Nel's New Day

November 12, 2021

Legal Issues Face GOP Despite Its Violence

In an update for Veterans Day, almost 4,500 current and former U.S. military service members, along with their families, are to be sworn in as citizens through over 90 ceremonies this week. President Joe Biden also plans to bring back deported veterans and family members to the U.S. Of the almost 900,000 immigrants serving in the military in the present and past, over 190,000 were active members in 2017.

This news, however, was eclipsed by the announcement that a grand jury has indicted Steve Bannon, an architect behind the nefarious actions of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), for criminal contempt in refusing to comply to a subpoena from the House January 6 Committee.  Bannon faces two charges, one for refusing to appear before Congress and one for refusing to submit documents to Congress. This is Bannon’s second indictment in the past year. DDT pardoned him for the last one, defrauding donors by taking about $1 million from an internet funding request for the wall at the southern border.

Although Bannon has not been connected to the White House for several years, he claimed “executive privilege” for his refusal. Even DDT’s claims of this privilege may not be valid. Bannon has still broken the law because he didn’t appear in front of Congress to give this excuse. Each of the two counts carries between 30 days and one year in jail with a fine of $100 to $1,000.

AG Merrick Garland’s indictment clarified that Bannon has no such privilege when he described Bannon as a “private citizen,” employed “approximately seven months in 2017, more than three years before the events of January 6, 2021,” and didn’t work for in any “federal government position” since his departure from the White House. No executive privilege. DDT’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows may face the same indictment as Bannon after he refused to comply with a subpoena.

This week, the public learned that the U.S. leader on January 6, DDT, has supported his followers in chanting “Hang Mike Pence” on that day while they attacked the U.S. Capitol and put the mock-up of a noose outside on federal land. In a taped interview with Jonathan Karl of ABC News, DDT calmly said he thought Pence, hiding on a loading dock in a parking area on that day, was “well-protected.”

Asked about the protesters’ chants calling for Pence’s violent death, DDT said, “Well, the people were very angry.” He added that Pence should have tried to overturn the election—and the country—because of “common sense” that Pence lie about a win for the man who received far fewer popular and electoral votes to keep him in the White House.

As DDT watched rioters break into the Capitol on television news, he tweeted:

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”

DDT’s supporters see him as a warrior with a gun as shown by the shirts and posters they sell outside his rallies. His head is depicted on the body of a muscle-bound male carrying a gun or riding a velocirapotor firing a gun.

Meadows goes so far as to suggest that DDT is still president. In August—2021 after Biden’s inauguration as president—Meadows called DDT “a president who is fully engaged, highly focused, and remaining on task.” He added about DDT and his team, “We met with several of our cabinet members tonight.” Meadows also has a history of possibly illegal activity while in the White House, including visiting Georgia after the 2020 election to get more votes for DDT.  

DDT hasn’t stop playing the leader of the free world. This week he issued a statement about appointing Ric Grenell his “Envoy Ambassador” who visited the Kosovo-Serbia border to highlight this important agreement” that DDT had supposedly brokered. An “Envoy Ambassador” doesn’t exist, former inhabitants of the White House don’t have international diplomatic teams, and DDT accused officials from the Obama administration of being criminals when they met with foreign officials. He wanted the DOJ to prosecute them. A strong supporter of authoritarian governments, Grenell has openly pushed the lie about a “stolen” election since November 2020.

Since the 2016 election of DDT, the problem of violence among Republicans has geometrically increased after his insistence that non-supporters be beaten up at his campaign rallies. For the past few years, more and more officials, from local ones such as election officials and school board members, through state Democratic leaders to congressional members, even Republicans if they don’t vote the straight GOP party line of opposing Biden. New representatives such as Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Madison Cawthorn (R-SC), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) have used threats for what they perceive as political gain. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) went so far as to release an animated video in which he kills Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and threatens President Biden with a sword. Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) makes no comment about their violent threats while making his own threats of stripping all GOP congressional members who voted in favor of the extremely popular infrastructure bill.

Republicans who don’t follow the party line are afraid if they don’t go with the mob. Last December, the GOP leader of the Pennsylvania state Senate said she was afraid she’s “get my house bombed.”

In Kenosha (WI) the prosecution has rested in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. When he was 17, he stole an AR-15, crossed state lines, and deliberately joined militia at a largely peaceful protest against a white police officer who shot a Black man in the back seven times and left him paralyzed. Rittenhouse, who cried on the stand, called his killing two men and wounding another an act of “self-defense.” The judge, a DDT supporter, refused to permit the term of “victims” for the dead and wounded people, instead calling them arsonists, looters, and rioters.  

The violence has evolved from Republican lawmakers convincing the “white working class” that all of them, including DDT, are victims. With 70 percent of DDT’s supporters lacking a college degree, they want to control others with more education and are afraid of lost status. Their solution is racism, superiority to anyone who isn’t white. The “America First” excludes non-whites, 40 percent of U.S. residents. By taking the vote from minorities and the poor, whites can take over the law-making process. Claims of a “stolen election” is on this path.

Vaccines have contributed to the politics of victimization as people refusing to be vaccinated associate themselves with true victims such as persecuted Jewish people forced to wear yellow stars. The feeling of victimization results in following leaders who encourage these aggrieved feelings and swear revenge toward those they perceive as “oppressors”; i.e., all Democrats. According to these “victims,” violence can recreate their perception of the moral order. All DDT’s 30,000 lies and his Twitter attacks demonstrated grievances against himself and his supporters but never any solutions.

