Nel's New Day

November 16, 2019

DDT: Week 147 – Problems Past Impeachment Inquiry

In the trial of Roger Stone, close associate of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), a jury of his peers has unanimously determined his guilt in seven felony counts, including lying to Congress and witness tampering as liaison between WikiLeaks and DDT’s campaign. The last of Robert Mueller’s indictments to be tried, he is the sixth DDT aide or adviser to be convicted. Stone presented his actions as “not intentionally dishonest” and politics as usual; he said that the truth—including revealing DDT’s lies in his written responses to Mueller—would embarrass DDT. On Fox, Stone’s daughter asked DDT to pardon her father. After hearing of the conviction, DDT demanded that several federal officials past and present, including Hillary Clinton and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), be sent to prison.

Lawyers are calling for the impeachment of AG Bill Barr after his speech to the right-wing judicial activist group The Federalist Society in which he attacked “the left” and called on king-like powers for DDT:

“The fact of the matter is: that in waging a scorched earth, no holds-barred war of resistance against this administration, it is the left that is engaged in the systemic shredding of norms and undermining the rule of law.”

A month ago, Barr attacked “radical secularists” in a speech at Notre Dame Law School. Barr, who published his philosophy that the president is above the law with his “unitary executive theory” of unfettered control over the executive branch, is working on a report smearing the U.S. intelligence agencies and refuting the Mueller investigation by talking to leaders of foreign governments.   

The Circuit Court for the District of Columbia Congress upheld a lower court and ruled against DDT’s immunity by permitting Congress to get eight years of DDT’s tax returns. Three of the 11 appeals judges voted to return the decision to a lower court—two DDT judges and one appointed by George H.W. Bush. The court put the ruling on hold for seven days while DDT appeals to the Supreme Court. In addition to these two court rulings, two earlier cases, United States v. Nixon (1974) and Clinton v. Jones (1997), unanimously ruled against presidential immunity.

Other DDT’s lawsuits that could reach the Supreme Court include congressional demand for accessing redacted portions of Mueller’s investigation and violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause. New York wants records regarding hush money for Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to see if they have been falsified.

Another lawsuit charges DDT and his son-in-law/senior White House adviser, Jared Kushner, with violating the law when they failed to keep records of meetings with foreign officials including Russia’s Vladimir Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un, and top Saudi officials. DDT had at least five meetings with Putin with no notetaker and confiscated a State Department interpreter’s note from another meeting with Putin. No record came from DDT’s private meeting in Vietnam. Kushner recently met with top Saudi officials with no State Department officials and no record.

The Trump Organization has agreed to pay $290,000 to the Scottish government, ending a multiyear legal battle in which Donald Trump tried and failed to block an offshore wind farm from being built in view of one of his Scottish golf courses. In the beginning of his fight with Scotland, DDT wrote, “I am going to fight [Scottish first minister Alex Salmond] for as long as it takes—to hell if I have to—and spend as much as it takes to block this useless and grotesque blot on our heritage.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan killed U.S.-allied Kurds and displaced 200,000 more from Syria after he promised not to do so, and his staff beat up U.S. resident protesters in Washington, DC the last time that he visited. This week, Erdogan visited again, and Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) gave the Turkish autocrat the same inducements DDT promised in a deal that Erdogan failed to follow: a $100 billion trade deal and a way to avoid U.S. sanctions over Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system. Last month, the House overwhelmingly voted to impose sanctions on Turkey over its assault into Syria, and a bipartisan group of senators who introduced a similar bill. DDT calls Erdogan, who commits war crimes, “a friend” who “deserves respect.” 

