Nel's New Day

October 31, 2020

DDT: Week 197 – Violence, Fraud

Armed domestic terrorists carrying flags in support of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) ambushed and attacked a Joe Biden caravan of cars and a bus traveling from San Antonio to Austin on I-35 for a campaign event yesterday. The DDT vehicles surrounded the Biden group, and observers took video of DDT cars attacking ones in the Biden group. A watching police officer refused to help the people being attacked, saying it wasn’t his “jurisdiction” although 911 calls brought other law enforcement to help. The almost 100 vehicles in the attack came from a “Trump Train group,” supporting DDT throughout Texas. People in them yelled profanities and obscenities while blockading the Biden entourage, slowing the group to 20 mph on the interstate highway. On the Biden bus was Texas Congressional candidate and former state senator Wendy Davis. DDT’s tweeted response about the travesty was “I LOVE TEXAS!” with an image of the attack. DDT’s supporters have made threatening actions across the United States to intimidate Biden supporters, but this event escalated the violence.

Other desperate Republican attempts to rig the election in their favor are using the USPS, now led by DDT’s appointee Louis DeJoy, to delay or eliminate mail delivery. Key swing states have the worst mail delivery in the U.S. This past week, on-time rates for ballots in 17 postal districts representing 10 battleground states and 151 electoral votes was 5.9 percentage points lower than the national average; over ten percent ballots are arriving later than the postal service’s maximum three-day delivery time for first class mail. Thanks to Republicans and GOP courts, 28 states refuse to count ballots received after Election Day even if they are postmarked by that time. The Black-predominant Detroit area delivered only 72.8 percent of ballots on time last week, compared to 84.3 percent delivery in the Greater Michigan district. In most of Kentucky, about 20 percent of ballots were delivered outside the three-day promise. Last Wednesday, three-day delivery occurred in Philadelphia for 58 percent of the time; Detroit dropped to 52 percent

The national average is 95 percent, two percent below the former 97-percent on-time delivery. Over 52 million people have voted by mail instead of in person, and over 37 million mail ballots are outstanding. Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in the U.S. District Court in D.C. ordered the USPS to provide a written explanation for each district delivering less than 80 percent of ballots on time each day or less than 90 percent of ballots on time for two days in the same week. Wisconsin and Minnesota ballots are not accepted after November 3. Courts have ordered ballots legally arriving within the allotted time after Election Day in Minnesota, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania set aside, setting the scene for courts to exclude these votes from the total. Compounding problems in Minnesota is its ballot tracking system going offline for maintenance today. A video at the Miami-Dade Post Office showed piles of undelivered mail, including ballots both completed and blank, more than a week overdue.

As part of its war on democratic voting, Republicans are suing to invalidate legally cast votes; i.e., over 100,000 votes in Harris County (TX) cast at drive-through voting centers. In Nevada, the GOP lawsuit demands detailed information about workers counting ballots, including their names, party affiliations, and work schedules as well as copies of every signature on mail ballots returned to elections officials and used to authenticate ballots. The hearing is Monday.

DDT’s failures of the past week make him appear more of a failure. His campaign events spread the virus in almost every area he goes and sent people to the hospital with hypothermia (Omaha) and heat stroke (Tampa). In Tampa, at least 17 people needed medical attention, and a dozen of them were taken to the hospital. DDT rescheduled a North Carolina to Monday because of high winds. Again today, he left members of his audience in the dark and cold while waiting two hours for buses at Butler (PA) after sitting outside for four to five hours. At another performance he ridiculed faithful follower Laura Ingraham (Fox network) for wearing a mask. 

Reports released this week covered DDT going easy on a Turkish bank allegedly breaking U.S. sanctions law when the bank funneled money to Iran and helped fund the country’s nuclear weapons program. Turkey provides millions of dollars to DDT for his businesses there. Bolton had said DDT would favor foreign leaders over government regulations to get personal returns from them. To protect DDT, AG Bill Barr had fired U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman, keeping him from pursuing the case against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.  

U.S. taxpayers have also given DDT at least $2.5 million for excessive charges at DDT properties in addition to another $5.6 million paid by DDT’s campaign and fundraising committee.

Four years ago, James Comey sank Hillary Clinton’s election chances with a last minute accusation about her emails. This October, Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani tried the same schtick by trying to smear Joe Biden with infamous laptops supposedly containing salacious and damning material from Biden’s son, Hunter. On his Fox show, Tucker Carlson tried to help the scheme by saying UPS “lost” the damning laptop documents when a producer mailed them to Carlson’s home. UPS supposedly found the package, but Carlson complained about a missing flash card. Then he admitted he had copied the documents before he said they were missing. Asked about their contents, he first said he had not yet reviewed them and then said he didn’t want to be “piling on” Hunter Biden. Carlson’s story fell apart after the announcement that a fake “intelligence firm,” Typhoon Investigations, had disseminated the fake 64-page document about China. It was written by a self-identified Swiss security analyst, a fabricated identity with a profile photo created by artificial intelligence.The contents, highly promoted by the New York Post, were available on the internet a month before its article.

Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating Giuliani about potential violation of lobbying laws in dealing with Ukraine and payments from Florida businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, indicted last year for illegally funneling money to Republican political candidates. Bannon was arrested for conspiring to defraud people in the “build the wall” scheme and working with Chinese national to violate securities laws by bilking investors in a private offering. DDT has indicated he will be pardoning Bannon.

Republicans are trying to spin last quarter’s GDP figures into a positive for DDT, but that attempt appears to have fizzled. The 33-percent increase might look good, but economist Jay Shambaugh explained some “basic math”:

“If you own a stock priced at $100 and it drops 30 percent, it is now worth $70. If it gains back 30 percent, it is then worth $91 (the gain is just $21 because 30 percent of 70 is 21).”

Another economist, Dean Baker, explained “the economy would have to grow at a 53.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter to make up the ground lost in the first and second quarters.” Growth this next quarter will be minimal if not minus: the second quarter benefited from stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, and perks for businesses. With a recalcitrant GOP Senate, chances of another stimulus bill after the election are slim to none because they would do it only to help their election prospects. Projections for the 2020 GDP is a minus 3 percent to 4 percent. DDT brags about his 11 million new jobs during the last quarter, but these are only half the 22+ million lost in the previous quarter. DDT has gained absolutely zero new jobs since he was elected.

COVID-19 is a major reason people are giving for their Biden’s votes. Yesterday, the U.S. broke the 100,000 number for new cases, almost 3,000 more than India with its population over twice that of the U.S. Deaths still average almost 1,000 a day, a figure Donald Trump Jr calls “almost nothing.” Hospitalizations have also skyrocketed although accurate numbers are difficult to find since DDT’s administration twisted the data collection system by giving it to a private contractor owned by DDT’s friend. The figures are no longer publicly available for all states.

In DDT’s rabid campaigning, he claims doctors inflate the number of deaths for financial gain. Calling DDT’s lies “malicious” and “completely misguided,” the AMA released a statement about how “physicians, nurses, and frontline health care workers have risked their health, their safety and their lives to treat their patients and defeat a deadly virus. They did it because duty called and because of the sacred oath they took.” AMA President Susan R. Bailey continued by asking people to use “public health steps” based on knowledge instead of following “the dangerous wave of misinformation.”

Data for this interactive map is here. 

 

DDT has also emphasized the “positivity rate” as the gold standard, and Dean Baker’s data shows GOP-governed states have the highest COVID-19 test rates, more than states governed by Democrats. Mississippi has a 100-percent positive rate, the number of positives for the tests.  

Ignore COVID: DDT’s final campaign message.

October 25, 2020

GOP’s Sole Winning Strategy: Block Voting

Just nine days before Election Day, the courts are still fiddling with state procedures, creating more confusion. Despite Dictator Donald Trump’s (DDT) incessant false claims of fraudulent votes, especially mail-in votes, the mere 372 cases of double voting or voting on behalf of deceased people out of about 14.6 million votes cast by mail in the 2016 and 2018 general elections, about 0.0025 percent, proves DDT claims completely false, yet he uses “fraud” to disenfranchise millions of people in his scam to get more GOP votes. Millions of people in the U.S. still believe DDT, as they believe his other lies, and feel insecure about voting, allowing them to reinforce the tactic of blocking their votes.

Poll are increasingly against Republicans, and the GOP figures they can win only if they can prevent millions of people from voting. In GOP states, the biggest number of rejected ballots come from Democratic and minority districts. GOP strategy delays postal service for mail-in ballots but mandate all ballots to be delivered by Election Day, even when state and federal courts permit allowing these ballots postmarked on Election Day to arrive after that date. When courts grant this right, Republicans still try to eliminate any ballots not available to election officials by November 3. At the same time, the GOP tries to block processing of ballots before Election Day to speed up the counting before trying to force states to announce the results on Election Day to have “integrity.”

If this system doesn’t work, the GOP wants legislatures to negate the vote of the people by permitting the state legislature to select Electoral College representatives who will vote for DDT even if the majority of people in the state voted for Joe Biden. That’s one mission for their new Supreme Court justice.