Watching DDT initially succeed with this strategy, farthest-right Republicans in high offices used this pattern of creating egocentric victims who never take personal responsibility and who always believe they deserve more than they get because they get no breaks and must settle for less that they should have. Solutions don’t help because they need the feeling of being victims.  

Reasonable people have become so accustomed to lies and corruption among GOP leadership that two stories have drawn attention:

After Gosar faced the possibility of censure by House members for his promotion of violence against leading Democrats including the U.S. president, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said House GOP leadership had “lost their moral compass” because they said nothing about the video Gosar’s staff created and he tweeted. She called Gosar an “avowed white nationalist and accused McCarthy of having a “lack of strength.” She also talked about the threats, including death threats, received by 13 GOP members who voted for last week’s infrastructure bill, threats pushed by other GOP members such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). Gosar’s answer to cricitism was the “gross mischaracterization” of the video” which he called “truly a symbolic portrayal of a fight over immigration policy.”

Despite the gory scenes of killing and other violence, Gosar’s digital director, declared that “the left doesn’t get meme culture. They have no joy. They are not the future… Nor was violence glorified.” dismissed the criticism in a statement Monday night.

In the other unique event, the losing candidate for the New Jersey governor, Jack Ciattarelli, conceded to the winner, Democrat incumbent Phil Murphy. It took ten days but he admitted the election was fair and square—and that he lost. DDT hasn’t made that admission after a year although his opponent, President Joe Biden, received seven million more popular votes and 74 more electoral votes than DDT—306-232. Murphy is the first New Jersey governor to win a second term since 1977. And he won fair and square, just like Joe Biden.

August 14, 2020

DDT Should Be Quiet

As Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden stayed quiet, his ratings kept rising. Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) could take a lesson from Biden, but it’s not in his nature. He finished last week by signing three memoranda and an executive order supposedly to compensate for the lack of a new stimulus bill—measures which are completely useless.   

In his promise of unemployment benefits, he kept changing the amount of the bonus:  

Saturday: “So we’re all set up. It’s $400 per week.”

Tuesday: DDT’s order changed to $300 a week because states didn’t need to add $100 per week to qualify for the federal benefit. The same day, he decided to give nothing to states failing to contribute the extra $100.

Later Tuesday: Economic adviser promised the unemployment policy would be more accommodating, perhaps because DDT’s pet governor, Florida’s Ron DeSantis, saying he couldn’t come up with the money. The Labor Department gave permission to count $100 of regular state unemployment benefits to get the federal funding or money from the CARES Act, but states will need to apply for this relief. DeSantis said that the CARES Act didn’t give him enough money for this exemption. DDT now blames DeSantis for the surge in his state’s virus—although DDT insisted that businesses open up—because DDT can’t give campaign rallies and his acceptance speech in Florida.

The poorest people, possibly ten to fifteen percent of UI recipients, won’t receive any unemployment benefits: anyone making less than $100 per week—i.e., workers counting on tips and the self-employed—won’t see DDT’s $300 or $400 or whatever. Jason Bailey, executive director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, tweeted, “This plan is asking laid-off [Kentucky] workers to somehow live on as little as $39 a week.”

DDT’s payroll tax deferral excludes the 15.5 million people making over $4,000 per bi-weekly pay period $104,000 annually) plus the tens of millions of people who lost their jobs. The cut-off point is absolute: anyone making $4001 or more won’t see the deferred payroll tax. Except measure states “generally” less than $4,000. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin confessed that DDT’s payroll deferral is “voluntary”—employers decide whether to give workers an increase in pay now and then be forced to find the money to pay back the government later. A real payroll tax cut requires congressional approval, and it faces bipartisan disapproval.

“I’m protecting people from eviction,” DDT said last Tuesday. He claimed, “The Democrats didn’t want to do a protection from evictions.” First, the Dems’ plan, rejected by Republicans, had clear eviction protections. And second, DDT’s measure doesn’t protect anyone from evictions. Kudlow said, “It’s not quite an eviction moratorium.” Calling it “protection,” as Kudlow did, was a long stretch. The executive order has no moratorium or funds for helping people pay mortgages or rent. Instead, it asks agencies to “consider whether any measures temporarily halting residential evictions of any tenants for failure to pay rent are reasonably necessary.” Even the lapsed congressional moratorium covered only one-fourth of the U.S. 44 million rental units and provided no money to help tenants with months of back rent.

And the student loan relief? The congressional relief didn’t end until October, and DDT’s memorandum DDT only directs Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to take action on student loan relief. He doesn’t provide relief for defaulted loans and collections while ignoring the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. With no guidance from the Education Department, loan servicing companies don’t know what to do about billing, employee training, and notification systems. 

Within a week, people realize they are receiving no unemployment benefits, no payroll deferral, no eviction protection, and uncertain loan relief because DDT’s measures are meaningless.

Republicans won’t allow a stimulus bill because they think they’ve already spent too much money for the economy. DDT’s solution: another large tax cut for the wealthiest people in the U.S. Meanwhile protesting Kentuckians are furious with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who’s up for reelection. One sign stated, “Mitch better have my money.”

In the swing states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, 62 percent of the people want an extension of enhanced unemployment benefits. Also, 80 percent support another $1,200 economic stimulus check for most people. Republicans rejected these ideas but added $8 billion in military equipment spending to the relief package.

