Nel's New Day

September 8, 2021

Just One Day – September 8, 2021

When Joe Biden was elected president, I expected the news to quiet down just a little. No such luck. Here’s a pot pourri of the last 24 hours.

The debt ceiling raise is due in less than a month, and Republicans are refusing to increase it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has an answer for them. “”We’re paying the Trump credit card,” she said, referring to the $7 trillion of national debt during his four years.  Of that amount, $2 trillion came from the GOP tax cut for the wealthy and big business. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Pelosi that the U.S. would run out of money to pay bills in October if the ceiling is not raised.

A crowd cheered as the 12-ton statue of Robert E. Lee was taken down in Richmond (VA). The event has been delayed while the decision was stalled for a year by court debate. Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) decried its removal, claiming about the leader of the Confederate army who lost the U.S. Civil War:

“If only we had Robert E. Lee to command our troops in Afghanistan, that disaster would have ended in a complete and total victory many years ago. What an embarrassment we are suffering because we don’t have the genius of a Robert E. Lee!”

The fence designed to protect the U.S. Capitol and the people within is going back up after its removal just six months after the domestic terrorism there on January 6. Conservative rhetoric for a planned September 18 rally there has grown more violent as those attending the “Justice for J6” rally support the insurrectionists arrested since the attempt to overturn the presidential election. Discussions are centering around retaliation against the Black police officer who shot a white woman, Ashli Babbitt, who broke into the Capitol on January 6.

Eleven DDT appointments made at the end of DDT’s term including such luminaries as Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway have been asked to resign before they are dismissed. These 11 are on the advisory boards of the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, and West Point. The Pentagon has already removed hundreds of appointees from other boards. Russell Vought, Trump’s former director of the Office of Management and Budget, has already refused to resign from the Naval Academy board; others claim they also won’t, including Conway. The resignation requests were for lack of qualifications; for example, Douglas Macgregor on the West Point board disparaged immigrants, refugees, and minorities.

Almost immediately after the Texas’ governor signed its new anti-voting law, the state faced multiple lawsuits—four in federal courts and another in state court. Charges include discrimination against people of color, violation of First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the U.S. Constitution.

While signing the most restrictive voting bill in the nation, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott explained why pregnancies illegal after six weeks didn’t exempt those from rape and incest in the state’s law that went into effect on September 1. Abbott plans to “eliminate all rapists.” His claims have a few problems. Why did he wait until an unconstitutional anti-choice law to “eliminate” all these rapists? And if they are rapists, that means they may have already impregnated women through rape. Thirteen-years-old when she was raped, the law’s name sake Lavinia Masters said the police asked her if she had let her boyfriend into the house and kept it from her mother.

Texas still has 6,000 unprocessed rape kits. The 15th most dangerous state for rape and sexual assault, Texas has over 16,000 rapes annually, and more may not  be reported. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network report that 80 percent of the time victims know their attackers. They aren’t out “on the streets,” the way Abbott claims.  

Across the Texas border, Mexico has been forced by its Supreme Court to legalize abortion. Then high court judges declared unconstitutional the law in the northern Coahuila state sentencing women underling illegal abortions or people who help them to three years in prison. The 11th judge was absent. The decision is binding for the entire country. Four other Latin American countries permit abortions under almost all circumstances in early pregnancies.

Businesses are fighting back against the law. Texas-based dating platforms Match and Bumble set up relief funds to help people hurt by the law, and ride-hailing platforms Uber and Lyft said they would cover all legal costs for any of their drivers who get sued for driving a customer to an abortion clinic. Epik, where the Texas March for Life whistleblower went after GoDaddy dropped it, immediately shut down the website. Other corporations are waiting to see how the wind blows in their industry before they make any comments.

A new burden for women seeking to terminate pregnancies probably violates Roe v. Wade, but the governor issuing the executive order is another presidential wannabe. South Dakota’s Kristi Noem’s order mandates abortion medication must be picked up in person at the office of a physician licensed in South Dakota only after an in-person examination. The FDA permits sending abortion-inducing medications through the mail. Noem’s order also demands data on the number of chemical abortions performed and any complications as well as information to indicate if the woman was “coerced or sex trafficked and forced to take the pills.” The state Department of Health must “develop an abortion clinic license specific to the pharmaceutical nature of medical abortion in keeping with South Dakota’s existing surgical abortion clinic licensing requirements.” She claims the purpose is “safety above politics by basing public policy on science and data rather than political talking points.”

Following DDT’s lies about a stolen presidential election, U.S. election workers and officials have made over 100 threats of death or violence, according to Reuters’ documentation. All 102 threats were explicit enough to put a reasonable person in fear of bodily harm or death, the legal threshold for prosecution. Law enforcement has not provided protection for these people: only a handful of arrests have been made despite hundreds of incidents of intimidation and harassment of election workers and officials nationwide. Of 26 election officials interviewed regarding the 102 threats, including eight secretaries of state, only one, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, knew of anyone charged for the intimidation. That case was one of only four nationwide documented with an arrest that could be found.

Georgia has made no arrests for threats against the state’s GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his family, despite threats of physical harm. The state AG didn’t find them criminal, but the FBI has stepped up its investigation into threats against Georgia election officials after Reuters’ reporting. Georgia prosecutors are also investigating DDT for tampering with the election. They are looking at DDT’s phone calls to state election officials, asking them to “find votes” for him and overturn the state’s selection of Biden. Investigators are also working with federal officials probing the January 6 insurrection to share documents. DDT needed to roll over Georgia’s vote to persuade other states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan to overturn their results. Georgia may indict DDT for his actions.

The high court in Australia has ruled that media companies are liable for defamatory comments left on their social media pages by public members. Several other decisions from lower courts found that news outlets encouraging these defamatory comments are legally their publishers and can be legally responsible for the content. The top court agreed in a 5-2 vote. In the past, Australia has been a tester for online regulation, enacting sweeping changes.

Union numbers have reached their highest level since 2015 with 10.8 percent of all wage and salaried workers members, up 0.5 percent from 2019. Men are more likely to join unions than women, and the age range 45-64 has the highest percentage. Blacks are more likely to be union members than Whites, Asians, or Hispanics. Although the private sector has only 6.3 percent workers in unions, the public sector has 34.8 percent. A problem with building union members is that large corporations such as Amazon and Walmart will do almost anything, not always legal, to keep shops from unionizing.

Next Tuesday, September 14, reveals the fate of California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom, when voters determine whether he should be recalled for not wearing a mask at a party. Down in the polls before publicity about the new anti-choice law in Texas, Newsom is now at 58 percent opposition to the recall, almost 18 percent above those who want him recalled. The same 66 percent of Latinx who voted for him when he became governor still support him. If voters do vote for recall, the governorship choice is among 46 candidates including conservative talk show host Larry Elder and reality television star transgender Caitlyn Jenner.

Republicans seem to be already expecting a loss—they’re declaring the election is rigged if Newsom wins in spite of Democrats outnumbering Republicans by 2 to 1 in California. Newsom won in 2018 by almost 62 percent of the vote. Watch for the fake audits!

August 13, 2021

GOP Promotes COVID, Commit Voter Fraud

When Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) was in the White House, he had no ventilators to send states. The “cupboards” were empty because of President Obama, he said, although the crisis began three years after DDT was inaugurated. After DDT finally obtained supplies, he sent them primarily to GOP states or places where he could guarantee over-the-edge praise for him. Six months after Joe Biden became president, he sent 200 ventilators and 100 high-flow nasal annual kits to Florida, the state with 20 percent of all U.S. new infections, over 24,000 new Florida infections of yesterday’s over 144,000 new infections just yesterday. The U.S. now has over 37 million recorded cases and at least 635,257 deaths in under 18 months.

Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis said he doesn’t know anything about any requests for help or any emergencies in his state, but Savannah Kelly, spokesperson for the state hospital association, said the “unprecedented level of patients” requires more ventilators. Florida hospitals reached a high of 13,435 hospital beds, over one-third more than the high on July 23, 2020, are used for COVID, including 3,112 intensive-care beds. 

Angry about school officials protecting children through mask mandates, DeSantis threatened to remove their salaries if they did. Press Secretary Jen Psaki said if DeSantis follows through the American Rescue Plan could provide salaries. DeSantis had issued an executive order preventing any public or private sector in the state from requiring mask wearing or social distancing. The threat to block salaries from officials of schools mandating masks didn’t last long: DeSantis admitted he has no control over their salaries. He could fine schools, but some school superintendents stated they are more concerned about public health than DeSantis’ GOP political agenda. To the governor’s threats, Alachua County School Superintendent Carlee Simon explained in a Washington Post op-ed

“As our school board chair has so aptly put it, better a loss of funding than a loss of lives.”

DeSantis has been named in two lawsuits for his ban of mask mandates in schools. One comes from a coalition of large counties accusing the governor of violating the state constitution requiring a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality system” of public schools. The suit claims defendants “cannot legally deny … basic human needs for health and safety.” The Disability Independence legal services group is representing another group of parents protesting the withholding of state funds from schools not complying with his anti-mask mandate. A news release about the case asserted “politics do not override the ability for a child to go to school without risk of serious injury of death.”

In Texas, where Gov. Gregg Abbott issued the same ban as DeSantis, county judge ruled San Antonio and Bexar County can require masks in public schools and municipal buildings. The order lasts a few days until plaintiffs return to court for a longer extension.

Republicans’ “free market” beliefs disappeared with COVID laws. Florida prevents private businesses from requiring vaccinations for customers, and Texas has a new law blocking restaurants and bars from mandating at least one COVID vaccination for indoor diners. The law removes state licenses for any vaccination requirements. Republicans protect businesses from denying services to LGBTQ people but are outraged at any denial of service for public health. Steve Benen’s conclusion: “business owners who make choices Republicans don’t like should expect punishment. 

