Nel's New Day

February 5, 2023

Balloons Plus More News

The White House didn’t have information about the three suspected Chinese spy balloons during the administration of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) until President Joe Biden took office, and DDT said on Truth Social that these balloons’ transiting the U.S. during his administration were “fake disinformation.” The Pentagon, however, had briefed Congress about these surveillance balloons near Texas and Florida. Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) talked about past Chinese balloon surveillance near Florida, Texas, Hawaii, and Guam. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) had said that Chinese aircraft illegally entering airspace was unprecedented.

After the newest balloon was shot down Saturday, the debris of the one-ton balloon payload spread along seven miles, an excellent reason for waiting until the balloon was over the ocean, not land. Rep. Mike Turner made the balloon into a game when he said that Biden’s shooting down the balloon was “sort of like tackling the quarterback after the game is over.” Former chair of Joint Chiefs of Staff said risking civilian life by shooting the balloon down over land was not warranted.

With some of the hubbub about the Chinese balloon no longer bearing fruit, Republicans have reverted to attacking social media TikTok for security concerns.

At a tech finance symposium, a member said that war between China and Taiwan would be good for America’s Frontier Fund (AFF), an investment group whose co-founder and CEO sits on both the State Department Foreign Affairs Policy Board and President Joe Biden’s Intelligence Advisory Board. Other venture funds would benefit from the destabilization of the global crisis. AFF has close ties to Peter Thiel, the conservative billionaire who gave millions of dollars to senatorial candidates Blake Masters (AZ) and J.D. Vance (Ohio).

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) hasn’t avoided ridicule after he handed out pins with the image of semi-automatic rifles to any members of the House who would take them. This photo of the terrified Clyde cowering behind law enforcement from people he later called “tourists” disproves his braggadocio. Other photos show him pushing furniture against the door to keep out DDT’s supporters.  

This past weekend, the Democratic party changed the order of primaries, moving South Carolina to first place. In 2023, South Carolina will vote on February 3. New Hampshire and Nevada follow on February 6, Georgia on February 13, and Michigan on February 27. Iowa, which like New Hampshire votes with a caucus, has been moved out of early primaries. With a state law to be the first primary, including the federal one, New Hampshire is traumatized and vows to hold its primary first, no matter what. In Georgia, GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger sets the date, and his office refuses to split the primaries for the two parties. Gov. Brian Kemp also said he won’t support any changes. Michigan’s Democratic legislature and governor have passed a bill to change the state’s primary date, a problem for the GOP.

Among proposals passed at the DNC is one emphasizing the importance of youth voting and youth Democratic engagement. Other resolutions include support for President Joe Biden’s policies on the environment and Ukraine.

Elon Musk’s Tesla raised prices on its Model Y in the U.S. after government made more versions of the car eligible for tax credits. The increase came three weeks after Tesla cut prices for some versions of the Model Y by 20 percent for slumping demand. That cut caused Ford to drop the price of the Mustang Mach-E, but General Motors held firm.

Twitter’s changes continue to upset users, the most recent one the elimination of free API access for third-party developers. The site’s automated accounts will disappear unless the person in charge pays for access and researchers collecting public data from the site will lose the resource. API, application programming interface, allows programs to communicate and connect with each other; therefore developers outside the company can create connecting programs.

API stands for “application programming interface,” and it’s a framework that allows programs to communicate and connect with each other. In the case of a platform like Twitter, or Facebook or YouTube, this means developers outside the company can create programs that connect with the main product. Twitter’s description of its API says developers can use the feature to “moderate conversations for health and safety,” “enable creation and personal expression,” “measure and analyze what’s happening” and more. The latest move again shows Musk’s financial difficulties with Twitter.

Leonard “Raheem” Taylor will be executed this week despite a camera recording showing him 2,000 miles away from the crime and witnesses seeing the victims alive at that time. Police had arrested and harassed Taylor’s brother into implicating Taylor in the crime before he recanted his statements before the 2008 trial, saying that all his statements were “coerced.” Police told the brother if he didn’t say what they wanted that they hurt his disabled mother. A medical examiner changed his time-of-death estimate to support the state’s version of events. Missouri has refused to reopen the case and review the evidence. With all the evidence about Taylor’s innocence, however, a prosecuting attorney claimed no facts “to support a credible claim of innocence” in Taylor’s case.

Florida legislators are returning to the Capitol this week for a special legislative session to remove governing powers from the Walt Disney Company as part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ retaliation. Other objectives are fixing legal problems with DeSantis’ new election police force and the migrant transport program.

In 1967, Florida gave control to Disney over the Reedy Creek Improvement District land in and around its central Florida theme parks. Disney criticized DeSantis for his “don’t say gay” bill, and the governor took aim at the corporation. Lawmakers voted to dissolve Reedy Creek in June 2023 but left town without a plan. A serious issue is how to save Orange and Osceola county residents from paying a $1 billion debt. DeSantis has reassured bondholders they won’t have to pay.

Florida legislators will use the special session to consider the transport of migrants from anywhere in the United States, a significant expansion of a program in which DeSantis paid for two flights that carried migrants from San Antonio (TX) to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. The program stalled after legal challenges over whether the DeSantis administration violated a state law limiting the transport to migrants from only Florida.

Another consideration is giving jurisdiction to the new Office of Elections Crimes and Security prosecutorial power for crimes involving elections. A judge had dismissed a case regarding the arrest of a Miami defendant, ruling that state prosecutors had acted beyond their authority.

Voter fraud isn’t a big deal—if it’s committed by GOP voters. The most recent sentence was for one of four voting cheaters from the large Florida retirement community, The Villages, who were caught in 2021 voting both in Florida and in other states. They and others who committed voting felonies require prison sentences have almost all received probation for pleading guilty. One Ohio double voter got only three days in jail. On the other hand, DeSantis arrested former felons who voted about clerks gave them ballots. Republicans had passed a law saying that they could vote only if they had paid all their fees. 

GOP attorneys general from 20 states are warning CVS and Walgreens not to mail the abortion pill mifepristone into their states. The medication was approved over 20 years ago as a safe and effective method of terminating an early pregnancy. Last month, the drugstores said they are applying for certification with the FDA to dispense the prescription in states where it is legal to do so. Walgreens is waiting for this approval before dispensing the drug. The DOJ has argued that exceptions exist in states with severe restrictions on abortion despite the 1873 law, the Comstock Act, that prohibits sending anything used to terminate a pregnancy through the mail.

Section 1461 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code does not prohibit the mailing of certain drugs that can be used to perform abortions if the sender lacks the intent that the recipient of the drugs will use them unlawfully. Because it blocks the hormone cortisol, mifepristone is also used to treat Cushing’s syndrome and elevated blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus as well as clinical trials for breast cancer, brain cancer, prostate cancer, alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.

GenBioPro, one of the pill’s manufacturers, is suing to overturn West Virginia’s abortion ban with the argument that FDA approval of drugs preempts state law, and a North Carolina physician who prescribes the pill is also suing for its lack of availability because she cannot treat her patients. In Texas, anti-abortion physicians are suing the FDA in federal court to completely pull mifepristone from the U.S. market. The case is before one of DDT’s most conservative, anti-rights Judge Matthew Kaczmaryk. If he removes the medication from the U.S., an appeal goes to the ultra-conservative Fifth Circuit Court.

The anti-abortion Church at Planned Parenthood, founded by the Covenant Church, has been ordered to pay $960,000, including $850,000 in legal fees for Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho after a Spokane judge ruled the group violated with state law by interfering with patient care.

February 3, 2023

News – February 3, 2023

Follow-up on House Judiciary Committee meeting: Member Chip Roy (R-TX) was caught in the lie that migrants on the southern border are responsible for the fentanyl crisis. A Washington Post reporter called the statement “a rather insidious falsehood.” Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) attacked the reporter, but extensive investigation provides “decades of evidence” that seizures of smuggled fentanyl are primarily at ports of entry and tied to people with legal U.S. status, even a border agent. An El Paso judge also lambasted the myths of migrant invasions “in our community” and said that the “false racist narrative” continues devasting violence in U.S. communities.

