Nel's New Day

January 29, 2023

DDT Struggles with Campaign Opening

Once upon a time, the media wouldn’t even use the word “lie” when reporting on former Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) despite the 30,000+ lies he told while in office. Those days are over according to the Time headline, “Trump Delivers Bitter Speech Filled With Falsehoods in New Hampshire.”

DDT kicked off his 2024 presidential campaign with his keynote speech at the GOP annual conference when he “pushed false claims about his own electoral losses and suggested foreign leaders shared his doubts about the outcome of the 2020 vote.” He also defended the “fringe benefits” that he provided the Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, benefits that put the CFO in prison on 15 felony counts. A possible new meme: “Every day in Joe Biden’s America is a cruel April Fools Day.” In 2016, DDT lost New Hampshire by one-third of a point; his loss in 2020 was seven points. 

Yet DDT is 12 points behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with New Hampshire’s likely GOP primary voters. Heading to South Carolina, DDT said, “I don’t think we have competition this time… We are so far ahead in the polls.” The specter of DeSantis may have been the reason he ranted against transgender rights and critical race theory in South Carolina, tossing in terms like “left-wing radical racists,” “perverts,” and “Marxist hands” as threats to “our children.”

In South Carolina, the rally was missing the state GOP chairman, five GOP U.S. representatives from the state, U.S. Senator Tim Scott who could also run for president, and another potential candidate, Nikki Haley who served as governor before DDT appointed her UN ambassador. DDT’s team had refused to promise them that showing up would not be an endorsement.

The big change in his campaigning includes smaller venues, a high school gymnasium in New Hampshire and a group of 200 at the South Carolina capitol.

Ben Jacobs wrote about DDT’s problem with self-branding  as he tries to be an incumbent and an insurgent. Yet he’s neither—and looks weak, lacking in energy and a coherent message. His meandering speeches didn’t help as he moved from the Taliban’s treatment of dogs to how he’s a millionaire real estate developer but not much of a cook. Next to somewhat moderate Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), DDT denounced RINOs, and the crowd later heckled Graham. Immediately after the January 6, 2021 insurrection, Graham announced he was through with DDT before almost immediately returning to the fold. Next to Gov. Henry McMaster, he denounced electric vehicles that provided jobs, with McMaster’s help, for over 70,000 people in the state.  

DDT’s rants are repeats about the possible release of the report from the Fulton County (GA) to the public. His three-page meltdown on Truth Social included accusations of “Marxists, communists, racists, and RINOs” and repeated lies about a rigged election and “stuffing Ballots, all caught live on tape.” He concluded with the falsehood that “The Election in Georgia was rigged and stollen [sic]. We have all the evidence needed. That is the crime!”

In addition to some in DDT’s base questioning his 2024 run, he also faces at least five criminal and civil investigations about his behavior before and during his time in the White House as well as his continued strident demands to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential election. Interviews with 59 of the 168 RNC members reveal dozens who don’t want DDT to be the 2024 candidate; only four provided complete endorsements of him.

Former DDT associates are also in trouble. Lawyer John Eastman, who created DDT’s illegal rationale for overturning the 2020 election, faces possible disbarment, losing his law license, and 11 disciplinary counts by the California State Bar for pushing lies about election fraud. Some of those lies were testimony to a Georgia state Senate panel in early December. Last year, the FBI executed a search warrant and seized his phone, and last summer he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination before the Fulton County grand jury. In testimony before the House January 6 investigative committee, he invoked the Fifth about 100 times.

In the contempt charge against a former DDT aide Peter Navarro, another co-conspirator to overturn the election, DDT waited until a week before Navarro’s trial was scheduled to begin on January 30 to support Navarro’s claim that DDT wanted him to declare executive privilege in not testifying. DDT’s communication created an indefinite delay in the trial while the court’s arguments wrangle about Navarro’s immunity.

Traditionally tightwad DDT donated $1 million from his Save America PAC to Arizona’s circus election “audit” intended to overturn the election in that state. He attempted to hide the source, moving money to allied group Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI) and then to a shell company, American Voting Rights Foundation (AVRF) newly registered in Delaware, which gave the funds to contractors and people involved in the audit. The $1 million was the only donation AVRF, controlled by CPI entities, has ever received. Top CPI officials include DDT’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows and other senior DDI insiders. DDT had given Meadows $1 million for CPI soon after the January 6 insurrection.

The GOP vice-chair of the Maricopa County board of supervisors, Bill Gates, said he was “disappointed, but not surprised” at the source of the funding for the Maricopa County audit. Arizona law prevents electoral candidates from funding vote recounts which must be financed with taxpayer dollars, a purpose the Cyber Ninjas served. Gates said, “It is highly hypocritical for the Arizona state senate to have allowed the audit to be funded in this fashion.” He added that the $1 million was funded by small donations to DDT’s PAC with no transparency.

New records reported by an Arizona newspaper show DDT receiving direct updates from people in the audit at the coliseum and his allies pressuring the lead contractor on the timing of reporting the findings. Cyber Ninjas founder Doug Logan used to private messaging system to discuss taking secret donations from DDT.

New York AG Letitia James’ civil lawsuit accusing DDT and his family of widespread bank and tax fraud uses the state’s Executive Law 63 (12) which DDT has been unable to refute. Shut down by judicial threats to sanction his lawyers, DDT dropped two lawsuits against James, one in Florida and the other in New York. The law empowers James to stop any business from “repeated fraudulent or illegal acts,” seeking potentially lucrative damages and canceling its official business certificate. James has asked for $250+ million, revoking Trump Organization’s business credentials, and a ban on it from borrowing from banks in the state. Another New York AG used the same law to take down the for-profit scam of Trump University. A law professor said that DDT’s only defense is claiming everyone lies about real estate values.

DDT has hired another top trial attorney, Joe Tacopina, to attack Mark Pomerantz for writing in his resignation letter to Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg that DDT was “guilty of numerous felony violations.”

Because DDT hates to lose, he lied and said he won the Senior Club Championship at his golf courses in West Palm Beach although he couldn’t play the first round. He was attending the funeral of Lynette “Diamond” Hardaway. DDT counted a strong round two days before the tournament began for his claim of a five-point lead on the second day, better than any players posted in the first round the day before. DDT posted his magnificent win on Truth Social and used it to explain why he wouldn’t need a physical exam: winning at golf is “MUCH tougher.”

Last week, the media addressed the probability that DDT would return to Facebook after Meta lifted the two year suspension following his incitement of the January 6 insurrection. A major reason would be to get donations, especially after his big donors aren’t enthusiastic about him. Even with small donors, FB may satisfy DDT’s needs after recent shifts in donations. A GOP campaign worker said that investment returns for advertising in 2020 could be as high as 200 percent. Two years later it was 80 to 90 percent, and midterm candidates in 2022 “struggled to raise money online,” according to veteran GOP digital operative Eric Wilson. He said the FB has moved from a “golden goose” for DDT to a “bronze goose,” especially if Meta shuts down DDT if he displays the same abuse of the social media platform as other two years ago.