Recent voting rulings sort of good:

Pennsylvania cannot challenge or reject mail ballots and applications for signature mismatches, according to the state Supreme Court. DDT’s campaign also lost its appeal against Philadelphia’s elections officials who don’t permit poll watchers in satellite elections offices. The state Supreme Court also agreed Pennsylvania voters’ ballots postmarked by Election Day can be counted for three more days, and a 4-4 tie in the U.S. Supreme Court could not overturn that decision. The GOP is again suing to not count any votes delivered after Election Day, hoping a new Supreme Court justice will join four conservative justices to overturn the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Republicans argue all votes received and counted after the November 3 deadline “dilutes the votes of a lawful voter, the same way that ballot box stuffing does.” Summary: Republicans delayed mail delivery; legislature says ballots can’t be counted after Election Day; the state Supreme Court said they can; the U.S. Supreme Court couldn’t overturns the state Supreme Court; the GOP is still appealing; the Supreme Court hears the case again; DDT’s new Supreme Court justice rules the votes can’t be counted; ballots legal at election time can be eliminated. That’s how desperate Republicans are.

Voters from 4.7 million people in Harris County (TX) still have only one drop box, but they can cast their ballots at one of ten drive-through polling places after the state Supreme Court denied a challenge by state and county Republicans. The same court ruled against expanded voting access because changing procedures during an election could cause voter confusion.

A state appeals court upheld the Travis County district court ruling overriding Gov. Greg Abbott’s order of only one absentee ballot drop-off location per county. Abbott’s appeal blocks the order—and the ballot boxes. Three drop-off locations in Travis County and 11 in Harris County were shut down. Voters must present an approved form of identification when dropping off ballots.

In Nevada, a judge denied Republicans a temporary restraining order for a halt in counting procedures for Clark County’s mail-in ballots until it establishes a “meaningful” poll and ballot-counting observation plan. State law permits election officials to process mail ballots starting 15 days before Election Day, allowing more rapid accounting after polls close and addressing any issues with a mailed ballot. Over 1.2 million ballots were sent to voters in the county. The judge scheduled an evidentiary hearing for a final ruling on Wednesday morning.

Because of delayed mail delivery, the 4th Circuit Court extended the North Carolina timeline for mail-in ballots to arrive by an extra six days until November 12 if postmarked on Election Day. Republicans appealed to the Supreme Court, again using the argument of the “integrity” of the election process.

One of five states restricting people from voting by mail, Mississippi has expanded access to curbside voting for people with COVID-19 symptoms and set up a process for people to “cure” minor discrepancies with signatures on absentee ballots.

The ugly in courts’ voting decisions:

The 6th Circuit Court upheld Michigan’s voter transportation law banning groups or individuals paying for assistance to the polls as long as the voter is “ambulatory.” Michigan is the only state in the nation with this law. Unpaid individual volunteers can drive voters for free, but they can’t deliver ballot applications for others unless “affirmatively” asked to provide this help.

The 7th Circuit Court overturned a U.S. district court ruling to uphold Indiana law allowing only county boards of election to ask a state court to keep polls open in an emergency. The lawsuit argued voters should have the right to ask courts for an extension of voting hours in cases of voting irregularities such as broken voting machines, long lines, or problems with ballots.

Maine’s Supreme Court refused to allow any mail-in ballots to be counted after Election Day.

The 8th Circuit Court overturned a lower court ruling and fill force Missouri voters to use the unreliable mail service to deliver mail-in ballots by Election Day instead of dropping them off in person as people in neighboring Kansas can. Missouri is one of only seven states without a statewide tracking service for mail ballots.

The Supreme Court ruled that Alabama can ban curbside voting for people with disabilities and those at risk from contracting the virus.

Intimidation:

Another Republican strategy to win is intimidating voters so they are afraid of dropping off ballots and going to polls. Crowds of shouting people carrying guns who claim to “love their country” gather near polling places.    Two armed men said they were hired by DDT’s campaign to patrol the polls at St. Petersburg (FL). DDT’s campaign is videotaping voters at ballot drop boxes, a tactic classified as illegal voter intimidation by Pennsylvania’s attorney general. A landlord in a Colorado trailer park sent tenants notice he would double the rent if Joe Biden were elected. North Carolina voters are being intimidated across the state.

Atlas Aegis, a Tennessee-based security company not licensed in Minnesota, posted a job listing for armed military veterans and an “Army for Trump” volunteers to go to polling places. Applicants need a rifle, pistol, and body armor. The job lasts for a week after Election Day. Minnesota law permits no poll watchers; only one “challenger” is allowed at a polling place, and all must be registered voters and a state resident.

Latino civic engagement organization Mi Familia Vota Education Fund and individual voters are suing DDT, AG Bill Barr, and DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf for violating the federal law against voter intimidation with white supremacist vigilantes, threats to send sheriffs and other law enforcement, and promises of rejection a peaceful transfer of power to a new administration. The lawsuit cites the remaining pieces of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871. 

Other strategies to block votes:

In 2018, then Secretary of State Brian Kemp, running for governor at that time, purged 107,000 eligible voters for Georgia’s registered voters, disproportionately Black. Since then, the court has ruled against Kemp’s “exact match” law, halting voter registration if government ID names don’t exactly match names on voter rolls, including hyphens and accents. He also closed polling places.

The United States lost 20 percent of its polling places, almost 2,100, from 2016 sometimes because of increased mail-in voting. Maryland eliminated 80 percent of the polls with 90 percent in heavily Black Baltimore, and Gov. Larry Hogan blocked a proposal to send every registered voter a ballot. North Dakota dropped almost 60 percent of polling places. Texas and Georgia, states with a history of voter suppression in mostly minority areas, did nothing to make voting easier, and their lines are long as people sometimes wait for many hours. Ohio eliminated 860 voting sites since 2016, while its secretary of state has rejected some proposals to expand absentee voting.

AG Bill Barr alone closed over 100 polling places in swing states with claims they didn’t comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, 99 more than the annual average of 100. Again, these closures impacted communities of color, lacking resources to make polls ADA-compliant, and several were on Native American tribal land. All other DOJ civil rights enforcements are at a two-decade low: cases for disability rights violations in schools, pursued by President Obama, have disappeared.

October 11, 2020

Left and Right, Rulings on Voter Suppression.

As Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) sows fear about legitimate voting practices, hundreds of lawsuits flood the courts to open up voting because of legislative suppression or further the suppression. Drop boxes for ballots were popular across the U.S., the most recent in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The case in Pennsylvania was the most unusual when a DDT-appointed judge refused the request from DDT’s campaign to limit the number of boxes. The most bizarre came from the flip flops in Ohio after the Secretary of State allowed only one drop box per county, followed by a court settlement multiple ones that still had to be at the county board of elections offices, to be changed to multiple locations, and currently back to only one per county—at least as of today. The worst ruling is one box for 4.7 million people in Harris County (TX). 

Other contentious court issues include whether missing information on absentee applications can be filled in by officials (Iowa), whether ballots postmarked on Election Day can be received later (Minnesota and Wisconsin), whether people can return ballots for someone else (Nevada), whether voters can fix ballots with missing information (North Carolina), and whether the number of witnesses for mail-in ballots (Virginia).

The Pennsylvania GOP legislature refused permission for preparation of absentee ballots without looking at the ballots before Election Day in the Republicans’ desire to create the chaos which DDT guarantees. With great success, Oregon, with universal mail-in voting, follows the system that Pennsylvania’s governor and the state’s election officials want. Oregon makes almost all election announcements within 12 hours of the end of voting.

Also in Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia judge ruled against DDT’s poll watchers in the city’s satellite election offices because it isn’t allowed under state law. DDT’s unauthorized poll watchers attempting to enter these facilities last month were turned away. House Republicans in Pennsylvania have also dropped their proposal for a GOP-majority “election integrity” committee with subpoena power in this swing state for the presidential election. Opponents worried about the committee’s use to impound ballots and delay the state’s election results.

A federal judge ruled that Missouri must allow people to drop off mail-in ballots in person. 

An Alaska court judge ruled witnesses for absentee ballots “impermissibly burdens the right to vote” and said she would later order the method to eliminate it.

Republicans are appealing a ruling postponing Arizona’s deadline for voter registration until October 23.  Also under GOP appeal is Arizona’s ruling that people have five days to sign their ballots after notification they forgot. 

The difference in rulings lies between promoting and preventing voting results by judges who follow factual information of almost no fraud in voting and judges who support DDT’s election. In almost 90 state and federal voting lawsuits, judges question GOP claims of voter fraud and haven’t endorsed these arguments about this kind of fraud swaying a presidential election. In Montana, a GOP lawyer representing Republicans said he had no evidence of any voter fraud in the state but “it’s irrelevant.”  

The Supreme Court will decide if Wisconsin and Pennsylvania can accept ballots days later if they are postmarked by 8:00 am on Election Day. Because the Supreme Court has only eight justices, a split decision will mean that the lower rulings stand, meaning Wisconsin could not follow them but Pennsylvania could.

Last Friday, the Supreme Court turned down a GOP request in Montana to block county election officials the right to choose whether to send mail-in ballots to all registered voters. Justice Elena Kagan fields emergency requests from the area including that state. A federal judge had rejected the GOP argument, and the 9th Circuit Court declined to block the plan on appeal.

A federal judge in New Jersey rejected DDT’s campaign attempt to stop ballots received before election day and those two days after Election Day if they lacked postmarks. Post offices don’t always postmark ballots. The campaign’s argument is that federal law “establishes a national uniform election day for Congress and the Presidency,” but the judge said:

 “Federal law establishing a national uniform election day does not prevent New Jersey from canvassing [processing] ballots before Election Day so long as the election is not consummated and the results reported before the polls close on Election Day.”

He added:

“It is foreseeable that an injunction on the eve of the by-mail election could prompt confusion or distrust that voters opt to avoid the mail system altogether and cast provisional ballots in person. Such an outcome would defeat the purpose of the vote-by-mail election and needlessly force voters and poll workers into close proximity.”

