Nel's New Day

November 21, 2022

DDT Unpopular, Facing Serious Legal Problems

Sad to say, the media cannot avoid covering Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) with his corruption and lust for the limelight. The last two melded together in his announcement for another run at the presidency in two years during a party at Mar-a-Lago on November 15. Security had to keep people from leaving his speech.

DDT had thought the grand success of GOP elections a week before would give him a triumphant lead-in to his campaign, but it miserably fizzled. Republicans lost the Senate—again—and the GOP has a majority of one in the House while five races are still undecided. Furious with his many losses, DDT attacked House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), convinced weak Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) he could be Speaker and manage all the crazies turned loose, and failed to destroy Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for winning because of his gerrymandering House districts.

The crazies are the only ones left to support DDT; reasonable parts of the right wing have turned against him. National Review’s Dan McLaughlin tweeted, “This is delusional, mental-breakdown stuff.” Fox News contributor Joe Concha called it “unhinged, sophomoric stuff that is completely unprovoked.” From the conservative Wall Street Journal came “Trump Is the Republican Party’s Biggest Loser.” Featuring DDT in its Humpty Dumpty cover visual, the New York Post defined him as “perhaps the most profound vote-repellant in modern American history.”

A lead group of GOP politicians trying to oust DDT are the 2024 wannabe presidential candidates.

DeSantis has bragged about all the members he sent to the Congress (not mentioning it’s because of his gerrymandering); he’s edging out DDT in the polls.

Two-term New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that Republicans “keep losing and losing and losing and that “the reason we’re losing is because Donald Trump has put himself before everybody else.” He continued by saying DDT’s refusal to leave his 2022 defeat is “not what this party stands for” and that “it’s not what it should stand for in the future, and we’ve got to stop it now.”

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said that “candidate quality matters. I got a great policy for the Republican Party: Let’s stop supporting crazy, unelectable candidates in our primaries and start getting behind winners that can close the deal in November.”

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and DDT’s choice to replace McConnell for Minority Leader, complained that “the current strategy of most Republicans in Washington is to only be against the crazy Democrats—and they’re crazy—and never outline any plan what we are for and what we will do. That is a mistake.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who was against DDT until he was for DDT accused Republicans of spending far too much time preaching to the choir when they talk to the same 2.6 million people watching Fox network every night.” He also complained, “Republicans in the Senate don’t fight” and told GOP senators to “pick two or three or four things that matter and say, ‘We believe in it.’”

Mike Pompeo, CIA director and secretary of State under Trump who is considering a presidential run, agreed that he’s “tired of losing.”

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem called for new leadership.

Outgoing Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, one of the most reasonable governors in his party, argued the GOP is “desperately in need of a course correction” and DDT’s overselling of bad candidates caused significant damage. Like others, he ridiculed DDT’s earlier claim that people will get tired of winning after his election. 

Only one GOP senator, Tommy Tuberville (AL) says he will support DDT; no others openly spoke up for him.

Lindsey Graham (SC), supposedly DDT’s good friend, only said DDT will be “hard to beat.”

Sen. Mitt Romney (UT) said no one raised a hand in a private GOP senators’ meeting when asked if they want DDT to announce he’s running for president. A second senator agreed.

Kevin Cramer (ND) likes Mike Pompeo for a candidate.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) refused to commit, saying that DDT as a candidate is a “theoretical.”

Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) identified DeSantis as the de facto leader of the Republican Party. 

Wealthy donors also bailed on DDT. Hedge fund manager Ken Griffin also plans to support DeSantis, calling DDT a “three-time loser.” Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of private equity giant Blackstone, plans to support DDT’s challenger because “America does better when its leaders are rooted in today and tomorrow, not today and yesterday.”

Political committees controlled by or closely affiliated with Trump have a total of nearly $112 million in the bank, but only $13.5 million can legally be used for DDT’s campaign. Most of the money was raised by a PAC and committees not officially part of DDT’s presidential campaign. To dodge restrictions, DDT’s PAC transferred $20 million to a new super PAC, MAGA, run by DDT aides although super PACs are legally bound to be independent of candidates. A complaint has been filed for violation of federal law in this transfer.

Before his grand candidacy announcement, DDT called GOP elected officials and demanded they endorse him. He said “those who waited too long” were “not gonna like” their fate when he wins. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was the only congressional member to attend. Even daughter Ivanka wasn’t available despite DDT begging her to come. 

DeSantis also violated state-level fundraising records for this year’s gubernatorial election with about $90 million remaining. Moving that money to a super PAC for his candidacy would also violate federal law.

New special counsel Jack Smith, appointed by DOJ AG Merrick Garland, will investigate DDT, including his likely criminality in Georgia attempting to pressure officials into overturn the state’s vote for Joe Biden in 2020 and DDT’s mishandling of sensitive government documents at Mar-a-Lago. Both these cases have a number of charges. Smith will also focus on “whether any person or entity unlawfully interfered with the transfer of power” on January 6, 2021.

One of the classified documents DDT squirreled away at Mar-a-Lago proves he tweeted a classified image when he sent the detailed photo of the Iranian launch pad where officials failed to launch a purported satellite. The image was photographed by an important U.S. intelligence asset, a classified spacecraft called USA 224 believed to be a multibillion-dollar KH-11 reconnaissance satellite. The image has now been declassified, but DDT lied by saying he declassified the image and had the authority to do so. DDT frequently mishandled national secrets, as shown by a TOP 10 list, and proved himself to be reckless and irresponsible with sensitive information, his accusation against Hillary Clinton regarding her emails during the 2016 campaign and since then.

The prosecution has rested in the Trump Organization tax avoidance fraud trial. Longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg testified for the prosecution to keep his prison sentence shorter. The criminal case implicated DDT and his children, Don Jr. and Eric, because they all signed checks to avoid taxes. DDT authorized the scheme to reduce Weisselberg’s taxable income—and the IRS taxes owned by the company. He is still being paid $640,000 a year, including a $200,000 increase from Eric and Jr. in 2017 after they discovered his tax fraud, plus a $500,000 bonus. 

Alvin Bragg, Manhattan DA, is jump-starting its criminal investigation into DDT regarding his hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels who said she had an affair with DDT. As in all other cases, DDT claims innocence.

Ivanka failed to escape having a court-appointed monitor watch over her financial activity so that she wouldn’t shift assets before legal actions against the Trump Organization. She remains a defendant in the case regarding the shell company haven, Trump Organization II, set up in Delaware on the same day that a $250 million lawsuit against DDT and his businesses.

DDT’s former chief of staff John Kelly refused to use government agencies to investigate or harass individuals DDT identified as enemies such as former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former CIA Director John Brennan, two FBI employees Trump targeted for their involvement in the probe of Russian election manipulation, etc. After Kelly left, Comey was a target of extensive IRS audits, two of 5,000 audits out of 153 million returns filed, a 0.0033 percent chance. McCabe was one of 8,000 audits the next year when 154 million people filed, a 0.0052 percent chance. The “random” claim doesn’t wash.

The Department of Homeland Security ensnared hundreds, if not thousands, of U.S. protesters, in a scam before the 2020 election to push DDT’s false claims about the “terrorist organization” he accused Democrats of supporting. The report, released by Sen. Ron Wyden (R-OR), showed orders given to “senior leadership” requiring them to broadly apply the label “violent antifa anarchists inspired” to Portland protesters unless they had intel showing “something different.” DHS’s acting chief intelligence officer ordered all violence in Portland (OR) to falsely be the work of “Antifa,” and the media went along. The project cost $1.5 billion.

DDT had a grand plan for winning the 2024 presidential election. He would install election deniers in swing states as secretaries of state, and they would declare the election for him even if the majority of people in the state didn’t vote for DDT. After they won the election on November 8, he would declare his presidency after all his candidates won the 2022 midterms. His candidates suffered a rout, and the plan failed. Only four election denying secretaries of state—Alabama, Indiana, South Dakota, and Wyoming—defeated ethical opponents in the red states.

November 12, 2022

Dems Take Senate; Snowflake GOP Whines

Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) has been become the 50th senator, making the Walker/Warnock election in Georgia on December 6 a non-factor in possible losses of GOP bills and votes. Her election follows Sen. Mark Kelly’s (D-AZ) earlier win. His opponent, Black Masters, blames House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his loss because Masters wanted more funding. Masters already received $15 million from gay billionaire Peter Thiel.

As can be expected, GOP sour grapes prevailed. After DDT accused the voting system in Clark County (NV), the state’s most populous county, of being corrupt, county officials fought back to refute his lies. As in 2020, DDT and his allies are attacking any states with Democratic winners of election fraud if their votes weren’t counted by midnight of Election Day—even if the law permitted states to accept ballots several days after Election Day as 18 states do. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) echoed DDT on a Republican conference call hosted by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), chair of the Senate fundraising committee by falsely claiming that there was no “mathematical way” Adam Laxalt could lose to Cortez Masto.

National media finally declared Tina Kotek Oregon’s governor-elect, and her GOP candidate finally managed to concede. Nevada’s GOP candidate Joe Lombardo beat his opponent, but the GOP election denier candidate for secretary of state, Jim Marchant, lost. He had said he would certify the 2024 election for Deposed Donald Trump (DDT. In Arizona, Kari Lake trails Katie Hobbs for governor by 34,000 votes after the last drop from a GOP area of Maricopa County failed to give her a big boost. Another 190,000 ballots with possibly Democratic emphasis are waiting in the wings.

Lake has cried voter fraud because the vote wasn’t completed within a few hours of the end of voting. She called Arizona “a banana republic,” and Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts told Lake to “grow up”:

“Kari Lake was vowing to call the Arizona Legislature into a special session because she didn’t get a balloon drop on election night. Do you need a timeout? That’s what I used to ask my toddler sons when they’d throw themselves onto the floor, kicking and screaming, because they didn’t get their way.”

Lake even promises she would “call the Arizona Legislature into a special session because she didn’t get a balloon drop on election night,” according to Roberts. MSNBC reporter Vaughn Hilliard said Lake alleges fraud but refuses to name what it is or or report anyone to authorities.  

