Nel's New Day

October 4, 2020

More Judicial News to Infuriate DDT

As the media tells about how Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) destroys the United States, a lot of the news slips through the cracks.

A major issue is how courts keep overturning the rules from DDT and his appointees who want to benefit business above the people of the nation. During President Obama’s administration, Republicans had very few executive orders and rule changes to reject. In under four years since DDT’s inauguration, hundreds of lawsuits have fought back DDT’s proclamations. One ongoing report shows DDT’s successes, 22; DDT’s failures, 116. These are a few recent ones:

A federal judge ruled DOJ inappropriately redacted parts of Robert Mueller’s reports and required release of those sections by November 2, on the eve of Election Day.

A California judge has again ruled that census counting must continue through October 31, 2020 after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross defied her with an announcement the counting would end on October 5—tomorrow. During the most recent hearing, the judge asked for records regarding the October 5 “target date” but was told the only paper trail was a tweet. The judge asked:

 “Are you saying that is enough reason to establish decision-making? A one sentence tweet?”   

The Census Bureau had originally selected October 31 as the deadline after problems with the pandemic and finally acceded to that date last Friday. Two of three judges on a 9th Circuit Court panel confirmed the lower court in extending the 2020 census, and DDT’s judge dissented. Census Bureau career officials, the Commerce Department inspector general’s office, and the bureau’s Census Scientific Advisory Committee oppose a shorter timeline for counting the census.

Following a ruling in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU, the Trump administration will no longer block immigrant teens from accessing reproductive health care, including abortion. Another judge ruled this week against enacting a steep increase in the costs associated with citizenship and immigration application fees.

A federal judge in California temporarily blocked an increase in costs for citizenship and other immigration applications. Citizenship was scheduled to increase 81 percent yesterday, $1,160. Naturalization would go from $725 to $1,170, and asylum applications would cost $50 without fee waivers for low-income applicants. Applying for a deportation suspension or expulsion cancellation would skyrocket from $285 to $1,810.

The judge’s reason for barring the enforcement is Wolf’s possibly illegal appointment for acting head of DHS, according to both a judge and the Government Accountability Office. The appointment of DHS Kevin McAleenan was invalid under the agency’s order of succession, making him lack the authority to amend the order for Wolf’s installation. The lawsuit caused DDT to appoint Wolf for his position which now needs confirmation. Last month, a coalition of 20 state AGs challenged the new restrictive rules for asylum seekers in court. Previously the GAO found Ken Cuccinelli, Wolf’s deputy, was also illegally appointed in an invalid order of succession.

The  A federal judge in Los Angeles overruled limits on visas, (inspired by immigrant-hating Stephen Miller) for hundreds of thousands of foreign workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of companies can return to bringing workers from abroad on visas such as the H-1B for highly skilled employees, guest-worker visas for seasonal employees such as those who DDT hires, and cultural exchange visas for people such as au pairs. Earlier, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. turned the issue over to an appeals court. Plaintiffs include the Chamber of Commerce and several industry giants.

A federal judge in Washington state ruled DDT’s and Barr’s national commission on policing violates federal law by including only 18 law enforcement members and excluding civil rights activists, defense attorneys, or mental health professionals. In addition, the judge blocked Barr from publishing a final report because the commission failed to file a charter, post public meeting notices, and have open meetings. The Federal Advisory Committee Act requires a balanced membership to prevent its recommendations from being “inappropriately influenced by the appointing authority.” Only five the 112 members of working groups were from outside law enforcement, and speakers lacked diversity until after the lawsuit was filed. Last month, a prosecutor resigned from a working group because the commission “was intent on providing cover for a predetermined agenda that ignores the lessons of the past.” DOJ claimed the commission was following the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and could ignore FACA. The W. Bush-appointed judge ruled against that argument.

There was a time when courts claimed they could not make decisions about voting in the months before elections. For example, the Supreme Court will not hear a case from Arizona’s law about “harvesting” ballots, the practice of people returning absentee ballots for other people, until after the election. 

On the other hand, the lower courts are filled with cases about voting rules to suppress the 2020 vote:

Two federal judges ruled in favor of voting by mail to protect against COVID-19, one upholding a universal postal voting plan in Montana and the other blocking restrictions on absentee ballots in Alabama. Montana’s Gov. Steve Bullock can allow the state’s counties to mail ballots to every voter in an effort to reduce COVID-19 spread at polls. Alabama is banned from absentee ballot requirements putting them at risk such as notarized signatures.

In North Carolina, a judge struck down changes on witness requirements for absentee ballots because the state election board had not kept to court orders. A witness must certify a voter completed an absentee ballot, but the board told election officials they could overlook that requirement if the witness information is missing from the ballot envelope. Voters can just sign an affidavit they had mailed the ballot after the ballot was returned. Last month, the judge had ordered the state to keep all absentee ballots until officials had a statewide process to give voters notice of any errors “such as a signature mismatch or deficient witness contact information.” He also stopped the state from enforcing state law banning nursing home staff from helping voters to fill out ballots and/or mail them. In 2018, the state faced a massive ballet theft scam by a GOP operative.

In one loss for the people, two DDT appointees on a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court overturned a lower federal judge ruling to permit Georgia absentee ballots to be accepted three days after Election Day if postmarked on November 3. The ruling requires ballots must be received by 7:00 pm on November 3. An appeal can only go to the supreme Court.

GOP and DDT’s lawsuits to suppress the vote through restrictions use the lie of corruption, an argument rejected by newly retired top GOP election lawyer Ben Ginsberg. In an op-ed, he writes about the lack of widespread fraud:

“Legions of Republican lawyers have searched in vain over four decades for fraudulent double voting. At long last, they have a blatant example of a major politician urging his supporters to illegally vote twice. The only hitch is that the candidate is President Trump…

“Elections are not rigged.”  

Although DDT has tried to destroy the image of the USPS by making mail delivery unbearably slow, people continue to support the agency that receives no tax money. A majority of Democrats (82 percent) and unaffiliated voters (69 percent) believe the postal service should be operated as a public service, and almost half Republicans (49 percent) agree. In the survey, 72 percent said the USPS was doing an “excellent” or “good” job, a belief almost unchanged from 2014 and 2017 Gallup polls. Two-thirds think election ballots will be delivered in a timely manner.   

In other hopeful news, The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is investigating Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for violating the Hatch Act after her department distributed a Fox network clip of DeVos criticizing Joe Biden. Federal employees are forbidden from political activities on the job.

After NYT piece on DDT’s taxes, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) argued that conflicts of interest could invalidate all DDT’s judicial nominations. The sum total of $750 paid in taxes for an entire year for two different years with none for the previous decade has hurt DDT’s campaign. In comparison, DACA recipients—who DDT hates—pay $8.7 billion.

A new court filing from the Manhattan DA suggests a state court investigation into DDT and his businesses for tax and insurance fraud as well as other financial crimes. DDT argued presidents have blanket immunity from criminal investigation, but the Supreme Court ruled against that premise. Because the case is in state court, AG Bill Barr can’t protect him, and no president can pardon him.

Fox network and DDT’s BFF Sean Hannity is being deposed about his promotion of conspiracy theories concerning rumors about the “murder” of DNC staffer Seth Rich. Also deposed are Fox’s business host Lou Dobbs and network staffers about the debunked reporting that Rich’s death came from his leaking Democratic emails to WikiLeaks instead of the Russians. Rich’s parents filed an emotional distress and tortious interference lawsuit against Fox, its reporter Malia Zimmerman, and former guest Ed Butowsky.

As usual, Congress has passed a continuing resolution for the budget instead of a real budget. This one expires on December 11. Signed by DDT, the bill includes both welfare for farmers and $8 billion in food assistance.

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 6, 2020

More Stress for DDT

Life keeps going downhill for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT).

More responses from the courts:

A federal judge ordered DDT to stop keeping immigrant children in hotels and move the 660 children, 577 unaccompanied, out by September 15.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blocked a Canadian company from building a massive gold and copper mine at the headwaters of Alaska’s Bristol Bay for 90 days. The company must find measures mitigating the project’s “unavoidable adverse impacts” to water and marine life; the “project, as currently proposed, cannot be permitted under section 404 of the Clean Water Act.” This action reverses the agency’s two-year history of fast-tracking the mine. The Bristol Bay watershed, home to bears, eagles, and wolves, has the world’s most prolific salmon fishery generating $1.5 billion in annual revenue and supporting 14,000 jobs. The mine would store 10 billion tons of mining waste in a wet and seismically active region.

Last month, the D.C. Circuit Court ruled the Federal Elections Commission (FED)’s disclosure rules on dark money are too weak. In CREW v. FEC, the nonpartisan nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), sued the FEC for not taking action against Crossroads GPS, which engaged in secret spending during the 2012 election cycle—and won in a federal district court in August 2018. Details of the case.

