Nel's New Day

September 12, 2022

Ukraine’s Progress, DDT Stalls

The 9/11 post about Ukrainian’s counteroffensive to the Russian invasion showed hope that continues. Disguised as locals, abandoned Russian troops fled Zaliznychne, 37 miles east of Kharkiv, on stolen bicycles and cars or any other way they could, leaving their weapons behind. Soldiers pled for rescue with unit commanders, but they were told “you’ve on your own.”

Investigators came from Kharkiv to collect civilian bodies shot by Russians, some lying exposed for months. One investigator repeated vomited over a guardrail as officers picked up the remains of bodies rotting on the floor of a gravel elevator at an asphalt plant which Russians used as a sniper tower.

The day after Russia reported leaving the Balakliya and Izyum area, its Defense Ministry briefing showed forces retreating behind the Oskil River on the eastern edge of the Kaharkiv region. By Sunday, Ukraine reported taking back over 1,100 square miles of territory while advancing to the east, south, and north, penetrating Russian lines up to 42 miles in some places. The report added that Ukrainians “captured more territory in the past five days than Russian forces have captured in all their operations since April.” Later Zelensky added that Ukraine had taken back 3,600 square miles and over 40 settlements since the beginning of September.

Russia still holds about one-fifth of Ukraine and continues heavy shelling in several regions, but Ukrainian soldiers hope this weekend is a turning point. Ukraine’s Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said the nation could not negotiate a peace deal permitting Russian an occupying presence anywhere in Ukraine, even in those such as Crimea and the eastern regions controlled by Russia or Russian-backed separatists for eight years. At the Yalta European Strategy summit in Kyiv on Saturday, Reznikov said, “The point of no return has passed.” Later he told Russia that Ukraine was “not refusing the talks” when Russia planned another round of sham referendums to annex occupied territories, but added that the longer the delay, “the more difficult it will be to negotiate.”

Chechen republic leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who sent his own fighters to Ukraine, said he would have to contact Moscow leadership for an explanation without immediate changes in Russia’s actions in the invasion. Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky didn’t give details about his plans but said they “won’t be standing still.”

Refusing to acknowledge a rout, Russia claimed they were regrouping its troops for deployment. Even Russian social media users scoffed at this weak excuse, calling the pull-out “shameful.” Hawkish Russian war bloggers have turned against Putin, calling the war a “catastrophe.” On state television, a former Duma member blamed unnamed “people who convinced President Putin that the special operation would be effective and swift, that we won’t be hitting the civilian population . . . that the Ukrainians will surrender and run away and ask to join Russia.” He clearly favored peace negotiations to end the “war” instead of using Putin’s term “special operation.” On Saturday, Putin had time to open a new Ferris wheel in Moscow, the largest in Europe. People were stuck as high as 460 feet over the ground, and the wheel closed for “calibration.”  

According to Ukrainian officials, the Russian military has stopped sending new units into Ukraine:

“The current situation in the theatre of operations and distrust of the higher command forced a large number of volunteers to categorically refuse the prospect of service in combat conditions.”

Ukrainians have no place for all their Russian prisoners of war they have captured.

 Energoatom, operator of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, is shutting down the last working reactor at the Russian-controlled plant which had powered the crucial cooling system. It will be cooled and transferred to a safer state after Russians continued its shelling of the area. Shelling can still disconnect the grid, forcing the plant to use emergency diesel generators to avoid a nuclear meltdown, but only ten days of diesel fuel remains. 

Sunday, Russian missile strikes against power stations and other infrastructure left tens of thousands of people with no electricity and running water for several hours. The Kharkiv called the power outage “revenge by the Russian aggressor for the successes of our army at the front, in particular, in the Kharkiv region.” The outages were not related to the reactor shutdowns at the Zaporizhzhia plant.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/09/12/trump-classified-special-master/    A new filing by Deposed Donald Trump’s (DDT) legal team argues that the documents marked classified aren’t really classified. Like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the attorneys claimed the situation was a “document storage dispute.” The filing is in response to the DOJ’s request that the over 100 classified documents, including military and nuclear secrets of a foreign government, be exempted from the examination. Yet DDT’s lawyers wouldn’t lie under oath to declare that DDT had declassified the documents. They just claim that prosecutors are overstating any national-security concerns and said the government was not being fair.  

While DDT’s Judge Aileen Cannon tries to protect him, the DOJ issued about 40 subpoenas to obtain more information on DDT and his associates regarding the 2020 election and January 6 insurrection. Several of the subjects are still close to DDT including former White House social media director Dan Scavino. Last week, the DOJ seized phones from top advisers Boris Epshteyn and Roman who helped submit fake electoral votes from swing states won by President Joe Biden in 2020. Some of the subpoenas are related to DDT’s fraudulent donation scheme from his Save America PAC falsely claiming the money would to go the non-existent court cases to put DDT back into the White House. At least one subpoena asked for information about members of the executive and legislative branches taking part in blocking the presidential election election. Several congressional members have already been identified

DDT’s filing based its entire legal argument on a reading of the Presidential Records Act (PRA) (1978) which states that the National Archives “shall” become the custodian of presidential records. DDT’s team claims that he doesn’t have to return the classified documents because the law does not state “must.” After the Supreme Court ruled in Gutierrez de Martinez v. Lamagno (1995) that “shall” could mean “may,” much to the surprise of the entire legal world which had defined “shall” as “must,” Congress passed the Plain Writing Act in 2010, requiring the word “must” for mandatory. Originalists, however, must accept the word “shall” as “must” because the PRA was passed 17 years before the Supreme Court ruling.  

According to a new memoir by Geoffrey Berman, fired because he wouldn’t voluntarily resign as the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, former AG Bill Barr is a liar, a bully, and a thug. And stupid.

In Holding the Line: Inside the Nation’s Preeminent US Attorney’s Office and Its Battle with the Trump Justice Department, to be published this week, Berman gave a firsthand account of how Barr tried to orchestrate the prosecution of DDT’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen and the Halkbank investigation about Turkish bankers and government officials helping Iran circumvent the Iran nuclear deal. Berman had been Barr’s adversary during the presidency of George H.W. Bush when Barr protected Bush from legal problems by suggesting that the president pardon the conspirators of the Iran-Contra scandal along with more sleazy actions.

To protect DDT, Barr took “point person” for the Halkbank investigation that was run out of New York. At one meeting, Barr raised his voice when he asked Berman, “Who do you think you are to interfere?” Berman had refused to give people in the case a non-prosecution agreement without disclosing the move and said it would be a “fraud on the court.”

Barr used the same words over the appointment of Audrey Strauss as Berman’s deputy. Berman let himself be fired rather than resign so that she could take over Berman’s position instead of Barr appointing his own person. Another contentious issue between the two men was Berman’s refusal to sign a letter attacking former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, criticizing the mayor’s COVID restrictions to religious services.

Berman’s refusal led Barr ask him for a meeting where Barr said he wanted to “make a change in the southern district.” Berman turned him down and didn’t know if he could be removed by anyone other than judges who appointed him on an interim basis or by a Senate confirmation of a successor. Barr offered Berman more money by leading the DOJ civil division before he threatened to fire Berman before he asked Berman if he wanted to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, “not [Barr’s] to offer.”

Barr said he’d talk to Berman again but issued the press release saying Berman was “stepping down.” Berman followed up with his own press release, stating he hadn’t resigned, and showed up for work the next day. Barr released a letter stating that DDT had fired Berman.

Oddly enough, Barr has made many anti-DDT comments both on television and in interviews with the House January 6 investigative committee—that the 2020 election was legal, DDT has no right to the classified documents, the DOJ has enough information to indict DDT, etc. Yet Barr’s reputation  will follow him.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), running for another six-year term, accused Democrats of having “infilitrated” life in the U.S. by going to church, attending college, and having jobs. He said “this entire election is … fighting for freedom.” (I know: it doesn’t make sense!) 

September 5, 2022

DDT’s ‘Special Master,’ Biden’s Wins on Labor Day 2022

The Florida judge appointed by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has ruled in favor of appointing a third party attorney “special master” from outside the government to review his documents, an act that DDT’s former AG Bill Barr called a “crock of s**t.” Her rulings:

  • The FBI must stop examining the documents until after the review or another court order.
  • The classification review and intelligence assessments conducted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence may continue.
  • Both sides have until September 9 to nominate candidates and duties.
  • The review is reviewing “seized property for … claims of attorney-client and/or executive privilege.”
  • DDT hasn’t proved his “constitutional rights” were disregarded.
  • The FBI had obtained DDT’s medical and tax information.

DDT responded to the court ruling by writing that the FBI and DOJ should “change the results of the 2020 Presidential Election.” Heather Cox Richardson has an excellent analysis of the flaws in the judicial decision.

On to the good news for Labor Day 2022, “a celebration of workers and of their dignity,” according to Eugene Robinson. We’ve come a long way in the past decade since Paul Ryan, then House Majority Leader and vice-presidential candidate, gave a speech on how Labor Day celebrated business management and CEOs because business owners were the only Americans working hard and taking risks to make “this country grow.” He went on to lose, become House Speaker, and  turn into a professional board member for several companies, including Fox.

Union organizers at a Staten Island warehouse defeated Amazon in its attempt to overturn the employee vote at a federal labor board hearing. Employees’ decisive vote last April created the first unionized Amazon facility in the U.S. Amazon claimed fraud by organizers and the agency overseeing the election. The company even failed to make the hearing secret. It will appeal with September 16 the deadline to file exceptions. Amazon will likely take the case into federal court, a practice to thwart labor victories.