The best satire, close to fact, came from the New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz. It begins:

“The United States of America has become the envy of the world after a ten-billion-dollar expenditure on political advertising changed virtually nothing. People around the globe marvelled at a democracy so robust it could withstand an outlay of cash greater than the gross domestic product of nations such as Tajikistan, Montenegro, and Somalia…

“’When you imagine what you could do with ten billion dollars, you immediately think of building new roads or schools,’ a citizen of Montenegro said. ‘But America’s roads and schools must be in excellent shape, if they can afford to spend ten billion dollars on elections instead.’

“’Ten billion dollars could pay for a lot of solar panels, wind farms, and other measures to mitigate climate change,’ a resident of Somalia said. ‘Thank heavens Americans realized that political advertising is the thing that makes them No. 1 in the world and decided to spend it on that.’”

The Republicans are traumatized by their loss, and DDT faces unprecedented attacks from many in the GOP. Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal called him the GOP’s “biggest lower” and former House Speaker Paul Ryan begged Republicans to move forward in a non-DDT direction. “Trump is a loser,” right-wing pundit Eli Lake on Daily Beast wrote on Twitter. “He’s an albatross, a boat anchor on the party. For three straight elections, he has been a liability for Republicans.” Commentary magazine’s John Podhoretz called DDT a “pathological loser narcissist who has now been humiliated by the American electorate in three separate national contests.” Even DDT’s former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said, “Between being Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis tonight, you want to be Ron DeSantis. Trump is not doing very well.”

Even conservative tabloid New York Post ridiculed DDT. 

While DDT’s inner circle tried to talk him out of declaring a candidacy within the next couple of months or longer, he unleashed his venom on heir apparent Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had a really good night. His gerrymandering of districts in opposition to both Republicans and Democrats in legislature created a number of GOP congressional winners, maybe responsible for the U.S. House win if it happens.

DDT called DeSantis an “average” governor with “great public relations.” In a statement, DDT asserted:

“Ron came to me in desperate shape in 2017—he was politically dead, losing in a landslide. Ron had low approval, bad polls, and no money, but he said that if I would Endorse him, he could win. … When I Endorsed him, it was as though, to use a bad term, a nuclear weapon went off.”

DDT went even farther when he  claimed he “sent in the FBI and U.S. Attorneys” to stop “ballot theft … just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win” for DeSantis’ 2018 election. In the same Truth Social post, DDT wrote, “I also fixed his campaign.” A legal expert called the action “fraud.” DeSantis’ defeated opponent, Andrew Gillum is already using DDT’s statements in a court filing

NBC News senior reporter Ben Collins tweeted:

“Am I losing my mind? Is this not a gigantic deal? He’s either casually admitting to using federal agents to interfere in a state election or lying about it for some equally inexplicable reason, right? Am I reading this wrong or is this a five-alarmer for the DOJ?”

DDT followed his attacks on DeSantis with rants and slurs against Virginia’s Gov. Glenn Youngkin, another possible presidential candidate in 2024. In a racist comment, DDT said that “Young kin … sounds Chinese” before he took credit for Youngkin’s win. During the election, the governor had tried to separate himself from DDT.

In more tantrums, DDT blames Fox’s Sean Hannity, his former BFF, and casino mogul Steve Wynn for the Election Day losses of his hand-picked candidates. Trying to cover for his failures, DDT insisted he “did a great job” in the midterms and concluded, “Remember, I am a ‘Stable Genius.’” He sticks to his declaration on Election night, “I should get all the credit. If they lose, I should not be blamed at all.” Like all the other whining Republicans, is melting like snowflakes.

The U.S. House is still not a done deal for the GOP. A projection gives Republican a one-person lead over the Democrats, but 19 elections still haven’t been called for the chamber. No matter which way it goes, the GOP is in for a “Bloodbath!” the term Donald Trump Jr. tweeted about Election Day. Republicans have two major issues: what to do about “loser” DDT and who should have the GOP leadership in Congress.    

Republicans are blaming McConnell for not worshipping DDT and for not approving some of his candidates. Conservative senators pushing for Ron Johnson’s (WI) leadership are asking colleagues to postpone votes for GOP leadership elections next week, but the vote is still on schedule. No matter who wins, that person will be Minority Leader.  

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), desperately trying to become the party leader in the House is catering to the collection of crazies who have been elected. As of yesterday, at least 150 election deniers were elected to the House with a few other undecided races such as the queen loonie Lauren Boebert from Colorado. A newbie is gay election-denier George Santos from Long Island who attended DDT’s January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally and said he wrote a “nice check” to help cover the legal fees of some of the rioters. To Santos, abortion is comparable to slavery. McCarthy will do anything to get votes for House Speaker; he already promised Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) banned from committee membership for the past two years, that she can have any committee position she wants.

The far-right House members are campaigning to block McCarthy from leadership. A strategy from the Freedom Caucus is to create an easier process to call for a vote ousting a sitting speaker. The conservatives also wants more representation on selecting committee assignments and aims to delay the legislative by taking more time to review even non-controversial bills. Other demands are launching investigations and impeachments of President Joe Biden and his Cabinet members.

A huge problem of selecting any GOP House leadership is the slim majority, even if Republicans take the House. McCarthy is also in DDT’s pocket, making serious problems for anyone else running for president in 2024.

Inflation was a concern for 31 percent of voters, but democracy was far above at 44 percent. Abortion was also not far behind inflation at 27 percent. Voters over 65 years old preferred Republicans over Democrats by 55 percent to 43 percent, meaning 55 percent of them voted against keeping their benefits. Maybe they think that saving a few dollars on gas will make up for these losses. Pew Research exit polls shows a lengthy selection of other descriptors about how people voted this month—a great read for political junkies.

November 10, 2022

U.S. Democracy Hangs by a Thread After Non-existent ‘Red Wave’

On November 8, 2022, Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) lost. He wasn’t on the ballot, but hundreds of his faithful, election-denying followers were. On the eve of Election Day, he claimed he would make a big announcement on November 15, probably a presidential candidacy for 2024. The grand party at Mar-a-Lago rapidly fizzled, and DDT called the night an “interesting evening.” One of his pets, Ohio’s Senate candidate J.D. Vance, won, but many others went down in flames, especially Pennsylvania’s senatorial candidate Mehmet Oz who lost to John Fetterman despite Tucker Carlson’s (Fox network) vicious, lying claims about the winner’s mental ability.

One GOP insider told Fox News, “If it wasn’t clear before, it should be now: We have a Trump problem.” Fox reported that the GOP should “move on from Trump” because of his “outlandish candidates who turned easy victories into close races, and close races into losses.”

After blindly following DDT during the campaigns leading up to the 2022 midterms, the GOP may openly face the disaster of DDT controlling their party. Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said DDT is “in the rearview mirror” of the GOP and used Gov. Brian Kemp’s re-election as an example after DDT turned on him. Duncan added that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “knew what he’s talking about about [bad] candidate quality” and said, “It’s time to move on with the party.” GOP commentator Erick Erickson agreed, and conservative podcaster Ian Haworth went farther by declaring DDT “politically toxic.” Former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro tweeted:

“Trump picked bad candidates, spent almost no money on his hand-picked candidates, and then proceeded to crap on the Republicans who lost and didn’t sufficiently bend the knee. This will have 2024 impact.”

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott (FL) had bragged about a 55-seat GOP majority, and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who hopes to be House Speaker, expected 60 more Republicans. If the GOP takes the House, it might be lucky to get an additional six. Since World War II, first-term Democratic presidents have traditionally lost 40 House seats and 5 Senate seats in the midterms with an increase since President Carter in 1978 but not in 2022. Karen Tumlty wrote that the supposed “red wave” turned out to be “a messy puddle.” HuffPost pundits called it a “whimper.”

Far-right columnist Henry Olson ate crow for his mistakes, but DDT blames the losing candidates and refuses to take any responsibility for his hand-picked candidates losing. Journalists reported that DDT was furious and screaming about the losses. He even went farther when he blamed his wife, Melania Trump, for making him pick Mehmet Oz who lost the U.S. Senate election in Pennsylvania.

The brightest spots:

Pennsylvania – GOP gubernatorial and evangelical white nationalist Doug Mastriano lost to Josh Shapiro, and Dem John Fetterman beat Mehmet Oz. (After Oprah Winfrey endorsed Fetterman, he tweeted his #NewProfilePic. Oz’s appearance on Winfrey’s show had made him a celebrity.) Mastriano had worn his Confederate uniform for a faculty photo; the South lost again almost 160 years after the North won at Gettysburg during the Civil War. Oz can take his ignorance about his newly “adopted” state back to New Jersey, that does have an Atlantic Ocean beach. (Oz thinks that Pennsylvania is on the ocean; a map shows how far off he is.)

Abortion rights – Many anti-abortion candidates—Mastriano, Oz, lieutenant governor candidate Carrie DelRosso (PA), Michigan’s gubernatorial Tudor Dixon, and NC’s House Bo Hines—lost. Anti-abortion winners—Govs. DeSantis, Greg Abbott (TX), and Brian Kemp (GA) plus Sen. Ron Johnson (WI) and Sen-elect Vance (OH)—won’t make the same emphasis on removing women’s rights as a “red wave” would have done.

Anti-abortion initiatives in five states all failed. California and Vermont put abortion rights into their constitutions, and Kentucky voted against an amendment blocking the path to overturning its zero-week abortion ban. Despite vicious lies in Michigan, voters enshrined “reproductive freedom” beyond abortion rights to residents’ decisions regarding prenatal care, contraception, sterilization, and miscarriage management. That amendment blocks the 1931 anti-abortion ban. Montana voters rejected increases on doctors not performing aggressive medical interventions on infants, and Alaska refused to open a constitutional convention which could have added anti-abortion amendments.