In Franklin County (Ohio), almost 50,000 voters, approximately 20 percent of those applying for mail-in ballots, received the wrong absentee ballots, supposedly because somebody changed a setting on the equipment putting absentee ballots into mailing envelopes. County demographics indicate voters lean Democratic.

Along with Ohio’s mismailings, Pennsylvania’s online system for registering to vote and applying for and tracking mail ballots crashed last weekend for over 24 hours, supposedly because of failure by an outside contractor. Florida had the same problem a few days later, forcing the state to extend the time to register new voters.

And in what was perhaps an accident, in South Carolina, voters’ sample ballots did not include Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, although they did include the candidates for the Green, Alliance, and Libertarian parties. 

In his hit job on mail-in voting for the conservative National Review, Trey Trainor, chair of the Federal Election Commission, told people to vote in person—just like the man who appointed him to the position. He misrepresented the facts, for example claiming a difference between absentee and mail-in voting (not true) and declaring Oregon has absentee instead of mail-in voting (definitely not true). In another false claim, he wrote a West Virginia postal carrier “pled guilty to changing the political affiliation on multiple ballots.” The changes are on ballot applications, not ballots, and “multiple” means eight. DDT earlier raised the false description of the event by claiming a postal worker  was “selling” voting ballots, an accusation the West Virginia GOP Secretary of State Mac Warner called “fake.” During the summer, the worker pled guilty to changing five ballot requests from Democratic to Republican and changed three other applications by circling the word “Republican.” Both U.S. senators, GOP Shelley Moore Capito and Democratic Joe Manchin denied voter fraud in the state.

Trainor also asserted waiting to get election outcomes is “an embarrassment” with no explanation.

AG Bill Barr shares DDT’s need to reduce the number of people who can vote by spreading lies about the process. Earlier this month, Barr told Wolf Blitzer in an interview the DOJ “indicted someone in Texas — 1,700 ballots collected from people who could vote, he made them out and voted for the person he wanted to. OK?” The DOJ had to explain Barr’s assertion was “inaccurate.” Barr added to his lies that journalists “don’t care that they’re not telling the truth, because they don’t believe truth is a meaningful concept. It’s about the pursuit of power. I’d be more tolerant of it if they were informed people, but they’re not. In the old days, even the great liberal journalists were very educated, erudite people.”

Throughout the election season, I have avoided most media attention to polling, but I was interested in the above map from the Economist’s modeled aggregates for the Electoral College just 23 days before the election. The stripes on Maine and Nebraska reflect their state laws permitting Electoral College votes based on votes instead of as a bloc from the majority.

Georgia is outdoing Pennsylvania’s education about “naked ballots” with its information about voting—get your booty to the poll. Director Angela Barnes wanted to present a get-out-the-vote message for Black male voters, an overlooked audience. She set her largely self-funded video in Atlanta’s strip club scene with vivid images of exotic dancers from Atlanta area clubs and other competitive dancers. A GoFund Me site raised over $13,000 for this must-see 90-second PSA video with at least five million viewers, many on Twitter. With a message of “Vote!” doesn’t direct watchers to either side, just “Don’t let other people decide who’s gonna run your community.” It finishes with resources, including how to register to vote and find out about local candidates and elections. 

Note: Celebrities are starting to strip down, teaching people in Pennsylvania how to avoid “naked ballots.” According to Republican law, ballots not put into both the required envelopes are considered “naked” and won’t be counted. 

DDT: Week 194 – Attempting a Comeback, Still Committing Fraud

Big news today came from the announcement of Dictator Donald Trump’s (DDT) doctor: DDT “no longer poses an infection risk.” Sean Conley wrote, “By currently recognized standards, [DDT] is no longer considered a transmission risk.” He did not say, however, whether DDT had tested negative for COVID-19, and no authorized test shows when a person is no longer contagious. Six days ago, Conley admitted he had lied the day before about DDT’s condition to make it seem healthier than it was. Conley also said nothing about the condition of DDT’s lungs or any damage from the virus. DDT also bragged about telling the doctors what they should do.

DDT gathered hundreds of supporters at the White House today before his doctor said he was no longer infectious.  He took off his mask at the podium and told the group to vote his opponents “into oblivion.” The event at the White House was basically his standard campaign rally, but he lasted only 18 minutes instead of his typical 90 minutes. He also sounded hoarse and his appearance didn’t match his claim of feeling “better than I did 20 years.” 

COVID-19 is surging throughout the nation, averaging 50,000 daily cases and over 900 deaths yesterday. New cases in the U.S. reached a two-month high on Friday, and hospitalizations in the Midwest were at record levels for the fifth consecutive day. After a week in the hospital from the virus, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie was released. He spent time with DDT, both at the September 26 White House “super-spreader” event and during the debate prep sessions for DDT. His personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who helped DDT prep for the first debate, ridiculed Joe Biden’s plea for people to wear masks and claimed “doctors aren’t scientists.” 

Amy Coney Barrett also brought her children to the White House super-spreader where DDT announced her appointment for the Supreme Court. At the school where some of Barrett’s children attended, a teacher and two students have now tested positive for coronavirus. One Barrett child attended school in person. Nine people who attended DDT’s rally in Minnesota also tested positive.

The nation’s top military leaders, including Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, remain in self-quarantine because of their contact with the Coast Guard’s second in command. Since they took that action, a top Marine leader also tested positive for the coronavirus. They think a meeting in the Pentagon’s secure conference room eight days ago could have spread the virus. Marine Commandant Gen. David Berger, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite don’t need to quarantine because they missed the meeting. The Joint Chiefs of Staff includes the chairman, vice chairman, and the four-star heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Guard, and Space Force.

Many members of one elderly group—U.S. senators—ignore the CDC requirements to avoid crowds, limit physical contact with others and skip “nonessential travel.” Almost half of them are over the age of 65, and Republicans are literally glad-handing people across the nation. Thus far, seven senators have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least one, Lindsey Graham (R-SC) refuses to be tested. One-third of House representatives is over 65, and 16 of them have tested positive. Here’s the breakdown of ages for current senators:

  • Ages <45: 6
  • Ages 45-49: 11
  • Ages 50-54: 6
  • Ages 55-59: 14
  • Ages 60-64: 18
  • Ages 65-69: 21
  • Ages 70-74: 13
  • Ages 75-79: 9
  • Ages 80-84: 1
  • Ages 85+: 4

Other events of the past week:

DDT’s COVID-19 diagnosis took attention away from his fraudulent financial affairs, but the New York Time continues its investigative reporting. The latest is “self-funding” his 2016 presidential campaign. More than $21 million from the Trump-Ruffin hotel loan of $30 million, provided by DDT’s long-time friend Phil Ruffin, was funneled into DDT’s businesses and then directly to DDT through a company previously with little income, no purpose and no employees called Trump Las Vegas Sales and Marketing. Ruffin guaranteed almost the entire amount if the company failed to pay, and no disclosure was necessary for how the money would be spent. A bank loan to finance a person’s election violates legal reporting requirements by failing to disclose the loan and the use of DDT’s Vegas property for collateral. DDT’s taking a tax deduction means secret reliance on taxpayers for his 2016 campaign subsidies. After the election, Ruffin asked DDT to revive the $5.5 billion bullet train to take gamblers from Southern California to Vegas. DDT was delighted to comply.

In another financial scam, DDT got $21.1 million from the government for a tax break with his offer to preserve over 150 acres of woodlands at his New York estate in Westchester County. New York AG Letitia James is investigating the possible highly inflated value of the estate. DDT purchased the place in 1995 for $7.5 million to turn it into an exclusive private golf course, but it’s revenue has been only $5,000-$10,000 in the past five years. The neighbors, even DDT’s personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz, opposed DDT’s development which would also include 24 luxury residences because of traffic issues and environmental degradation from chemicals. DDT owes the town of Bedford $46,976.63 for evaluating his proposal.

DDT’s campaign is almost out of money for advertising after raising over $1 billion. In Texas, they can’t match Joe Biden’s $6.2 million. Also missing are DDT’s ads in the possible Midwest swing states. He’s completely gone in Iowa and Ohio. In both Michigan and Wisconsin, he gave up at least $2 million of reservations, and the team slashed Minnesota spending by $5 million. DDT’s campaign increased advertising in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Nevada—the last a state he lost in 2016.

With a focus in supporting profits for big business, DDT and GOP lawmakers have forced workers into unsafe workplaces, especially during the pandemic. At the same time, Republicans protected employers against lawsuits, weakened an agency policing workplace safety, and punished workers who wouldn’t return to unsafe jobs. A new study concludes death rates spiked after workers begging for help from Occupational Safety and Health Administration were ignored. The analysis shows “a correlation between OSHA complaints and COVID-19 mortality … 17 days later.”

Throughout the pandemic, OSHA “has not issued any emergency or permanent standard specific to COVID-19 exposure at the workplace” and “had issued only four citations related to COVID-19.” According to the report, “the total number of federal OSHA inspections (of any kind) during 2020 has been reduced by two-thirds, compared to the same period in prior years.” In 2019, workplace fatalities were at a decade-high as OSHA enforcement declined with the fewest number of inspectors since the agency began 48 years before. DDT has also destroyed Labor Department advisory boards “to improve health, safety and whistleblower protections in nearly every facet of the workforce.” Without threats of inspection or large fines, corporations have no incentive to meet safety standards.

