Nel's New Day

March 17, 2023

Highlighting Republicans

Tucker Carlson keeps claiming that he coordinated with the Capitol Police who approved all the clips that he showed in his attempt to prove the insurrection on January 6, 2021, was “peaceful.” In a court filing, however, the agency stated that Carlson vetted only one of over 40 clips he used. The Fox network host keeps lying.

Republicans have decided that violence is the answer after Tucker Carlson’s lies about the “peaceful” event at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. On social media, right-wingers are threatening politicians making public inquiries into the violence 15-fold after Carlson’s segment than before the Fox broadcast. In the messages, Carlson’s name is referenced in these threats. When he opened his show, Carlson claimed the election was stolen, “a grave betrayal of American democracy,” the lie that he had disavowed under oath in depositions for the Dominion defamation lawsuit against Fox. In a recent deposition, David Clark, overseeing Fox’s weekend programing, said Carlson’s program was not a credible source of news.

Among the areas taken over by lying election deniers in the U.S. is Shasta County (CA) where the Republicans on the election board have been replaced by conspiracists after local militia groups teamed with a conservative millionaire filmmaker living in Connecticut. The county Board of Supervisors gave the top job to a California secessionist movement leader aiming for a 51st state.

A supervisor behind this work met with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell regarding exchanging the voting machines for hand-counting ballots. Lindell promised to provide all necessary resources for lawsuits related to their actions. Not everyone in the county is pleased; speakers at a 13-hour public meeting during the first week of March called the takeover and rejection of voting machines a “facilitated fraud.” The county of 182,000 people is over one-half Republican and under one-fourth Democrat.

Shasta had better get its money up front. After seeming to have bottomless pockets, Lindell ran out of money trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election. He told Steve Bannon that his company is in debt $10 million because of “voting machine companies”—likely from his incessant slander resulting in defamation lawsuits, one of them for $1.3 billion.

After depositions from Dominion Voting Machines against the Fox network released information about the network’s employees’ duplicity, some viewers are changing their perceptions of the network: over one-fifth of Fox watchers, 21 percent, trust the network less since the release of texts from employees that they were deliberately pushing falsehoods. Yet only 9 percent say they watch the network less than before, and a Fox network official said that no advertisers have dropped or paused their advertisers. At least 13 percent of Fox viewers no longer believe that the 2020 presidential election was stolen after reading the communications from Fox employees, and 16 percent have a less favorable opinion of Fox.

In another poll, 65 percent think Fox should be held accountable after they heard its chair Rupert Murdoch testified that his network’s hosts lied about a stolen 2020 presidential election. Even 41 percent of Republicans want that accountability although there was no definition for the term.

 Other Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) allies are dropping their claim of having evidence that the election was stolen and moving on to just operating off their intuition. DDT’s lawyer Sidney Powell admitted she didn’t have proof, and Jenna Ellis flat-out confessed she lied about it. Even the 63 percent of Republicans who keep talking about a stolen election increasingly confess they have no “solid evidence” for their belief, going from three-fourths of them claiming “solid evidence” to 48 percent asserting “suspicion only”—one-third of all Republicans. The GOP belief that Joe Biden is the legitimate president has gone from 22 percent in January 2021 to 37 percent now. In 2020, 70 percent thought election results were illegitimate; in 2022, only 30 percent believed that.

According to Fulton County (GA) jurors), Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC), DDT’s sycophant, testified under oath that DDT’s voter fraud claims are completely farfetched, comparing them to aliens stealing DDT’s ballots.

Another of DDT’s close allies, Steve Bannon, may be in trouble after his BFF Guo Wengui was indicted for stealing over $1 billion from his fraudulent investment businesses that Bannon endorsed. DDT had pardoned Bannon for stealing a million dollars from a GoFundMe website for a wall on the southern border. Guo’s 12 charges date back to 2018 when he and Bannon announced the launch of their nonprofit businesses in which Guo “provided false and materially misleading information…to defraud” those marks for “investment and moneymaking opportunities.” Together they launched “the New Federal State of China,” which they claimed to be a government-in-waiting prepared to replace China’s rulers.