DDT’s idiocy continued throughout the past week at his “press conferences,” which are really campaign rallies:

Monday: DDT was briefly pulled out of the room because of a suspected shooter. Unfortunately, he came back to tell more lies. CNN’s leading fact-checker Daniel Dale called the event notable for his dishonesty, even when compared to DDT’s low bar. The top lie may have been about “Spanish flu” which DDT always insists started in 2017 instead of 1918, the accurate date. He claimed the disease killed all the soldiers and “ended the Second World War”—27 years later in 1945. 

Tuesday: DDT searched for a campaign strategy against Joe Biden’s VP pick, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA). Too moderate? Most radical? Hiding her crime-fighting prosecutor past? At the same time a radical socialist and an unprincipled shill for Wall Street? But definitely, from DDT’s description, “nasty” and “horrible.” (To DDT, all women are either “nasty” or “housewives.”) Harris is a disappointing pick to DDT because she’s harder to oppose; he was counting on Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) or former national security adviser Susan Rice. The announcement of Harris as the Democratic VP pick reduced him to gibberish. In 2011 and 2013, DDT gave Kamala Harris $6,000 for her campaign. In 2015, she donated his $6,000 to a nonprofit working to secure civil rights for Central Americans. Other Harris donors were Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Wednesday: Looking drugged, DDT slurred and mispronounced even simple words; i.e., “doctors” became “doxxers.” Both times he used “fatalities,” it came out “fatilities.” The classic performance, however, was his inability to field a question from Huffington Post’s S.V. Dáte.

Dáte: “Mr. President, do you regret all of the lying you have done for the American people?”

DDT: “All the what?”

Dáte: “All the lying, all the dishonesties.”

DDT: “And who is that?”

Dáte: “You have done.”

Pause. DDT moved on. [The video is well-worth watching.] 

Dáte tweeted, “For five years I’ve been wanting to ask him that.”

Wednesday was also the day that the government rolled back regulations on shower pressure to keep DDT happy. He said, “My hair … I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect. Perfect.” In the midst of an epidemic killing at least 170,000 people in the U.S. in less than six months.

Thursday: DDT repeated his decision to sabotage the election by destroying the USPS he had made at a Fox interview earlier that day. Bothered by the hard questions, he violated the rules of the press conference by inviting three extremist far-right media sources publishing conspiracy theories—Epoch Times, Gateway Pundit, and OANN. And he introduced his new medical person, Scott Atlas, who will obviously follow DDT in lockstep. More about him later. 

DDT also came out full-birther by saying the assertion about whether Harris is a U.S. citizen is very “serious” and questioned whether she was born in the U.S., making her ineligible to run for VP. Promoter of the lie in Newsweek is John Eastman, described as “a right-wing American law professor notable for several unaccepted petitions to the U.S. Supreme Court and for unsuccessfully seeking election to a number of public offices.” DDT said he heard Eastman is “a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer.” Eastman has been Federalist Society chairman, former clerk to Clarence Thomas. and fellow of the hard-right “think tank” the Claremont Institute. Last year, the QAnon conspiracy pusher, Pizzagate promoter Jack Posobiec, received a Claremont fellowship. (Pizzagate was the QAnon conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton ran a sex trafficking scheme for children out of a Washington, DC pizza restaurant.)

When Harris was born in Oakland (CA), neither of her parents were naturalized, leading right-wing sources to call her an “anchor baby.” The 14th Amendment states:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) ruled the only exceptions to “natural-born” citizens, people born in the U.S. to non-citizens, are Native Americans, children of diplomats, and “children of alien enemies, born during and within their hostile occupation.” The case was decided before Native Americans were granted citizenship. The Supreme Court majority traced birthright citizenship to English common law prior to U.S. independence, “birth within the … kingdom.” The 14th Amendment overturned the notable Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857, a pro-slavery decision, ruling Scott not entitled to the rights of citizenship because blacks are “regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations.” A leader of the birther movement against President Obama, DDT publicly asserted in September 2016 that the president “was born in the United States” but continued to privately “question the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.”

Friday: DDT again refused to answer questions, this time about QAnon, but praised the most recent QAnon member to be a congressional candidate. 

DDT is now back at his golf resort in Bedminster, NJ while more people get infected and die from COVID-19 in the U.S.: 5,476,266 cases and 171,535 deaths as of August 14.

January 12, 2020

The Messiah Keeps Failing

Televangelist Jim Bakker told his audience that “Trump is a test whether you’re even saved. Only saved people can love Trump.” Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has now been raised to the level of Jesus. Here are a few of this week’s actions connected to the evangelists’ new Messiah.

Taxpayers have funded the DOJ for over two years to investigate the conspiracy theory regarding corrupt in the Clinton Foundation The inquiry to satisfy conservatives is over. The investigation found nothing in contrast to the discovery of massive corruption in DDT’s “charity” foundation. It’s the 1990s all over—nothing there. Now DDT is hoping for “better” results from the DOJ investigation into the origins of the FBI’s 2016 examination into a tie between DDT’ campaign and Russia.

DDT’s fixer, AG Bill Barr, may be the subject of an investigation after the New York City Bar Association asked Congress to investigate Barr for making the DOJ and its prosecutors as “political partisans willing to use the levers of government to empower certain groups over others.” Barr has spoken about the progressives’ “campaign to destroy the traditional moral order” and promised to use the DOJ to resist “forces of secularization.” He criticized DAs from large cities “who style themselves as ‘social justice’ reformers, who spend their time undercutting the police, letting criminals off the hook, and refusing to enforce the law,” according to a letter from 450 450 former federal prosecutors working in GOP and Democratic administrations.” Barr also misrepresented DOJ reports to protect DDT and manipulated the agency for the same end.