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been the most virulent perpetrator of vaccine denial. Turns out his wife, Kelley Paul, bought stock in Gilead Sciences making a drug to treat COVID-19 just as people started to die from the disease in late February 2020—and he didn’t disclose the information for 16 months after the 45-day reporting deadline in the Stock Act prohibiting insider trading for federal employees. Unfortunately for Kelley Paul, the stock in the company making remdesivir is now worth about $5 per share than the purchase, but Rand Paul, a member of the Senate health committee, has told his constituents to refuse to be vaccinated. Paul attended no briefings on COVID and was the first U.S. senator to test positive for the coronavirus. The man regularly lying about COVID said he didn’t know the form wasn’t submitted. [Rand and Kelley Paul in 2017]

Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) outrageous disinformation about COVID caused YouTube to suspend him for a week. That ban was joined by Twitter who suspended Rep. Marjorie Greene (R-GA) for a week after she lied about “failing” and ineffective vaccines. This is Greene’s third Twitter suspension; her current argument against vaccinations is that “we can’t live forever.”

Greene is also using her wealth to hire a lawyer in a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for her mask mandate. Her choice of attorney, Chris Wiest, was earlier suspended by the Ohio and Kentucky bar associations for insider trading. Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Ralph Norman (R-SC) have joined Greene in the suit for “freedom.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is fundraising off these shirts, an ideal gift for people who have died or are hospitalized from COVID. 

According to three scholars from a Swiss university, watching Fox causes people under 65 years old to refuse vaccinations:

“Watching one additional hour of Fox News per week ‘accounts for a reduction of 0.35 to 0.76 weekly full vaccinations per 100 people’ in May and June.”

This study supports research at the beginning of the pandemic, that Fox viewers are more likely to subscribe to conspiracy theories that CDC exaggerated the virus to damage DDT. Tucker Carlson has suggested the COVID vaccine killed recipients, the government considers vaccines ineffective, and untrustworthy authority figures try to force people to take questionable vaccines. Carlson was joined by Fox’s Laura Ingraham to lambast vaccine efforts as authoritarian and promote paranoia about their dangers. Fox viewers have a greater denial level than CNN and MSNBC viewers by about 10 percentage point because of Fox programming.

The Supreme Court supported an 7th Circuit Court ruling permitting Indiana University to mandate vaccinations for students and faculty members meeting in person after Justice Amy Coney Barrett requested the students’ request for emergency relief. The case was the first challenge to a vaccine mandate.

The National Education Association has also endorsed vaccine requirements for school workers with the opinion for regular COVID testing.  American Federation of Teachers take the stance of negotiating mandates with local governments and school systems. Both groups support COVID vaccines as does Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

Landlords failed to block the renewed eviction moratorium until early October when a federal judge left it in place. The extension came after the recent COVID surge and failure of the government to distribute $44 billion of the $47 billion allotted for rental payments. The judge followed a similar ruling by the Washington, D.C. circuit court.

The U.S. has settled with Dr. Rick Bright, the whistleblower who reported DDT botched the early pandemic response, compensating him “to the fullest extent allowed by the law” with “back pay and compensatory damages.” The government removed him in April 2020 as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for his concerns about preparedness, according to Bright. He also said his ousting came became he refused to push the drug hydroxychloroquine to cure COVID.

The U.S. may have finally found a case of voting machine tampering—by a DDT-loving clerk in Grand Junction (CO). That’s Rep. Lauren Bobert’s (R-CO) district, the QAnon follower who runs a gun-promoting bar. A video depicts the conversation between an election official and a Dominion employee as the official asks about how the machine can be tampered with over the internet using the BIOS motherboard settings. During the January 6 insurrection, the clerk had made a variety of social posts about the ease of tampering with election equipment. A county clerk tweeted that someone in her office carried out a breech to prove the vulnerability of election machines.

The same DDT-loving clerk, Tina Peters, is also accused of leaking information to QAnon promoter Ron Watkins as well as filming a Dominion employee updating the election system software, according to Colorado’s Secretary of State Jena Griswold. The clerk’s office had ordered county staff to turn off surveillance cameras monitoring the voting equipment and left off until this month. In late May, Peters’ staff illegally permitted a man called Gerard Wood to join Dominion during an installation. The mystery many obtained footage of Dominion updating the machines, footage put on Watkins’ Telegram channel on August 2. Griswold was able to identify the place and time of the video from the footage from an image of passwords for accessing election equipment.

Peters could not be found in her office last week because she appeared on the stage at MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s bogus Cyber Symposium conference where Watkins shared the data stolen from Mesa County with the entire world. Forty pieces of Mesa County’s election equipment will need to replaced, at taxpayer cost, because of the broken chain of custody. The lawyer for Rep. Lauren Boebert’s campaign manager is also involved.

This day in August, Friday the 13th, is when people like MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell predicted DDT would be back in the White House on “Reinstatement Day.” It didn’t happen, but DHS officials worry about resulting violence because of DDT’s lies about election fraud.

May 23, 2021

Republican Bizarre Bits

Last month, CNN commentator told a conservative youth group that “there was nothing” in America when European landed on its shores.” He called the land “a blank slate” and added, “Yes, we have Native Americans, but candidly, that—there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.” Waiting for the backlash to dissipate, CNN gave up after 25 days and fired Santorum, a strong supporter for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and long espoused his widespread bigotry.  

“I mean, yes, we have Native Americans, but candidly, that — there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.”

Santorum is miffed at the firing: he said he was hired to deliver a “different” perspective.

Another ousting came in the Louisiana state legislature. State Rep. Ray Garofalo insisted on teaching students “the good, the bad, the ugly” of slavery and was removed from chair of the House Education Committee after three weeks of protesting. In rebuttal, he accused GOP House Speaker Clay Schxnayder of “sacrificing me to the Black Caucus, who seem to be controlling the Louisiana House of Representatives this term” and throwing him “under the bus.” He could have resigned but instead played the martyr by declaring he “did not step down voluntarily as chairman.” The bill in question forbids teachers to teach information that allegedly “promotes divisive concepts,” such as critical race theory which examines how race and racism influence different aspects of life.

Garofalo’s racist comments match those in Texas where a bill stated the voter restriction law will “preserve the purity of the ballot box.” Democratic Rep. Rafael Anchía explained Republican Rep. Briscoe Cain, the bill’s sponsor and author, that the same provision was drafted specifically to disenfranchise black people, black voters, following the Civil War.” It “gave rise to all-white primaries” and was “used during the Jim Crow era to prevent black people from voting.” Anchía continued to educate Cain, who said he found the information “troubling” before he removed the term from the bill but not the substance. Cain added he’s grateful that “white primaries” no longer exist before Republicans passed the punitive anti-voting bill.

Texas has another bill to block the Alamo in Antonio from stating major figures in the Texas Revolution were slave traders. Idaho already has a law to block funding from schools teaching about the effects of slavery and racism, and Louisiana, New Hampshire, and Tennessee are following them with similar bills. (Every morning, the Texas students are required to “pledge allegiance” to “Texas, one state under God.”)

Texas law requires media witnessing to executions, but none saw the killing of Quintin Jones this month because state officials said they forgot to notify the reporters waiting across the street from the penitentiary. A spokesman apologized. Earlier in the day, Gov. Greg Abbott had said “our creator endowed us with the right to life” when he signed one of the nation’s most restrictive anti-abortion laws. Abbott was in office during over 50 executions. The parole board granted clemency to a white man with a similar case but denied one to Jones, possibly because of his race

A Connecticut lawmaker claimed Asian Americans have never faced racism during a meeting on housing segregation.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) has the highest number of missed votes—16.2 percent—among freshmen members of Congress and is sixth highest among all 535 congressional members. He has two reasons for missing all those votes: fulfilling his “service as a husband” after his marriage during his three-day honeymoon and disregarding votes for “Democrat garbage.” He told the conservative Real America’s Voice News his husbandly “service” is “more important than my service in Congress.” The young DDT supporter gained his seat with blatant lies, for example about the car wreck, his fault, which incapacitated him and the reason he was rejected by the Naval Academy. He won despite former college classmates urging his rejection on a number of issues including his “academic failures” and alleged sexual misconduct with at least three women. His lies extended to outrageous falsehoods about the 2020 election.

Sen. Ted “Kremlin” Cruz (R-TX) is not happy about his new nickname replacing “Cancun Cruz,” from sneaking off to warm climes during Texas’ “big freeze” power outage. An expert on Russia refused Cruz’s lie he didn’t share Russian election propaganda because Cruz hates communists. Expert and author on the Soviet and Russian era Tom Nichols disagrees with Cruz’s claim that Vladimir Putin has “always” been a “communist.” MSNBC’s Brian Williams used “Kremlin Cruz” in a piece about Cruz’s assertion regarding the U.S. military being “emasculated” when compared to the mighty Russian military. Cruz also accused “Dem politicians & the woke media … trying to turn” service members “into pansies.” He has since changed to declaring U.S. troops to be “the finest fighting force on the face of the Planet.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA), having lots of time after being stripped of all committee assignments, wants attention, and she’s getting lots of it. Other than defending the obscene Arizona “audit” of ballots in a rally there, she compared being forced to wear masks on the House floor because fewer than half the Republicans may not be vaccinated to Jewish people being gassed during the Holocaust in Germany. Greene called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “mentally ill.” Even GOP congressional members are openly incensed by her statements, including Reps. Liz Cheney (WY), Adam Kinzinger (IL), and Peter Meijer (MI).