More Democratic legislatures – Michigan, Minnesota, and possibly Pennsylvania legislatures flipped from Republican—Michigan for the first time in 40 years. In Minnesota, the one GOP legislative chamber blocked the expenditures of a $12 billion budget surplus through gridlock. Arizona is waiting to see if Democrats pick up the two seat majorities in both the state’s House and Senate. All states will be trifectas with Democratic governors; at this time Republicans have 23 trifectas.

Progressives in the House – The outspoken progressive who were elected in the past two terms will be joined by more, including Florida gun violence GenZ activist Maxwell Frost (FL), Democratic Socialists of America member Greg Casar (TX), and three left wing representatives from Illinois, Texas, and Pennsylvania.

Election deniers admitting defeat – Michigan’s Tudor Dixon and Matthew DePerno, secretary of state candidate; Wisconsin’s GOP gubernatorial candidate, Tim Michels; and Pennsylvania’s Oz conceded. (Mastriano, Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial loser, stays mum.) 

Young people voting – As many as 27 percent of GenZ, ages 18-29, may have voted. They comprised over 12 percent of the electorate, and 63 percent preferred Democratic House candidates with only 35 percent backing Republicans. “Don’t underestimate the power of a pissed off generation,” tweeted NextGen America. 

Waiting in the wings – Georgia candidates for the U.S. Senate, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker will face off on December 6 for the seat. With 98 percent of the vote reported, Warnock had 35,000 more votes than Walker, but he has only 49.4 percent of the vote. State law requires the winner to achieve a majority. One theory for the winner is that Republicans will come out to vote for Walker because he could be the key to control of the Senate, but others say that Walker’s votes came on the coattails for Gov. Kemp, who has already won. If the latter idea is correct, Walker may have fewer votes than in the general election.

Midterms 2022 marked several historic firsts:

  • LGBTQ+ candidates ran for office in all 50 states, with an increase of these candidates by 18 percent from 2020. Thus far at least 340 out LGBTQ candidates have won in the midterms, breaking the 2020 record of 336.
  • First women governors elected in Arkansas (Sarah Huckabee Sanders), Massachusetts (Maura Healey), and New York (Kathy Hochul).
  • Democrat Healey, the first elected lesbian government and closely followed by Oregon’s Tina Kotek.
  • Democrat Wes Moore, Maryland’s first Black governor, the only Black governor in the U.S. and the third elected since Reconstruction after the Civil War.
  • Democrat Anthony Brown, Maryland’s first Black attorney general. a longtime political figure in Maryland, will be the state’s first Black attorney general.
  • GOP Markwayne Mullin, the first Native American senator in almost two decades and first Native American senator from Oklahoma in a century.
  • Youngest congressional member and first member of GenZ (ages 18-29), 25-year-old Maxwell Frost from Florida.
  • Becca Balint, first openly LGBTQ person Vermont elected to the House of Representatives and first woman from Vermont sent to the House. Vermont was the last state to send a woman to Washington, behind Mississippi who sent a woman in 2018.
  • Katie Britt, first female senator elected from Alabama.
  • Summer Lee, the first Black woman Pennsylvania elected to the U.S. House.
  • Delia Ramirez, the first Latina elected to Congress from Illinois.
  • Robert Garcia (CA), the first out LGBTQ immigrant elected to Congress and the second out Latino to serve in Congress.
  • Republican Anna Paulina Luna, Florida’s first Mexican-American woman elected to Congress after she flipped a House seat. She joins a dozen Latinx congressional members from Florida.
  • James Roesener (NH), the first openly trans man, and Zooey Zephyr (MT), and the first trans woman to be elected to state legislatures.

Republicans are searching for reasons why the red tsunami didn’t hit the U.S. Fox network hosts during the election breakdown have a simple answer for why Oz lost his race: Fetterman won. Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) complaint sounded like a compliment for Democrats. He agreed with President Joe Biden’s list of successes: “rebuilding America’s roads and bridges,” “lowering prescription drug costs”; “tackling the climate crisis,” and making sure that large corporations begin to pay their fair share in taxes.” Cruz asked, “Why did Democrats do better than expected?” and answered his own question, “Because they have governed as liberals.” Republicans want to destroy government that works for the people’s benefit.

In the aftermath of the election, former VP Mike Pence has finally broken up with DDT. With her usual humor, Bess Levin tells the story for Vanity Fair. Maybe Pence is getting ready to announce his own presidential campaign for 2024. (Right: a discouraged “toxic Trump” waves at all the big names he invited to his Mar-a-Lago party before he left early.)  

More election perceptions—and new wins, if possible—tomorrow.

November 7, 2022

One Day to the End of Democracy

Tomorrow will be the turning point for democracy in the United States when ballots are due for the 2022 midterm election. Results will trickle in with slow counts where ballots haven’t been touched until the polls close on November 8, causing conservatives to begin suing for fraud. A few other decisions may dribble on as states requiring a majority have runoffs, maybe the U.S. Senate race from Georgia. The question is whether people are willing to give up their rights and their benefits—like Social Security and Medicare—to get a dollar or two off their gas and hand off democracy to power-hungry Republicans and greedy corporations.

One lie about elections has already been clarified. For six years, Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) railed about the “witch hoax” surrounding the Russian interference in elections that helped him win. With a declaration from Russian president Vladimir Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, the “hoax” has been eliminated and the “witch” exposed. The oligarch’s admission, revoking his denial of participation:

“Gentlemen, we have interfered, are interfering and will interfere. Carefully, precisely, surgically and in our own way, as we know how to do.”

Known as “Putin’s chef” because he caters for the president, Prigozhin earlier revoked his denial about running the Wagner Group mercenary force to claiming he was behind the forces and bragged about its involvement in Russia’s war on Ukraine. Russian law prevents private military contractors, but state media openly reports on Wagner’s forces in Ukraine. In 2018, the U.S. charged Prigozhin, a dozen other Russian nationals, and three Russian companies with operating a covert social media campaign aimed at fomenting discord and dividing American public opinion ahead of DDT’s winning 2016 presidential election as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference.

Election deniers still have no evidence of fraud for a “stolen election,” and a judge in the Third Judicial Circuit Court of Michigan concurs by dismissing a lawsuit from Kristina Karamo. The DDT-endorsed nominee for secretary of state, who claims that elites drink blood from abortions tried to disqualify over 60,000 mail-in ballots from Detroit. The plaintiffs had no evidence and couldn’t explain what relief they wanted, the first time in the judge’s 26-year experience. He also blasted the plaintiffs for waiting months after the alleged violations in August to file their suit. He said that disenfranchisement “cannot be permitted.”

Karamo has company: organized groups in Michigan are disputing voters who requested or cast absentee ballots, promising future litigation. Pennsylvania ruled that mail-in ballots without voter-written dates won’t be counted even if they come before Election Day. A court ruling in Wisconsin blocks ballots if the required witness address is incomplete. Earlier this year, the 3rd Circuit Court ruled failure to count undated mail ballots violates federal civil rights law, but the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the decision as moot because the election was over. Philadelphia voters can cast a replacement ballot at city hall which doesn’t work for disabled voters; they mail in their ballots because they aren’t mobile.

Democrats are suing to count undated or incorrectly dated mail-in ballots be counted in Pennsylvania. The lawsuit maintains that the date requirement is immaterial and enforcing it violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The filing states that the date “has no bearing on a voter’s qualifications and serves no purpose other than to erect barriers to qualified voters exercising their fundamental constitutional right to vote.” Last Friday, civil rights groups filed a similar complaint. The Supreme Court ruled these undated ballots should be counted in a June decision.

A judge in Wisconsin has refused a lawsuit from a Republican state legislator to block all military mail-in ballots to be blocked from the state’s vote because he considered disenfranchising over 1,400 service members a “drastic remedy.” Rep. Janet Brandtjen brought her suit with the conservative Thomas More Society and Michael Gableman, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who failed to find election fraud in a year-long review of the 2020 election for GOP lawmakers. Gableman requested trying to rescind the state’s election results.

The problem began with Milwaukee’s deputy elections director’s stunt when she sent multiple fake names for military members’ ballots to state GOP Rep. Janel Brandtjen as proof of election fraud. Promoter of lies about elections, Brandtgen received three military ballots under fake names, gave them to the Waukesha County sheriff’s office, and released the information in a news release. The election official has been fired and charged with a felony and three misdemeanors.

Unlike almost all other states, Wisconsin does not require service members to register to vote for casting their ballots, and a state website permits people to order military ballots without providing proof of residency. Election officials have seen no other evidence of ordering absentee fake names, and the problem with three of them was quickly identified.

Last summer, another Republican requested ballots in others’ names to be sent to his home in his attempt to prove problems in Wisconsin’s voting system. He faces criminal charges.

The DOJ will monitor polls in 64 communities within two dozen states on Election Day to protect voters’ rights. In addition, the Civil Rights Division will take complaints regarding alleged violations of voting rights laws at 800-253-3931. Two years ago, the DOJ focused on 44 jurisdictions in 28 states. Attorneys at the agency’s National Security Division, overseeing cases related to foreign interference in elections and violent extremist threats to elections, will work with the FBI and U.S. attorneys’ offices to counter any potential threats.

Priority elections in 2022 will include Florida (GOP Sen. Marco Rubio against Dem. Val Demings for U.S. Senate) and Georgia (Dem. Raphael Warnock against Herschel Walker for U.S. Senate). Other areas are Nevada’s Clark County (Las Vegas) and Arizona’s Pinal County (a bellweather district). In other monitored areas, Yavapai County (AZ) have self-proclaimed militia groups monitoring drop boxes in the past, and Berks County (PA), sheriff’s deputies staffing ballot drop boxes are told to question voters about whether they are returning their own ballot. Five monitored counties in North Carolina have sizable Black populations, two of them experiencing recent racial controversies. Ten of the state’s counties have experienced intimidated or harassed voters and poll workers. In Texas, Harris County (Houston) has been added to the monitoring list. List of locations

Missouri Secretary of State John R. Ashcroft (R) is refusing the monitoring because the federal presence would “bully a local election authority” and could “intimidate and suppress the vote.”