Under AG Bill Barr, the DOJ has reversed the long-term tradition of not influencing the outcome of U.S. elections in an email announcing “an exception to the general non-interference with elections policy.” Any suspicion of election fraud involving postal workers or military employees should receive public investigative steps before the end of voting on November 3 even if the public nature affects the election’s outcome. Citing two specific groups may come from DDT’s singling them out, the order can also cover other investigative types. Barr and DDT have made a Pennsylvania interim worker’s putting nine ballots put in the garbage by error. No other problems have been discovered so Barr and Trump focus on these nine ballots out of the possible 125 million plus to be submitted in 2020’s general election. The email was sent to district election officers, dozens of prosecutors throughout the U.S. in opposition to the 281-page document, Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses, warning against public investigations into fraud before the election’s finish without approval granted for extraordinary cases.

After accusations about fraud in the Russian investigation, the DOJ had to admit it changed dates on notes former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe and former FBI agent Peter Strzok, both fired by DDT’s administration, before turning them over to Michael Flynn’s defense team for exculpatory evidence. The altered dates suggested a White House meeting happened earlier than it did and a briefing to the Senate Intelligence Committee occurred at a different time. The judge called the situation “unsettling.” The DOJ said the false dates were unintentional, but they fit the DDT’s false narrative and came from a team appointed by Barr to provide political aid to DDT. Flynn’s lawyers should let the judge move forward; otherwise the decision might be too late for DDT to pardon him.

According to the conservative Wall Street Journal, the network RealClearPolitics, dominated by conservative websites reaching large audiences in the U.S., has been imbedded by the Kremlin’s “principal international propaganda outlet” RT.com. People using the U.S. network don’t realize they are being manipulated by the Russians–or don’t care.

September 13, 2020

More Court Cases, Etc. against DDT

The mainstream media gave Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) a walk on his racist, misogynist attacks about Hillary Clinton in his last campaign, but it may be reversing its acceptance during the current one. For example, this comment from the traditionally more conservative Associated Press:

“[T]he racism and sexism underlying Trump’s critique of the first Black woman and person of Asian descent on a major party ticket are part of an aggressive strategy to appeal to white suburban voters.”

In Colorado, a judge ruled the U.S. Postal Service must immediately stop sending disinformation about the voting system to its residents. One of several statements where registered voters automatically receive ballots, the USPS is distributing false postcards to households across the nation, including Colorado. Contrary to USPS directions, Coloradoans:

Do not need to request a ballot at least 15 days before the election. Like other states with automatic mail-in voting, people do not need to request ballots.

Do not need to mail their ballot at least seven days prior to the election. People may also deposit ballots at a drop-box or choose to vote in person up to and including on Election Day. And unlike what DDT says, depositing the ballot does not cause COVID-19.

Are not prevented from voting if they lose their ballot. Voters may request another ballot if the first one is lost.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold had asked the USPS not to send the postcards in Colorado, but they refused her request. Another five states are considering lawsuits about the postcards because they have different rules, deadlines, and requirements from those on the USPS postcards.

With more chaos in multiple Texas court cases, courts have made two rulings in the past few days affecting mail-in voting. A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit upheld the age limit of 65 and older to vote by mail. Democrats had appealed the law on the basis of discrimination against younger voters. This ruling vacated one in a lower court allowing all eligible voters to receive absentee ballots and sent the case back to a lower court. A state judge, however, ruled that Harris County clerk, Chris Hollins, could send absentee ballot applications to all 2.4 million registered voters in the county that encompasses Houston. People who are disabled, ill, or other 65 may vote absentee although concern about COVID-19 doesn’t fit these categories.

In an ongoing Florida dispute, the 11th Circuit Court ruled in a 6-4 vote that felons completing their sentences can vote only after they pay their fees and fines. The panel overturned a federal judge’s decision that this requirement is comparable to an unconstitutional poll tax. Florida residents passed a state constitutional amendment in 2018 giving voting privileges to all felons except those convicted of murder and/or sexual offenses, and the GOP state legislature passed a law in 2019 mandating the payment of felons’ charges to restore their voting rights. The current rule disenfranchises up over 774,000 voters, and DDT won the state by only 113,000 in 2016.

Ironically, surveys have shown that the felons who wish to vote lean toward the GOP. DDT sees Florida as a “must-win” state, and he’s tied there with Biden. DDT’s campaign is almost broke, and Mike Bloomberg just announced he is putting $100 million into Florida’s advertising. Hearing that, DDT said he will spend $100 million of his own money for advertising, but DDT is notoriously cheap.

The Treasury Department has sanctioned Andriy Derkach for being “an active Russian agent for over a decade.” Three other Russians were sanctioned for their part in the Internet Research Agency, Russia’s troll-factory writing and disseminating interference in the 2016 presidential election. Derkach was the go-to guy for DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani when he wanted “dirt” on Joe Biden, and he spread information attacking former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch for her ouster. More recently, Derkach laundered disinformation through Ron Johnson (R-WI) who oversaw a Senate investigation of Biden as well as sent other disinformation to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Both Senators denied received any information from Derkach. Giuliani said he had no idea Derkach was a Russian agent but wouldn’t answer any questions about how he could have been so ignorant. Jonathan Capehart asked:

“You’re a former prosecutor from the Southern District of New York, a former mayor of New York City, you have a national security firm.How could you not know that this person you were talking to was a known Russian agent?“

Giuliani told Capehart to “calm down” and then started talking Robert Mueller’s team “wiping” their cell phones after their investigations, a new DDT theory. Last December, Giuliani met with Derkach to promote the conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 election. Capehart asked him why he was pushing conspiracy theories.

Over a month ago, DDT signed a measure allowing companies to defer payroll taxes for Social Security until next year when employees would take a big salary hit to pay it back. His plan was to improve the economy by putting those taxes into the economy before the election. Big business decided delaying the collection was too much trouble. DDT told federal employees they had no choice but to accept the deferral, but he has control for only the Executive branch. Even the USPS decided not to enforce the deferral for their workers. The House told staffers their Social Security payments wouldn’t be deferred. The rest of the federal employees don’t want a deferral: civilian federal employee unions pushed permission to permit workers to opt out of the deferral, and military officers wrote to Congress about how DDT’s plan hurts young enlisted women and men with no financial savvy.

The government has lost one of its ethical people after federal prosecutor Nora Dannehy resigned her position as John Durham’s aide. AG Bill Barr appointed Durham to investigate the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, hoping to destroy the Democrats. As Barr pushed to get the incomplete information out as an “October surprise” before the election, Dannehy sent in her resignation. Her resignation gave no reason, but the Hartford Courant’s Edmund H. Mahony wrote it was partly motivated by Barr using an unfinished report before the election for political reasons.

Barr also wants the report to exonerate Michael Flynn, set to be sentenced for lying twice to the FBI. Two DDT-appointed judges overturned Flynn convictions, but the complete D.C. Circuit Court voted 8-2 for the case to continue. Dannehy’s resignation showed Durham’s inquiry was pre-determined, and Peter Strzok’s recent book, Compromised, showed the Flynn dismissal was based on hoaxes.

A former judge, John Gleeson, assigned to analyze the case before  it continued, said:

“In the United States, Presidents do not orchestrate pressure campaigns to get the Justice Department to drop charges against defendants who have pleaded guilty—twice, before two different judges—and whose guilt is obvious. Yet that is exactly what has unfolded here.”

He concluded the DOJ decision to drop the criminal case against Flynn was a “corrupt and politically motivated favor unworthy of our justice system.”

A few successful court cases:

DDT can’t call off census-taking early at the end of the month after a temporary restraining order from a federal judge in California. A court hearing on September 17 will determine whether counting will continue through the end of October, the date originally chosen by the Census Bureau. A similar hearing for a federal lawsuit in Maryland is set for September 21.

In another census case, a three-judge panel, two of them DDT-appointed, ruled DDT violated federal law when he ordered undocumented immigrants excluded from census data determining the number of seats in Congress for each state. The court also blocked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from including information about citizenship status in the numbers reported to DDT at the end of the count.

After several years, a federal judge told the Saudi Arabia government to make 24 current and former officials available for depositions about the 9/11 airplane attacks. The purpose of the case is to prove Saudi officials aware of or complicit in the kingdom’s support for the hijackers of the U.S. airliners.

Despite the Texas courts opposing mail-in voting, a federal judge ordered voters be given meaningful opportunities to contest decisions for rejected ballots from suspect signatures. The ruling goes into effect for the November election. The method of finding mismatches between the ballot envelopes and the vote-by-mail applications “plainly violates certain voters’ constitutional rights,” according to the judge.

Brian Murphy, the whistleblower reporting how DHS officials concealed information, stated the agency’s risk threat assessment couldn’t be released because it described the threats of white supremacists and Russian influence in the U.S. Ken Cuccinelli ordered Murphy to rewrite the data so white supremacy seemed less severe and the left-wing more prominent to satisfy DDT.  

Three years after DDT praised the “good” white supremacists who beat up people at Charlottesville (VA), workers removed the statue of a Confederate soldier a block away the Robert E. Lee statue protected by deadly clash caused by neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Two cannons and a stack of cannonballs accompanied the soldier’s statue on its trip to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.

September 12, 2020

DDT Seeks Win for Personal Power

Filed under: Donald Trump — trp2011 @ 12:12 AM
Tags: , , , , ,

Today is 9/11, the 19th anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s bombings in the U.S. which killed 0.015 percent of people who have died thus far in the United States from COVID-19.  Today is also the release of news that, throughout the term of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), the U.S. Treasury skimmed almost $4 million dollars from the Fire Department of New York’s (FDNY) World Trade Center Health Program, a program which “tracks and treats FDNY firefighters and medics suffering from 9/11 related illnesses.” More people have died of 9/11-related illness than on 9/11. Former comedian Jon Stewart led the charge shaming Congress into passing the law for this healthcare almost unanimously in 2019.