Only people of color can be terrorists, according to Greene’s definition. She called Black Lives Matter “the strongest terrorist threat in our county” and described the elections of two Muslims to Congress as part of “an Islamic invasion of our government.” Yet she expressed concern for white people attacking the U.S. Capitol on January 6 for their “being abused” in jail, with some “being held for 23 hours a day in solitary confinement.”

Other attention may be less desirable, especially legal trouble. Greene solicited donations to a super PAC accepting unlimited donations in a video specifically for that purpose, but candidates and elected officials cannot request contributions more than $5,000. In another legal problem, Greene is accused of having two active homestead exemptions with her husband. Georgia law allows only one of these huge tax breaks for a primary residence.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) dumped Cheney and protected Greene to please DDT. Now he’s hiding from the public to avoid answer questions. The Wyoming GOP is determined to vote out Rep. Liz Cheney in a primary because she says that the 2020 election was not “stolen” from DDT. Her primary opponent: At 18, Anthony Bouchard impregnated a 14-year-old girl. He bragged about marrying her when they were 15 and 19, but they divorced when she was 18. His ex-wife killed herself when she was 20. Bouchard said it’s “like the Romeo and Juliet story.”

In more ignorance from QAnon congressional members, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) called DDT the “peace president” because “things were so quiet” between Israel and Hamas from 2016 to 2020. A botched Israeli covert operation in the southern Gaza Strip killed seven Hamas militants and one Israeli soldier, leading to fighting for two days and nights before a ceasefire. Violence continued for two more weeks. Another conflict in May 2019 killed two Palestinians in Israel’s airstrikes; Egypt mediated a ceasefire after three days. The prolife representative cast one of two votes blocking patients from access to potentially life-saving bone marrow transplants because it was too expensive.

Former Maricopa County (AZ) Sheriff Joe Arpaio is gone after a conviction and DDT’s ensuing pardon, but he’s still costing taxpayers over $200 million by next year. Costs are for legal bills and complying with court-ordered demands of the sheriff’s office because of the county’s officers profiling Latinos in traffic stops. Arpaio’s conviction was for disobeying a court order to stop the profiling. He says he doesn’t regret his actions and claims he saved money when he reduced education and healthcare costs.

Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos must testify in a class action lawsuit regarding her policy ignoring student debt loan forgiveness for borrowers defrauded by for-profit colleges, according to a court ruling. About 160,000 borrowers are participating in the lawsuit resulting in an “exceptional circumstances” warrant. DeVos will face questions about the department’s failure to keep records of loan forgiveness claims and lies about the rationale for vast numbers of rejections for forgiveness.

Michigan Rep. Matt Maddock and his wife, the state’s GOP co-chair Meshawn Maddock, have been noted for their lies about voter fraud and comparison of covid-19 to the flu. Because of media fact-checkers, Maddock’s new bill, the Fact Checker Registration Act, would require fact-checkers to register with the state and provide $1 million fidelity bonds. Anyone breaking the proposed law would be fined $1,000 each day. According to Maddock’s bill, anyone could sue a fact-checker over “any wrongful conduct that is a violation of the laws of this state.” The Maddocks were also part of the efforts to impeach Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and challenge Joe Biden’s presidential election victory. After Maddock spoke to the group rallying to attack the U.S. Capitol, the couple joined a Facebook considering civil war after the insurrection.

This is the tip of the iceberg–more later!

May 8, 2021

DeSantis Anti-Voting Law, DDT’s Facebook Ban Consume Media

Update on Arizona ballot recount fraudit: Regarding the search for bamboo in ballot paper, an  Arizona Republic reader suggested putting a couple of pandas with the ballots to see which ones they eat. The third ballot recount in Maricopa County (AZ) has removed credibility from all 2.1 million ballots so Ken Bennett, former Secretary of State in Arizona and Senate liaison with Cyber Ninjas currently frauditing the vote, is negotiating with a California company to recount ballots again. 

Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, behind the bamboo myth, invented one of 50 worst gadgets of all time, the cat-shaped CueCat barcode scanner linking objects shipped throughout the country to barcodes in magazine advertising instead of typing a URL into a browser. Following the CueCat failure, revealing private data about its users, Pulitzer (originally named Jeffry Jovan Philyaw) became a “full-blown treasure hunter,” trying to be featured on The History Channel. [If you haven’t kept up with the fiasco, here’s an excellent summary.]

The media has been consumed with the decision from Facebook’s 20-member “Oversight Board” to block Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) for another six months while Facebook determines criteria for banning people from its social media platform. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, paying the group $130 million, refused to answer its 46 questions, including Facebook’s research about design decisions connected to the January 6 insurrection. 

Rep. Lauren Boebert, Colorado’s GOP gun-lover, promised to take action against Facebook in an ominous, now-deleted tweet warning “Facebook will pay the price.” The Turning USA youth leader dumped by Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, Charlie Kirk, wants the Supreme Court to go after Facebook to illegally regulate a private company’s free speech rights.

DDT has launched his personal “communications platform,” allowing him to “speak freely and safely.” The free disappears on the blog-like source for readers who must donate to make responses. The “like” button doesn’t work, and the “platform” has no links to any other websites except for DDT’s own. 

DDT wanted his followers to repost his rants on Twitter, avoiding the company’s ban on him, but Twitter suspended accounts devoted to sharing DDT’s posts, accusing perpetrators of violating its policy against ban evasion. Twitter also added a prompt encouraging people to “reconsider” harmful or offensive tweets. Its test run showed 34 percent of people receiving the prompt revised tweets or didn’t send them. After getting one prompt, they “composed, on average, 11 percent fewer offensive replies in the future.”

The media is also following anti-voting laws spreading across the nation in red states. Florida’s GOP governor Ron DeSantis got a boost for the White House when DDT said he might pick DeSantis as his 2024 running mate. DeSantis followed his mentor DDT when he made an elaborate media production with Fox & Friends to sign a prototype of the state’s “non-pandemic” voting-restriction bill after lying about his COVID success. ’ latest production demonstrates how much he has learned from DDT about showmanship. DeSantis had claimed voting in his state had been nearly perfect before he passed greater restrictions on elections than the draconian ones in Georgia.  

The new law, addressed with multiple lawsuits hours after the signing, criminalizes giving food and water to people in voting lines; adds new ID requirements for absentee ballots; mandates absentee ballots requests before each election; limits number of ballot drop boxes and requires them to be monitored by election officials at all times; and restricts people who drop off ballots. Texas, already restricting voting, is next to pass new anti-voting laws. 

Florida Republicans are upset about their new law after promoting mail-in voting for several decades. In 2020, 35 percent of Republicans used this method to vote. The GOP passed a bill in 2018 requiring a drop box at every early voting site. DeSantis is the second Republican governor to sign anti-voting bills behind closed doors.

The anti-voting law also gives partisan election observers more power to raise objections and provides DeSantis greater freedom to appoint replacements for local political positions vacated by people running for higher office. This provision covers those running in a special election for the Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings who recently died, an election DeSantis is stalling. Four weeks after the Democrat’s death, DeSantis announced November 2 as the date for a primary special election to fill the vacancy, delaying the selection until a general election on January 11, 2022—280 days after Hastings’ death, much longer than any other replacement timelines.

DeSantis has blocked representation for a largely Black district and signed a bill into law helping to block Blacks from voting, but he described U.S. having systemic racist policies as “a bunch of horse manure.” On Fox, he gave Laura Ingraham the same argument that the system is fine because “we’ve had people that have been able to succeed.”

Dumping former VP Mike as a running mate, DDT said about DeSantis, “He’s done a great job as governor.” Examples of the “great” jobs:

Thanks to DeSantis, people in a wealthy gated community received vaccinations in January before the other elderly got their doses. Thanks to the vaccinations, DeSantis received a $250,000 donation for his campaign from the vaccinated.

The accurate number of infections and deaths from Florida’s rapidly spreading COVID will never be known because DeSantis manipulated the statistics, even firing the data analyst because she refused to lie. The 2.2 million known infections put Florida with the third-most COVID cases in the U.S. since the pandemic began, and the 35,000 deaths mark Florida having the fourth-highest fatalities in the U.S. In February, DeSantis dismissed the possibility of COVID variants in his state, saying they were all in “blue states.” As usual, his Department of Health refused to share any data.

Over a week after the lack of restrictions during Florida’s late March spring break celebrations, the number of hospitalizations in Southwest Florida’s major hospital system almost quadrupled from two weeks earlier. The Miami Beach mayor had to declare a 72-hour state of emergency with an 8:00 pm curfew during spring break after a girl died from being drugged in a robbery and over 100 guns were discovered on revelers.

Following DDT’s rejection of any health guidelines to control the coronavirus, DeSantis suspended all Florida public health restrictions almost a week ago, calling his decision “evidence-based.” Within days, deaths from the new variants almost doubled. Florida came in second to California in the U.S. with its over 8,500 strains, and Palm Beach County, home to DDT’s Mar-a-Lago, reported over 600 variants, the fourth highest number in the state. Disney World is keeping its mask requirements and other health restrictions.

DeSantis’ executive order bans the so-called vaccine passport, identifying a person as vaccinated, causing Norwegian Cruise Lines to possibly refuse docking any of its 28 ships at Florida’s ports. DeSantis attacked the CDC for its guidance regarding COVID control.

DeSantis pushed the lie that only old people could catch COVID, but a study of 2020 hospitalizations showed Florida among the states with the highest coronavirus rates for residents under 25 years old, one-third higher than the national average. In March, Orange County reported people under 46 comprise one-third of COVID hospitalizations.

 Devoted to DDT, DeSantis promotes a bill fining social media platforms $250,000 a day that they ban politicians (aka DDT) from their services. The bill violates the First Amendment by preventing the speech of private people or businesses including forcing content on these businesses.

