Nel's New Day

September 30, 2021

Week of the Shutdown That Didn’t Happen

Without legislation, the U.A. was scheduled to shut down tomorrow, and the nation will stop paying its debts incurred in past administrations on October 18. GOP senators, led by Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wanted it to happen.

Monday: After McConnell told the world that Democrats should govern, he led Republicans in filibustering bills to pass a budget and raise the debt ceiling, requiring ten GOP votes for Democrats to pass the measures. GOP leaders supported all the provisions—stop a government shutdown, extend the debt ceiling, and fund both disaster relief and Afghan resettlement. They agreed defaulting on debts and shutting down the government would be a disaster for everyone. Yet “nay” votes from Louisiana’s GOP senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy blocked $70 billion to $80 billion of disaster relief for their state for hurricane recovery. Republicans filibustered everything while telling Democrats they have to extend the debt ceiling on their own. McConnell accused Democrats of forcing “one self-created crisis after another” on the nation and questioned whether they “actually want to govern.” Gaslighting: to “psychologically manipulate a person to the point where they question their own sanity.”

Tuesday: Democrats tried a bill to fund the government until December and raise the debt ceiling. Republicans filibustered it. McConnell wants people to believe raising the debt ceiling makes Democrats big spenders, but it only pays past debts—27 percent of the national debt caused by the GOP and Deposed Donald Trump (DDT). During DDT’s four years, Republicans voted three times to raise the debt ceiling while adding $7.8 trillion to the national debt.

Wednesday: The House passed a bill by 219-121 to suspend the debt ceiling, but GOP senators promised to reject the legislation. All House Democrats except Jared Golden (CO) and Kurt Schrader (OR) supported the bill; Adam Kinzinger (IL) was the only Republican to vote in favor. Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), who joined Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) in consistently opposing Biden’s agenda, put her rudeness front and center when NBC’s Frank Thorp asked for her response to progressives “frustrated they don’t know where you are.” She answered, “I’m in the Senate.” When the question was repeated, Sinema said, “I’m clearly right in front of the elevator.” Even before this stunt, she polled at 17 percent approval among Democrats and 27 percent with unaffiliated voters. 

Thursday: Thanks to Democrats, the federal government won’t go into shutdown tomorrow as Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) to keep existing spending until December 3, the deadline for another CR or approval of a dozen appropriations bills to fund the government through the 2022 fiscal year. The bill also includes billions of dollars for disaster relief, mostly for red states, from two recent hurricanes and more funds for resettling Afghanistan refugees. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) permitted GOP amendments, including one which would have blocked funding for Biden’s vaccine requirements for businesses over 50 employees. It failed. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Republicans still refused to vote on raising the debt ceiling; without that law, the U.S. stops paying its debts on October 18.

Republicans have held the nation hostage, saying they should not have pay for Biden’s agenda by raising the debt ceiling. The GOP and DDT, however, were in charge of the most recent increase of $7.8 trillion owed by the U.S. after Republican tax cuts for the wealthy and big business along with other expenditures. Republicans only goal in refusing to pay their debts is the hope to win the next election.

Congress has raised or suspended the ceiling 78 times since 1960, most recently in 2019. Almost all these events have been with little drama although a decade ago, under the last Democratic president, the GOP Congress fought President Obama. Bond prices rose, the stock market lost stability, and Standard & Poor’s rating agency downgraded the U.S. AAA credit rating for the first time, costing $1.3 billion in one year. The Republicans are playing the same games with the current Democratic president, possibly increasing interest rates again which adds to the deficit and thus the national debt. According to Moody’s Analytics, the recessions from a default on the debt could lead up to six million jobs, an employment rate of almost nine percent, and the elimination of $15 trillion in household assets. 

Six years ago in a GOP dominated Congress, current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) wrote about raising the debt ceiling:

“When the United States makes promises, it keeps them, which is why the House voted today to avoid the threat of a debt default.”

That was when Republicans controlled the House. With Democratic control, he told Republicans to break their promises and not raise the debt ceiling.

Elsewhere, Republicans had busy weeks. South Dakota governor and presidential wannabe, Kristi Noem, dumped her campaign adviser, DDT’s associate from his campaigning and serving in the White House Corey Lewandowski. He had been traveling the nation to help lay the groundwork for her campaign in 2024 and helping Noem write speeches. Trashelle Odom accused him of sexually harassing her at a fundraising dinner and issued a statement that Lewandowski “touched me inappropriately, said vile and disgusting things to me, stalked me, and made me feel violated and fearful.” Her attorney also wrote that Noem texted Lewandowski during the dinner event “to stop touching [Mrs. Odom].” Noem couldn’t remember doing this. Odom’s husband, John Odom, threatened to withdraw their $100,000 donation if Lewandowski continued to head up the PAC.

Lewandowski was also fired from heading up the MAGA Action PAC and has been replaced by former Florida AG who rescued DDT from being sued for Trump University fraud. 

Noem also denied the claim on a conservative website she was having an affair with Lewandowski. She complained that it was a typical attack on “conservative women.”  

This publicity followed media reports about a review into Noem’s possible abuse of power last year regarding her daughter’s attempt to be a certified real estate appraiser. After the daughter, Kassidy Peters, was refused this certification, Noem summoned the state employee running the agency, the woman’s direct supervisor, and the labor secretary to her office. Noem’s daughter attended the meeting and Peters received the certification. The state labor secretary gave the agency head $200,000 to withdraw the complaint and retire. Noem’s spokesperson responded to questions by accusing the media source, AP, of “disparaging the governor’s daughter in order to attack the governor politically.”

Jason Ravnsborg, South Dakota’s AG, is reviewing the case. Last year, Noem pressured Ravnsborg to resign after he hit and killed a man walking on a highway before leaving without reporting the accident. Ravnsborg pled no contest to two misdemeanors, and the legislature will decide whether to proceed with impeaching him when it convenes it in November. Both the legislature and the AG are Republicans.

Updates from this week’s blog posts:

At the age of 74, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) seems to have lost his memory. To pass Biden’s infrastructure agenda, the Democrats obtained an agreement for a two-track strategy, first voting for a smaller bill largely focusing on roads and bridges before moving on the safety-net-and-climate also giving jobs to people in the U.S. This week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said, “We had a deal.” Manchin agreed to the plan last summer; yesterday he claimed he never heard of it. Asked if he had been part of the deal, Manchin said, “Never.” In June, however, Manchin told NBC news, “It’s the only strategy we have—is two track.” On June 24, Manchin said, “There’s going to be a reconciliation bill,” referring to the second part of the plan. Now he wants to plan the first part, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF), and put the second part on the backburner—that’s probably turned off.

Before a scheduled House vote on the BIF today, Manchin said the plan was always to pass the first, fossil fuel-friendly bill before undermining the second one for clean energy and the social safety net. In June, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said the chamber will not take up either infrastructure bill until the Senate passes both of them and persuaded all the reluctant House members in August to vote for the second bill’s blueprint. Tonight, she pulled the vote for the BIF because of dissension. In the Senate, Republicans like Utah’s Mitt Romney want to make changes for the larger infrastructure bill although they have no intention of voting for it.  

No one thought that Arizona’s fake ballot count was over, even with the release of the report. DDT got few votes in the state, the conspiracy-ridden “auditor” cried fraud in the election, and the sham’s supporter have turned on each other. From one set—”The deep state and the politically correct lawyers and RINOs of the GOP suppressed this.” That side has released a fake copy of the final report stating DDT won the “audit. The state’s GOP AG Mark Brnovich requested more documents from the GOP Senate and the Maricopa County officials, saying the report “raises some questions.” No explanation of what they are. Brnovich is running for the U.S. senate.

Current senator, Democratic Kyrsten Sinema, has leaned so far right that groups are beginning to collect money for primary challengers to her in 2024: a new PAC called Primary Sinema PAC, a crowdfunding campaign for a viable Democratic candidate, and Run Reuben Run to support Rep. Reuben Gallego.

And the Supreme Court partisan hacks go into session tomorrow.

SCOTUS Justices Need a Code of Ethics

The Supreme Court returns Friday, October 1, and approval of the Supreme Court has dropped to the lowest in history. The reason is not only the agreement from six justices that vigilantism can stay alive and well in Texas until the anti-abortion law is litigated, perhaps many years from now. Without Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) to clamp down on news, the public now knows that the FBI suspected serious problems about Brett Kavanaugh before 49 Republicans and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin voted to put him into a lifetime Supreme Court term. It was the closest vote since 1881. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said she voted for Kavanaugh because he promised her Roe v. Wade was “settled law.”

Without DDT’s AG Bill Barr, the Department of Justice confirmed the FBI received over 4,500 tips against him and sent “relevant” ones to DDT’s White House where they disappeared. Accusations of Kavanaugh’s sexual assaults from two other women than Christine Blasey Ford were also negated. “Yay” senators also ignored the appointee’s misleading them, possibly lying under oath in 2004 and 2006 as George W. Bush’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit about his partisanship as a young lawyer. The tirade at the televised confirmation hearing in 2018 dismissing his misconduct allegations as a “political hit” should have been obvious to Manchin if not to the other Republicans. Kavanaugh claimed then, “What does around come around,” and he’s living up to it. In addition to anti-choice decisions in the Supreme Court this year are disputes about guns, voter-suppression, and elections—possibly even insurrections after January 6. By now his decisions are becoming predictable.