A huge irony of 9/11 is the difference in reactions to U.S. deaths. In a survey, 57 percent of Republicans—DDT’s supporters—found 180,000 deaths acceptable, but the country was completely traumatized by the attacks on the trade center. Jon Schwarz provides a reason for the discrepancies.

George W. Bush, appointed president by the Supreme Court, actively generated panic for 9/11:  

“Americans could not sleep safely in their beds unless we invaded Afghanistan. The FBI should be able to obtain the bank records or internet activity of citizens anytime it wanted without a warrant. Saddam Hussein was hiding anthrax in his mustache.”

The almost 200,000 deaths from COVID-19, allowed and promoted by DDT’s policies, came after he “played down” the concern even when the CDC predicted the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S., perhaps as many as 1.7 million. At the same time, DDT “played down” the upcoming economic disaster for tens of millions of people.

The difference comes from politics based on illusions inside our heads created by leaders. With people traumatized by 9/11, Bush and his administration could do anything they wanted—“a more permanent role in Gulf regional security” that “transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein,” according to the think tank Project for a New American Century. Then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said he wanted to “go massive–sweep it all up, things related and not,” including Iraq. if possible. Then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Bush viewed 9/11 as an “opportunity.”

COVID-19 required a big government response, but DDT only wanted  to star in his TV show. He cared nothing about PPE, contact tracing, or funding to help people out of work; his only wish was to do nothing but retain power to keep power and hide his financial records, 

Through history, governments determine what they want and find the rationale:

December 10, 1989: President H.W. Bush wanted to invade Panama. When Panamanian troops shot a U.S. soldier and threatened to rape a Navy officer’s wife, Bush had his chance and killed hundreds of thousands of people. There was no connection between the event and the invasion, but Bush used it to oust Manuel Noriega, a CIA asset who because Panama’s military leader.

August 2, 1964: The single bullet hole in the U.S.S. Maddox when it exchanged fire on August 2, 1964 with North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin led to the escalation of a war killing millions of people in Indochina.

April 1980: Iranian-backed members of Islamic Dawa opposed to Saddam threw a grenade at Iraq’s deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz: Saddam took Iraq to war with Iran with millions of people killed on both sides.

June 1982: Palestinian terrorists tried to assassinate the Israeli ambassador to the U.K. in London: Israel invaded Lebanon, resulting in thousands of people dead as well as the Sabra and Shatila massacre.

September 1938: Jewish Herschel Grynszpan shot a German diplomat in Paris: Nazis . According to the Nazi Party’s SA paramilitaries, this required them to carry out Kristallnacht.

DDT is using Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and AG Bill Barr to get reelected.

Louis DeJoy: Two appearances and investigation into the removal of necessary equipment to keep the mail moving has shown that DeJoy’s assignment in his new job is to delay mail delivery in DDT’s desire to stop voting by mail. But more revelations show more corruption by the new USPS postmaster general.  

DeJoy jeopardized the “health of millions of Americans” with his “significant” delays in delivery of prescription drugs, according to pharmacies..

DeJoy’s donations of hundreds of thousands of dollars to DDT and GOP senators match in time to the February nomination of his wife, Aldona Wos, to the post of U.S. ambassador to Canada.

As RNC fundraiser, DeJoy repeatedly urged workers at his supply chain company to donate to GOP candidates and later reimbursed them with larger bonuses, leveraging his influence for advancement of his personal interests. A “straw donor” scam carries prison time. DeJoy said he didn’t know anyone felt pressured. In 2018, DDT pardoned right-wing agitator Dinesh D’Souza for his straw donor scheme.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), vulnerable in his upcoming election, was a top recipient of DeJoy’s generosity. Tillis is in more trouble after his staffer was taped telling a constituent, a three-time cancer survivor who had endured medical bankruptcy and difficulty accessing care, to not get insurance if she couldn’t afford it—like a new dress shirt. The woman’s husband is furloughed because of the pandemic.

DeJoy’s company XPO Logistics, in which he holds at last $30 million, made $286 million from the USPS in seven years, including the $14 million since he became postmaster general, four times as much during the same months last year.   The company which Postmaster General Louis DeJoy used to work, and in which he still holds a $30-$75 million stake, has made $286 million off of the post office in the last 7 years. That includes $14 million paid out just in the last 10 weeks, since DeJoy has been in his new U.S. Postal Service job. The company, XPO Logistics, has seen a huge increase in business from the USPS this year The New York Times found through a public records request. It made just $3.4 million in the same time frame during 2019 and $4.7 million in 2018.

The Postal Service Board chair, Robert Duncan, has a close connection to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as a director of a major GOP super PAC for GOP senators. McConnell, who wants to privatize the USPS, recommended Duncan to DDT and blocks legislation for funding the postal service.

Duncan’s board secretly met to look at the investigations into DeJoy; two Republicans were pleased with DeJoy’s performance and don’t mind the slow delivery. They also accept DeJoy’s innocence in campaign finance violations because DeJoy believes in it.  

DeJoy is advertising for someone to manage public policy issues.  

Another DDT servant helping him keep power and hide all his finances, AG Bill Barr, is saving DDT legal fees in the E. Jean Carroll lawsuit and requiring taxpayers to fund the defense provided by the once-independent DOJ and moving the case from state to federal court. Carroll had accused DDT of rape, but she could not sue him because the statute of limitations had run out after over two decades. The case had switched to defamation because of DDT’s denial in 2019 interviews. Barr wants the government to “substitute itself” for DDT because his denying the rape is part of DDT’s “scope of his office.” When DDT said he wouldn’t have raped Carroll because she “wasn’t his type,” he was using his official capacity. Taxpayers will also be required to pay for any damages, and the case’s move will delay the lawsuit.   

Carroll said DOJ’s actions “demonstrate that Trump will do everything possible, including using the full powers of the federal government, to block discovery from going forward in my case before the upcoming election to try to prevent a jury from ever deciding which one of us is lying.” The DOJ has no defenses of DDT, and a federal judge must first decide whether the U.S. government can be the defendant. The DOJ will have to explain why denying a rape and lying about never having met Carroll is an official duty of the Oval Office occupant and lying about never having met her, especially when it concerns an action taken before his election.    Steve Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor, stated the DOJ might be trying to get the case thrown out “because the government itself can’t be sued for defamation.”

Satirist Andy Borowitz wrote a humorous piece about Barr’s being DDT’s lackey:

“…In a move that many in the legal profession and laundry industry called unprecedented, Attorney General William Barr announced that the Department of Justice will start picking up Donald J. Trump’s dry cleaning, effective immediately…

“Barr abruptly ended his press conference, stating that he had to get Trump’s brown loafers reheeled.”

Once again, the daily number of COVID-19 deaths—1,094—is more than one-third the deaths on 9/11. Is 197,421 total number of deaths in the U.S. still “acceptable” to 57 percent of the Republicans? The number of infections is rising—46,600 (totaling 6,636,247).        

September 5, 2020

DDT: Week 189 – Love of Putin, Hate of Democracy

This past week gave Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) several chances to display his loyalty to Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, and oppose democracy. For example, ICE wants to deport Gregory Duralev, a Russian national living in California with his U.S. family, in danger from Russia. Duralev was charged for fraud because of his master’s thesis on corruption in the Russian economy. He entered the U.S. on a tourist visa in November 2015 to seek asylum, and  ICE arrested him in 2018 for overstaying his visa, putting him into a maximum-security facility for almost 18 months. According to Duralev, DHS behaves exactly like Russia; he is suing the agency for “fabricating charges” against him.

Germany reported Vladimir Putin’s opposition leader, Alexey Navalny, was poisoned with a Soviet-era chemical nerve agent used by the Russian Novichok group. The same poison was used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in the English cathedral city of Salisbury. Both he and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, survived, but a 44-year-old woman died after accidentally exposure to the military-grade nerve agent. EU President Ursula von der Leyen called the poisoning “a despicable and cowardly act” and demanded perpetrators be brought to justice. Chancellor Angela Merkel informed NATO and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons about the investigation’s results.

DDT stayed silent for two weeks about Russia’s actions before the discovery and publication of the poison and still refuses to condemn Russia for the poisoning:

“So, I don’t know exactly what happened. I think that it is tragic. It is terrible. It should not happen. We have not had any proof yet, but we will take a look. … I would be very angry if that is the case.”

He bragged about his relationships with “almost all countries,” despite the U.S. rejection by most of the advanced free world since his inauguration but mentioned his success with North Korea, which is now testing missiles, and the Middle East. He told reporters they should talk about China instead of Russia.

DDT maintained silence about President (aka Dictator) Alexander Lukashenko declaring himself the winner of an election in Belarus on August 9 after tens of thousands of people protested because their ballots were stolen. Nine days after the election, DDT said:

“I support democracy. Okay, any other questions?”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was “deeply concerned by serious flaws” in the election and “strongly” condemned violence against protesters. While Putin warmly accepts Lukashenko, DDT said this week he will raise the issue with Putin “at the appropriate time.” Europe sanctioned Belarus officials for their brutality and began plans for transferring power from Lukashenko. 