Curtis Flowers, freed after 22 years in a Mississippi prison and six trials, won’t face a seventh trial. Two convictions for individual murders and two for all four killings were overturned, and two other trials for all four deaths ended in mistrials. Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Flowers’ conviction, noting that the prosecution had misrepresented evidence in three prior convictions. During a bond hearing for a seventh trial, the Montgomery County Circuit Court judge said if prosecutors didn’t respond to a previous defense motion to drop the charges against Flowers, “the state will reap the whirlwind” from him. They dropped the charges.    

The people fight back:

In one of three lawsuits from states’ attorneys general about the destruction of the USPS, the chief judge of the U.S. District court for the Eastern District of Washington gave DDT’s administration and the USPS until September 7 to provide requested documentation about Louis DeJoy’s mail delivery slowdown. Fourteen AGs argue that DeJoy’s changes interfering with November’s election are “unlawful.” Washington’s AG Bob Ferguson, known for winning his cases against DDT, added other USPS problems about other slow deliveries; i.e., prescription drugs, Social Security benefits, rent payments, etc.

California is leading a coalition of 27 U.S. states, commonwealths, territories, counties, and cities to block new rules putting a hard-time deadline on environmental reviews of major federal infrastructure projects. The case is the 100th for lead AG, California’s Xavier Becerra, challenging DDT’s “unlawful, unjustified, and sweeping revisions” to a 50-year-old law

Civil rights groups and local governments in California filed for an emergency nationwide injunction against DDT’s attempt to prematurely end 2020 Census counting and “sabotage” the decade count for his and the GOP political advantage. The population count determines U.S. House representation and the annual distribution of $800 billion in federal aid.

Immigration advocates are in court because ICE prevents detained people from placing phone calls to legal representatives from El Paso and Otro County processing centers. Last year, a complaint accused Otero of “rampant discrimination and violence” against LGBTQ people a few months before transgender asylum-seeker Johana Leon died in Otero’s custody. In mid-August, a complaint alleged a “pattern and practice of sexual harassment and sexual assault” against El Paso’s detainees. Other ICE centers face similar complaints.

The Oregon Coast Alliance notified Facebook on August 26 it plans to sue the social media giant for leaving drilling equipment, debris, and 6,500 gallons of drilling lubricant underneath the beach and seabed next to the Tillamook County village of Tierra del Mar after a drill bit broke. The residents opposed Facebook’s subsidiary, Edge Cable Holdings, landing a trans-Pacific telecommunications cable on a lot zoned residential in the middle of their community.

A University of Pennsylvania professor repeated his request to investigate DDT’s admission to the school in 1966. On one tape, DDT’s sister MaryAnne Trump Barry said DDT “got into University of Pennsylvania because he had somebody take the exams.”

Yusef Salaam, one of the innocent Central Park Five accused of rape, was exonerated in 2002 after prisoner Matias Reyes confessed to the crime. In 1989, DDT took out full-page ads in several New York newspapers demanding their executions and never retracted his demands. His ad inflamed public opinion and led to five teenage males of color going to prison for something they didn’t do. Their story was told in the Emmy-winning Netflix drama When They See Us. Fifteen-years-old when he was arrested, Salaam completed a college degree during his almost seven years in prison. Now he educates others about “the criminal system of injustice” and has written a young adult book inspired by his experience. Co-authored by National Book award finalist Haitian-American author Ibi Zoboi, the novel-in-verse, Punching the Air describes institutional racism and the school-to-prison pipeline as told by a Amal Shahid, a 16-year-old Black Muslim boy who is wrongfully incarcerated after a fight in a park leaves a white teen in a coma.

The self-declared “law and order” GOP presidential candidate broke the law by using Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at his recent convention after Cohen’s reps refused DDT’s requests for its use. It was played twice after DDT finished his 70-minute acceptance speech. A lawyer for the Cohen estate, Michelle L. Rice, decried the GOP’s and DDT’s “brazen attempt to politicize and exploit in such an egregious manner ‘Hallelujah,’ one of the most important songs in the Cohen song catalogue.” She added:

“Had the RNC requested another song, ‘You Want it Darker,’ for which Leonard won a posthumous Grammy in 2017, we might have considered approval of that song.”

Cohen’s publishing company, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, also refused the RNC’s use of “Hallelujah.” Tori Kelly, the singer of the first version heard, assured upset fans she had nothing to do with its use and tweeted she had not been asked about its use.

And discoveries:

Rod J. Rosenstein, former deputy attorney general, controlled the scope of Robert Mueller’s investigation into DDT’s ties with Russia by privately restricting the investigation to crimes instead of the public order to examine “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government” and DDT’s campaign. Mueller never investigated DDT’s relationship with Russia although he managed 36 indictments, convictions of DDT’s top advisers, and a report outlining Russia’s operations to help elect DDT and DDT’s efforts to block his inquiry. The bipartisan Senate report from earlier this month did a better job of DDT’s connections to Russia and ways that Russia compromised DDT, but the report stated senators lacked access to all the information. Acting FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe said he would have assigned the inquiry to the FBI if he knew Rosenstein had limited Mueller. According to McCabe, investigating only crimes was inappropriate for a national security threat. DDT also fired FBI director James Comey to stop any further FBI investigation.

The above information came from NYT journalist Michael Schmidt’s new book, Donald Trump v. the United States, In which Schmidt also wrote about DDT offering then DHS Secretary John Kelly (who because DDT’s chief of staff) the position of FBI director the day after DDT fired Comey. DDT, however, required Kelly “to be loyal to him, and only him.” Kelly failed to get the job when he said he would only be “loyal to the Constitution and the rule of law.” Kelly said “having to say no to Trump was like ‘French kissing a chainsaw.'”

In July, Ohio GOP Speaker of the House Larry Householder was arrested for a $60 million bribery scheme. The racketeering indictment for Householder and four others was “likely the largest bribery money laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people of the state of Ohio,” according to U.S. Attorney David DeVillers. In House Bill 6, the “pay-to-play” plan took $60 million from “Company A,” identified as FirstEnergy Corp, for the company’s bailout worth over $1 billion which saved two nuclear power plants. Householder’s share got him a Florida residence, a personal lawsuit settlement, and payoff for thousands of dollars of credit card debt. No longer the Speaker, Householder remained in the General Assembly despite calls for him to resign. Republicans in the majority closed the House voting session to prevent Democrats a repeal of House Bill 6. Householder declares himself “innocent” and compared himself to DDT.

T. Denny Sanford, the richest man in South Dakota and a major donor to children’s charities, is under investigation for possession of child pornography. He is also a big donor to state GOP leaders with close ties to Sen. John Thune. The state’s largest city is sometimes called jokingly Sanford Falls instead of Sioux Falls.

DDT’s campaign has worked hard to get Kanye West on ballots in different states, but they failed in at least 30 states. The large number of petition signatures have included a large number of illegible and fraudulent names, and some states don’t accept two registered Republicans running for the same office. West has spent $6.8 million of his own money for his “Birthday Party” but raised only $11,500. Of the possible nine states where he may be on the ballot, only three are definite, and only Colorado and Minnesota are swing states.  

August 4, 2020

DDT, GOP Threaten U.S. People

The news keeps coming, fast and furious. Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) says he’s suing Nevada for its legislation to send mail-in ballots to all registered voters in the state just like five other states do. DDT finished an angry tweet, “See you in Court!” At DDT’s direction, the RNC protested the new law. The RNC chair said Republicans came out in full force to oppose the state’s new voting system. Eighteen people showed up. Remember when Republicans claimed a belief in states’ rights? [Visual – Protests states rights]

Social distancing takes on new meaning for senatorial candidates as Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) threw Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) under the bus with the new stimulus bill and McConnell told GOP candidates they can “distance” themselves from DDT. DDT’s mismanagement in the economy, the loss of relief money, the ending of evictions’ moratoria, “unjust civil” courts, and his insistence that schools reopen despite the vast majority of people opposing it are a few of the problems candidates will face when they go home for over a month in August.

A sacred part of the stimulus bill to McConnell is preventing employees from suing for problems from COVID-19, but DDT said he’s willing to drop the “liability shield” as part of the next bill. Calling this part of the bill a “red line,” McConnell said that he won’t bring up a bill that doesn’t include this “protection” for employers, hospitals, and schools. Democrats maintain that the provision would allow employers the ability to endanger workers with no repercussion. McConnell is also fighting against DDT’s wish for an extension of unemployment benefits which expired last week.