Kavanaugh adds to the solid block of conservatives voting for Republicans: unlimited corporate spending on elections, elimination of federal “preclearance” of voting changes in regions demonstrating discrimination, permission of partisan gerrymandering on the part of the GOP, etc. Like DDT, he has openly criticized mail-in ballots arriving after Election Day although some states make them legal. And like his conservative compatriots, there is no such thing as “settled law.”

People wanting to give partisan Kavanaugh the benefit of the doubt forget he worked to put George W. Bush into the White House in Bush v. Gore after he spent four years with Ken Starr investigating Bill and Hillary Clinton. This work was rewarded by his appointment to the D.C. appeals court where a columnist wrote he was “nothing more than a partisan shock trooper in a black robe.” As a White House operative, Kavanaugh’s confirmation was blocked for three years until 2006. Democrats refused to accept protestations that he had nothing to do with warrantless surveillance, torture of terrorism suspects, and “Memogate” about a Republican aide who stole thousands of Democrats’ emails from 2001 through 2003 and shared them with Bush advisers.

During his earlier confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh lied about promoting three judicial extremist nominees despite emails proving he was involved in staging events, reviewing promotional material, attending meetings, drafting statements for Bush officials, providing advice, and recommending one of the nominees. And “Memogate” when he was often listed as either the first recipient of the emails or the only one. In 2004, he swore he had not received any of these emails and in 2006 said he was “not aware of the memos.”

Facing his former lies under oath in 2018, he moved from ignorance to admission he had received some emails but assumed that the aide found the information through typical information-trading between Republican and Democratic aides. One email told Kavanaugh exactly what questions Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) would ask him at a hearing, and another was a 4,000-word strategy memo a Leahy adviser sent her employer. A third email, marked “confidential,” stated that “Leahy’s staff is only sharing with Democratic counsels.”

Supreme Court justices are the only ones in the judicial branch who cannot be impeached, and the same goes for unethical behavior. Chief Justice John Roberts sent scores of complaints about Kavanaugh, primarily about his lying under oath, to the 10th Circuit Judicial Council for review; they were returned two months later, dismissed as moot because federal ethics rules don’t apply to Supreme Court justices. The Council did confess that “the allegations contained in the complaints are serious.”

Kavanaugh is not alone in needing a code of ethics. A year after his confirmation, Kavanaugh joined Justice Samuel Alito in meeting privately with representatives of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and posing for photos with them. Opposing marriage equality, NOM was participating at that time as a friend of the court in a case involving LGBTQ rights. Lower federal court judges would have been censured for this behavior, but both Kavanaugh and Alito dissented against the six justices supporting LGBTQ rights in the case. 

A year later, Alito gave an “ireful” speech to the highly conservative Federalist Society, delivering his strong views against gun rights, abortion, LGBT rights, and pandemic-related restrictions on religious gatherings. His statements left no doubt about future rulings. All federal judges except those on the high court must comply by the Code of Conduct for United States Judges.

Clarence Thomas and his wife Ginni may top lack of ethics in the current set of justices because of their mutual scams. She collects unlimited dark money for her Tea Party-connected nonprofit, Liberty Central, and organizes Republicans on issues often reaching the Supreme Court. He works the court, including the ones in which spouses have financial interests.

A recent example is the issue of big tech when Republicans complain about censorship of conservative positions despite evidence that many of these, especially Facebook, have favored Republicans. Ginni promoted a website and “influence network” about big tech’s “corporate tyranny.” Clarence wrote a concurring opinion in a case dealing with DDT’s blocking his critics on Twitter and railed railed against the control “of so much speech in the hands of a few private parties” and the “glaring concern” for free speech.

Ginni started Liberty Central in 2009 with secret donations enabled by that year’s Supreme Court Citizens United decision. Legal ethicists questioned the existence of those secret donations, but the ruling’s permission of secrecy makes investigation difficult. Since then, she opposed the Affordable Care Act, which Clarence always opposes in the Supreme Court.

In the Pennsylvania decision permitting mailed-in ballots counted up to three days after Election Day if postmarked before Election Day, Clarence wrote a scorching dissent using DDT’s argument of fraud, especially in mail-in ballots used primarily by seven states. Yet the number of ballots involved totaled about 10,000 which would not have changed the majority for Joe Biden who won the state 3.4 million votes to DDT’s 3.3 million. Ginni endorsed the rally that led to the assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Last year’s SCOTUS decisions set the tone for the upcoming term. The majority voted in favor of the GOP Chamber of Commerce 83 percent of the time and moved to the right in “religious liberty” and voting (non)rights in its shadow dockets.

The court’s power in blocking votes was obvious in gutting another part of the 56-year-old Voting Rights Act after destroying much of it in 2013 by supporting Arizona’s voting-restriction law, struck down by the 9th Circuit Court. One provision was blocking anyone except a relative or caregiver from dropping off a ballot, and the other requiring the tossing of all ballots cast in the wrong precinct. Alito said that courts should use voting rules made in 1982 to make its decision.

In Arizona, precincts are hard to determine because the state seems to change them for every election, and the absentee ballot drop-off restriction is especially damaging to Native Americans on reservations and people who may count on friends to drop off their mail-in ballots. Alito said just because voting may be “inconvenient for some,” doesn’t mean unequal access. but the Tohono O’odham Nation reservation, almost four times the size of Rhode Island, has only one post office, trouble with transportation, and difficulty in mail delivery. 

The 4-4 decision in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s small extension in the mail-in ballot deadline before Amy Coney Barrett moved onto the Supreme Court bodes future decisions like Bush v. Gore, nullifying thousands of legal ballots. Trying to block state judiciaries from protecting state voting rights under state constitutions goes farther than the decision putting George W. Bush into the White House when Florida later found a majority of votes for Al Gore.

Packing the Supreme Court? That’s what the Republican senators and DDT did before Joe Biden’s presidency.

September 28, 2021

Dems Manchin, Sinema Try to Sink Biden’s Agenda

Part of President Joe Biden’s agenda for the year is a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill that provides jobs, child care, Medicare, and other benefits for people. That amount sounds huge, but it’s over a ten-year period, meaning about $350 billion a year—less than half the military budget. Either Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) is either lying or ignorant about the bill when he told reporters the cost is for one year—not a decade.

Republicans oppose anything Biden wants, and Democratic senators Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) are supporting them. Until this year, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) kept a fairly low profile although he was known for campaigning with a rifle, shooting a copy of the cap-and-trade bill and a climate change bill in 2010. Although he voted with Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) 60 percent of the time, he sometimes supported Democratic positions such as the gun control bill after the massacre of children at Sandy Hook and the Affordable Care Act when Republicans tried to repeal it in 2018. Most of the time, he hasn’t had the clout to destroy his party’s bills because the Democrats haven’t been in the majority since he was first elected—until this year.

The 50 Democratic senators this year might have had a chance to pass a federal voting act, but Manchin and Sinema, who frequently caucuses with Republicans, seem inclined to block any legislation that Republicans oppose.  Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is ecstatic.

No longer does Manchin have a low profile. Although he can’t provide specific reasons for opposing Biden’s bills, he fights higher taxes on the wealthy and large businesses, some of which not only pay no taxes but also get welfare from the federal government. He opposes more funding for the IRS to track down deadbeats who don’t pay taxes even if the money invested would bring back huge profits for the U.S. And he opposes the infrastructure bill after he added $1 million to his personal portfolio since the beginning of the pandemic. Manchin’s most recent vague excuse to reject the infrastructure bill because it represents “entitlement mentality,” a typical excuse from the entitled white conservative male.

Some of Manchin’s personal “entitlements” for himself and his family:

Heavily invested in the fossil fuel industry, Manchin claims climate change could be much worse by eliminating fossil fuels in the U.S. During the 1980s, Manchin founded a series of oil companies, now in charge of his son, Joe Manchin IV. Since Manchin joined the Senate a decade ago, he grossed over $4.5 million and holds stock options in the larger of two firms, valued between $1 and $5 million. In northern Marion County, Manchin’s businesses degrade the environment and negatively impact the public health. With some of the state’s oldest mines, dirtiest power plants, and vast coal ash dumping grounds, the area gives Manchin hundreds of thousands of dollars from places he doesn’t even own. In 2016, Manchin sponsored legislation to deregulate the toxic coal ash; four years earlier, he opposed EPA rules limiting mercury and aerosolized acid emissions from power plants. Details of more destructive impacts from the Manchin-supported industry in his state.

Manchin protects the filibuster and blocks the voting act. “West Virginia Values,” a page on the Charles Koch network, links to a letter people to sign in opposition to “bad, partisan policies,” such as unionization and infrastructure. Koch donates to the Chamber of Commerce, which then gives donations to both Manchin and Sen. Krysten Sinema (R-AZ) for opposing  President Joe Biden’s initiatives.

Soon after Biden’s inauguration, Manchin went pheasant hunting for a political fundraiser with a ConocoPhillips executive while the Interior Department reviewed a key oil project for the fossil fuel company on Alaska’s North Slope. Manchin is the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman. The next month, Biden dropped his choice for the Interior deputy secretary because Manchin refused to meet with her because she was too hostile to fossil fuels. He got his pick for the nomination, Tommy Beaudreau, a lawyer who represents oil, gas, and mining companies.

Manchin made a PAC donation to Sen. Richard Burr’s (R-NC) legal fund after his DOJ investigation into possible violation of insider trading laws. Burr sold stocks worth hundreds of thousands of dollars worth after he attended a private briefing about the COVID threat in early 2020. A former ALEC member, founded by corporations and Republicans, Manchin also endorsed the re-elections of GOP senators Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Susan Collins (ME). At this time, ALEC lied about having nothing to do with voter suppression; it is working on suppressing the vote through its Honest Elections Project.