Florida residents worry about DeSantis’ and DDT’s mosquito experiment releasing tens of thousands of genetically-modified male mosquitoes on the Florida Keys as part of 1 billion being dumped in two states. The project, designed to reduce diseases such as dengue fever, Zika virus, and yellow fever, supposedly causes females to die as larva. About three or four percent can survive to adulthood, however, and could be fertile, thus producing hybrid offspring more resistant to insecticides than wild mosquitoes and increasing the spread of disease. The ecological damage could be disastrous if these mosquitoes spread into the wild population—especially in the midst of a pandemic that DeSantis isn’t stopping. 

DeSantis new law, “Combatting Public Disorder Act,” supposedly stops riots but violates the First Amendment’s right to assembly. The state already has laws against rioting, but this law can keep people from gathering in groups of more than two. A person arrested during a riot can indefinitely jailed without bail and gives a minimum six-month imprisonment for a person convicted of battery against a law enforcement officer during a riot. As in at least three other states—Iowa, Oklahoma, and Tennessee—people who drive their cars into rioters to strike and injure them are granted immunity. The bill creates a category of “mob intimidation,” allowing police to weaponize the law against minorities.

DeSantis is close to signing a new bill requiring state colleges and universities to issue campus-wide surveys gauging “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity.” The results from faculty, staff, and students would be published and used to “make a policy decision.”

After Rush Limbaugh’s death in February, DeSantis ordered U.S. flags to be lowered to half-mast in Florida because, according to DeSantis, Limbaugh helped him be elected governor. Officials such as Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, St Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman, and Palm Beach County, Limbaugh’s home, refused to comply, citing “hate speech, bigotry, and division”; “partisan political tool”; and “racism, homophobia,” etc. President Joe Biden had already directed flags on public buildings and grounds to be flown at half-staff to honor the 500,000 people who have died in the U.S. from the COVID-19 pandemic at that time, now almost 600,000.

DeSantis’ order failed—hopefully like his future plans.

May 5, 2021

Bullies Control the GOP

People have accused the GOP of being a personality cult since Deposed Dictator Trump (DDT) took it over in 2016. DDT is no longer in the white House, but the loyalty mandate to him as a Republican requirement has grown only stronger. With no policies or messages, the complete focus of the GOP is an agreement with the “big lie,” rejection of the 2020 election results if Democrats won. Across the nation, the GOP leadership is censuring its elected officials for recognizing Joe Biden as the president. 

A Michigan woman represents the GOP belief “that Trump has never done anything wrong.” About DDT’s lies that he lost the election to widespread fraud, she said, “He’s not just going to spew something out there that’s wrong and not verified.” She plans to help remove Jason Cabel Roe from state GOP executive director because he said that “the election wasn’t stolen” and that “there is no one to blame but Trump.”

DDT’s incited January 6 insurrection provides another GOP litmus test: officials are forced out for criticizing the party’s Dear Leader and believing people attacked the U.S. Capitol. A county leader in Iowa was called a “traitor” because he said DDT should be impeached for his “atrocious conduct” in pushing the attacks. Threats drove out Missouri’s state GOP executive director because she had failed to help overturn Biden’s election.

Charles Pierce points out that the GOP “swore undying fealty decades ago to supply-side economics, which has no more bearing on reality than does the idea that the 2020 election was stolen.” The party agreed with Reagan’s false claim about trees causing air pollution and then smeared the Clintons and President Obama. Now the one test for being a Republican: “Do you accept the results of the 2020 election?” Only those saying “no,” promoting the end of democracy in the U.S., can be GOP insiders.

Paul Waldman writes about the same theme:

“Today’s Republican Party believes many things. Taxes should be lower, particularly for rich people; health and safety regulations are presumptively bad; we have too many immigrants; abortion should be outlawed; we shouldn’t do much about climate change; America is simultaneously the most perfect nation that has ever existed and a cesspool of depravity and cultural decline….

“In states and counties and cities across the country…, state and local party officials who admit Joe Biden is the legitimate president are being censured, harassed and driven from their jobs…

“The arguments among Republicans have nothing to do with policy or substance… They all want to see ruthless voter-suppression laws passed and they all oppose Democrats’ efforts to reinforce voting rights.”

Waldman tracks the lack of GOP policy to Tea Party candidates elected in 2010—their only position being to destroy government. Lacking any policy, DDT followed their ascendancy in 2016 and stocked his administration with “grifters and extremists.” Republicans completely focus on loyalty to DDT, determined by their extent of cruelty, smears, and lies, highlighted by the hoax of “cancel culture” for anything they don’t want.

The next election, according to Waldman, will focus on the “culture war” and DDT’s legacy—perhaps even DDT running himself—on the right busy attacking anyone who disagrees with them and any issues important to the people on the left.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), once the GOP standard bearer as its presidential candidate, was booed at his state GOP convention. DDT praised his followers for booing Romney and called the senator a “stone cold loser.”

The GOP leadership in the U.S. House plans to eject Liz Cheney (R-WY) from her position as GOP conference chair, but Cheney is fighting back. DDT tried to co-opt the term “big lie” with his statement, “The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!” Cheney tweeted in response that “anyone who claims” the election was fraudulent “is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.”

After that tweet, she spoke with former House Speaker Paul Ryan at the conservative American Institute retreat in Sea Island (GA).:  

“We can’t embrace the notion the election is stolen. It’s a poison in the bloodstream of our democracy. We can’t whitewash what happened on January 6 or perpetuate Trump’s big lie. It is a threat to democracy. What he did on January 6 is a line that cannot be crossed.”

Cheney called for the “peaceful transfer of power” to be “defended” and described the U.S. Constitution as “our shield.”

Congressional sources say Cheney will be removed from her leadership position as soon as May 12 at the next scheduled meeting after Congress goes home for a couple of weeks. McCarthy tried to maintain getting rid of Cheney came from “concern about the job ability” and not her vote to impeach DDT. Cheney’s spokesman responded:

“This is about whether the Republican Party is going to perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and attempt to whitewash what happened on Jan 6. Liz will not do that. That is the issue.”

McCarthy, who has worked hard to get back into DDT’s favor after negative comments about DDT’s behavior about January 6, was caught on a hot mic before an interview with Fox’s Steve Doocy saying, “I’ve had it with her.” “Job ability” has been no concern regarding Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) who promotes QAnon conspiracy theories and was behind a new caucus to support only “Anglo-Saxon” beliefs. Or for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who is being investigated for sex-trafficking, fraudulent actions,  showing photographs of naked women to his colleagues on the floor of the House chamber without the women’s permission, and several other crimes supported by witnesses.

On Fox and Friends, McCarthy said, “We all need to be working as one… Majorities are not given, they are earned.” It appears that earning the majority comes from the “big lie” about a stolen election. McCarthy has not said whether Cheney is right about the election not being stolen.

McCarthy has been attacked by a bigger bully, wannabe presidential candidate and chief DDT mimic Tucker Carlson. For the second Fox show in a row, Carlson went after McCarthy for his relationship with Frank Luntz, longtime pollster for conservative politicians, and accused McCarthy of giving Luntz “outsized influence over the Republican Party’s policy positions.” Carlson finished with “the top Republican in the House lives with a Goggle lobbyist.” McCarthy’s spokesperson finally confirmed that, during the pandemic, the House minority leader “rented a room in Washington at a fair market price from Frank.” Carlson wasn’t satisfied that McCarthy cosigned the television host’s attacks on Big Tech and so-called censorship of conservatives. The big sin is that Luntz, who created the language spins for Republicans, separated himself from DDT and the GOP.

White supremacist Carlson, a trust-fund child attending boarding school before rejected by the CIA after he graduated from college, went after George W. Bush’s former speechwriter David Frum as one of “the people you’d be worried about” to save the United States:

“It’s the Monday editorial meetings at The Atlantic magazine, where David Frum is treated as an important intellectual rather than some dopey middle-aged Canadian Twitter celebrity whose life goal is to force America into yet another unwinnable pointless war.”

Maybe Carlson got upset after Frum pointed out that he criticizes the Afghanistan and Iraq war after being a “FEROCIOUS advocate of both wars … when it mattered.” He described Carlson’s “cowardly,” amoral opportunism.

Carlson also bullies trans youth, he opposed them as athletes in 27 segments. That number is over 20 percent of the 126 anti-transgender student-athletes aired on Fox during the past year after the network hosts found nine of these athletes throughout the nation. Two of them had not competed in years, and no athlete dominated their sport.

The conservative mainstream press has come out against McCarthy. The editorial board of Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal wrote, “GOP leaders shouldn’t have to lie about 2020 to keep their job.” It continued:

“Mr. McCarthy knows Ms. Cheney is right. The election wasn’t stolen, yet Mr. Trump wants an endorsement of his stolen claim to be a litmus test for every Republican candidate. She may be ousted because she is daring to tell the truth to GOP voters and at personal political risk.”

The GOP’s and DDT’s narcissism and other behaviors are reminiscent of school bullies. People have reacted to his mental illness just as schools sometimes do to bullies, as if it’s a conflict and not serious. The “cure” always fails with this approach. The idea that there is right and wrong on both sides isn’t necessarily true, especially when one side is being victimized. Name-calling escalates into violence.

Bullies may be abused or neglected in their homes, leading to a need for control and a need to hurt others. Disciplinarian parents with high expectations create stress in children who then turn on others. Bullies can be bullied themselves. Often these bullies are never taught that their behavior is wrong. All these reasons apply to DDT because of how his father treated him. Now he promotes bullying in the entire Republican party.