After DDT gave states permission to take Medicaid coverage from people who don’t meet work requirements, several red states took advantage of another way to punish the poor. Now, six states—Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, and Virginia—have reversed or suspended these increased restrictions because of legal challenges and coverage losses. Maine governor Janet Mills said that more people were uninsured with no greater participation in the workforce. Arizona cited “the evolving national landscape.” Kentucky has a new Democratic governor, Andy Beshear, who campaign against the new work plan, protecting health coverage for almost 100,000 low-income state residents. Michigan’s new Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, urged a reversal of the work requirement which could cause up to 183,000 Michiganders to lose coverage because of its highly restrictive statute. Arkansas may be take coverage from people who should be exempt by their law because almost 25 percent of the target population lost coverage in the first seven months and work requirements haven’t helped people find jobs. Federal courts have already vacated work requirement waivers in three states because they fail to meet the central objective of Medicaid.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wants to keep hiding how taxpayer money is being spend on DDT when he leaves the White House and on DDT’s family—at least after the 2020 election. This agreement with Congress is connected to Mnuchin’s attempt to move the Secret Service DHS to Treasury. DDT complained about the $96 million cost for President Obama’s travel in eight years, an amount possibly equaled during DDT’s first year. The White House has refused to divulge any travel expenses for over two years.

DDT may have been able to pardon possible war criminal retired Army Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn before his murder trial, but Lt. Gen. Francis M. Beaudette, commander of U.S. Army Special Operations, won’t reinstate Goldsteyn’s Special Forces tab. The decision now goes to an administrative panel who will also consider reinstatement of Golsteyn’s Distinguished Service Cross.

E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against DDT after his insults about her charges of sexual assault may continue, and a judge okayed the discovery process. DDT had said he was innocent because Carroll isn’t his “type.”

Gerrymandering is one of the reasons that Republicans have taken over the majority of states and then elected DDT through the Electoral College. Although the Supreme Court sometimes blocks gerrymandering if it’s based on racial reasons, the conservative justices will support gerrymandering if Republicans rig the system for the GOP. One person proving the lengths to which Republicans go has released a cache of computer information to show how her deceased father, Thomas Hofeller, drew a vast quantity of maps to make all districts easier for Republicans to win, often to take voting rights from minorities. Stephanie Hofeller has now posted all the files she has on the website, linking to a Google Drive of Hofeller’s emails and documents tied to his gerrymandering work.

Some of the files went public earlier through court filings and news reports, and Stephanie Hofeller already released a document connected to DDT’s failed attempt to add a citizenship question to the Census, another method of trying to add GOP districts to control states’ legislatures, House membership, and the presidential election. Hofeller’s 2015 studies shows that adding the question “would be advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.” That discovery caused justices to block the question on the Census.

After Stephanie Hofeller discovered her father had died, she collected his belongings, including hard drives and USB sticks. She gave them to the government watchdog Common Cause that used the information in a North Carolina case about the state illegally drawing districts to favor Republicans. 

Common Cause won its case last fall, a case that may influence anti-gerrymandering lawsuits in other states. Thirteen state Constitutions require elections to be “free and equal,” five more require them to be “free and open,” and eleven others require them to be “free,” offering significant opportunities for other state Constitutional challenges to partisan.” North Carolina legislature is required to redistrict much of the state Senate and House maps with the requirements that they have fairly equal populations, be contiguous and compact, and stick to county groupings. In addition, districts must consider existing municipal boundaries and not consider race. The ruling also mandates compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act.  

Unfortunately, the court told the GOP General Assembly to draw new maps which were still biased for Republicans. Soon after, the Wake County Superior Court ordered the start of candidate filing. Because dates for the primary elections could not be changed, the current gerrymandered districts be used for the 2020 elections.

Losing a question about citizenship on the Census, DDT has persuaded DHS to share government data so that the Census Bureau can get this information for everyone in the U.S. His goal is to redraw districts based on the number of eligible voters instead of residents, as required by the Constitution. This method would also benefit Republicans and non-Hispanic white people. DHS is releasing information that cannot be obtained with the person’s consent or a waiver from the DHS secretary. Latinx community groups are suing the administration because of DDT’s new plan. Another reason for lawsuits is that the process may not produce accurate data.

DDT is still on the campaign trail, and his speeches keep getting longer with more lies. At over two hours, the December 18 speech had 120 fact-free declarations, 67 percent of the total statements. In his most recent speech, DDT focused on lies about Iran and Ohio’s economy. He’s still calling for the audience to chant “lock her up” about Hillary Clinton, apparently not understanding that she is not a 2020 presidential candidate.

DDT is refusing to comply with a court order to release 40 pages of emails between Robert Blair, top aide to acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and a member of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, about the freeze on Ukraine’s congressionally mandated military aid package. The 300 pages of emails already released show the growing tension between the Pentagon and the White House in late August and early September.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is calling for changes to the Senate impeachment rules, a pattern that the Republicans have used for all their wins when they are in the majority. Chances of changes are unlikely because 67 votes are necessary for revising rules amenable to Republicans. By now DDT wants to cancel the impeachment trial. His tweets today show that he’s increasingly obsessed with impeachment, moving closer to panic.