Also known as Ho Wan Kwok and Miles Guo, the Chinese billionaire had partnered with Kin Ming Je. They sold stock in Guo’s GTV Media Troup, a high-end club. In 2021, GTV settled the Securities and Exchange Commission for illegally selling cryptocurrency. With Guo’s arrest, Bannon has lost his key funder.

Minnesota Senate did pass a bill to give students free school breakfasts and lunches, but one Republican doesn’t believe they are hungry. He said:

“Mr. President, I have yet to meet a person in Minnesota that is hungry. Yet today. I have yet to meet a person in Minnesota that says they don’t have access to enough food to eat.”

He called hunger “a relative term” because he had only “a cereal bar for breakfast” and could be “hungry now.” The state senator represents relatively affluent constituents, but one in six people in the state, 483,000 people, experienced food insecurity in 2021. One in 11 youth experienced food insecurity, an average of two students per classroom. The state senator has $5 million in assets. 

Over a dozen South Carolina GOP legislators want a “pro-life” death penalty, killing anyone who gets an abortion. In recent years, Texas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Arkansas have also introduced similar legislation.

 A “pro-rape” female GOP legislator in Wisconsin opposed the exceptions for rape and incest in the state’s 1849 abortion ban. (The law really does date back almost 175 years.)  She said:

“There can be positive outcomes in rape situations where babies are carried to term.”

For much of this year, people have waited for a decision by DDT-appointed judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Amarillo (TX) about when he will block the abortion medication mifepristone throughout the U.S. The state’s AG Ken Paxton put the case there because he is the only judge, and he is known for being anti-abortion—almost other anti positions. He claims he has the belief that cases shouldn’t be hidden from the public because of “the public’s right to know,” but he wouldn’t announce the time of when he was going to hear it. He also permitted only 19 members of the press and 19 members of the public to attend the hearing. Kacsmaryk also schedules status conference calls and hearings with orders off the public docket and asks parties to not share relevant information with the public. In short, he runs a secret court.

Arizona’s new Superintendent of Education, Tom Horne, has ordered no teaching of race, gender, diversity, or other “social and emotional” topics in Arizona’s classrooms. That includes teaching about Reconstruction’s failures. He set up a hotline for anyone to report the instruction of these issues and talks about it on the Fox network, upset because an elementary school district terminated its teacher internship agreement with Arizona Christian University because of ACU’s anti-LGBTQ policy. Every student enrolled at ACU must follow the belief in heterosexual marriage only. Arizona’s public school system is ranked last in the United States.

Oklahoma Republicans are continuing the practice of using corporal punishment in schools on children with disabilities—slapping, spanking, paddling, and other force—by an educator. According to the World Health Organization, corporal punishment causes “harmful psychological and physiological responses,” but one legislator said the Bible rates higher as an expert on these beatings. He quoted Proverbs 29, “The rod and reproof give wisdom.” Nineteen states permit corporal punishment in schools, over 69,000 students received corporal punishment almost 97,000 times during the 2017-18 school year.   

Lauren Witzke, the Republican who lost his U.S. Senate race in Delaware, has slandered a gay couple by calling them “pedophiles” for hugging their newborn children. She showed a photograph of them holding their premature twins for the first time and accused them of stealing them “from their mothers straight out of the womb” and molesting them. Fewer than one percent of child sex abusers identify as gay or lesbian, meaning the other 99 percent are heterosexual.

Despite a number of problems facing the U.S. and the world, Republicans obsess about drag shows. Florida regulators revoked a liquor license at the Hyatt Regency Miami because minors were present for a touring drag show. The hotel can keep selling alcohol until the department makes a final decision. The business has 21 days to request a hearing. The LGBTQ group Equality Florida asked if movie theaters will be raided if parents take teenagers to see R-rated movies or electronic stores if they buy certain video games for their children. Gov. Ron DeSantis brags about the importance of “parents rights,” even using the term to name his “don’t say bill” law.  

