Nel's New Day

February 9, 2020

DDT: Week 159 – ‘Vengeance Is Mine, Saith the Lord.’

On Thursday, self-appointed “lord,“ Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) began his retaliation for government officials who were not willing to lie for him. His frequently-used words “vicious” and “horrible” for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) came in his vicious and horrible speech at the National Prayer Breakfast and his attacks on the religious beliefs of Pelosi and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT). DDT accused Romney of using “religion as a crutch” and called Pelosi a liar for saying that she prays. His GOP sycophants fed his ego for his ramblings that made the annual religious event into a partisan campaign meeting. DDT’s hateful comments followed Arthur Brooks’ keynote speech about loving one’s enemies and taking contempt out of one’s heart, just like Jesus. DDT disagrees with Jesus.

Later that day, he spread more vitriol from the White House and topped off his comments by threatening revenge. DDT repeated false conspiracy theories about Joe Biden’s non-existent corrupt dealings in Ukraine and then held up his own family, who are making a fortune off DDT’s position in the Oval Office, as perfection. “I’m really not a bad person,” DDT said defensively.

The GOP senators who said that he’s “learned his lesson” tried to protect Gordon Sondland, a big GOP donor. Running for reelection in 2020, GOP Sens. Susan Collins (ME), Martha McSally (AZ), and Thom Tillis (NC) asked DDT to let Sondland resign because they want his money this year; Ron Johnson (WI) echoed them to get donations for 2022. About the firing of Vindman, Tillis said that DDT “gets to set foreign policy.” Collins excused DDT for his purging of witnesses because that wasn’t part of her definition of “lesson.”

AG Bill Barr and GOP senators already announced their plans to investigate the Bidens. DDT’s Treasury Department, which is protecting his income tax returns, has turned over information to Senate Republicans on Hunter Biden with no subpoenas and “producing ‘evidence’ of questionable origin,” according to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). The Treasury Department has violated the law by refusing to turn over DDT’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee. A whistleblower has also claimed that officials protected DDT’s taxes from an audit. In the next big cover up, Barr announced all investigations of 2020 candidates require his clearance

According to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Face the Nation, DDT’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani is also looking for “dirt” on the Bidens that he is submitting directly to Barr. Graham’s interviewer, Margaret Brennan said that the channel between Giuliani and Barr sounds like a “taxpayer-funded research operation against Joe Biden” which was the basis of the impeachment probe.

In the Atlantic, McKay Coppins explains how DDT is spending $1 billion to spread disinformation and destroy faith in the media. Part of the disinformation will probably be DDT’s latest lie about his investigation into the Bidens. “I had to do it,” he claimed, because of a treaty between Ukraine and the U.S. that states nothing about “corruption” in Ukraine. DDT ignored 330,000 companies in Ukraine to focus on a political opponent.

Friday, DDT full-throatedly began his vengeance with the “Friday Night Massacre.” He fired:

  • National Security Council aid Alexander Vindman and had him walked off the White House grounds after Vindman testified under subpoena at a House Intelligence Committee hearing;
  • Vindman’s twin brother, also on the National Security Council, for—nothing;
  • Gordon Sondland, who also testified after subpoenas, after he paid $1 million to be appointed ambassador to the European Union.

At least one expert called the firing of both Vindmans and Sondland a “criminal action,” but GOP senators told DDT he can do anything he wants.

Fewer than half of the 18 people who testified in the impeachment inquiry—Michael Atkinson, Laura Cooper, Catherine Croft, David Hale, David Holmes, George Kent, Philip Reeker, and Mark Sandy—are still in their positions: Jennifer Williams has been moved out of the White House, and gone are Christopher Anderson, Fiona Hill, Michael McKinley, Tim Morrison, Bill Taylor, Marie Yovanovitch, and Kurt Volker, some of them retired rather than fired. People familiar with the whistleblower say the person is still doing his intelligence job for the CIA although people such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) are working hard to destroy him.