Disappointment at the low December job increase of 145,000 caused the stock markets to drop. The average monthly jobs gains for 2019 were 176,000, a drop from 223,000 in 2018. Average hourly earnings rose by a mere 0.1 percent in December to make the annual increase 2.9 percent. This increase is approximately equivalent to inflation, and much of it comes from minimum wage increases in a few states. Economists say wages are not growing as fast as they should be, especially for those who aren’t seeing a boost from state and local minimum wage increases.

More jobs were created in the last 34 months of the Obama Administration (7.7 million or 227,000/month on average) than the first 34 months of the Trump Administration (6.1 million or 178,000/month on average through November 2019. This total is the smallest since 2011.

August 31, 2019

DDT: Week 136 – His Outrageous Storms

DDT avoided an 80th-anniversary World War II commemoration in Poland this week: he’s watching Hurricane Dorian. Maybe collect white paper towels for survivors. He may have dodged a bullet; the storm turned from a direct aim at his resorts, including Mar-a-Lago, to moving long the East Coast. Aides hoped that the Poland trip would avoid criticism if DDT got out of the country to honor World War II veterans and recover from bad publicity about dropping ratings, inappropriate response to mass shootings, negative responses from world powers at the G7 summit, subservience to Russia, etc. No such luck. Even a visit to Poland could be problematic: it is the only EU country without legislature to deal with restitution of Nazi-confiscated private property.

Staying at the White House and then Camp David, DDT kept tweeting. He praised his trade war with China that increased taxes today, disparaged GM, and blasted former FBI Director James Comey. DDT says that he and his supporters should be “given our stolen time back.” The majority of people in the U.S. would probably also want their last 136 weeks back.

DDT’s campaign sent out millions of emails attacking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) after she pointed out that DDT had claimed in 2012 “the electoral college is a disaster for democracy,” a “sham” and a “travesty.” In 2012, DDT called for a “revolution” with his lie that President Obama “lost the popular vote by a lot” to Mitt Romney. President Obama won the popular vote in that year by 65,915,795 to 60,933,504; DDT lost the popular vote by three million ballots in 2016. DDT’s campaign email stated, “This is our country, not theirs,” possibly referring to “Coastal Elites and Liberal Mega Donors” but also meaning Latinx, blacks, women, LGBTQ, Muslims, and Jewish Democrats, to name a few.

Every time DDT gets enough backlash for his outrageous plans, his officials say that he was joking. Are these jokes? 

DDT will kill more children outside detention after three died in his detention process and he won’t be vaccinating detainees against the flu. In a reversal of long-standing policy, he ordered seriously ill people, mostly children, granted special immigration status for medical treatment back to their countries. Families given 33 days to leave the U.S. have Illnesses that include cystic fibrosis, cancer, and muscular dystrophy. Earlier this month, a man with diabetes, brought to the U.S. at six months of age with his Christian parents seeking asylum from Iraq, died after his deportation. During his campaign DDT claimed he would get rid of only criminals. 

DDT declared that children born outside the U.S. to U.S. citizen government employees and military service members, like former presidential candidate John McCain, are no longer U.S. citizens even if they are born in U.S. military hospitals or diplomatic facilities. His new rule, which lacks public notice and comments. could disproportionately affect LGBTQ service members who adopt children and use surrogates, sperm or egg donors or IVF as well as born-abroad children of noncitizen service members naturalizing after they become parents.

DDT promised to pardon federal officials for illegal activities—seizing private land, flouting environmental rules, pushing billion-dollar contracts, etc.—if they build hundreds of miles of border wall before the 2020 election. Last year, he admitted that enforcement and deportation are better than the wall but that his supporters want a wall. DDT’s pardon offer may violate federal bribery laws. Past pardons have been at the whim of DDT with no judicial review, but this corrupt promise flagrantly encourages unlawful behavior.

DDT plans to pull $271 million from DHS—including FEMA’s $155 million and $115 million from the Coast Guard for aviation security—for immigrant detention space and temporary hearing locations for asylum seekers despite lack of congressional approval. The TSA and cybersecurity also lost funds for detention.

DDT’s aides admitted that he lied about getting calls from China for trade war talks to boost the stock market. There were no calls.

DDT accused companies hurt by his trade war of being “badly run and weak” from “bad management.”  

DDT will open Alaska’s 16.7 million-acre Tongass National Forest—the planet’s largest intact temperate rainforest—to logging, mining, energy, and other corporate development projects.

DDT wants to stop hurricanes by dropping nuclear bombs on them. The idea is worse than other pieces from his vast knowledge of science—after all, his uncle was a scientist (a physicist born in 1907)—such as wind turbine noise causing cancer, climate change being a hoax, cold weather disproving climate warming, rivers not being diverted into the ocean, and raking forests stopping fires. After his frequent repetition of bombing hurricanes, NASA published an explanation about why it won’t work. DDT vigorously denied making the suggestion, but Axios reported that the information came from one of his staff members.

DDT urged his almost 64 million Twitter followers to “start looking for a new News Outlet” because of Fox “heavily promoting the Democrats.” Good idea! People who watch Fox have a less accurate knowledge of current events than those who don’t watch the news. 

DDT plans to move forward with his plan to index capital gains on stock to inflation as a gift to wealthy investors. Investors selling assets could use the inflation-adjusted value of the initial purchase for the sale to pay less tax by reducing taxable income from their sales.

DDT tweeted and praised a video from the anti-Semiitic and white nationalist hate group VDare that includes its lion logo that comes from a quote from Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini that DDT retweeted in February 2016:

“It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.”