Repeating his lie about being “tougher on Russia than anybody else by far,” DDT also repeated at his Friday news conference, “I do get along with President Putin.” Military officials worry about Russian actions. DDT still has not addressed the bounty Vladimir Putin put on the heads of military members or about Russia’s five military missions aimed at U.S. forces. Seven soldiers were hurt when a Russian military convoy rammed their vehicle on August 25. A Russian military helicopter flew low and fast over U.S. troops, threatening them. Neither DDT nor Defense Secretary Mark Esper said anything although a defense official said the Pentagon was muzzled “because it’s Russia” and “that means it’s sensitive” for the administration. U.S. Central Command overseeing operations in the area called the Russian activity “an unauthorized incursion” into the area where U.S. troops operated.

Two Russian fighter jets repeatedly crossed within 100 feet of the nose of a U.S. B-52 bomber over the Black Sea on August 28 causing difficulty in its maneuvering. Recently, a Russian submarine unexpectedly surfaced off the coast of Alaska, with no explanation. A Russian Su-27 fighter intercepted a U.S. B-52 bomber over the Baltic Sea and followed it  into Danish airspace, a NATO nation violation. Defense declare Russian actions are a part of Putin’s priorities—undermining U.S. interests and credibility while proving the country’s great power throughout the world.

DDT also concealed intel warning on Russian propaganda to reelect him with false attacks on Joe Biden’s poor mental health, proved with internal emails and a document showing Russia sowing disinformation about Biden’s fitness for office. In early July, DHS Chief of Staff John Goutanis blocked it on orders from acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, illegally in this position. Wolf tried to cover by saying the report was “very poorly written” and had to be revised—almost two months ago.

AG Bill Barr caused concern among national security officials when he removed the head of a DOJ office ensuring federal counterterrorism and counterintelligence activities are legal, just two months before the presidential election. The 36-year-old replacement, a political appointee with limited experience who mistakenly revealed secretly filed federal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, determines what will and won’t be done about secret surveillance and what can be given the public about election interference. The new head of the office belongs to an organization “committed to the cause of reintroducing the tenets of [the Catholic church] into the political, policy, legal, business, and cultural activities of society.”

DDT and Barr are repeating Russian disinformation about fraud and manipulation related to mail-in voting, many times with identical claims, in their goal “to undermine public trust in the electoral process.” Barr falsely claimed a man in Texas was indicted for collecting 1,700 ballots and filling them out before turning them in. There was no indictment, and the man pled guilty to improperly returning one marked ballot. A new DHS report stated Russians “are likely to promote allegations of corruption, system failure, and foreign malign interference to sow distrust in Democratic institutions and election outcomes.” The report adds Russia spreads the claims through media, websites, and social media—just as DDT and Barr do.

A recent analysis for voting in three vote-by-mail states for 2016 and 2018 identified 372 possible cases of double voting or voting on behalf of deceased people out of 14.6 million votes—0.0025 percent. Yet Barr spreads Russian lies. Asked for evidence that foreign countries can send a huge number of ballots without detection that they make. Barr said, “I’m basing that on logic.” An expert on election law, Rick Hasen, tweeted:

“Mail-in ballots are very hard to duplicate on the fly. Each jurisdiction has their own ballot format, form of paper, and races differ for voters by their respective districts. Ballot envelopes also often contain coding that helps election officials track them. Ballot forms must contain certain information that must be verified, like a signature, identification information, and sometimes witness requirements. These would all have to be faked, and done in a way to escape attention.”

Keeping Russia’s election interference, the new director of 18 intelligence agencies, John Ratcliffe, will submit only written updates to Congress on election security and not answer questions. Before Ratcliffe was confirmed to the position, he had been shown to be ethically-challenged, but GOP senators have shown themselves capable of confirming almost anyone who breathes. Ratcliffe’s failure to communicate came after National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina confirmed foreign actors—especially Russia, China, and Iran—were attempting to influence the 2020 election.

As part of election strategy, Barr plans to bring an anti-trust suit against Google before November despite his lack of preparation. The process for moving ahead resulted in dissension, not only among DOJ members but also with state attorneys general.

DDT asked Barr to help him with plans to defund some large cities in the U.S.—specifically New York, Portland (OR), Seattle (WA), and Washington, D.C. The illegal rationale is that leadership (specifically Democrats) makes people unsafe by defunding the police department or permitting “illegal protests.” The memo labels these places as “anarchist jurisdictions” with “lawless zones.” The DOJ has two weeks to make a list of these cities. DDT plans to control how cities spend their revenue and block the First Amendment right to free speech. He would eliminate money gained from taxes paid by their residents to the U.S. for housing, transportation, and law enforcement. DDT didn’t mention Kenosha (WI) because Wisconsin is a swing state; listed cities are in Democratic states.

This past week, the DOJ charged three people in Portland with “civil disobedience,” a 1968 law allowing the government to arrest people unconnected to federal officers or property or breaking any law in actions by an entire group. DDT’s gripe in New York, the painting of “Black Lives Matter” in front of the Trump Tower, could be translated into a charge of “rising crime.” Congress appropriates funds, not the White House, and courts blocked most of DDT’s attempts to limit funds to sanctuary cities.

Responses:

  • Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan: DDT’s memo was “an attempt to distract” from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler: The move is “a new low, even for this president.”
  • New York Mayor Bill de Blasio: The memo is a “racist campaign stunt.”
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “The best thing [DDT] did for New York City was leave.”

A government shutdown looms over the country as Congress becomes increasingly polarized. Congressional members have only 15 days to enact a budget—probably kicking the can down the road for a few months—when they return on September 8. An executive order from DDT won’t work this time.

Meanwhile, DDT might brag about “only” 707 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. during the past 24 hours, but reports on the weekends are usually fewer. U.S. infections are still up at 42,095 within the past 24 hours. The number is headed for 7 million before the end of the month.

July 28, 2020

Barr: ‘Not That I Remember’

Filed under: Executive action — trp2011 @ 11:38 PM
Tags: , , , ,

In today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, AG Bill Barr confirmed to the free world that the United States is well on its way toward becoming an authoritarian nation. The U.S. attorney general supposedly supports the people of the United States, but his testimony further guaranteed he sees his sole purpose is protecting Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and the Department of Justice is no longer an independent agency.

The British publication Independent summarized Barr’s misconduct:

“Barr misrepresented the Mueller report; refused to pursue the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community’s Trump-Ukraine criminal referral; interfered in the criminal cases of President Trump’s allies; fired the US Attorney at the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman; ordered the brutal clearing of peaceful protestors at Lafayette Square for Trump’s bible-holding photo op; and made some controversial remarks about racism in America…

“He falsely called the “Russiagate” scandal ‘bogus,’ falsely claimed President Trump has never interfered in his work (Trump has done so publicly), defended unleashing brutality on protestors, and denied systemic racism in policing. As Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) would later say in this hearing, the statement ‘read like it was written by Alex Jones or Roger Stone.’”

Barr’s testimony was marked by obfuscation, delaying, lying, and the repeated statement, “Not that I Remember.” [Horrible memory for a person who runs one of the most important agencies in the United States!] Samples of the hearing:

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) asked about the right-wing protesters occupying the Michigan Capitol where they “carried guns, Confederate flags, and swastikas, and call for the governor of Michigan to be beheaded and shot and lynched.” Barr said he didn’t know anything about it. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) pointed out Barr’s selective objections to protesting: the AG doesn’t mind when the protesters are armed right-wingers belligerently objecting to stay-at-home orders.

Barr claimed violent clearing of peaceful protesters in DC’s Lafayette Park was to move the perimeter, not for DDT’s photo-op. He also denied tear gas was used despite proof to the contrary.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) asked if Barr had ever recommended a reduced sentence for anyone other than DDT’s friends. Barr couldn’t remember anyone. Swalwell followed by asking why the DOJ told DDT’s former fixer Michael Cohen he would go back to solitary in prison if he didn’t sign an agreement to not write a book or speak to the media. Barr said he didn’t know anything about it.

Rep. Jackson Lee (D-TX) asked about systemic racism. Barr denied it existed.

Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) asked about excessive use of force primarily against Black people. Barr said that more Blacks were killed by other Blacks than by police officers.

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) asked if president’s accepting or soliciting foreign assistance in an election is appropriate. Barr first said it “depends” on the assistance. Cicilline said “any kind”; Barr struggled and finally said no.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) questioned Barr about DDT’s response to the COVID-19 CRISIS. Barr said he needed “to see the context” when Jeffries quoted Barr describing DDT’s guidance as “superb.” About DDT’s suggestion that people treat the virus by swallowing disinfectants, Barr said, “That’s not what I heard.” He also repeated the debunked claims that President Obama had not replaced the PPE although DDT had three years and sent much of the supplies to other countries at the beginning of the pandemic.

Jeffries also asked Barr what he would do if DDT loses the election but refuses to leave office. Barr said, “If the results are clear, I will leave office.” He added he was “not familiar” with DDT’s comments on the issue.

Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) questioned Barr about his lying in April when he said that “the White House fully cooperated with the special counsel’s investigation.” Barr answered, “Mm-hmm” before he said he meant only “the supplying of documents.” Neguse said that Barr knew when he made the statement DDT had not agreed to be interviewed by the special counsel, and Barr became visibly uncomfortable.  

Neguse continued with questioning Barr’s claim that former U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman had “stepped down” from his position. Barr laughed and answered, “He may not have known it, but he was stepping down. He was being removed!” Neguse told Barr he lied because the statement didn’t say Berman was being removed or fired.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) asked about the legality of advanced surveillance techniques—cell-site simulators, facial recognition, and sweeping surveillance of internet activity—on protesters. Barr answered, “I really can’t speak to those instances if they’ve in fact occurred.” The question was raised about whether Barr thinks DDT can have mass surveillance of protesters without congressional authorization. On July 21, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) wrote Barr and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe asking them to confirm that federal agencies stopped surveillance operations authorized under the now-expired FISA provisions.