DDT created more troubles today when he whined at the press conference (aka campaign rally) that Democrats want funding for “Democratic-led cities and states.” “We don’t think that’s fair,” he said. Democrats have not limited funding for just Democrats. GOP senators rejected last week’s stimulus bill so Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and DDT’s chief of staff Mark Meadows are leading the talks. Congress is scheduled to leave Washington DC this Friday until September. Stephen Moore told DDT to stop collecting payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, another prime DDT desire, by declaring a “national economic emergency.” Moore didn’t explain how less revenue for the U.S. would solve an economic crisis.

Forty-five percent of GOP senators—including McConnell—are running for reelection this year, and DDT’s rosy response about the rapidly growing number of infections and deaths, especially in red states throughout the South and Midwest, have put them in a box. Unfortunately for these candidates, DDT stays popular with his GOP base. These GOP senators are in danger of losing: Susan Collins (ME), Steve Daines (MT), Joni Ernst (IA), Cory Gardner (CO), Martha McSally (AZ), Dan Sullivan (AK), and Thom Tillis (NC). Many people also hope that McConnell might not get reelected. Democrats need only four more senators for a majority, and only Doug Jones (D-GA) is at risk of not being reelected.

At DDT’s White House campaign rally today, he said that the USPS can’t handle mail-in ballots. This is after he guaranteed his new appointments would slow down mail delivery. All he has accomplished thus far is make Republicans afraid to mail in their ballots. In a swing state, only 15 percent of Republicans requested absentee ballots. At least 77 percent of U.S. voters can use the mail to vote, but DDT is convincing his base that this system is “rigged” and “fraudulent.”

A few weeks ago, Republicans in Michigan burned absentee ballot applications to protest voting by mail. “Operation Incinerator” took place in the streets of Grand Rapids (MI). They also complained about the cost of mailing applications ($4.5 million from the federal government) without mentioning the $100+ million the federal government paid for a worthless letter from DDT, giving himself credit for the $1,200 checks provide by taxpayers.  

The smell from DDT’s appointment, Anthony Tata, for undersecretary of defense for policy was so bad that even GOP senators couldn’t hold their noses long enough to confirm him. So DDT gave him an acting appointment. He’s DDT’s kind of guy with his Islamophobic comments, references to President Obama as a “terrorist leader” and Muslim, descriptions of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) as “violent extremists,” and the addition of “#liberalplanation” hashtag to his tween about CNN’s Don Lemon. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, known to groups such as veterans as “Yesper,” originally appointed Tata to another job that allowed him to be moved into the current one.

Days after DDT announced a ban on TikTok social media sharing app, he said that it could do business if it were purchased by a U.S. company such as Microsoft by September 15. The “favor” for the purchaser is their putting a “substantial” amount of money into the U.S. Treasury, blackmail—or maybe bribery—for them to obtain the rights. DDT referred the payment as “key money,” illegal in many states and situations.

Brazil news reported U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Todd Chapman wants a favor—Brazilian officials helping DDT’s reelection by lowering ethanol tariffs. News reported out Chapman’s letter explained, “Iowa is the largest ethanol producer in the United States…and could be a key player in Trump’s election. Hence the importance … for the Bolsonaro government to do the U.S. a favor.” According to he publication Estadão, government officials refused. If true, Chapman’s actions would violate the Hatch Act preventing federal employees from partisan political activities. Chapman’s term “favor” mirrors DDT’s request to Ukraine. The State Department tried to hide the illegality by claiming that the requests for a general policy of getting Brazil to lower tariffs, not related to a political campaign. Remember when GOP senators voted against impeaching DDT because he had “learned his lesson”?

Fox host Chris Wallace asked DDT’s campaign adviser Jason Miller if foreign governments gave DDT information about Joe Biden. Miller avoided answering by saying it was a “silly question” and moving onto false accusations about the Hillary Clinton campaign receiving foreign assistance. Miller also refused three times to respond whether DDT’s campaign would reject election assistance from a foreign government. DDT has already said in another interview that he wants foreign government help in defeating Biden.

Last week, Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) asked Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) at a House Intelligence Committee meeting if he had received anti-Biden information from a Kremlin-linked Ukrainian source. Nunes wouldn’t answer. ABC reporter asked Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) if he relied on pro-Russia Ukrainian information. Johnson cited “information from a variety of sources.” GOP senators consistently oppose legislation requiring campaigns to report foreign elections to the FBI.

For almost four years, DDT promised a healthcare plan program. On July 19, he told Fox anchor, “We’re signing a health-care plan within two weeks, a full and complete health-care plan.” That deadline expired yesterday with no replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Only DDT sycophant Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) seems to know anything about a plan, and he was vague. In June, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said a new healthcare plan would be developed only if the Supreme Court overturned the ACA this coming year. 

DDT’s Census Bureau is cutting door-knocking for 2020 a month early on September 30 after his plan to not count undocumented immigrants went sour. The result will be a serious undercount: only 60 percent of households have responded to the census and no one knows how long people can report online. The census is vital to establish shares of congressional seats; Electoral College votes; and funding for Medicare, Medicaid and other public services. Cutting down on the time will satisfy DDT’s desire for overrepresentation of white, non-Latinx population.

The GOP convention has moved back to Charlotte (NC) although DDT had said he would never be nominated there. An oddity, however, is  the press possibly denied attendance. Even Republican delegates wonder what the RNC is hiding. With fewer than three weeks to go, the RNC has not released details about convention programming.

The Friday night news dump, designed to minimize embarrassing information, put out the extensive conflicts of interest for DDT’s advisers Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner. Last year, their companies holding residential and commercial properties earned $36.2 million to $157 million, at least up $7 million from the minimum of $29 million in 2018.

People in the United States may perceive the media as biased, but 84 percent in a recent Gallup poll agreed news media is “critical” or “very important” to democracy. Yet 92 percent ensure people provide accurate and fair news reports, 91 percent ensure people are informed about public affairs, and 85 percent hold leaders accountable for their actions.

The godly Jerry Falwell, DDT supporter and head of Liberty University, published this photo of himself and and a woman while on vacation. DDT’s former fixer Michael Cohen supposedly helped the Falwells deal with a leak of sexually revealing photos, and photographs of Falwell at a nightclub have been published. These are activities banned for his ultra-Christian university students and staff. 


August 3: In the world, 18,447,759 people have been infected by coronavirus, and 697,245 have died of the disease. The number of deaths will surpass 700,000 by tomorrow. The U.S. has 4,862,210 cases, due to hit over 5 million in less than three days, and 158,930 deaths, on the way to surpass 160,000 in a day.

July 22, 2020

DDT’s ‘Law & Order’ Tries to Distract from the Real Crisis–Public Health, Economy

On the website Bulwark, Jonathan Last pointed out the problems of DDT’s latest ad. Brad Parscale was fired as DDT’s campaign manager after advertising about DDT protecting a statue of Jesus—in Rio de Janeiro. Parscale’s replacement, Bill Stepien, has this ad on Facebook promoting DDT as the “law and order” candidate.”

Problems with this image of protesters beating up a police officer:

The photo comes from 2014.

In Ukrainian.

As the protesters are pro-democracy. Beating up a member of the riot police protecting the authoritarian president Viktor Yanukovych who tried to use extralegal means in his attempt to make Ukraine a one-party state.

Worse, Yanukovych used a specialized federal internal police force answering only to him and used to assault his political opponents and tamper with elections. Yanukovych locked up his opponent, former Prime Minister Yulia V. Tymoshenko.

Worst. The photo was taken eight days before 338 of 447 Parliament members voted to remove Yanukovych from office. Three days later Yanukovych sought asylum in Moscow because he was Vladimir Putin’s puppet. The Ukrainian people filled charges of treason against Yanukovych and convicted him in absentia of “high treason.” Ten years earlier, Yanukovych had employed Paul Manafort to help his party.

The Bulwark may classify itself a Republican center-right publication, but it’s got lots of interesting stuff! Like this article by Mona Charen. She writes about how DDT is correct about a current crisis—injured people, property damage in the millions, fear, lack of control, a need for federal response because local governments can’t handle the situation, desecration of sacred things, a psychological cost, a toll on the national spirit. Charen’s point: “If it requires the full mobilization of federal forces to deal with the crisis, that’s what we should do.”

The crisis Charen describes is an emergency requiring “sustained attention, comprehension, and teamwork”—public health and the economy. DDT has done nothing for the economy and damaged the former. His economy was merely an extension of the expansion beginning in 2009: the average annual GOP growth rate for DDT’s first three years was only 0.2 percent higher than that of President Obama which includes the last few months of his inherited Great Recession.