Before VDare adoped the lion logo, it was on a website and Twitter account from a group calling itself the Lion Guard, which vowed to protect DDT supporters and “forcefully protect” Trump from threats.

DDT’s included these words with the VDare video:  

 “Trump Pence Keep America Great. Thank you for the support as we MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

The lion logo appeared the following month on a website and Twitter account launched by a group calling itself the Lion Guard, which vowed to protect Trump supporters and “forcefully protect” Trump from threats. The logo soon appeared on VDare’s Twitter account. Larry Kudlow, DDT’s economic adviser, recently invited Peter Brimelow, right-wing English immigrant and VDare founder who called leftists “stupid,” to his birthday party.

DDT had several negative tweets about how Comey “leaked Classified Documents” after the DOJ Inspector General’s findings Comey about giving a memo regarding seven of his conversations with DDT to a friend as security and keeping his personal memos. Benjamin Wittes summarized that the IG “has determined that it is misconduct for a law enforcement officer to publicly disclose an effort to shut down his investigation.” After two years, IG Michael Horowitz discovered that Comey was “straightforward concerning why he wrote the seven memos in question, what he did with them, whom he shared them with and what his motives were in doing so.”

 Horowitz finished his report with ten pages “about how Comey ‘violated applicable policies and his Employment Agreement,’ about his release of ‘official FBI information and records to third parties without authorization,’ and about his failure to ‘immediately alert the FBI’ when he learned that material he had given his lawyers ‘contained six words … that the FBI had determined were classified at the CONFIDENTIAL’ level.”

Comey considered his memos were to be personal, not FBI records; therefore he kept them. Horowitz acknowledges no classified material was ever publicly disclosed. The only new information was the FBI’s process for examining the memos. A court decision ruled that only one of Comey’s redacted words, the name of a country, was confidential. As FBI director, Comey had the authority to judge what was classified. When he left and the FBI changed the classification, Comey was to return the material—which he did. Horowitz’ conclusion is “that a witness to gross misconduct by the president of the United States has a duty to keep his mouth shut about what he saw.”

Regarding classified information, DDT brought Russians into the Oval Office without security, revealed classified information about Israel, and overruled FBI decision to not give a high-level security clearance to son-in-law Jared Kushner. DDT’s most recent classified information leak comes from his tweeted aerial image of an Iranian launchpad, a photo that was most likely highly classified and showed that the U.S. has violated Iran’s airspace by spying on its missile program. In June, DDT declared that a U.S. surveillance drone was in international airspace when Iran shot it down. He almost started a war over the event. A camera flash and a person’s shadow on the image caused speculation that someone took a picture of the image with a cellphone in a classified intelligence briefing where handheld electronics are forbidden. As DDT tweeted, he can release any information he wants, but past presidents have made these decisions after deliberations with U.S. intelligence agencies about potential damage. [visual

DDT monitored Hurricane Dorian while playing golf at his private Virginia club, traveling by helicopter from Camp David. He also tweeted about his endorsement for the North Carolina special congressional election, praise for Fox’s Sean Hannity, and current lawsuits against “various people for violating their confidentiality agreements.” Missing were any thoughts and prayers for the five people killed and the 21 people injured in today’s mass shooting in Texas. He just tweeted that he was being kept informed.

July 19, 2019

DDT Uses Racism to Avoid Problems

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) faced three major blows this week:

Court documents indicate that DDT was involved in hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who both claimed to have an affair with him, in a scheme that began the day after the release of the Access Hollywood tapes when DDT bragged about grabbing “pussy” one month before the 2016 presidential election. Released materials show that former White House communications director Hope Hicks might have lied in her sworn testimony to the House Judiciary Committee when she said she had no direct knowledge of the payments and no contact during DDT’s campaign with key participants. But if the attorneys are not talking, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff is. As AG Bill Barr protects DDT, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff said that “ample evidence [exists] to charge Donald Trump with the same criminal election law violations for which Michael Cohen pled guilty.” House Democrats are questioning U.S. Attorney’s Office for Southern District of New York about its decision to not indict DDT for his campaign finance crimes.

Child molester and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, former friend of DDT, was denied bail because of being a flight risk, especially after a falsified passport showing that his home is in Saudi Arabia was discovered. His safe also contained $70,000 in cash and 48 loose diamonds. The judge said, “I doubt any bail package can overcome [danger to the community].”

After falsely smearing Omar Ilhan—a woman, person of color, liberal, resident of the United States, and an elected representative of the nation’s highest legislative body—and passively standing by for 13 seconds while the crowd chanted “send her back,” DDT tried to clear himself the next day. He said he was “not happy” about the chant and tried to stop the crowd by speaking quickly. A video shows DDT silently pausing and looking around at his audience for 13 seconds while they chant. DDT also claimed that he did not initiate the attack chant, but he earlier said that the four U.S. representatives—all women of color—should leave the country. All four are U.S. citizens, and three were born in the United States.

DDT used the Klan mantra: “America – Love It or Leave It” that mimics the Nazi signs in 1930s German cities: “Jews, immigrate to your land.” DDT has claimed that no one who criticizes the United States should be allowed to stay in the country.

Examples of DDT’s negative comments about the U.S.:

Make America Great Again: DDT said he started his slogan “Make America Great Again” on the day that President Obama was elected to his second term. He said, “I looked at the many types of illness our country had, and whether it’s at the border, whether it’s security, whether it’s law and order or lack of law and order.”