During a press conference, Erdogan denied the Armenian genocide, and DDT said nothing. From 2014 to 1923, the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire, which became Turkey, systematically exterminated and expelled 1.5 million ethnic Armenians, starting with wholesale killing of males through massacre. Two weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 405 to 11 in favor of a resolution to recognize the killing of 1.5 million Armenians more than a century ago as a genocide. While Erdogan was in the Oval Office, he showed a film depicting Kurds as terrorists to DDT and several Republicans, including Sens. Lindsey Graham (SC), Ted Cruz (TX), and Rick Scott (FL). Graham blocked the House resolution after the meeting. DDT repeated his falsehood, “We’re keeping the oil.” His officials know that taking oil out of Syria for the financial benefit of the U.S.—or DDT—clearly violates the law.

Before DDT was elected to the Oval Office, he said that he had “a little conflict of interest” in Turkey because of his two Trump towers in Istanbul. Former National Security Adviser John Bolton said that DDT’s foreign policy about Turkey comes from personal and financial interest.

DDT made tens of millions of dollars in profits by allowing Colombian drug cartels and other groups to launder money through the hotel in Panama that formerly carried his brand. Drug cartels bought hotel unit to conceal sources of money earned through drug trafficking and other criminal activities. In investigating conflicts of interest, the Sunlight Foundation found over 600 for DDT and 1,100 for the First Family.

After a recanvass of election results, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin conceded his race for reelection. Democrat Andy Beshear had defeated Bevin by over 5,000 votes. In Louisiana, Democratic John Bel Edwards won a second term by over two percent. DDT had vigorously campaigned for GOP gubernatorial candidates in both Kentucky and Louisiana.

DDT had an unannounced physical today after his regular annual exam last February. In the past, he had his physical performed by a doctor who was drunk on the job, wrote a letter himself that his doctor signed about how great his health is, provided zero test results from his physicals,and faked all of his other health data. The exam was not on DDT’s personal schedule yesterday.

A federal judge ruled that Florida cannot automatically put DDT’s name first on the ballot for presidential candidates. Three other states have had the same archaic law—Arizona, Georgia, and Texas.

Over 900 leaked emails from white supremacist and DDT’s aide Stephen Miller to Breitbart News show how he shaped its ideology through articles and talking points from white nationalist websites and a book about “white genocide” praised by white nationalists and neo-Nazis. He complained about the removal of Confederate flags after a white supremacist killed nine blacks were killed in a Charleston (SC) church and talks about only crimes that are committed by non-whites. He pushes against non-white immigrants and supports policies praised by Hitler. Miller worked on a “fast track” proposal with Gordon Sondland, EU ambassador and witness in impeachment inquiry, to boost immigration to the U.S. of skilled and wealthy Europeans. Seventeen Jewish groups and elected officials have called for Miller’s firingDDT is defending his white supremacist aide.

Donald Trump Jr.’s book Triggered  is #1 on the NYT book list because of bulk sales to political groups such as the RNC and DDT’s campaign. But he still faces problems on his advertising tour. MAGA conservatives drove him out of a two-hour appearance after 20 minutes because he and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle would answer questions. The first protesters in the crowd of 450 people were America Firsters, but the hubbub worsened. University of Florida student body president, Michael Murphy, may be impeached because he used $50,000 of student tuition fees to bring Jr, GOP activist Guilfoyle, and RNC official Tommy Hicks, to speak. Student funds cannot pay for events either supporting or opposing “a political party at any level.” In a New York bookstore, unknown people moved Jr.’s book into the Young Adult section with the title Daddy, Please Love Me: How Everything I Do Is to Earn My Father’s Love.

DDT may wonder about his future. In a speech before 400 Orthodox Jews in the U.S., DDT suggested that he could go to Israel to be “prime minister” of Israel “if anything happens here”: polarization in Israel is preventing the selection of someone for this position. On the other hand, fraudulent voting may put him back into office. The federal government restricts balloons and colored pencils—and many other ordinary consumer products—much more than the nation’s voting machines which are “largely free” from government supervision according to the Brennan Center for Justice. The three companies that dominate the voting technology industry—Election Systems & Software (ES&S), Dominion, and Hart InterCivic—have all had trouble with accuracy and accusations of miscounts.