At Google, a 300,000-member union of hotel and food service workers has helped unionize 90 percent of food service workers in 23 of the company’s cafeterias proving free food for programmers and product managers. Last week, workers moved into Atlanta where workers presented managers at Sodexo with plans to unionize and gained an agreement that a majority vote would rule. Tens of thousands more workers voted to join unions in the first half 2022 than the same time period in 2021. For the first time, Chipotle, Trader Joe’s and the recreation equipment maker REI have unionized from concerns about safety and low wages along with 230 Starbucks locations and Apple Store.

Google in North Carolina may have the next union after workers protest the company dropping their salaries. With $257.6 billion in revenue during 2021, Google’s profits rose 41 percent from 2020. Google said it’s move to the South was for diversity, but that area has the lowest salaries in the nation.

Unions won more representation elections in 2022 than they have in nearly 20 years, going from a slightly above 50 percent win rate in 2000 to 76.6 percent thus far this year. [visual – union win rate]

Republicans won’t admit that Biden’s economy has rapidly recovered from the COVID devastation, regaining all net private sector jobs lost from the pandemic since his inauguration. Yet the 9 million jobs he added in his first 17 months was the highest number for any president in that time. Without Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) the unemployment would have been seven percent in summer 2021 and stay higher after that instead of sliding to 5.4 percent and then shrinking to 3.5 percent a year later.

Despite GOP spreading fears of a recession, the International Monetary Fund predicts the U.S. can “narrowly avoid a recession” in 2022 and 2023, and net domestic investment is at an all-time high. New manufacturing facilities construction is up 116 percent over last year as more companies move supply chains back to the U.S. from foreign countries. June 2022 manufacturing jobs exceeded those in February 2020.

To combat inflation, gas prices have dropped about 25 percent from a high of $5 in some places. Freight shipping costs have decreased along with shipping container costs reducing by half and transit times by 35 percent. The past month have seen prices for raw materials such as wheat, corn, and copper trending downward.

August gained 315,000 jobs, totaling 3.5 million new jobs for the year; the unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent because 786,000 new people entered the workforce. Last month, the share of adults in the workforce jumped from 62.1 percent in July to 62.4 percent, and the 82.8 percent of people aged 25-54 in the workforce was slightly below pre-pandemic levels. Average wages were up 5.2 percent from a year ago.

ARPA assistance with the expanded child tax credit in 2021 took 3.7 million children out of poverty. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) blocked its continuance in the Inflation Reduction Act, but another possibility for tax credits at the end of the year during negotiations for extensions on expiring business tax breaks. The overturn of Roe v. Wade has also encouraged more relief for family benefits with three Republican senators introducing a proposal for credit although it has a work requirement for parents.  In addition, 29 states have programs to compensate for the lack of federal child credits with an additional three next year.

While the attention was largely focused on DDT since Joe Biden was inaugurated, the new president has been on a roll. He came into the presidency with three major goals—investing in the U.S. unraveling infrastructure, taking action against climate change, and expanding the social safety net.

For the past few months, Biden has had other successes—helping average people instead of the GOP focus on special interests. He took out the top al-Qaeda leader, put the first Black female justice on the Supreme Court, expanded NATO by unifying European support for Ukraine after Russia’s invasion, and passed the first gun reform law in almost 30 years.

During his first 17 months, Biden’s accomplishments echo themes and priorities from the major initiatives of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan. He signed the Inflation Reduction Act, the American Rescue Plan, the infrastructure law, the gun law, the Chips law, the PACT burn pits act, and the anti-Asian hate crimes as well as updating and reauthorizing the Violence against Women Act. In addition, Biden addressed climate change, offshore wind projects, and mitigation funds for drought, wildfire, and flooding. And he reduced the federal budget deficit, required publicly traded corporations to pay a modest one-percent excise tax on stock buy-backs, required corporations with over $1 billion in earnings to pay a minimum 15 percent income tax, and greatly eased student loan debt

Biden came into the presidency with three major goals—investing in the U.S. unraveling infrastructure, taking action against climate change, and expanding the social safety net. Republicans minimized Biden’s November 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) but took credit for it with their constituents after they voted against it. The joke during the term of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) was “it’s infrastructure week,” every week, but DDT failed to accomplish in that area. Biden ‘s bill invests $1.2 trillion into U.S. infrastructure: surface transportation, public transit and rail, water, and broadband internet infrastructure. It also invests in renewable energy and electric vehicles. And supports over 770,000 jobs in during the next decade.  

Two Democratic senators blocked another major bill for several months and reduced its amount, but Congress passed the $750 billion Inflation Reduction Act last month. It reduces energy, health care, and prescription drug costs for American families; invests $370 billion over a decade for clean energy and climate programs; and allows Medicare to negotiate lower prices and reduce Medicare out-of-pocket costs for drugs. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, once Sen Manchin (D-WV) renamed it and gained a few personal perks. U.S. production of crude oil during Biden’s first year was higher than in DDT’s first year, and he issued more drilling permits on federal land than DDT did in his first three years.

The Economic Policy Institute also has a detailed view of Biden’s work for low- and middle-income families in his work to address equity and racial justice through over 90 agencies, a director of racial equity, and $738 million to minority-owned businesses. He also rescinded DDT’s punitive orders against equity. The article also lists how Biden rescinded DDT’s punitive orders to block achievements for anyone except wealthy white people. Xenophobic policies in the workplace during DDT’s term allowed employees to cheat workers out of wages and force them into sub-standard work conditions. Biden also strengthened protections for collective bargaining, due process, and labor representatives that DDT had weakened. 

Biden’s wins are almost as long as crimes by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) whose only domestic policy change was a tax cut for the wealthy and big business that increased the national debt, skyrocketing by $7.8 trillion during DDTD’s four years. Republicans complain about inflation, but they have blocked ways to block it and support corporations raising prices sky high to make profits. Congressional GOP members voted against negotiating drug prices, putting a $35 a month cap on insulin cost, investigating high gas prices while the industry makes huge profits, etc. 

And on Labor Day 2022, unions are coming back.

August 26, 2022

Some News – August 25, 2022

The most dangerous story of the day may be how a Christian fundamentalist company is taking over Texas school boards on its way to control the U.S. for evangelicals. The Texas-based Patriot Mobile markets itself as “America’s only Christian conservative wireless provider,” meaning Christian nationalist/MAGA far right. Electing school board members is the beginning to take over every part of the nation’s political structure with its anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ, anti-feminist, anti-minorities, anti-history, anti-science, anti-nonChristian religion philosophy—and put all that in the school curriculum.

Former DDT adviser Steve Bannon has promoted Patriot Mobile and its “mission from God to restore conservative Christian values at all levels of government—especially in public schools,” according to Mike Hixenbaugh in his article for NBC news. Patriot Mobile created a PAC this year with $600,000 in seed money to spend on school board races in the Fort Worth suburbs. They bought 11 seats in four districts.

The Keller Independent School District pulled 40 books from the library shelves, including a graphic adaptation of Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl. The company donated framed posters of “In God We Trust” to the Carroll Independent School District, required to display them in each of the school buildings because of a new Texas law. These posters are spreading in schools across Texas after the passage of Senate Bill 797 requiring “a public elementary school or secondary school” to display the motto in a “conspicuous place” if a poster or framed copy of the motto is “donated for display at the school or institution” or “purchased from private donations and made available to the school.” The bill’s co-author tweeted:

“The national motto, In God We Trust, asserts our collective trust in a sovereign God.”

The Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District board voted 4-3 for a set of policies restricting how teachers talk about race and gender, limit the rights of transgender and nonbinary students to use bathrooms and pronouns corresponding with the genders, and simplified a process for parent to ban library books dealing with sexuality. Almost 200 people signed up to speak during public comments, many of them recruited to support the policies but others voluntarily protesting.

Christian fundamentalists must take over all parts of the government in their “Seven Mountains” theology, aka “dominionism,” once a fringe theology.  Pastor Rafael Cruz, Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) father, started weekly Bible studies for employees at Patriot Mobile’s corporate office to be posted on YouTube. Cruz preached that American founders intended a “one-way wall” for religion, banning government from interfering with the church but not stopping the church from controlling the government.

Supporters of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) are fixated on finding negative information about the Biden family, two of them so much that they stole the diary of Ashley Biden, President Joe Biden, during his 2020 campaign. Two defendants pled guilty to stealing the diary and selling it to Project Veritas, the conservative organization pretending to be a news media organization while falsifying videos and other information for negative lies about Democrats. The two thieves received $40,000 for the diary and returned to take more of Ashley Biden’s property. She had written intimate information about herself and her family while she recovered from addition.

The release of a nine-page memo from the DOJ after a court order shows the obfuscation of former AG Bill Barr in covering for DDT after Robert Mueller filed his report about the investigation into the ties between Russian interference and DDT’s campaign in the 2016 presidential election. Barr explained that DDT couldn’t be charged with any crimes because of no conspiracy, different from Mueller’s report. A highly redacted version of the memo was released in 2019; this version is complete. Barr signed and approved the memo on March 24, 2019, the same date he notified Congress of his decision not to prosecute DDT. It ends with a formal recommendation to not charge DDT. Both Mueller and legal analysts criticized the DOJ for being “selective” about items in the report.

Two federal courts concluded that Barr didn’t rely on the memo for legal advice and decided to not charge DDT before he commissioned the memo. A federal appeals court described the memo as an “academic exercise” or “thought experiment” that meant to bolster the public rollout of Barr’s decision against prosecuting Trump. In the memo, Barr’s deputies, the memo’s authors, wrote DDT couldn’t be charged because of lack of precedence and claimed Mueller couldn’t find any comparable cases with “remotely similar circumstances.”