Message from Republicans: We protect kids! We allow child labor, child marriages, gun carrying, gun sales without background checks but ban books, discussions on racism, drag, and free school lunch.

March 7, 2023

The GOP Myth of Wanting Small Government

On March 2, the RNC tweeted, “Government should be so small you don’t even realize it’s there. The message from the RNC on March 2.” One response debunked the plea by citing areas in which Republicans want really big government:

“Unless you’re a woman, gay, trans, BIPOC, immigrant, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Atheist or Agnostic, pro-choice, liberal or heaven forbid ‘Woke.’ In that case, you want government to be so big it crushes anyone who isn’t a white, cis/het, Christian GOP conservative.”

Getting rid of “woke” seems to be the current goal of far-right Republicans, but they can’t define it. The term from African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) has been used for almost a century to describe societal awareness and justice as well as a call to warn of potential police brutality, “literally mean[ing] becoming woken up or sensitized to issues of justice.” Republicans now use it as an excuse to ban books, create revisionist history, promote white supremacy, push evangelical Christianity, threaten corporations, etc.

Almost everyone at last week’s CPAC used the term in a pejorative way. Some of their “definitions”:

“It covers so many things. It incorporated all the stupidity …” – Marleen Laska, a CPAC attendee who called asking for the definition a “loaded definition”

“The antithesis of everything America was founded on … anti-American, anti-common sense, anti-really in the sense of education, what education was meant to do.” – Marie Rogerson, executive director of program development at Moms for Liberty based in Florida

“Means you are basing your reality off of fiction and your feelings rather than actual facts.” – Angelo Veltri, northeast regional director for Young Americans for Liberty

A more practical explanation comes from linguist Tony Thorne of London’s King’s College:

“[W]eaponised by those on the right as a ‘sneering, jeering dismissive term’ to denigrate those who did not agree with their beliefs.”

Not all Republicans like the term; young GOP members want the older ones to stop saying “woke.”

Community College of Rhode Island student, Evan Masse, said, “We don’t really use ‘woke’ as our term.”

Managing director of Young Conservatives for Carbon Dividends, Chris Johnson added, “I think a lot of older folks use it if they don’t really know what they’re referring to. It’s a catchall colloquialism.”

Recent college graduate and staff writer at The National Review, Nate Hochman, described a “pang of embarrassment” he felt when “boomer-friendly media presents wokeness in ‘will-you-get-a-load-of-this-shit’ segments.”

Brigham Young University student Quincy Azimi-Tabrizi said she felt “a lot of young people—when older conservative say ‘woke’—they feel very attacked.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may need to change the name of his “Stop W.O.K.E. Act” to get their votes.

Republicans say they love “small government.” Like spending money to attack President Joe Biden in a House Ways and Means hearing scheduled in an Oklahoma horse barn for Clydesdales. They’ve already been to Petersberg (WV) at Allegheny Wood Products and the southern border with their $262,000 budget for travel, 30 times more than the Democrat-run panel spent last year. The GOP-controlled committee is paying their donor to have the meeting as they did the host in West Virginia to review “the state of the economy in Appalachia.” The excuse for congressional members’ traveling is that witnesses don’t have time or resources to go to Washington; therefore the entire committee members, their aides, cameras, etc. travel thousands of miles and rent spaces. Debt ceiling anyone?

In the name of “small government,” GOP laws are revising history for schools with threats to teachers using facts in their curriculum. Banned information to protect white students:

Slavery was wrong.

Christopher Columbus recorded in his journals how he brutally treated Indigenous people.

Citizens of color see higher rates of police use of force, and white job applicants get higher callback rates.

Women have struggled to be educated for centuries as indicated by Mary Wollstonecraft’s “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” which pushes for women’s equality. (An assistant principal canceled it, calling it unnecessary because it wasn’t “connected by skills” and declaring the teacher should “bring in articles of empathy and compassion rather than something that could negatively trigger our students.”

Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl should not be taught because it is “overly dark and heavy.”