House Republicans work on their message that the U.S. has a bad economy under President Joe Biden, but January added 517,000 jobs, double the Wall Street estimate. Unemployment dropped to 3.4 percent, the lowest since 1969 instead of the expected increase to 3.6 percent. In Labor Department revisions, the economy added 500,000 more jobs in 2022 than previously recorded for a total of 12 million jobs in the past 24 months.

Each of the past six months has also seen a drop in annual inflation and a growth in the GDP. Biden’s actions to cut back inflation:

  • Expanding capacity of U.S. ports to address supply chain bottlenecks: Critical U.S. ports operate 24/7 to get goods to market without a price spike.
  • Lowering gas prices by taking gas from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and transitioning to a clean energy economy: These actions countered Russia’s war in Ukraine. Far-right conservatives in the House were so upset with the drop in gas prices that they tried—and failed—to block the use of the reserves to help consumers.
  • Lowering prices on groceries by cracking down on anti-competitive behavior: Lack of competition had especially increased meat and poultry costs.
  • Reducing health care costs: Republicans fought lower costs for prescription drugs, but Biden lowered out-of-pocket costs for medications from Medicare and expanded financial assistance for health insurance in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.  
  • Pushing private sector investment in job creation and cutting prices: Investments include electric vehicle charging and semiconductors with domestic manufacturing that creates high-quality jobs and boosts U.S. competitiveness now and in the future. Companies such as Tesla and Ford cite Biden’s agenda for significant price cuts to their electric vehicle fleets.

The Department of Transportation also announced nine new projects for roads, bridges, and a tunnel provided by the Mega Grant program supplied by Biden’s infrastructure law.

Behind-the-scenes tapes secretly recorded after DDT’s 2020 loss in Wisconsin show his state GOP campaign knew he had lost the election but decided to “fan the flames” by crying widespread fraud and Democrats stealing the election. Andrew Iverson, then head of the Wisconsin DDT campaign and now Midwest regional director for the RNC, told Republicans to “be on standby if there’s any stunts we need to pull.” He was also heard to concede that Democrats won because they beat Republicans in getting out the vote. On tape, Iverson also admitted that Biden won the state by almost 21,000 votes.

Republicans are delighted with the huge balloon from China about the size of two school buses seen hovering 60,000 feet above Montana: they have another opportunity to attack the president and other Democrats. Conservatives demand it be shot down, calling the president “China Joe.” The Pentagon advised against the shooting idea because of the danger from falling debris to people on the ground so Don Trump Jr. told Montanans to shoot at it with their own guns. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said the balloon was just over land; shooting it wouldn’t be a problem. The military would also like recover part of the balloon intact.

By late February 3, the balloon crossed Kansas into Missouri. The Pentagon expects it to stay in U.S. airspace “for a few days.” The Pentagon expects it to stay in U.S. airspace “for a few days.” While the U.S. complains, China reports that U.S. surveillance has violated Chinese territory at least 800 times last year. Early in the discussion, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) seemed the voice of reason when he said shooting down the balloon could give China a pretext to take action. By late in the day, however, he joined the party line about needing to shoot it down if there is any suspicion of surveillance.  Leaders from both parties in Congress will receive a briefing next week. Another balloon was seen above Latin America on Friday.

Hours before Secretary of State Antony Blinken was scheduled to leave for a diplomatic trip to Beijing, he canceled his first official visit because of the balloon. He told China’s foreign affairs chief Wang Yi that the “surveillance balloon” in U.S. airspace was an “irresponsible act” and a “clear violation of U.S. sovereignty.”

Early this morning, the GOP sent out an email echoing DDT with the subject heading, “Shoot down the balloon, you coward!” The content began with asking readers to sign a petition to pass along the message to Joe Biden. There was more: “Chip in $35 or more.”  

A federal judge is allowing a wrongful death civil case to proceed against city officials, police officers, and Kyle Rittenhouse who shot and killed two men during a protest in 2020. The father of one of the men shot filed the lawsuit. The suit alleges officers permitted a dangerous situation violating his son’ constitutional rights resulting in his death and that Rittenhouse conspired with police to cause harm to protesters. The judge said that the man’s death “could plausibly be regarded as having been proximately caused by the actions of the governmental defendants.”

Rittenhouse tried to get the case dismissed, claiming he wasn’t properly served, but the judge said Rittenhouse “is almost certainly evading service.” Rittenhouse was acquitted of homicide and reckless endangering for killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle he illegally brought to Kenosha (WI) from his Illinois home. He was 17 at the time, thus illegally having a gun.

The Satanic Temple (TST) has started a telehealth abortion clinic in New Mexico named “The Samuel Alito’s Mom’s Satanic Abortion Clinic.” The virtual clinic “provides free medication abortion services to those participating in TST’s religious ritual.” It schedules screenings and appointments, as well as prescribing abortion medication via mail for patients. The news release states:

“In 1950, Samuel Alito’s mother did not have options, and look what happened. Prior to 1973, doctors who performed abortions could lose their licenses and go to jail. The clinic’s name serves to remind people just how important it is to have the right to control one’s body and the potential ramifications of losing that right.”

Alito wrote the majority opinion for the Supreme Court for Dobbs v. Jackson which overturned abortion rights in Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood. The dissent from the minority of three justices stated:

“[This court] says that from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of. A State can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs. An abortion restriction, the majority holds, is permissible whenever rational, the lowest level of scrutiny known to the law.”

TST is a religion recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.

Jair Bolsonaro, deposed president of Brazil who applied for a new six-month U.S. visa, headlined Turning Point’s “Power of the People” rally with Charlie Kirk on February 3. Brazilian investigators are probing any role Bolsonaro had in the protest at his country’s capital after he fled to the U.S. shortly before the attempted coup. He was able to come on an A-1 visa because he was still president.

A Brazilian magazine has the recording of Bolsonaro three weeks before the winner, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Trying to keep power, he wanted help to annul the elections and gave his ally, Sen. Marcos do Val, the responsibility of taping Supreme Court justice Alexandre de Moraes while getting the judge to confess he overstepped his powers under the constitution. Police also found a draft decree at the home of Bolsonaro’s former justice minister to overturn the election.

Thorough searches of President Joe Biden’s vacation home in Rehobeth Beach (DE), purchased in 2017, revealed no more classified documents; none has been found in his possession since the few in his home on January 20. Searches were done with Biden’s permission, unlike those in the property of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) who fought their removal.

Next, the FBI plans to search former VP Mike Pence’s residence in Indiana and his office in Washington, D.C. for any classified documents after some were found at his home last month. Only Pence’s attorneys have conducted any searches his premises.

Questions have been raised if the FBI plans to search the multitude of DDT’s homes beyond Mar-a-Lago in New York—Seven Springs, Trump Tower penthouse, Trump Parc building, and Trump Park Avenue—and his Bedminster (NJ) golf resort. And of course, his 500+ “companies, solely owned by DDT, comprising the Trump Organization. Outside of DDT’s apartment and a storage unit at Mar-a-Lago, the only searches have been of part of Trump Tower and one area at Bedminster.  

January 20, 2023

Supreme Court ‘Explains’ Investigation, More News Bits

Despite their big win in the Supreme Court last year with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion activists returned to Washington, D.C. with their “March for Life.” Half of all states have banned or heavily restricted abortion access, but the marchers want legislation to restrict abortion in all the states. The event started in 1974 after Roe was decided the year before.