April 10, 2021

DDT Gathers Faithful As Insurrection Reports Continue

With hundreds of his faithful followers gathering at Mar-a-Lago, Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) is playing king for the weekend while reaping the financial benefits at his club, struggling since Joe Biden became president 81 days ago. DDT headlines the closed-door event to raise millions for the GOP in the luxury hotel Four Seasons four miles from DDT’s Florida estate, the location for his own fundraising. Participants can hear more lying rants about a “stolen” election wannabes such as Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Dakota’s Gov. Kristi Noem, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton wait for DDT to give up. He also made the event a feeding frenzy against absent Republicans such as former VP Mike Pence, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Elaine Chao.

Fundraising comes at the end of a week when the media described DDT’s scams to rip off poor constituents. His campaign automatically took regular sums of money from donors, many of them poor, unless the victims rescinded this process after reading through the fine print. Outcries caused the campaign to return $122 million—11 percent of his take last fall—to hundreds of thousands of people who discovered they were duped. Many more not be aware of the their losses. For months DDT used the money interest-free.

Instead of backing down, the site now threatens people with being “reported” to DDT as “defectors” if they don’t donate. The NRCC is participating in DDT’s scamming the Republicans through texting a ten-minute chance to join DDT’s “new social media site”—which doesn’t exist—and then using a default box to double their pledge amount and make it recurring.  DDT’s campaign also sent out over 500 fundraising requests since his election. 

DDT isn’t the only GOP scammer. WinRed, the for-profit collecting a percentage of the donations, is now on the websites of GOP committees and congressional Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and McConnell with the same pre-checked boxes at the end of text-heavy messages. The GOP website is based on ActBlue, a non-profit website where Democrats can donate to candidates.

The relationship between DDT and the RNC became tense last month when his PAC told other Republican groups to “immediately cease and desist the unauthorized use of President Donald J. Trump’s name, image, and/or likeness in all fundraising, persuasion, and/or issue speech.”

Competing with DDT’s event at another of his Florida properties, the Doral golf resort in Miami, is a conference hosted by Women in America First, a group leading the D.C. rally contributing to the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Notable among guests are such GOP rejects as Rep, Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), stripped of all her committee assignments only weeks after being sworn in, and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), investigated for several federal charges including sex-trafficking. Gaetz gave the keynote speech.

As DDT is back to doing what he prefers—giving speeches and taking money–documents show how he was MIA on January 6 as his crowd attacked the U.S. Capitol. The media politely called DDT “disengaged” while insurrectionists beat up police and vandalized the U.S. legislative headquarters. He failed to stop the attacks for hours after VP Mike Pence, his life threatened by DDT’s followers, ordered acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller to “clear the Capitol” and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made desperate pleas to military leaders for the deployment of the National Guard.

The Pentagon and DDT wanted to avoid a military presence after ongoing fiascos during the Black Lives movement protests, including the use of helicopters over D.C. attempting to intimidate crowds. The Pentagon didn’t plan to notify Miller until the protesters numbered more than 20,000 at the Ellipse, but participants who went to the Capitol became immediately violent, breaking into the building and assaulting police officers in their way.

Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, now replaced, called the National Guard commanding general William Walker for help at 1:49 pm and repeated his request 20 minutes later. Meanwhile, senators ran from the chamber, and rioters went through their desks while more insurrectionists broke through more Capitol entrances to the House chamber. The troops weren’t activated for at least 75 minutes after the first panicky telephone call from Sund, and they still had to make their way from Andrews to the D.C. Armory before they went to the Capitol. Executing a plan took another two hours, but Pentagon security forces were guarding homes of defense leaders.

Two hours and 28 minutes after the first call, DDT finally tweeted his followers to “go home and go in peace.” Walker didn’t have approval to send the Guard to the Capitol for another 13 minutes. Almost three hours after their first call, Pelosi and Schumer again called Milley and the Pentagon leadership for help. The first contingent of 155 Guard members didn’t arrive for another 50 minutes. The Capitol wasn’t declared safe for over six hours after the Pentagon was told about the insurrection.

Thus far, 377 people have been charged for the Capitol insurrection. Almost 20 percent of them are connected to the military, either currently or in the past, many with dishonorable discharges. A new study of these arrested 377 people by Robert Pape, a specialist in security threats, examines demographics and county characteristics from their homes in 250 counties in 44 states. Some findings about the majority:

  • Most are older and more professional than right-wing protesters from the past.
  • They typically have no ties to current right-wing groups.
  • They are 95 percent White and 85 percent male.
  • Many live near or among Biden supporters in blue and purple counties, 52 percent of them Biden comfortably won.
  • “Counties with the most significant declines in the non-Hispanic White population are the most likely to produce insurrectionists who now face charges.”

Another report reveals law enforcement at the Capitol had expired ammunition, ineffective shields, and warnings from two weeks earlier about a map of the complex’s underground tunnels posted two weeks earlier on a pro-DDT website.  Capitol Police failed to establish standard operating procedures for the Civil Disturbance Unit and had fewer officers at the Capitol day than previously listed. Leadership ordered officers not to use all of its less-lethal options and “operated at a decreased level of readiness.” The intelligence division didn’t require security clearances and had no training program for all employees.

A riot defendant is exchanging a plea for testimony against the far-right extremist Proud Boys, one of the “paramilitary” groups attacking the Capitol.  About two dozen insurrectionists connected with the Proud Boys have been charged with federal crimes. Another rioter is flipping against the Oath Keepers, another extremist group.

After their December attack on a Black church in D.C., the Proud Boys may be short on resources because of a lawsuit for committing acts of terror. The group’s leader, Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, has refused to respond, leaving the church close to a default win. Although Tarrio says the group is not a legal entity, leaders are tied to a network of LLCs in Florida and other places, crowdfunding at a Christian site, and at least one online store selling merchandise, some of it on behalf of DDT’s friend Roger Stone.

Documents indicate the violence at the Capitol was orchestrated before January 6 by several groups including the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, and QAnon. Their goal was to stop the counting of the electoral college votes. Deputy to Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and two other members guarding Stone were indicted after the discovery of 19 phone calls over three hours during the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Calls indicated coordination of storming the Capitol, likely by Rhodes, along with a previously organized strategy. The total of indicted Oath Keepers for the event is now 12.

DDT escaped conviction at his impeachment trial for inciting the insurrection at the Capitol, but an investigation of his campaign shows his aides took dark money from campaign shell companies to subsidize the rallies—and riots. Women for America First, supposedly separate from DDT’s campaign, listed its staff members on a permit for the January 6 rally. They were directly paid by DDT’s 2020 campaign, and donations to DDT shelled out over $2.7 million to people and groups paying for the rally, one of them Megan Powers who received $290,000 for the campaign’s director of operations.

Fox network’s Tucker Carlson is spreading the fear of the “Great Replacement,” a theory believed by DDT’s supporters. White nationalists purport that mass migrations and low White birthrates supposedly replace White voters, perhaps why the insurrectionists come from counties with fast-increasing non-White populations. DDT spread the same fear almost four years ago by praising neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville (VA) and chanted “Jews will not replace us” before they beat up their protesters.   

Fox network, promoting the “replacement theory” opposing immigrants is run by immigrants: founder and co-chair Rupert Murdoch, born in Australia and living in the UK and the U.S.; co-chair and CEO Lachlan Murdoch, born in London and living in Australia; chief legal and policy officer Viet Dinh, Vietnamese refugee born in Ho Chi Minh City; lead outside director Jacques Nasser, born in Lebanon and grew up in Australia; and Fox director Anne Dias-Griffin, born and educated in France. And Tucker Carlson’s mother was a Lombardi, Italian people who were lynched by white supremacists in the South during the early 20th century. He has replaced a “White” voter.

December 3, 2020

Biden/Harris Plan, DDT Fails

President/VP-elect Joe Biden/Kamala Harris:

After his inauguration, Biden will address COVID-19 plan by asking all people in the U.S. to wear masks for 100 days and mandate face coverings in federal buildings and on interstate transportation. Biden also said in an interview he had asked Dr. Anthony Fauci to remain as the government’s top infectious disease expert as well as Biden’s chief medical adviser. Many GOP senators are antagonistic toward Biden, refusing to recognize his election, but he plans to work on a coalition with some of the more moderate ones—Mitt Romney (UT), Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Rob Portman (OH), and Pat Toomey (PA). A major question is how Biden will work with Mitch McConnell (R-KY); it depends on whether Georgia adds two Democratic senators in five weeks.

VP-elect Kamala Harris is putting together her staff. For her thus far all-female team of chief staffers, Harris started with Tina Flournoy as chief of staff earlier this week along with Symone Sanders (senior adviser) and Ashley Etienne (communications director). Today, Harris added Rohini Kosoglu as her domestic policy adviser and Ambassador Nancy McEldowney for national security adviser. Harris will work on rebuilding small and medium businesses hurt by the pandemic, focusing partly on coronavirus problems for women and people of color. She will also address education, including children without access to the broadband during the pandemic. Harris has a background in intelligence from her four years on the Senate committee and criminal justice and climate justice reform after her experience as California’s AG and San Francisco DA. She plans to draw on Biden’s vice presidency for Barack Obama as a “model” for shaping her own position.

DDT’s Myth of Election Fraud:

Rudy Giuliani’s lawsuit alleging fraudulent votes in Michigan’s election went completely off the rails when his star witness Melissa Carone testified to ballots being smuggled inside food vans. Even Fox host Lou Dobbs, one of DDT’s greatest defenders, didn’t seem able to swallow Carone’s story. A Wayne County judge ruled her tale “simply … not credible,” but Giuliani still put her in front of a Michigan House panel. Giuliani even shushed her as she rudely insisted on her evidence-free claim tens of thousands of votes were counted multiple times. The video, reminiscent of a Saturday Night Live skit, has been watched millions of times, for good reason.  