Manchin’s daughter, Heather Bresch, kept prices inflated in the health industry, including Pfizer’s high cost of its EpiPen product. She approved the system blocking customers from buying single EpiPens, vital to people suffering a life-threatening allergic reaction with an auto-injectable device injecting epinephrine into the body. In 2007, Mylan, where Bresch was COO, gained a monopoly on the EpiPen delivery system; the EpiPen cost then rose six times within five years. Pfizer, connected to the EpiPen, settled a class-action price-fixing suit for $345 million.

Bresch gained her promotion by lying about having a master’s degree in business administration from West Virginia University. Manchin was governor at the time of the discovery, and the school fabricated grades to get her the degree. Gayle Manchin, Bresch’s mother and head of the National Association of State Boards of Education, lobbied states to all stock EpiPens. Recently, Manchin blocked the lowering drug prices through direct negotiation between Medicare and pharmaceutical companies. Both the government and patients would save billions of dollars, and the bill would reveal collusion keeping high rates.

Recently Bresch received $31 million and 1,400 workers in West Virginia lost their jobs after Mylan merged with another pharmaceutical company. The plant, operating in Morgantown since 1965, is moving abroad.

Manchin had approved the $3.5 trillion package in mid-August, and the House passed it almost two weeks later. In early September, soon after Hurricane Ida hit the U.S., he wrote an op-ed, calling for a “strategic pause.” He wanted to wait for “more clarity on the trajectory of the pandemic” and discover “whether inflation is transitory or not.” In addition, he wants “complete reporting and analysis” of the bill’s implications. Despite his involvement in the bill for over six months, Manchin ignored the ability of the wealthiest and tax-dodging corporations to pay for its cost. Missing from Manchin’s complaint is that only half the $3.5 trillion would be added to the debt with tax increases and other savings offsetting the rest.

Manchin has no specifics about costs, but Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), perhaps the most fiscally savvy member of the House, said the money is available for the reconciliation bill, citing for example the generation of $40 billion with the minimum corporate tax approach. Porter called Manchin “fiscally irresponsible” for not raising revenues but “complain that we can’t pay for the things that American families desperately need.”

Will Bunch pointed out that Manchin’s austerity plans are “wildly out of step with the real-world needs of voters in poverty-plagued West Virginia, suffering from pothole-laced highways, climate-worsened floods, and opioid abuse.” Almost 80 percent of Manchin’s constituents in West Virginia want him to support the reconciliation bill for infrastructure because of the extreme poverty in the state. [Left: Protest at Manchin’s Washington, D.C. houseboat.]

DDT’s slashed tax rates for the wealthiest are also wildly out of step, dropped by 50 percent. Democrats—other than Manchin and Sinema—propose a corporate tax rate increase from 21 percent to 25 percent and individual income tax rate from 37 percent to 39.6 percent. Billionaires could also be taxed. Under GOP President Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s, the highest tax rate 94 percent, and Ronald Reagan took it down to 28 percent.

Sinema is more recently “entitled,” obtaining most of her money for her votes. This week, she collect thousands of dollars from five lobbying firms and other corporations opposed to passing the infrastructure bill. She plans to protect them from any tax increases. Thus far, Sinema has received almost $1 million for opposition to the bill and another $500,000 from the Chamber of Commerce, also against the infrastructure measure.

Sinema also netted $750,000 from drug and medical device industries before voting to keep drug prices high for Medicare instead of negotiating lower costs. A former lobbyist in a firm working or pharmaceutical companies leads Sinema’s office.

Because of their anti-LGBTQ votes in the Senate, both Sinema, a bisexual woman, and Manchin have been praised by Brian Brown, head of both hate groups, National Organization for Marriage and the International Organization for the Family. Brown uses Sinema for fundraising.

Disturbed by Sinema’s GOP behavior, the Arizona Democratic Party passed a resolution by 415-99 to give her “a vote of NO CONFIDENCE” if she doesn’t vote for the budget reconciliation package with the infrastructure provisions this week. The party also called on her to end the filibuster to permit voting rights legislation and other “urgent legislation.” The Democratic party vote authorizes a possible censure of Sinema if she fails to meet the party’s conditions. Asked for a response to the resolution, her spokesperson said, “We do not.” Rough translation: who cares. After all, Sinema can always change her party to Republican when she runs again in 2024.

September 26, 2021

Evangelism: The Newest U.S. Political Party

In the 18th century, the Christian evangelical movement began in Britain and the United States as a movement of conservative Christians. For almost two centuries, the evangelicals had beliefs such as being born again and avoiding politics. Their goal was to rule heaven, not secular government. Beginning with Ronald Reagan, however, the evangelicals decided to join business to control the U.S. government, and almost a half century later white evangelicals have stopped being a religion and developed their own political party.

The evangelical platform includes anti-immigration and anti-science but blocks any discussions of racism. Between DDT’s election in 2016 and his loss in 2020, 16 percent of people not identifying as evangelical and not voting for DDT reversed these positions. In 2020, 18 percent of white evangelical voters voting for DDT were converts to him after not supporting DDT in 2016. Although the majority of people blame the January 6 insurrection attempt was by white supremacist groups, 57 percent of white evangelical Protestants blame liberal left-wing groups such as antifa, and 68 percent of white evangelicals believe DDT is a “true patriot.”

To pastors in the Mercy Culture Church, the U.S. belongs to God, and the Lord claims that 2021 is the “Year of the Supernatural” when believers wage “spiritual warfare” to advance God’s kingdom. In this nondenominational political engine of DDT’s GOP, leaders are called apostles and prophets in publishing empires, prayer networks, TV programs, podcasts, and merchandizing. Demons and miracles are real as civilization has only two genders, no abortion, a free-market economy, evangelical-based education, and laws blocking the rights of everyone except the believers. As mainline denominations shrank since the 1980s, nondenominational groups grew to ten percent in 2020 though the recent New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).

In dominionism, a sociological approach to attract members, God commands Christians to assert authority over the “seven mountains” of life: family, religion, education, economy, arts, media and government/ With success, Jesus Christ returns and God reigns for eternity. The new expansion comes from DDT’s network of NAR-style leaders who made him God’s chosen president. Evangelical voters are no longer older Southern Baptists in wooden pews but younger extremists firing up the Great Awakening with an epicenter in Texas.

These white evangelicals have joined other Republicans as the defenders of lawlessness and disorder, a system which employs the law only for them and uses courts to protect their personal interests while intimidating opponents. Their new laws control women through a “legal” vigilante style and distorted language. The term “protect life” is used for fetuses but not for protection from disease, guns, and other violence. “Integrity” in election law means eliminating the voting rights for anyone considered undesirable voters, specifically non-conservatives. “Court packing” means having bipartisan judges but doesn’t refer to the GOP “packing” of conservatives in all the U.S. courts, including the Supreme Court, in the past four years. Judicial activism refers only to positions opposed by conservatives.

In July, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) demonstrated the religious need to control women during a confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee for Hampton Dellinger, Biden’s appointment as assistant attorney general in the DOJ Office of Legal Policy. When Dellinger, a devout Catholic, said GOP men are the driving force behind abortion restrictions, he offended Kennedy, who asked:

“Do you think that my votes with respect to abortion are based on the fact that I want to control women?”

Dellinger said he could not “speak to that,” and Kennedy asked Dellinger why he said that “in front of God and country.” The exchange continued, and Kennedy asked, “Do you believe in God?” Dellinger said he had “faith,” and Kennedy asked:

“A lot of people have faith. Did it ever occur to you that some people may base their position on abortion on their faith?”

Kennedy outright stated the GOP opposition to women’s right to choose comes from Republicans’ religion and their refusal to permit women to determine their personal reproductive health care—all violating the First Amendment as well as the constitution’s Article VI, mandating “no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” It was the same Article VI Kennedy used three years earlier in complaining about a question for Supreme Court justice candidate Amy Coney Barrett about whether her extremist Catholic faith would interfere with fairness as a jurist.

Evangelicals may claim to be religious, but they are far less moral than those in the secular population. In June, 14 percent of the U.S. population said they will not be vaccinated under any conditions, but among white evangelicals Christians, the number was over 50 percent higher at 22 percent, the highest of any demographic group. As the percentage of vaccinations increased since then, refusals remained high among white evangelicals as right-wing, white supremacist political figures spread disinformation and “suspicion of science.” Evangelicals assume they won’t contract the disease and feel no need to protect the lives of anyone else, even those close to them. They have no need to block, or even slow down, the pandemic, therefore causing it to surge throughout the nation.

Data shows that human activity is destroying the world through wildfires, floods, melting glaciers, polluted water and air, worse hurricanes, rising sea levels, etc. Over 80 percent of secular people in the U.S. accept evidence for this catastrophe and make its change at the top of their priorities. Only 33 percent of white evangelicals take responsibility for climate change. Secular people are far more likely to oppose gun violence, government use of torture, and corporal punishment while supporting refugee assistance, affordable health care for all, LGBTQ rights, etc.

Project Blitz, a secret Christian white supremacist “bill mill” to create a female-controlling theocracy in the U.S., begins with innocent-seeming bills such as mandating schools display the national motto, “In God We Trust.” Its exposé in 2018 drove the project underground, but proposed bills continue to emerge, including those to criminalize librarians and teachers for using “age-inappropriate sexual materials.”