“Stewardship of the economy requires more than signing a tax cut bill and discouraging over-regulation. It requires peering out over the bow and spinning the wheel hard when you see an enormous iceberg. Trump saw the iceberg. Or at least he should have: It was included in his security briefings for weeks. His first officer was mumbling nervously about it. But Trump refused to take action to save the ship. He told the crew it wasn’t an iceberg, just an ice floe. He said it would go away.”

The only two actions DDT can cite for his COVID-19 solution are restricting travel to and from China and to and from Europe. Even those bans didn’t include everyone. Otherwise, DDT ignored the pandemic, discouraged a systematic departmental/agency approach, and said governors had to fix the problem. At the same time, he stole their medical supplies before blaming them for the shortages. Several months later, DDT repeats testing is responsible for the huge number of infections.

DDT is responsible for the mask politicizing, convincing his voting base rejecting mask-wearing and social-distancing is masculine and brave. By the time the CDC got around to adding mask guidelines for staying healthier, DDT had convinced most Republicans to not protect themselves and others. To the GOP brain, “freedom” is getting physically close to everyone and avoiding masks.

As a distraction, DDT sends unidentified goons to cities, beginning with Portland (OR) where protesters sprayed graffiti, started fires, and three objects at policy. His personal unidentified militia beats people, shoots them, and snatches them off the street with no provocation. DDT claims, “We’re not going to let this happen to our country.” At the same time, over 4 million people have contracted COVID-19 and almost 150,000 people, probably far more, have died of the disease, and he lets “this happen to our country.”

Gregg Hurwitz followed Charen’s piece with “Income Injustice: The problem isn’t creeping socialism. It’s creeping oligarchy.”

“When Democrats rail against income inequality, that doesn’t mean they believe all incomes should be equal, in spite of what Trump and some Republicans want you to think. No Democrat—not Nancy Pelosi, not AOC, not any of them—believes that. What they are talking about is income injustice. They’re talking about:

  • “Wage growth for workers at the bottom of the income ladder growing 1 percent in the last 40 years, while income for the top earners rose by 347 percent.
  • “The 40 percent of Americans today who could not handle a $400 emergency.
  • “The 1-in-6 Americans who experience food insecurity daily—which amounts to 49 million of our fellow citizens, including over 16 million kids.
  • “All while Trump and his Senate enablers give a $1 trillion to the richest Americans in a tax cut; while Trump bails out a private jet company owned by one of his donors to the tune of $27 million; while the deficit reaches the highest percent of GDP since World War II; while Trump charges the American people hundreds of thousands of dollars to hold events at his private properties.

“None of this represents a free market. None of this has anything to do with the American values of innovation, hard work, and competition. It is simply a transfer of wealth: from the poor and middle-class to the rich. And the transfer happened not because the rich worked harder or created more value, but because they had more money to give to lobbyists and politicians.

“Every time a corporation gets bailed out with American tax dollars and uses it for stock buybacks or corporate bonuses, we are watching the market become less free, and capitalism continue its slide into oligarchy.

“The American Dream is about opportunity. It’s about making a fair wage that pays for food and medicine for your family, or having fair access to loans to create your own small business or sustain your family’s farm. The American Dream is a baseline of opportunity for all of us to have a shot to work hard and create a life for themselves and their families—which turns us into taxpayers and consumers, who in turn contribute to and benefit from our wonderful system of capitalism.

“It’s time to admit that the past 40 years has seen the system increasingly rigged and corrupted under both Republican and Democratic leadership. We can all agree on that, whether you’re a libertarian, a Bernie Bro, or a proud worker hoping to MAGA—whether you’re part of the white working class or a person of color struggling to get fair access to a loan or basic healthcare, whether you’re a suburban liberal or a country-club Republican.

“But it’s time to cut through the noise designed to distract and confuse you. There are no socialists in the 2020 election. Only people who want a fair version of capitalism, and oligarchs.”

Hurwitz’s statistics don’t take into account the impending huge disaster during the past couple of months—and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) finds the situation humorous. The $1,200 sent to millions of people is long gone: 12 million people didn’t even get the check although they were eligible. Unemployment for almost 30 million people runs out this week while DDT insists the elimination of payroll taxes be part of the bill and opposes an unemployment benefit extension. DDT wants the payroll tax eliminated to give more money to corporations and slash Social Security and Medicare benefits in the future. And the unemployed get nothing out of the deal. Republicans have been coasting on another stimulus bill since the House passed it in May. Asked if a bill will be passed to help the unemployed people to pay August’s rent, McConnell just laughed. And Congress vanishes for over a month beginning in early August.

Meanwhile, DDT wants to take the United States back two centuries to when the constitution had a “three-fifths clause,” making Blacks less than a full person. He wants to dehumanize undocumented immigrants by skipping them in the ten-year census population count, the basis for seats per state in the House of Representatives. This last week, DDT issued a “memorandum” announcing “the policy of the United States (aka DDT): not all people count. The Three-Fifths Clause was repealed by the 14th Amendment declaring the numbers of a state were “the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed.” The amendment also used the term “inhabitants.” DDT’s “policy” asserts undocumented immigrants are not “persons” under the 14th Amendment, instead equivalent to “visiting” diplomats, tourists, and businessmen. Immigrants, however, are members of their communities who established their presence in the U.S. DDT also argues a count of these immigrants will be “encouraging violations of Federal law.” As dictator, he believes he, personally, can determine who is a “person.”

The House may not accept DDT’s census count, and states can sue him. And DDT will avoid the real crisis—public health and economy.

June 29, 2019

Supreme Court Moves to Eliminate Democracy

The debates took up much of the media air last week, but the Supreme Court decisions are what will permanently change democracy in the United States. The two biggest one came out Thursday, the last day of the session so that the conservatives could quickly get out of town. Chief Justice John Roberts now has a one-two-three punch against voting with his three major decisions to suppress the vote. In the first, Citizens United, Roberts gave donors the right to give unlimited amounts of “dark money” to political candidates. His elimination of the almost 50-year-old Voters Rights Act made sure that states could keep minorities and the poor from voting in the states that were usually inclined to discriminate against these populations.

This Thursday, Roberts guaranteed that politicians can select their own voters instead of the constitutional position that voters should pick their candidates, and courts can’t stop gerrymandering even if it promises partisanship. Roberts’ swing vote in Rucho v. Common Cause blocking federal courts from preventing the most aggressive partisan gerrymandered districts that computers can create. In a circular pattern, Republicans pick districts so that the districts will pick Republicans.

The conservative majority used the excuse that some acts can violate he Constitution but are beyond the judiciary to determine any violations. Roberts’ reasoning that courts cannot require states to draw legislative maps somewhat proportional adversely twisted the definition of “proportional representation” for voting, meaning legislative representation should track electoral results. He allows states where Democrats win 54 percent of the vote to give Republicans 65 percent of the legislative seats, and he skipped the part of the U.S. Constitution that prohibits states from denying anyone “equal protection of the laws.” The First Amendment also prohibits viewpoint discrimination—aka gerrymandering. For elections, Roberts views the amendment narrowly while he uses it for unlimited expenditures to influence elections.

The swing vote in Department of Commerce v. New York, Roberts voted against the conservative four justices. The racist policy by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) to rig the census by requiring all people in the U.S. to answer a question of their citizenship provided more voter suppression by shrinking districts with Latinx, designed to allocate congressional seats in a way that “would clearly be a disadvantage to the Democrats” and “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.” The U.S. census is ordered for all “people” in the nation, not citizens or legal residents.

Experts testified that the citizenship question “could seriously jeopardize the accuracy of the census,” because “people who are undocumented immigrants may either avoid the census altogether or deliberately misreport themselves as legal residents.” Meanwhile, legal residents “may misunderstand or mistrust the census and fail or refuse to respond.” The Census Bureau “calculated in January 2018 that adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census was likely to lead to a 5.1% differential decrease in self-response rates among noncitizen households.” The purpose of the census covers a lot of territory from determining the number of legislators, both state and federal, and the amount of federal funding for different areas.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross lied about the question’s inception and reason and falsely claimed that it was necessary to help the DOJ enforce the remaining portion of the Voters Rights Act. Evidence, however, “showed that the Secretary was determined to reinstate a citizenship question from the time he entered office; instructed his staff to make it happen; waited while Commerce officials explored whether another agency would request census-based citizenship data; subsequently contacted the Attorney General himself to ask if DOJ would make the request; and adopted the Voting Rights Act rationale late in the process.” This evidence suggests that “the Secretary had made up his mind to reinstate a citizenship question ‘well before’ receiving DOJ’s request, and did so for reasons unknown but unrelated to the VRA.”