The ”Trump Defense,” according to Barr’s DOJ: DDT’s acts were not criminal because of his thoughts, anger, and ineptitude.

  • DDT’s steps were “not for an illegal purpose” but because he believed the investigation was politically motivated.
  • DDT’s “driving force” was anger over Comey’s refusal to publicly declare that the FBI was not investigating Trump himself rather than an effort by Trump to derail the investigation.
  • DDT’s obstruction was never carried out because people didn’t follow his orders.

The government watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which obtained the memo after a lawsuit, stated the excuses presented a “breathtakingly generous view of the law and facts for Donald Trump.” The group’s statement added:

“It significantly twists the facts and the law to benefit Donald Trump and does not comport with a serious reading of the law of obstruction of justice or the facts as found by Special Counsel Mueller.”

Mueller had pointed out that DDT fired FBI Director James Comey after the former director did not “let this go” in the criminal probe of DDT’s former top adviser Michael Flynn. DDT told his White House counsel, Don McGahn, that he never tried to fire Mueller, but the memo claimed “there is insufficient evidence to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the President sought to induce McGahn to lie.”

In another sticky problem for DDT, one of his appointed judges returned his filing to limit the DOJ review of records seized from Mar-a-Lago with the request that he clarify what he is seeking—why the court has jurisdiction over the dispute and what “precise relief” he wants. Legal observers are already criticizing the suit for being convoluted and failing to ask substantial legal questions. DDT had asked for a special master to review the materials and bar the FBI from examining the documents until the master is appointed. The purpose might be to determine whether the seized documents are protected by attorney-client privilege or any other legalities.

Another potential DDT problem is the release of a redacted version of the Mar-a-Lago search warrant affidavit by noon on August 26, per a court ruling. It describes the probable cause for crime, possibly adding more charges against DDT.

More news about documents at Mar-a-Lago came from an email sent by the National Archives chief counsel, Gary Stern to DDT in May 2021. He references two dozen boxes stored in DDT’s White House residence not returned despite the request to give them back. Stern wrote that DDT’s lawyer Pat Cipollone agreed the boxes of official records needed to be returned. For months, DDT repeatedly declined to return the items while his lawyers expressed concerns about his keeping the documents.   

Conservative love to play the victim, and former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, now the GOP candidate for a Montana U.S. House seat by 1,608 votes is no different. He is claiming the DOJ is persecuting him although the agency has refused to bring charges against him for the second time. A report from the Interior Department’s inspector general reveals that Zinke lied and misled his way through an inquiry into possible misdeeds including a casino operating decision following extensive lobbying to bury the project. An earlier investigation into Zinke found he lied about his involvement in a land deal in his hometown of Whitefish (MT), benefitting him personally. He had falsely claimed that his meeting with the developers was “purely social.”

And notably, it’s the second time the Biden DOJ has passed on pursuing Zinke for allegedly lying to investigators. Another IG report released earlier this year found Zinke had allegedly lied about his involvement in a land deal in his hometown of Whitefish, Mont., which he stood to benefit from personally. Zinke claimed his role was minimal and that a meeting he held with the project’s developers at the Interior Department’s headquarters was “purely social.” Yet Inspector General Mark Greenblatt, a DDT appointee, reported that communications proved Zinke had “an extensive, direct, and substantive role in [representing] negotiations” with the developers. Even without any charges for his illegal actions, Zinke called it a “political hit job” by the Biden administration.

The federal government declined to move forward from the investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) until after the general election. In this week’s primary, Gaetz defeated his opponent to be the GOP candidate. Yet the case against Gaetz for sex-trafficking underage girls may be solid, and he could be tied into a massive investigation in corruption throughout central Florida through his connection with an associate, former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, who is due to be sentenced in December after several extensions. Like Gaetz, some of his charges are for sex-trafficking, but the investigation into ? covers illegal real estate deals, embezzlement of federal COVID relief, Republicans running ghost candidates, and public corruption. An op-ed from Gaetz’s primary opponent wrote about Gaetz using money from his donors intended for conservative causes to pay for his sex-trafficking defense and expressed concern about Gaetz, a member of the Congressional Armed Services Committee who has access to top secret information, is open to blackmail.  

August 23, 2022

DDT Keeps Monopolizing the News

More news about classified documents at Mar-a-Lago: John Solomon, conservative writer and a designated liaison to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) appointed by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), released a May 10 letter from NARA that the agency and federal investigators “had grown increasingly alarmed about potential damage to national security caused by the warehousing of these documents at Mar-a-Lago, as well as by Trump’s resistance to sharing them with the FBI.” NARA had discovered over 700 pages of classified material, including “special access program materials” which are some of the most highly classified secrets in government, in the 15 boxes recovered from Mar-a-Lago last January.

A major question is why “Team Trump” would release this damaging information that makes DDT look even worse by confirming the large haul of highly classified national security materials illegally taken to DDT’s club. Lawyers have made no mention of DDT’s having declassified the documents, as he claims. Politico’s Kyle Cheney tweeted:

“Trump has been on notice since at least May of the FBI’s efforts to access this material. So his motion to seek a special master following the execution of the search warrant is months—not just weeks— late.”

The letter from National Archivist Debra Wall to DDT’s attorney, Evan Corcoran, also stated that DDT had no executive privilege; only the current executive branch of the government and president can grant this way for DDT to escape. Solomon posted the letter on his website, hoping to cause trouble for Biden. 

A fictional excuse for DDT taking top secret classified documents home with him after permanently leaving the White House is that he gave an order to declassify all the documents. Sycophant Kash Patrel, acting chief of staff to Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller after DDT lost his 2020 election, has been pushing the myth, citing DDT’s tweet from October 6 2020:

“I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions!”

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows rejected Patel’s claim in a sworn statement when a judge demanded clarification about the tweet. It was in direct opposition to the White House’s position to not classify the Russia records. Meadows conceded that the tweet was not an order to declassify or release any records. Meadows wrote:

“The president indicated to me that his statements on Twitter were not self-executing declassification orders, and do not require the declassification or release of any particular documents.”

Patel refused to give up on his false assertion and said that he witnessed DDT declassify “whole sets of documents” in December 2020 and January 2021 while he was “on his way out.” Previously, however, Patel said DDT “failed to generate the paperwork to change the classification markings.”

According to protocol, declassification doesn’t happen in secret. Former Obama administration Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson called such a concept “laughable” because “part and parcel of any act of declassification is communicating that act to all others who possess the same information.” In July 2020, the 2nd Circuit Court stated that “declassification, even by the President, must follow established procedures,” according to The New York Times. There is no evidence that DDT even tried to have a “standing order” to declassify everything taken to his home, as he claimed. John Bolton, DDT’s former national security adviser, called the statement “almost certainly a lie.”

DDT’s possession of classified documents opened an investigation to his violation of the Espionage Act, possible obstruction, and removing and destroying official documents.

Thanks to the lies spread from GOP legislative leaders among DDT’s base, The IRS is facing threats to its 600 facilities, comparable to those in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing of a federal building that killed 168 people and injured more than 500. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) isn’t spending its annual extra $8 million for the next decade to hire 87,000 new IRS agents, and it isn’t taxing people making under $400,000 a year. No matter. Lies are what the GOP campaigns thrive on, even if they kill people.

Fomenting the fear and hatred, House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA) spread these lies from the House floor about the IRS on August 9:

“They have 80,000 employees. You know what the IRS also has? 4,600 guns. 5 million rounds of ammunition. Why? Democrats want to double its already massive size. With this new power, the IRS will snoop around in your bank account, your Venmo, your small business. Then the government will shake you down for every last cent. In light of [the FBI’s search of Trump’s residence], let me ask: Do you really trust this administration’s IRS to be fair, to not abuse their power?”

McCarthy wasn’t the only person to put these lies into the House record: he was followed by Andrew Clyde (R-GA). Sen. Rick Scott wrote an open letter last week to job seekers discouraging them from applying for IRS jobs. His ire was focused on a posting for an IRS criminal investigator to serve search warrants and make arrests with the insinuation that all the IRS’s new hires will “need to be ready to audit and investigate your fellow hardworking Americans, your neighbors and friends, you need to be ready and, to use the IRS’s words, willing, to kill them.” Fewer than 3,000 of the IRS’ 78,000 employees work in criminal investigations and carry firearms.

Far-right extremist Proud Boys, supported by many Republicans, posted that the new IRS hires had to be “willing to use deadly force.” Other online memes from the white supremacist supporters compared IRS employees to Nazi SS officers and called for a “tea party” to tar and feather tax collectors. Twitter has permanently banned Luis Miguel, a GOP House candidate for Florida’s state legislature primary, for his tweet, “Under my plan, all Floridians will be able to shoot FBI, IRS, ATF, and all other federal troops ON SIGHT. Let freedom ring.” Facebook and Instagram allowed him to continue posting after that statement was removed. Miguel lost the primary to the GOP incumbent, Bobby Payne.

Last week, a three-judge panel from the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that former AG Bill Barr failed to be honest about having a deliberate process after the release of the Mueller report into Russian interference on the part of DDT’s 2016 presidential election. The DOJ must now make public the internal memo prepared by senior lawyers in 2019 about whether ties between DDT’s campaign and Russia consisted of crimes usually charged by prosecutors. A judge said that Barr’s DOJ claim that the memo was part of his decision about prosecuting DDT is inaccurate and that the memo was more like a “thought experiment.” Barr decided DDT would not be charged with a crime before the memo was written.

A federal judge ruled that Arkansas violated the Voting Rights Act with a six-voter limit for those who help people cast ballots in person. He wrote that Congress gave voter their choice of whom they wanted to assist them at the polls other than their employer or union representative.