Roe v. Wade was overturned in the 2022 Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson concerning a 2018 Mississippi state law banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Lower courts had blocked Dobbs with the 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, preventing states from banning abortion before fetal viability, generally 24 weeks, because a woman’s choice during that time is protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A 6-3 vote from conservative justices reversed lower court rulings on the basis that abortion is not a constitutional right because it isn’t mentioned in the constitution and its right is not “deeply rooted” in U.S. history.

Ruth Marcus explains why the decision to overturn Roe was a “religious view,” as Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked the Mississippi lawyer during oral arguments. His only answer was that “the people should get to debate these hard issues.” The opinion, written by Samuel Alito, didn’t deal with religious freedom and its prohibition against state establishment of religion, but the issue has been raised many times since the opinion was announced. The ban on abortion conflicts with religions other than that of fundamentalist Christians. The decision by five Catholic justices and one who was raised Catholic opposes Jewish law which states abortion “is required if necessary to protect the health, mental or physical well-being of the woman,” as stated in a lawsuit against Dobbs.

A new lawsuit from 13 clergy members in Missouri uses its anti-abortion law to protest an establishment of a state religion. The 2019 Missouri law with an almost complete ban on abortion is based on religion “in recognition that Almighty God is the author of life.” Lead sponsor, Catholic Nick Schroer, said he based the law on his Catholic belief that “life begins at conception and that is built into our legislative findings.” Another state representative supported his religious beliefs. According to the Missouri lawsuit:

“Questions such as the point at which life begins and whether or when ensoulment occurs are quintessentially religious ones, about which different religions hold differing views. … The explicit invocations of conservative Christian notions of ‘conception’ and sanctity of life in the text and legislative debate on H.B. 126 to justify banning abortion impose these particular religious beliefs on all Missourians, coercing people and faith communities with different beliefs and commitments to adhere to religious requirements of a faith that is not their own.”

Even if the clergy wins their lawsuit, Missouri can pass another law without the religious language. Marcus writes, however, that “abortion is uniquely grounded on metaphysical and, ultimately, religious convictions about when life begins.”

Over six weeks before the final decision overturning Roe was released, a draft of the opinion was leaked to the press. It turned out to be highly similar to the final ruling, and the highly incensed Chief Justice John Roberts initiated an investigation. According to a report from the Supreme Court, an exhaustive investigation didn’t discover who leaked the draft opinion last spring that eliminated the right to abortion in Roe v. Wade.

Takeaways:

The report of formal interviews of 97 employees with a focus on 82 people with access to electronic or hard copies of the opinion left out whether the justices were interviewed—indicating they likely were not. The high court’s spokesperson did not answer a question about whether justices were interviewed, but Supreme Court Marshal Gail Curley said she “spoke with each of the justices.” She did not say she interviewed them, and they were not required to sign sworn affidavits as others were.   

The draft was “unlikely” to have been hacked; system logs showed no evidence of electronic intrusion of the court’s devices, networks or systems. The report didn’t indicate how this search was done.

Some employees said they told their spouses or partners about the divided court in private discussions about the Dobbs’ case, split 5-4 in overturning the constitutional right to abortion which determined Roe 50 years ago. Sharing the information is “in violation of the Court’s confidentiality rules,” but some staffers said they were not aware of this rule. The report did not state whether any employee shared the full text of the draft opinion.

The court will increase its security in handling physical and electronic copies of opinions and internal communications. Allowing many staff members to work from home during the pandemic made the weaknesses worse.

No one justice signed the report from the Supreme Court; it was anonymous.

Deposed Donald Trump’s (DDT) solution to find the leaker is to jail journalists who published the draft if they don’t reveal the source. Although Clarence Thomas has been blamed for the leak, rumors addressed the possibility that the author of the opinion, Samuel Alito, is responsible.

The report uses the term “protest,” indicating Chief Justice John Roberts blame liberals objecting to overturning Roe. Another theory is that the leak came from conservatives to keep the five justices considering the overturn of Roe to not change their minds and side with a narrower opinion by Roberts. Last spring, Nina Totenberg, long time Supreme Court reporter, said this theory is the only one that makes sense.

Last November, a former antiabortion activist said a conservative donor who had dined with Justice Alito and his wife gave him advance information about the impending 2014 decision of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, another conservative victory for antiabortionists. Rev. Rob Schenck used that information for a public relations push and later tipped off the craft store’s president who won the case. Alito also wrote the opinion for that case.

Some online pharmacies selling abortion pills report to Google and other third-party groups to allow prosecution of those using medication to end their pregnancies. U.S. privacy laws, including HIPPA, don’t constrain data collected from people. At least 13 states ban medication abortion although the FDA permits retail pharmacies to dispense abortion medication to people with prescriptions. Alabama’s AG said anyone taking these drugs while pregnant can be prosecuted although he changed the statement later to say the law can only be used to prosecute providers. Nineteen states ban the prescriptions without people seeing clinicians in person or finding abortion medication online on their own. Prosecutors in Georgia, Idaho, and Indiana have charged people with illegal abortions with evidence of online abortion medication orders.

The Supreme Court refused six New York firearms dealers’ request to block a new law regulating commercial gun sales. The law requires dealers secure guns in safe or unlocked area and have security systems on their premises; prevent people under 18 from entering gun retail stores without a parent or guardian; and provide records of gun sales to government law enforcement agencies and manufacturers upon request. The dealers also protested a licensing requirement for semiautomatic rifles; requiring background checks for ammunition sales and directing New York State Police to establish a database for such sales; and requiring gun dealers to maintain records of ammunition sales. In the request to the high court, dealers said they have been “fighting in courts for nearly two straight months to try to find a judge” to grant their request for injunctive relief and have been out of compliance with the new laws since December 5.

To help mass shooters, the 5th Circuit Court voted 13-3 to permit “bump stocks” which create semi-automatic rifles into weapons even more rapidly spraying bullets as Stephen Paddock used to kill 60 people and wound another 500 in a 2017 Las Vegas massacre. Three other appeals court—the 6th, the 10th, and the Washington, D.C.—have agreed.

Children will have an easier chance of killing people with an “JR-15” rifle designed for them, “just like Mom and Dad’s gun” according to its manufacturer called WEE1 Tactical. Last year, when the weapon was first advertised, the company’s marketing used an image with two different gendered children’s skulls. 

Federal prosecutors seized almost $700 million in cash and assets related to Sam Bankman-Fried, the former FTX chief executive who allegedly embezzled the cryptocurrency and fled to the Bahamas. In December, he was arrested on criminal fraud charges and is released on a $250 million bond.

Dominion Voting Systems is questioning Fox Corp Chair Rupert Murdoch, 91, under oath for his network’s coverage of unfounded vote-rigging claims during the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Fox claims it can report on DDT’s election-fraud allegations under the First Amendment. A judge refused to dismiss the case in December 2021, and Dominion accused Fox of “knowingly” spreading lies about the company in an attempt to prove “actual malice” necessary for defamation cases. A defamation lawyer said that Fox hosts pushed the vote-rigging allegations “well after it was quite clear that these claims were demonstrably false.”

Alabama’s new governor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was forced to defend her elimination of the word “Latinx” in all state communications to Fox host Shannon Bream. Sanders also focused on banning CRT in schools, where it doesn’t exist, instead of dealing with state problems: sixth-highest per-capita Covid death rate, 15th-highest per-capita Covid case rate, 49th healthcare ranking, and 41st education ranking. Sanders said, “Our job is to protect the students.”

January 11, 2023

‘Vengeance Is Mine’ Saith the GOP House

The soap opera in the U.S. House continues. Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) vows to ban Democrats Adam Schiff (CA), Eric Swalwell (CA), and Ilhan Omar (MN) for House committees in retaliation for the removal of Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from serving. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) said that Republicans will remove members of the opposing party because Democrats had done it.

Gosar was removed after he prepared a video and posted it on social media that depicted violence against President Joe Biden and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Greene consistently posted racist and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and advocated for executing top Democrats including Omar. In the same week that Gosar and Greene participated in a white nationalist conference, McCarthy said he will return them to committees.