Although Roberts voted that the question had to go back to state courts for another look, he denied that it should be removed because Ross didn’t follow a federal law requiring a three-year notice to Congress about “the subjects proposed to be included, and the types of information to be compiled.” The ruling did not state that the decision was “substantively invalid” but that “agencies must pursue their goals reasonably,” and “reasoned decisionmaking under the Administrative Procedure Act calls for an explanation for agency action.” Remanded back to the New York district court, the Supreme Court decision overturned a ruling that the question is “arbitrary and capricious” under the Administrative Procedures Act and upheld the constitutionality of a citizenship question under the Enumeration Clause of the Constitution. The ruling determined the question legal if the Commerce Department can come up with a good enough reason.

DDT is so furious about the citizenship question decision that he wants to (unconstitutionally) delay the census until he gets his way. Supposedly, census forms printing must be started next week to complete them in time, but Commerce Department could wait until October 31 to start printing the questionnaire if it can get “extraordinary resources” allocated by Congress.

In a filing last Monday, Maryland District Court Judge George Hazel stated the evidence “potentially connects the dots between a discriminatory purpose—diluting Hispanics’ political power—and Secretary Ross’s decision” to add a citizenship question with the argument that DDT violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause. Although the Supreme Court decision may stop the Maryland lawsuit, it can reappear if Ross returns with new reasons.

DDT’s court continues its pattern: conservative decisions are sweeping ones that change laws; liberal ones are narrow with little relief except in one specific situation.

In the census decision, Justice Clarence Thomas, on the court thanks to Joe Biden’s refusal to listen to women’s statements about Thomas’ sexual harassment, called Judge Jesse Furman a conspiracy theorist for challenging Ross’ lies. Earlier, Thomas had raged about sending a case back to Mississippi for a sixth time in Flowers v. Mississippi because, according to Thomas, prosecutors can strike minorities from a jury on the basis of their race. Neil Gorsuch joined Thomas in his position. Last February, Thomas announced he wants to overturn New York Times v. Sullivan, the landmark 1964 ruling sharply restricting public figures, including government officials, to sue for defamation and get rid of Gideon v. Wainwright, requiring states to provide public defenders for indigent defendants. Gorsuch agrees with that position too. To Thomas, abortion rights equals eugenics.

After another Supreme Court ruling last week, police no longer need a warrant to draw blood from an unconscious person suspected of drinking while driving. Gone is the requirement of a person for an invasive procedure that overturns the 2013 Supreme Court ruling a violation of the Constitution for a nonconsensual blood draw without a warrant in a DUI case.

The 40-foot Christian cross will remain on a traffic median near Washington, D.C. according to six Christian and one Jewish Supreme Court justices. Catholic Justice Samuel Alito wrote that Christian crosses have “secular meaning.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, dissenting with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, read her disagreement from the bench. [I’m guessing that the Supreme Court would not consider a “secular” Jewish star of David or Islam crescent to replace the “secular” cross.]

The Supreme Court refused to hear a lower court ruling against Alabama’s 2015 abortion law banning “dilation and evacuation,” a common procedure during the second trimester. The high court’s inaction left the law struck down, but it won’t avoid abortion cases forever. Earlier this year, it left in place the requirement for disposing of aborted fetal remains through burial or cremation because of the “sanctity of life.” Nothing about miscarriages. The high court also refused to hear a case from two Kansas men convicted of violating federal law regulating silencers.

In Gamble v. United States, the Supreme Court on Monday also reaffirmed a 170-year-old exception to the Constitution’s double-jeopardy clause, leaving an opportunity for states to prosecute DDT and his campaign officials for issues already prosecuted federally.

In one sane move, Roberts was the swing vote in Kisor v. Wilkie to not overturn a 75-year series of SCOTUS decisions permitting agencies’ reasonable interpretations of their own regulations.

The Supreme Court has started its docket for the upcoming year with a case determining what happens to 700,000 DREAMERS living in the United States because of DACA. Three appeals courts and a district judge have ruled that DDT had no rationale for his attempt to close a program that protects from deportation young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. Other cases include one from Bridget Kelly and Vill Baroni, convicted of participating in gridlock near the George Washington Bridge and a Montana ruling invalidating a state program offering tax credits for funding scholarships at private schools, including religious schools.

In a 5-4 decision exempting a public access television channel from constitutional requirements, Brett Kavanaugh wrote:

“It is sometimes said that the bigger the government, the smaller the individual.”

Although Kavanaugh didn’t cite his source, the false statement was tracked to the Ayn Randian Atlas Society, refuting Roberts’ common claim that the Supreme Court is not political. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) clearly stated that blockades of Supreme Court nominees are only for Democratic presidents. He smirked while he told an audience that he would “fill it” if a vacancy on the high court appears next year. No longer should “the American people have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice.”

April 6, 2019

DDT: Week 115, Part II – Disasters Causing Meltdown

Watching Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) ramble on has caused increasing concern among those exposed to his television appearances. [The “meltdown” cover from last summer’s Time may be even more appropriate now.]

This past week, he talked about his father being born in a “wonderful” place in Germany although Fred Trump was born in New York City, the son of a man banished from Bavaria because of draft dodging. DDT’s grandfather was the immigrant, like those who DDT hate and fear. Although DDT’s grandfather became a citizen earlier, he brought his wife back from Europe just three months before DDT’s father was born in 1905. During the same session, DDT talked about the “oranges” of the Mueller report instead of its “origins.” The noise from “windmills” causes cancer, according to DDT. If true, as Stephen Colbert said, everyone in Holland would be dead.

Bad news keeps piling up on him. The new book A Hill to Die On (Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer), released this past week, reveals much about DDT’s contentious relationship with congressional members, and the WaPo published its latest record of DDT’s lies since his inauguration—9,451 as of March 31. That’s an average of almost 12 a day, with a high acceleration rate in the past year.

For the second time recently, Congressional Republicans passed a bill that DDT has promised to veto, a resolution to end U.S. military support for DDT’s Saudi/UAE-Led Coalition’s brutal war on Yemen. The House vote of 247-175 included 16 yes GOP votes. The Senate passed the bill last month with seven Republicans voting for it. That chamber had passed the same resolution last December, but former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) refused to bring it to the floor. A bicameral War Powers Resolution has not passed Congress since the original passage of the 1973 War Powers Act.

DDT also has problems with  his tax returns. His tax firm promised to give ten years of his returns to Elijah Cummings (D-MD), chair of the House Oversight Committee. House Ways and Means Committee Chair, Richard Neal (D-MA), also asked the IRS for six years of DDT’s personal and business tax information, using a law from almost a century ago. DDT’s lawyers claim that Neal has no justification, but another law governing tax return disclosure requires the Treasury secretary to hand over all returns requested by the chairs of congressional committees that oversee taxes. No Treasury secretary has ever refused Congress’ request. Neither Secretary Steve Mnuchin nor the IRS has responded. Mnuchin himself is in trouble: the U.S. Ethics Office—which is much more lax than in the past—won’t certify his 2018 financial disclosure statement because of his possibly shady dealings. Last month, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was also told his disclosure statement couldn’t be certified because of an accuracy.

Although DDT typically dawdles in making appointments for government officials, the Senate confirmed Michael Desmond as the new chief counsel of the IRS on February 27—two weeks after DDT asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to fast-track the process. Desmond has earlier advised the Trump Organization on tax issues before DDT took office and worked with tax counsels for the Trump Organization. Last fall, the Senate confirmed Charles Rettig, owner of a unit in a Trump building and author of an article arguing that DDT should not release his tax returns, as the IRS Commissioner. The old saying “follow the money” has been joined by “follow DDT’s appointments.”

DDT had another tax problem when WaPo discovered that he had failed to pay taxes of $36,200 on his LA golf course where he visited yesterday. An article pointing out that he had delinquent taxes for two different years caused him to pay off.

While DDT talks big about security on the border, he hands out undeserved security clearances to friends and family like candy. Despite DDT’s denials, an 18-year White House security adviser, Tricia Newbold, has testified to the House Oversight Committee about 25 high-level security clearances for Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and others in spite of earlier rejection for blackmail, conflicts of interest, criminal conduct, drug abuse, financial problems, foreign influence, and other red flags. Since DDT overturned these rejections, applicants are no longer required to have credit checks. Newbold reported that her direct manager, Carl Kline, overruled her denials and retaliated against her when she objected, including a 14-day suspension without pay.

Newbold, who has dwarfism, said when she raised concerns, Kline retaliated by placing essential files up high, out of her physical reach. On The Daily show, Trevor Noah called out the “middle school bullies who were put in charge of America’s government” and urged security specialist Tricia Newbold to fight back. Kline has been subpoenaed to testify before the Oversight Committee.