Justice has finally been served in the planned kidnapping of a public official, namely Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. A jury found two men, part of the far-right anti-government Wolverine Watchmen, guilty of conspiring to kidnap Whitmer in 2020 after a hung jury earlier this year. They were also convicted of conspiring to obtain a weapon of mass destruction in a plan to blow up a bridge as part of the kidnapping. 

 The men also went on “reconnaissance missions” to Whitmer’s vacation home, where they planned to carry out the kidnapping, and collected high-powered guns. Angry about Whitmer’s orders to stop COVID, they were also part of the hundreds of armed men who entered the state Capitol building. Two other men pled guilty and testified for the prosecution, and another two were acquitted in the trial deadlocked on the convicted men.

For years, Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg had pled the Fifth Amendment, invoking his right against self-incrimination. No longer. Now that he has taken a plea deal, he can’t avoid answering questions about DDT’s business dealings. If he tries to back out of the deal, the 75-year-old man faces a 15-year prison term. He can provide valuable information about DDT’s business and person misconduct without cooperating in a criminal probe against DDT.

Rasmussen has long been known as having a conservative bent, but new discoveries about their polling, lowering the average using several polls, show that anti-Biden authors are paying Rasmussen for surveys about Biden as advertising for their books. The company has a history of this problem: President Obama typically received approval numbers about five points lower on Rasmussen than other polls. Part of the problem may be their phrasing of statements to sway the answers for negative responses to Democrats and their actions. For example, August used this one last August:

“It’s always better to cut taxes than to increase government spending because taxpayers, not bureaucrats, are the best judges of how to spend their money.”

Daily Kos blogger Steve Singiser sarcastically asked why Rasmussen didn’t add “how tax cuts regrow hair, whiten teeth, and ensure that your favorite team will win the Super Bowl this year.”

[Note: Something has happened at Rasmussen recently. It’s latest poll for Biden averaging several sources was 47 percent, six points over the average of 42 percent of likely and/or registered voters. 

And tomorrow–primary results from Florida, New York, and New York. 

July 15, 2022

News – Week of July 15, 2022

More January 6: The House January 6 investigative committee plans a primetime hearing on July 21. The committee also issued a subpoena to the U.S. Secret Service requesting records that a Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) appointee said were mistakenly erased.

More Musk: Elon Musk thinks he can force Twitter to pay $1 billion when he reneges on his $44 billion deal to buy the company, but his banks have signed a deal with him to put up the acquisition money. Both Musk and the banks may have trouble breaking their commitment letters. Bank of America, Barclays, and Morgan Stanley aren’t responding to questions.

More Antiabortion: Montana state Rep. Brad Tschida (R), a former majority leader now running for state Senate, emailed over 100 legislators that a woman’s womb “serves no specific purpose to her life or well-being.” He expanded his argument to the local media stating that there is only one organ in a woman’s body “that is not there to serve a purpose for her and that is her womb.” 

The media got excited when obstructionist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) might be joining his party policies. As usual it was wrong. Manchin, a millionaire supported by fossil fuel and pharmaceutical industries, followed his pattern of appearing to negotiate before reneging on any agreements. Just like the Republicans for the past decades, he makes promises if Democrats eliminate important provisions and then fails to follow through after they appease him, this time backing down on legislation regarding climate change, tax legislation, lower prescription drug prices, and an extension of enhanced Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsides for two years. Manchin dumped an agreement that would have raised about $1 trillion in revenue by Rolling back 2017 tax cuts for the wealthy and big business could have raised about $1 trillion with half the money shrinking the deficit that DDT raised by $7.8 trillion in just four years. Savings from negotiating down prescription drug prices would fund ACA subsidies.

Immediately after Travis Herzog, a Texas meteorologist, warned his audience about power outages, the studio lights went out from a power outage. The rolling blackout was not planned, but engineers switched to generators to stay on air. State-controlled electricity returned in two hours before another power outage. Herzog was describing the extreme heat causing outages. Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott had a lot to say about the 53 immigrants who died in a tractor trailer after human traffickers abandoned them in San Antonio but about his failing electric power grid, not so much. 

Eighteen months ago, Abbott’s failures with the power source independent of the U.S. killed hundreds of people in the power outage; now the grid operator wants Texans to turn off appliances during the afternoon in the state producing more natural gas than any other in the nation. In a tight re-election race with Beto O’Rourke, Abbott had promised the grid was fixed after 702 people died in the cold but hasn’t mentioned ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) since early February when he went on social media to praise the power organization designed to avoid federal regulations. The Texas governor appoints three of four state Public Utility Commission members which has co-oversight of ERCOT with the GOP-dominated state legislature.

In mid-May, the grid’s operator asked users to conserve energy because six power plants went offline with no explanation amid soaring temperatures. Excuses during the winter were frozen equipment; legislation was directed to making the grid more resilient in the cold. Nine months ago, an investigation by NBC News and the Texas Tribune found a vulnerable grid with new regulations permitting companies to avoid improvements. Nothing has been done to repair the problem of keeping enough natural gas for the electric plants.

ERCOT’s pricing strategy during February 2021 caused Brazos Electric, a cooperative operating four plants, to go bankrupt instead of passing along a $2 million bill for a few days of power to members and consumers. Brazos took the Texas power system to court, and former ERCOT CEO Bill Magness testified that Abbott was responsible for maximum costs days after the system was back in business, $9,000 per megawatt hour, over 150 times higher than the average price, hoping big business would cut back on usage. Stuck with same price, all consumers got the same price, and household bills were well over $15,000 for one month of power. The problem of natural gas shortages was ignored

Record temperatures in the 110s and high humidity, called “extreme” and “dangerously hot,” continue to cover Texas. The 105 degrees in Houston matched its highest July temperature recorded. Solar energy works well under the scorching sun, but stagnant winds under the heat dome limit wind generation to about 10 percent of capacity. Other states suffering from these problems could borrow energy from the rest of the U.S., but Texas’ independence makes it helpless. Led by conservatives such as Fox’s Tucker Carlson, Texans ignore the problems from climate change. 

Abbott has been using his “Operation Lone Star” for his re-election campaign, a state-run border control program, but the DOJ is now investigating it for civil rights violations. He assigned over 10,000 National Guard members to act as federal border agents although they have no authority to apprehend or incarcerate migrants crossing the border without legal documentation. Deployed National Guard members state they are being misused, forced to leave their families and jobs to stay idle. For media attention, Abbott performed actions such as busing migrants to Washington, D.C. from the southern border, much to the appreciation of the migrants. Instead of arrests for border and drug issues, the charges were largely trespassing when officials ordered migrants onto private property and then arrested. Jailed without charges for weeks, some of the migrants have filed a class-action lawsuit.

Republicans are building their fascist reputation by inviting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to open the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas (TX) from August 4-7. Headlining CPAC held in Hungary last May, he outlined the 12 ways leaders can capture and consolidate power, including the control of media’s information. He silenced Hungarian independent media and controls all the nation’s television, newspaper, and online media outlets. Orbán also took control of the judiciary and attacked the few financial institutions not under the control of his far-right Fidesz Party. In Dallas, he will share the stage with Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Fox News host Sean Hannity, and possibly DDT who admires Orbán’s authoritarian leadership style. CPAC stated that Orbán is the “leading voice” in Europe fighting for his people and “everyone who believes in national sovereignty.”

Dominion Voting Systems issued a subpoena to former AG Bill Barr, requiring him to testify in its defamation lawsuit against Fox network. Barr had told the House January 6 investigative committee that he believed the lies about fraud claims regarding Dominion voting machines were “complete nonsense.” Dominion has also subpoenaed DDT’s allies such as attorneys Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, also being sued for defamation by Dominion. Fox has claimed that its fraud accusations are protected by the First Amendment but lost its motion to dismiss the case in December 2021. The trial is scheduled for April 2023. Dominion has filed at least eight lawsuits concerning the conspiracy theory after the 2020 election, including Fox’s parent company Fox Corporation after the company refused to give Dominion documents from Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan.

DDT’s former national security adviser John Bolton talked about the work needed to “plan [a] coups d’état” but excused DDT by saying he didn’t really mean to “overthrow the Constitution.” Bolton cited the unsuccessful attempt to remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro when DDT recognized Venezuela’s opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, as interim president. Maduro stayed, and Bolton was fired.

Between 1947 and 1989, the U.S. attempted 72 times to change another nation’s government, including 66 covert operations, not including pre-Cold War interventions in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Cuba.  Obviously, Bolton was too young for those in Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Syria (1949, 1956, and 1957), Cuba (1959), Congo (early to mid 1960s), Vietnam (1964), and Chile (1973) after Bolton was an aide to Spiro Agnew in 1972. In the 1980s, Reagan secretly worked to overthrow the Sandinistas in Nicaragua by supporting the Contras. During George H.W. Bush’s administration, the U.S. invaded Panama to overthrow Manuel Noriega, and in 1991, the U.S. invaded Iraq while Bolton was still in the State Department. He later advocated for Bill Clinton to send troops into Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein and succeeded with George W. Bush in 2003, pushing the myth of WMDs. Bolton would have been involved with military operations in Afghanistan in 2001 and argued after 20 years that Joe Biden should not have pulled out of the country. 

World leaders took note of Bolton’s coup offhand remarks. Evo Morales, former Bolivian president ousted from office in 2019, tweeted Bolton’s remarks showed that the U.S. was “the worst enemy of democracy and life.” Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry, called for an international investigation into Bolton’s statements. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, “This is no surprise. The admission simply shows that interfering in other countries’ internal affairs and overthrowing their governments have become the standard practice of the U.S. government.” Turkish media supportive of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan tied Bolton’s coup comments to the failed attempt to overthrow the Turkish government in July 2016.