In an amazing move, the Supreme Court refused a GOP challenge to Michigan’s congressional district maps for the 2022 election because the election is underway. A three-judge panel had already upheld the maps last April. Georgia Cobb County’s is also facing an investigation because over 1,000 voters failed to receive absentee ballots requested weeks ago. State law mandates they be sent within three business days of processing applications. A lawsuit also sues for the absentee ballots to be sent overnight.

A Georgia judge extended until November 14 the deadline for election officials receiving absentee ballots and ordered replacement ballots to be sent overnight who haven’t already been sent them. Affected voters can also vote in person or with a federal write-in absentee ballot. The county supported Joe Biden by 14 points in 2020.

The 2020 election will likely set the pattern for culture in the U.S. with the 2022 midterms blowing up into massive violence. The GOP position is that every election in which Republicans lose—even some of those when they win—should be litigated and then followed with violence if the judge doesn’t give Republicans what they want. This ideology can move into all parts of people’s lives. Lost school games from football to speech debates should create lawsuits if the conservative side loses. If the judge disagrees, the losers can buy guns and kill people in mass shootings. In the U.S., everyone must always hold a gun in their hands as losers are excused for violence—just like Republicans claimed that the January 6 insurrectionists at the Capitol were “tourists.”

Conservatives will blame every victim for all violence they experience. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) blamed Paul Pelosi, the 82-year-old husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for being beaten up in his own home. He was sleeping in his San Francisco home while his wife was in Washington, D.C. A radicalized MAGA-supporter broke into his home and caused possibly irreparable physical damage by striking him with a hammer. Pelosi may never completely heal from head fractures and injuries to his arm and hand. Instead of sleeping, Pelosi should have “shot his attacker,” according to Greene at a GOP rally. Greene also blames Democrats for every victim in the U.S.

That will be life under Republican authoritarianism because legislators like Greene will be running all the committees, according to wannabe House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

November 6, 2022

2022 Election: Suppression, Money, Lies

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) is between a rock and a hard place. He hopes that announcing a 2024 presidential candidacy will block any legal problems, but RNC chair said the GOP will stop paying his legal bills when he declares a run for president. Donations to the party have shelled out DDT’s defense money for probes and lawsuits by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. (D) and New York Attorney General Letitia James (D). The RNC also plans to remain neutral in the 2024 GOP nominating contest.

Only two more days until the United States decides whether it goes forward into a democracy or turns into a full-bloom autocracy. To intimidate voters and suppress their votes, 42 states have attempted to pass 130 laws since 2020 creating new election investigation agencies, establish criminal penalties for election offenses, or further empower law enforcement officials to investigate such crimes. In 20 states, 28 of these130 bills have been passed in these states to increase the law enforcement, including prevention of handing food or water to Georgia voters as they stand up to eight hours in lines. The 35 percent of bills introduced by Democrats criminalized election interference and block harassment and threats. The 65 percent of bills from Republicans came after extensive studies show no widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Results of the extensive study is here.

The right wing is already planning for violence and a coup to overturn to legal elections. Ordinary voter suppression laws hasn’t been enough for Republicans; they have moved to sabotage, vigilantism, violence, and extreme suppression. It’s all a preparation for 2024. A few of the strategies to stop people voting have been slightly controlled, such as the courts slightly restricting Arizona vigilantes who are trying to intimate people from putting their ballots in drop boxes.

Almost two weeks before the election, over 100 lawsuits had been filed, targeting mail-in voting, early voting, voter access, voting machines, voting registration, mismarked absentee ballots, and access for partisan poll watchers. DDT is gearing up in Pennsylvania to play the same game he did in 2020—yell fraud and claim victory of his chosen candidates.

In Nevada, armed saboteurs with anti-Semitic conspiracies have driven election officials from office. Four counties insist on counting ballots by hand, despite judicial rulings. The result will take far more time and cause far more errors. Esmeralda County, Esmeralda, used hand-counting to certify its primary results in June when officials spent more than seven hours counting 317 ballots. Volunteer hand counters require over 30 minutes per ballot—about 15 ballots a day. In one group with mismatched tallies for eight candidates led to different outcomes again in another recount. Reading candidate names aloud while public observers are listening also constitutes “a release of election results in violation of Nevada law.” GOP secretary of state candidate Jim Marchant, in charge of elections if he’s elected, wants hand-counting mandated for all counties for all 3+ million population.

Poll watchers will inundate voting areas, pushed by DDT’s minions including convicted felon Steve Bannon, and used the illegal canvas to raise objections to voters. InfoWars, owned by Alex Jones who owns almost $1.5 billion for lying about the Sandy Hook massacre of children, promotes the stolen election myth. Election workers are fleeing almost everywhere because of intimidation.

Other vigilantes are going door-to-door, harassing possible Democratic voters. Pro-DDT canvassers in Shasta County (CA) wore reflective orange vests and badges reading “Voter Taskforce.” They grilled people in the homes on their voting history and lists of residents in the homes. Michigan door-to-door intimidators intend to use their data to challenge votes. Reuters found similar efforts in at least 23 states with state-wide or local efforts to intimidate voters where some of the door knockers were armed. In all cases, they gave the impression that they worked for the government. In at least one case, local GOP officials were involved: GOP leader of the GOP in Lane County (OR) accused officials of ignored their canvas.  

Twelve years ago, SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts said about the conservative Supremes permitted almost unlimited dark money to political campaigns, in which donors can be hidden, in its ruling of Citizens United that their permission wouldn’t make any difference. In 2022, 465 billionaires gave $881,000,000 to win the 2022 elections—27 times more than before the Citizens United decision. The full report is here. Roberts was wrong.

Three-fourths of that money came from 20 billionaire households, 14 of them Republican, and 62 percent of the donations went to GOP PACs and candidates. Billionaires represent 0.000002% of the U.S. population but account for 7.4% of all political donations so far this cycle. At least 59 Percent went to Republicans. For past donations they get a return. For example:

  • $20 million to get a special tax break provided by Sen. Ron Johnson (WI-R) brought them $80 million in taxes in just 2018.
  • The richest Pennsylvania man got $1 billion in taxes in recent years.
  • In Illinois, $50 million to defeat a ballot initiative making the wealthy pay more than of their fair share in taxes brought one man $51 million a year. He donated $66 million to GOP PACs and candidates thus far this year.
  • And more.

This year’s $881 million thus far is already a 44 percent increase over billionaire contributions of $611 million for the 2018 midterm cycle. Donations to single-candidate super PACs rose from $127.5 million in 2018 to $323.2 million by November 1, 2022, a 150 percent increase. Funding for these PACS, benefitting about 75 percent of all single-candidate super-PACs, comes almost entirely from billionaires. Some of those receiving these funds are Johnson, Blake Masters running for senator from Arizona (Peter Thiel), JD Vance for senator from Ohio (Peter Thiel), and Herschel Walker running for senator from Georgia. Over one-fourth of the billionaire contributions, $243 million, have gone to four congressional super PACs of both parties.

“What Trump showed was that the bigger the jerk you could be, the more the hardcore GOP base would love you.”

This quote from S.V. Dáte, author and senior White House correspondent, applies to almost 300 Republicans running for congressional and state offices who are election deniers. Sixty percent of voters will have at least one election denier on their ballots for the November 8, 2022 midterms. Even without denying that Joe Biden is the legally elected president, candidates are lying with repetitive conspiracy theories.

The National Republican Congressional Committee accused Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) of giving money to criminals, including the Boston Marathon bomber, by voting to send pandemic relief checks. Not true. And Congress voted to do the same thing—twice—while the GOP controlled the executive branch.

The opponent of Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) accused her of voting to hire “87,000 new IRS agents to audit middle-income families and small businesses.” Been debunked; not true.

Arizona’s gubernatorial candidate, Kari Lake, accused her opponent, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, of being “endorsed by radical groups that want to defund our police.” Not true. Hobbs called for “boosting funding for sheriffs and local law enforcement.” Lake also accused Hobbs of being “a twice convicted racist.” Not true. Hobbs wasn’t been charged or convicted, and she hasn’t been a racist.

Republicans in Pennsylvania spent over $800,000 on TV ads claiming Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee for Senate, “stands with the far left who want to defund our police.” Not true.

GOP Senate candidate J.D. Vance of Ohio accused his opponent, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) of trying to increase immigration to the U.S. so that he can spend government money on “gender reassignment surgeries” for these migrants. The man made wealthy by his book Hillbilly Elegy and received $15 million from Peter Thiel for his campaign called Ryan “the poster board for oligarcy.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, running for re-election, went straight to the top: his wife played decades-old Paul Harvey clips to explain that God has picked DeSantis for another four years—or until he runs for president.

GOP secretary of state candidate in Michigan, Kristina Karamo, has repeated the QAnon conspiracy that abortion is “child sacrifice” and elites drink the blood and “sell body parts” after abortions. She also thinks that insurrectionists at the Capitol on January 6, 2022 were antifa and not DDT supporters.

In New Hampshire, master liar Don Bolduc, another GOP U.S. Senate candidate, deployed his lies despite campaigning claims of the governor, Chris Sununu, that his state is the poster child for perfection in the U.S. with booming economy and business. Everything is going so well that Sununu wants to replace the three Democrats, a U.S. senator and two House members, with Republicans. Don Bolduc tweeted:

“you can’t even buy a house, you can’t even rent property, you can’t even feed your children, you can’t even heat your home.”

Oh yes, and according to Bolduc there’s the serious problem of kitty-litter boxes in schools for all the students who are licking themselves and others. Right-wing activist Joe Rogan said he spread the conspiracy theory about the kitty litter boxes in school when he knew it was a lie. Bolduc also asks if people are better now than they were two years ago—October 2020 with people dying, no COVID vaccine, the stock market 6,000 points lower than now, unemployment rate almost double the current 3.4 percent, jobs down over 10 million from now, etc.  

October 26, 2022

DDT’s Gubernatorial Endorsements Dangerous

Thirty-six states will elect governors in November, 20 of them held by Republicans. All nine states are currently held by women, and eight of the races are open. Seven states have only women candidates, and another four have female incumbents.