Some of Barr’s statements attempting to defend his actions:

Referring to shortening Roger Stone’s sentence for lying under oath: “Do you think it’s fair for a 67-year-old man to be sentenced to prison for seven to nine years?”

About the acceleration of protesting in Portland (OR) by sending in untrained, violent federal agents: “What unfolds nightly around the courthouse cannot reasonably be called a protest; it is, by any objective measure, an assault on the government of the United States.”

Defending police killing of unarmed Black people: Barr said studies show “police are less likely to shoot at a black suspect, a little more likely to shoot at a white suspect.”

A fact-check on Barr’s statements from the conservative Oregonian:

Barr: There have been two months of violent protests and rioting in Portland. Both attendance and the level of violence have waxed and waned since May 28, and no one has consistently described the nightly groups as riots. The vast majority of the gathering is peaceful, and the federal courthouse became a target only when federal agents (aka DDT’s militia) were sent to Portland in early July. The protests escalated after a federal agent shot peaceful protester Donovan La Bella in the head.

Barr: Antifa is active in the Portland demonstrations. A variety of left-wing groups have participated in the protests, but they don’t collaborate. Recently large groups of mothers, dads, teachers, healthcare workers, lawyers, and veterans have identified themselves by their garb. Violence has come from far-right extremists, dressing in traditional antifa-appearing clothing.

Barr: Protests are being hijacked by violent demonstrators whose primary aim is to injure federal officers. Although federal agents disperse crowds without discrimination or warning, they seem to focus on volunteer medics. Protesters, including La Bella, have received high-profile injuries without provocation.

Barr: There are less than 100 federal officers deployed in Portland. The count is at least 114 federal agents, and several FBI agents are investigating protesters’ alleged criminal activity.

Six mayors from Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Washington DC, Albuquerque, and Kansas City (MO) sent a letter to Congress requesting legislation to block DDT’s “unacceptable, un-American, and unconstitutional” use of force. They wrote, “This provocation is resulting in direct physical harm to our communities and must end.” [Below: federal and local law enforcement collaborate.] 

Other cities are discovering the violence from right-wing extremists as DDT sends his militia across the country. Richmond (VA) police arrested six right-wing saboteurs carrying pro-BLM signs and breaking windows at downtown businesses. Boogaloo members wearing Hawaiian shirts to signify their push for a racial war have appeared in Minneapolis, Salisbury (NC), Bentonville (AR), Seattle, and Los Angeles. One of the members, arrested at a Denver protest, had a large arsenal in his car’s trunk. A fake flyer in Olympia falsely offered $200 per individual to act as “paid protesters,” supposedly paid by George Soros and the Open Society Foundation. The white nationalist Evropa organization spread a hoax on Twitter advocating violence, tweets which Donald Trump Jr used to support his father’s blame on antifascists for violence.

Meanwhile, protesters are losing their constitutional rights. Federal agents are arresting protesters for such minor offenses as “failing to obey” an order to get off a sidewalk on federal property. At least 12 of those arrested were released from jail only if they agreed to not attend protests, some of them anywhere in Oregon—a violation of their First Amendment rights. The order was signed by a federal magistrate in Portland.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said the federal government’s authoritarian behavior poses an “enormous” threat to democracy, and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) described the tactics as “an all-out assault in military-style fashion.” Military control of the U.S. was last imposed in the U.S. after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941.

A sliver of hope comes from talks between Oregon’s Gov. Kate Brown and the federal government to reduce federal agents if the state increases its own enforcement. There is no agreement, but DDT may realize that his militia’s violence isn’t getting him votes.

July 12, 2020

DDT: Week 181 – Rotten Orders, Infecting Children

Today, I laughed at a headline in my email from the conservative Hill, News Alert: Trump Wears Mask …” With the new normal, a newsworthy item is Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), supposedly the leader of the free world, wearing a mask for the first time after five months in which he did nothing about a virulent disease killing almost 140,000 people just in the U.S. DDT said, “I’ve never been against wearing a mask.” Yet he refused to wear one in public any place until now, even if rules required the practice, and he opposed social distancing. The venue for his Tulsa (OK) speech could not post signs about social distancing, and mask-wearing was not recommended.  

DDT’s campaign tells its staff that wearing masks inside isn’t necessary; those who do are ridiculed in social pressure not to wear them. Staff members are also told not to tell colleagues if they are exposed to COVID-19.

After DDT’s long-time friend Roger Stone lied to protect DDT, the man who supposedly protects “law and order” used his presidential power to commute Stone’s sentence of 40 months for a unanimous conviction of seven felonies. DDT’s bag man AG Bill Barr had already dropped the sentence from seven to nine years in prison. Stone told DDT about WikiLeaks hacking Democratic campaign emails to help DDT win the 2016 election and then lied about doing it as well as being guilty of witness tampering and obstruction.

AG Bill Barr claims that he advised against the commutation; DDT said they never talked about it. White House officials are concerned about political backlash for the clemency grant. In an op-ed for WaPo, Robert Mueller, the special counsel who investigated Russia’s link to the 2016 election, explains what happened with Stone and wrote:

“The Russia investigation was of paramount importance. Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.”

Michael Flynn hasn’t been exonerated yet, but he took an oath on July 4 that ended with the oath of office recited by the conspiracy group QAnon to make themselves “digital soldiers,” “Where we go one, we go all!” Not familiar with the group? Its message: DDT is secretly warring with evil Democrats, the “deep state,” Hollywood celebrities, cannibals, and a hidden group of pedophiles. Last year, the FBI classified QAnon as a domestic-terror threat. Two months ago, DDT said he is considering re-hiring Flynn who is a “fine man,” and VP Mike Pence agreed.

Mary Trump’s tell-all book about DDT has covered up information about other new releases, but one to notice is Jacob Soboroff’s Separated: Inside an American Tragedy. His reporting on immigration led him to the background for taking children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border. Katie Miller, racist Stephen Miller’s wife and VP Mike Pence’s press secretary, related to Soboroff how she was sent to the border “to make me more compassionate” by seeing the separations, “but it didn’t work.” Asked if she is a white nationalist, Miller said, “No, but …,” finishing by complaining that people don’t “assimilate” and have “Little Havana.” A definition for sociopath, also called antisocial personality disorder, includes no “guilt or remorse for having harmed or mistreated others,” lack of empathy for others, and lack of remorse about harming others 

Once the country survived from DDT’s racist speeches to divide the United States for his July 4th celebration of independence, the media transferred to a focus on DDT’s insistence schools all reopen in a few weeks. Killing children with COVID-19 is all part of DDT’s plan to get reelected by his declaration the virus is gone and all is normal. It isn’t. The number of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths has shot up so far that GOP governments desperately announced some business closures and other restrictions.

DDT justified opening the schools by citing other countries such as Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden successfully opened their schools. New coronavirus cases in these countries for the past 24 hours:

  • Germany: 224
  • Denmark: 0
  • Norway: 3
  • Sweden: 0

New COVID-19 cases in the U.S. for the same period of time: 61,719

Countries successfully opening their schools without huge new virus outbreaks have waited until they dropped new infections to low levels and allocated funding to schools for this purpose. The U.S. has neither.

Instead of providing incentives for opening schools, DDT threatens removing federal funds from schools that don’t comply with his orders. Congress approved $13.5 billion in emergency aid for K-12 schools, but the loss of local funding from the economic disaster caused by COVID-19 puts schools at great shortages. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos declared that families could take the money for other education if public schools don’t open. It’s part of her strategy to move all education funding to private schools, enriching for-profit corporations and churches.

Summer camps provide an example of problems in reopening schools at the height of the pandemic. Last week, a summer camp in Missouri shut down after at least 41 youth ages 13-18 and their staffers tested positive. The number increased to 82 when the children went to their homes in ten different states. The virus problem was not unique at that camp: others across the nation have closed because both youth and staffers have contracted coronavirus.

Like DDT’s other responses to COVID-19, he has no plans for safely reopening schools, just his decision to pressure governors and other state officials to force children back to school for the fall term. Instead, he rails about everyone objected has “political reasons, not … health reasons.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC) offered guidance about opening schools during a pandemic—distancing, physical barriers, and staggered scheduling. DDT found those these ideas to be too expensive and told CDC to change its guidelines. CDC Director Robert Redfield wants to keep DDT happy and said, “Clearly, the ability of this virus to cause significant illness in children is very, very, very, very limited.” Redfield softened guidelines by claiming that they aren’t “requirements” and shouldn’t be a barrier to reopening schools.

Pence said CDC will have new guidelines this coming week because the old ones are “too tough.” He also asserted children’s need for “nutrition” was the primary reason for forcing children back to school. His “concern” is at odds with his administration’s reduction in funding for school meals and food stamps. Internal CDC documents cautioned fully reopening K-12 school and universities would be the “highest risk” for the spread of coronavirus. 

Redfield’s boss HHS Secretary Alex Azar, works even harder to please DDT. As an excuse for opening schools, he said healthcare workers “don’t get infected … because they take appropriate precautions.” Over 94,000 healthcare workers have contracted COVID-19—almost three percent of the infections in the U.S.—and at least 500 of them have died—3.6 percent of the total U.S. deaths from the virus. As a reporter commented, “If we don’t have enough PPE for the healthcare workers on the front lines, how can we possibly have enough PPE for all of the country’s teachers to take the same precautions?”