Even without DDT’s leaving his Truth Social for Facebook, people on DDT’s social media are complaining about the ads on the venue. Because major advertisers avoid Truth Social, users are exposed to ads described as “miracle cures, scams, and fake merchandise,” as the New York Times wrote. GOP donors financed Truth Social with $37 million, and the platform goes through $1.7 million each month along with problems with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Online marketer Maxwell Finn, spending over $150,000 for ads called the platform “frustrating” and “bare bones,” lacking even basic functionality.

DDT’s return to FB means more election conspiracy theories and QAnon content, possibly driving off those who don’t tolerate extremism. Until then, I’ll enjoy some of the beauty that people share on Facebook, such as this photograph sent by a friend in Alaska—Seattle on a cloudy day.

 

November 14, 2022

News Avoiding the Election, Mostly

Great news for Arizona and democracy! Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, endorsed by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), lost her election to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Bad news for Arizona: after the losses of her and two other major DDT candidates, Mark Finchem for secretary of state and Blake Masters for U.S. senator, election liars may try to burn the state down. DDT wants an entire new election for the state because Democrats won some of the races, and some of the losers refuse to concede, saying that they will ensure that they win. With a little over 100,000 ballots still to be counted, Kris Mayes is only 3,000 votes ahead of GOP Abe Hamadeh, another DDT election liar who can bring lawsuits for the state.

In a three-hour face-to-face meeting, President Joe Biden and Chinese President XI Jinping looked for ways to work together. Biden said there will be no “new Cold War” and believes China has no imminent plans to invade Taiwan. The leaders were in Bali for the G20 summit, and the meeting came after months of quiet negotiations. Biden asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken to follow up on the discussion in Beijing as part of a long process to thaw a tense relationship. Biden kept DDT’s tariffs and restricted selling semiconductors and chip-making equipment to China.

For the first time, Xi warned against nuclear weapons in Russia’s war when he met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a clear signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin. A Chinese senior official said on the condition of anonymity:

“I think there is undeniably a discomfort in Beijing about what we’ve seen in terms of reckless rhetoric and activity on the part of Russia. I think it is also undeniable that China is probably both surprised and a little bit embarrassed by the conduct of Russian military operations.”

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was absent for part of the summit after he was taken to the hospital for a heart problem. He said he is fine. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), possibly the biggest liar in the Senate, feels that Biden is compromised by China. No evidence, just a “feeling.”

The House January 6 investigative committee may subpoena the phone records of Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward according to a Supreme Court ruling. She had claimed the request for her phone records violated the First Amendment. The committee requested call records, phone numbers, text messages, and IP addresses communicating with Ward’s number between November 2020 to January 2021 when she was connected to the scam of an Arizona alternate electors’ slate to overturn Joe Biden’s victory.      

Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented from the decision without explanation. Thomas’ wife, Ginni Thomas, had taken part of the attempted coup by writing 29 Arizona lawmakers, urging them to choose “a clean slate of electors” instead of the state electors pledged to Biden in support of the popular vote. Ward and her husband were “fake electors” from Arizona, lying about the 2020 presidential election in their state. Both the state district court and the 9th Circuit Court disagreed with Ward’s arguments, one of the three-judge panel a DDT appointee.

Ginni Thomas is working on another coup, this one to get rid of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for congressional leaders. She joined almost 60 far-right politicians, some of them like Thomas investigated by the House January 6 investigative committee, in signing a letter to delay the choice of GOP leadership in the 118th Congress.  The American Independent’s senior political reporter Emily C. Singer called it a “who’s who of insurrection supporting Republicans.”

A DDT-supported federal judge in the U.S. District Court for D.C. dismissed a year-old lawsuit by Mark Meadows, DDT’s former chief of staff, to block the House investigative committee to subpoena him. He will likely appear and run the clock out to the end of the 117th Congress, but the ruling is a precedent for many other suits in the same court. Meadows was on the telephone when DDT tried to persuade Georgia election officials to “find” sufficient votes for his victory and with DDT on January 6, 2021 when insurrections illegally entered the Capitol.

A federal judge blocked attempts by Rudy Giuliani to dismiss a lawsuit brought by two Georgia election workers, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. Giuliani’s accusation of election fraud by the mother/daughter pair caused serious threats and harassment against them; Freeman even had to leave her home for months. Giuliani had falsified a video for his lies.

The Senate returns next week, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), also elected for that position in the 118th Congress, scheduled a Wednesday vote on the bill to codify the right to same-gender and interracial marriage. Democratic leader Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) said she thinks the bill has the 60 votes to overcome a filibuster and has reached an agreement on “commonsense” changes to protect religious freedom with Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ, and Thom Tillis (R-NC). In July, almost 50 House Republicans joined Democrats to pass the bill.  

When Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) politely protested Elon Musk’s allowing Twitter impersonation of him—and many others—Musk responded by saying Marky’s own account “sounds like a parody.” Marky tweeted back:

“One of your companies is under an FTC consent decree. Auto safety watchdog NHTSA is investigating another for killing people. And you’re spending your time picking fights online. Fix your companies. Or Congress will.”

A fake tweet from Eli Lilly about free insulin in a supposedly verified account brought outrage after Lilly’s “apology” that it was false, including from a parody imitating Lilly:

“We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account about the cost of diabetic care. Humalog is now $400. We can do this whenever we want and there’s nothing you can do about it. Suck it. Our official Twitter account is @LiIlyPadCo.”

About 37.3 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and 8.4 million need insulin to survive. To manufacture, a vial costs under $10, but Lilly’s list price is $274.70, the generic at $82.41. Most people on insulin require 2-3 vials a month so at least 1.3 million people risk their lives by rationing their insulin. The Inflation Reduction Act caps insulin out-of-pocket costs at $35 per month for Medicare participants, but Republicans blocked all other price caps.  

In the midst of ballot-counting, the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel released the newly declassified summary of a joint interview with George W. Bush and his VP Dick Cheney regarding the September 11 attacks. Members of the 9/11 Commission, did not record the event on April 29, 2004, and the released summary document is the only official record, a “memorandum for the record.”

Bush evidenced no sense about the death and destruction set free by his global war; the interview was at the same time as a massive insurgency in Iraq against a U.S. occupation which would kill thousands of U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Seeing the first plane hit the World Trade Center, he thought what a terrible pilot. When his chief of staff Andy Card told him the U.S. was under attack, he stayed in the classroom where he had been reading My Pet Goat to children. He tried to “collect his thoughts” and decided he should “project calm and strength.”

Communications equipment kept failing, including the secure phone line between Bush and Cheney. Bush couldn’t find Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and complained about not having “good television” on Air Force One. Cheney was responsible for authorizing the military to shoot down civilian aircraft. Bush also claimed he didn’t know anything about Saudi nationals receiving permission to leave the country after 9/11.