In Alaska, ranked choice voting voting means races can have four candidates, and Charlie Pierce, a Republican running against the GOP incumbent Mike Dunleavy, has been credibly charged with sexual harassment including unwanted physical touching. The other two candidates are a Democrat and an unaffiliated.

In Maryland, Dan Cox, DDT’s endorsement against existing Gov. Larry Hogan’s preference, was filmed accepting a gift from the Proud Boys, a group storming the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Cox organized buses to take people to Washington, D.C. on January 6. His website erased prominent references to DDT who held a fundraiser for Cox at Mar-a-Lago. The campaign for Cox’s opponent Wes Moore, has outraised Cox 10-to-1 in the state where Democratic voters outnumber Republicans 2-to-1. In early October, Moore was ahead, 60 percent to 28 percent. 

Two other DDT-endorsed gubernatorial candidates are more frightening.

In Arizona, Kari Lake displays the polish she gained as a TV news personality, and the state may provide enough MAGA crazies to vote her in, with a polling one percent ahead of her opponent, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. She describes her lies as facts, including the falsehood that Joe Biden lost the 2020 presidential election. Despite Arizona Republicans claiming “election integrity” by passing “one of the worst voter suppression laws in the nation” for the purported purpose of “election integrity,” Lake still declares election outcomes should be doubted, and she declines to accept a loss.

Lake also:

  • Threatens to cancel the Super Bowl if the NFL disagree with her immigration policies. She said, “I’m not going to be taking marching orders from the NFL.”
  • Accused China of poisoning people in Arizona with fentanyl in an attempt to “take down civilization,” apparently a reference to the 19th-century opium wars when Great Britain smuggled opium from India into China.
  • Told people not to take any precautions against COVID because “hydroxychloroquine works” and sells a t-shirt with the image of a burning mask.
  • Said that her opponent would be in jail by Election Day and promised she would criminally prosecute journalists who “dupe the public.”
  • Approved an ad from from an anti-Islam and anti-LGBTQ pastor who preaches the “submission of the wife.” 
  •  Thinks low majority votes for President Joe Biden should all be decertified to overturn his 2020 election.
  • Endorsed Oklahoma candidate Jarrin Jackson, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ nationalist extremist saying “Jews will go to hell” and LGBTQ is a “gateway to pedophilia.”
  • Announced her “team is triple-confirming … some really painful hurtful news” about her opponent that would shake up the race. The new, which turned out to be wrong, was that Hobbs fought to keep the Pledge of Allegiance, the national anthem, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution out of Arizona’s public school classrooms. The 2018 law added the state motto to Lake’s cited documents already permitted to be read or posted in classrooms. Lake and her team can’t read a state statute, and she’s never held any elected office.
  • Used footage of Russian troops marching in a “victory parade” in her political ad when she says she will “stand with Arizona’s border sheriffs.”
  • Said Arizona’s strict anti-abortion1864 law will put more rapists in jail but didn’t explain how.
  • Accepted hundreds in donations from people convicted of serious sex offenses while accusing LGBTQ people of “grooming” children.
  • Worried academicians with threats of “cleaning up show” at Arizona State University.

On Indigenous People’s Day, Lake’s campaign manager compared all Native Americans to bloodthirsty savages who engage in human sacrifice in a tweet with an image of human sacrifice by an ancient Mesoamerican civilization thousands of miles from Arizona.

Arizonans are filing complaints about voter harassment. Two armed and masked men wearing tactical gear staked out a drop box in Maricopa County and left only after the police were called. Local sheriffs tried to intervene in a standoff between the armed men and people observing the watchers, and several voters reported being intimidated at the same location. Mark Finchem, candidate for secretary of state, sent people to “watch all drop boxes” and repeated the lie that voters dropping off ballots were “ballot mules,” from the lies in the movie 2000 Mules, and covering their license plates. People are doing so for personal safety, and the men in masks also covered up their license plates. Writing about Clean Elections USA run by QAnon election conspiracist Melody Jennings, Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and Voto Latino filed complaints that that “vigilante groups have already turned away voters.”

Lies about election fraud led to anonymous violent threats using vile obscene language targeting Arizona’s election officials. Threatening letters to the Democratic party stated that judges not fully sentencing election fraud will be “dealt with” as a traitor. Letters also threaten to publish personal details of judges and sheriffs. The state is at the top for threats against these officials and poll workers which includes photographing them and following them.

In North Carolina, election officials in at least 15 counties have reported violations of poll watchers harassing voters and trying to get into restricted areas to view confidential voting records.

In Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano could be even more dangerous as governor because he also selects the secretary of state, in charge of elections. He promised to pick one who would certify DDT. Mastriano is so scary that GOP leaders support his Democratic opponent, Josh Shapiro, and a GOP organization is posting billboards asking people to vote for Shapiro.

Mastriano:

  • Wants to prosecute women for murder if they have abortions.
  • Claims that banning books is “not a book ban.”
  • Calls any book mentioning LGBTQ people “pornographic.”
  • Promises to ban “pole dancing” in the schools “on day one” but can’t name any school teaching pole dancing—because there aren’t any.
  • Plans to fund private schools with public school funding and eliminate school property taxes.
  • Hopes to de-register all approximately nine million registered voters in Pennsylvania and require them to register again.
  • Registered to vote in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania for 11 years.
  • Led a crowd at a rally in a “liberty oath,” swearing they would fight like in the Civil war to experience a “new birth” in Pennsylvania. Days before the January 6 insurrection, he called on fellow DDT supporters to “rise up” and overthrow the government.
  • Sued the House January 6 investigative committee for interviewing him.
  • Asked for “40 days of fasting and prayer” to support his campaign. The Christian nationalist averages 8.6 points behind Shapiro.

At the University of New Brunswick, a U.S. history professor declared Mastriano’s Ph.D. was undeserved and his dissertation about World War II soldier Alvin York atrocious academic work—dishonest, sloppy, fanatical, and tinged with religious zealotry. During his “research,” Mastriano ruined an archeological site in France and then used his degree to deflect criticism for his wearing a Confederate uniform in a faculty photo at the Army War College. The professor said the fanaticism and indifference to facts are apparent in the candidate’s public life. The university hid Mastriano’s 2013 dissertation, even its title, until last August. Some of the “fraudulent” fabrications.

Mastriano holds mostly closed events, keeps reporters away from him at public events, and hires the Christian militia and former Oath Keepers for his security team. Several of them from the Lifegate Church in Elizabethtown (PA) may not have received the training requiring by state law. His church’s mission is to control government by electing their Christians, and the property has political yard signs. Members gained seven seats on the local GOP committee which some describe as “a hostile takeover.” Three days before the January 6 insurrection, a social media post connected to the Pennsylvania Oath Keepers, split from the national group in 2015, alluded to armed veterans violently resisting election results.

“Prophet” Julie Green, head of Green Ministries who receives direct prophecies from God, says she has a “special relation” with Mastriano. Some of her other claims: Biden is not alive, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) drinks “children’s blood”; God will execute political figures; Rep. Ilhan Omar is “a spy”; and several prominent lawmakers who failed DDT will soon die. Green promises not to “forsake” Mastriano.

Back in Georgia, a second woman claims anti-abortion Herschel Walker, the GOP U.S. Senate candidate from Georgia, pressured her to get an abortion. As in the first case, Walker denied the allegation from his ex-girlfriend. He had a six-year relationship with her while he was married. Despite his anti-Christian actions, evangelical voters support him because they only want to take the Senate. Walker, GOP also sent his supporters a flyer urging early voting—with the wrong date. His one debate with opponent Sen. Raphael Warnock showed he is trainable: his comments were less garbled.

Walker has company carrying a fake police badge: MyPillow Chief Executive Officer Mike Lindell brandished his own badge at DDT’s October 21 rally in Texas when he told people not to vote before Election Day. If anyone is accused of already voting, he said, “Go to your local sheriff.” He concluded, “Sheriffs and judges … are gonna bring this country back. They gave me a badge. I’m semi-official.”

October 19, 2022

Debates from High-profile GOP Candidates:

Debates from High-profile GOP Candidates:

In Utah, Sen. Mike Lee, being overtaken by unaffiliated Evan McMullin, desperately campaigned for a return to the U.S. Senate with nasty responses to McMullin level and factual presentation about Lee’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election in favor of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). McMullin said:

“Senator Lee, you sought to find a weakness in our system. You advised the White House, find an alternative slate of electors for Trump to overturn the will of the people. That’s what you said [about states sending alternative slates to vote for DDT] …

“You said the president should listen to legal quack Sydney Powell, ‘Please make time for her, let her in,’ you told the White House chief of staff. You told the president that you were working overtime—14 hours a day, I think you said—to unravel this for him, to keep a president who had been voted out of office according to the will of the people in power despite the will of the people. Senator Lee, it is a betrayal of the American republic. You were there to stand up for our constitution, but when the barbarians were at the gate you were happy to let them in.”

Lee answered, “I disagree with everything my opponent just said, including the words ‘but,’ ‘and,’ and ‘the.’”

Lee begged for Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-UT) endorsement on Fox’s Tucker Carlson show, a program that regularly roasts Romney. Pundits with short memories slam Romney for no endorsement, but Lee refused to endorse Romney in 2018 and gained his first Senate term in 2010 by destroying popular GOP senator, Bob Bennett, for not being sufficient right-wing. Again desperate, Lee wrote an op-ed glorifying himself in third person “he.”  

A.B. Stoddard has an excellent piece on Lee’s need for power so great that he faithfully follows DDT after rejecting him in the beginning. 

In Ohio, J.D. Vance, another DDT endorsement, faced off with Tim Ryan for the U.S. Senate in a close battle rife with anger and lies. Ryan pointed out Vance’s praise for Alex Jones as an example of Vance’s extremism. Vance denied he said that “Alex Jones is a far more reputable source of information than Rachel Maddow,” but a screen shot of his tweet proves Ryan was right. A believer in the GOP “replacement theory” that Democrats were trying to replace all white people with minorities, Vance tried to hide behind his biracial child. His wife is Indian American. He frequently connects President Joe Biden’s southern border policies with increased fentanyl trafficking in his state, accusing Biden of trying “to kill a bunch of MAGA voters in the middle of the heartland.”