Now Republicans are trying to overthrow the U.S. government.

June 29, 2021

The Barr Show Dominates Media 

The media is abuzz about excerpts of Jonathan Karl’s book Betrayal, based on interviews with former AG Bill Barr. As with most people in the orbit of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), Barr left his post in disgrace, in his case for not continuing to push the “Big Lie” about DDT’s stolen election.

Now Barr claims he wanted to tell DDT that he had looked into accusations of fraud and knew a “stolen election” was “bullshit”—after tens of millions of people bought into all the lies that Barr and other DDT followers told. Before the election, however, Barr consistently delivered QAnon conspiracy theories to the media about “foreign countries that could easily make counterfeit ballots.” He goaded DDT’s base by saying, “There’s so many occasions for fraud there that cannot be policed.” Three months later, he lied, “Elections that have been held with mail have found substantial fraud and coercion.” The DOJ had to apologize for his falsehoods. Even after the election, he reversed DOJ policy, permitting investigation into “substantial allegations” of possible election fraud.

In her June 27, 2021 “letter,” Heather Cox Richardson compared DDT’s “Big Lie” to the Confederate organization in 1861 when they called on supporters to defend the United States. The January 6 insurrectionists claim they are patriots in the mold of Samuel Adams, not domestic terrorists. During the attack on the Capitol, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), a QAnon believer, tweeted, “Today is 1776.” In February 1861, 150 years earlier, members of the Confederate States of America wrote their own U.S. Constitution before Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated on February 4, 1861. They made only three changes from the otherwise verbatim copying of the almost 100-year-old old document: “they defended state’s rights, denied that the government could promote internal improvements, and prohibited any law that denied or impaired ‘the right of property in negro slaves.’”

Confederate leaders persuaded southern White males that supporting slaves defends the U.S. against “radicals” who defend equality in the Declaration of Independence like the current conservative virulent opposition to “critical race theory” to encourage racism. Confederates moved quickly to take Southern states from the Union. With waning interest in secession, they fired on Fort Sumter to commit Whites into a new country, and the war began.

Today’s neo-Confederate Sons of  Confederate Veterans membership includes serving military officers, elected officials, public employees, and a national security expert whose CV boasts of “Department of Defense Secret Security Clearance” as well as other violent participants in the riot at Charlottesville (VA) and neo-Confederate groups such as the League of the South (LoS). [Specifics here.] Yet waning enthusiasm in DDT and insurrection was shown by people leaving DDT’s rally early. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) compared following DDT to professional wrestling:

“That it’s entertaining, but it’s not real. And I know people want to say, yeah, they believe in the ‘Big Lie’ in some cases, but I think people recognize that it’s a lot of show and bombast. But it’s going nowhere. The election is over. It was fair….let’s move on.”

Richardson also compared DDT to “President Richard M. Nixon, whose support eroded as more and more sordid information about his White House came to light. Exposés of the Trump White House recently have shown his cavalier approach to the pandemic that has killed more than 600,000 Americans, and his willingness to employ force against peaceful protesters in summer 2020.”

While state GOP legislators still push recounts, the Arizona experience has been a monumental fiasco, and a thorough investigation from the Michigan Senate Oversight Committee found absolutely no voter fraud, proving President Joe Biden won fairly. DDT’s faithful lawyer Rudy Giuliani has been suspended from practicing law for lying to everyone, including the court, and a Georgia judge tossed a lawsuit calling for another look at Fulton County ballots.   

As the far-right grows more desperate, a One American News reporter called for the execution of tens of thousands of people “involved in the efforts to undermine the election.” Republican senators are terrified of an independent commission investigating the events of January 6. Many of the 500+ insurrectionists thus far charged for the attack on the Capitol are blaming DDT for their actions.

Barr may be following the shift in political wind by rejecting DDT. Leaving the office in December, he wrote DDT a worshipful letter promising to update him “on the Department’s review of voter fraud allegations in the 2020 election and how these allegations will continue to be pursued” and pushing the Big Lie: 

“At a time when the country is so deeply divided, it is incumbent on all levels of government, and all agencies acting within their purview, to do all we can to assure the integrity of elections and promote public confidence in their outcome.”  

Six months later, he said:

“If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it. But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bullshit.”

Barr also told Karl how then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) kept asking Barr to refute DDT’s claim of election fraud. McConnell told Barr that DDT’s lies damaged the GOP, hurting the party in the two Georgia Senate runoff necessary to keeping Republican control in the chamber, and Barr, head of an independent justice agency, colluded with his partisan wishes. Selling democracy to get his two senators, McConnell is responsible for the Big Lie. Democrats’ win made the Senate 50-50 for each party.

In December 1, 2020, AP printed a story about Barr’s belief that Joe Bien was legally elected as president, and DDT met with him:

DDT: “How the fuck could you do this to me? Why did you say it?”

Barr: “Because it’s true.”

DDT: “You must hate Trump. You must hate Trump.”

Barr announced his resignation as attorney general on December 14, 2020.

When Barr left, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) called him “one of the worst attorneys general in American history.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) tweeted:

“There should be no sympathy or regret for an Attorney General who trashed the rule of law, caused untold suffering, & enabled a morally depraved president. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

Examples of Barr’s blind loyalty to DDT over the people of the United States:

  • Lied about the Mueller report about DDT’s connection with the Russian interference in the 2016 election.
  • Tried to investigate FBI and DOJ officials probing into DDT’s 2016 campaign.
  • Personally ordered and directed the clearing of Layfayette Square of protesters last summer for DDT’s Bible-holding photo op.
  • Warned that if Biden won the presidency, the U.S. would be “irrevocably committed to the socialist path.”
  • Interfered in criminal investigations of DDT friends Roger Stone and Michael Flynn to get them lighter sentences or dismiss criminal charges although Flynn had already pled guilty. (Career prosecutors resigned in protest.)
  • Politicized the criminal investigation process to limit the abilities of the incoming Biden-appointed AG.
  • Refused to recognize the constitutional congressional authority to conduct oversight of the executive branch.
  • Subpoenaed Apple for data from Democratic lawmakers, family, and media DDT perceived as political enemies. 
  • Served DDT by putting him above the law, unrestrained by constitutional checks and balances.

Harry Litman wrote:

“Barr has treated Americans to a parade of hypocrisy for two years: He was a law and order crusader who helped presidential cronies evade consequences for their crimes in two administrations; a constitutionalist who didn’t mind blowing off congressional oversight; a moralist who put his talents and intellect in the service of the most corrupt president since Richard Nixon.”

DDT didn’t take the excerpt from Karl’s book well. Lumping Barr with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), DDT accused them of fraud and conspiracy to put Joe Biden into the White House. About McConnell, DDT said that he “blew it for the country.” DDT continued: 

“Based on press reports he convinced his buddy, Bill Barr, to get the corrupt (based on massive amounts of evidence that the Fake News refuses to mention!) election done, over with, and sealed for Biden, ASAP!”

DDT also called both Barr and McConnell “spineless RINOs” (Republicans in Name Only). The next day, DDT described Barr as “afraid, weak, and … pathetic.” Barr joined DDT’s pattern of rejecting former specially-selected officials such as AG Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, National Security Adviser John Bolton, another National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Homeland Security Security and White House chief of staff John Kelly, and VP Mike Pence. 

Before the election, Barr was willing to do anything DDT wanted, but DDT’s loss of the election and his becoming more dangerous may have caused Barr to back off from his appearance of adoring DDT. Barr even accused DDT of “inexcusable” behavior on January 6, “a betrayal of his office.” He simply abandoned DDT to keep his position in the GOP. Barr spent his entire career hedging his bets, and he isn’t finished. With Karl’s book, Barr rewrites his personal history in an attempt to erase his unethical, corrupt behavior—“to cleanse his own record,” as Jonathan Chait writes. A better book about Barr might be Elie Honig’s Hatchet Man: How Bill Barr Broke the Prosecutor’s Code and Corrupted the Justice Department.

June 16, 2021

Biden Returns, World Changes Continue

President Joe Biden has returned from eight days in Europe—misnamed “vacation” by my conservative newspaper from Eugene (OR)—and ruffled few feathers. Compared to the ongoing disaster from any time Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) left the U.S., the trip appeared productive and short on viral media attention. Six of the G7 countries refused to hold a summit in 2019 because of DDT’s egregious behavior. The Republican National Committee (RNC), however, decided to create controversy.

Biden’s culminating activity of his three-country diplomatic tour was a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva. RNC Communications Director Danielle Alvarez accused Biden of giving Putin a “win,” just by the act of meeting with him, and damned Biden’s “foreign policy failures” that have “strengthened Russia at the expense of our country.” Republicans obviously forgot their support of their man in the White House owned by Putin while GOP legislatures refused to block Russian interference in the presidential elections when DDT was a candidate.

In Helsinki, DDT stood next to Putin, saying he believed the Russian president’s statement that he didn’t interfere and didn’t “see any reason why” Russia would have interfered in 2016, contradicting U.S. intelligence agencies.

Republicans are walking a very fine line, trying to look tough on Russia while kissing the ring of the man who supported Russia in everything it does.