Crippled America: DDT’s 2015 book referred to the U.S. as “this mess” and “Uncle Sucker,” pointing out the multiple weakness of the U.S. He “wrote,” The idea of American Greatness, of our country as the leader of the free and unfree world, has vanished … I couldn’t stand to see what was happening to our great country. This mess calls for leadership in the worst way.”

American Carnage: The day that DDT was inaugurated, he described the U.S. as a dystopian nightmare by saying, “Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.”

Ridicule of U.S.: Starting in 2011, DDT tweeted that other countries were laughing at the U.S., that the government is “on the hook for more than a third of the world’s entire debt.”

U.S. Criminal Acts: Asked about Vladimir Putin being a killer, DDT said, “You think our country’s so innocent?”

Infrastructure: In his speech to the 2016 GOP convention, he said, “Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in third-world condition.”

Anti-Semitism: DDT called his opponent Hillary Clinton corrupt and tweeted her image over a bed of money beside a six-pointed Jewish star. He also tweeted and retweeted other anti-Semitic messages.

Vulgarities: Rep. Omar Ihan (D-MN) has never used vulgar language or images, as DDT accused, but DDT said African and Caribbean countries are “shithole countries,” that he would bomb the “shit” out of the Islamic State, and businesses wanting to return to the United States from overseas should be told to “go [mouths the f-word] themselves.”

2014 Tweets: “Our country has become so politically correct that it has lost all sense of direction or purpose.” “Our country and our ‘leaders’ are getting dumber all the time.” “Have you ever seen our country look weaker or more pathetic…”

DDT may have felt he was safe with his racist comments because a voter study showing that those most susceptible to DDT’s appeal tend to view people of color, non-Christians, and feminist women as the undeserving “other.” The last week has reflected this attitude as Republicans become more supportive of DDT while independents are moving away from him. Four years ago, DDT began his 2016 campaign by describing immigrants as “criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.” Now he’s appealing to his base by openly declaring that female women of colors, born in the United States and elected to the U.S. Congress, should be forced out of the country. The official position of the Grand Old Party is now “send her back.”

After lying about objecting to the chants for a day, DDT declared that the people who chanted “Send her back!” at his Wednesday rally are “incredible patriots.” Gone is his declaration that he was “not happy” and tried to stop them. Or the White House comment that DDT couldn’t hear the chants. According to DDT, criticism of the U.S. is unacceptable (aka free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment) and the four female elected representatives “can’t get away with” it, “not when I’m the president.” He also said, “We have First Amendment rights also—we can … say what we want.” He didn’t specific who the “we” are. Now he claims to be unhappy “with the fact that a congresswoman can say anti-Semitic things.” Ilhan didn’t, but DDT has.

Asked if the “Send her back!” chant is racist, he responded:

“No, you know what’s racist to me? When somebody goes out and says the horrible things about our country, the people of our country, that are anti-Semitic, who hate everybody, who speak with scorn and hate …. We’re dealing with people who hate our country.” [Note DDT’s criticism above as well as his lies about Ilhan.]

DDT plans to change the questions for becoming a citizen. Most of the people born in the U.S. can answer only one out of three at this time. How would you do

Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of U.S. men walking on the moon. In the past half century, we have made this progress: the last week focused on the man elected as U.S. president racially attacking four women of color elected to the Congress, abuse and neglect of people seeking asylum at the U.S. southern border because of U.S. regime changes in their countries, increased polarization of the nation through Republicans packing the U.S. courts with xenophobic and misogynist bigots, a rapidly ballooning national debt because of huge tax cuts for only the wealthy and big businesses, vastly increased health issues and deaths of U.S. residents from loss of clean environment, horrible heat waves from a climate crisis, voter suppression and permission for foreign governments to selected U.S. elected officials, a movement toward fascism including greatly increased military expenses, excessive violence and killings including by law enforcement, high inequality in income and wealth, increased loss of workers’ rights, and racism to “make American white again.” That’s what developed from the space race of the 1960s.  

October 18, 2015

World Didn’t End, Benghazi Arguments Continue

October 7, 2015 has come and gone, and people reading this are still here despite the predictions of the E-Bible Fellowship. Their website’s explanation for the mistake reads in part:

“The world today is populated by a generation of people that has outdone all past generations for wickedness. It tends to view a “passed date” for its end as some sort of victory and celebrates it as though it means it will now never end. And yet, the truth is that the world is in its death throes. A date of destruction given to the world (like October 7th, 2015) is like a man with a terminal disease that was given a short time to live his Dr. The man passes the 6 months (or year) he was told. Yet the prognosis hasn’t changed. He’s still terminally ill. It’s still certain he will die from his disease. It’s just a matter of when that remains in question.”

There have no posts since that one on October 8. Unfortunately, the congressional control of climate deniers gives a sense of validity to the planet’s “terminal disease.” Meanwhile the United States struggles to loosen a grip by fundamentalist Christians.

Muslims may inadvertently cause fundamentalist Christians to separate church and state. In Tennessee, conservative legislators want to prohibit “anything deemed ‘religious doctrine’ ” for public school students in ninth grade or younger after parents complained about the content of world history curriculum. Teachers were teaching about the Five Pillars of Islam in order to “provide historical context about the influence the religion had on regions of the world.” And about Islamic role in introducing algebra and influencing the Renaissance. The resolution of “no religious indoctrination” in schools will be very enlightening.

