Nel's New Day

January 30, 2022

DeSantis for President?

Since November 2020, Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) has been operating a two-pronged attack—overturn Joe Biden’s legitimate presidency and run an underground campaign to be elected in 2024. Thus far, the first one has failed, and his leadership in the lies and violence is daily becoming exposed. A poll has revealed that his chances in 2024 may be diminishing. Although almost as many Republicans support him as several months ago, the percentage of those who support him for a presidential candidate has dropped by over 20 percent. Watching a failing DDT, competition is growing. Not one, of course, would ever say they will run against DDT, but three of them are working overtime to out-Trump DDT.

For months, Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis has been the pack leader. Of Republicans, 69 percent said DDT should run again for president, but without him, 30 percent support DeSantis. The governor’s most popular DDT position features COVID—at least DDT’s position before he realized that Republicans were dying off at a far more rapid rate than Democrats because, thanks to DDT’s anti-vax attitude until recently, 56 percent of Republicans aren’t vaccinated as of a month ago, compared to 92 percent of Democrats. 

DeSantis’ promotion of COVID in his state, including banning mask mandates and touting monoclonal antibody treatments instead of vaccinations, mades Florida below only six other states in the number of COVID infections per capita. Almost 65,000 Floridians have died of COVID, and over 25 percent of the population has contracted the coronavirus. And those figures come after officials tweaked numbers of infections and deaths to make them appear more favorable to DeSantis. Currently, he is fighting the federal government for removing his preferential Regeneron treatment, a huge moneymaker for his biggest donor. This monoclonal treatment doesn’t affect the new Omicron variant, causing almost 100 percent of COVID cases in England, but DeSantis wants taxpayers to pay $1 billion for the treatments instead of $10 million for vaccinations which are more effective.

One mystery about DeSantis is where he was for a couple of weeks at the end of December in the midst of shattering new records of infections with 1000-percent spike in cases. He said he was caring for his wife, recently diagnosed with cancer, but at his speech after reemerging, he had difficulty breathing, sweat profusely, looked wobbly, and struggled to read his notes in a wavery voice. (Video here.)  Fatigue? Brain fog? Who knows.  

DeSantis is so negligent about COVID that he changed the expiration date on one million COVID rapid tests from last summer to this coming March. He had stockpiled the tests and claimed people shouldn’t bother getting tested and handpicked his new surgeon general, who has yet to be confirmed, to be anti-vaccination and anti-testing. Some facts about Joseph Ladapo, who has yet to be confirmed for the position after over four months:

  • Helped lead the state movement to ban mask mandates at schools and private businesses.
  • Refuses to say whether COVID vaccinations are beneficial, but writing that the vaccine risks may outweigh the benefits. Unvaccinated people have 68 percent times the risk of dying from COVID than fully vaccinated people.
  • Would not say whether he regretted not wearing a mask in the presence of state Sen. Tina Polsky, diagnosed with cancer, during a confirmation interview.
  • Declined to answer questions about putting Orange County’s top public health official, Dr. Raul Pino, on leave for criticizing over half the department’s 568 employees who aren’t vaccinated. 
  • Participated with a group of doctors supporting unproven COVID therapies as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. One of his colleagues in the group claims having sex with demons during dreams causes endometriosis.
  • Opposes mass COVID testing so that people can “be living.” He made this announcement from a podium with the sign, “Early Treatment Saves Lives.”
  • Makes $437,000 a year for his job and for teaching at the University of Florida thanks to the Board of Trustees chair and millionaire developer, a big donor to DeSantis campaigns. Of that sum, taxpayers pay $250,000.
  • Lied when he said he treated COVID patients at UCLA.

DeSantis doesn’t keep to COVID in demonstrating his DDT-style incompetence, divisiveness, authoritarianism, and morally degenerative behavior.  

Freedom of speech: He tried to block university students and professors who objected voting rights. 

Protesting: His “anti-riot” legislation outlawed two or more people standing together in protest but exonerates anyone driving “into protesters who are blocking a road.” https://morningshots.thebulwark.com/p/defining-deviancy-down-politics-edition   

Private business rights: His law, blocked in the courts, prohibited social media platforms “banning political candidates or ‘journalistic enterprises’ from their services”—directly applying to DDT.

Voter suppression: Like governors in 18 other states, DeSantis signed voter oppression laws which block some use of ballot drop boxes, give partisan poll watchers new powers, and create difficulty in vote-by-mail. The justification is three voter-fraud incidents by DDT’s supporters in the past two years.  