Bush said he got no “actionable intelligence” About Osama Bin Laden and preparation for hijackings or other attacks in the U.S. and claimed CIA Director George Tenet said “the threat was overseas.” Cheney criticized congressional oversight of covert operations, especially by the CIA, because it weakened the agency. To make the U.S. less vulnerable to attack, Bush said, “We had to kill them before they kill us.” Working with Putin was important to use U.S. military and intelligence of bases in central Asia.

Inflation dropped to an annual rate of 7.7 percent in October, down a half percent. The biggest inflationary contributors were shelter, gasoline, and food, the first two items raising historic profits for companies. Buyers will find less inflation in used cars prices, household supplies, clothing and accessories, household gas, and some food items.

Biden gave all veterans and Gold Star families lifetime passes to national parks.

New drugs could restore a woman’s period using the same medication as used in medical abortion, misoprostol or in combination with mifepristone. The process might not be classified as abortion because the woman doesn’t know whether she is pregnant. Misoprostol is also used for gastric ulcers in nonpregnant people but have become more difficult to obtain because of its connection to abortions. The courts, however, have described abortion as related to “knowledge of a confirmed pregnancy” or “intent to end a confirmed pregnancy.” Menstrual regulation doesn’t rely on a confirmed pregnancy, and no states ban or restrict this regulation with an unknown pregnancy status.

October 26, 2022

DDT’s Gubernatorial Endorsements Dangerous

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

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

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

Two other DDT-endorsed gubernatorial candidates are more frightening.

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

Lake also:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mastriano:

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 9, 2022

News – October 9, 2022 (Some Hopeful)

Twenty miles from Fort Myers (FL) where multitudes of homes were destroyed, a 4,600-resident model community at Babcock Ranch, a 100-percent solar-powered built-to-code storm-resilient town, suffered only ripped pool coverage, broken fence posts, downed trees, and a few missing shingles. It didn’t even lose power. Structures are on land 25 feet higher on average than surrounding communities, and buildings are specified for Category 4 hurricane winds of 145 mph. Drinking water wasn’t contaminated and never shut off from the water system and wastewater plant deep into an underground aquifer. The 700,000 solar panels owned by Florida Power & Light covering 900 acres suffered little damage. Population of the town is expected to grow to 50,000 with six million square feet of commercial space. Houses can be expensive, but some of them start about $300,000. Sadly, Florida will probably rebuild on the beaches with no regulations, and people will again be destroyed in another hurricane.

President Joe Biden’s administration has reunited 500 children separated by the zero tolerance border policy instated by former Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). The number is almost half the goal of over 1,100 separated children returned to their parents. About 200 families are being processed, and another 150 contacted by the government haven’t responded. Reunited families may temporarily stay in the U.S., and parents separated from their children have work permits for three years. The program also provides mental health service through non-profits. Some children have not seen their parents for four years. The cases meet the definition of torture, according to a study, because “U.S. officials intentionally carried out actions causing severe pain and suffering in order to punish and intimidate mainly Central American asylum seekers to not pursue their asylum claims.”

Headlines have lambasted President Joe Biden’s job losses the past month from 315,000 to 263,000 jobs, “the slowest month of hiring in 18 months” (Fox), after his administration created 10 million jobs in the past 20 months. Yet increasing employment edged down to unemployment of 3.5 percent, and real economists are delighted with the overall picture, predicting no recession.

Compare Biden’s record to that of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) who promised 25 million new jobs in a decade but ended up with 3.1 fewer million jobs when he left office than when he came into office. People might blame the COVID problems, but he increased jobs by only 6.6 million in his first three years and then badly mismanaged COVID in his last year. DDT left office with the worst jobs record since Herbert Hoover in 1932. President Bill Clinton created 22.745 million jobs during his two terms followed by George W. Bush with 0.523 million new jobs in two terms.

In the 18 months since Biden’s rescue act, over 8 million people jobless in March 2021 now have jobs. Last year’s economy had its fastest growth since 1984, ending 2021 with a three-percent higher GDP than before the pandemic. Unfortunately, a hot economy also kicked off a higher inflation rate exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine, higher prices for huge big business profits, and now the OPEC’s cut in oil production. People had money, and their purchases drove up prices. The Federal Reserve started to drive down prices by raising interest rates which angered people who want both low prices and low interest rates.

In one way to lower costs for people, Biden is tackling “junk fees,” the hidden costs from overdrafts on a bank account to terminating cellphone contracts early, usually impacting low-income people the most. The project goes through agencies controlling areas in which these fees predominate—banks, credit unions, debt collection, transportation, etc. For example, payments for credit card late fees fun $12 billion. Eliminating some of these fees may help problems with inflation. Some banks such as Capital One and Citibank have already done away with non-sufficient funds and overdraft fees. Wells Fargo dropped NSF fees but kept the overdraw ones after making $1 billion from January through September 2021.

Two states have delayed anti-abortion laws until litigation moves through the courts. One of the blocked laws is the 1864 anti-abortion legislation passed in Arizona passed during the Civil War, 48 years before Arizona became a state. In Ohio, a county judge blocked the state’s “heartbeat law,” eliminating any abortions after the law pretends an ultrasound noise at six weeks is an embryo’s heartbeat.

A dozen hypocritical Florida members of Congress joined both Florida senators and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to beg Republican Kay Granger (TX) for aid after Hurricane Ian despite their “no” votes on providing the assistance. At least one of them still stands by his “no” vote and praised his colleagues in the Florida delegation for the same action. Their objection is that other states could receive disaster assistance.

Republicans have continued their fury with the Democratic opposition to “trickle-down” economics, the theory that cutting taxes for the wealthy would allow them to hire more workers, a philosophy that failed for much of the 20th century and most recently failed in the 2017 GOP tax cuts for big business and the rich that financially benefited only these categories. Unfortunately, the good news of over 10 million jobs created since Biden’s inauguration and the increased buying power from congressional economic stimulus bills led to inflation and lower stock markets because business wasn’t prepared to provide goods and it raised prices for greater business profit.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott may have committed fraud by using federal COVID-19 relief funds for transporting migrants out of the state to northeastern U.S. as part of his anti-immigrant Operation Lone Star. In the 2021 regular session, Abbott persuaded the GOP legislature to approve $1.1 billion for border guards and their supplies but wanted more money. He called a special session to get for another $1.9 billion for another 1,800 guards/troopers and a border wall, Operation Steel Curtain. When Abbott reallocated funds from a number of agencies, he said nothing about using COVID funds and told them that “the agencies’ earlier appropriations have been fully funded with other sources.”