Fewer than half of the 18 people who testified in the impeachment inquiry—Michael Atkinson, Laura Cooper, Catherine Croft, David Hale, David Holmes, George Kent, Philip Reeker, and Mark Sandy—are still in their positions: Jennifer Williams has been moved out of the White House, and gone are Christopher Anderson, Fiona Hill, Michael McKinley, Tim Morrison, Bill Taylor, Marie Yovanovitch, and Kurt Volker, some of them retired rather than fired. People familiar with the whistleblower say the person is still doing his intelligence job for the CIA although people such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) are working hard to destroy him.

Firing is in the Washington air: VA Secretary Robert Wilkie fired his deputy secretary James Byrne. An independent investigation found that Wilkie personally looked for damaging information about a congressional aide because she said she was sexually assaulted in a VA hospital in an effort to discredit her. Wilkie is DDT’s fourth VA secretary.

DDT cheered after a federal appeals court rejected an emoluments lawsuit from over 200 Congressional Democrats. He’s not yet off the hook because the ruling didn’t address whether DDT’s business dealings are illegal. The D.C. Circuit Court ruled that the Democrats lacked legal standing, but they might proceed if a congressional chamber formally authorized the lawsuit.

A WaPo reporter has found more evidence of DDT’s profit-making off federal money by charging the Secret Service up to $650 per night lodging at his clubs, charges paid by taxpayers. At Bedminster, the Secret Service was charged $17,000 per month for a three-bedroom on DDT’s property even when DDT wasn’t there. Average rental rate for comparable properties in the area is $3,400, and the highest noted is $8,500. Secret Service agents are exempt from per diem requirements. The $471,000 taxpayer payments to DDT’s companies come from only a fraction of DDT’s travel. While campaigning, DDT said he would have no time to travel if he were elected, but he has spent one-third of his time at his private cubs and hotels, always accompanied by the Secret Service. Past presidents—George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush—did not charge for the Secret Service staying with them. Payments to DDT are not listed in public databases of federal spending, and the Secret Service is paying a great deal at DDT’s D.C. hotel although DDT has not stayed there since his inauguration.

Walter Shaub, former head of the U.S. Office of Government, has a chart of DDT’s conflicts of interest. Shaub warned that “this is just the start.”

DDT plans to destroy tribal cultural areas, rare rock art, 75 million-year-old dinosaur fossils, and natural landscapes by permitting mining, drilling, grazing, logging, road development, and off-road-vehicle use in Utah’s national monuments. Although cases are in the courts, the Interior Department plans to continue before the legal process is settled because I moves too slowly.

On January 31, DDT designated the entire Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency a “Security Agency” with the same secrecy as high intelligence agencies such as the FBI and Secret Service and the ability to hide records from the public. The new classification exempts “all CBP employee names from subsequent responses to Freedom of Information Act requests or other public disclosures for CGP employee data.” CBP now has spying powers of the recognized 18 intelligence agencies. Earlier the Office of Intelligence and Analysis had received the ability to reject any FOIA requests.

Last month, an active-duty U.S. soldier who was born in Iran and traveling as part of U.S. official duty was detained and harassed by border agents after having their telephone confiscated. The telephone still hasn’t been returned to the soldier. The action was taken as part of a CBP strategy to block U.S. citizens of Iranian heritage from returning to their homes after attending a concert in Vancouver, BC. Officials claimed they had no directive to detain Iranian Americans, but a leaked document from the Seattle Field Office ordered targeting Iranian Americans for secondary screening based on their country of origin.

A second court case has exonerated humanitarian aid volunteers who provide water and food in the southern Arizona desert. A U.S. District judge reverse the conviction of four people and permitted their religious freedom to prevail. Four months ago, Scott Warren was successful in his religious freedom defense after providing food, water, and clothing to men in the desert. The judge in the second case described the government defense of “deterrence by death” as “gruesome” and “unsupported by evidence” because it’s dependent on killing people as a deterrence.

The man elected as U.S. president has time to rage about photos of him, this one showing the line at the edge of his face because of the bronze goo he slathers on his skin. No, it’s not from Photoshopping as he claims, but he did think his hair looked “good.” 

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