November 6, 2019

GOP Votes Shrinking

Yesterday was Election Day across the United States, mostly in small sections of different states. One state, however, elected state officials, another one chose its entire upcoming legislature, and a third picked both. The results are making some Republicans nervous.

 Mississippi:

The election of a Republican governor and state legislature majority here was pretty much a given. But with the current governor term-limited out, GOP Tate Reeves won his gubernatorial race by only seven points, far less than the 17-point win for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) in 2016. Democrats get about one-third of the seats in the state Senate and did a bit better in the state House with approximately 40 percent. Luckily for Reeves got the at least 62 of the 122 House districts mandated for him to win. Considering the polls that supported his opponent for almost the entire past year, Reeves was lucky to win the majority vote, but a loss wouldn’t have given governor to his Democratic opponent. 

“The Mississippi Plan,” put in the state’s 1890 constitution, was “to secure to the State of Mississippi ‘white supremacy,’ ” according to the journal of the proceedings. Blacks, who tend to vote Democratic, are about 38 percent of Mississippi’s population, but the state has not had one black statewide office holder since 1890. Four blacks are suing Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn and Secretary of State Delbert Hoseman to have the requirement changed. Gunn and Hoseman want the case dismissed but wrote: “Neither the speaker nor the secretary wish to defend the motivations behind a law allegedly enacted with racial animus.” The Mississippi Republican Party doesn’t oppose removing the elections requirements from the constitution but called Eric Holder’s interest in the case a “continuation of national Democrats’ attempts to delegitimize elections they do not win.”

Virginia:

A huge turnout in Virginia flipped their General Assembly from red to blue for the first time in 26 years, largely with Democratic support in the suburbs. Democrats took at least five additional seats in the House of Delegates and two in the state Senate, including one Democratic woman who lost in the last election in a tie. This legislature will establish the new voting districts after the 2020 U.S. census. Both U.S. senators, a majority of U.S. House representatives, and all three statewide office holders are Democrats.

When DDT took office, Republicans held a 66-34 majority in the General Assembly. As of yesterday’s election, Democrats hold a 55-45 majority, and DDT’s approval rating in the state is below 30 percent. Republican incumbents tried to separate themselves from DDT and be more moderate about guns and expanding Medicaid after their former radical-right votes in the past. House Speaker Kirk Cox was re-elected but gives up his position after only two years. He refused to answer questions about the GOP loss. Later he issued a statement promising to work with Democrats “where we can” and to block them from overreaching. House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert, back again but without his leadership position, warned of Democrats’ “extreme agenda” and pledged to “fight it at every turn.” Tim Hugo, the last GOP legislator in the Northern Virginia suburbs thought he could keep his place by concentrating on local issues such as potholes. Although No 3 in the House GOP leadership, Hugo avoided the word “Republican” on both his campaign website and at voter forums. He still lost the district by seven points, a district that was solidly GOP six years ago.

Top issues for the Virginia election were gun safety, women’s rights, and clean energy. Gun laws came into play after the May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach that killed twelve people. Gov. Ralph Northam had called a special legislative session in July for gun safety measures, but Republicans adjourned after 90 minutes with no debates on any of the 30 filed bills. In Virginia, home of the NRA, over 20 percent of gun sales have no background check, making the state a pipeline for illegal gun trafficking along the East Coast. Last summer, a poll found that gun policy was the top issue for 75 percent of respondents. In 2018, pro-gun safety Democrats won in suburban districts across the United States.

A June court decision required district remapping in southeastern Virginia where districts were gerrymandered. About 425,000 voters in 25 districts were moved to more evenly distribute black voters.

The woman fired for a photo of her flipping a bird at DDT’s motorcade was elected to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors over a GOP incumbent. DDT has a golf course in that county.