Kushner made over 40 revisions to his original financial disclosures and added millions of previously undisclosed assets, including financial ties to Russia in the months following his appointment as presidential adviser. Public reporting shows that he has an extremely close relationship with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and received financial help from Qatar. Last month, Kushner’s company sought a $1.5 billion loan from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and in 2018, a private equity billionaire leveraged loans for access to the White House. Although Kushner was denied access to top-secret documents last year, he regained his top security clearance in May 2018.

Cummings has not publicly announced the 25 people on Newbold’s list, but the committee prioritized Kushner and eight other current and former officials:

John Bolton: recent interaction with Russian nationals that may not have been reported.

Ivanka Trump: Missed deadline for filing financial reports to the Office of Government Ethics and use of personal email account for government purposes.

Michael Flynn: contacts with foreign officials; misleading information about a conversation with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. that he denied; and secret lobbying campaign on behalf of the Turkish government.

Rob Porter: abuse of two ex-wives.

Sebastian Gorka.

K.T. McFarland: deception to the Senate about knowledge about Flynn’s contacts with Russia.

John McEntee (DDT’s personal assistant for his first year): concerns about finances and gambling. (He is now senior adviser for DDT’s campaign.)

Robin Townley (top aide to Flynn).

In another dismal security risk, a Chinese woman with two passports, four cellphones, a laptop, a hard drive, and a thumb drive containing malware gained access to Mar-a-Lago while DDT’s wife and son were on the premises and he was nearby playing golf. Yujing Zhang lied her way past the Secret Service agents and wasn’t caught until she was approached by a receptionist inside. She told security officials that she wanted to go to the swimming pool and was believed to be the relative of a member named Zhang. Experts have worried about the lack of security at the Winter White House, as DDT calls his resort. In 2017, Mar-a-Lago guests and wait staff surrounded DDT and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as they talked about North Korea’s ballistic test. DDT called the latest problem “a little fluke.”

A third judge has ruled against Wilbur Ross’ citizenship question on the 2020 census as he also faces congressional hearings and a Supreme Court appearance. “Unreasonableness,” “woefully deficient,” and “improper” were just a few of the terms in U.S. District Judge George Hazel’s 119-page opinion. Ross, 81, showed himself so pathetically incapable of testifying that he “declined” to appear before the Appropriations Committee.  He was replaced with an empty chair.

Last fall, DDT preened himself for making a trade agreement with Mexico and Canada to replace NAFTA after his heavy criticism about that agreement during his campaign. His new agreement won’t exist, however, without congressional approval, and on April 19 the International Trade Commission will release its report on the effects of the new NAFTA’s version. Experts predict little positive impact for the U.S. and question whether little change is worth the effort. Even worse could be a negative or mediocre conclusion about DDT’s agreement.

DDT exhibited fear about the loss of his and other GOP congressional 2020 elections by telling House Republicans to be “more paranoid than they are” about vote counting. At the NRCC spring dinner, he suggested the elections that “went Democrat” were rigged:

“I don’t like the way the votes are being tallied… You don’t like it either, you just don’t want to say it because you’re afraid of the press.”

Last November, DDT said without evidence that Florida’s ballots were “massively infected” and talked about “electoral corruption” in Arizona. Before the 2016 election, he said he might not “give up peacefully” if he lost.

DDT’s approval ratings in public polling range around 40 percent, but he would hate even more a private E-score compiled to determine the level of personalities’ appeal for television audiences for marketing executives and advertisers. On over 40 personality and physical attributes, DDT scores high on “aggressive, “mean,” “insincere,” “confident,” and “creepy” but between 0 and 4 percent for “sexy,” “impartial,” “handsome,” and “physically fit.” His overall strong positive appeal is 14 percent compared to his 39 percent of overall strong negative appeal. Tracking stopped in 2015.

November 26, 2018

Conservative Politicians Continue Far-right Activities

Last week, many people vacationed—including Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) vacationed for Thanksgiving, but politicians kept busy.

Sent to the Pacific Rim APEC trade summit last weekend, VP Mike Pence worsened global affairs of 21 nations representing 60 percent of the world’s economy with his refusal to compromise with China. Instead, China continued bonding with North Korea. The conflict was so bad that the group couldn’t even agree on a routine joint statement for the first time in 30 years. DDT frequently asks people if Pence is loyal. The answers have varied from Pence as a committed warrior to ending his usefulness because DDT needs female voters. One of DDT’s concerns might be Pence’s promise of consequences for the Saudis’ killing U.S. journalist Jamal Khashoggi despite DDT’s attempt to cover for the Saudis.

Two days before Thanksgiving, John Kelly, DDT’s chief of staff, signed a “Cabinet order,” a memo allowing U.S. troops, 5,900 active duty members and 2,100 National Guard members, on the Mexico border to use lethal force. DDT had already left town for Mar-a-Lago. This past weekend, ICE agents fired tear gas, a deadly chemical, at mostly Honduran asylum seekers near the Tijuana port of entry.

Hillary Clinton was pilloried for using a secure private server for her emails, but the GOP refused to criticize Ivanka Trump for using her personal email account that she shared with her husband, Jared Kushner, to send hundreds of emails last year to White House aides, Cabinet officials, and her assistants, frequently in violation of federal records rules. When she first joined the White House, she claimed all access and perks of the White House with none of the legal responsibilities or constraints. Maybe investigations by the FBI and Congress? Or cries of “Lock her up” and “Crooked Ivanka”?

Lame duck House Republicans subpoenaed former FBI director James Comey and former DOJ AG Loretta Lynch to appear in private hearings this week. Comey said he is willing to appear in an open hearing but not a closed one:

“While the authority for Congressional subpoenas is broad, it does not cover the right to misuse closed hearings as a political stunt to promote political as opposed to legislative agendas.”

DDT’s appointment of lap dog Matthew Whitaker as acting DOJ AG may fail to give him protection. According to an argument in court from the Robert Mueller investigation team:

“The validity of the Special Counsel’s appointment [in May 2017] cannot be retroactively affected by a change in the official who is serving as the Acting Attorney General.”

Two rulings, one by a DDT-appointed judge, have already upheld the constitutionality of Mueller’s appointment. Three Senate Democrats are also suing to have Whitaker removed on constitutional and legal grounds.

The U.S. Supreme Court is taking a case about whether Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’ decision to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census, an odd move because the case is already being heard in a New York court with closing arguments next week. The Constitution requires an accurate count of the population every ten years, something that will be lost if the estimated 24+ million people avoid the census because of fear. The census is used not only for congressional districting but allocation of federal funds, disaster and epidemic preparedness, and other government support. Ross has skipped the lengthy approval process about new survey questions and lied when he said that the DOJ had requested the addition of a citizenship question to enforce the Voting Rights Act. The Department of Commerce has only six months to submit the information to printers.

More people may not participate in the census after DDT’s proposal that census information be shared with law enforcement, an illegal action under the Census Act of 1879. In 1954, Congress passed a law stating that the Commerce Department cannot share its census data with any other government agency or court with up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines for violation. Only Congress can change this law. When Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) asked acting assistant attorney general John Gore about data being disclosed “for law enforcement or national security purposes,” DOJ attorney Ben Aguinaga answered, “I don’t think we want to say too much there in case the issues . . . or related issues come up later for renewed debate.” In other words, maybe.

DDT may not get the trade agreement similar to and replacing NAFTA that he proudly announced weeks ago. Republican lawmakers are furious about the nondiscrimination protections of sexual orientation and gender identity included by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Several GOP members of Congress object to the new trade agreement because of this one provision, but it must be passed by the end of the year to avoid the Democratic majority in the House on the first of January. Congress has just 12 days to not only pass the agreement but also agree on the farm bill and keep the government from shutting down on December 7 with DDT threatening to allow this to happen if he doesn’t get his wall.

Farmers hurt by DDT’s tariffs are promised $12 billion say they don’t want to be on the dole, but they’re not even getting the promised welfare. Only $838 million of authorized $6 billion has been paid out because farmers cannot apply until harvests are completed for the season, harvests delayed by bad weather. Soybean sales shrank by 94 percent from last year, and the subsidy covers less than half the farmers’ losses. China pork tariffs that responded to DDT’s steel and aluminum tariffs cost farmers $2 billion. Partners with farmers also get government money; Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) might get $125,000, the subsidy cap. Farmers may permanently lose their foreign countries for crops, and DDT’s tariffs may force the U.S. to keep borrowing money from China to pay for farmers.

For the second year in a row, DDT is skipping the Kennedy Center Honors, again because he doesn’t feel comfortable.

While people in the U.S. complain about Russia interfering with elections, DDT campaign worker and sycophant Steve Bannon played a role in the UK passing Brexit, supporting the nation’s separation from the European Union. Emails dating back to October 2015 reveal that Bannon, former VP of Cambridge Analytic, participated in the campaign to persuade UK voters in supporting the separation from EU. Like the U.S. the UK has laws to stop foreign companies from manipulating UK affairs.

