers using deportation threats against their victims has increased by 100 percent in the past two years while rape reports by Latinas has decreased by 50 percent.

As of early June, 24 people died in ICE custody during DDT’s term. At least four others died soon after release, and more migrants, including five children, died in the custody of other federal agencies. Since that report, at least one migrant, a Honduran man, died after being in ICE custody for almost a month.

Officials have known for over three years about the sexist secret Facebook page by 9,500 current and former border agents with abusive content and done nothing about it. Since information about the social media went public, the members dropped to 4,000. They also tried to scrub the content, but a website has captured and archived much of the content. The head of the Border Patrol for almost a year, Carla Provost, condemned the racist, vulgar, and sexist posts as inappropriate, but she is one of several Border Patrol supervisors who participates in the Facebook. At least one more Facebook page for CBP employees posting vulgar and sexually explicit posts has been uncovered, this one also demeaning Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and blacks and Asian-Americans.

ICE has increased detention to 54,000—far above the 40,520 limit and ignoring congressional instructions at the end of the government shutdown in February. With no permission for more detention money, ICE has also opened three new for-profit immigration centers in Louisiana and Mississippi correction facilities within the past few weeks. ICE plans to put 15,000 asylum seekers in Louisiana by the end of summer although the state lacks judges to hear the cases. Congress has given ICE no additional detention money so no one knows how the bills will be paid, especially because existing facilities cannot afford soap and toothbrushes. ICE is also not telling lawyers where their clients are and not listing them on the detainee locator software. When the facilities were prisons operated by the same companies as the detention centers, they were understaffed, and inmates received poor treatment.

Bank of America reported that it will no longer have connections to companies that provide prisoner and detention services, including Homestead. Meanwhile, DDT is using his citizenship question and today’s raids in ten cities to distract people from his sexual assaults, fraudulent financial dealings, and close relationships and appointments with corrupt people.

Not satisfied with the number of people in detention centers, DDT plans to increase the overcrowding in detention facilities by breaking up families of those with Temporary Protected Status and deporting youth with DACA status. Haitian families arriving at the border are already not permitted to work in the U.S.; instead men and teenage boys are arrested and put into detention, leaving the women and children without any family support. HUD is threatening to evict 100,000 members of mixed-status families if any of them are undocumented. DDT plans to destroy millions of people in his goal to “make America white.”

On Sunday, July 14, 2019, that’s religion in “America.”

July 13, 2019

DDT: Week 129 – His Disillusionment, Losses

Last week, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned after his sweet plea agreement for child molester Jeffrey Epstein blew up, and Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) lost his citizenship question on the 2020 census. He also failed to convince people that he is the “environment president” and invited crazy far-right personalities to his social media summit where he talked about saving “free speech” for only the right wing. Big news for millions of people was the U.S. win in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, its fourth in the history of eight tournaments played every four years. The celebration included a parade in New York City along with keys to the city and a speech from Megan Rapinoe, captain of the winning Reign FC. “We have to be better, we have to love more and hate less. Listen more and talk less. It is our responsibility to make this world a better place,” Rapinoe told the crowd.

After the win, a member of Fox network watched the broadcast with a crowd in a Lyon (France) sports bar who broke into chants of “F**k Trump.” Although DDT didn’t directly refer to the news piece, he spent the next day lambasting Fox—loading the network with Democrats such Donna Brazille, calling them worse than CNN (until now his most hated network), and “using Fake unsourced @NYTimes.” Earlier he had invited the U.S. women’s national soccer team to the White House but now says he hasn’t “really thought about” an invitation. Fox checked DDT’s environmental lies in real time, and Shep Smith interrupted DDT’s speech to discuss the over 80 environmental rules and regulations that DDT repealed and/or rolled back. Other DDT complaints about Fox: the network “forgot the people who got them there,” and “Fox is moving more and more to the losing (wrong) side in covering the Dems.” Fox helped get DDT elected by repeating false conspiracy theories, some of them from Russia, such as the lie about Hillary Clinton’s assassins killing DNC staffer Seth Rich.

The alt-right is also becoming disillusioned with DDT. After his July 4 event, white supremacists used their online forums such as 4chan and 8chan to describe betrayal about his lack of sweeping immigration enforcement. Steve Bannon, who described his website Breitbart as “the platform for the alt-right,” is gone, and the “United the Right” rally in Charlottesville (VA) sent a white supremacist to prison for murder. Even former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke rejects DDT, referring to him as “President Donald Kushner,” and now supports Tulsi Gabbard for president.

Chubb has become the first major U.S. insurance company to no longer support coal companies by refusing to underwrite building new coal-fired power plants and not investing in companies that generate more than 30 percent of their revenues from coal mining or production. The company will also phase out existing coverage for mining and utility companies that exceed the 30 percent threshold. The climate crisis is hurting Insurance companies: global losses for extreme weather and natural disasters in 2017 and 2018 ran $219 billion.