Election fraud: He plans to create an “Office of Election Crimes and Security,” DeSantis ignored the real election fraud electing three Republicans. Dark money in a mysterious PAC elected three “ghost” candidates in three-way races to draw votes from Democratic incumbents in tight re-election races. One of them, bribed with $44,000 by a former GOP lawmaker, had the same name as the Democrat who lost by 32 votes. That “ghost” was fined and censured, but DeSantis said nothing, perhaps because the same donor for the ghosts gave DeSantis hundreds of thousands of dollars. DeSantis did reward the donor, a utility company, by permitting them the use of dirty fuel sources and a $1.5 billion rate increase for Floridians. The $6 million budget and 52 investigators would be bigger than most of the state’s police departments—but won’t be investigating Republicans.

Personal Guard: DeSantis also wants $3.5 million to reestablish a World War II-era civilian military force disbanded in 1947 that only he controls—not the Pentagon, that is “not encumbered by the federal government.”

Campaign fraud: The Florida media reported that he uses the government-owned plane for “campaign-style events,” and a government watchdog group thinks he is “blurring the lines.” The plane cost $15 million to purchase and over $3 million a year to operate.

DeSantis now has a “reactionary and authoritarian” proposal called the Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees (W.O.K.E.) Act. It bans schools and employers from making students and employees feel any “discomfort” because “of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin.” Like similar laws in other states, its purpose is to make white supremacists feel comfortable about their privilege by eliminating Black history. The South Florida Sun Sentinel editorial about the bill:

“It perpetuates two persistent great lies: That racism did not have a major influence on American history and that it is not an issue now. That is the current dogma of DeSantis’s Republican Party in its determination to retain the allegiance of white voters who are terrified of losing social and political dominance to changing demographics. Demonization of critical race theory, by making it into a boogeyman, is one front in the Republican culture wars. DeSantis would make Floridians ignorant of the most troublesome aspects of our past, present and future.”

As the editorial board wrote, DeSantis “knows critical race theory isn’t being taught in the schools,” but is lying about the issue anyway. The editorial said DeSantis’ bill was the worst one since Tennessee outlawed the teaching of evolution 96 years ago. The result of that one was called “the monkey trial.” DeSantis’ bill allows parents and employees to sue and act as vigilantes, as they can regarding abortion in Texas.

DeSantis himself has a racist history. About gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, a Black man, DeSantis said he would “monkey this up” in Florida and referred to Puerto Rican Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, elected to Congress, as “whatever she is.” He appeared with Milo Yiannopoulos and Steve Bannon at a Muslim-bashing event and moderated a Facebook page for racist memes, for example accusing Michele Obama of being a man. He endorsed Sebastian Gorka who has ties to a Hungarian far-right group collaborating with Nazis. Among DeSantis’ anti-immigrant positions is increasing punishments for undocumented migrants after one mentally-ill immigrant accidentally killed someone. One of his major campaign ads for governor was teaching his toddler son about “building the wall” although Florida has no land border with any other country. DeSantis’ wife, Casey, appeared at an event with a Barack Obama “birther” with ties to the anti-Muslim extremist who also ran the racist Facebook group that DeSantis moderated.

For over a month, DDT has focused on attacking DeSantis, first calling him “gutless” for not admitting he’s had a COVID booster shot and then saying he is an ingrate with a “dull personality” with no charisma and no chance of winning in 2024 without his help. As time goes on, he may have to diversify his insulting. Door Two and Three? Perhaps Virginia’s new governor Glenn Youngkin and Fox’s Tucker Carlson. More about them later.

October 24, 2021

Congress Needs to Shut Down Corruption

Creeping among all the other stories about fraud during the past week was the indictment of Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) for his lying to the FBI about taking $30,000 from Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury, funneled through Californians and distributed to four politicians. Fortenberry alternately expressed shock, surprise, and expectation to be indicted. He resigned from his leadership on the Agriculture Committee but made a lovely video sitting in his vintage pickup with his wife and dog, cornfields in the background, explaining why he had done nothing wrong. His wife, Celeste, stood by her man, also claiming that her husband didn’t lie to the FBI. Fortenberry used the indictment for fundraiser, calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) a “swamp creature.”

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Central District of California stated a federal grand jury was charging Fortenberry with “concealing information and making false statements to federal authorities who were investigating illegal contributions made by a foreign national to the congressman’s 2016 re-election campaign.” Charges include one count of scheming to falsify and conceal material facts and two counts of knowingly and willingly making false statements and representations to federal investigators. Chagoury has cooperated with the investigation and paid $1.8 million in fines.