For example, Tennessee’s “Moms for Liberty” demand that the Williamson County School District ban a book because its watercolor illustrations of “seahorses is too sexy.” A book about Johnny Appleseed, the folklore hero traveling the Midwest and planting apple trees, is “sad and dark.” A book about hurricanes should be eliminated because “first grade is too young to hear about possible devastating effects of hurricanes.” And a fifth-grade novel about the Civil War includes “out of marriage families between white men and black women” and depicts “white people as ‘bad’ or ‘evil.’” The group recommends removing 31 books or placing them at a higher level—seahorses touching tales in Seahorses: The Shyest Fish in the Sea, published in 2006, might work for 8th grade, according to the misnamed “Moms for Liberty.” 

The same forces behind Project Blitz has other legislative agendas: anti-trans youth legislation, religious exemptions to COVID-related public health protections, broad denial-of-care bills, and bills that undermine abortion access. The push for religious exemptions has the biggest traction and the broadest effect, especially with its attacks on contraception, child labor laws, etc. Another “blitz” focus is against the so-called “critical race theory” with efforts in 27 states to block education related to racism, contributions of different racial and ethnic groups in American history, and related topics.

Rachel Laser, president of Americans United For Separation of Church and State, said:

“White Christian nationalism is the belief that America is and must remain a Christian nation founded for its white Christian inhabitants, and that our laws and policies must reflect this premise,” she said. “They completely reject church-state separation. White Christian nationalists oppose equality for people of color, women, LGBTQ people, religious minorities and the nonreligious.”

Former evangelical Valerie Talrico lists ten thought patterns developed by its fundamentalism:

  • All or nothing: any sin can send people to hell; people are either saved or damned.  
  • Good guys and bad guys: people are in one of two mental boxes, and they are either for us or against us.  
  • Never feeling good enough:
  • Hyperactive guilt detection: in a world of should and should-nots leaves one with a constant sense of guilt from the smallest failing.  
  • Sexual hangups: sexual sins—meaning pleasures—are the worst.  
  • Living for the future: all life must be focused on the future instead of the moment because only heaven has value.
  • Bracing for an apocalypse: the impending doom of nuclear disaster, pandemic, etc. keeps people driven instead of the sense of curiosity and discovery.  
  • Idealizing leaders: demagogues and authoritarians exuding confidence about what is right and how to solve problems prey on all fears reinforce the sense that everyone who doesn’t share a person’s worldview must be extinguished because they are evil. 
  • Desperately seeking simplicity: the lack of multi-dimensional nuance and moral ambiguity reinforced frustration of differences among people and coping with problems that have no right answers. 
  • Intrusive what-ifs: nagging doubts lead to people second-guessing themselves and making them believe they are wrong even if they aren’t.

The increasing polarization of the United States matches almost all the characteristics developed in evangelicals.

September 25, 2021

DDT’s Troubles Multiply

The media has spent much time and paper describing what President Joe Biden faces and largely ignoring the tribulations of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT). A few of DDT’s catastrophes:

No matter how much the Cyber Ninjas tried to cover up their failure to swing Arizona into DDT’s camp through incompetent ballot counts, the vote majority in Maricopa County came out even higher for Biden by 360 votes. DDT is still ranting about a “stolen election,” even lying to his Georgia rally audience by telling him that he won the ballot count. Other states, however, may dilute his belief if their future fake audits have the same results.

DDT needs Biden to assert executive privilege shielding DDT’s records from the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection attempt, but Biden said his using executive privilege to conceal these records is not appropriate. The House has sent subpoenas for “all documents and communications within the White House” on that day, including call logs, schedules, and meetings with top officials and outside advisers on January 6 from several federal agencies including the National Archives. DDT said he would assert his own executive privilege, but he is no longer an executive. He has until September 30 to object to documents’ release, but the current president, Joe Biden, has final ruling on the release.

The January 6 committee has also sent subpoenas to DDT’s former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, former adviser Steve Bannon, and Kash Patel, a former chief of staff to then-acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller who had also served as an aide to Republican Rep. Devin Nunes.

Two GOP representatives, Jim Jordan (OH) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA) may also be sent subpoenas for their actions on January 6 and subsequent lies. Jordan finally admitted he talked to DDT “more than once” on the phone during the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Asked if Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) joined him on one of the calls as reported in the media, Jordan said he had to “think about it.” On the calls, Jordan and Gaetz reportedly begged DDT to call off the terrorists.

McCarthy, who tried to sabotage a congressional investigation into the Capitol attack, has flip-flopped by lying about the events of the day. Immediately after the event, McCarthy stated about DDT that “the president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters” but reversed that position by July. In September, McCarthy claims DDT has been exonerated.

DDT’s campaign secretly paid January 6 rally organizers $4.3 million by his and Jared Kushner’s funneling the funding through opaque firms and shell companies. Funding for the rally leading to the insurrection attempt may be far more because of complications in discovering the amount.   

A new court order yesterday ordered the Trump Organization to comply with subpoenas for the investigation by New York State Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan DA Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. The business has been stonewalling the subpoenas for over a year. They are concerned whether DDT wrongly inflated his assets values to obtain mortgages while deflating them for tax advantages. In one indictment, DDT was named for writing checks to benefit family members of Allen Weisselberg, also facing tax crimes charges.

In August, Matthew Calamari Jr, Trump Organization director of security and son of COO Matthew Calamari, testified before a Manhattan grand jury to receive immunity protection. Prosecutors are examining Calamari’s unreported taxes on rent and cars provided by DDT’s company. The elder Calamari was moved to his position from being DDT’s bodyguard. Weisselberg’s ex-wife Jennifer witnessed DDT’s personal guarantee to cover expensive school costs for family members of two members instead of a raise to avoid paying taxes on the costs. DDT’s stalling in the prosecution puts the current schedule for the case in September 2022, a short time before mid-term elections.

E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against DDT, on hold for a year, may continue while they wait for an appeals court decision. Attorneys for Carroll may pursue subpoenas for documents, records, and DDT’s DNA sample. Time prohibits Carroll from suing for alleged rape in the mid-1990s, but she can sue because of DDT’s defamatory remarks. He said he made these under the scope of his employment in the White House.

DDT is suing his niece, Mary Trump, and three reporters at the New York Times for $100 million about the coverage of his taxes, but the case isn’t going well. The suit accused reporters of forcing Trump to “smuggle records out of her attorney’s office and turn them over to The Times.” DDT’s new lawyer is Alina Habba, who has been a lawyer for a parking-garage company and represented one of his supporters in a complaint against Facebook.  

Legal experts pointed out serious flaws in DDT’s case composed of more invective than evidence:

  1. Freedom of the Press in the constitution: Former Principal Deputy Solicitor Neal Katyal, said the lawsuit covers an old article that actually won a Pulitzer award, reporting protected by the First amendment.
  2. Lack of Motive: Joyce Vance, former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, said the lawsuit seems to an act of desperation and part of DDT’s history abusing the U.S. legal system. In addition, New York’s new Slapp law could permit Trump to have fast-tracking for dismissal of charges against her, leaving DDT to pay for court and attorney fees.
  3. Loser: DDT has won about one-third of the 1,300 cases he filed. The 3,500 cases in which he has been involved are primarily entered to cover failed projects and his refusal to pay his bills, even small ones.

Weisselberg resigned as the Organization’s CEO and been replaced by Donald Trump Jr. Yet DDT’s 43-year-old son lists his office address as a DDT golf course near his new Florida home, and the business is operated by a trust which is controlled by DDT. The company still has 10 hotels, 12 stand-alone golf courses, commercial and residential buildings, and a website selling Trump-branded T-shirts and candles. During DDT’s four-year term, four hotels closed, merchandising shrank, and buildings took down DDT’s name. New York may evict DDT’s company from a publicly owned golf course, and DDT’s Washington hotel is up for sale.

Without political campaigns or people wanting his favor, DDT is losing money at his private properties. The first six months of 2019 brought him $1.4 million from fundraising events; the same time in 2021 produced $350,000. Compared to 25 percent of spending in the first six months of 2019 at DDT’s hotel or restaurant, only 4 percent in 2021 was spent there with 85 percent at other properties, mostly Mar-a-Lago. Part of his loss comes from his own campaign spending no money although his campaign committees spent $1 million at Trump Organization properties between 2017 and 2019. The emolument game is over, maybe a reason DDT wants to run in 2024.

A federal judge ruled DDT’s accounting firm must give House Democrats the records of financial payments from foreign governments related to whether they paid millions of dollars to DDT’s businesses while he conducted foreign policy affecting those governments. A House committee is investigating whether DDT sold access to U.S. policy to foreign government, using the Supreme Court decision as a basis for the argument.

In August, the inspector general for the Federal Election Commission asked the agency to review its ethics policies and internal controls because senior FEC manager Debbie Chacona openly supported DDT and had a close relationship with an attorney who served as the 2016 DDT campaign’s top lawyer. Chacon oversees the office keeping unlawful contributions out of U.S. political campaigns; partisan activities on her part destroys credibility by implying preferential treatment for a candidate or party. She also took the word of the inauguration committee that no foreign nationals gave donations although they were included in its disclosure reports.  