Omar will likely be removed because she is a Muslim; for example, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) repeatedly called Omar a terrorist who might blow up the Capitol. McCarthy can personally block Swalwell and Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee because it is a “select” committee largely controlled by the Speaker as compared to regular standing committees. Republicans criticized Schiff for giving out information about then Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) in a discredited spy dossier. Although not accused of any wrongdoing, Swalwell had contacts with an alleged Chinese spy who tried to help his political career from 2011 to 2015.

Democrats’ putting Omar on the House Foreign Affairs Committee would require a majority vote from the House that has four more Republicans than Democrats. Republicans accused Omar of anti-Semitism for her criticism of pro-Israel lobbying groups although several progressive Jewish organizations opposed McCarthy’s promise to remove her from the Foreign Affairs Committee, writing that the groups “categorically reject the suggestion that any of her policy positions or statements merit disqualification from her role on the committee.”

Of the 17 new GOP committee chairs in the House, 11 of them voted to reject the electoral votes for the 2020 presidential election in agreement that the election was “stolen.” Twelve of them signed on to a frivolous legal brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn the presidential election results. Three of the 17 committee chairs are women; none is a person of color. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise stated the selections “represent the very best of our conference.” Details of the chairs here.

Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee Mark Green will lead the charge to oversee the Department of Homeland Security. Six years ago, his radical beliefs blocked him from Republican support in the Senate after he was nominated as  secretary of the Army. He called being transgender a “disease,” promoted creationism, criticized public healthcare programs for his belief that they interfered with Christian fundamentalism, and claimed that looking at Victoria’s Secret catalogs turns men into Saddam Hussein. Believing that “President Obama is not a citizen,” Green refused to answer a question about the former president being a Muslim. Green became a committee chair in exchange for Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) votes from the Freedom Caucus.

As for lying George Santos (R-NY), McCarthy said, “He will serve” because people voted for him and they can decide again in another two years. Asked about Santos admitting to lying on his resume, McCarthy said, “So did a lot of people here in the Senate and others.” Chances are McCarthy is afraid to tackle anyone about lying because he has the same habit. 

Santos also accepted campaign donations from human trafficker, Rocco Oppedisano or “Uncle Rocky” who is an Italian national and confessed smuggler of undocumented immigrants. Taking donations from foreign nationals is clearly illegal. Santos also failed to list his recent employment at Florida-based Harbor City Capitol, a financial services company accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of a “classic Ponzi scheme.”

Although Santos didn’t list any income from Harbor City, he received money at least once a month after he said he left the firm. He claimed his annual income of $750,000 and $1 million in dividends came from the Devolder Organization, but there’s no evidence of how the company made its money. In 2020, Harbor City announced Santos, then known as George Devolder, as regional director of the company’s New York City office. Shortly before the announcement, the Alabama Securities Commission had blocked Harbor City from selling securities in the state with a cease-and-desist order in June 2020. On April 20, 2021, the SEC alleged that the company raised over $17 million by deceiving investors into sinking their money into unregistered fraudulent securities. Of that sum, the company’s founder spent under $449,000 on business expenses and used the remainder for personal expenses.

Yesterday, GOP House members voted to protect the wealthy’s taxation when they took the $80 billion from the IRS created by the Omnibus Bill less than three weeks ago and removed over $100 billion of revenue from the government. Today, they passed two frivolous anti-abortion bills. One is a ceremonial resolution condemning attacks “on pro-life facilities, groups, and churches”; the second bill forces medical practitioners to provide care to infants who survive an abortion, an extremely rare occurrence. Only 1.3 percent of abortions occur after the 21st week of gestation.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said the measure takes decisions out of doctors hands, forcing clinicians “to administer interventions even when there is no chance of survival.” The same bill has been proposed for over two decades, and every time it comes up for debate, someone points out that it is redundant, that a law exists against infanticide.

During the debate this time, Rep. Wilson (D-FL) Frederica told about her being “forced to carry my dead body.” Because the law in 1968 prevented the doctor from inducing labor at seven months, she carried the dead fetus for another two months and almost died.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) warned that the GOP could continue to lose elections if it doesn’t become more centrist. As she said, the two House anti-bortions have no chance of passing the Senate: “What we’re doing this week is paying lip service to life.”

The House’s youngest member, Max Frost (D-FL), slammed the “anti-choice bill that fails to condemn violence against abortion clinics, providers, staff, and patients.”

On the second full day that the House Republicans use their four-person majority to wreak revenge against Democrats, Virginia elected a Democrat for the state Senate, increasing the party’s lead to 22-18. No longer does an “unapologetically pro-life” Democrat provide the crucial vote, especially on Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s wish for a 15-week abortion ban. The winning Democrat made pro-choice his primary campaign issue.

When Republicans began the anti-abortion legislation last year, they said they would never prosecute anyone for getting an abortion. Alabama’s AG Steve Marshall didn’t get the message. He said his office will use a child endangerment law designed to protect children from chemicals left behind by meth labs to prosecute people taking pills to end their pregnancies. The state Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that the law can apply to fetuses. Alabama has targeted over 1,000 women allegedly using drugs while pregnant with the law.

House Republicans also started their investigation into Biden and his family by requesting financial information from the Treasury Department about transactions by the Biden family flagged as suspicious. Rep. James Comer, chair of the House Oversight Committee, also requested testimony from former Twitter executives about an October 2020 story in the New York Post regarding Hunter Biden, the president’s younger son. Part of the probe is former federal prosecutor, James Mandolfo, who will serve as the Oversight panel general counsel. Comer, one of the 12 election deniers turned committee chair, told Sean Hannity on Fox that Ukraine is an “adversary” of the U.S. and Biden is “compromised.”  

Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) has filed articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, accusing him of “high crimes and misdemeanors” in his role as homeland security secretary. The articles have been referred to the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Jim Jordan (R-OH). In November, McCarthy called on Mayorkas to resign and accused him of failing to secure the southern border. At that time, McCarthy threatened the DHS Secretary with impeachment.

In the Senate, Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called for the DOJ to appoint a special counsel to investigate Biden’s handling of classified documents while he was vice president. Biden’s aides reported more classified documents discovered at another location after ten documents were found in another Biden office. The latter were intelligence memos and briefing materials regarding Ukraine, Iran, and the United Kingdom. The DOJ has all the materials found in Biden’s possession and assigned a former DDT U.S. attorney to review them.

A corrupted computer file affecting both primary and backup systems was responsible for grounding flight departures across the U.S. for ninety minutes. The antiquated NOTAM system was identified for reform in 2018. GOP legislators are having a hissy fit and blaming Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Biden. House Republicans also want reforms before reauthorizing FAA legislation later this year. 

Sergei Surovikin, the general appointed to be in charge of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in October 2022, has been replaced by Valery Gerasimov. The change is one of many military replacements during the failures. Nicknamed “General Armageddon,” Surovikin will move to Gerasimov’s deputy.

January 6, 2023

The Far-Right Controls the U.S. House, Plus Other News

On the two-year anniversary of the January 6 insurrection, the far-right House members bought Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA); he gave them everything they requested in order to become the Speaker of the House on the 15th ballot.  Two years ago, GOP insurrectionists took over the Capitol and drove out the Congressional members, their staffers, and their families. They threatened to hang VP Mike Pence and carried out their interference to the constitutional processes with the leadership of then-Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and many congressional members, some of them reelected last year.  Keep the popcorn available for GOP antics in the 118th Congress. Note that anytime someone says “the smart thing Congress will do” is what they won’t do.

Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., left, pulls Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., back as they talk with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and other during the 14th round of voting for speaker as the House meets for the fourth day to try and elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. At right is Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Today, McCarthy slowly moved toward his “victory” in four separate ballots. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) “present” vote on the 14th ballot caused McCarthy to lose by one vote. Mike Rogers (R-AL), furious because McCarthy may have bought Gaetz’s vote by offering him the chair of the House Armed Services Committee, had to be stopped from striking Gaetz.

Hakeem Jeffries consistently received 212 votes except for the 12th ballot because David Trone (MD) had surgery. Trone, however, showed up for the 13th ballot to return Jeffries’ vote to 212. By the 13th ballot, McCarthy received 214 votes, still two short of the necessary 216 because of two Republican absences in the chamber. The House voted on party lines 220-212 to adjourn until 10:00 pm when two GOP House members would return and vote for McCarthy. He still lost that round.

The voting appeared to be done for the week at the end of McCarthy’s loss in the 14th ballot. The majority of House members initially voted for adjournment until Monday, but McCarthy talked to Gaetz who then changed his vote to not adjourn. The big smile on McCarthy’s face indicated his belief he would be elected Speaker on the next ballot. For the 15th ballot, six naysayers simply voted “present,” giving the Speaker position to McCarthy with 216 votes, only four more than for Jeffries.

The House spent over 20 hours this week in their attempts to elect a Speaker, spending more and more time each day. Thursday’s eight nonstop hours was the longest, and Friday had the biggest hiatus between its two sessions, about seven hours.

By Friday evening, McCarthy bought votes with a large number of concessions.  In addition to earlier ones, McCarthy promised to bring up 12 regular appropriations bills individually and commitments on an open amendment process. Like the promise for 72 hours from the release of a final bill text before a floor vote, McCarthy’s concessions will delay the lawmaking process, the goal of the far-right House members who want to close down government. He also agreed to make ultra-conservatives the chairs of important committees.

McCarthy’s kowtowing to the far-right angered other GOP members; McCarthy is empowering hardliners to make governing difficult if not impossible. One of McCarthy’s promises was also steep budget cuts across the board which means taking money from defense. Senior members have also “forcefully” warned McCarthy against giving his detractors plum committee posts, such as allowing Andy Harris (R-MD) to lead the Labor/HHS subcommittee.  Harris opposes government-mandated project labor agreements on federally funded construction projects and claims that President Joe Biden’s immigration policy promotes “illegal immigration.”

A huge concern is whether McCarthy will promise to not raise the debt ceiling causing severe problems for the economy. If the debt ceiling is frozen, the government must make choices in spending existing funds—paying federal employee salaries, Social Security benefits, or interest on the debt. Military wages and small businesses with federal loans would be at risk, increased interest rates would increase prices and exacerbate inflation, and U.S. investments would be considered unsafe, negatively impacting the stock market. Not paying the interest puts the U.S. into default. 

The last ceiling was $28.4 trillion in August 2021 after DDT increased the debt by $7.8 trillion.  In November 2022, it was $31.238 trillion. Congress has always raised the debt, 78 times since 1960, to raise, extend, or revise the debt limit definition—49 times with GOP presidents and another 29 times with Democratic presidents. The current unprecedented times, however, are endangered by the control that McCarthy is giving the far-right members, some of them QAnon believers and election-deniers, to allow him to move into the Speaker’s office and have his portrait hanging in the Speaker’s Lobby next to that of Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the first woman Speaker of the House.

Conservative columnist Henry Olsen writes that the only way McCarthy could lead the House GOP members is “the power to expel members from the party caucus.” McCarthy, however, would never use that power even if he retained it. This is the man who immediately blamed DDT for the January 6 insurrection and found DDT’s behavior “unacceptable” before backing down within days to return to DDT worship. Audio proves that McCarthy now lies about his statements in January 2021. Thus, McCarthy will remain, as Michelle Goldberg wrote, “a hostage to the hard right and constantly in danger of defenestration.” He doesn’t dare offend any GOP House member because he agreed to a change in the rules that one person can call for a new vote for a different Speaker.

Polling for McCarthy and other issues:

  • 35 percent: Maintaining McCarthy’s role as leader.
  • 45 percent: Republicans viewing McCarthy favorably.
  • 73 percent: Republicans wanting new Congress leadership.
  • 90 percent: General expectations of political conflict instead of political cooperation.
  • 40 percent: Trust in NFL to address NFL players’ safety concerns.
  • 43.4 percent: Approval of President Joe Biden, up almost two percent from last month.  

While the House Republicans were fighting each other and Democrats on Wednesday, Biden went with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for a joint appearance to promote the bipartisan infrastructure spending for an addition to a 60-year-old  bridge in great disrepair. They appeared with Govs. Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Andy Beshear (D-KY) to celebrate the $1.64 billion funding a new bridge connecting the two states across the Ohio River. McCarthy opposed the infrastructure law providing the funding whereas McConnell voted in favor of it. McConnell declared  that “building a new companion bridge on the Brent Spence Bridge corridor will be one of the bill’s crowning accomplishments.” In 2011, President Obama visited the bridge and urged Congress to pass a jobs bill that would rebuild the bridge, already declared functionally obsolete. Before Biden returned to Washington, he said, “To have a Congress that can’t function is just embarrassing.”

Biden commemorated today’s anniversary by presenting Presidential Citizen Medals to 14 people, some posthumously, who battled to defend America’s democracy after the 2020 election. All Republicans except Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA) boycotted the event. His statements about the award for Rusty Bowers, the former speaker of he Arizona House of Representatives, were particularly symbolic. After Bowers refused to overturn the 2020 election results, he lost his primary. Biden said

“Public service isn’t about what you’re willing to do to win. It’s what you’re willing to lose over… Rusty, you’re … a demonstration to every young man and woman thinking about entering politics about what integrity — what integrity is all about.”

The praise for Bowers made McCarthy’s lack of integrity in his sole goal of winning stand out.

Biden also presented a medal to Ruby Freeman, a temporary election worker recently attacked again by DDT who lied about her rigging the Georgia election. Because of DDT’s falsehoods, Freeman was temporary forced out of her house and had to close her small business, but she testified in one of the House January 6 investigative committee’s public hearing. DDT may think his lies can fend off problems from the Georgia investigation. 

In other news:

A New York state judge denied motions by DDT and three of his children—Jr., Eric, and Ivanka—to dismiss the state’s AG $250 million lawsuits, calling some repetition of arguments “frivolous.” A federal judge also ordered DDT’s former lawyers to provide the names of private investigators searching DDT’s properties last year for more classified documents.

The South Carolina Supreme Court struck down the state’s 2021 ban on six-week abortions with exceptions only for rape and incest as unconstitutional under the right to privacy. The 3-2 decision means that abortions will remain legal up to 22 weeks of pregnancy.

The FTC has proposed a ban on U.S. employers forcing noncompete clauses on workers so that they can more easily change jobs. It would also deepen competition for labor. Noncompete clauses prevent employees from moving to a competitor, usually for a period of time. Over one-fourth of workers making under $13 an hour suffer from noncompetes.

GOP legislators criticize the economy, but 6.7 million jobs were created in Biden’s first year, and December 2022 added 235,000 jobs, well above the153,000 Dow Jones estimate and making a total of 4.5 additional jobs—adding up to 11.2 million jobs. In contrast, the GOP hero DDT created 6.4 million jobs in three years and then lost all of them his last year because of his mismanagement of the pandemic. Biden also dropped the unemployment rate from 6.4 percent to 3.5 percent, a level lower than any time during the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The chart shows Democratic presidents gain more jobs than Republicans.  

January 4, 2023

House Speaker Elections, More News

Members of both political parties claim that the GOP is “broken,” but other frustrated Republicans declare that the GOP is in a state of “self-immolation.” In the fourth vote to become Speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) received one fewer vote when newly elected Victoria Spartz (R-IN) voted present after supporting McCarthy in the first three votes. The 20 votes for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) in the third vote all moved to Byron Donalds, 44, a Black Republican who formerly represented a Florida district. Two more votes followed exactly the same pattern before the House adjourned. It planned to continue at 8:00 pm on January 4, but a raucous vote postponed the next vote to noon (EST) on January 5. 