GOP legislators loudly shouted the word “socialism” for the new infrastructure law while grabbing the money and behind the scenes begging for funding before telling their constituents how they, who voted against the laws, are benefiting them. In one of dozens of requests, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) attacked what he called “President Biden’s multi-trillion dollar socialist wish list” and wrote Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about his support for the multimillion dollar grant to improve part of Highway 65 in his district. Emmer called it “a social justice measure.” Perhaps the most hypocritical and crazy congressional member, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) bitterly complained about the bill serving “the America Last’s socialist agenda” before writing three separate letters imploring for funding that would enhance quality of life with the projects he wants. Other congressional members—Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Reps. Elvira Salazar and Carlos Giménez (R-FL) Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), Rep. Ashley Hinson (IA), Rep. Marwayne Mullin (R-OK)—took the same approaches to smear the bill and pleading for money.

Republicans almost always take the opposite position of President Joe Biden in anything he does, but in the case of the president’s pardons for federal convictions of cannabis possession, they’ve gone off the radar. From the RNC and the congressional and senate committees, only silence. From Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), nothing. Just a couple of weak tweets about “soft on crime” from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), wannabe presidential candidate, and Fox network’s Laura Ingraham.

Last week for Tesla was the worst week since March 2020 when COVID was announced. Electric vehicle production and delivery numbers didn’t meet analysts’ expectations, over 21,000 short despite two new factories in Brandenburg (Germany) and Austin (TX). That was before Elon Musk posted his controversial solution to the Russian invasion that Ukraine should give them part of the Country that Russian president Vladimir Putin wants. Musk also said he was continuing his deal to buy Twitter but would charge cryptocurrency for posts.

Then Musk took China’s side against Taiwan for “peace reunification” in which China controls Taiwan—sort of like Musk recommended for Russia’s control of Taiwan. The response was the same as from Ukraine: Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to Washington, Hsiao Bi-khim answered, “Taiwan sells many products, but our freedom and democracy are not for sale.” Tesla has a large factory in China.

And an oldie but goodie from August. In McAllen (TX), an anti-LGBTQ church put on an unauthorized performance of the popular musical Hamilton that changed language to make it homophobic with its version of Christianity. One of the pastors lied about how “the Hamilton team” gave the church “the license to perform” their version, but Hamilton’s creators called them out on the falsehood. The pastor then admitted the church didn’t request or receive this permission and promised to destroy all images of the production, never stage it again, and pay damages. The pastor had depicted Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Treasury Secretary, as accepting Jesus Christ as his savior, and gave a sermon comparing homosexuality to drug use. Hamilton’s letters indicated his romantic feelings for his closest male friend, and the play’s creator Lin Miranda helped launch an initiative to support Florida’s Hispanic LGBTQ community. The money for damages goes to the South Texas Equality Project, a coalition of LGBTQIA+ organizations.

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.

August 4, 2022

Primaries – August  2, 2022 (Part 2), August 4, 2022

News continues to come in from Arizona, Kansas, and Michigan primaries, but they haven’t brought many surprises.

Arizona (Updates):

Kari Lake, endorsed by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), has been declared the GOP winner for gubernatorial candidate in November by fewer than 20,000 votes out of 719,928 votes from 88 percent of them recorded. Much farther right than the candidate endorsed by former VP Mike Pence, Lake’s competition is Secretary of State Katie Hobbs who won the Democratic candidacy by over 72 percent.

Joe Arpaio, notorious for being the anti-immigrant sheriff of Maricopa County who abused prisoners, is still running for office at the age of 90. This time around he lost the position of mayor of Fountain Hills, population 25,000, to Ginny Dickey by about 300 votes. In 2017, Arpaio was convicted of failing to stop profiling Latinx in traffic stops and cost taxpayers over $200 million for legal bills. DDT pardoned Arpaio two months later.

Two days after the primary election, Pinal County’s elections director, David Frisk, is “no longer employed” by the county because of serious ballot unavailability during the election, primarily GOP ones. South of Phoenix, the county has 425,000 population, some of them in the cities of Casa Grande and Florence.

Missouri:

Cori Bush, a Democrat who won her first primary election two years ago with 48.5 percent, not even three percent over incumbent William Lacy Clay. This year, she took 70 percent of the primary votes although her opposition, Steve Roberts, attacked her on both her voting record and not enough legislating.  

Someone in the state Office of Administration building scrubbed Roberts’ Wikipedia page of sexual assault accusations by at least two women. He filed a civil suit against one of the women but then dropped the case. Identified only by an IP address, one user made four edits on February 7, 2022, and the woman died 33 days later at the age of 37. The edits also eliminated Roberts’ firing from the circuit attorney’s office and background information on Roberts’ family history. On February 28, another account with no IP address, MOfacts, deleted the same sections. The same source added favorable information earlier on February 14. Roberts’ sexual misconduct allegations are back in the Wikipedia piece with additional information about the attempt to remove them. He also tried to shift redistrict maps to move Bush’s voters outside the boundary.

Washington:

Jamie Herrera Buetler and Dan Newhouse are two of the ten GOP representatives voting for DDT’s impeachment who are moving to the general election. The reason might be the “jungle primary” in Washington in the open primary—anyone can vote and the top two go to the November election. A third representative, David Valado, made the cut in California with the same style of election. Of the others, Peter Meijer (MI) and Tom (SC) lost and four others—Anthony Gonzales (OH), John Katko (NY), Adam Kinzinger (IL), and Fred Upton (MI)—opted not to run again. Liz Cheney (WY) trails her opponent for the August 16 primary; Wyoming permits voters from any party to change to another party on Election Day. In the Senate, Lisa Murkowski, the only Republican voting against DDT up for election in 2022,ss also faces an open-primary and ranked-choice voting system on August 16.

In Washington’s 4th Congressional District, Loren Culp came in third to Dan Newhouse and Doug White with only 21 percent. In 2020, Culp lost the gubernatorial election, receiving only 13.5 percent, but refused to concede the race. He withdrew his lawsuit only after his lawyer was threatened with sanctions for a frivolous case. Among Culp’s fringe beliefs was calling for the lynching of a Black man after an attack at a light rail station. He opposes vaccinations and instead told people to pay a Florida telehealth clinic for mailing them treatments including ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.  

Tennessee:

DDT lost one of his endorsements in April when Morgan Ortagus was removed from the 5th Congressional District. Republicans said she did not meet the requirements to be “actively involved” in the party during a three-year residency in the district. The state GOP also removed two others from the ballot in the same district. Ortagus argued that she met the party bylaws—voting in enough recent GOP primaries, participating in GOP women’s groups, and contributing to the state party. She said she talked with members of the State Executive committee “about my core conservative beliefs, my background serving in the Trump Administration and the U.S. Navy Reserves, and my conservative vision for our state and our country.” Critics were upset that Ortagus had supported Jeb Bush in the 2016 primaries and liberal SCOTUS Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg officiated at her wedding.

