Nel's New Day

October 1, 2022

Hurricanes – Ian, DDT

The government shutdown has been postponed until December 16 after the House passed Senate legislation by 230-201. All except ten Republicans voted for a shutdown and blocking the $18.8 billion disaster relief for Western wildfires, Kentucky floods, and Southeast hurricanes. GOP House leadership had whipped its members to vote against the continuing resolution (CR) which provides support for a block of six southeastern states with Republican governors. Two Republicans from the impacted red states among the Republican representatives voting yes; the other 43 representatives for the six states voted to provide no aid to their constituents. Voters might want to consider how their representatives voted when they cast their ballots this fall. And thank a Democrat for every dollar they receive.

Democrats also provided funding to support Mississippi’s problem with unsanitary drinking water in its state capitol after mismanagement by the GOP governor. Subsequent funding packages may also add help for devastated Florida from Hurricane Ian. The estimated property losses from Hurricane Ian will exceed $60 billion, according to an estimate from the Insurance Information Institute, which said that would make the storm the second-largest “catastrophe loss event” on record after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Hurricanes like Ian, one of the five worst hurricanes in U.S. history, will become the norm from warmer oceans and air, more water vapor in the atmosphere, and higher sea levels as storms are less likely to churn up colder water. Warmer oceans add fuel to strengthen hurricanes, increasing the average wind speeds of major hurricanes by about 18 mph for each 1.8F of ocean surface warming, a 13 percent increase. Larger storms pile up more water for bigger surges such as the unprecedented 12 to 28 feet Ian produced. With wind of 150 mph, rain as much as 20 inches, and these storm surges, Ian destroyed 90 percent of just one city, Ft. Myers, that has a population of 83,000+.

Despite announced dangers of Hurricane Ian, many people refused to evacuate, believing that it was just another storm. QAnon conspiracy theorists spread lies about the hurricane being fake news.

When Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), was governor, he rejected the concept of “man-made climate change,” overturned all previous initiatives to cut fuel emissions, cut the budget for reducing pollution, and banned agencies from using the term climate change. Three months ago, eight Florida GOP lawmakers, receiving over $1 million for fossil fuel industry donors, pushed federal regulators to stop a requirement for businesses to disclose risks from climate change. Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis has evolved on the need for disaster aid after his “no” vote on help for northeastern states while a U.S. representative in 2013, but last month, he led the drive to ban the state from considering climate risks in investments for pensions of teachers, firefighters, and other government workers. He picked up over $800,000 in donations from the fossil fuel industry.

Firmly believing in aggression, DDT launched a full-scale racist attack against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his wife, DDT’s former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. In a virulent reaction to a few Republicans—including McConnell—passing the CR, he posted a long screed on Truth Social including the statement about McConnell, “He has a DEATH WISH. Must immediately seek help and advise [sic] from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!” MAGA Republicans claim that DDT meant no violence, but Alyssa Farah Griffin, DDT’s former White House Director of Strategic Communications, slammed his statement.

The more DDT loses, the more aggressive he becomes, and his attempts to block the investigation into classified and other government document found at Mar-a-Lago are increasingly turning against him. The DOJ filed an expedited appeal to the 11th Circuit Court after DDT’s pet judge Aileen Cannon delayed the processing of documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, stating it slows efforts to determine how the classified records were transferred and whether they were improperly accessed. Cannon also denied the order from her hand-picked special master for DDT, Rayond Dearie, that lawyers support their statements under oath about FBI-planted materials at Mar-a-Lago.

According to the filing, the DOJ wants Cannon’s order for a special master be overturn because Cannon repeatedly overrules his decisions. Legal experts have wondered if the appeals court will remove Cannon from the case after its stinging rebuke in a recent decision against her.

 

Another DDT problem is infighting among his legal team between his new expensive lawyer and the former ones for the past week. Chris Kise wants to calm everyone down and have DDT willingly give up the classified documents to keep him from being indicted. DDT seems to have joined the other attorneys to keep attacking. The combative filing last week, which Cannon accepted, questioned DOJ’s motives and truthfulness, and Kise did not sign it as he has with previous filings since he was hired.

Three of DDT’s lawyers may face their own days in court with personal legal risks:

Christina Bobb told DDT allies that she is willing to allow the DOJ to interview her about her role in responding to the subpoena.

M. Evan Corcoran was told by colleagues that he should hire a criminal defense lawyer because of his response to the subpoena but keeps insisting it isn’t necessary.

Boris Epshteyn, a long-term DDT adviser, had to give his phone to the DOJ after he was subpoenaed as part of the agency’s investigation into DDT’s fake elector scheme and appeared before a Georgia grand jury probing into DDT’s attempt to overturn the state’s popular vote in favor of himself.

More details about DDT’s attorneys here.

Twenty months after DDT left the office, he and his administration have not yet turned over all its records to the National Archives which will consult with the DOJ about whether “to initiate an action for the recovery of records unlawfully removed,” according to acting archivist Debra Steidel Wall. Missing are “non-official electronic messaging accounts that were not copied or forwarded into their official electronic messaging accounts.” These include DDT’s adviser Peter Navarro’s failure to turn over official White House business he stored in private emails. Thus far, the FBI has recovered over 300 classified documents from Mar-a-Lago thus far in 2022: 184 in a set of 15 boxes in January, 38 handed over by a DDT lawyer in June, and over 100 more documents from the August 8 search after the FBI received a warrant. (Left: Documents found from the August search warrant.)   

 

DDT specializes in lies and exaggerations, and the best one recently is that the FBI took 200,000 pages. Let’s imagine how many boxes that would be. Philip Bump did the math and figured that 200,000 pages was off by a factor of 18. With the search warrant, the FBI removed 26 boxes or containers from the storage room and one box and six collections of documents from DDT’s office. He breaks down the number of each category in his article, but the items included government documents/photos, news articles/clippings, empty folders, books, and clothing/gifts. Nothing was said about digital devices so only paper was taken.

A 500-sheet ream of paper, 8.5” X 11” and two inches deep, will take up at least double the room when it’s gone through the copies. In the photos of material taken, cartons were banker’s boxes which are 10” 12” X 15”, holding about ten reams of paper—5,000 sheets or 27 boxes for 135,000 pages if the paper hadn’t been copied. But it was, and the boxes held much more than paper, using up a great deal of room. The number goes back to about 11,000 documents.

A week ago, the “Truth Rally” for DDT on the steps of the U.S. Capitol fizzled like wet fireworks. Billed as “the biggest to date,” the event drew a few dozen DDT supporters with a few dozen counter-protesters. The supporters couldn’t figure out if rioters were proud of their January 6 insurrection, didn’t do it, and were set up. NBC reported Ben Collins concluded, “The theme is basically: There was no insurrection on January 6th, and we’d do it again.”

A week later on October 1, DDT went to Michigan where early voting started on September 29, ostensibly to support his “stop the steal” candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general. His speech, however, was the typical litany of grudges. The event was at an expo center at the community college in the Detroit suburb of Warren. It has a 4,000-seating capacity. Gone were the QAnon gestures and creepy music from the last two rallies last month, but DDT satisfied his MAGA folk by ending his speech with his MAGA slogan reminiscent of QAnon.

The mainstream media is tired of DDT; there was little information about his latest rally.

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