Alabama state Rep. Ernie Yarbrough campaigned on a position of “medical freedom … the right to make choices for ourselves.” The freshman GOP legislator has now announced a bill classifying abortion—for any reason except ectopic pregnancies—as homicide, allowing anyone seeking an abortion to be charged with murder. Small government = medical freedom but not for women.

In an idea smacking of authoritarian Russia and China, Texas state Rep. Bryan Salmon wants property cuts for married heterosexual couples, 10 percent for each child. Even without children, married couple—if they’re straight and never been divorced—can get 10 percent off their property taxes. In 1944, Stalin’s breeding program in Russia didn’t require marriage—just production. The Hero Mothers program lasted until the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, but Russian president Vladimir Putin revived it in 2022 for cannon fodder. Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) touted his “baby bonus” plan at CPAC.

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court will be advised by a former DDT attorney who participated in the 2020 plot of faux GOP electors to keep DDT in the White House. The four conservative justices put him on the advisory committee for a second term before the election on April 4 to replace one of the justices.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) boss, Tucker Carlson, has shown the first January 6 insurrection footage of 44,000 hours on his Fox network show with the message that it was “mostly peaceful chaos.” Very little violence, according to Carlson, at the event resulting in 500 guilty pleas of 1,000 arrests, five deaths, and 160 injuries—over 100 of them against law enforcement officers. “’Deadly insurrection.’ Everything about that phrase is a lie,” Carlson said on his program. He called them “sightseers.”

Carlson said that it was not known how “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley entered the Capitol although Chansley said he went through a broken door almost immediately after it was breached. Carlson said those who entered the Capitol “obviously revere the Capitol”: they “queue up in neat little lines.”

With no evidence, Carlson passed along the false assumption that federal agents helped incite the violence. He said members of the January 6 investigative committee lied about what they saw on the footage and is “grateful” to McCarthy for giving it to him. The chair of that committee Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said:

“Despite repeated warnings as to the sensitive nature of this footage, the Speaker decided it was more important to give in to a Fox host who spews lies and propaganda than to protect the Capitol and the police, members, and staff that serve in it.”

In his introduction to the segment, Carlson repeated the lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, that it “was a grave betrayal of American democracy… No honest person can deny it. Yet the beneficiaries of that election continue to lie about what is now obvious.” In his deposition for Dominion Voting System’s $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox, however, Carlson said, “There wasn’t enough fraud to change the outcome.”  

Fox executive Rupert Murdoch should be delighted with Tucker Carlson’s presentation because it will probably bring him a lot of “green.” The question is whether Tucker’s lies on his show about January 6 will worsen Fox’s chances in the Dominion defamation trial starting in April.

Fox has plenty of green even if it lost all its advertisers. Every average average cable/satellite subscriber pays $20 a year for the network, twice as much as CNN charges and three times as much as MSNBC, regardless of whether anyone in the household ever watches Fox News. That’s $1.8 billion in profit per year, no advertisers necessary.

Small is not always a benefit as Elon Musk may have discovered after his massive layoffs. On March 6, users encountered a variety of problems when they logged in—links and images not opening and TweetDeck, the Twitter-owned client for professional users inaccessible. The company’s support account tweeted: “We made an internal change that had some unintended consequences.” The change belonged to the project shutting down free access to the Twitter API, ending third-party clients and drastically limiting the research ability for outsiders. The project had only one site reliability engineer, who made a “bad configuration change” that “basically broke the Twitter API.” After Musk’s layoffs, under 550 full-time engineers remain. The problem was at least Twitter’s sixth high-profile service outage in six weeks. One employee said, “This is what happens when you fire 90 percent of the company.”

Having six conservative Supreme Court justices creating U.S. law is annoying enough, but one low-level federal judge can make a decision for all pregnant women in the U.S. When DDT’s extremist far-right, anti-abortion activist appointment, Matthew Kacsmaryk, decides whether women can purchase the abortion medication Mifepristone, his ruling will be for all U.S. women even if they live where the FDA-approved pill is legal. Plaintiffs don’t have standing because they can’t prove injury, but that no longer stops conservative judges from ruling on a case. Kacsmaryk’s history on the bench leaves little doubt that he will rule against women’s rights in a nationwide injunction. But that’s small government—according to Republicans.  