A court has ruled that DDT cannot block Twitter followers who criticize or mock him because he conducts government business through tweets. DDT’s lawyers failed to convince the judge that his account, which makes official pronouncements, is purely personal. The unanimous ruling from a 2nd Circuit Appeals Court three-judge panel, two of them appointed by George W. Bush, confirmed a lower-court ruling.

DDT has more subpoenas to block: the House has issued over 36 subpoenas to the Trump Organization and other DDT businesses connected to its lawsuit about DDT’s violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution by profiting from foreign governments. Another dozen include DDT’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the former AG Jeff Sessions. One topic for questioning will be the hush money DDT paid women about their affairs with him.

Despite DDT’s promise to lower the cost of drugs, they keep increasing: the FDA has approved Novartis’ Zolgensma, a gene therapy drug for a form of hereditary spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), at an annual cost of $425,000. The drug is targeted for children under two years old suffering from the disease causing death or permanent breathing support. At least the cost is less than Biogren’s Spinraza, costing $750,000 the first year and then an annual $375,000. Drug companies are also charging large amounts by taking over natural substances, for example a CBD drug for childhood epilepsy $32,500 a year and an L-glutamine drug (costing $10 a bottle) for $40,000 a year. Companies can petition the removal of supplements from the market, forcing people to buy their expensive replacements. DDT withdrew his proposal to lower drug prices by stopping drugmaker rebates to insurance middlemen. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has created a new Commission on Unalienable Rights that may roll back rights for LGBTQ people and women throughout the world. The State Department already has an office for human rights, but Pompeo’s commission was created separate from that office and without its input. The commission’s chair, Mary Ann Glendon, has received awards for her anti-abortion activism, she falsely wrote that the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit was an “abortifacient” mandate, and she thinks that marriage equality discriminates against religious freedom.  

Thanks to the “all-about-me July 4 from DDDT (Deadbeat Dictator Donald Trump), Washington, DC’s security fund is broke after paying $1.7 million for the event—six times what Fourth of July events usually cost the city. DDDT, who still owes $7.3 million in security costs for his inauguration almost 30 months ago, has a reputation for telling his contractors and employers to go whistle for what he owes them. DC faces the same problem. 

Previously not charged for his illegal lobbying with Turkey, former national security adviser Michael Flynn has been listed as a co-conspirator with his former business partner Bijan Kian at Kian’s trial because the court has no faith in Flynn’s honesty. Kian is charged with Turkish national Kamil Ekim Alptekin as acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Turkey in connection with the now-defunct Flynn Intel Group’s lobbying campaign to extradite Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen from Pennsylvania. The trial begins on July 15, two days before Mueller is scheduled to testify to a House committee.

The tariff problem with China may disappear after DDT was granted preliminary approval for 38 Trump-branded Chinese businesses—hotels, spas, escort and concierge services, massage parlors, personal security services, and insurance. He suspended tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods and gave permission for Huawei to sell its products to the U.S. although he thinks that the Chinese telecom company conspired to provide forbidden financial services to Iran. Congress has not approved the unconstitutional profit-making for DDT, but judges have already exonerated him for violating the emoluments clause.  

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is trying to persuade Congress to raise the debt ceiling before the August recess, eight working days from now. He claims that the U.S. is running out of money sooner than he expected—maybe because of little revenue from the wealthy and big business?—and could default on its bills before congressional members return in September. The U.S. has not been able to borrow money since March when congressional borrowing limits went back into effect.

DDT has a new definition for free speech: “not when you see something good and then you purposefully write bad.” As Jon Chait wrote:

“[DDT’s] entire goal is to promote supportive views and suppress hostile ones. And the willingness of virtually the entire conservative movement to support or tolerate his cynical conscription of free speech to intimidate the media reveals how little it, too, cares about freedom.”

In most of the nation, the redder the zip code the more distressed the people. This map shows the level of distress for these factors: education, housing vacancy, unemployment levels, poverty rate, median income, the change in number of jobs, and business establishments. Only 20 percent of people live in the 97 percent of geographic rural areas, and almost half those people live in the South.

Negative publicity may have forced DDT to cancel the strip-club sponsored golf tournament scheduled at his Doral Miami resort, complete with DDT’s family crest on the advertising. Plans included nudity and an auction for “caddy girls.” Plummeting revenues at the Doral, 69 percent in the past two years, have caused the Trump Organization to seek county tax relief. Mar-a-Lago revenues dropped ten percent after his open support of white supremacists at Charlottesville (VA), and the Trump Tower in New York is “one of the least desirable luxury properties in Manhattan.”

Confidence in U.S. institutions is rapidly shrinking: religion is down to a little above one-third. Fewer than one fourth have faith in the criminal justice system, and confidence in Congress has dropped to 11 percent.

Democratic presidential candidates: Sen. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) is the first to leave the 2020 race, but billionaire Tom Steyer dived in, believing he could save the country with his money.

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