While in the White House, DDT pardoned Ken Kurzon, Jared Kushner’s former newspaper editor and associate, for alleged cybercrimes against three people. The Manhattan DA has now charged Kurzon for cyberstalking his ex-wife by eavesdropping and criminal trespass, illegally accessing this then-wife’s communications in 2015 and 2016. Kurzon is accused of using spyware to log into his wife’s Gmail and Facebook accounts as well as anonymously sharing illegally obtained private Facebook messages. The DA indicated that DDT’s pardon might not be in effect for the recent charges because they are not federal ones.

Although Republicans appear to support everything DDT does, he lost them with his plot to remove Mitch McConnell (R-KY) from the position of Senate Minority Leader. When DDT talked to senators and allies, even Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) wouldn’t agree to the coup to replace McConnell with DDT’s choice. McConnell holds the purse strings to hundreds of millions of dollars used for senators’ reelections, but DDT, who raised $102 million for his super PAC, won’t give any money to GOP candidates.

September 24, 2021

Biden Wins Arizona, Some Republicans Not Convinced

After over five months and $5.7 million, the suspense is over. The ballot count for Maricopa County (AZ) demanded by the state GOP senators was accurate. Except Joe Biden added 360 votes to his majority from 99 more votes for Biden and 261 fewer votes for Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), according to the private contractor hired by the state’s GOP senators that reported “no substantial differences” from the county’s certified tallies. This report debunks DDT’s myths about equipment hacking or miscounting paper ballots. Biden was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Arizona since 1996.

DDT was so sure he would have enough additional votes to win the state that he claimed vindication before he heard the results:

“Everybody will be watching Arizona tomorrow to see what the highly respected auditors and Arizona State Senate found out regarding the so-called Election!”

DDT deleted his tweet after he got the news and claimed “significant and undeniable evidence of FRAUD!” He added that the recount “conclusively shows there were enough fraudulent votes, mystery votes, and fake votes to change the outcome of the election 4 or 5 times over.” In his fury, DDT demanded that Arizona “immediately decertify their 2020 Presidential Election Results” which the GOP governor, Doug Ducey, immediately refused. AG Mark Brnovich, currying DDT’s favor for his U.S. senate run, appeared to be more amenable to DDT’s order.

The spokesperson for the “audit” stated “it doesn’t look like” there was fraud. Ben Ginsberg, a veteran Republican election lawyer, called the results “a huge defeat for Donald Trump.” He added:

“This was an audit in which they absolutely cooked the procedures, they took funding from sources that should delegitimize, automatically, the finding. This was Donald Trump’s best chance to prove his cases of elections being rigged and fraudulent, and they failed.”

Trey Grayson, a Republican and former top election official in Kentucky, said the Arizona count was marked by “bias and incompetence” and hoped Republicans in other states would not support similar initiatives. State GOP Sen. Paul Boyer, who originally voted for an “audit,” said:  

“They wasted nearly $6 million to tell us what we already knew, meanwhile exacerbating an already unhealthy political environment.”

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers (R) said:

“The tabulation equipment counted the ballots as they were designed to do, and the results reflect the will of the voters. That should be the end of the story. Everything else is just noise. Board members told the truth in the face of angry phone calls and emails fueled by a coordinated campaign to shake Americans’ faith in the power of their vote. Will they accept the truth now?”

The report did give conspiracy theorists grist for their mills by minimizing Biden’s win and raising questions about the election process and voter integrity as well as claiming results are inconclusive. After over five months of intensive scrutiny to every aspect of the Maricopa County 2020 election, the private contractor wants to continue the circus with more investigation, probably hoping to be hired for the next fiasco.

The contractor, Cyber Ninjas, proved human error in its report, beginning with the differing numbers of ballots between the presidential and the senatorial races. Maricopa County’s count comes out the same number of ballots, but the Ninjas’ hand count by untrained volunteers had a difference of 175 ballots between the two—not huge but still an obvious mistake. Ninjas also reported that 23,344 ballots were cast by voters not living at their registered addresses, “phantom voters” as DDT called them. These voters may have moved to a new home or left their parents’ homes in the past ten months; over one percent of people typically move to new residence within any given year.  

Canvassers investigating this problem were also inaccurate because of the Ninjas’ reliance on a commercial database to verify voters, according to Benny White, one of three election experts examining the process. He called this methodology sloppy: experienced people use data from the County Recorder’s office and not from a third party. The Ninjas didn’t go the extra step to check the more accurate source. Election experts also described the Ninjas’ work opaque, insecure, and frequently changing, based on flawed analysis and weak evidence. White also questions Fann’s claim about launching the audit to improve election integrity because the report deliberately found ways to raise doubts about the process although counts didn’t show fraud. He said:

“It was a conspiracy to keep Donald Trump in power by extraconstitutional means.”

One way of raising doubt was describing how ink bleeding through paper could impact a ballot. Yet according to the report, “no images that were reviewed met these conditions.” Despite searches for paper containing bamboo indicating it came from outside the U.S., the Ninjas made no comment about any bamboo.

Revelations in documents released through a court order before the ballot count report:

  • Workers received up to $125 an hour.
  • DDT indicated interest in donating to the effort.
  • Jeff DeWit, former NASA CFO and DDT campaign worker, donated up to $200,000 for the count.
  • Conspiracy theorist Gail Golec, a former Scottsdale realtor, warned the Senate liaison about fire-throwing clowns at a neighboring carnival.
  • The Ninjas hired Shiva Ayyadurai, spreader of anti-vaccine conspiracies for the project.
  • The report was delayed because Ninjas lead, Doug Logan, and his colleagues contracted COVID. Golec, Ayyadurai, and Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward urged them to take Ivermectin.
  • Arizona GOP Senate President Karen Fann gave One America News (OAN) reporter Christine Bobb, who fund-raised for the count, confidential information.

And there are still 2,500 of the most sensitive documents to come.

One piece of unfinished business came from concern regarding security risks. Maricopa County refused to give the private contractor availability to its routers so a settlement permits former U.S. Rep. John Shadegg and the tech experts he hires to examine router logs showing internet activity. The county said its voting machines were not connected to the internet during the election, but DDT and his allies believe in the conspiracy theory they officials are lying.  

Fake audits are good for GOP fundraising, and Texas, where DDT defeated Biden by 5,890,374 to 5,259,126, has embarked on ballot re-counts in the four largest counties—Collin, Dallas, Harris, and Tarrant—after an official in the secretary of state’s office called the state voting “smooth and secure.” The process began because DDT called Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) to request the recount. Texas will pay far more than the almost $6 million in Arizona because the four counties have a combined population of over ten million—over twice as many people as in Maricopa County. Texas has already passed more restrictions to its already restrictive voting bill, restrictions which law expert Franita Tolson testified as “racist” during a hearing before the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution titled “Restoring the Voting Rights Act: Combating Discriminatory Abuses.”

Before the results were released in Arizona, other states began working on ballot counts. The GOP state Assembly in Wisconsin assigned a former Supreme Court justice to investigate the 2020 election. Earlier in August, Wisconsin GOP lawmakers had tried to seize ballots and voting machines in two counties.

GOP Senate Republicans in Pennsylvania issued subpoenas for all voter records, including information such as Social Security and driver’s license numbers, which could lead to identity theft. Democrats sued to block the Republicans. The state’s Democratic attorney general also filed a lawsuit against the GOP state legislators to block the subpoenas and also demand documents between state and county elections officials. Senate Republicans plan to turn all the voter information to a private contractor, yet to be hired at an unidentified cost to taxpayers. Democrats also filed a complaint to block a third-party vendor from conducting the investigation and extend time for the State Department to answer the GOP subpoena.

Almost 20 percent of adults in the U.S.—47 million people—believe “the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump,” and 21 million of them believe in violence to put him back into the Oval Office. At least seven million of them own guns, and at least three million served in the U.S. military. Six million say they support right-wing militias and extremist groups. Ten of 15 declared GOP candidates for secretary of state in five battleground states—Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin—declared either that the 2020 election was stolen, called for the state’s results to be invalidated, or wanted to investigate the election. Only two of them said that Joe Biden won the election. Dean Heller, GOP candidate for Nevada governor, won’t admit Joe Biden is the legitimate president. 

Meanwhile, many conservatives will stay ignorant of the Arizona ballot count results: Newsmax covered only DDT’s lies, and Fox and OAN ignored the entire event after hyping it for months.

The ”fake” audit may have ended, but the fight to vote is just beginning.

September 23, 2021

COVID Grows in GOP-Controlled States

In states supporting Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), opposition to mandating vaccinations just got crazier. Florida state Sen. Manny Diaz, the GOP chair of the state Senate Health Policy Committee, wants to “review” school vaccine requirements for such illnesses as measles and mumps. This on top of preventing COVID vaccine mandates. And the appointment of Joseph Ladapo, who opposes mask requirements at school and supports COVID treatments that don’t work, for surgeon general and secretary of Florida’s Department of Health. Wannabe presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor, made the appointment, and Ladapo immediately gave parents “sole discretion over mask-wearing at school. His order supersedes earlier ones, wiping out court cases against DeSantis’ ban on school mask-wearing mandates. COVID has killed at least 51,892 people in Florida since the start of the pandemic, and over 3.5 million people in the state, including Manny Diaz, have tested positive for the virus. Ladapo has a history of writing op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, questioning vaccinations and mask-wearing while advocating hydroxychloroquine for a treatment. He also believes in “herd immunity,” allowing the coronavirus to spread unstopped.