Mississippi votes for a U.S. senator in a runoff tomorrow; the GOP candidate, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, announced last Tuesday that it was on November 22, the day of her announcement, but that was Thanksgiving. After her lauding public hangings, a number of large companies—including Aetna, AT&T, Boston Scientific, Leidos, Pfizer, Union Pacific, and Walmart—asked her to return their donations. DDT, who failed to attending lacked the time to go to Arlington National Cemetery close to the White House or visit military members on Veterans Day, extended his Thanksgiving vacation to give two campaign rallies in Mississippi today for the GOP Senate candidate.

Since the midterm elections when the Senate election to replace Jeff Sessions, who resigned to become AG before he was fired, several revelations have caused concern for Republicans about Hyde-Smith’s success. After she talked favorably about public hangings (aka lynchings), she suggested that black students should not be able to vote. Photos of her posing with Confederate artifacts at the “Shrine of [treasonous] Jefferson Davis” and the caption “Mississippi history at its best!” were accompanied by information that she promoted a measure praising a Confederate soldier’s effort to “defend his homeland” and pushed a revisionist view of the Civil War. She not only attended a private high school to avoid integrated schools but also enrolled her daughter in a “segregation academy.” The daughter graduated in 2017.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), considering a run for president, gave an interview to the New York Times about the reading habits of himself and his family. An analysis of his 33 book recommendations show all were written by white authors. Sasse’s three children, ages 17, 15, and 8, are homeschooled, probably reading no books of people by color.

The Ohio state House argued that “Motherhood is necessary” to ban abortions at six weeks, before a pregnancy appears on an ultrasound which is not medically recommended. The law is unconstitutional unless the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Even if the bill passes the state Senate, it cannot become law without Gov. John Kasich’s signature because Gov.-elect Mike DeVine cannot sign a bill passed by the legislature before he takes office.

On the more positive side, Maine will have Medicaid expansion after the departure of rabidly right-wing Gov. Paul LePage. He had refused to follow orders from the state Supreme Court to obey a vote by the people.

A U.S. district court judge ordered ICE to release over 100 Iraqis from detention centers and jails in Michigan after they had been there for more than a year. They are to be released within 30 days under “orders of supervision” and allowed to return to their homes. The majority of the detainees had been living in the U.S. for decades. Although they committed criminal offenses, they had served their time and been living “peaceably in their respective communities” since then, according to the ruling. The opinion also cites ICE’s refusal to provide documents to detainees’ attorneys, and the judge wrote that he will be issuing sanctions against ICE. Detainees had not been permitted in-person visits from family and friends, and the majority would be persecuted and even murdered if they were forced to return to Iraq because they are Christians.

May 29, 2018

Congress Decisions, Destructive or Failed

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) couldn’t even get a farm bill passed after 18 hardline far-right and 12 moderate GOP representatives sided with the Democrats to vote against it after a difference of opinion about immigrants. Conservatives also didn’t like the idea of “too much” funding for food stamps, and the Dems hated the drastic food stamp cuts. On the other hand, farmers and relatives could be eligible for up to $125,000 annually per person. Food stamps cost $125.41 per month.

DDT has signed a bank deregulation bill that puts the United States into almost the same lack of oversight that sent the nation into a recession at the end of George W. Bush’s two terms. The excuse is to help the economy, but, thanks to the tax cuts for the wealthy and big business, Wall Street netted $56 billion in the first quarter of 2018. That’s the industry’s most profitable quarter in history. The new law allows banks to take irresponsible risks that can primarily hurt the bottom 90 percent. Supposedly the lack of regulations help small banks, but rules moved big banks into the “mid-sized” level (up to $250 billion in assets) permitting them to lower compliance costs, expand trading opportunities, substitute costly debts with deposits, and kick back more money to shareholders. Consumers have lost their protection. Lobby money paid off 33 Democrats as well as the Republicans who voted for the bill.

The Senate showed that it understands the disaster of FCC’s repeal to net neutrality by passing a bill in opposition with all 49 Democrats and GOP Sens. Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and John Kennedy (LA) voting for the bill. The House will ignore the bill, but it’s a start. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had to deal with the bill because supporters used the Congressional Review Act to force action with a simple majority vote. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pointed out that new net neutrality rules hurt “public schools, rural Americans, communities of color and small businesses” while protecting “large corporations and special interests, leaving the American public to pay the price.”

Congress has failed to overturn requirements on payday lenders that protect borrowers from paying excessive interest on these short-term loans. Conservatives touted these loans as the way that poor people could save themselves from disaster, but a typical two-week payday loan had an annual percentage rage of 400 percent. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may still try to change the rules itself, but that requires public input. The rules required under a former CFPB administration don’t go into effect until August 2019.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) formally requested that Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) schedule a public hearing for Donald Trump Jr. because of evidence that Jr. gave “false testimony.” He told a congressional committee that foreigners did not “offer or provide assistance” to DDT’s campaign and did not seek any foreign assistance. Lying to Congress is a crime even if a person is not under oath. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley defended Jr. by saying that a different witness may have lied to the panel instead.

Crowdfunding (aka cyberbegging) has been used for-profit ventures as well as medical and legal expenses, travel, and community projects. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) wants to use crowdfunding to build DDT’s wall and has introduced a bill to “allow the secretary of the Treasury to accept public donations.” The bill also states that funds can be used “for other purposes” including a mile-long “commemorative display” to honor donors. During her announcement of the bill on Fox, host Farris Faulkner asked, “What happened to Mexico paying for it?” Black said that she didn’t know “what kind of pressure” DDT is putting on Mexico for funding. He is threatening to close the U.S. government if Congress doesn’t approve funding from taxpayers. USA Today has an interactive map of barriers to the wall.

John M. Gore, acting head of the DOJ Civil Rights Division has both refused to appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and refused to answer questions about his request for a citizenship question on the census, but under the leadership of Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), GOP members refused to issue a subpoena to Gore with no reason. Two weeks ago, Tom Brunell, DDT’s choice for Census Director, said that the decision to add this question was based on politics. He said, “They have made a political decision. And they have every right to do that, because they won the election.”

Republicans believe in no regulations—unless they serve personal interests. Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) declared he will stop banks from new rules on guns that restrict credit card and banking services to gun retailers and cease lending to gun manufacturers that fail to comply with the banks’ age limits and background checks. Bank of America will no longer lend money to companies that make the AR-15. Kennedy plans to file complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—that doesn’t protect consumers because regulations have disappeared—and wants colleagues to write legislation that prevents banks from “discriminating” against gun buyers. Other GOP senators threatening banks for their rules regarding guns are Mike Crapo (ID) and Ted Cruz (TX). Michael Piwowar, a SEC commissioner whose term ends this year, told banks that they would have trouble getting GOP support for easing derivatives regulations.

Dumbest statement from a member of Congress this month? It’s hard to pick, but this one is good. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) has never known to be that sharpest tool in the shed, but his reason for sea-level rise may top earlier comments. “Every time you have that soil or rock whatever it is that is deposited into the seas, that forces the sea levels to rise. Because now you’ve got less space in those oceans because the bottom is moving up.” He looked over the fact that his solution would be accurate only if the top five inches of the 9.1 million square miles in the U.S. went into the ocean—every year. At least, he’s figured out that the seas are rising. He’s making progress.

Rep. Thomas Garrett (R-VA), member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, dropped his run for a second House term and announced that he’s an alcoholic. Former staffers had accused Garrett and his wife of treating them like servants—carrying groceries, walking the dog, and even cleaning up after the animal’s waste when he forgot to take the dog home from his office. Chief of staff, Jimmy Keady, was ready to leave Garrett when he made the announcement. Garrett’s resignation makes the 44th GOP resignation from the House this year. He had no opposition in the June 12 primary; the House district RNC will select an opponent against a strong Democratic candidate in the November midterm election.

No matter what Congress does, its rating stays low. Among Republicans, the approval rating dropped from 50 percent when DDT was inaugurated to 22 percent this month. And the GOP is in control!

State-wise, felons are beginning to regain their voting rights after they leave prison. Louisiana has passed a bill, which will probably be signed into law, that gives voting rights to people on probation or parole if they have been out of prison for at least five years. In other states:

  • Alabama: thousands of felons were added to voter rolls following a law clarifying specific crimes that bar felons from voting.
  • New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) restored the first pardons giving the right to vote to over 24,086 parolees.
  • Virginia: Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) restored voting rights to over 155,000 convicted felons who completed their sentences.
  • Florida: A November ballot measure could restore voting rights to felons after they complete their prison sentences. (Florida is one of ten states where felons permanently lose their voting rights.)
  • Mississippi: Two pending federal suits seek automatic voting rights after the completion of the sentence.
  • New Jersey: Lawmakers are considering a measure allowing people in prison to vote, legal only in Maine and Vermont.