Unable to control his own caucus, McCarthy went to Democrats, asking them to support a “consensus candidate” for Speaker or not vote so that he can reach a lower threshold of required votes that would make him Speaker. By the fourth vote, Democrat Hakeem Jeffries (NY) received 11 votes more than McCarthy. McCarthy dissenters such as Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) are also asking Democrats to help them. The 20 representatives voting against McCarthy are all DDT-supporters, and 18 of them deny the 2020 presidential election was legal.

Ginni Thomas, wife of a Supreme Court justice, has dived into the fray by joining DDT’s former attorney Cleta Mitchell and another two dozen far-right members in a joint letter from the Conservative Action Project to attack McCarthy’s attempts to become Speaker. Other signers of the letter are Kenneth Blackwell of the Family Research Council listed as a SPLC hate group, and David Bossie, head of conservative Citizens United winning the Supreme Court case releasing huge amounts of dark money into U.S. politics. 

A new question about the newly elected GOP representative from New York, George Santos, is whether he meets the requirement of his new office—whether he has been a U.S. citizen for seven years. He claims he was born in Queens, but no one has verified the information. And no one in the House is taking responsibility to do so.

On his website, Santos also lied about being sworn in on January 3, 2023; no House member can be sworn in for the 118th Congress without a Speaker—who hasn’t been elected yet. One response to Santos was that he was “sworn-ish,” ridiculing him for his declaration that he is Catholic but “Jew-ish” after he was caught in the lie of being Jewish. Incoming freshmen members—Robert Garcia (D-CA), Michael Lawler (R-NY), and Yadira Caraveo (D-CO)—made the same mistake.

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) changed from yesterday’s tepid attitude toward McCarthy to repeating his racist diatribe against his former Secretary of Transportation to support the Speaker candidate.

“If Republicans are going to fight, we ought to be fighting Mitch McConnell and his domineering, China loving BOSS, I mean wife, Coco Chow.”

In addition, DDT returned to his baseless attacks on election worker Ruby Freeman after trying to destroy her two years ago. In a temp job, Freeman counted votes in Georgia, and DDT claimed she and her daughter Shaye Moss were personally responsible for election fraud. A retiree, Freeman was forced to leave her home, close her small boutique business, and move to an undisclosed location. DDT’s continuing lies will likely lead to a renewal of threats, harassment, and possibly violence from his followers. Already suing a far-right conspiracy website, Rudy Giuliani, and far-right media outlet One America News Network (OANN), Freeman and Moss are within their rights to sue DDT.

Donald Trump Jr. is now hawking bibles on social media: for only $69.99 a person can get “We the People,” the King James version with copies of the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and Pledge of Allegiance. The grifting group has displayed its ignorance: the “Bill of Rights” are the first ten amendments of the constitution, making a separate document redundant.

In a victory for women, the DOJ stated that federal law legally permits mail delivery of so-called abortion pills to all states because the sender doesn’t know if the medication will be illegally used. Some states had attempted to ban or restrict the mailings. Both mifepristone and misoprostol are used for managing miscarriages or treating gastric ulcers. Federal law supersedes state laws, and the postal service cannot inspect packages possibly containing prescription drugs.

In a Planned Parenthood clinic in Wichita (KS), patients can obtain abortion pill prescriptions from out-of-state doctors through telehealth. This opportunity comes from a court ruling blocking the state law banning doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication remotely. Patients much visit the clinic in-person for an evaluation, education, and state-mandated counseling from local clinicians before their meeting with an offsite doctor.

As people refuse to wear masks and follow other guidelines to prevent transmitting Covid, the Omicron strain XBB.1.5, becoming the most dominant strain in the U.S. in a few weeks, will drive new cases and not be blocked by Covid boosters. Recently, the sub-variant has gone from 4 percent of the cases to 40 percent; about 75 percent of new cases in the Northeast come from the subvariant. 

Russian files from after its invasion of Ukraine reveal disinformation about U.S.-funded bioweapons, accusing Ukrainian labs of spreading Covid through experimenting with bat coronaviruses. Soon after the accusation, China distributed the biolabs conspiracy theory. Media narratives from Russia and China have been remarkably similar since the invasion, according to hacked emails showing that the countries pledged to join forces in media content and held annual media cooperation meetings since 2008, aimed largely at domestic audiences.

Two days ago, the Buffalo Bills football team stopped play with the Cincinnati Bengals after Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field from cardiac arrest after he tackled a receiver. By January 4, he shows signs of improvement after a blow to his chest may have created heart arrhythmia. Fox host Tucker Carlson, however, attributes Hamlin’s health problems to the Covid vaccination, despite Carlson’s ignorance about Hamlin’s vaccine status. Carlson said, “We don’t know whether he got the shot” but still spread misinformation about the possibility that Hamlin could have received one. Millions of right-wing media spreading misinformation have no knowledge about the vaccine and the cause of Hamlin’s collapse; Carlson calls medical experts “witch doctors.”

Myocarditis, heart inflammation, is an extremely rare side effect of the Covid vaccine: only 617 people experienced the disorder out of 43 million people after they were vaccinated, and the disorder predates the Covid pandemic.The risk of heart inflammation and other cardiac problems is far higher from Covid than from the vaccine. The risk for “commotio cordis,” blunt force trauma to the chest and subsequent sudden cardiac arrest and death, is more common among athletes.

Before DDT left office, he pardoned Jesse Benson, a top aide to Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Ron Paul (R-TX), for campaign finance violations. Benson has now been convicted of funneling Russian money to DDT’s 2016 campaign.

According to DDT’s deputy press secretary Judd Deere, DDT didn’t know his schedule was public until a few weeks before he left the White House. In late December 2020, DDT learned his schedule was released to the public and then tried to change the way it was written, making it less specific and presented in “boilerplate” language. For example, the schedule would be that DDT would “work from early in the morning until late in the evening” and “make many calls and have many meetings.” No specific times, just generalities. Five hours of his morning would be “executive time” but really watching TV, reading newspapers, and phoning aides, congressional members, friends, administration officials, and informal advisers.  

Elon Musk destroyed over half the value of Twitter in one month. At the end of October, the quarterly holdings report valued Twitter at $19.66; it dropped to $8,626,218 by the end of November. To cut costs, Musk canceled janitorial services this month at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, and Columbia Property Trust sued the company for not paying rent at these headquarters. Supposedly relying on polling, Musk said he would resign as CEO if the majority of respondents wanted him to do so. They did, and he resigned. But he still owns the company.

Researchers have linked the climate crisis with extreme weather patterns to gun violence because of higher-than-average temperatures. Seven percent of shootings in 100 U.S. cities between 2015 and 2020 occurred in unseasonable heat. The Northeast and Midwest had the greatest increases in gun violence on unseasonably hot days. The stress from heat may make people more aggressive. Another link exists between extreme weather and domestic violence, according to over 40 studies. Economic stresses from flooding, drought, and extreme heat in Kenya were connected to a 60-percent rise in domestic violence.

 A bill permitting the FCC to regulate the price of phone calls from prison is awaiting President Joe Biden’s signature. A 15-minute phone call from jail now costs $3 not including other charges for setting up and funding the prepaid phone accounts for making calls. Costs vary by state, but phone providers have given kickbacks to prisons and local governments in a $1.4 billion industry.