First, Rowan County (KY) Clerk Kim Davis refused to allow anyone in her office to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples. Then she spent five days in jail and said that her staff could issue the licenses although they wouldn’t be legally binding because she changed them. Now she’s totally caved: her lawyers admit that they are binding. Meanwhile federal judge David L. Bunning has ordered Kentucky’s Democratic governor Steve Beshear to decide if the altered marriage licenses are valid.

A bike lane is impinging on a Washington, DC church’s “religious liberty” because fewer parking spaces” “would place an unconstitutionally undue burden on people who want to pray.”

Televangelist Pat Robertson usually has an answer for everything—frequently “send me money”—but one viewer took him aback. “Why have you undergone surgeries if your faith would be enough?” prompted Robertson come up with some non-answers before he said, “I don’t know what else to say. If you have enough faith … maybe I don’t have enough, but I have enough for other people.”

Herb Titus, a dominionist Christian Reconstructionist attorney, has declared that the United States has changed its immigration policy and gone against the Bible. Immigrants can come only from countries that are based on Christian principles because the United States would otherwise “become a kind of multicultural society,” according to Titus. He said, “We had a carefully designed policy for many years to allow as immigrants into the United States only those people from countries that have a Christian-principled culture.” What he bases his beliefs on, no one seems to know. The U.S. has had quotas, but they were based on nationality. Barring all Asians from emigrating was not based on religion, but ethnic background.

A federal judge seems to be supporting Titus in acting unconstitutionally. Texas health officials are denying birth certificates to immigrant families with U.S.-born children, and U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman has denied an emergency injunction to recognize identification cards issued by Mexican consulates to citizens living and working in the U.S. Before 2013, these documents were acceptable to receive birth certificates. The immigrant rights lawyers represent 28 adults and their 32 children. Without birth certificates, the children could be considered criminals and deported. The newborns could not even receive baptisms without birth certificates. The 14th Amendment guarantees the right to citizenship for children born on U.S. soil, and the parents have documentation from the U.S. hospital where the children were born.

Evangelical pastor Rob Schenck has taken on Sarah Palin in a documentary, The Armor of Light, about gun violence and the question of whether a person can be both pro-life and anti-gun safety. One scene shows Palin telling a NRA audience not to waste ammunition on a warning shot. She criticized Vice-president Joe Biden for this advice and said, “Gals, you know that nowadays, ammo is expensive. Don’t waste a bullet on a warning shot.” In the film’s voice-over, Schenck wonders about the “ethical dimensions of having a constant, defensive posture.” He said, “When pastors, preachers, bible teachers, ignore these questions, it creates a vacuum. And other voices fill that vacuum.”

I admire Pastor Schenck for addressing this issue, but he’s going to have a difficult time persuading the people who think that they have the right to shoot anyone at any time because of their skewed sense of reality. An example of this is the Alabama KKK. In an interview with the BBC documentary, KKK: The Fight for White Supremacy, a KKK member explained that the Nazi Holocaust concentration camps were actually “summer camps” for Jewish people instead of death camps.

“These death camps, they gave the so-called people that were being killed cigarettes, there was coffee, there was a movie theater, a library, even a swimming pool in Auschwitz. And if you’re going to sit there and kill all these people then how come all these things would be in there?”

Stunned, the interviewer asked the KKK member what the Jews were doing in Auschwitz. “Swimming” was the answer. “And working. Because they didn’t want to do any work, and what Hitler was trying to do was he was trying to teach them to work, trying to rehabilitate them, if you will.” Asked where he heard this, the Klan member said, “It’s all history.”

And now all the television viewers in Great Britain will know how stupid “Amuricans” are.

Sunday is almost as well known for political interviews as for religion, and CNN’s Jake Tapper hit the ball out of the park in his interview with Jeb Bush. Raw Story described this follow-up to Donald Trump’s comment that George W. Bush was president during the 9/11 attacks. There was nothing false about Trump’s statement, but Bush has taken great umbrage at the insinuation that Bush was responsible for the disaster.

Tapper asked Bush how he could blame Hillary Clinton for the attacks in Benghazi while exonerating his brother George W. from any blame for the 9/11 disaster. Told that “my brother … kept us safe,” Tapper asked if Bush’s loyalty to his brother “might be in some ways a political or policy liability blinding you to mistakes he made.” Tapper continued by asking how Bush could “make the jump that President Obama and Secretary Clinton are responsible for what happened at Benghazi.” Bush was unable to find an answer, but Tapper asked why terrorists were not responsible for the four deaths at Benghazi if they were those solely responsible for the 3,000 deaths on 9/11. Bush said, “They are!”

Bush has a problem: either he admits that his brother was inept in protecting the country by ignoring intelligence about Osama bin Laden’s attacking the U.S., or he is forced to admit that Clinton and the Obama administration aren’t liable for the Benghazi attacks. (This exchange was omitted in reports from CNN and The Hill about Tapper’s interview with Bush.

Equally enlightening about the Benghazi select committee was the discussion on Meet the Press when Andrea Mitchell responded to Rep. Mike Pompeo’s (R-KS) statement about Clinton relying on former advisor Sidney Blumenthal’s intelligence. “That is factually not correct… I cover the State Department. That is just factually not correct,”Mitchell said. Pompeo tried to put down Mitchell—and failed—but he said nothing when Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) said that the committee doesn’t “know what this committee’s supposed to look for. Apart from damaging Hillary Clinton, it has no reason for existence.” The clip is worth watching.


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