In the debate, Vance followed the DDT party line, dismissing the House investigation into the insurrection. The attack on Ryan’s voting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) came from Ryan’s statements in the first debate about DDT’s remark regarding Vance’s “kissing my ass” to get his support. Ryan said Vance should move back to San Francisco if he wants to run against Pelosi. 

Vance has joined the crazy QAnon conspiracy theory of kitty litter boxes in schools for “furries, ”the evidence-free belief about students pretending to be cats, and said he wants the school to tell him if his child “identifies as a chipmunk.” Despite multiple claims from losing GOP candidates, only one school districts keeps kitty litter in classrooms: a Colorado school keeps it in “go-to” buckets for children’s use during school shootings.

In another evidence-free claim, Vance said that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “don’t say gay” law is to ban “sexually explicit material that propagandizes and encourages children to take different identities and to engage in sexually explicit acts.” The law highly restricts any discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity.  

More about Vance.  

In Georgia, DDT-endorsed Herschel Walker for U.S. Senate survived one debate telling his lies, including holding up a child’s “Junior Ranger Badge” for law enforcement in violation of debate rules he had signed. He skipped the debate at the Atlanta Press Club. His opponent, Sen. Raphael Warnock, used the extra time to describe Walker’s domestic violence and lies. A former state senator and GOP chair said people took “comfort” about Walker’s “ability to stand up … and look like he’s fundamentally in charge of … himself.”

Immediately after the announcement of the first abortion, a prayer circle hosted by First Baptist Church Pastor Anthony George called for Walker’s divinely anointment. About pointing a gun at his wife’s head and threatening to kill her, he claims to be redeemed. In far-right Christian evangelical lexicon, Walker paid to have his own child murdered, but they abandoned  the teachings of Jesus to control the U.S. Senate. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) called Warnock, a pastor, an “abomination.” 

A third candidate, Libertarian Chase Oliver, participated in the debate. A gay man, Oliver attacked Walker’s anti-LGBTQ stance. If no one receives at least 50 percent of the vote on November 8, a run-off on December 6 between the top two will determine the winner. Republicans moved up the timing since the last Senate election as well as eliminating any new voter registrations between Midterms and the run-off, trying to avoid their problems in 2021 when they lost two Senate seats.

In the past two weeks, Walker admitted he lied about not knowing the ex-girlfriend, mother of one of his illegitimate children, and paying her; denied he urged her to get another abortion two years after the first one; and uses his book, published two years before the ex-girlfriend’s first abortion, to excuse himself because he was saved “by the grace of god.” Walker claimed abortion kills babies but there “was nothing to be ashamed of” if the claims are true.

Perhaps trying to divert the media from the abortions’ stories, Walker claimed his grandmother was “full-blood Cherokee” and his mother “part Native American, a big part.” Walker’s mother said she couldn’t confirm his claims,” and the Cherokee Nation, which keeps excellent records, has no evidence of Walker’s claim. When Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) claimed to have Native American ancestry, she was ridiculed for years; Walker’s lie was barely a blip on the radar.

Walker is the classic deadbeat dad who he claims to hate. He’s a typical poorly-parented adolescent who lies to get out of trouble, tells really bad, pointless jokes like the one on bulls and cows, threatens to beat up or kill people, and runs away from all his responsibilities. DDT didn’t even go to Georgia to support his own candidate. Instead, surrogates Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Rick Scott (R-FL) were sent, and Cotton was forced to laugh at transgender servicemembers along with Walker. Although Walker never served in the military, he claimed to do “lots of things in the military,” and his son is gay. Cotton also lied when he claimed to be “a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Georgia’s Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said he couldn’t vote for Walker but can’t vote for Warnock. He described himself and “hundreds of thousands of other Republicans here in Georgia … confused. We don’t really have anywhere to go right now.” Mistaking Duncan for a TV pundit, Walker disparaged his statements. Polls are all over the place in Georgia from a two-percent lead for Walker to a 12-percent lead for Warnock. Early voting started last Monday with big crowds.

Joe Scarborough called Walker “the perfect lab experiment on just how low Republican voters are willing to go.” According to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, DDT “wants to show that nothing matters.” The more DDT and MAGAs abolish the rules, the less the rules count.

More about Walker.

Also in Georgia, a debate between Gov. Brian Kemp and Democrat opponent Stacey Abrams in the gubernatorial election drew much less notice, likely because of no buffoon for the policy-based event. and the hour-long event was policy-based. Four years ago, Kemp was able to purge voter rolls and otherwise control the election while he was Secretary of State; this year, he commands the field as an incumbent who has not destroyed the state and can still control some campaign financing to benefit himself.

Abrams presented a list of Georgia’s problems—spiking crime, rising home prices, and Chinese government’s purchase of the state’s farmland. Kemp attacked her on a position of “defund the police,” touting his endorsements, but she pointed out that endorsements are typically related to long-entrenched power in the state. His answer to any question was that Georgia reopened the state’s businesses and schools earlier than any other state in 2020, including those about racial disparities, local economy, expanding Medicaid, and budget surplus.

Kemp also signed a law permitting anyone in Georgia to carry a firearm without a license after the mass shootings in 2021. He claimed he wouldn’t seek any further restrictions in laws or contraception although he secretly expressed an openness to these changes. Georgia already blocks abortions after six weeks before many women are unaware of a pregnancy. Caught on audio, he claimed he was just humoring his audience. He does want a law stopping “divisive concepts” and a “parent’s bill of rights”—meaning white nationalist curriculum and only conservative parents’ “rights.”

In a Wisconsin debate, an audience laughed at Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) when he whined about being “set up” by the FBI to explain why he had to be warned that the Kremlin tried to make him a “Russian asset.” He claimed that the FBI used “a corrupt briefing and then leaked that to smear me.” Johnson blamed the laughter on college students who might have sneaked into the debate because they are “taught leftist propaganda” and called the January 6 insurrection “peaceful” by “people … that truly respect law enforcement [who] would never do anything to break the law.”  

Johnson is paying a law firm connected to a January 6 probe into overturning the 2020 election. The campaign listed expenses as “recount,” indicating he may be getting ready for a loss in three weeks. Johnson also received donations from a DDT attorney accused in the state’s fake elector effort. Asked the usual question to say something positive about his opponent, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Johnson said he wanted to know why “he turned against America.” Johnson was booed.

Other Johnson policies: retirees should go back to work, Social Security and Medicare will disappear if they aren’t voted in every year, and he doesn’t know if he will accept defeat. Johnson is also open to the conspiracy theory that COVID vaccines cause AIDS and wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Plus more.

October 12, 2022

Ohio Struggles with Flawed Candidates, Oppressive Voting Systems

More states are opening up to early voting, including Ohio where J.D. Vance debated Tim Ryan for U.S. Senate on October 10. A new study shows Ohio 41st in access to voting. Of the tren categories, the two most important are ease of registration and early voting availability. New Hampshire has the most difficult ranking but still has the seventh-highest turnout rate in 2020. Oregon is easiest in voting with the sixth-highest turnout. Ohio turnout ranked 27th. “Early voting” in Ohio requires going to the local county board of elections.

Although Ohio remains almost evenly split between the two major parties, gerrymandering turned its political control red with GOP supermajorities in both state House and Senate. That advantage allowed the passage of an abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest after six weeks when many women don’t know they are pregnant. Fifty-two percent of the state’s voters object to this law, but legislators said they intend a more restrictive ban after they are elected along with highly restrictive voting laws.

Legislators also ignored a series of 4-3 rulings from the state Supreme Court that their gerrymandering is unconstitutional. They waited out the calendar with several new variations not repairing the problems and then moved forward with their own map for November. The Princeton Gerrymandering Project gave Ohio an “F” for manipulation achieving “significant” partisan advantage. In 2021, Ohio also purged almost 98,000 voters from the registration rolls, forcing them to re-register to vote. An appeals court ruled in 2016 that the purges violate federal law, but the conservative Supreme Court overturned the lower court in 2018.

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) continues to lie about voter fraud, but the GOP Secretary of State Frank LaRose determined that only 0.0005 of the 5.9 million registered voters casting ballots in 2020 were fraudulent. Yet LaRose directed the 88 county boards of elections to increase security requirements and set up a website where people can submit anonymous tips about election fraud. Conspiracy theorists are inundating county boards of elections with records request about 2020. Last August a man went into a polling place at an elementary school and threatened to shoot up the voting machines.

LaRose was overturned in his refusal to put a Democratic House candidate on the November ballot. The court ruled that the state Secretary of State “acted in clear disregard of this court’s case law and created an impermissible legal absurdity based on the anomalous primary election held on August 2.” LaRose said there was enough time for the candidate’s name to go on ballot. Last month another state Supreme Court ruling overturned LaRose’s to keep an unaffiliated candidate, an election denier, off the ballot for Secretary of State to run against himself and a Democrat.  

Ohio is one of 30 states to elect state Supreme Court justices this year; three of the four Republicans on the court will be determined in November. One of them is the retiring Chief Justice who leaves because of age limits and has frequently broken with others in her party during redistricting cases this year, joining the three Democrats. For the first time this year, the candidates will have their party listed with their names on the ballot, indicating the political nature of the Ohio judiciary.

One of the most publicized races in Ohio is the one for U.S. Senate between Tim Ryan and DDT-endorsed J.D. Vance. Polling is all over the place from Ryan having a sizeable lead to being tied with Vance; the question is whether Ohio has enough MAGA voters to follow DDT and if his baggage bothers Republicans. 

A Cleveland Plain Dealer profile of Vance pointed out that he has praised Curtis Yarvin, a self-proclaimed monarchist calling to a Julius Caesar to take power in the U.S. Vance referenced the era before Caesar’s dictatorship in his explanation:

“We are in a late republican period. If we’re going to push back against it, we’re going to have to get pretty wild, and pretty far out there, and go in directions that a lot of conservatives right now are uncomfortable with.”