Andy Ogles won the GOP primary for the 5th district after a bruising campaign, State Sen. Frank Niceley campaigned for Beth Harwell, who came in second, saying that only Jewish members of Trump’s family cared about Ortagus’ candidacy because of her Jewish faith. Ortagus said Niceley “should be ashamed of his repeated anti-Semitic rhetoric,” adding she is “incredibly proud to call myself a part of the Jewish people.”

Odessa Kelly, a long shot, won the Democratic candidacy in the 7th Congressional District. She hopes to be the first openly lesbian Black member of Congress. Two other women, Aisha Mills (FL) and Queen Johnson (NY) hope for the same designation. Voting rights advocates called Kelly’s district the most gerrymandered one in the nation.

Catchup from other states:

DDT has set a trend among fringe candidates to refuse election losses no longer how large. Indicted county clerk Tina Peters, who lost Colorado’s primary for secretary of state by 14 points, is spending over $250,000 in donations for a recount because of “cheating.” Nevada’s gubernatorial candidate Joey Gilbert paid for a recount after losing by 11 points to DDT-endorsed Joe Lombardo. Georgia gubernatorial candidate Kandiss Taylor, receiving only 3.4 percent of the vote, claimed the election was “rigged,” and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell promised a “big investigation” on her behalf. GOP nominee for a January House special election Jason Mariner filed a lawsuit in election fraud after losing by almost 60 points.

And Michael Peroutka—a Christian nationalist and former board member of the neo-Confederate, secessionist League of the South whose extreme views are almost too numerous to enumerate—won the GOP’s nomination for attorney general in Maryland. In 2006, he hosted a five-part series of radio shows, “The American View,” in which he claimed 9/11 was an inside job carried out by an “elite bureaucrat” using pre-set demolition charges inside the buildings. A 2017 report found that the World Trade Center Building 7 collapsed from fire. Peroutka thought a missile looking “like a plane hit the Pentagon.” In 2004, he said he was “still angry” that Maryland was barred from seceding from the United States to join the Confederacy.

The consultant for Pennsylvania’s GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano declared the U.S. is a “Christian nation, Christians are “taking back” the country from Jewish people, and “Christian nationalists” currently congressional members will be joined with elected officials. Mastriano cross the police barricades at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. The consultant is CEO of Gab, which Bloomberg News called “an online haven for white supremacists.”

In Ohio, J.D. Vance, GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, is getting attention from conservatives—for being MIA. Before he disappeared, he told his audience at a Christian high school that couples should stay in bad marriages for the children even if they are violent. His complaint about the ease of divorce is wrong: the rates are at a 50-year low. Yet 70 women in the U.S. are fatally shot every month by intimate partners, and 1 million women living today were shot at by intimate partners, sometimes struck with gun shots. Vance also buys into the “replacement theory,” saying Democrats are “bringing in a large number of new voters to replace those that are already here.”  Conservative gay billionaire Peter Thiel put $15 million thus far into getting Vance elected. 

Mehmet “Dr.” Oz, running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, is another MIA. Comfortable with his opponent, John Fetterman, having had a stroke, Oz spent a good deal in time in Palm Beach with his first post-primary event on June 10 after winning on May 17. At the end of June, Oz left for Europe, specifically Ireland, for a couple of weeks. The man is also rumored to still be living in New Jersey. In late July Fetterman was ahead of Oz by 46 to 37 percent; a week later Fetterman went up to 14 points ahead, 52 percent of likely voters to 38 percent. DDT is complaining about Oz to Sean Hannity who persuaded him to endorse the TV doctor.

The most infamous candidate Herschel Walker, running for U.S. senators from Georgia, was DDT’s first endorsement. He deserves an entire blog post by himself.

Next Tuesday primaries, Connecticut and Minnesota.

Primaries – August 2, 2022 (Part 1)

In the five states with primaries on August 2, Arizona GOP winners may have collected the biggest crowd of QAnon and DDT-endorsed crazies for the general election. Some final results are still in question, but the Republicans for the state secretary of state, Mark Finchem, and U.S. Senate, Blake Masters, have been settled. Both were endorsed by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT).

Arizona:

Mark Finchem, a leader to overturn the Arizona the election, could control the elections if he were elected secretary of state. A self-declared Oath Keeper, he attended the January 6 insurrection although he lied about being in the U.S. Capitol. Arizona has no record of false ballots, but Finchem, a member of the House, is pushing for special ballots because of “fictitious ballots injected into the system.” He would like holographic foil, special ink designed with sensitivity to temperature changes, and almost invisible “stealth numbers” located only using special ultraviolet or infrared lights. Finchem’s election makes the fifth state to run election deniers for secretary of state in November. Arizona joins Alabama, Indiana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Michigan. These top state officials make election rules, count votes, and decide whether to overturn the will of the voters.

Blake Masters, another DDT pick, agrees with Finchem that DDT won the 2020 election. A disciple of authoritarian billionaire tech Peter Thiel, Masters believes in “anti-white racism, pushes the racist great replacement conspiracy theory, and supports the lie that the insurrection was an FBI false-flag operation. Masters says he doesn’t support terrorism, but he recommends the 35,000-word manifesto by the Unabomber, Kaczynski. One of his goals in the U.S. Senate would be to privatize almost everything in the U.S., including its water supply—something that has raised rate hikes in places where it happened.  Another Masters target is Social Security; he claimed, “We got to cut the knot at some point.”

Before joining Tucker Carlson’s “America First” view, Masters supported open borders and pro-choice while denouncing nationalism. His change has repelled former friends, including the best man at his wedding. Jonathan Chait wrote that Masters now says, “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” His belief that Black people are responsible for gun violence has gained the admiration of both DDT and neo-Nazis.

Thiel gave Masters $15 million for his campaign, and Masters said he wants to invalidate his gay donor’s marriage because the “point” of marriage is to have children. Its only purpose is procreation, and the Supreme Court “should not be deciding gay marriage.”

Abraham Hamadeh, another DDT endorsement and election denier, is the GOP candidate for state attorney general. The 31-year-old candidate appeared to inflate his campaign funds to look like a major player. His brother, Waseem, gave him a $1 million loan on March 21, just in time for the first-quarter finance filing and then repaid the loan on April 4, taking the balance back to $80,000. No one knew until mid-July when he had to report the second-quarter finances and after DDT endorsed him. Even shyster Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) called the maneuver “misleading.” In a six-way primary, Hamadeh received under 32 percent of the votes.

Paul Gosar: Last year, the U.S. House voted to censure Gosar and strip him of committee assignments after he proposed a caucus to protect “Anglo-Saxon political traditions” and promote the racist “replacement theory. In his 2020 election, his family members paid for an ad opposing his reelection. Gosar beat three opponents with 65 percent in the 9th Congressional District.

Rusty Bowers, who testified for the January 6 House investigation committee about DDT’s lies, lost his run for state senator.   