A few of Biden’s accomplishments:

  • Reassurance that the U.S. will be a part of the democratic part of the world by being a more reliable diplomatic presence;
  • Meeting with NATO allies to promise a “rock solid and unshakable” military alliance;
  • A pledge of 500 million doses of COVID vaccine to the world to speed up vaccinations;
  • A joint communiqué from the G7 endorsing a global minimum tax for equity and financing infrastructure projects in the developing world to counter China’s influence;
  • Response to “China’s nonmarket conomic practices and the need to speak out against human rights abuses”;
  • The need for “supply chain resilience and technology standards so that democracies are aligned and supporting each other”;
  • An overhaul of international tax laws to ban large multinational companies from locating tax havens;
  • An investigation of COVID origins in china;
  • Alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, its overseas lending and investing push spread across Africa, Latin America, and into Europe;
  • Freeze on the huge 17-year-old trade dispute between Boeing and Airbus to focus on new competition, possibly from China.

Biden participated in the G7 Summit experiencing success in the world’s respect. When DDT left the White House, he asked Biden not to lose the mythical respect he thought he had gained for the United States. At the end of DDT’s four years, 83 percent of 16 countries lacked confidence in the U.S. president to do the right thing about world affairs whereas 17 percent did. Just a few months into his first term, Biden flipped that lack of confidence in the U.S.: 75 percent of these respondents have confidence in the president, and 22 percent don’t. DDT’s finish had a 63-percent unfavorable view of the U.S. with a 34 percent favorable perspective. The view under Biden is just the opposite—62 percent favorable and 36 percent not.  

A recent example of renewed favorability came after Biden’s conversation with the UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “It’s a breath of fresh air,” Johnson said about his discussion with Biden regarding what they can accomplish together.

A few nuances keep the U.S. from more positive views, such as using the U.S. as a model of democracy. That, however, is the fault of the GOP and not the president. Republicans are fond of complaining about how Democratic presidents lose “the trust and confidence of our friends,” as Jeb Bush insisted about the Barack administration. Yet President Obama largely repaired the Bush/Cheney damage, and Biden is doing the same thing for the DDT devastation.

While Biden was away from the U.S., Israel’s parliament rejected Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s prime minister, but he’s playing the same game that people feared DDT would: he won’t leave the prime minister’s residence. Instead he’s staying there and entertaining foreign dignitaries. Netanyahu stayed at the official residence for six weeks after he was last voted out of office in 1999.

In the United States, Fox’s Tucker Carlson spread another baseless conspiracy theory about the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, that the attack was organized by FBI agents who were present at the riot. Thus far, over 500 of the 800 people in the Capitol have been charged, but Carlson focused on the others who he called FBI operatives. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) are promoting the lies.

Last Friday, AG Merrick Garland called the expansion of voting rights “to all eligible citizens” a “central pillar” to democracy in the U.S. He promised the DOJ would protect this democracy and doubled the Civil Rights Division’s voting rights enforcement staff with an additional members within 30 days. In addition, he promised to scrutinize “post-election audits to ensure they abide by federal statutory requirements to protect election records and avoid the intimidation of voters.” Garland asked for Congressional help from Congress to pass two bills waiting for Senate action: the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. 

Garland also laid out his strategy to combat domestic terrorism, tying it to the violence of the January 6 insurrection. Citing a number of domestic violence in recent history, he addressed threats by White supremacists and right-wing militia to be stopped by shared information on all government levels, prevention of domestic terrorism recruitment and violent mobilization, blocking domestic terrorism activity, and confronting long-term contributors to domestic terrorism. The task will tackle racism, gun violence, and mass murders with attention to mental health and education promoting tolerance and respect.

At the request of the House Intelligence Committee Democrats, the DOJ’s inspector general is investigating DOJ’s past probes into DDT’s political enemies, including subpoenas collecting metadata from lawmakers, staff, and some family members. DDT even subpoenaed information about his own White House Counsel Don McGahn. Microsoft also received a subpoena in 2017 for a congressional staffer’s personal email account, also with a gag order. DDT’s former AGs Jeff Session and Bill Barr say they know nothing about the investigation. Democratic lawmakers want Barr and Sessions to testify under oath about the investigations. Republicans are determined to block any subpoenas for them. Barr may have lied during his confirmation hearings when he said he knew nothing about whether DDT had pressed the DOJ to open any investigations.

The Pulitzer Board gave Darnella Frazier, who was 17 when she recorded the police officer killing Floyd, a special citation for the video which went viral and led to protests around the world. It was likely an important factor in the policeman’s conviction. The board honored Frazier for “highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice.”

An Alaska indigenous corporation owning 44,000 acres of land near Bristol Bay voted to sell conservation easements to an environmental nonprofit, destroying plans to build a gold and copper mine eliminating the world’s most prolific sockeye salmon fishery. The mining industry has fought for 40 years to buy the easements, but the easements can protect the area from developments, including the mining operation’s plan for an 82-mile road and contamination from the proposed Pebble Mine.

Biden is moving to “repeal or replace” DDT’s rule permitting roads and other developments in over half Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, protected at the end of Bill Clinton’s second term. George W. Bush held timber sales in the national forest before a judge reinstated Clinton’s rule.

Reagan National University in Sioux Falls (SD) lost its accreditation—and federal funds—given by former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who resuscitated a questionable accrediting agency. The school has no students, no faculty, and no classrooms. The agency, which accredited other for-profit schools closing after stealing billions of dollars from students, is also gone.

Former Oregon legislator Mike Nearman made history when he was the first legislative member expelled from the House in its 162 years. He was the only person to vote for him to remain; 22 other Republicans voted against him. During a special session on December 21, Nearman had opened a door in the state capitol allowing violent armed protesters to enter after telling them to text him. He faces criminal misconduct charges. 

Update: A veteran who had his speech censored when the Hudson (OH) American Legion chapter leaders cut off his microphone will give that speech at the Legion’s Buckeye Boys State, teaching male youth about government. In a speech commemorating Memorial Day, Retired Army Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter gave the days history about freed Black slaves beginning the tradition when they honored fallen Union soldiers during the Civil War by burying them, decorating their graves, and holding a parade for them. The Legion chapter is temporarily suspended with a meeting to discuss its future schedule later this month.

June 10, 2021

How Low Does DDT Sink? Revelations from the Past

Since Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) has left the White House, revelations of his actions keep appearing from under rocks, illustrating the slime that he spread throughout his administration. Today was the knowledge that DDT’s Department of Justice took records of metadata and other account records from Apple and another internet provider about at least a dozen House Intelligence Committee members, their aides, and their family members, including at least one minor child. The DOJ also had a gag order on Apple expiring this year to prevent it from revealing the subpoenas for this information. A major figure in this attack is Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who was the leading Democrat on the committee during DDT’s first impeachment trial in 2017 and 2018.

The DOJ investigation started when former AG Jeff Sessions and his prosecutors searched for media sources about ties between DDT and Russia. No information could be found so the search almost disappeared until DDT’s new AG, Bill Barr, resumed the investigations by moving Osmar Benvenuto, a New Jersey prosecutor with little relevant DOJ experience, to the Schiff-related case and several others. Congressional officials cannot remember any case in which lawmaker records have been seized outside corruption investigations, and members of the DOJ saw the department’s actions as politically motivated.

For the last half of 2020, Barr secretly fought CNN to get two months’ of 2017 email logs from CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. The DOJ also put a gag order on CNN general counsel David Viglante to keep him from sharing any information beyond CNN’s president, top attorneys at CNN’s parent organization, and attorneys at an outside law firm. According to CNN, the complete secrecy, the court proceeding, and the unwillingness to negotiate subpoenas for reporters’ records are highly unusual. During the past three months, DOJ officials disclosed subpoenas for reporters’ email logs as well as phone records for reporters at The Washington Post and The New York Times in the last year of DDT’s term. 

Since this revelation, President Joe Biden claimed it was “simply, simply wrong” to seize reporters’ records, and the DOJ stated it will no longer try to secretly obtain these records during investigations into leaks. The DOJ’s ruling out “compulsory legal process” may eliminate attempts to force journalists to give up their sources identities, but this policy works only in probing leaks, only to “members of the news media,” and only when they are “doing their jobs.” It also did not define members of the media. Media advocates are also concerned that the policy will revert with a new administration.

The DOJ also withdrew its subpoena to USA Today for the identities of readers of its story about a suspect in a child pornography case who fatally shot two FBI agents in February. The FBI was demanding IP addresses and mobile phone identification information for everyone who clicked on the internet article during the 35 minutes after the shooting.

The decision to no longer secretly demand journalists’ records leaves questions about the handling of DDT’s DOJ investigations about stories written early in DDT’s term. One was whether then FBI Director James Comey shared information with reporters about a document influencing his closing an investigation into Hillary Clinton. The Post also wrote about Sessions’ contact with Russian officials, and CNN reported on U.S. proposals in North Korea. DDT’s administration avoided telling reporters within the appropriate timeline about their records being sought, leaving the Biden administration to notify reporters. Biden’s DOJ continued to keep from notifying the NYT’s lawyer about seizing reporter records for almost two months after Biden’s inauguration and past DOJ Merrick Garland’s swearing in on March 11.

A new audio among DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, and Andriy Yermak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, reveals Giuliani’s pressuring Ukraine to investigate evidence-free conspiracy theories about Biden in July 2019 before DDT’s call with Zelensky, leading to DDT’s first impeachment. During the 40-minute phone call, Giuliani incessantly told Yermak that Zelensky should publicly announce his probes into lies about Biden’s possible corruption in Ukraine and Ukraine’s interference in 2016 to hurt DDT. Like DDT’s subsequent call, the audio of the call proves the falsehood of DDT’s constant claim about “no quid pro quo” with Zelensky securing U.S. government support for doing DDT’s political favors. An ongoing investigation into Giuliani concerns violation of lobbying laws through coordination with ex-officials giving him dirt on Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

The tape of the telephone call also means trouble for Volker, showing he didn’t tell the truth under oath in his televised testimony during DDT’s first impeachment trial when he said he didn’t know about DDT’s attempts to pressure Ukraine into an evidence-free investigation of Joe Biden. The House Intelligence Committee has put Volker under scrutiny for his previous false statements. In his October 3, 2019 deposition, Volker said, “Vice President Biden was never a topic of discussion.” In November 2019, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) used Volker’s words about “no quid pro quo” to successfully exonerate DDT during his impeachment trial.