September 24, 2022

Republicans Get Scarier

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) is still on the campaign trail, this time trying to ingratiate himself with people at Wilmington (NC) by saying that his beloved daughter in law, Lara, is from the state and that he owns property there. Supposedly attempting to encourage voters to support GOP candidates, he aired his same false grievances which have lots of updates from the past week—the seizing of “his” documents, New York’s “racist,” “raging maniac’ AG Letitia James, and, of course, the “stolen election” in 2020 which he said he actually won.

At last week’s rally in Ohio, DDT promoted J.D. Vance for U.S. senate by saying “JD is kissing my ass.” He also claimed he invented the term “caravans” which he defines as “murderers and rapists.” Derived from Persian in the 1590s from Old French or Medieval Latin, caravan, derived from camel, means a group of travelers through a desert in a long line or a camper with a living area.

The Hitleresque/QAnon salutes and creepy QAnon music, popular last week, returned in his new audience. His Truth Social reposts consistently repeat QAnon messages, and he posted a photo of him wearing a Q pin. “The Storm Is Coming” on the pin refers to the day that QAnon supporters execute all opponents of DDT. The number of DDT’s QAnon posts grows when he feels he’s under attack, now a constant.

The FBI has been investigating QAnon for violent crimes and attacks, and DDT’s rallies will likely incite them to build on that violence. DDT led the crowd in the QAnon gesture although private security guards ask some supporters to put their arms down.

DDT seemed to have trouble reading his teleprompter. At one point, he declared, “We have to keep our country gay.” After a few stutters, he finished by saying “our country [isn’t] great anymore.” Twitter had a great time with his statement, and LGBTQ-friendly groups were already selling merchandise with “Make America Gay Again.”

The flight chartered by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to take 48 legal asylum seekers from San Antonio (TX) to Martha’s Vineyard grows more and more shady. The Vertol Systems Company gave large donations to the governor’s allies and has been legally represented by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and his former partner, Larry Keefe, now Florida’s “public safety czar” in charge of immigration policy. Keefe represented Vertol in dozens of lawsuits between 2010 and 2017.

Developer Jay Odom, responsible for packaging Vertol’s donations to candidates, was convicted and imprisoned in 2013 by an illegal campaign finance scheme for GOP Mike Huckabee’s failed 2008 presidential campaign and later arrested for a scheme with Florida’s House Speaker Ray Sansom in 2009 to build the speaker an airport hangar. In 2019, Vertol contributed $10,000 to Florida’s GOP controlled by DeSantis.

Vertol’s primary business is training pilots for the military and providing helicopters across the globe, not chartering planes. A week before the transport, the company flew its private jet from Florida to San Antonio. DeSantis’ administration refused to reveal the $12 million contract for its part in the “unauthorized alien” program, but the state budget specifies that “unauthorized aliens” are to be flown directly from Florida, not Texas. The migrants on the chartered flight were also not “unauthorized” in the U.S.

A judge in Florida ordered a lawsuit be continued regarding DeSantis’ August 4 removal of elected state attorney in Hillsborough County, Andrew Warren, who said he would not prosecute people for abortions or transgender youth gender transition treatment. Warren claims DeSantis violated his First Amendment rights for political reasons after DeSantis cited Warren’s “woke agenda” for his decision. The judicial ruling could define DeSantis’ ability to purge elected officials who disagree with him. He removed four school board members in Broward County defying his COVID mask mandates but operates selectively with no action against “constitutional” sheriffs who won’t enforce gun laws.

After revealing the GOP “Commitment to America” and then hiding it, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) led over two dozen House Republicans for its big reveal to show what the GOP, if given the congressional majority, will do to people. The party of so-called law and order will protect wealthy people from paying taxes by defunding the IRS. In a return to the past, they will investigate the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, orchestrated by DDT during his term, and continue the search for COVID’s origins, specifically investigating Dr. Anthony Fauci who plans to retire.