Maricopa County kept to sanity on its County Board of Supervisors. Tom Galvin, appointed last year, retained his position against three other Republicans, two of them lying about widespread election frauds in the 2020 presidential election. No Democrats filed to run. Conspiracy theorists in Arizona have returned to the lies that election officials used Sharpies to invalidate ballots. Maricopa County’s top prosecutor sent a cease-and-desist letter to county supervisor candidate Gail Golec, ordering her to stop to stop telling voters to steal these pens provided at polling sites. Golec lost.

Kari Lake, DDT’s endorsement, is two points ahead of Karrin Taylor Robson, former VP Mike Pence’s endorsement, but only 80 percent of the votes are in, leaving the final results unsettled. Lake is also an election denier and conspiracy theorist who stated that if “we don’t win, there’s some cheating going on.” Lake made voter fraud a centerpiece of her candidacy and declared victory while still behind in the vote counting. At her election-night party, she said, “We won this race. Period.” With no experience, the Arizona news anchor is supported by election conspiracists (aka Anon believers) Mike Lindell and Michael Flynn as well as insurrectionist Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ). She wants Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, an opponent, to be imprisoned for unidentified election crimes. In addition, she opposes COVID restrictions, although Arizona has a high rate of cases and deaths, along with “cancel culture” and “woke” school curriculums.

The winner goes against the state’s current secretary of state Katie Hobbs, who defended democracy in Arizona.

Kansas:

Almost all the excitement in Kansas’ elections came from the rejection of a legislative ballot initiative, permitting lawmakers to completely ban abortions in the state. One person, however, has returned for make another election attempt.

Kris Kobach, DDT-endorsed, barely squeaked into the GOP candidacy for the state’s attorney general with 20,000 votes more than the second-runner and 95 percent of the reported. He lost his last two races, most recently in the primary for the U.S. Senate and before that in the general election to Democrat Laura Kelly for governor. She is running again in November. He said he expected “a strong tailwind … for all Republicans,” but that was before Kansas rejected the anti-abortion measure. 

For decades, Kobach made a name in voter suppression, rising to the head of DDT’s commission in 2017 to investigate DDT’s fake “voter fraud” in the 2016 election when he was Kansas Secretary of State. Before that, he was a key architect in anti-immigration and anti-voter policies. Kobach drafted the Arizona “show me your papers” profiling law for minorities that moved to other states and disenfranchised eligible voters. While working for AG John Ashcroft, he helped cut the number of judges for immigration appeals from 19 to 11, removing pro-immigrant judges. Kobach also took part in the program to prevent Muslims from immigration. One of his court appearances was so disastrous that a judge ordered him to take remedial law classes.

Michigan:

Tudor Dixon picked up the gubernatorial nomination after DDT’s recent endorsement for being ahead in the polls. Five opponents, including Dixon’s two top rivals, were disqualified for turning in thousands of fake signatures on candidate petitions. Her far-right positions include anti-abortion, discrimination against LGBTQ people, belief in parents banning school curriculum, etc. Last May, she agreed that DDT won Michigan although he lost by 154,000 votes before she started dodging the question. She developed a following in 2019 for hosting the conservative cable news show America’s Voice Live. Her opponent in November is incumbent Gretchen Whitmer.

Ryan Kelley, who came in fourth in the governor’s GOP race with 15.4 percent, refuses to concede, and local canvassers may refuse to certify the results. He was arrested by the FBI for participating in the January 6 insurrection.

John Gibbs, another DDT endorsement, defeated incumbent GOP Rep. Peter Meijer. An election denier, the software engineer worked on housing issues under DDT’s HUD Secretary Ben Carson. He had no evidence for his claims that the election results are “mathematically impossible” and presented right-wing conspiracy theories. Gibbs tweeted the lie that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman John Podesta took part in a Satanic ritual. His alt-right Twitter account with the handle Ricky Vaughn was banned from the social media platform for regularly tweeting Nazi-era anti-Semitic propaganda, promoting claims that Jews control the world. He also defended then Rep. Steve King’s comment, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody’s else’s babies.”  

Meijer, heir to the multibillion-dollar Midwestern supermarket chain that bears his family name, was one of ten Republican House members to impeach DDT with great backlash from his own party. One of the biggest scandals, however, came from the media insinuating that Democrats paid for advertising to elect Gibbs. Not one of those ads was positive about Gibbs; they all explained why people shouldn’t vote for Gibbs

Voting for impeachment because of his experiences in the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, Meijer then whined about unfair the Democrats were to him. Yet he had abandoned any centrist position, his votes since the impeachment almost entirely been against helping people and toeing GOP rules. Meijer has a $50 million family trust, and his father and uncle are worth $10.2 billion. 

Jonathan Last wrote:

“Meijer and his apologists are insisting that his own voters lack agency and that they would have made ‘the right choice’ if only Democrats hadn’t told the voters who and what John Gibbs is… At the end of the day, the problem isn’t that Democrats tricked Republican voters into choosing John Gibbs.

“The problem is that Republican voters want John Gibbs.”

Meijer complained that the ad campaign was more nauseating than the threats of violence and death from members of his own party. Critics ignore the fact that Republicans made their own choices for their representative.

Tomorrow: information about primaries in Missouri and Washington; Tennessee on Friday; and Connecticut and Minnesota next week.

July 10, 2022

News: Week of July 3, 2022

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) thinks the problem with the job market is that too many people have too much money. He said that “a whole lot of people [are] sitting on the sidelines because … they’re flush.” He just wants them to run out of money. And he’s talking about working-class people, not the wealthy. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has complained that Democrats created labor shortages through “Socialist policies that pay people more money to stay home than go to work.” (Republicans don’t understand the definition of “Socialism,” defined as common or public ownership of resources.)

Last month the U.S. added 372,000 jobs, and unemployment stayed at 3.6 percent for the fourth straight month, matching an almost-50-year low.  Wages and benefits increased 4.8 percent in the year prior to March 2022, up from 2.8 percent annual increase the year before. A survey shows that 69 percent of workers are satisfied with their wages and 80 percent with recent raises.

The American Rescue Plan, which Republicans brag about although they didn’t vote for it, helped fuel the economic recovery, but Republicans didn’t want to give money to anyone except the wealthy. The GOP is still complaining about the program as if it were still in effect today, but it expired at least ten months ago. Unlike McConnell’s claim, the government isn’t paying people “not to work.”

McConnell is also blocking a bill allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices which would save the country $287 billion over the next decade. He was rewarded for his prevention of the bill reaching the floor: within under four months, the pharmaceutical industry gave him $50,000 in contributions. The bill has an 88-percent favorability rating. Democrats are still trying to pass the reform, and in exchange, McConnell threatens to block a bipartisan bill to make the U.S. more competitive with china and ease the shortage of semiconductor chips.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is working on a reconciliation bill bypassing the 60 votes necessary with a filibuster and requiring only a simple majority. Within the possible bill are prescription drug price cuts, tax hikes on the wealthy and corporations, and energy and climate provisions. Congress returns on July 11 to continue with the bill. Schumer hopes to get both this bill and the China competition bill completed by August. The China bill would pay for creating new technologies to help the U.S. stay ahead of its competitor through domestic semiconductor manufacturing.