A COVID spread in California showed the importance of wearing masks. When an unvaccinated teacher in Marin County took off her mask to read, she spread COVID-19 to 26 students, including 50 percent of her students. The school requires masks, but she didn’t comply. The classroom used social distancing, masks, ventilation, and an air filter, and the farther the students were from the teacher, the less likely they were to contract the disease.

On the Fox network, DeSantis called President Joe Biden’s approach toward the pandemic a “failure” and described the large number of deaths, infections, and hospitalizations in his state a “great success.” During his talk, he referred to his use of monoclonal antibody treatment. DeSantis’ biggest donor has millions of dollars invested in this treatment, and DeSantis ignores vaccines in favor of his donor’s money-making stocks. The Orlando Sentinel, Florida’s biggest newspaper, pointed out DeSantis had tweeted only once about vaccines in 130 tweets about COVID but nothing about people who had died. He did write twice about the state’s annual python hunt.

Seven Southern states ranking in the bottom ten for vaccinations, neighbors to Florida, comprise 70 percent of the orders for monoclonal antibodies in recent weeks. Costing 100 times the amount of vaccinations, the treatment also doesn’t have lasting effect against COVID.

DeSantis’ unswerving faith in mask bans for schools comes from his belief in California psychiatrist, Mark McDonald, who promotes the use of animal deworming Ivermectin for human COVID cases instead of vaccinations. McDonald compares masks on children to “child abuse” and apartheid, South Africa’s racist segregation in the 20th century. On social media, McDonald called people who wear masks “retarded.” DeSantis also listens to Dr. Scott Atlas, DDT’s adviser who pushed White House coronavirus task force members to let people to contract the virus with no government intervention.

In August, Florida Poison Control Centers reported 27 Ivermectin-related cases. DeSantis’ COVID surge is also causing a shortage of water because it needs to be diverted to liquid oxygen for hospitals.

According to an August poll, 60 percent of people in Florida supported in-school masking. In addition, 61 percent agreed the recent COVID spike was preventable, 73 percent see it as a serious problem, and 53 percent believe the surge is a serious problem. The majority opposes DeSantis’ policies.

  • 68 percent: local officials should be able to require masks in indoor public spaces.
  • 69 percent: withholding pay for school officials requiring masking, which DeSantis is doing, is a bad idea.
  • 59 percent: everyone should be required to wear masks in indoor public spaces.
  • 63 percent: masking is primarily a public health issue and not about personal freedom.
  • 62 percent: health care workers should be required to have vaccinations.
  • 60 percent: teachers should have vaccination mandates.

DeSantis’ net approval rating fell 14 points in Florida by early September since early July, and 59 percent of registered Florida voters oppose his presidential run. He’s also behind his leading opponent for Florida governor, Rep. Charlie Crist, by double digits.    

DeSantis may be killing off his voters: 63 percent of the recent deaths in the state are over age 65, and seniors have been 79 percent of all pandemic deaths in Florida. Death numbers in Florida may be higher than revealed because the state hasn’t released these numbers in its 67 counties for three months. Both numbers of infections and deaths in Florida have dropped since DeSantis revised the method of counting these. Florida isn’t alone in the increasing number of deaths; this chart shows DDT-supporting counties

The number of deaths from COVID in Florida may appear to be shrinking because the state’s Department of Health changed its method of reporting death data. With the new system, a week’s data dropped the number of daily deaths from 262 to 46 although the same number of people died. Instead of deaths reported by the recorded date, the system used by most states, Florida tallied new deaths by the date a person dies, shifting a spike during a downslope and moving the downslope forward in time, creating an “artificial decline” in recent deaths during the current rise in cases.

Another form of disinformation about vaccines comes from evangelicals, including a popular app for evangelical churches, Subsplash, that urges viewers to fight pressure to get vaccinated. Users can put any lies on the app that they want. The National Religious Broadcasters fired Daniel Darling, senior vice president of communications, because he wouldn’t recant his pro-vaccine statements. On MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough’s show, he said his faith motivated him to get vaccinated and was proud of doing it. Darling described the vaccines as an amazing feat of discovery by scientists.

On the other side, Pope Francis and other high ranking Catholic leaders are calling on believers to be vaccinated against COVID because protecting others is the moral thing—a “God’s grace” and “an act of love.”

In other states:

Arkansas doesn’t mandate masks and spent $265,448 of COVID funding to enrich former Gov. Mike Huckabee by buying booklets containing disinformation about coronavirus from his company, EverBright Media. It contains the statement, “face masks aren’t recommended as a way of preventing Coronavirus for healthy people.”

Georgia has skyrocketing numbers of infections, hospitalizations and fatalities, but Gov. Brian Kemp told Fox that people can be trusted to do the right thing. He also signed an order telling “businesses to ignore any local COVID restrictions.”

Mississippi has the highest COVID rate in the nation but has no health mandates, and Gov. Tate Reeves blasted President Biden for any mandates and hopes to sue him. If Mississippi were a country, it would be second only to Peru in deaths per capita, and the vaccination rate is 42 percent. Reeves explained why deaths are okay with people in Mississippi:  

“When you believe in eternal life—when you believe that living on this earth is but a blip on the screen, then you don’t have to be so scared of things.”

In his political statement, Reeves didn’t say how that covers all the people killed by those who choose to not be unvaccinated.

South Dakota’s ten-day motorcycle rally in Sturgis, like last year, was a super-spreader event. Cases in Meade County, briefly home to 700,000 motorcyclists, rose over from a weekly rate of 644 infections to 3,819 infetions plus seven deaths. A neighboring county to the home of the rally jumped from three cases a day at the beginning of July to 160 after the rally. Most of the affected counties have lower vaccination rates that the state’s average of 49 percent. The almost 700 percent increase after the rally was two and a half times that of the percentage leap last year although the daily deaths stayed about the same.

In Tennessee, one-third of the positive cases were youth under 19 years of age after school opened in August. Gov. Bill Lee signed an order leaving students’ mask-wearing up to parents. He recommended vaccines which weren’t available to anyone under 13.

On the more educated side, a New Hampshire legislator and retired doctor, William Marsh, has switched parties from Republican to Democrat because of the GOP House leadership’s anti-vaccine position.

Analyzing why conservatives have fought so hard against protecting their health, political analyst David Graham suggests they are upset with losing influence. In the Atlantic, he wrote:

“[Conservatives] are angry at someone (elites, liberals, the government, the establishment) for telling them how they ought to live… They want to live exactly as they please, even if that means they may die—and even if that means making other people sick along the way.”

Anti-vaxxers are doing more than just yelling against vaccines and masks. They block public meetings, threaten officials with violence and death, and beat up people whose job is to ask them to wear masks and provide proof of vaccination for entry to businesses. Abuse from anti-vaxxers forced the closure of mobile vaccination clinics in Colorado and Georgia when they threw garbage and lit fireworks on healthcare workers. A California clinic had to close down because a person refusing to get a vaccination attacked healthcare workers who wouldn’t give him a vaccination proof card. The stories continue, some of the violence perpetrated by law enforcement. Yet Republican leaders continue to support their behavior, just as they refuse to admit that DDT lost the election.

COVID Unvaccinated Leads to Less Health Care, Increased Costs

Over four years ago, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) appointed Michael Flynn as his national security adviser. Flynn lasted three weeks before DDT fired him, ostensibly because Flynn “lied” to VP Mike Pence although there were several other reasons. Before DDT left the Oval Office he pardoned Flynn who had pled guilty to lying to the FBI as well as other multiple charges and who plotted the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. Now Flynn stated that the “deep state” (aka people who don’t believe in QAnon conspiracy theories) plans to put COVID vaccine in salad dressing to impose their will on “us.”

Flynn is part of the cabal bringing death to people in the United States through the anti-vax movement. Over a decade ago, one of my friends complained that the Affordable Care Act would kill people because it would cause a shortage of doctors. People didn’t die, however, because millions more people had health insurance. But in 2021, conservatives are killing people because they refuse to be vaccinated.

A huge influx of seriously ill—unvaccinated—people has been inundating the hospitals for months, blocking necessary access for those who need medical care such as dialysis and ventilators as well as for others who have cancer, heart issues, dialysis, etc. from necessary access. Now hospitals are denying this care in at least three states—Alaska, Idaho, and Montana—where hospitals are rationing health care. And all because people refuse to be vaccinated. These three states have declared “crisis standards,” which uses legal protection in prioritizing care. Qualifications include both health issues and roles in society, i.e., higher status for health-care workers or politicians with essential responsibilities. Arizona and New Mexico had declared crisis standards in some hospitals for short periods in 2020.

Only 40 percent of people in Idaho are vaccinated, and the state has no mandated masks or other health requirements. A regional health board just appointed a doctor who called COVID vaccinates “fake.” One hospital still not declaring the crisis standard has delayed elective and nonurgent surgeries and checks vital signs less often. The state’s crisis plan prioritizes children through 17 years old, pregnant women, adults from younger to older, and patients who “perform tasks that are vital to the public health response of the crisis at hand.” Those who don’t meet the standards will receive palliative care. One patient suffering a major trauma was sent 800 miles away to Sacramento.

In Montana one hospital said its ICU was operating at 150 percent, and another said shortage of medications keeps them from treating everyone. Oxygen may be administered without monitoring. People going to Providence Alaska Medical Center emergency room must wait in their cars for care, and the hospital has no more staffed beds. Only 48 percent of people in the state are vaccinated.