It seems that Fortenberry faces at least three false statements charges under 18 U.S.C. § 1001:

  • He was aware after the fundraiser that Chagoury was the real source of the $30,000 he received and were funneled to Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), and himself.
  • The fundraiser host began cooperating with the FBI in September 2016, and Fortenberry asked him to host another event in 2018. The informant told Fortenberry several times that Chagoury provided the original funds, violating both the ban on foreign campaign contributions and the ban on straw man donors.
  • Fortenberry also lied by saying he ended the phone call with the fundraiser after he made a “concerning comment”: in fact, Fortenberry asked him to host another fundraiser.

During the term of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), two sitting congressional members, both Republicans, were criminally charged: New York’s Chris Collins for insider trading, and California’s Duncan Hunter for stealing over $250,000 from his campaign donations. Both were re-elected but resigned, both were sentenced to prison, and both were pardoned by DDT. If guilty, Fortenberry faces up to five years in federal prison. 

DDT supported Fortenberry by saying:

“Isn’t it terrible that a Republican Congressman from Nebraska just got indicted for possibly telling some lies to investigators about campaign contributions, when half of the United States Congress lied about made up scams.”

Fortenberry belongs to the secretive political evangelical Christian group, The Family, highlighted in Jeff Sharlet’s book, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. The organization is tied to the Uganda lawmaker who pressured his country to pass legislation called “Kill the Gays.” The Family supports the bill that sentences people committing homosexual acts with the death penalty. In 2014, the text was softened to “Jail the Gays,” sentencing LGBTQ people to life imprisonment, but the Ugandan Supreme Court invalidated the law. Fortenberry’s chief of staff, Andy Braner, is a fellow insider of The Family. The Family has funded Fortenberry’s multiple events overseas connected to the group. 

Another current GOP may be moving toward toward indictment. The FBI has assigned two more two prosecutors to sex-trafficking probe of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), one expert in child exploitation crimes and the other a leader in the public corruption unit. The sentencing of Joel Greenberg, a witness against Gaetz, has been postponed until March as, according to prosecutors, Greenberg continues to provide valuable assistance in their investigation. Gaetz not only lost money on his “America First” tour around the country with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) but also paid $613,000 in the third quarter of 2021 to get under $500,000 in donations. It has been reported that, before DDT left the White House, Gaetz “privately asked” administrators “for blanket pre-emptive pardons for himself and unidentified congressional allies.” 

Gaetz can no longer practice law because he failed to pay his license annual dues. For reinstatement he would have to pay the $265, an extra $150 reinstatement fee, and a $50 late fee. In addition, he would need to petition the executive director to be reinstated. Convicted of any felonies, he would be disbarred anyway. 

USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, appointed under DDT, appears intent on running his agency into the ground. He’s raising prices, slowing down delivery, and appears to be steering the government work to his former company. More conflicts of interest have emerged from his and his family’s investments in XPO, where he served as CEO, and 13 other major companies with relationships to the postal services. With a financial interest between $30 million and $75 million in XPO, DeJoy refused to divest himself for months after he was confirmed and has more investments in companies such as AT&T, CVS, Verizon, Lockheed Martin, Discover Financial Services, IBM, and JPMorgan Chase—all with USPS government contracts. Federal law requires government employees, including agency heads, to divest from investments worth more than $15,000 in companies that may be affected by their work.

Also ongoing is a probe into DeJoy’s campaign-finance scandal when he coerced employees to donate to Republican candidates. President Joe Biden cannot fire DeJoy without approval by the USPS governing board, who must also be confirmed by the Senate. Although the board president is a Democrat, he said DeJoy is “the proper man for the job.” Bloom’s tenure on the board expires, however, in December 2021. 

Republicans may give up on DeJoy after he began banking in post offices located in Washington, Baltimore, Falls Church (VA), and the Bronx by accepting paychecks or business checks of up to $500 in exchange for prepaid Visa gift cards. Postal officials plan to expand the program in 2022 with bill-paying services and ATMS in post offices. Republicans still want DeJoy’s campaign donations but don’t like the USPS competing with private financial institutions. In a letter to DeJoy, Reps. James Comer (R-KY) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC) wrote that the program “undermines the trust during your engagements with Congress and raises questions as to whether you worked with us in good faith.”