Republicans want to keep felons from voting from fear that they will vote against the GOP, but states have another method to keep white supremacy: eliminating all non-citizens from the census that determines the number of seats per state in Congress. Alabama has a lawsuit to exclude immigrants from the count, and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) are supporting that position. The 14th Amendment requiring the census states that congressional seats are designated on the basis of the number of “persons.” Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Alabama’s AG Steve Marshall are using the argument that “persons” did not include undocumented people in the 18th and 19th centuries. Alabama may lose a congressional seat after the 2020 census. Missouri state legislators are considering a law that would base state legislative districts entirely on citizen population.

In all but six states, legislatures will be adjourned by the end of June. Next week, however, the Senate comes back to meet 12 weeks before midterms—less time for the House schedule. Both chambers disappear in August. We’ll see how much damage they can do in that time.

January 6, 2018

The U.S. Headed for the Gutter

Left alone this weekend, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is still angrily tweeting about Michael Wolff’s book, Fire and Fury and describing himself as “a very stable genius”:

“Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart….”

Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum describes DDT as “the country’s leading racist conspiracy theorist,” “the multi-bankrupt least trusted name in real estate,” and “the protege of Roy Cohn’s repeatedly accused of ties to organized crime.”  According to Frum, DDT’s danger is “not the man, but the system of power surrounding the man.”

DDT’s power system in just the past month:

Despite Department of Defense opposition, DDT wants to open drilling in all but one 26 areas currently off limits in the Arctic, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans and the Gulf of Mexico—over 90% of U.S. oceans. Atlantic-coast governors and legislators of both parties oppose the drilling from Maine to the Florida Keys. An oil spill the size of the Deepwater Horizon spill off the coast of North Carolina would cost almost 350,000 jobs and $35 billion in revenue. Even avid DDT supporters oppose his plan.

Republicans gave oil companies $500 billion this week when they let a tax of nine cents per barrel on domestic crude oil and imported crude oil and petroleum products expire, a tax used to respond to accidents. The current administration also plans to reverse safety rules created after the horrific Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and spill in 2010.

The Interior Department revoked a requirement for fossil fuel companies to reveal the chemicals in fracking fluids and regulations that tightened standards for well construction and wastewater. It also suspended a study on the safety of offshore drilling platforms and health risks of mountaintop-removal coal mining in central Appalachia. On February 8, 2018, two million acres of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are available to mining and drilling for free. Gone are the wild red rock canyons, valued hunting and fishing, and tens of thousands of Native American archaeological sites while private companies reap the profits of the nation’s fossil fuel resources.

In addition to these rollbacks, the Interior Department renewed copper and nickel mining leases in the pristine Boundary Waters Wilderness Area, opening up the area to one of the most toxic industries. The leases are a gift to Chilean mining billionaire Andrónico Luksic, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s landlord for their house in Washington, D.C. People can oppose the decision by signing this petition and contact the Interior Department.

Other destructive administrative actions in December:

  • A plan to replace the Clean Power Plan.
  • Removal of climate change from global threats to national security, one of the Pentagon’s concerns. Exemption of the Endangered Species Act requirements in the $81 billion disaster bill.
  • Indefinite postponement of a previously announced ban of highly toxic chemicals methylene chloride, N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), and trichloroethylene (TCE).
  • Executive order “streamlining” the leasing and permitting processes for exploration, production and refining of vaguely defined “critical minerals.”
  • Revocation of the Resource Management Planning Rule white advocated new technologies to improve transparency related to mining on public lands by stating that this rule “shall be treated as if it had never taken effect.”
  • Lack of prosecution for “incidental” killings of 1,000 migratory bird species by oil, gas, wind, and solar operators, illegal under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
  • Dramatic expansion of the neonicotinoid insecticide thiamethoxam proved damaging or deadly to bees.
  • Prioritization of oil and gas leasing and development near and inside greater sage-grouse habitat management areas.
  • Extinction of the beaverpond marstonia snail extinct, the first in DDT’s administration.

The DOJ may ask people about their citizenship status in the 2020 census, a move to skew the census’ ability to determine population for voting and federal funds. Since 1790, the decennial census, mandated by the U.S. Constitution, has been an effort to count everyone living in the nation, legally or otherwise. The question will further undercount the Hispanic population, giving white people an even greater advantage in elections. Families in the U.S. legally might decline to answer if they house friends or relatives who are not, increasing census costs for following up on nonresponders.

DDT is easing up fines for nursing homes that hurt or put residents in grave risk of injury. Since 2013, 40 percent of nursing homes—almost 6,500—have been cited at least once for a serious violation, and Medicare fined two-thirds of these homes. Some of these violations have led to the deaths of residents. DDT’s action follows the overturning of a ban on nursing homes from requiring residents to settle disputes through arbitration instead of court action.

Churches don’t pay taxes, but they’ll get tax money from the federal government after FEMA changed its guidelines to send them disaster relief funds. Religious institutions are now “community centers, without regard to their secular or religious nature,” FEMA said although “facilities primarily used for political, athletic, religious, recreational, vocational, or academic training, conferences, or similar activities are ineligible” for FEMA funds, according to the agency.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development will encourage continued racial segregation in housing by delaying until 2020 a requirement that communities submit plans to reverse patterns of racial residential segregation in applications for block grants and housing aid. Plans already filed will no longer be reviewed for segregation.

DDT erased the deal for federal funds to pay for half the multi-billion-dollar Amtrak tunnel connecting New Jersey to Penn Station.

Continued sabotage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) comes from encouraging substandard healthcare plans for small businesses and self-employed people that could defraud customers, refuse coverage for basic needs, and leave people with pre-exiting conditions and serious health needs with much higher premiums and fewer choices.

DDT has disbanded his election fraud committee after multiple lawsuits, including one from a Democratic member who sued to find out when the group would meet and what it’s agenda would be. An executive order turns the findings over to the DHS that will decide what to do next. Panel members were directed to keep their materials for future lawsuits. During the committee tenure, a 52-year-old Democratic commissioner died during surgery, and a staff member was arrested for possessing child pornography. The dissolution of this commission is less than a week after DDT fired every member of his advisory council on HIV/AIDS.

After DDT disbanded the voting fraud commission designed to suppress minority, women, and lower-income voting rights, he again claimed that a large number of people are voting illegally and called for voter suppression through mandated IDs:

“As Americans, you need identification, sometimes in a very strong and accurate form, for almost everything you do…..except when it comes to the most important thing, VOTING for the people that run your country. Push hard for Voter Identification!”

The DOJ is now supporting strict voter ID laws.

AG Jeff Sessions gave more money to employees by reversing a guideline about disabled people that requires them a greater chance at being in an integrated setting. Employing people in a segregated setting means that employees can be paid pennies on the dollar.

One DDT administrative plan with bipartisanship opposition is Sessions’ crackdown on state cannabis legislation. Despite federal belief that cannabis is equal to heroin, 46 states have legalized cannabis for medical purposes, sometimes reducing opioid and alcohol addiction, and eight states have legalized cannabis for recreational use. A law prohibiting the federal government from blocking state laws expires on January 19 with the end of the temporary spending bill, and Sessions is eliminating the “Cole memo” that stopped federal resources from interfering if states didn’t spread cannabis beyond their borders. Beyond the advantages of medical use, legalized cannabis has helped the economy through increased taxes and jobs. Legalization of cannabis could boost the market to $20 billion in annual sales that fund schools and other public services.

During his campaign, DDT promised that he would not use federal resources to block state laws; now he’s supporting Sessions, in opposition to 64 percent of the people in the U.S. who support cannabis legalization.

Conservatives are riled about Sessions impinging on states’ rights—usually a GOP position. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), known for supporting DDT almost 100 percent of the time, has said that he will put holds on all DOJ nominees in the six divisions needing senate confirmation if Sessions goes through with his crackdown. Gardner tweeted:

“This reported action directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation. With no prior notice to Congress, the Justice Department has trampled on the will of the voters in CO and other states.”

Within less than a year, DDT has declared war on all the offices that were created to protect people. He has trampled on endangered species, the nation’s resources, human rights, states’ rights, consumer protection, integration, health, open communication, transparency of government, any vestige of peace, and honor—every area that makes people’s lives better. He hates President Obama so much that he plans to destroy every accomplishment that benefits people while using his office to enrich himself personally and cause war around the world. The leader of the United States, a man filled with hate and revenge, is determined to drag the United States into the gutter. The question is whether the people in the nation will allow him to accomplish this goal.


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