The host on the interview agreed and discussed “extra-constitutional” remedies to be taken “if we want to re-found the country” and called voting an “ineffectual way” to “rip out this leadership class.” Vance stated he had been “radicalized” by “malevolent and evil” political opponents, wanting to purge them with “de-Nazification.” (Vladimir Putin, anyone?) After his election in 2024, DDT should fire all civil servants and replace them with “our people,” defy court orders blocking such an illegal action, and then “do what Viktor Orban has done,” according to Vance. The Hungarian “president” controls the media, judiciary, school curriculum, etc.

Vance’s 90-minute interview was on a podcast with John Goldman, who calls himself Jack Murphy and runs a secret men’s organization claiming all major U.S. institutions—higher education, media, government, unions, professional organizations, nonprofits, and corporations—have been “infiltrated, corrupted, demoralized” and aim to “control you forever.” Murphy wrote:

“Feminists need rape… It is our duty as men to save feminists from themselves. Therefore, I am offering rape to feminists as an olive branch.”

Together Vance and Murphy lamented U.S. culture and compared the Democrats to Nazis in Germany during the early 20th century. Once totally anti-DDT, calling him “America’s Hitler,” he justified his change by saying he had “lost sight” of “true American values” until his transformation.

Worried about taking the Senate, its GOP Leadership Fund dropped $28 million into radio and TV ads starting in September, which may have led to the tightening of the polling. The primary race for Vance, venture capitalist and author of Hillbilly Elegy, was largely financed by billionaire and PayPal founder Peter Thiel who had previously employed Vance. Ryan had outraised Vance by 4 to 1 in the 2022 second quarter.

Using the GOP style of hypocrisy, Vance has been campaigning with the pretense of being an anti-opiod China hawk who wants to control the drug industry and return jobs to the U.S. Yet he worked for a law firm representing several Chinese companies and lobbied for Purdue Pharma that manufactured OxyContin. His nonprofit, “Our Ohio Renewal,” had to be closed down after the public discovered he hired an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) resident who used Purdue-funded studies to minimize overprescribing painkillers in the opioid crisis. She also let Purdue vet her articles. Purdue donated at least $800,000 to AEI. Protect Ohio Values (POV), a Super PAC raising millions for Vance’s campaign, posted a “vulnerability analysis” online about Vance’s weaknesses.

Now virulently anti-LGBTQ, despite his major donor being gay, he slammed the “conservative legal movement” in 2020 and supported the Supreme Court’s ruling to block firing LGBTQ workers for their gender identity or sexual orientation. Vance also blasts Big Tech after getting $15 million Thiel.

Vance is also another carpetbagger, still claiming a homestead exemption for his Washington, D.C. on a home worth $900,000 in 2018 before moving into a Cincinnati mansion the next year. Now he targets education institutions as the enemy of conservatives, but took tens of thousands of dollars to using a network of higher education to promote his 2016 book through lectures, graduation speeches, and political talks. Then he called “education in America … the key to opportunity. Now he quotes President Richard Nixon, “The professors are the enemy.”

Writing about the Ryan/Vance debate, GOP columnist Mona Charon pointed out that Ryan had cut to Vance’s weakness, also exhibited by other DDT pets using the “rituals of alpha dominance and beta submission.” She elaborated:

“In the process of strutting as cock of the walk, Trump has emasculated every other Republican. He may look strong, but he demands that every other Republican become weak in his service. That satisfies (or partially satiates) Trump’s need for obeisance. But it presents a problem for the toadies who want to be considered leaders too.

“Men like Kevin McCarthy, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio have abased themselves to remain in Trump’s good graces. Cruz performed one of the most humiliating kowtows, tamely accepting insults to his wife’s appearance to say nothing of Trump’s lunatic assertion that Cruz’s father had a role in the Kennedy assassination. They all hold their manhoods cheap. And because Trump is vindictive, petty, and cruel, he couldn’t resist reminding an Ohio audience last month that J.D. Vance, the candidate he had come to support, but who had once been a Trump critic, was ‘kissing my ass’…

“Ryan [reminded views that … even after Trump had ‘taken his dignity away from him,’ Vance had returned to the stage to shake Trump’s hand and smile for the camera. Hitting the everyman theme, Ryan offered, almost with pity, that ‘I don’t know anyone I grew up with, anyone I went to high school with, who would allow someone to take their dignity like that and then get back on stage.’

“Ryan thus simultaneously elevated his own alpha status while reinforcing Vance’s weakness. Every Republican who has bent the knee to Trump—male or female—is vulnerable in this way.”

Yesterday was the election for the fattest bruin in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. Winner Brown Bear 747 topped out at 68,105 votes over Bear 901 at 56,876 votes. The winner received its second crown, despite election fraud from spamming the Fat Bear Week poll and stuffing the ballot box.  

October 5, 2022

Herschel Walker Hits the Bottom of DDT’s Candidates

The classic candidate of the week is Georgia’s U.S. Senate GOP candidate, Herschel Walker. Inarticulate and ignorant, his biggest problem is his lying—and the inability to pull it off. The biggest one thus far is this October bombshell, trying to cover for urging his girlfriend to have an abortion in 2009 and then paying for it. That from the man who pretends to be completely “pro-life,” no exceptions for abortions even in the case of rape or incest. And the ex-girlfriend comes with receipts: the charge for the abortion, the check from Walker, and the sweet “Get Well” card that he sent her. Walker’s abortion for a girlfriend has been well-known for months in Georgia and among Republicans, but that could have been another abortion. His own team didn’t deny it. Everyone evidently hoped that nothing would appear about this scandal for another five weeks, after the Midterms.

After The Daily Beast released the story, Walker’s early insistence to sue the website for defamation ceased within a day because he would have to back up his denial in court or appear to be bluffing Court appearances would also mean depositionsmwhere he would be forced to tell the truth under oath. Instead, an adviser recommended he downplay the story. He hasn’t succeeded; it’s gone viral, including interviews with Sean Hannity and Brian Kilmeade on the Fox network.

Walker’s defiant denial caused the ex-girlfriend to tell media that she is also raising one of his children. She responded to his claim that he didn’t know who the woman is:

“Sure, I was stunned, but I guess it also doesn’t shock me, that maybe there are just so many of us that he truly doesn’t remember. But then again, if he really forgot about it, that says something, too.”

She explained he isn’t the Christian he claims to be:

“I don’t think there’s anywhere in the Bible where it says ‘have four kids with four different women while you’re with another woman.’ Or where it praises not being a present parent. Or that an abortion is an OK thing to do when it’s not the right time for you, but a terrible thing for anyone else to do when you are running for Senate. He picks and chooses where it’s convenient for him to use that religious crutch.”

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) talked Walker into moving from Texas to Georgia so he would defeat incumbent Pastor Raphael Warnock, and then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) fell into line behind DDT and Walker along with GOP donors and primary voters.

Walker now says that if people in Georgia don’t vote for him, they won’t “be redeemed.” About Warnock, Walker said, “He’s a minister and he doesn’t even believe in redemption.” Warnock is senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church until his assassination. Walker’s latest ad doesn’t deny the abortion story but claims he has “overcome” his mental illness thanks to God. Fox interviewed Newt Gingrich with the headline, “Warnock is running the most vicious and dishonest campaign in Georgia.”

A few of Walker’s scandals and personal flaws Christians must accept to be “redeemed,” in Walker’s definition:

His own campaign team calls him a pathological liar, spouting falsehoods “like he’s breathing.” Like his having served in law enforcement (he didn’t), he has great business experience (he doesn’t), and he gave money to charity (another he didn’t). In another lie, he said he graduated from the University of Georgia in the top 1 percent.     

Walker’s latest lie is that he oversaw “six hospitals around the United States.”

He even lies about his lies, saying he never said them.

His campaign also questions his mental fitness. His wife said Walker allegedly put a gun to her head, and he doesn’t deny it but says his violent behavior came from his mental illness.

Walker said he almost shot and killed another man out of road rage for “messing up my schedule” until he saw a bumper sticker stating, “Honk if you love Jesus.”

During the campaign, Walker had to admit he had three illegitimate children not previously revealed to the public. No one knows how many more he has, and he has no answer for accusations that he fathered children he doesn’t know. He laments about the huge “fatherless problem” in the Black community while saying he’s a good dad.

Although he has one son attracted to men, he wants to stop all same-gender marriages. Trans youth cannot get into heaven because Jesus won’t recognize them, according to Walker.

Walker makes multiple nonsensical statements—when his handlers allow him to speak publicly. Take for example, his complaint about $1.5 billion in the $369 billion Inflation Reduction Act for forestry management, some of it likely to prevent wildfires: “Don’t we have enough trees around here?” That was before he lied about people making under $200,000 paying for the trees. Taxation in the IRA is only on income above $400,000. Even DDT announced the U.S. would join an international effort to plant and restore a trillion trees by 2050.

Asked about stopping mass shootings at schools, he replied, “You know, they talk about doing a disinformation, what about getting a department that could look at young men that’s looking at women that looking at social media.”

His solution for the closure of a large hospital in Atlanta? “So I think what people need to do first is talk to Wellstar, and see what the problem is, then try to solve that problem.”

Walker’s ignorance of science: When U.S. “good air … decides to float over to China,” it’s replaced by China’s “bad air [and] we got to clean that back up.” He also found a “dry mist” that “will kill any covid on your body.” And the existence of apes that have not turned into humans disproves Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

He also has trouble with events during his own time, referring to 9/11 on its 21st anniversary as “uh, on the war with a country that didn’t believe in us.” Fifteen of the 19 men who attacked were from Saudi Arabia.

Reportedly worth over $30 million, he’s made hundreds of thousands of dollars giving speeches while being a candidate, taking money even from non-profits like a Boys & Girls Club in Georgia. Hillary Clinton was lambasted for paid speeches when she was neither in office nor campaigning.

One truth: he was a star football player, but being senator may require other skills.