As DDT plans to infect hundreds of thousands of children in school, he plans to return to separating children from parents. A federal judge ordered scores of children to be released from ICE facilities, but her ruling doesn’t cover adults. DDT will give migrant parents the choice of giving up their children to sponsors or stay with their children where the virus is dangerous. Two ICE detention centers in Texas already have the virus, and almost 3,000 of 17,000 detained migrants in ICE facilities have tested positive for the virus along with several dozen ICE employees.

After DDT officially dropped U.S. membership in the World Health Organization, the nation’s allies repeated DDT has given the WHO leadership to China. The U.S. has now lost both input into and knowledge about world healthcare affecting the country. Even China criticized the U.S. action.

Facebook has failed a civil rights audit in refusing to address hate speech and disinformation that permits DDT to interfere in the 2020 election. Unfortunately, the report’s recommendation won’t solve the problems of Facebook’s assistance for helping DDT’s campaign through its transmission of lies.

DDT’s new executive order for the 644,000 DACA recipients brought illegally to the U.S. when they were children won’t include amnesty.

DDT’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act, scheduled for next year before the Supreme Court, contains a tax cut for the wealthy. The top 0.1 percent of households, those making over $3 million annually, gets $198,000 each. Those making over $1 million a year get $42,000 in tax cuts. The U.S. would lose about $30 million in revenue in 2020 if the ACA is overturned—Medicaid coverage for about 4 million people. Medicare would lose because the ACA has a 0.9 percent tax on earnings of over $250,000 for couples. Other losses in taxes will cut billions of dollars from Medicare while the top one percent gets over two-thirds of the tax cuts.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, blocked from a deserved promotion because of his testimony during the House impeachment proceedings, has resigned because of DDT’s “campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation.” Ukraine expert Vindman reported what he overheard on the telephone conversation between DDT and Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky.  

The summer of 2020 is bringing unmitigated disasters: 20 percent of people at risk of eviction by the end of September, doubling of delinquency rates since March, 25 million people losing employer-provided health insurance, and a collapsing childcare system. And no solution for the rapidly rising number of COVID-19 cases—3,355,646 with 137,403 deaths on July 11.

July 4, 2020

The U.S., a Failing State

A definition for 2020 is clear sight or “accurate discernment, judgment, or assessment hindsight.” The year 2020 clearly shows the United States as a failing state, defined by Rebecca Gordon as “a political entity whose government has ceased to perform most or all of its basic functions. Such a condition can result from civil war, untrammeled corruption, natural disaster, or some combination of those and more.” The Fund for Peace has four criteria:

  1. “Loss of control of its territory, or of the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force therein
  2. Erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions
  3. Inability to provide public services
  4. Inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community”

1. Loss of control: The administration of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is replacing the rule of law with the wishes of one man who threatens his citizens with military force, ordering law enforcement to attack legal peaceful protesters to show his power. DDT encouraged his rally audience to “knock the crap out of hecklers” and congratulated a GOP congressman for physically attacking a reporter. DDT sees white supremacists who commit violence as “very fine people” and encourages to physically menace legislators debating Michigan’s stay-at-home policies. 

2. Erosion of legitimate authority: The growing suppression of voting increasingly removes collective decisions and replaces them with control by the wealthy. The Supreme Court elimination of the 1965 Voting Rights Act accelerated unequal access to the polls in 25 states during the past decade with voter ID mandates and restrictions on early voting, number and placement of polling places, and vote-by-mail. DDT failed to find voting fraud with a now defunct presidential commission and now spreads lies about vote by mail. DDT’s goal is to undermine confidence in elections to cover himself if he loses in November. For months, people have asked what can be done if DDT loses but stays in the White House. Today, DDT’s Supreme Court majority temporarily froze a decision from a lower court: people in Alabama are stopped from safely voting in its July 14th primary through requesting mail-in ballots. 

3. Failure to Provide Public Services: Just this year, DDT failed to stop COVID-19, causing a tripling of the unemployment rate and pushed a disastrous recession that could destroy the nation’s economy. Six months after an awareness of the disease in China, the government lacks enough equipment and supplies to care for millions of infected people. DDT insisted on reopening businesses and created a massive surge in the virus. He favors his friends and donors by giving them contracts. For example, Fillakit, a new contractor, took $7.3 million for plastic tubes for making soda bottles instead of the ordered test tubes. The contaminated product doesn’t fit the racks for lab analysis. Without masks and in the open air, employees used snow shovels to put the unsterilized tubes into plastic bins. In the early onslaught of COVID-19 in the U.S., the White House knew the CDC distributed contaminated tests to states.  As the number of infections and deaths hit a new peak, DDT has gone to court to remove healthcare for 23 million people in the U.S. Without the preexisting condition requirement, the millions of people contracting COVID-19 cannot be covered for any issues attributed to the virus.

4. Inability to interact with other states: Since his inauguration, DDT consistently cozied up to world dictators and alienated countries of the free world. He pulled the U.S. out of successful and hopeful treaties such as denuclearization of Iran and a world-wide climate agreement. He threatened to drop NATO and placed sanctions on cooperative countries of the International Criminal Court. He even pulled out of the World Health Organization in the midst of a pandemic. This past week, DDT turned his back on global cooperation in buying the entire three-month stock of remdesivir—a medication that might lessen stays in the hospital for people with COVID-19—so no one else could have any at a cost of $1.56 billion.

Today, the U.S., with 4.25 percent of the world’s population, has 26 percent of the over 11 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 25 percent of the world’s deaths, and cases are rising in 36 states. Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress this past week the new COVID-19 cases, over 55,000 for each of the past four days, may rise to 100,000 a day. The count for today, July 3: 2,890,588 infections; 132,101 deaths. Statistics would show more infections and deaths if the reporting was honest.

The increasing numbers of deaths within jails and prisons brings to light the unnecessary and cruel incarceration in the U.S. along with the massive disconnect in healthcare services between the well-off and the marginalized communities. Homelessness suffers from the same health disaster in the greatest income inequality since the Gilded Age from tax cuts for the rich and the destruction of public services including education and infrastructure. In the U.S., 63 million people lack clean drinking water. As the virus expanded during the first three months of 2020, over $6.5 trillion in household wealth in the global economy equivalent to the combined economies of France and the UK; since March 18, U.S. billionaires have gained 20 percent in wealth–$584 billion.

Federal officials failed to protect healthcare workers by closing many of the over 4,100 coronavirus-related workplace safety complaints without taking action. At least 35 healthcare workers died after OSHA received safety complaints about their workplaces. Other than 275 fatality ongoing probes and 1,300 open healthcare complaints, the remainder of the complaints are listed “closed” in OSHA’s database. Its only citation was a $3,900 fine for a Georgia nursing home.

The man in the Oval Office declared himself a wartime president against COVID-19 and then surrendered. This week he said people will just have to “live with it” about millions of people contracting the disease, hundreds of thousands of people dying from it, and the economy crashing. DDT also claimed “not one governor needed anything” when VP Mike Pence’s questions. Yet across the nation, governors have asked Pence for help with viral spikes in their states.

Instead of trying to solve the COVID-19 disaster, DDT’s HHS Secretary Alex Azar is campaigning in election battleground states and pushing for reopening businesses. Last Sunday, Alex Azar called the virus a catastrophe but laid responsibility for handling it anyplace except the federal government.

A serious loss for democracy is this week’s decision from the Supreme Court, putting the Christian church in charge of the nation. Forcing taxpayers in Montana to pay for religious education, the high court violated the separation of church and state in the First Amendment. This ruling adds to DDT’s order that evangelicals can discriminate against women, LGBTQ people, Catholics, Muslims, atheists, differently abled, etc. in other areas such as fostering children. Private schools became popular in the mid-20th century to oppose racial integration.

The Supreme Court also conceals information about DDT by taking an appeal from a lower court decision making grand jury materials from the Mueller report available to members of Congress. Even if the Supreme Court were to affirm the lower ruling—which is unlikely—the decision won’t come down until after the election. DDT will be protected from public knowledge about Russian interference in his 2016 win until after his next election.

Acting as DDT’s fixer, AG Bill Barr is picking off U.S. attorneys general, and Richard Donoghue, representing the Eastern District of New York, is the most recent one. The Brooklyn post investigated, among other people close to DDT, Tom Barrack who chaired his inaugural committee. Donoghue was also in charge of all DOJ investigations about Ukraine. Now he’s headed for Washington, and a good friend of Barr will likely replace him. On Memorial Day weekend, Barr also removed Joseph Brown, U.S. Attorney for eastern Texas, who had been blocked in his attempts to criminally charge Walmart for its part in an opioid case, and replaced Brown with Stephen Cox, one of the Washington officials who blocked the charges. 

Some state governors collaborate with DDT in making the U.S. a failed state. Although Texas Gov. Greg Abbott now requires wearing masks in public, less than two months ago his state attorney, Ken Paxton, threatened cities such as Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio with lawsuits if they require masks and sheltering in place. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who wants to preserve the economy by letting older people die, still insists, without evidence, the state reopen because infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci “doesn’t know what he’s talking about” and “has been wrong every time in every issue.” Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts threatened cities with not giving them federal virus relief funding if they require people to wear masks in government buildings.  Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey blocked cities and counties from restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 until June 17. All three of these states have serious spikes in the disease.

The United States is becoming a failed state, and Republicans work hard for it to happen.  

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