Democrats hope to put the chips funding and other parts of the China bill into the budget, but regulatory and foreign policy aspects of the China bill might not be allowed into the budget. Delays in the bill would cause economic consequences: Intel Corp said the timing and size of its new Ohio facility depends on the funding. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) is working with Schumer on the bipartisan legislation, and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), usually an obstructionist, may support the bill. 

McConnell, along with the six Supremes, is helping to lead world toward greater climate warming. Conservatives refuse to believe their involvement in the problem, but the Midwest’s heat wave in May started the temperatures of 10 to 20 degrees above normal this summer in the U.S. Last year, Canada and the Pacific Northwest suffered from extreme heat waves. Higher temperatures equal faster snowmelt that, with rainfall, causes disastrous floods in Montana and Wyoming. The U.S. also faces horrific wildfires, many of them in the West including Yosemite National Park in California and Alaska.

High gas prices, partly caused by the industry’s price-gouging and Russia’s war in Ukraine, are benefiting the climate. June gas sales dropped about 5 percent from pre-pandemic levels and 2.6 percent from a year ago, causing people to drive six percent few miles than in June 2019, a one percent drop in U.S. carbon emissions. Some people have switched from gas-guzzling monster vehicles to smaller ones for necessary driving. Others walk more or take public transportation, and carpooling is another way they cut back. On the July 4th weekend, drivers shortened their trips.

Still traveling the country, DDT told an Anchorage (AK) crowd that Musk is a “bullsh*t artist” because Musk had never voted for DDT although he told him he did. In a speech, Musk said he couldn’t remember if he ever “voted for a Republican” but plans to do so in the future. DDT is campaigning for Sarah Palin, candidate for the state’s one U.S. representative. Formerly comparing Musk to inventor Thomas Edison, DDT called Musk “one of our greatest geniuses.”  Musk’s mistake may have been support for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2024 presidential election.

DDT is ostensibly campaigning for Sarah Palin, candidate for the state’s one U.S. representative, but he’s really trying to destroy the re-election chances for Sen. Lisa Murkowski who voted to convict DDT at his second impeachment trial. Palin used the event for a self-pitying rant about the media attacking her children and praise DDT’ testicles, massive according to Palin. She also advocated shooting when people at the opposition by invoking her father’s words: “Don’t retreat, reload.”

War on Fox occurred after Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) called pro-choice supporters the “genocide squad” and accused “leftists” of supporting abortions even for “babies who are already born.” These statements and other inflammatory lies were made to guest host Gregg Jarrett on The Sean Hannity Show. Another Jarrett panelist, Alan Dershowitz, condemned Boebert’s statements after he addressed her ire at protesters outside a Morton’s restaurant where Justice Brett Kavanaugh was having dinner. He said Boebert’s accusations about pro-choice supporters are “even more disgraceful than anything that happened to the justice.”  

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has decided, by majority 4-3 vote, that drop boxes for ballots are undemocratic and ruled against their use in the state. The four judges decided that because there was no law about drop boxes they must be illegal. Primaries are in one month. Spring 2021 elections in Wisconsin used 570 drop boxes. In her majority opinion, Justice Rebecca Bradley compared the use of drop boxes to systems by tyrants Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Kim Jong-il, Cuba’s Raul Castro, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Two months ago, Bradley joined the majority in heavily gerrymandering the state districts.

Frantic about losing his re-election this fall, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) lambasted the Democrats with a radio ad stating, “The latest mass murder in America didn’t involve guns.” He blamed President Joe Biden’s immigration policies for human traffickers causing the deaths of 53 people, including five children, in an abandoned truck trailer in San Antonio (TX). “Human, sex, and drug trafficking are out of control because of Democrat governance.” The ad was due out on July 6, two days after the “latest mass murder” that killed seven people and injured another 30 in Highland Park (IL) two days earlier. His campaign had to pull the false ad. Johnson has received about $1.2 million from pro-gun groups since his first campaign in 2010.

A third Wisconsin judge has ordered Michael Gableman not to delete his probe’s records from the state’s 2020 presidential election. Turning up no new information despite years of work, Gableman has done “bizarre” and “amateurish” work, according to bipartisan election administration experts. Last month, Gableman said he had deleted records despite requests for them. The judge had found him in contempt last month and ordered him to pay $2,000 per day until he complied with the order to submit the records. Gableman and two earlier reviewers of the ballots are each paid at least $11,000 a month despite doing “almost no substantive work.” The review has cost about $1 million thus far.

The DOJ is suing Arizona to block its law blocking the law, set to take effect in January, requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Arizona’s proof of citizenship law, and this new law violates the National Voter Registration Act, according to DOJ. State law already requires Arizona voters in state elections to provide proof of citizenship, but this law extends the requirement to federal election. Registering to vote in federal elections require attesting under penalty of perjury but doesn’t require proof until this new law. County records or election officials who don’t attempt to verify citizenship status and registers voters without documentation can be charged with a felony. Federal statutes do not require this documentation. Arizona already requires attestation of citizenship on the ballot; lying is a crime.

Last Friday, DDT’s former White House counsel Pat Cipollone testified for several hours. House investigative committee member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said Cipollone did not contradict testimony from previous witnesses and he committee members “did learn a few things, which we will be rolling out in the hearings to come.” Cassidy Hutchinson had testified at length about Cipollone’s knowledge of DDT’s seditious plans.

A second hearing by the House January 6 investigative committee possibly scheduled this week on July 14 at during prime time will examine the 187-minute time period when Donald Trump failed to act while his mob of supporters stormed the Capitol. The first one in the week on July 12 at 10:00 am EST focuses on the plotting and planning of the insurrection on January 6 by white nationalist groups including the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and the Three Percenters.

June 19, 2022

News from June 12-19, 2022

Killings with guns in the U.S.—including mass shootings—are happening more frequently. Recent ones around the nation include three people killed outside an Episcopalian church near Birmingham (AL) at a senior potluck by a 71-year-old gun dealer who had received a warning letter from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in 2018 related to missing gun inventory. Smith “failed to the record the disposition” of multiple firearms, and “failed to record” necessary information like addresses and license numbers in records as required by law.

Mass shootings: June 16, 2022 – One man and another four men and women were wounded outside an Oakland (CA) sports bar. Surveillance cameras caught the shootings on video.

June 18, 2022 – Five people were injured in a Pensacola (FL) nightclub.

June 19, 2922 – At least two people were killed and five others injured in a shooting at a family gathering in San Antonio. A 15-year-old boy was killed and three adults including a police officer injured in Washington, D.C.