Law and order Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who refused to block sexual assault of his athletes at Ohio State University, will look into the “weaponization of the DOJ against American people.” The business activities of Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son, will be a prime focus. Transgender people will be on the firing line, and freedom means parents who agree with conservatives—not the other parents—will be in control of banning books and determining curriculum. Republicans will throw money at law enforcement without any assistance for their needs.

“Longer, healthier lives for Americans” likely destroys healthcare in the popular Affordable Care Act and defends cures from charlatans such as ivermectin. The GOP’s aim to “save and strengthen Social Security and Medicare” means to privatize, reduce, and then eliminate it. In the House, 158 Republicans already signed on to a budget cutting Medicare and Social Security. “Restore the people’s voices” in voting lists restrictions—means just “some people’s voice.”

Missing from their plans before Midterms are controversial terms such as abortion, election denialism, and Trump. Hoping to be elected House Speaker, McCarthy obtained DDT’s approval for the “Commitment” and praised QAnon member Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), probably to get her vote. Yet she wasn’t allowed to answer questions from the audience of 150 local business owners, parents, and local activists.

The presentation included a video, to “celebrate the rich heritage of the American story and the vibrancy of the American Dream,” using footage of a drilling rig in Russia’s Volgograd region. The work of Serg Grbanoff, filmmaker based in Russia, appears in other parts of the video: his clip of a happy boy in a field with a toy airplane over the words “Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” comes from the same Russian area. The attack on Democrats, blamed by the video on Democrats, uses footage from a European grocery story with a Slovak word. The man featured in a Shutterstock contributor, DedovStock, is in Ukraine and the Carpathian Mountains of eastern Europe.

The “Commitment” and its rollout continues the new GOP’s refusal to govern. Republicans hate government and don’t want to put in any effort such as negotiation, compromise, or participation in hearings—the boring stuff. Even in state legislatures, bills are largely written by businesses looking to further their nests. The GOP either has no solutions for problems or knows that their ideas will be unpopular. Being vague and ambiguous, like “protect the lives of unborn children” or “curb wasteful government spending” being their sole “commitments,” is its only way to quell dissension. Republicans state that Democrats have no plan to solve inflation, but Republicans have not come up with them, only the outcomes with no path to them. After all, the GOP has been promising an answer to healthcare for over a decade.

The “Commitment” calls for a safe nation, free future, strong economy, and accountable government—all Democratic aims. Like Biden, the document wants to fight inflation and lower the cost of living, bring down gas prices, make the U.S. energy independent, strengthen the supply chair, and end U.S. dependence on China. Part of the Democratic platform, they have made progress despite Republicans consistent no votes. Legislation, absent almost all GOP votes, caps costs of some prescription medications for seniors, something Republicans promised to overturn the minute they have a majority. 

To combat high gas prices, Biden released reserves, steadily lowering the cost of gas by at least 25 percent during the same two-plus months. A barrel of oil has also dropped over $50 to under $80. Thus far, Biden has avoided a train strike and expanded the number of truck drivers, and the new climate law starts to make the U.S. energy independent. The CHIPS and Science Act reduces dependence on China although almost two-thirds of GOP senators and 187 GOP House members voted against it.

To refresh yourself about how the “Commitment” distorts language, read George Orwell’s 1984. Then House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) shut down the government for 28 days with his 1994 Contract with America. Republicans are now promising to do the same thing next week by refusing to vote for a budget, due September 30.

The MAGA “make America great again” doesn’t give a time limit for how far back Republicans want to “return,” but an Arizona judge has reinstated an 1864 anti-abortion law passed 48 years before the territory became a state. The only exception is if the pregnant person’s life is at risk; those with health risks or impregnated by rape or incest will have forced birth. That’s what electing Republicans will do for people.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) wants to erase not only trans people but apparently women as a gender. In a fundraiser he protested teaching children that “more than one gender” exists. He claims doing so is “against nature, science, and common sense.” Some people aren’t sure which biological sex he plans to eliminate, but it’s unlikely he’s talking about men.


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