October 5, 2022

Herschel Walker Hits the Bottom of DDT’s Candidates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In another posting, Christian wrote: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 25, 2022

Elections, Cheats

Sunday’s election in Italy will please Russian President Vladimir Putin and Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) as far-right Giorgia Meloni claimed victory as the prime minister of the third-largest economy in the European Union in the snap national election triggered by party infighting collapsing PM Mario Draghi’s government in July. She is predicted to take 26 percent of the vote, ahead of her closest rival from the center left. Her alliance includes the former PM Silvio Berlusconi’s center right Forza Italia. Italy’s president, however, selects Italy’s next leader, and Meloni’s party comes from dictator Benito Mussolini’s fascists. Her positions include anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, anti-international finance, anti-EU, and pro-natural family.

Italy is a co-founder of the EU and member of NATO, but her rhetoric puts her close to Hungary’s nationalist leader Viktor Orban. Her allies are also close to Russia; Berlusconi claimed that Putin was forced into invading Ukraine. Meloni’s win follows the rise of Sweden’s anti-immigration party with neo-Nazi roots and the shift of France’s political center to the right.

Next Sunday sees Brazil’s election in which Jair Bolsonaro, nicknamed the Trump of South America, faces former president and former trade union leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. One of them must receive over 50 percent of the vote to be declared the new president. Bolsonaro started repeating complaints of election fraud since he was elected soon after DDT started the trend despite no evidence of any election rigging.  The election covers vital issues for the U.S. such as trade, democracy, DDT, and climate change.

Days after a judge reinstated an 1864 Arizona law prohibiting all abortion except for a pregnant woman’s health, Republicans have nothing to say about the ruling, even those like the GOP candidates, Blake Masters for the U.S. Senate and far-right Kari Lake for governor. Masters called abortion “demonic,” and Lake described it as “the ultimate sin.” At the same time, Democrats are urging women to vote for their rights through speeches and television advertising. The anti-abortion law is one of 40 from the “Howell Code” adopted by the 1stArizona Territorial Legislature.

Historian Heather Cox Richardson explained that the anti-abortion law was intended to “rein in a lawless population of men” during the Civil War. The Code discusses “miscarriage in context with other male misbehavior and makes poisoning to “procure the miscarriage” illegal. The law’s purpose preventing dueling and other violent acts was to keep men from damaging others. A judge had already written the blueprint for all the laws passed by the legislature comprised of 18 men in the lower House and nine men in the upper chamber. He was paid $2,500, equal to five years’ salary for a worker at that time.

In their goal of bringing order out of chaos, one of the 40 laws blocked minorities from protecting themselves, their families and their property from Whites:

“No black or mulatto, or Indian, Mongolian, or Asiatic, shall be permitted to [testify in court] against any white person.”

Also:

“All marriages between a white person and a [Black person], shall…be absolutely void.”

Richardson wrote that the Howell Code “defined the age of consent for sexual intercourse to be just ten years old.”

A judge appointed by DDT ruled that Mike Lindell isn’t above the law; the MyPillow CEO who worked with DDT to overturn the election lost his request to stop federal agents from searching his phone. Lindell has sued to get his phone back, alleging the FBI violated his First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments rights. He is being investigated for a 2021 breach of voting systems in Mesa County (CO). Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, companies making voting equipment, are suing Lindell and his company for defamation about his claims that the machines were used to rig the 2020 election. A federal judge denied Lindell’s motion to dismiss the Smartmatic lawsuit that claimed Lindell “intentionally stoked the fires of xenophobia and party-divide for the noble purpose of selling his pillows.”

Questions swirled around the reason that three lawyers for DDT were seen coming out of a federal courthouse last Thursday; CNN may have the answer. Its journalists reported that they are secretly trying to block the federal grand jury from collecting information from close DDT aides about his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Grand jury secrecy rules require the legal dispute to be under seal with no public documents. White House counsel Eric Herschmann has already testified to the House January investigative committee because DDT’s lawyers’ directions regarding executive privilege was quite vague. Now he worries about grand jury contempt.

Attorney-client privilege is not in effect if information is shared outside the attorney-client communication and if any of it relates to possible wrongdoing. A federal judge already found email exchanges to and from DDT’s election attorney John Eastman about January 6 that weren’t covered by confidentiality. The DOJ was able to access those and other similar exchanges. Executive privilege might be overturned after a Supreme Court ruling for Nixon’s Watergate tapes because a criminal investigation needed the materials.   

Years before Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flew innocent migrants from San Antonio (TX) to Martha’s Vineyard, DDT had the same idea but with an even more vicious intent to destabilize cities. In 2019, he laid out his plan to select murderers and rapists among immigrants for transport to metropolitan. He told his staff he wanted to “punish” his political rivals. Former DHS official Miles Taylor said he heard the plan:

“I was in the Oval Office for a meeting in March, 2019 in which [Trump] got more specific than just dump[ing] them in blue states. He said, ‘I want you to get the worst of the worst’—criminals, actual ‘murderers,’ and actual ‘rapists’—who cross the [southern] border, and round them up. He did not want to expel them, which is what you’re supposed to do in those situations. He specifically said that he wanted us to put them on buses … to, and I quote, ‘destabilize’ those sanctuary cities.”

DDT specifically listed Los Angeles, Portland (OR), Chicago, and New York City among the metropolitan areas Trump wanted his administration to target. Another DDT aide remembers he said “we should load buses up with ‘MS-13,” violent gangs rooted in Los Angeles and El Salvador, “and sent them to cities like San Francisco [where Nancy Pelosi lives, and also to] … New York.” Administration lawyers and other officials rejected the idea and told him that bringing in violent people was opposite of his goal to keep “immigrant crime” out of the country.

The property management subsidiary of a real estate business owned by the family of Jared Kushner, DDT’s son-in-law, agrees to pay over $3.25 million to Maryland after the company “victimized” poor tenets who had horrific living conditions. The company also tried to cheat tenants out of money they didn’t owe.

A jury has ruled against Project Veritas, finding it violating wiretapping laws and fraudulently representing itself to a Democratic consulting firm. It was ordered to pay $120,000 to the firm. The group’s founder, James O’Keefe, claimed his people, who used deceptive practices, are journalists. The conservative Veritas group is known for editing film to make the people look guilty of crimes. They first came on the national scene when they destroyed Acorn and then moved on to smearing Planned Parenthood.

In 2016, the project infiltrated Democracy Partners, employed by the DNC for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. An operative pretending to be a wealthy donor named Charles Roth told the co-founder of Democracy Partners he wanted to donate $20,000 to a progressive group also a client of Creamer. The poser said his niece wanted to work in Democratic circles. Creamer offered her an unpaid internship at Democracy Partners after the false Roth wired the money from an offshore account to the group. The supposed niece used a fake name, false email account, and a bogus résumé. O’Keefe wrote in his book, American Pravda, wrote that the “donation certainly greased the wheels.”

The operative, whose real name is Allison Maass, secretly taped conversations and took documents while she worked at Democracy Partners before supplying information to Project Veritas which edited the videos and made them public. Edited videos suggested Creamer and another man were developing a plan to provoke violence by DDT’s supporters at his rallies. The heavy editing and O’Keefe’s commentary produced false conclusions, according to the lawsuit. The case also stated that Creamer lost over $500,000 worth of contracts because of Veritas deceptions. As the lawyer for Democracy Partners said at the trial, Project Veritas was trying to “uncover what they themselves concocted,” the project’s standard MO.

O’Keefe faces other legal problems. Former employees sued in August for a “highly sexualized” work culture with common daytime drinking and drug use while they worked additional hours without pay. Two Florida residents also pled guilty to stealing a diary from Ashley Biden, the president’s daughter, and selling it to Project Veritas under direction by its employee who told them to steal more items. An investigation into that situation is ongoing. The same month, the project was ordered to pay Stanford University about $150,000 in legal fees after a federal judge dismissed the 2021 defamation lawsuit by the group, and Veritas has an ongoing defamation suit against The New York Times. A history of Project Veritas’ deception.

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.