The rosy projection of a bipartisan “gun reform” bill has greatly dimmed. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) responsible for the negotiation. He followed his usual MO—pretend a breakthrough while scuttling progress. He clearly stated that restricting guns was “not gonna happen” and supposedly targeted “the problem, mental illness and school safety.” Yet boos were so loud at his speech last week in his home state that he couldn’t continue. Cornyn originally promised ten GOP votes in the Senate for the proposed bill framework, but the ten Republicans on the bill are reneging on two parts of it: closing the boyfriend loophole allowing violent partners to have guns and giving money to states that incorporate the “red flag” law to remove guns from people through a court process if the firearms are a danger to themselves or others. Cornyn complained his own state won’t get money because they will refuse the red flag law, and he can’t figure out what partners will be of danger.

Cornyn also moved the goalposts: now he requires 20 GOP senators to sign off on any gun bill instead of ten. The Juneteenth holiday shortens this week’s schedule before the Senate heads out for a two-week vacation for the July 4th recess. Again Republicans hope that people will forget about ten people killed in Buffalo and another 21 in Uvalde (TX), 19 of them under 11 years old, so they can drop any gun reform ideas. and they can go back to satisfying all the gun-clutchers.

The communications director of the far-right, GOP-funded Moms for Liberty, was caught on tape declaring that her school district’s librarians should “all be plowed down with a freaking gun by now.” She declared the recording was illegally made and edited, but Media Matters maintains her claims are false. A losing U.S. House GOP candidate and DDT’s former “top pastor,” Mark Burns, also wants to execute LGBTQ people for “grooming” children.

Sunday, June 19, is the first annual anniversary of the federal holiday of Juneteenth, the date in 1865 when the last Blacks  were told that they were free although the Emancipation Proclamation freed them 30 months earlier.  One year since Congress established the federal holiday, only 18 states allow state employees a paid state holiday for the event. Some legislators said a day off is not worthwhile because not enough people know about the holiday. Almost 60 percent of people say they know about the holiday, and Blacks have celebrated the day since the late 1800s. This resistance is similar to state objections to the holiday for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday after a federal holiday was passed in 1983. Beginning with Texas in 1980, nine states made Juneteenth a paid state holiday before President Joe Biden signed the bill on June 17, 2021, making it a federal holiday. Legislation passed 148 to 1 in the House and 35 to 1 in the Senate.

June 19, 2022 is also the 50th anniversary of Father’s Day as a national U.S. holiday on the third Sunday of June. First celebrated with a sermon in 1908, the day struggled with popularity because men ridiculed the day’s sentimental celebration for masculinity through flowers and gifts. Efforts to combine Mother’s and Father’s days disappeared in the Great Depression because retailers wanted to commercialize two different days. By the end of World War II, it was used to support the war effort; by now people spent over $1 billion on Father’s Day gifts.

Arizona’s AG Mark Brnovich, a candidate for U.S. Senate, lost his case to lead other states in defending the changes in the “public charge” rule by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). The U.S. Supreme Court supported the 9th Circuit Court blocking states the lawsuit. The rule changes had made it easier to deny green cards to working immigrant families if they are “more likely than not” to use public benefits in the future such food stamps, housing and rental assistance, and Medicaid in 12 months of 36 months. Two of these forms of assistance for one month would count toward two months.

Brnovich also lost his case to order a major rewrite of an almost 300-page document telling Arizona county election officials how to manage the 2022 elections. He had refused an update Election Procedures Manual from Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, but a judge said his complaints were unsupported. The judge ruled that the manual approved by Brnovich, Hobbs, and Gov. Doug Ducey in 2019 would be in effect for the upcoming election. Hobbs provided county officials with guidance on changes on new laws and court rulings that affect that set of rules.

Glyphosate, found in the world’s most widely used herbicide Roundup, may pose a health risk for people exposed to it on farms, yards, roadsides, or food crop residue. The 9th Circuit Court ordered the EPA to reexamine its 2020 finding under DDT that found it to be no danger. Acquiring Roundup in 2018, the pharmaceutical company Bayer faces thousands of lawsuits about its causing cancer. EPA will review the court ruling and determine the “next steps,” and the Supreme Court may hear an appeal from Bayer to close the lawsuits against them. The three-judge panel ruled that EPA’s determination of no risk to human health “was not supported by substantial evidence.”

Parents won its lawsuit against a North Carolina charter school where girls were required to wear skirts because of the co-founder’s belief in “chivalry.” With a vote of 10-6, the entire 4th Circuit Court overturned the dress code—and a three-judge panel of the court—declaring the school violates female students’ constitutional rights. The two DDT-appointed judges on the panel had earlier ruled that the school was not a “state actor” although it receives public funds, is subject to state educational requirements and is called a “public school” in state statutes. Female students between kindergarten and eighth grade said that the dress code kept them from participating in recess and made them uncomfortable in such situations as emergency drills when they had to crawl on the floor. The judge wrote that chivalry is “a code of conduct where women are treated, they’re regarded as a fragile vessel that men are supposed to take care of and honor” and intended to ensure that girls are treated “courteously and more gently than boys,” an impermissible gender stereotype.

Police are receiving death threats after they arrested members of the neo-Nazi Patriot Front heading to an attack on an LGBTQ Pride event in Coeur d’Alene on June 11. Members of the group were charged and then released on bail. Calls to the agency came from as far away as Norway. Threats included publishing personal information of police offices such as their home addresses and telephone numbers. Details about the Patriot Front. More about the Patriot Front, an offshoot of the neo-Nazi group Vanguard America.

One Patriot Front member won’t be going home: his mother, Karen Amsden, kicked the 27-year-old out of her house. Karen Amsden, the mother of a 27-year-old Utah resident, kicked him out of the house. Divorced after her husband defined himself as gay, she said she told her son he could “choose between Patriot Front and your family.” He picked Patriot Front, and she told him to pack and leave. Her son had told him that he was just going camping for the weekend in Idaho and later used the false excuse for the attack that LGBTQ people are “grooming kids.”

A group of five Proud Boys traumatized children attending a Drag Queen Story House at the San Lorenzo library, 25 miles southeast of San Francisco, when the hate group stormed the facility yelling homophobic and transphobic threats. They also accused adult participants of “grooming kids.” State Sen. Scott Wiener received a death threat with hate language and sexual obscenities after he called the incident the “direct result of political attacks on LGBTQ people.”

At the Faith & Freedom conference where DDT attacked Mike Pence—again!—Sen. Lindsey Graham announced, to much applause, the GOP philosophy: “You know what I like about Trump. Everybody was afraid of him.”

The goal of the Republicans is to make everyone afraid of them. Allow everyone to keep guns to terrify people. Use bullying to destroy diplomacy. Employ vigilantes to take away people’s constitutional rights such as voting. Create tantrums accusing people of evidence-free wrong-doing. And never admit you’ve lost—make up lies to get your own way, repeat them over and over, and cheat people to win. It’s the GOP playbook.

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