Another reason for overloaded hospitals is the myth that Ivermectin will protect people from COVID. In rural Oklahoma, emergency rooms and ambulances are backed up because people are taking doses meant for a 1,000-pound horse. One doctor said that gunshot victims have trouble getting into places where they can get care, and ambulances have to wait at the hospital for beds to open up. Symptoms in minor Ivermectin cases are nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, cramping, and don’t forget the inability to control bowels. Worse than that is vision loss, coming from a medication with no evidence of being effective against COVID. A recent review of 14 Ivermectin studies, with more than 1,600 participants, show no help for preventing COVID, and another 31 studies are still underway. One of the biggest trials, the Together Trial, was stopped on August 6 because Ivermectin was no better at a placebo in preventing hospitalization of a longer stay in the emergency room. The leader of the study said that the study would have been halted earlier for no evidence except for the public interest in the drug.

Even states with more vaccinated people, such as California and Washington, are experiencing the “tipping point” of care as people from those crisis states flood into other areas. Hawaii’s governor signed an order releasing health-care facilities and workers from liability if they must ration health care. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told Idaho Governor to stop “clogging up my hospitals.”

This week, the U.S. averaged 153,000 new covid cases and 1,940 deaths each day. Today, clearly identified COVID deaths are 252 short of 700,000, and 2,228 people died in the past day. The so-called Spanish flu of 1918-19 killed 675,000 people, and fewer than the number of those who died from combat in all the American wars.

  WellSpan Health, a health care system covering South-Central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland reports younger and sicker COVID patients—and  90 percent of them are unvaccinated. Despite this knowledge, the stupidity and ignorance of anti-vaxxers and their leaders continues.

While unvaccinated people block those with vaccinations from hospitals, the latter is paying hospital expenses for the 98 percent of people who want the freedom to infect themselves and others. The average hospitalization cost of between $20,000 and $24,000 with ventilators far more expensive is paid by taxpayers and insurance that increases because of vastly higher premiums. An analysis of data shows 32,000 preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations in June, 68,000 preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations in July, and another 187,000 preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations among unvaccinated adults in the U.S. in August, for a total of 287,000 across the three months. These costs do not reflect the medical expenses of “long-haul” COVID and welfare for those who cannot work because of the aftereffects of the disease that unvaccinated people chose to contract.

Insurance companies, however, are getting fed up with make huge payments for unvaccinated people. Most of the private and group health plans no longer waive “cost-sharing,” co-pays and deductibles, for COVID treatment, including hospitalization. The change could mean thousands of dollars sick people may have to pay. Preventable hospitalization for June through August ran over $5 billion.

This story sounds like satire, but the mind of conservatives can sometimes be hard to fathom.  Breitbart News’ John Nolte talked with Howard Stern about a conspiracy theory that vaccine-believers are using “reverse psychology” to kill off “Trump supporters.” By pushing vaccines, conservatives won’t take them, and they will die.  Nolte wrote:

“Do you want to know why I think Howard Stern is going full-monster with his mockery of three fellow human beings who died of the coronavirus? Because leftists like Stern and CNNLOL and Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and Anthony Fauci are deliberately looking to manipulate Trump supporters into not getting vaccinated. If I wanted to use reverse psychology to convince people not to get a life-saving vaccination, I would do exactly what Stern and the left are doing…. I would bully and taunt and mock and ridicule you for not getting vaccinated, knowing the human response would be: Hey, f**k you, I’m never getting vaccinated! And why is that a perfectly human response? Because no one ever wants to feel like they are being bullied or ridiculed or mocked or pushed into doing anything.”

With religious exemptions from mandated vaccinations growing popular, Arkansas’ hospital system Conway Regional Health System now gives those exemptions only to people who swear off medications and other vaccinations with the same issues as the COVID vaccine. Their objection to put a substance with fetal cell lines into their bodies also applies to over-the-counter medications including Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, aspirin, Lipitor, Senokot, ibuprofen, Maalox, Benadryl, Sudafed, Claritin, Zoloft, etc. People signing up for religious exemptions to COVID vaccines are also prevented from vaccines such as those for measles, mumps, and rubella. All these medications/vaccines and more were developed using fetal cell lines. A religious exemption also lasts as long as it takes the person time to get another job.

The number of people objecting to vaccine mandates is shrinking. Across the U.S. between 53 and 61 percent of people want proof of vaccination for restaurants, hotels, offices or work sites, events with large crowds, and flying, percentages all up from April.

One reason people say they won’t get vaccinated is that it leads to sterility and sexual disfunction. Studies, however, show they are wrong; instead, contracting the virus causes problems in pregnancy, menstrual cycles, erectile performance, or sperm quality. Pregnant women will get infected more quickly without vaccinations. So not getting vaccinated leads to the sexual problems they fear as well as possibly death.

September 21, 2021

Republicans Refuse to Pay Their Debt, DDT’s Election Fraud Goes Public

Just nine days before government funding expires on September 30, the House of Representatives voted to stop a shutdown of federal services by a party-line vote of 220-211. If the Senate passes the same measure, funding would continue until December 3, and the U.S. borrowing limit (aka debt ceiling) would be good until December 16, 2022. It also provides $28.6 billion in disaster relief and $6.3 billion to help Afghanistan evacuees.

GOP senators won’t make it easy. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) loves to make up irrational rules. For example, in 2016, he said that that a president could not appoint a Supreme Court justice within 11 months of the end of his term. That president was Democrat President Obama so McConnell’s rule didn’t last: in 2020, he put a new justice on the high court within 11 days of an election.

Now McConnell has invented a new rule about the debt ceiling. Last week, he said:

“Let me make it perfectly clear. The country must never default. The debt ceiling will need to be raised. But who does that depends on who the American people elect.”

He added:  

“They have the House, the Senate, and the presidency. It’s their obligation to govern. And, you know, the essence of governing is to raise the debt ceiling to cover the debt.”

McConnell invented a rule that no Republican would vote to increase the debt ceiling. That has already held true in the House vote. The Senate, however, has only 50 Democrats, and a GOP filibuster requires ten Republican senators to move the bill to a vote, something McConnell promised they would not do. McConnell wants all his Republicans to campaign against the “tax-and-spend liberals” despite the current debt increase came from the “tax-and-spend” Republicans for four years when the GOP greatly lowered taxes and spent money that they didn’t have. If all the Republicans stayed out of the way, Democrats could govern.

The rule from McConnell doesn’t apply when he needs Democrats; i.e., in 2019 when he wanted bipartisan support to increase the debt ceiling. He knows what Treasury Department Secretary Janet Yellen, formerly chair of the Federal Reserve, knows—“default … would precipitate a historic crisis.” McConnell wants all his Republicans to campaign against the “tax-and-spend liberals” despite the increase in the debt that needs to be covered came from the “tax-and-spend” Republicans for four years when the GOP greatly lowered taxes and spent money that they didn’t have. 

The debt ceiling always sounds as if the current Congress wants to spend more money, but this legal cap on how much money the federal government can owe to all its debtors—including other government accounts—happens when former administrations, in this case a Republican one, have approved spending over revenue. At the debt limit, the Treasury can no longer issue new bonds to fund spending over the revenue coming in. A 1917 law during World War I allowed Congress to wait for set debt limit expirations to raise the ceiling. The current debt limit of $28.5 trillion was reimposed on August 1 at the expiration of the two-year suspension signed by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT).

The national debt doesn’t change with the increase in the debt ceiling; lifting the limit simply means the government can pay its previously incurred expenses. The Republicans who want to blame Democrats for the debt are the ones who participated in raising the debt ceiling several times without any debt reduction and using only GOP votes to pass the $1.9 trillion tax cut bill in 2017 under DDT’s term.

In his 2016 campaign, DDT promised to reduce the national debt, but he and his GOP-controlled Congress increased it $7.8 billion, about $23,500 new federal debt for everyone in the U.S. Only George W. Bush and Abraham Lincoln had higher relative debt increases, but they had either two foreign conflicts or a civil war. DDT promised his massive tax cuts and tariffs would eliminate the budget deficit so that the U.S. could pay down its debt. It never happened.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) explained how Republicans were responsible for a goodly portion of the debt: 

“We’ve already incurred these debts. In fact, 27% of the debt that has been created has been created by Donald Trump during his administration. Only 3% under the Biden administration. The money that we spend on the rescue plan, where we propped up businesses, we propped up people who were unemployed, that is all spent. Everyone supported it. We had 44 Republicans who supported that. So on the one hand, they want to support it, but then they don’t want to pay for it? I mean it is just irresponsible.”

She added that “there is going to be blood on their hands … You’re going to see Social Security recipients not receiving their checks, and we’ll point to the Republicans and say that this is the reckless behavior of Republicans who are so irresponsible they won’t even pay for something that they have already voted for.“

Interest rates have gone up with the increased national debt. During the 2020 fiscal year, the $523 billion was higher than all spending on education, employment training, research, and social services. Last October, DDT lied about starting to pay off the national debt before the pandemic and claiming that future economic growth would allow it. Two months later, the GOP Senate passed $900 billion of economic stimulus—financed by debt.

McConnell’s refusal to compromise dropped Dow Jones stocks by 600 points yesterday. A default would go beyond the U.S., damaging the global financial system, especially because international transactions frequently use the U.S. dollar and believe their trillions in Treasury bonds are safe assets. McConnell says he wants to see spending cuts to bring down the deficit. Yet Republicans just blocked funding to catch federal tax cheaters from the new infrastructure bill, although the commissioner of the IRS, Charles Rettig, estimates a loss of $1 trillion a year in unpaid taxes.