Kentucky:

At a rally in Kentucky for the GOP gubernatorial candidate on the night before the election, DDT said, “If you lose, they will say Trump suffered the greatest defeat in the history of the world. You can’t let that happen to me.” Andy Beshear, the Democratic candidate for governor, beat incumbent Matt Bevin by over 5,000 votes in this state that DDT won by 30 points in 2016. Beshear said last night that he expects Bevin will “honor the election that was held tonight.” He’s wrong. Bevin refuses to concede the election because of voting “irregularities,” although he didn’t cite any,

Because Kentucky has no provision for an automatic recount, Bevin’s campaign announced today it will attempt a “recanvassing” to ensure that all machines accurately calculated vote totals and transferred them to the state. In 2015, James Comer, Bevin’s opponent in the GOP primary, requested a recanvass of the contest that Bevin won by 83 votes with no change in vote totals. Although canvasses are commonly requested in close Kentucky races, they have never produced a different election outcome and rarely produce a different vote total. Between 2000 and 2015, only three of 27 nationwide recounts changed the result on Election Day.

Bevin can get a recount only by filing a contest of the election and then paying for it. And the state doesn’t make recounts easy to do. Republicans are so desperate to keep Bevin as governor that state Senate leader Robert Stivers claimed that the state lawmakers, with a majority of Republicans, would determine the winner, a process not used to settle an election since 1899. Last night, Stivers said that Bevin would have won if Libertarian candidate John Hicks had not received 1.97 percent of the vote.

The first step in the GOP’s attempt to overturn the election cannot start until after a recanvassing and certification of the results by the State Board of Elections. Bevin then has 30 days to contest these results although he would need specific reasons, i.e., campaign finance rules violation or methods of casting ballots. Following that, Stivers would call a special session in which lawmakers would assign an 11-person panel to hear arguments and give a verdict. The contest for the results would also start a recount. The full legislature would evaluate the panel’s decision; both Houses of the General Assembly would have to determine the outcome.

On the campaign trail, DDT promised to increase coal jobs, but instead they’re disappearing. Almost 6,600 Kentuckians work in coal, down about 80 percent in three decades. In 2019, five big mining companies declared bankruptcy, threatening the United Mine Workers of America pension fund, which supports over 100,000 retired miners and fully vested workers. Kentucky’s GOP senator, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has stalled on protection of the pension until today. In one county, 41 percent of the population live in poverty, over three times the national average, and the state is almost 20 percent, ranking fourth in the nation. The number of votes for Bevin shrank from four years ago when he won by almost nine points. The state had expected about a 30-percent voter turnout the same as four years ago; instead it was over 42 percent.

Bevin has many reasons to lose his seat. Many people lost health care with Bevin’s work requirements when he defended his personal policy by suing his constituents. He wanted to cut taxes, like the failed program in Kansas; make taxes regressive; and weaken public education. Early actions were to cost the state $23 million by dismantling “kynect,” the Medicaid provision in the state, and cut Medicaid dental and vision coverage for up to 460,000 people in Kentucky. Bevin blames school shootings on video games and accused teachers of children being sexually assaulted, physically harmed, or exposed to poison and drugs when educators were on strike. Teacher salaries and spending per pupil are down about 6 percent, adjusted for inflation, since the 2008 recession. When Bevin took health care and education away from people in Kentucky, he called them “socialism.

In addition to criticizing his social and fiscal policies, many Kentuckians consider Bevin a “jerk.” In a visit a chess club at a majority-black and -Latino school in West Louisville, he said that chess was “not something you necessarily would have thought of when you think of this section of town.” While opposing a mandatory vaccine program, Bevin bragged about taking his children to a chickenpox party.

Signs were not good for Bevin throughout his campaign. Only about 200 people turned out for the Bevin event last August at the Appalachian Wireless Arena with a capacity of 7,000. In a county that DDT took by 80 percent. At a rally where Donald Trump Jr. was a speaker. [visual Bevin] 

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