More corruption, money-laundering on a large scale, has been discovered in the Midwest: federal prosecutors seized $12 million allegedly part of “The Shadow Exchange” between the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates. Some of the money was used to buy armored vehicles for an illegal drug trafficking operation in Michigan. The money origins were hidden with fake invoices and other documents sent to banks, including major ones in the U.S., through wire transfers. Federal authorities obtained the money in December 2020, January 2021, and May 2021.

Ukrainian banking oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky bought a disintegrating factory Harvard (IL), population 9,281, much to the delight of the depressed community. He did nothing with the factory, originally built in the late 1990s by Motorola before the business failed, and the U.S. has hit him with sanctions for “significant corruption” in Ukraine for overseeing Ponzi schemes. Before Kolomoisky, a Miami investor, Chaim Schochet, purchased the facility on behalf of Optima International, a company buying commercial real estate throughout the Midwest. Both Schochet and Kolomoisky used laundered money and fraudulent loans to buy property and then let it rot. They paid no property taxes, starving the communities, and in 2016 Kolomoisky sold the Harvard property to a Chinese Canadian businessman. After spreading dreams throughout the community for a year, Canadian authorities charged the new owner of a money laundering scheme, and New Zealand detailed how he led a “multi-national pyramid scheme.”   

Money laundering moved to the Midwest from urban areas because they have no laws against anonymous real estate purchases, unlike cities like New York City, Dallas, and Seattle. Desperate for help, places suffering from economic decline are also ripe for this kind of corruption. When Kolomoisky bought up many downtown Cleveland buildings, the Ohio city was helpless when he let them fall apart. Last year, Congress banned anonymous shell company formations, overriding DDT’s veto, and will be debating the Transnational Repression Accountability and Prevention Act to counter authoritarian regimes targeting journalists in democratic countries—if Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) permits.  

In an unusual coalition, four members of the House—Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Joe Wilson (R-SC)—are introducing the Establishing New Authorities for Business Laundering and Enabling Risks to Security (ENABLERS) Act closing loopholes foreign kleptocrats use to launder money in the United States. Financial institutions are required to report suspicious transactions; ENABLERS expands that requirement to others such as law and public relations firms, accountants, investment and real estate advisors, and art dealers who allow the secrecy of origins through shell companies, trusts, and other investment vehicles. The four representatives founded the Caucus Against Foreign Corruption and Kleptocracy recently leading the charge to anti-corruption legislation in the House’s national defense bill.

Now the country needs ten good Republicans in the Senate to fight corruption.

August 17, 2021

Afghanistan–20 Years of Lies, Failure

While Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) was in the White House, he arranged a peace agreement with the Taliban and arranged for 5,000 of their fighters to be released from prison with no involvement from the Afghan government. Now he watches television—as usual—and lambasts President Joe Biden who, DDT said, “ran out of Afghanistan instead of following the plan our Administration left for him.” Four months ago, DDT lauded Biden’s withdrawal plan as “wonderful” and “positive” although he wanted Biden to leave before September 11. Three weeks ago, DDT took credit for the exit at a rally in Ohio.

DDT negotiated a peace treaty with the Taliban and agreed to withdraw all U.S. troops by May 1 if the terrorist group agreed to stop attacking U.S. troops. Afghans were not included in the negotiation, and the Taliban assassinated Afghanistan leaders while not killing any U.S. soldiers until after the deal was signed. Funded by foreign investors, the Taliban took over two-thirds of Afghanistan. 

Almost 20 years ago, the 9/11 hijacking of U.S. jetliners and attacks in the U.S. by a majority of Saudi Arabians, including the Twin Towers, was blamed on al-Qaeda, and the U.S. attacked Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban and kill Osama bin Laden although Bush made little effort to catch the man blamed for the 9/11 attack. The Taliban retreated into rural Afghanistan, and George W. Bush soon declared “Mission Accomplished,” continuing the 20-year-old war in a nation with corrupt, incompetent leadership. Bin Laden and other Taliban leaders settled in Pakistan, and the U.S. refused an unconditional surrender in December 2001. Instead Bush moved toward nation-building in Afghanistan, complete with waste, fraud, and confusion. The Taliban regrouped, and the U.S. ignored Afghan traditions by centralizing the government. U.S. resources then poured into Iraq for a war based on U.S. government lies about “weapons of mass destruction.”