After GOP interference in the 2020 election failed to elect DDT, his last chief of staff Mark Meadows sent multiple emails to DOJ demanding investigation into conspiracy theories about election fraud, hoping he could nullify Joe Biden’s win. The most bizarre may have been the use of military technology and satellites by Italians to tamper with U.S. voting machines that then switched DDT’s votes to those for Biden. Even DDT’s newest AG, Jeffrey Rosen, wouldn’t look into the theories. Rosen also refused to arrange a meeting between the FBI and the man posting videos online about Italygate.

Previously, Meadows had pressured officials in Georgia to find 11,000 votes for DDT which would allow him to win the state for the Electoral College. His search into non-existent anomalies with signature matches in Georgia’s Democratic Fulton County has been resumed since a court case permitted plaintiffs to look into the theory. Meadows also sent Rosen false allegations of election problems in New Mexico. DDT had pushed Rosen to support the lawsuits searching for election fraud and appoint a special investigator to probe Dominion voting machines used in many states. Rosen’s refusal led DDT to consider the appointment of a more cooperative acting AG. Longstanding guidelines prevent almost all White House personnel, including the chief of staff, from contact with the DOJ about investigations or other enforcement actions.

Rosen is currently talking with the Senate oversight panel about telling investigators regarding pressure on the DOJ to investigate election fraud and the DOJ response to the January 6 insurrection. He is also negotiating with the DOJ about what he can legally tell Congress and the inspector general.

A judge has unsealed files listing the “principal lies” DDT’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort told special investigator Robert Mueller’s team before the release of the report. Manafort was convicted on eight counts, including false tax returns and bank fraud, before DDT pardoned him. The first lie showed that Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates “periodically” gave Russian intelligence operative Konstantin Kilimnik DDT’s campaign internal polling data although Gates suspected Kilimnik was a Russian “spy.” Manafort also lied about how he made plans with Kilimnik to control part of eastern Ukraine. Other lies included his lack of communication with “anyone” in DDT’s administration “on any subject matter.”

Weeks after the presidential victory for Biden was certified in Pennsylvania with a majority of over 80,000 votes, GOP state senators started secretly calling GOP-leaning counties to ask if they would permit a voluntary ballot audit. Behind this effort were not only the GOP lawmakers but also private fund-raising campaigns. Only one of three counties acquiesced, Fulton County where DDT won by 86 percent. On December 31, 2020, Wake TSI, “contracted” to a nonprofit group by pro-DDT lawyer Sidney Powell who was filing a series of lawsuits challenging DDT’s election loss, spent an afternoon recounting 1,000 mail-in ballots and taking data from county voting machines. Its draft report originally stated the election had been “well run” and “conducted in a diligent and effective manner,” but a revised version gave a caveat:

“This does not indicate that there were no issues with the election, just that they were not the fault of the County Election Commission or County Election Director.”

DDT allies used this revised report to claim voting machines are vulnerable to hacking and fraud. Wake TSI was hired to do a hand recount of Maricopa County (AZ) ballots but abruptly ended its involvement after a few weeks. Like Maricopa County, Fulton County, population under 15,000, may have to replace all its voting machines because of turning them over to an uncertified company.

DDT’s Commerce Department used a security unit as a rogue counterintelligence operation to collect information on hundreds of citizens and foreign visitors suspected of criticizing the 2020 U.S. census or having ties to China.

Biden has also withdrawn a subpoena attempting to force Twitter to disclose Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) anonymous social media critic. The DOJ also put a gag order on Twitter about the subpoena. Twitter executives believed the DOJ abused their power and violated the First Amendment to support DDT’s ally. A Virginia judge dismissed Nunes’ $250 million suit against Twitter for parody accounts pretending to be his mother and a cow.

And there are sure to be more revelations.

May 25, 2021

DDT, GOP in Trouble; Arizona Continues Corruption

President Joe Biden’s approval rating has increased to 62 percent, compared to the 45 percent Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) received in May 2017. Most of his ratings—economy, stimulating jobs, administering the government, etc.—are above 60 percent, and his worst rating, the one for handling immigration, is still at 53 percent. Approval of the Democratic Party went up to 55 percent while the approval of the GOP is still below 50 percent at 49 percent. Highly conservative Rasmussen Reports, one of the few polls to give DDT higher than a 50-percent approval rating, infuriated Republicans by finding Biden at 54 percent approval.

A grand jury has been convened to determine whether to indict DDT if Manhattan’s prosecutors present criminal charges in the investigation against the Trump Organization. The jury could also indict the business’s executives and the business itself. The jury will be in session three days a week for six months and may hear information beyond the Trump Organization probe. A major issue is whether DDT lied to lenders and insurance companies about his properties’ values to obtain larger loans and pay lower taxes. The investigation includes Trump Tower, the family estate Seven Springs, DDT’s Chicago hotel, and condo tower, and the hush money paid to shut up Stormy Daniels about her alleged affair with DDT. DDT is again whining, “Witch Hunt!”

Although the DOJ has released part of a memo from former AG Bill Barr, the department is appealing the order to disclose the entire memo. Barr used the 2019 memo from his Office of Legal Counsel to not make charges against DDT based on special investigator Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to DDT’s campaign. Part of the concealed memo provides factual and legal analyses of some incidents of possible obstruction. The judge earlier called Barr “disingenuous” in using the document to conclude DDT had not broken the law. She concluded that Barr used the memo “for a preemptive strike on the Mueller report.” The memo also stated the DOJ should decide whether DDT broke the law. The judge concluded the department’s intent was to legally justify a decision already made by DOJ leaders—to not accuse DDT of a crime.

Even out of office, DDT still claims he’s above the law (aka absolute immunity from civil lawsuits) in a lawsuit filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell of violating federal civil rights and local incitement laws. Donald Trump Jr, Rudolph Giuliani, and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) are also defendants in the case, all of them for speaking at the rally near the White House on January 6 before the insurrectionists moved on to attack the U.S. Capitol. DDT’s defense is that he cannot be sued after being acquitted in an impeachment for the same conduct. DDT’s lawyer declared DDT is protected under the First Amendment. The lawyer stated about the presidency:

“While holding that office, former President Trump was free to advocate for the appointment and certification of electors, just as he was entitled to advocate for the passage or defeat of a constitutional amendment, or the reconsideration of a congressional act over his veto even though the President does not directly participate in those congressional acts.”

The U.S. Constitution declares a president can be subject to criminal or civil actions after leaving office. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) has been joined by ten other congressional members and the NAACP in filing a similar lawsuit based on the Civil Rights Act of 1871, known as the Ku Klux Klan. It permits lawsuits against government officials for claims about conspiring to violate civil rights. That suit alleges DDT and Giuliani conspired with the extremist groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

Gordon Sondland, DDT’s former ambassador to the EU who testified against him during the first impeachment, is suing him and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for $1.8 legal fees, costs from the 2019 impeachment probe. Sondland alleges Pompeo reneged on the State Department covering the fees. Top Pompeo aides supported Sondland’s claim, but Pompeo changed his mind about paying after Sondland’s testimony about the “quid pro quo” that didn’t support DDT. The lawsuit demands payment from the government or from Pompeo personally, claiming the promise was made for Pompeo’s “own political survival.” Sondland also explained high bills by DDT’s restriction of “access to materials essential to his preparation.” DDT fired Sondland two days after his impeachment acquittal.

After fighting a subpoena for years, former White House Counsel Don McGahn will testify to the House Judiciary Committee behind closed doors after the DOJ made a deal for his testimony about DDT’s obstruction attempt against Mueller’s Russian investigation. The committee will release the interview transcript. Members can ask him about events documented in the report about attempts to fire Mueller and block the Russia investigation as well as about the Mueller investigation’s accuracy. McGahn can decline answering questions on other topics.

DDT’s pet Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) went too far with her comparison of required mask wearing to gassing Jews during the Holocaust. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), silent for days, called the statement “appalling,” and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) bravely said he “does not agree with these comments and condemns these comparisons.” McCarthy continued by blaming for anti-Semitism “on the rise in the Democrat [sic] Party” being “completely ignored” by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

Two years ago, Jewish groups considered comments about Israel from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as anti-Semitic. Pelosi forcefully demanded an immediate apology, and Omar said she didn’t mean to promote negative stereotypes of Jews with her comments on Israel. Another objection may be protests from some House members about Israeli’s killing Palestinians, driving them out of the homes, destroying their infrastructure, and preventing them from worshipping in their Jerusalem mosque. McCarthy didn’t make any suggestions about actions against Greene.

Greene was not pleased about McCarthy’s statements. She hastily reposted a tweet about McCarthy with her addition but then removed within six minutes:

[Quote from a tweet]: “Look you moron, nobody supported Israel in their recent conflict with Hamas more than MTG. Her analogy may not have been perfect but you seriously need to get a grip you feckless c**t. Pelosi is the villain here.” [Greene’s addition]: “Thank you for seeing the truth and how much I support Israel.”