More GOP election fraud information has gone public. According to newly discovered court documents, the campaign of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) debunked DDT’s false claims of a “stolen election” before his allies such as Rudy Giuliani promoted the lies. DDT’s campaign let them spread although it knew that Dominion and its leadership had no ties to Venezuela and “left wing ‘antifa’ activists.” Also debunked were lies that Dominion used voting technology from rival voting machine Smartmatic with machines also involved in election fraud claims. A few days later, Giuliani and right-wing lawyer Sidney Powell pushed the fraud claims at a televised press conference during the Republican National Committee. Dominion’s security director filed a defamation lawsuit, and his company filed other defamation suits against Giuliani, Powell, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Fox News, Newsmax, One America News Network and former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne for spreading the election fraud claims about their voting machines.

In more fraud, conservative attorney John Eastman tried to persuade VP Mike Pence to overturn Electoral College votes on January 6 by rejecting electors from seven states—enough for DDT to stay in the White House. Robert Costa and Bob Woodward’s new book, Peril, explained the scheme. Eastman sent his six-step plan to Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), and Giuliani tried to persuade Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to support DDT’s conspiracy theory of election fraud. The change in seven states would give DDT 232 electoral votes, more than Joe Biden’s 222. Pence could then send the election to the House of Representatives where each state would get one vote, giving DDT the majority with the 26 states where Republicans rule. Both senators refused. 

At a meeting in the Oval Office, DDT urged Pence to listen to Eastman, who DDT called “a respected constitutional scholar.” Eastman said Pence should give no warning for his actions because “the Constitution assigns this power to the Vice President as the ultimate arbiter.” At that point, Pence asked George H.W. Bush’s vice-president, Dan Quayle, and the Senate Parliamentarian for advice. They both told Pence his only authority was to count the votes. Pence refused to intervene, and DDT attacked Pence on Twitter as the January 6 insurrection was being planned. Eastman spoke at DDT’s January 6 rally leading up to the attack on the Capitol and then retired from his job as Chapman University professor a week later after faculty protests.

DDT hasn’t stopped his attempts to overturn Biden’s election: last week, he wrote Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, telling him he should decertify the 2020 election. Criminal investigators in Georgia are still probing DDT’s earlier efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 presidential election results. This includes DDT’s call to Raffensperger in early January demanding he find him exactly enough votes to take the state by changing them. Graham is also being investigated for his call to Raffensperger, which Graham claims was only to understand how signatures on mail-in ballots were verified.

September 18, 2021

Constitution Day Caps Week of Constitutional Abuses

Yesterday was Constitution Day, the 244th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution ratification, and many people wish the Republicans would read the document they claim to follow. For example, the youngest representative in the U.S. House, North Carolina’s 26-year-old Madison Cawthorn, ranted on Newsmax against the possibility of restricting air travel in the U.S. for those who are unvaccinated. He called it “a constitutional violation because you have a constitutionally predictive right to free restricted travel within the United States of America.” MSNBC’s Brian Williams responded:

“Perhaps you are wondering as we did, who’s going to tell him? We checked the constitution, no mention that we could find of airlines, increase legroom, tray tables, carry on bags, peanuts, none of it.”

Cawthorn wants the government to control private business, long opposed by the GOP.

Encouraging insurrectionists, 26-year-old Cawthorn admires Hitler and called for “bloodshed” earlier this month in reference to the September 18 white supremacist rally in at the U.S. Capitol. Still lying about DDT being the real U.S. president because of an evidence-free “stolen” election, Cawthorn also claims his governor Roy Cooper lost the election although Cooper defeated his opponent by 250,000 votes. Insurrectionists arrested in the January 6 attack on the Capitol are “political prisoners,” according to Cawthorn, and he plans to “try and bust them out.” The transcript of his remarks.  

Today, far-right Matt Braynard, a former campaigner for Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) in 2016, organized the rally, “Justice for J6,” to protest treatment of over 600 insurrectionists, 63 of them in jail, who the group calls “political prisoners.” These are the people who broke into the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and attacked lawmakers and law enforcement, wounding and killing them, in an effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election, thus keeping DDT in the White House. This group is part of a large number of Republicans who think the insurrectionists on the right didn’t harm a large number of people at the Capitol and didn’t vandalized the place while calling the atttackers “tourists.” In 2017, Braynard created a one-issue literary magazine, glorifying a far-right ultranationist Japanese 17-year-old who assassinated a legislator and chair of the Japan Socialist Party at a televised election debate, Braynard compared the killer, Otoya Yamaghuchi (left with samauri sword), to George Washington.

Despite DDT’s strong support for the rally to defend the charged January 6 “being persecuted so unfairly,” the event brought only about 450 people to Washington. Unlike “J6,” today’s rally had a high level of security and no current lawmakers present to encourage the participants to violent action. Because of the arrests regarding January 6, many people were afraid of another performance; those who wanted violence would have been disappointed because the leader pushed a non-violent protest. Hundreds of officers from eight agencies were present, and the congressional halls were almost completely deserted. Long line of trucks parked along Third Street served as security baricades. DDT wasn’t there to deliver rants encouraging the small group to attack the Capitol. People on the far-right called the event a “trap,” accusing the government of luring them to Washington for arrest.

DDT’s legislative supporters found the rally an embarrassment, avoiding it in speech and participation although a few far-right 2022 candidates handpicked by DDT came to speak. Even Rep. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who gave a fist pump to the January 6 crowd, didn’t attend. Republicans struggle with DDT’s leadership: they want him to turn on the base, but he alienates the general electorate when he does.

The current time is particularly bad for the GOP because of the revelations in Robert Costa and Bob Woodward’s book Peril, describing the debacle of DDT’s last days in the White House. Details in that book have taken the media away from President Joe Biden’s struggle with evacuating Afghanistan last month. California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s overwhelming win thus far—63.5 percent to retain him with 85 percent of the vote counted—has caused more problemsfor DDT supporters, especially because of the strong similarity between DDT’s policies and those of the losing candidate, Larry Elder. Newsom partially won because he made the election about DDT.

Author Jason Miciak wrote a humorous description of the rally for Political Flare under the title, “The ‘Justice for J16’ Rally Was a Complete and Total Failure, With Cops Outnumbering Protestors”:

“We suppose that it’s just not as much fun if you cannot ransack the Capitol, threaten to hang various people, wear horns, and break windows to get in. Without any of that stuff, well, you’re not much more than a BLM protest, peacefully asking for a redress of grievances. What white person wants to do that?”

A Supreme Court justice used the day before Constitutional Day to lambast the Supreme Court, saying:

“The court was thought to be the least dangerous branch, and we may have become the most dangerous.”

He continued:

“When we [go beyond longstanding limitations], and we begin to venture into political, legislative or executive branch lanes and resolving things that are better left to those branches—where people actually have some input and some opportunity to participate in the electoral process as to who those leaders are. Those of us, particularly in the federal judiciary with lifetime appointments, are asking for trouble.”

Thomas, a Catholic, was among the majority in retaining the Texas vigilante law against abortion until it could be legislated and has called on the overturn of Roe v. Wade, extending abortion rights. Legal experts and political commentators are criticizing Thomas for blasting courts when they do exactly what he does. Keith Boykin, a CNN commentator whose law degree comes from Harvard, said:

“Clarence Thomas didn’t seem too worried about ‘destroying our institutions’ when he cast the deciding vote to make Bush president in 2000 or to gut the Voting Rights Act in 2013 or when he sat silently from 2017-2021 as Trump trashed our institutions.”

Thomas’ personal political actions includes speaking at the far-right Heritage Foundation and using Supreme Court facilities to meet with the Foundation’s staff and interns. His activist wife, Ginni Thomas, praised the demonstrators for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) on January 6 who later attacked the U.S. Capitol in their attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s electoral votes.

Calling himself an originalist or “textualist,” Thomas keeps trying to persuade he follows the exact wording of the Founding Fathers but says oral arguments “almost never” changed his mind.

Another justice might be in trouble this week when FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee about what Charles Pierce calls the “shake-and-bake investigation” by the FBI into Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation in 2018. The FBI cover-up is an 11-year-old Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the FBI said limited their abilities in the investigation. The FBI claimed the MOU blocked them from further investigation without specific directions from the White House.

According to an examination by The Guardian of the 2010 MOU, signed by then AG Eric Holder and then White House counsel Robert Bauer, doesn’t make this restriction. DDT’s White House did not have control over process parameters on any investigation. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has been birddogging unresolved issues surrounding Kavanaugh’s confirmation, including the magical disappearance of his heavy personal debts.

The Kavanaugh hearing comes this coming week after four Olympic gymnasts testified before the same committee about how the FBI ignored their information about sexual abuse by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. A 2012 Summer Games gold medalist McKayla Maroney said:

“[The FBI] allowed a child molester to go free for more than a year and this inaction directly allowed Nassar’s abuse to continue. What is the point of reporting abuse if our own FBI agents are going to take it upon themselves to bury that report in a drawer?”

The four young women testified that FBI not only ignored their allegations in 2015 but also lied about their testimony and covered up the evidence. A few months before the 2016 election, former Director James Comey was busy announcing a new investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. In 2018, Nassar was convicted on multiple counts of sexual abuse of minors and was sentenced to a federal penitentiary for the rest of his life. [U.S. gymnasts: Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, and Maggie Nichols – Saul Loeb, AP]

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