Lawmakers listened for six hours to testimony about election fraud like that above from Carone. A favorite, however, was the poll watcher who found election fraud when Black Lives Matter supporters wore rhinestones. 

Wisconsin’s high court won’t hear DDT’s request to eliminate over 221,000 ballots in the state’s two largest counties, telling him the case needs to go through lower courts first. DDT paid the state $3 million for a recount in the two counties where Biden picked up 87 votes.

Georgia may actually have a case of election fraud. Former U.S. attorney Michael Moore, serving the Middle District of Georgia from 2010 to 2015, requested the State Board of Elections to investigate Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) alleged criminal interference in Georgia’s election when he pressured the Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to trash valid mail-in ballots. Graham wanted ballots tossed out in all counties with a high rate of “signature mismatch” on voters’ registration forms. Georgia permits voters to “cure” a mismatched signature. Georgia prohibits solicitation to commit election fraud by attempting to cause another person to commit an election-related offense as well as interference with the secretary of state’s official election rules, including asking him to falsify records. From Raffensperger’s account, Graham did both.

In another case of Georgia voter fraud, Bill Price, a Florida attorney, announced he will change his residency to Georgia for two months in order to vote in Georgia for Republicans in the Senate runoff. He encouraged others to join him and gave his brother’s address in Hiram (GA) where he planned to register. Asked if others can register at that address to vote, Price said, “Sure.”

Georgia’s Board of Elections told county election supervisors they could challenge anyone registering to vote who didn’t own a car. Forced hearings could delay a voter past the January 5 vote.  New “rules” require a 90-day advance warning so the Board calls the change a “guidance” directive. At first, this restriction seemed like a poll tax for students, seniors, and the poor, but perhaps they were thinking about Floridians flooding the state to vote for Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.

The Republicans biggest concern about the Georgia runoff election is DDT’s appearance there on Saturday, supposedly to support Loeffler and Perdue. First, the state voted against DDT. Even more important, however, is that he will likely launch into how all the votes were rigged, discouraging more Republicans from voting. Polls are not reliable, but Perdue is behind by two points and Loeffler by seven points. DDT’s supporters are telling Republicans to boycott the election unless the GOP incumbents denounce the general election as rigged. In a video, Perdue appeared to acknowledge the legality of Biden’s election when he talked about a Senate GOP majority curbing the Biden administration.

Heidi Stirrup (right), an ally of DDT’s racist adviser Stephen Miller, has been banned from the DOJ because she demanded sensitive information about election fraud and other information to take to the White House. She had been put into the DOJ as a liaison a few months ago to get insider information. She also offered job offers to political allies at high DOJ levels without consulting anyone and tried to interfere in hiring career staffers. DDT has made her a member of the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy. Earlier, Stirrup was central in DDT’s push for hard-line immigration policies and a deputy HHS liaison at the White House where she argued access to birth control encourages “sexual promiscuity.” 

Furious with AG Bill Barr for claiming no widespread election fraud, DDT is considering firing him. DDT is also angry because Barr’s investigator John Durham failed to issue a public report with damaging information about the Russian investigation before the election. White House aides are trying to convince DDT not to fire Barr, but DDT yelled at him throughout a 150-minute meeting yesterday.

Census:

Last Monday, the Supreme Court heard a case from DDT arguing undocumented immigrants—who several conservative justices called “illegal aliens”—aren’t persons as designated for census-taking in the Constitution. DDT has been pushing the Census forward but hit a roadblock with “high complexity” and incorrect handling problems in data issues. The delay until February means DDT can’t exclude some U.S. residents to divide seats in the U.S. House to be more favorable to Republicans.

Congress:

With seven more days before a government shutdown, the Senate confirmed Christopher Waller to the Federal Reserve, hopefully leaving Judy Shelton out in the cold. The 48-47 vote continued partisan positions on DDT’s appointments; all Democrats and one Republican, Kentucky’s Rand Paul, voted against Waller. He is the first member of the board to be seated during a lame-duck session. DDT has appointed all governors except Democrat Lael Brainard into their Fed posts. The institution is supposed to be independent, but nothing for DDT has been independent.

DDT’s recent power play to control Twitter isn’t going well with Republicans. He threatened to veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which has easily passed for 59 years, unless it includes the repeal of the liability shield for social media companies. As always litigious, DDT wants to be able to sue Twitter if it fact-checks him or refuses to give him an account, as it can do on January 21. For almost four years, DDT could spew his vile lies on social media because of his classification as a world leader. That disappears after Biden’s inauguration on January 20. Republicans disagree with DDT’s claim that the law, Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, is “a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity.” Conservative Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) declared there is no connection between Section 230 and the NDAA, and other GOP members of Congress have said they will vote for a veto override. Section 230 protects small startups from frivolous lawsuits. Repealing it stifles innovation. Congress can postpone the NDAA until after January 20 if it acts promptly then.  

Republicans rebuked DDT through a variety of provisions in the NDAA. They laid out specific conditions before a president can reduce the military in South Korea and Germany and ordered the Secretary of State to annually report on Russian-sponsored bounties for attacks against U.S. military personnel. Another provision limits military construction funding transferred to domestic projects such as DDT’s wall and mandates federal officials, military, and National Guard “visibly display” both their names and their agencies in protests. The Pentagon cannot provide state and local law enforcement with bayonets, weaponized tracked combat vehicles, and weaponized drones, and most grenades. It includes the renaming of the Confederate-named bases and much more.

Postponing approval of the NDAA until the next Congress—and the next president—might not be a bad idea. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley, the highest-ranking military official, said the Pentagon needs a “reality check” in future defense budgets with other needs such as the coronavirus pandemic. During an event, Milley said, “We have to tighten up and take a much harder look at priorities.” He predicted that budgets could even “decline significantly, depending on what happens.” Milley suggests the Defense Department question the necessity of overseas deployments and bases. The first step is to “breathe new life into the economy.” Sanity may be returning.

Thanksgiving gatherings were a week ago with millions traveling across the U.S. On December 3, 2020, new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.: 218,572 and deaths, 2,918—another 9/11 with one death every 30 seconds. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told his employees to have no gatherings before he invited 900 people to one party in an inside venue. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/01/us/politics/white-house-holiday-parties.html  The 20+ parties planned at the White House also don’t require masks. DDT plans to go out with lots of infections. Watch the coronavirus increase during the next several weeks.

December 2, 2020

Seven Weeks until U.S. Presidential Inauguration

Yesterday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey certified the state’s votes; today, Mark Kelly was sworn in to the Senate, bringing the number of Democrats to 48. The state’s other Democratic senator, Kyrsten Sinema, held the Bible during the ceremony. This election adds another state to the list of formerly red Southwestern states with two Democratic senators. The others are New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado. They join the western block of California, Oregon, and Washington to have complete Democratic representation in the U.S. Senate. 

A major goal for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) in the next seven weeks is drilling in the Arctic, including its National Wildlife Refuge, but big banks may be a stumbling block. All six refuse funding for fossil fuel extraction, with Bank of America joining the other five against DDT’s push for “irreversible harm” to the local ecosystem and communities. Not even DDT’s proposal last month to stop banks from excluding customers changed the banks’ position. The sale, open to the entire 1.5 million acres of the coastal plain, will be after January 17, three days before the inauguration, but oil wouldn’t be extracted for at least ten years. The area is also sacred to indigenous peoples, but the current Supreme Court recognizes only Christianity and Judaism as “religious.”

According to Mark Becker, former chair of Brown County (WI) GOP, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told him in a private call on November 14 that Republicans refuse to recognize Joe Biden as president-elect because it would be “political suicide.” In an editorial for the conservative Bulwark, Becker wrote:

“Senator Johnson knows that Joe Biden won a free and fair election. He is refusing to admit it publicly and stoking conspiracies that undermine our democracy solely because it would be ‘political suicide’ to oppose Trump.”

Johnson led the conspiracy-theory-laden hearings attempting to smear Biden with lies about his son, Hunter Biden. Johnson, who has not responded to Becker’s editorial, may be vulnerable in a 2022 re-election after his unswerving devotion to DDT in a state returning to blue in the midst of surging cases and deaths from COVID-19.

Another judge, this one in Wisconsin, has scolded a DDT lawyer, Sidney Powell, for her ridiculous argument to eliminate the state’s election results. He had a number of other reasons than her idea; the judge wrote:

“There was no indication that the plaintiffs gave notice to the adverse parties of the morning’s motion. There was no affidavit filed with the motion. The complaint is not verified, and there was no certification from counsel about the efforts made to give notice to the adverse parties or why notice should not be required… This motion indicates that the earlier motion was an inadvertently filed draft and acknowledges that the referenced proposed order had not been attached.”

Brad Heath, reporter on crime and criminal justice for Reuters, tweeted:

“Rocky start continues for Sidney Powell’s election-fraud lawsuit in Wisconsin. The judge assigned to the case says her team filed a draft motion by accident and still hasn’t complied with the basic rules for seeking a temporary restraining order.”

In her Georgia case, Powell cited a well-known QAnon leader, Ron Watkins, to challenge the Dominion voting machines. Watkins, not an expert in voting machines, didn’t directly allege fraud in his affidavit. He may have inspired death threats against a 20-year-old contractor for Dominion which included a noose left outside his home. Watkins uploaded two videos showing a Dominion employee transferring data from a voting machine to a laptop and claimed it proved voter fraud. A county employee explained the report was transferred to a laptop because third-party software cannot be installed on voting machines. The contractor’s name was shared on the QAnon’s message board and then widely shared on Twitter and right-wing sites such as Parler. The act was “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” according to Gabriel Sterling, voting systems manager for Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, in his press conference asking DDT to step up and stop the madness. DDT continued with his claims about the “rigged” election and shares the videos with his Twitter followers. Watkins stays on as a regular guest on the Russia-connected One America News Network.