Even Senate Minority Mitch McConnell (R-KY) openly turned against Greene. Asked by a reporter about whether she should be censured, he said:

“Well, she doesn’t serve in the Senate, but this is one of a frequent outbursts that are absolutely outrageous and reprehensible, but any punishment I assume would have to be administered by the House.”

More news from the Arizona vote counting fiasco: The so-called “audit” has now resumed with “counters” selected by an organization operated by DDT’s wealthy supporter and “stolen” election believer Patrick Byrne, formerly Overstock.com CEO. He is in charge of background checks, non-disclosure agreements, and volunteer agreements of “workers.”

Wake TSI, the Pennsylvania IT company running the audit, came to the end of its contract on May 14 and won’t be back. With little or no experience regarding elections, the company took the job after an Arizona senator, a bit advocate of the “Stop the Steal” movement, asked for it. A Scottsdale (AZ)-based tech company StratTech, possibly with no election or auditing experience, is taking over.

Arizona’s GOP-led House Appropriations Committee stripped legally-elected Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) of her ability to “defend election lawsuits” after she expressed “grave concerns” about the audit. Her responsibilities have been transferred “exclusively” to Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) through the end of the 2023 fiscal year. In further retaliation against Hobbs, the Republicans removed Hobb’s “oversight of the Capitol Museum” after state lawmakers when she “flew a gay pride flag from the building’s balcony” in 2019.

After determined to remain silent for over three weeks, Stephen Richer, the GOP recorder in charge of Maricopa County’s elections, said there was no “legitimate reason that would have prompted this audit.” About former audits, he pointed out that “all the tests came back clean. The parties themselves oversaw the hand-count auditing of 47,000 plus votes.” He also expressed frustration “that some professional, legitimate companies did make bids to the Arizona Senate to do this work and we would have welcomed that.” The county told the Senate to preserve all documents related to the audit administration in a litigation hold, looking into charges of defamation.  

An observer’s report of the audit told to Washington Post editor Sophia Nguyen—including horror of a “counter” who found “cheese powder” on a ballot. 

Will DDT be back on Facebook? Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill, possibly called the Trump Protection (TP) law, which fines social media platforms permanently banning political candidates in the state. A ban is limited to 14 days with a daily $250,000 fine after that. As almost everyone knows, DDT has made Florida’s Mar-a-Lago his residence. The law comes from the party believing in freedom for private business and no regulations. Florida has blocked free speech from private entities, violating the constitution’s First Amendment. Exempt are companies owning theme parks or entertainment venues larger than 25 acres, aka Disney World and Comcast’s Universal Orlando Resort. Another lawsuite in the wind.

Watch for much more about the Grifters’ Old Party. 

 

January 7, 2021

Fallout from DDT’s Attempted January 6 Coup in the U.S. Capitol

At 3:45 a.m. on January 7, VP Mike Pence announced Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next president and vice-president of the U.S. with 306 Electoral College votes after white supremacist supporters of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) breached the U.S. Capitol and took over the building. DDT received 232 votes. Almost 150 GOP congressional dissidents created havoc by voting to overturn the legal elections in Arizona and Pennsylvania. These are the names of every congressional members voting in favor of overturning a legal presidential election. Only the attempted insurrection stopped their plans from also attacking legal votes in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin. Five people died, one of them a U.S. Capitol Police officer, and 52 people were arrested in the melee. 

While DDT raged in the White House, aides considered resigning, and senior officials discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him before he can do more damage. According to the constitution, removal requires approval by the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet or the vice-president and a congressional body if they determine he “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) called for invoking the 25th Amendment to ensure “we have a sane captain of the ship” because DDT has become “unmoored not just from his duty or even his oath, but from reality itself.” Former AG Bill Barr, once DDT’s strongest supporter, called DDT’s conduct “a betrayal of his office and supporters” and stated that “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable.”

After Pence made the announcement about the votes, DDT made this statement:

“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.”

The sort-of concession may come with the help of his small group of other seditionist advisers: chief of staff Mark Meadows, deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, personnel director Johnny McEntee, and policy adviser Stephen Miller. Later DDT added, “A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20.” He didn’t mention Biden or say he lost, but West Wing staffers have received orders to pack up and move out.  

Democratic leaders House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Senate Minority Leader (soon to be Majority Leader) Chuck Schumer (NY) called for DDT’s immediate removal from office because of his inciting sedition. Pence refused to talk to them. Although praising the action of “many of our Capitol Police,” Pelosi also called for the Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund to step down for his failure yesterday; he plans to leave in another nine days—four days before Biden’s inauguration. Sund had turned down National Guard assistance when the mob laid siege to the Capitol. Both House and Senate sergeants at arms resigned.

Almost 100 Democratic congressional members called for DDT’s removal with either impeaching him or invoking the 25th Amendment. The administration officials discussing DDT’s removal didn’t know if “acting” Cabinet members could participate in a vote about it.

Pelosi also asked for a full review of security failures at the executive branch level and the Pentagon’s delay in mobilizing the National Guard. DDT’s press secretary announced DDT had called in the National Guard, but DDT rejected the idea so Pence made the request. House Majority Leader Steny Hogan (D-MD) called Maryland’s Gov. Larry Hogan for help with the National Guard, but their deployment was delayed almost two hours because Hogan couldn’t get permission from Defense Secretary Chris Miller, a new DDT appointee. Hogan and two other GOP governors, Charlie Baker (MA) and Phil Scott (VT), called for DDT’s removal.

Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin for Washington, D.C. said DDT may be one of the “actors” investigated to decide if they broke the law after DDT told his followers to “fight like hell” before the insurgence.

DDT’s appointees are considering departing if not actually doing so. Two Cabinet members are gone: Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, wife of current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. They cited DDT’s behavior, but they may want to avoid voting on removing DDT from office.

DDT’s appointments who left: Tyler Goodspeed, acting chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, who left the White House Council of Economic Advisers with no members, and U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland, Mick Mulvaney, formerly DDT’s chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget, who also destroyed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when he was acting director.  

Other departures:

  • Melania Trump’s chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, formerly White House press secretary.
  • Anna Cristina Niceta, the White House social secretary.
  • Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Matthews.
  • Matt Pottinger, deputy national security adviser.
  • Ryan Tully, senior director for European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council.
  • John Costello, deputy assistant secretary of commerce.

National security adviser Robert C. O’Brien and deputy chief of staff Chris Liddell are considering resignations.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), a lead in overturning the presidential election within Congress along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), has been severely reproached by the Kansas City Star, his home state’s largest newspaper. According to its headline, Hawley “has blood on his hands in Capitol coup attempt,” and the editorial describes him as self-interested and dishonest, interested only in furthering his own political career. “Trump did not manage this madness on his own,” editors wrote.

After what Simon and Schuster calls a “deadly insurrection,” the publisher withdrew its offer for a planned book from Hawley. Former Missouri Sen. John Danforth said mentoring Hawley “was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life” and blamed Hawley for sparking the insurrection.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is demanding resignations by Cruz and Hawley for trying to overturn the elections. If they don’t, she asks Senate to expel them. Ocasio-Cortez has been joined by Reps. Cori Bush (D-MO), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to expel House members voting to overturn the election.

After the attempted insurgency and one hour before Congress reconvened to certify electoral votes,  DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani sent a voicemail to newly-installed Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), urging him to “try to just slow it down” by objecting to electoral votes from “numerous states,” perhaps as many as ten, letting DDT’s team have more time to overturn Biden’s legal presidential win. The transcript of the call, reading like a conspiracy plan, was publicized because he mistakenly dialed another person with the message. Earlier in the day, Giuliani called for “trial by combat” at DDT’s rally outside the White House.

U.S. rivals such as China reveled in the attempted coup while allies expressed horror, some of them blaming DDT, and called for upholding democracy in the United States—similar to what the U.S. has done to other countries in the past. Russia ridiculed the U.S. for January 6’s events, and Iran pointed out how weak the U.S. is. 

Far-right media as well as social media are lying about the attempted coup by blaming it on the “antifa” or paid participants. Others blame the visuals of far-right people at the insurrection on evidence-free photoshopping and claiming a tattoo from the video game show Dishonored is the logo of the Communist party. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and QAnon congressional members spread conspiracy theories, and Fox network’s Laura Ingraham told fake news from Washington Times to millions of her followers. XRVision, the facial-recognition company cited in the conservative publication, calls the Washington Times’ reporting “outright false, misleading, and defamatory” and demands a retraction.

Unlike antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters, almost no thugs assaulting the U.S. Capitol wore masks, making identification much easier. The FBI already has over 4,000 tips online with more coming in by phone. Analysis from digital media is being forwarded to agents working the case. Among those who sacked the Capitol is a newly sworn-in West Virginia legislator who live-streamed the entire event. Later he claimed to be “an independent member of the media to film history” and didn’t participate in any “destruction.”

The Capitol’s invaders have been planning the event for weeks, indicated by their ease in navigating the buildings. Some wonder if they had inside help. The FBI, Secret Service, Homeland Security, Pentagon, National Guard, and Joint Task Force knew about the strong possibility of violence after DDT kept telling white supremacists to come of Washington, D.C. on January 6 for a “wild” time. The protection agencies ignored the problems and failed to coordinate, permitting thugs to break into the U.S. Capitol. Because of DDT’s sedition, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has permanently banned DDT from Facebook and Instagram.

This weekend, one of two weekends before he leaves the White House, DDT is going into hiding at Camp David, 70 miles from the White House. The chief of domestic terrorists may spend his time working on his list of pardons, including one for himself.

The situation in Washington is obviously fluid and rapidly changing. Meanwhile, January 7 saw another 4,134 new COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. along with 274,190 new infections. Hospitalizations are up at least ten percent to over 132,000 people.

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