With half a million followers on Instagram, Walker’s son, Christian Walker, expressed his outrage: 

“Family values, people? He has four kids, four different women, wasn’t in the house raising one of them. I was silent after lie after lie after lie … We were told at the beginning of this he was going to get ahead of his past, hold himself accountable. That would have been fine, go ahead. He didn’t do any of that.”

In another posting, Christian wrote: 

“I know my mom and I would really appreciate if my father Herschel Walker stopped lying and making a mockery of us. You’re not a ‘family man’ when you left us to bang a bunch of women, threatened to kill us, and had us move over 6 times in 6 months running from your violence.”

Desperate to win Georgia, Republicans are attacking the media for smearing a GOP candidate, specifically Walker. RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel accused the publicity as a distraction “from Warnock’s record of failure resulting in rising costs and out of control crime.” Other Republicans advised humility might be better, pushing the story that a celebrity doesn’t always “understand the microscope that accompanies the decision… They are going to try to say anything to rip you apart.” (In this case, that means the truth about the quality of the candidate, which McConnell has already suggested is not necessarily good.) American Conservative Union president Matt Schlapp recommended that he say that candidates don’t think mistakes are anyone’s business, “tell them to flip off, and just stay on message.” Listening to Walker, however, his “message” comes out as gibberish.

The evangelical Christian perspective comes from Ralph Reed, the first executive director of the Christian Coalition during the early 1990s, when he said that the issue is “unlikely to resonate with voters in Georgia. It’s based on an anonymous allegation that is 13 years old.” He immediately attacked Warnock’s record and the senator’s votes with President Joe Biden—like helping people. Conservative columnist Matt Lewis wrote:

“Values don’t matter [to evangelicals]. Pay for abortions. It doesn’t matter what you do. Character doesn’t count. Family values are for suckers.”

It’s hard to believe that this revelation would discourage people from voting for Walker, but the polls have changed from extremely close to a 12-point difference among likely voters, 50 percent to 38 percent by Survey USA with most of the polling completed before the first story about the abortion broke. Men were fairly equally split, but women favored Warnock by a margin of 29 points.

Walker bears a strong similarity to DDT—lying, sex, ignorance, meaningless statements, and complete incompetence for a job in government. DDT’s choice for U.S. senator in Georgia still has time to sink farther before early voting begins on October 17.

Early voting starts in eight more states in the next: October 9 – Maine; October 10 – California; October 11 – Montana, Nebraska, and New Mexico; and October 12 – Arizona, Indiana, and Ohio.

September 26, 2022

Early Voting Opens, GOP Candidates Not the ‘Best’

Four states—Minnesota, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wyoming—started early voting this week for the 2022 election culminating in six weeks, and conservative columnist Matt Lewis has a piece on how bad the “crop of Trumpy primary winners” are. He went beyond saying they are not “quality,” as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said about them by writing, “Republicans are not sending us their best.” Lewis then called them “garbage candidates.”

Lewis starts in Michigan with John Gibbs, running for Congress. Gibbs called Democrats the party of “gender-bending,” defended an anti-Semitic Twitter feed, and pushed the theory that Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta participated in a satanic ritual. He also argued against women’s suffrage because the social system of patriarchy “is the best model for the continued success of a society”; women lack “the characteristics necessary to govern and … are commanded not to rule.” Beating first-term GOP incumbent Rep. Peter Meijer, Gibbs won with the endorsement of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) because Meijer voted for DDT’s second impeachment and accepted the election of Joe Biden for president. Meijer replaced Justin Amash, a Republican who voted for DDT’s first impeachment before he became a Libertarian.

Nearby, GOP congressional candidate J.R. Majewski was outed as a liar—shock!—when he claimed to be deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11. He was actually loading planes in Qatar, almost 1,200 miles away. Majewski is known for exaggerations, conspiracy theories, and hopes of violence against the government. DDT praised Majewski because he made a “Let’s Go Brandon” rap video and cut the name “TRUMP” on his farmland. And he was in the Capitol during the January 6 insurrection. Majewski claims his military service was “classified,” but the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) withdrew $1 million worth of ads for him. 

Lewis has just touched the surface of “not sending us their best.” In the upper chamber, McConnell’s super PAC pulled $10 million out of the campaign for Blake Masters, GOP candidate for U.S. Senate. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) withdrew $2 million.   They have a lot of reasons other than Masters’ poor polling. Masters: 

  • Wants to fire all the generals and admirals, because they are “woke” and “left-wing” losers who never won a war, and replace them with “the most conservative colonels.”
  • Claimed he was “100 percent pro-life” until the overturning of Roe v. Wade engendered massive protesting.  
  • Thinks states should be allowed to regulate access to contraception.  
  • Pushes the baseless “great replacement” conspiracy theory narrative.
  • Blames gun violence in America on Black people.
  • Tried to cover up past viewpoints such as privatizing Social Security, support for DDT’s “stolen election, and blame for economic woes on diversity among Federal Reserve leaders by scrubbing his website. 
  • Hired two fake electors for his staff.  
  • Believes in the “replacement theory,” the racist belief that Democrats want to replace Whites with non-White immigrants.
  • Sent emails to his Stanford vegetarian co-op damning democracy such as decrying the “miserably peculiar American diety [sic] called Democracy” and “feudal monarchies” and pushing social classes, describing those lower on the social ladder “human trash.” Masters also advocated articles for an alternative to voting. 
  • Said that Ted Kaczynski’s writings provided “a lot of insight there that is correct” (though he denounced Kaczynski’s terrorist actions).
  • Called for McConnell to be replaced as GOP leader with Sens. Josh Hawley (MO) or Tom Cotton (AR) for the position.

McConnell said that Masters’ major donor, gay billionaire and PayPal founder Peter Thiel, has the money to bankroll his friend. A GOP strategist estimated Masters would need $60 to counteract his opponent, Sen. Mark Kelly, because outside groups pay three times as much for airtime as candidates in the state. Democrats have spent the GOP by 2-1, and Kelly has $24 million in the bank from the $54 million he raised. Two pollsters from DDT and Biden found Kelly leading Masters 50 percent to 42 percent. Masters’ favorability rating at 37 percent (54 percent unfavorable) was unusually negative for a first-time candidate.

Other GOP candidates getting in trouble:

In a New York congressional race, the FBI caught the husband and son of GOP candidate Tina Forte in a drug and gun bust at their family warehouse. Her family members were also arrested for the same thing in 2019. Forte is slamming her opponent, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, for being soft on crime. Forte has shared images of her with the Proud Boys leader, shared QAnon conspiracy theory slogans, and participated in DDT’s January 6 rally. Her campaign pushes her small business credentials with the location where the FBI arrested her husband and son.

Maine’s GOP gubernatorial candidate, Paul LePage, took advantage of tax breaks from Florida legally available only to full-time residents. He and his wife owned the property and filed for the tax breaks while LePage lived in Maine’s governor’s mansion from 2009 to 2015 and again while he campaigns for his old job. They bought two homes in Florida and sold one with the homestead exemption of $8,500 for permanent residents while living in Maine.

Nevada’s GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, Adam Lexalt, dropped assertions of stolen elections and DDT’s endorsement from his website and may be close to taking out Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and changing the Nevada senator to Republican. He also has nothing to say about Sen. Lindsey Graham’s proposed abortion bill although he called Roe v. Wade last June and praised its overturning as “a historic victory.” Laxalt orchestrated several failed lawsuits to block Biden’s presidency after the election and employs an insurrectionist as his senior campaign operative. Now he’s ready to fight the results of the senatorial election—if he loses. He may get support because both his father and grandfather were U.S. senators.

GOP candidates in early voting:

Ted Budd, GOP candidate in North Carolina, made DDT far less prominent on his website, but he still appeared with DDT last week for the Wilmington rally, however, which may not have done him any good. DDT smeared Cheri Beasley, opponent and elected judge, in the midst of a racial rant. And the incumbent U.S. representative was an original co-signer of the GOP national abortion ban. Adding a disclaimer, Budd recently insinuated he would accept the election’s results after months of refusing an answer. Other accusations against Budd are his votes against farmers and a bankruptcy for his family’s agriculture business costing farmers millions of dollars in losses. According the media, he took oil industry donations the day before voting against the gas price-gouging ban and took money from big pharma before voting against lowering drug prices.

Yesli Vega, the GOP candidate in a Virginia swing district against Rep. Abigail Spanberger, is struggling against her statement expressed by Todd Akins that rape rarely leads to pregnancy “maybe because there’s so much going on in the body.” The rapist is doing it “quickly,” or “it’s not something that’s happening organically,” Vega said. She added that as a police officer she worked only one case in which the rape victim became pregnant. Candidate for U.S. senator from Missouri, Akins lost his election. Aligned with a group asking candidates to commit to banning abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest, Vega also said that abortion has been legal “after the point of birth.”

Harriet Hageman, who defeated Rep. Liz Cheney in the primary after DDT’s and McCarthy’s retaliation for her moderate view recently, has been accused by 41 legal professionals of violating the oath of attorney and professional statements about the 2020 election.  

Gov. Kristi Noem, running for re-election in South Dakota, is a high profile candidate facing ethics charges from a state board. They found sufficient information that she may have “engaged in misconduct” by intervening in her daughter’s application for a real estate appraiser license, and “appropriate action” could be taken. Noem, who had hoped to run for president in the future, called the complaints political and sought to get the records sealed. She can publicly defend herself, and results can be reprimand or community service. The law’s solution for making recommendations to the governor would be useless because Noem is the governor.

Noem also faces another charge of illegally costing taxpayers money for the private use of a state airplane. That complaint is before the state’s division of criminal investigation overseen by a county prosecutor. She has used private jets to fly to fundraisers, campaign events, and conservative gatherings, some of them out of state. The 2006 came from the governor at the time, Mike Rounds, who is now the current U.S. senator from the state. He used the plane for such events as his son’s basketball games while on official business.

This week, Illinois and Michigan start their early voting.

And the next hearing from the House January 6 investigative committee is Wednesday, September 28, 2022 at 1:00 pm EST.

 

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