Legal expert Rick Hasen has found Rep. Mike Kelly’s (R-PA) appeal to the Supreme Court also ridiculous. Kelly wants an emergency injunction to block all mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania because he thinks they are unconstitutional. No indication of how mail-in ballots violate the U.S. Constitution because the filing declares states can set up their own rules. Any why did Kelly wait until after the election to make the filing when the law has been on the books for almost a year? It’s as crazy as all other “election fraud” lawsuits. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who claimed the virus would end on November 4, is encouraging the Supreme Court to either reject the 2.5 million mail-in votes or reject the entire election results. He probably lacks standing in the case.

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and other groups are suing DDT, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and the White House to keep them from destroying documents during the next seven weeks. DDT traditionally destroys his tweets, and Kushner uses “non-official messaging accounts like WhatsApp to conduct official White House business.”

When DDT fired Christopher Maier, Pentagon policy official overseeing the military’s Defeat ISIS Task Force and disbanded his office, he weakened U.S. defenses. Maier’s responsibilities were given to two other offices dealing with special operations and regional policies led by DDT’s new appointees in last month’s purge. One of them, Ezra Cohen-Watnick who served as aide to Michael Flynn, is now the undersecretary for intelligence at the Pentagon, and the other, Anthony Tata, couldn’t even be confirmed by Republicans because of his right-wing conspiracy theories. Now scattered across the bureaucracy throughout other agencies,

Maier’s team had communicated with Biden’s transition regarding terrorist threats, relations with allies, and counterterrorism missions. Their scattering will hurt not only present information but also future counterterrorism information. DDT pretends the ISIS threat is gone, keeps his incompetent loyalists at the Pentagon, and undermines Biden. For DDT it’s a win-win; for the U.S. it’s a lose-lose.

In a fight on another front, DDT has been talking with personal and campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani about not only pardoning his family but also himself. DDT mentioned pardons for son-in-law Jared Kushner and Giuliani. To be pardoned, people must admit guilt to crimes. 

Investigators from the Washington, DC’s AG office deposed DDT’s daughter Ivanka Trump in a lawsuit about misuse of inaugural funds. Last January, the AG’s office opened the case about abuse of over $1 million by “grossly overpaying” for event space at DDT’s Washington hotel for the 2017 inauguration. Tom Barrack, chair of the inaugural committee was deposed on November 17. Other people deposed include first lady Melania Trump and Rick Gates, former inaugural committee deputy chair. Gates had told Ivanka he was “a bit worried about the optics of PIC [Presidential Inaugural Committee] paying Trump Hotel a high fee,” and event planner Stephanie Winston Wolkoff advised against the price, at least double the market rate. DDT received $175,000 a day for four days. During the Robert Mueller investigation, Gates pled guilty to lying and conspiracy against the U.S.

Last month, DDT pardoned Michael Flynn, briefly his national security adviser. Flynn, a QAnon member, now demands DDT declare martial law and order the military to oversee a “national re-vote.” He follows Sidney Powell’s call for DDT to suspend the Electoral College vote and investigate voter fraud through a military tribunal by declaring the Insurrection Act. Both cite evidence of voter fraud but have none. A third notable, Lin Wood, urges DDT to combat “Communist China’s … nefarious efforts to take away our freedom” through martial law. In a rally, Wood, an Atlanta lawyer, told Republicans to boycott the runoff election for two U.S. senators from the state on January 5. About GOP incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, Wood said:

“They have not earned your vote. Don’t you give it to them. Why would you go back and vote in another rigged election, for god’s sake!”

Wood claimed DDT will be president for another four years and then called for Flynn and Powell to run on a joint ticket in 2024.

In a tweet, Flynn shared a full-page Washington Times ad from We the People Convention with the same plea for martial law. It asks DDT “to temporarily suspend the Constitution” to hold the presidential election re-vote.

DDT may be involved in a pay-for-pardon scheme he gets to keep all the money. Redacted records from the DC District Court reveal a DOJ investigation about money in exchange for a presidential pardon. During a raid on offices, investigators picked up over 50 devices including iPhones, iPads, laptops, thumb drives and computer drives. DDT has commuted 16 people’s sentences and granted 29 pardons since his inauguration, almost all bringing publicity—and perhaps cash.

December 2, 2020: U.S. COVID-19 by the numbers – 203,737 new cases; over 100,000 hospitalizations, and 2,833 deaths—almost as many as on the 9/11 attack. Mike Kel

August 6, 2020

People Defend Rights, Democracy

While Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and Republican legislators work to destroy people and the United States, good people are fighting back. 

New York Attorney General Letitia James sued the supposedly non-profit charitable National Rifle Association and four top executives, including its CEO Wayne LaPierre, to dissolve the organization. She alleged they spent “years of illegal self-dealings” funding a “lavish lifestyle.” The NRA’s headquarters is in Fairfax County (VA) but chartered in New York. Karl Racine, D.C. AG, also sued the NRA and the NRA Foundation, incorporated in D.C., also for misusing charitable funds. DDT said the NRA should move to Texas where it would be safe, but James said that was impossible, just as DDT couldn’t move his charitable organization after she sued it.

Federal government failures cause states to band together to carry out Union’s responsibilities. Three GOP and four Democratic governors have formed a first-of-its-kind purchasing compact to pressure companies into ramping up production of rapid-detection COVID-19 tests taking 15 minutes. Traditional testing requires private labs and results in long delays, as long as three weeks. Despite DDT’s assertions about states having enough testing availability, governors know the claim is a lie. The group’s organizer, Maryland’s GOP governor Larry Hogan had earlier snuck in 500,000 tests from South Korea for his state while DDT stole supplies ordered by states. States are also counting on support from charitable organizations, and the Rockefeller Foundation may act as the financing entity. 

For the second time this summer, a red state voted in favor of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and rejected the GOP legislatures. Missouri followed Oklahoma so everyone making less than 133 percent of the poverty level will be covered; i.e., $34,846 for a family of four. Refusing the expansion, Texas set its Medicaid eligibility at 15 percent of the federal poverty level—with no Medicaid for a family of four making over $3,930 a year. The Supreme Court decided in 2012 states could opt out, but states gradually expanded Medicaid in all but 12 states.

A federal judge ordered mandatory rapid testing at a detention center with a COVID-19 outbreaks because ICE has “lost the right to be trusted.” He also ordered no new detainees at the Mesa Verde Detention Facility and a dorm for those who test positive.

Bipartisan AGs from 31 states have asked HHS to enact the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act stop Gilead Sciences from price-gouging and causing shortages of its COVID-19 drug remdesivir for COVID-19. The Act allows the government to keep the patent and license the antiviral to other manufacturers if a drug company overcharges or fails to reasonably “alleviate health or safety needs” of consumers. Gilead charges $3,120 for a five-day course of the limited medication. 

DDT’s commutation of Roger Stone could come back to bite him. During AG Bill Barr’s confirmation hearing, he said it would be a “crime” for a president to pardon someone in exchange for a promise not to incriminate the president.  Stone lied, hid communications to protect DDT, promised to campaign for him, and plans to write a pro-DDT book. Michael Cohen was put back into solitary confinement until he signed a document promising not to write a book until a judge released him.

DDT is using the pandemic to block immigrants—engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses, etc.—from entering the U.S. as well as banning international students and DACA recipients. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is suing him, alleging the economy won’t improve if skilled workers are locked out. First-year international students still cannot get visas to attend colleges and universities not offering in-person instruction. DDT’s new restrictions have created a serious shortage of doctors at a time when the number of hospitalizations from coronavirus is escalating.

Republicans are getting fed up with DDT:

John Kasich, former GOP presidential candidate and governor of Ohio, will be one of GOP’s high-profile pro-Biden speakers for the Democratic convention.  

Pro-DDT supporters are angry about DDT’s reelection campaign text spamming them several times a day whining about supporters “failing” DDT by not donating more money. DDT’s donations were less than Biden’s for two consecutive months. 

When DDT said he might give his nomination acceptance speech from the White House’s South Lawn, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) asked, “Is that even legal?” Even if DDT and VP Mike Pence aren’t bound by the Hatch Act, their staff is. A political acceptance speech at the “house” owned by the people could be, as Thune said, “problematic.” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she didn’t plan any exceptions to her ban on visitors to D.C. from 27 states with elevated cases of COVID-19.

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit from House Republicans and led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). The suit tried to block a resolution permitting votes by proxy during the pandemic, but the just ruled the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution gave the House “absolute immunity from civil suit.”

While DDT still fights a subpoena to give his financial records to New York prosecutors, the subpoenaed Deutsche Bank has consented to give the prosecutors financial records DDT provided to the bank. Prosecutors want “public reports of possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization” and will also investigate potential crimes of bank and insurance fraud. During the past year, DDT’s lender has provided detail records, including those DDT submitted to the bank to seek loans.

The Deutsche Bank has joined five of the biggest U.S. banks rejecting financial support for drilling the Arctic  Climate activists are celebrating Deutsche Bank’s new energy policy banning financial support of new projects for drilling in the Arctic and any tar sand projects or fracking in places with low water supply. The bank will also end business in coal mining by or before 2025.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the $765 million loan from the U.S. government to Eastman Kodak for the purpose of making drugs. Kodak’s shares skyrocketed—as much as 2,757 percent—starting the week before the announcement, suggesting insider trading or other illegal practices. Executives also received stock options before information about the loan was made public, including 1.75 million for the CEO.