September 22, 2022

More Fraud – September 22, 2022

Special master Raymond Dearie is back in the news on Thursday: he ordered the lawyers of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) to submit a sworn declaration if they believe the FBI planted evidence at Mar-a-Lago during the August 8 search. The declaration must include “a list of any specific items set forth in the Detailed Property Inventory that Plaintiff asserts were not seized from the Premises on August 8, 2022.” DDT recently repeated the accusation of FBI planting materials this week when talking to Sean Hannity on Fox network. Dearie set September 30 for the declaration’s deadline and asked DOJ for declarations about key facts regarding the search. His actions give an opening to hearing testimony about the search and seized materials from “witnesses with knowledge of the relevant facts.

The DOJ was also ordered to submit “copies of all seized materials” except those marked classified to DDT’s lawyers by September 29. DDT’s legal team must finish reviewing all documents for potential executive or attorney-client privilege by October 14 while regularly sending designations during the interim. Reviews and final designations from both sides are due by October 21. Dearie may also send  proceedings to Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who approved the search warrant. Retired federal judge James Orenstein, appointed by George W. Bush, has been hired to help the review with his staff from the Eastern District of New York assisting. Orenstein had served “on the prosecution team in the Oklahoma City bombings trials.” Attorney General Merrick Garland played a leading role earlier in his career in the Oklahoma City investigation. Dearie said he won’t be paid for his work because the government is paying him as a federal judge but proposed that Orenstein be paid $500 per hour covered by DDT, based on an earlier court ruling.

Some of DDT’s faithful GOP senators are abandoning him, especially his ability to declassify documents just by thinking he does. John Thune (SD) said declassification has a process which should be followed and “apply to anybody who has access to or deals with classified information.” Thom Tillis (NC) agreed, and Mike Rounds (SD) called handling of classified documents a “very serious” issue. Other senators dodged the question, like Mike Braun (IN) who claimed ignorance about the “proper methodology.”

DDT made many bizarre comments about the search for government documents at Mar-a-Lago, but one that belies belief is that the FBI thought they could find “the Hillary Clinton emails that were deleted but they are around someplace.” He repeated that to Sean Hannity on Fox this week, trying to gin up rumors by lying about “a lot of speculation” in his alternative reality.   

Past fraud has returned to haunt DDT—his 2014 rivalry with the 1980s metal rocker Jon Bon Jovi to buy the football team Buffalo Bills. In the $250 million fraud civil lawsuit filed by Letitia James in New York, DDT allegedly inflated assets’ valuation to finance a purchase attempt. DDT smeared the New Jersey resident, saying was that he was too Canadian for Buffalo because of Bon Jovi’s coalition of Toronto-based investors. In his $1 billion bid for the team, DDT needed a letter from a bank that he could get $800 million in financing. A Trump Organization executive, Jeffrey McConney, told the bank that DDT’s wealth, reportedly $800 billion, had “no material decrease” since the 2013 personal statement of financial condition, but those valuations were artificially inflated with DDT’s “deceptive strategies.” Although DDT claimed Bon Jovi planned to move the Bills to Toronto, he didn’t get the team and neither did the rocker. The winning $1.4 billion bid came from Terry Pegula, owner of the Buffalo Sabres hockey team.

Conservatives complained that the nation’s unemployment insurance program to help people during the pandemic caused people to quit work and live on the “government dole.” Yet fraudsters skimmed over $45.6 billion from the program, using dead people’s Social Security numbers and identities of prisoners ineligible for aid. That finding could be incomplete because of the focus on “high risk” areas for fraud; billions of dollars may also have been stolen. Thus far,1,000 people have been charged for these crimes, and 190,000 investigative matters have been opened. The program began in 2020 under DDT’s term in the White House.

In another program to help people during the worst of COVID, 47 defendants have been charged with stealing over $250 million from Feeding Our Future to provide free meals for needy children. Other charges involved about $1 trillion in loans and grants intended for small businesses, and GOP governors have used funding from a $350 billion program by making tax cuts and immigration crackdowns—such as Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis shipping migrants from Texas to Massachusetts.

DeSantis has dropped to a new low in cruelty. He lured migrants to a hotel in San Antonio (TX) miles from their shelter with the promise to fly them to jobs, homes, and help in Delaware, only to cancel the flight and abandon the people. An anonymous source close to DeSantis stated that the flight, supposedly scheduled to land about 20 miles from President Joe Biden’s beach home, was to “punk” media and Democratic officials and “put a spotlight on the border.” Migrants were told they could stay in the hotel for the night before the bogus flight if they didn’t talk about the travel plans or who arranged them. The next morning, they were told the flight was canceled. Their recruiters hired a bus them back to San Antonio’s Migrant Resource Center ten miles away which would provide three days of shelter and aid. Some migrants were not told about the bus, and none of them received food after the flight was canceled.

In April, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) sought federal protection for Venezuelan asylum seekers in the U.S.; five months later he accuses them of entering the U.S. “illegally.” He also doesn’t twisted the law, lying that migrants kidnapped by Florida’s governor from Texas and transported across several state lines could not sue for legal recourse. Rubio is only two points ahead of his reelection opponent, Val Deming.   

According to Rubio, health exceptions for the pregnant woman in an abortion ban are also a “massive loophole” and like vehicular manslaughter.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the man who fled the Texas cold during the energy shutdown for the Cancun warmth, is claiming “a great partisan victory!” In a video he took credit for a highway from Laredo to North Dakota that brings jobs and ”tens of billions of dollars” to his state, declaring his pride in the years of hard work for the project. Yet he voted against the bill unlike the other Texas senator, John Cornyn, among 18 Republican senators.

The GOP, party who claims to want transparency, unanimously blocked a Senate bill revealing names of donors giving over $10,000. Republicans need the dark money to get elected.

House Republicans briefly released their policy platform called “Commitment to America” on House Minority Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) website but soon dropped the public’s ability to see the document. Before its disappearance, however, multiple screenshots were taken. It criticizes the Democrats reduction of popular prescription drug costs and “fight inflation and curb the cost of living” through cuts in government spending and taxes, probably for the wealthy as in the 2017 GOP law. Its promise to “save and strengthen Social Security and Medicare” was preceded by a GOP House committee meeting to reduce coverage and cut benefits by “massively” slashing Social Security in its proposed 2023 budget. Another “commitment” is new restrictions on voter access, including mandating voter ID, loosening rules on voter roll purges, and increasing access for observers during elections.

The platform is reminiscent of Newt Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract with America.” McCarthy, however, proposed only one bill promised to get floor votes instead of Gingrich’s ten, a Parental Bill of Rights based on blocking the teaching of “critical race theory.” Deliberately vague, the agenda doesn’t deal in specifics. The one-page document, now removed from McCarthy’s website, is here

McCarthy tried the same grocery store stunt as Pennsylvania’s GOP candidate for U.S. senate, Mehmet Oz, to show the plight of people in the U.S. and failed, just like Oz. In a video with the store as backdrop, McCarthy talked for 15 seconds about financial problems before hellish images and statements about the country’s drugs, inflation, and kids falling behind because of non-existent school closures. He lied about the U.S. being in a recession, and he had no Republican solution, only GOP control of the House.

Claremont, MAGA’s most prominent think tank, is home not only to John Eastman, legal architect of DDT’s plan to overturn the 2020 presidential election, but also the “Sheriff Fellows,” MAGA sheriffs learning the fellowship’s curriculum of two sets of people in the U.S.—communities to be treated as freely and brutally as law enforcement wish and the “real Americans” who are above the law. Sheriffs are a likely target for extremism because the office is vulnerable and can enable vigilantes to exert havoc on society. They have great authority with tanks, helicopters, SWAT teams, battering rams, surveillance technology and guns to terrify community members. Claremont’s curriculum for training these sheriffs is here. Sheriffs are elected; voters should be wary.

And Thomas Barrack, DDT’s close friend, is on trial this week for secretly lobbying DDT on behalf of the United Arab Emirates for personal power and financial gain.

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