Less than three months ago, the State Department watchdog, IG Steve Linick, was fired in DDT’s purging of inspectors general and immediately replaced by Steven Akard. Linick had been investigating possible unethical behavior of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and DDT’s unauthorized sale of arms to Saudi Arabia. After 82 days on the job, Akard has quit. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained, “He left to go back home.” Also Director of the Office of Foreign Missions, Akard recused himself from the investigation of Pompeo and any other issues connected to his former position to avoid conflicts of interest. The abrupt departure of Akard, who said he is returning to the private sector, raises more questions about the independence of the position in the time of DDT. Linick was also investigating DDT’s request of the U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain “Woody” Johnson to ask Scotland to put the British Open at DDT’s Turnberry golf resort. The change would have been very lucrative–$130 million for the host town.  

Recently, people with racist or hateful tattoos, including Confederate flags, are flooding specialists to have these removed.

Republicans may have trouble with DDT’s unconstitutional memorandum to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census because it hurts their home states. Over 40 Republicans in the House and four in the Senate represent the three largest states likely to be affected by the memo: California, Texas and Florida. Those states will lose congressional seats or not gain them without counting the 4.5 million undocumented immigrants. Although DDT seems to have dropped that idea, he is cutting the time short for the census to curtail counting minorities.

James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s son, resigned from the News Corp board, over “disagreements” over editorial content.

Since 2015, Neil Young has warned DDT not to illegally use his “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk” at rallies. Now Young is suing DDT because “in good conscience [he] cannot allow his music to be used as a ‘theme song’ for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate.”

Senate Republicans thought they could bully former acting AG Sally Yates when they asked her to give testimony about Michael Flynn’s conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to “neuter” deterrence in President Obama’s sanctions against Russia for its election intervention after DDT’s election but before his inauguration. Despite rude statements from Sens. Lindsey Graham (D-SC) and John Kennedy (R-LA), she said the administration did not target Flynn for prosecution. “My memory is clear,” Yates asserted. “No such thing happened.” Yates testimony differed greatly from the DOJ’s perspective, stating the investigation of Flynn was illegitimate. Kennedy loudly demanded to know if Yates “despised” DDT. Yates calmly said she didn’t despise anyone and said, “You don’t want a situation where a national security adviser could get blackmailed by the Russians.’’ Republicans failed to get what they wanted from the calm professional Yates. A summary of her testimony.

The complete DC Circuit Court will examine a three-judge panel’s decision agreeing with the DOJ to drop the case against Michael Flynn.

The day after Republicans ignored COVID-19 solutions and abused Sally Yates, trying to smear Democrats by rehashing events from almost four years ago, the U.S. added almost 60,000 new COVID-19 cases to bring the total over five million, and a person died of the virus every 80 seconds as the total hit 162,804.

June 14, 2020

Weekly Good News Begins with Defeating Confederacy

The biggest publicity this past week surrounded the possibly removal of Confederate monuments and other symbols of treason throughout the United States. Last week Marines banned displays of Confederate, followed by a Navy ban. The controversy when the Army considered renaming its bases such as Bragg and Benning, two of at least ten major Army installations named for traitors who led Confederate troops. In a tweet-fit protecting his white supremacist base, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) wrote

“My Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.”

For once not every GOP member of Congress fell in line behind DDT. In a voice vote, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a provision in the Pentagon’s spending bill to rename the Army bases honoring Confederate traitors. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) said:

“If we’re going to have bases throughout the United States, I think it should be with the names of individuals who fought for our country.”

Retired U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus pointed out “most of the Confederate generals for whom our bases are named were undistinguished, if not incompetent, battlefield commanders.” Fort Bragg (NC) is named after the one of the most bumbling commanders in the Civil War who was relieved of command after losing the battle for Chattanooga in 1863. Benning, who lost at Antietam and Gettysburg, complained that abolition would lead to “black governors, black legislatures, black juries, black everything. Is it to be supposed that the white race will stand for that?” The bases got Confederate names because the military needed states to provide the land and allowed locals to pick the names.

House Democrats continued the momentum by pushing to remove the 11 Confederate statues on Capitol Hill. Four of them are being removed, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) introduced legislation to eliminate the rest of them. Most of the Confederate statues came in with the Jim Crow laws in the early twentieth century. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), who chairs the panel overseeing the statues, said even a move to hide them in storage without states’ say “would violate the agreement with the states, which is contractual and legislative in nature.”

Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS), both senior CBC members, introduced legislation giving Congress the ability to remove all of the Confederate statues in the collection within 120 days. States could reclaim their statues, or they could be given to the Smithsonian. Rep. Will Hurd (Texas), the only black Republican in the House, said Capitol Hill is the wrong place to remember the leaders of the Confederacy. He said:

“The bottom line for me is [if] someone didn’t want to be part of this great country, then why would we want to have their statue on the Capitol?”

Many protesters and local governments aren’t waiting for the federal and state governments to take action because they move slowly. For example, a bronze statue of Confederate Edmund Kirby Smith still stares at visitors to the Florida capitol despite the two-year-old law to replace him with civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune. Confederate-backer Uriah Milton Rose and white supremacist James activist Daisy Gatson Bates. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam endorsed removing Confederate army commander Robert E. Lee from the Capitol, but a Richmond (VA) circuit judge temporarily blocked its removal pending a lawsuit against the action. The lawsuit claims Virginia promised to “faithfully guard” and “affectionately protect” the statue in 1890 when the state annexed its location. Fredericksburg (VA) has already taken out an 800-pound slave auction block, and Alexandria (VA) no longer has a statue commemorating Confederate soldiers. Richmond did get rid of Confederate Gen. Williams Carter Wickham.

Mississippi, the only remaining state with the Confederate emblem on the flag, requires a two-thirds vote in the GOP legislature for a new flag, and GOP Gov. Tate Reeves wants the people to decide. The most popular design for a new flag was designed by a segregationist senator, producing more controversy.

Although 57 Confederate monuments and another 143 symbols celebrating the Confederacy have been removed from public grounds in five years, another 773 Confederate monuments still stand among almost 1,800 Confederate symbols in the U.S. With Confederate monuments being taken down in states such as Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Indiana, and Virginia, activists want systems of white supremacy also taken down—police and judicial systems disproportionately affecting blacks.

In other good news, the former federal judge appointed to review the DOJ’s motion to dismiss criminal charges against Michael Flynn said the request should be denied because of a “gross abuse” of prosecutorial power. John Gleeson said the government “has engaged in highly irregular conduct to benefit a political ally of the President.” Flynn twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States while explaining DDT would remove sanctions after he became inaugurated. Gleeson stated prosecutors’ arguments to dismiss the case were “riddled” with legal errors. He also wrote Flynn had clearly committee perjury and should be punished.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who appointed Gleeson for a recommendation, will make the decision that could go to an appeals court. In an argument before the appeals court, the DOJ prosecutor argued the case should be dropped because it would be a political spectacle. Two of the three judges appeared doubtful about dropping the case; the third judge is a DDT appointee.

Peaceful protesters wounded by being violently cleared from the area for DDT’s photo-op at the church are suing AG bill Barr and other federal officials. The lawsuit demands restitution for “trauma and injuries” and a court order blocking officials from repeating the action. DDT first denied any use of tear gas, but officials later used the term in a statement. Reporters collected canisters of tear gas agents at the scene, and Barr is being sued in both his official and his personal capacity.

CBS polling shows an overwhelming bipartisan support for DACA recipients. As the country waits for the Supreme Court to announce its decision regarding the retention of the program, approval comes from 95 percent of Democrats, 84 percent of independents, and 73 percent of Republicans. DDT terminated the program, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refuses to take up legislation regarding the issue.

A coalition of farming and conservation groups asked the 9th Circuit Court to hold EPA chief Andrew Wheeler in contempt for defying its order to immediately suspend use of dicamba, a poisonous weed-killer notorious for its tendency to drift and destroy nearby crops.

After studies showing facial recognition from photos fails the accuracy test with both minorities and women, IBM will stop selling the product, and Amazon declared a one-year pause. For example, Amazon had identified 28 members of Congress with people who had been arrested.

Several White House aides, disturbed by DDT’s tweets, are avoiding them by turning off their notifications.

A book from national security adviser John Bolton is due out on June 23, but the White House claims it still has classified information. Good news is pending.

Another DDT “tell-all” book is due out on August 11, this one from DDT’s niece, his deceased brother’s daughter. Too Much and Never Enough from Mary Trump supposedly includes her part in the NYT revelations about DDT’s taxes, his “fraudulent” tax schemes, and the $400 million in today’s dollars he received from his father’s real-estate empire.

Former Joint Chiefs of Staff James Mattis said, “We can unite without DDT.” Polling agrees.  

  • 53 percent support: Black Lives Matter (up from 37 percent in early 2017).
  • 74 percent support: protests after George Floyd’s killing.
  • 69 percent belief: Floyd’s killing indicative of larger problems in law enforcement (up from 43 percent after 2014 police killings of unarmed black men).

Approval of the Black Lives Matter movement has been shown by the popularity of this photo of the street mural from space.  

Florida’s former top coronavirus data scientist, Rebekah Jones, was fired because she refused to manipulate the data to show fewer COVID-19 infections in the state than fact. She is now publishing the data on her own website, indicating a considerable difference—today’s 83,720 instead of the state’s tally of 75,568 on June 14. Data comes from the state health department, hospitals, and a volunteer organization mapping virus testing sites. She also concluded the 

The state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, is also stuck with 980,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine, assumed not effective to treat COVID-19, after ordering 1 million doses in April. Even with doctoring the figures, Florida hit 1,900 cases last Friday, breaking its previous record.  That number was almost ten percent of all new cases in the U.S. on a day and now total 2,162,144 by June 14. The number of deaths has reached 117,853.

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