Despite the Osama bin Laden’s killing in 2011 and a timeline to withdraw troops in 2014, Afghan relationships with the U.S. continued to deteriorate especially after U.S. troops maltreatment of Afghans, for example, filming of U.S. Marines urinating on dead Afghans and accusations of Qurans burned at a military base. The Taliban ceased talks after a soldier allegedly shot and killed 17 Afghans, mostly women and children.

An RNC statement from its 2020 campaign, now removed, accused Biden of “a history for pushing for endless wars” and praised DDT for leading historic “peace talks” with the Taliban. DDT’s withdrawal plan, “the best path” for the U.S. was a Fox News commentary on the RNC press release that disappeared. No praise, however, for Biden’s withdrawal which followed DDT’s plan.

A month ago, former Secretary of State and presidential wannabe Mike Pompeo announced he wanted to “applaud” the withdrawal, stating, “I want the Afghans to take up the fight for themselves.” Pompeo took a personal role in DDT’s Taliban deal, directly talking twice with Abdul Ghani Baradar, Taliban cofounder and Afghanistan’s new de facto leader. Baradar, co-Taliban co-founder in the mid-1990s, was captured in 2010 but released in 2018 at DDT’s request, despite he Afghan’s opposition, so Baradar could lead DDT’s peace agreement, essential the U.S. surrender to the Taliban. In 2020, Baradar was the first Taliban leader to speak directly with a U.S. president when he talked with DDT on the phone after signing the initial agreement.

Pompeo, who tweeted this photo of himself with Baradar, now calls the withdrawal “weak American leadership”; President Joe Biden was essential following DDT’s and Pompeo’s pattern for pulling out of Afghanistan. On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace had hard questions for Pompeo, including whether he regretted “pressing the Afghan government to release 5,000 prisoners, which they did, some of whom are now back on the battlefield fighting with the Taliban.” Pompeo claims Biden should “crush those Taliban” after signing a deal with them. Asked about DDT’s administration “giving the Taliban legitimacy,” the former deal-maker attacked “corrupt” Afghan leaders who only wanted money and claimed he and DDT “never trusted the Taliban.” Now Pompeo calls the Taliban “butchers.”

Republicans cheered George W. Bush’s Afghanistan war and endorsed withdrawal during DDT’s term. In cognitive dissonance, the GOP now condemns Biden, blames his administration for Afghan conditions, supports DDT’s position, and avoids a position on the war.

Biden announced the U.S. military would be withdrawing from Afghanistan five weeks ago; today the Taliban took over the country’s capital, Kabul, after taking over almost every major city in Afghanistan. President Ashraf Ghani fled to Tajikistan. The U.S. increased the number of service members from 2,500 to over 5,000 in an effort to evacuate U.S. citizens and Afghan allies. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen blocked the Taliban from accessing Afghan’s billions of dollars in U.S. bank accounts.

In Afghanistan, 2,448 U.S. military members and personnel have been killed and another 20,722 wounded out of than 775,000 deployed military members. Evaluation of the mission’s cost varies between $1 trillion and $4 trillion with multiple trillions of dollars in the companion war in Iraq. By July 2021, 73 percent of people in the U.S. supported withdrawal. The U.S. began withdrawal, and the Afghan military disappeared, leaving the country to the Taliban.

An Afghanistan veteran, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), opposed the withdrawal but tweeted:

“Do not let my party preten[d] to be outraged by this. Both the [Republicans] and [Democrats] failed here. Time for Americans to put their country over their party.”

Rep. Lauren Boebert, GOP QAnon believer from Colorado’s Grand Junction area, tweeted, “The Taliban are the only people building back better.” Tucker Carlson accused the Taliban takeover of its reaction to U.S. “radical gender politics.”  In part of his rant, Carlson complained:   

“Thanks to American-imposed gender quotas, dozens of women ultimately were installed as representatives in Afghan’s parliament. [T]he whole thing was a sham, as always.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) suggested Biden is “paying the Taliban … with weapons, vehicles, Blackhawk helicopters because the Afghan army is handing them over as fast as possible.” She’s right about the Afghans turning over these weapons to the Taliban, but not about that being Biden’s intention. Told that the Afghan was not protecting the country, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), with no evidence, said, “What a bunch of crap!”

While Republicans damn Democrats for not saving Afghan refugees, they bitterly oppose any refugees being brought to the U.S., claiming that the Democrats only want the votes of these “criminals.”

U.S. allies don’t agree with the GOP’s smearing Biden to score points for the next election. The UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace said DDT’s “rushed” deal with the Taliban omitting any involvement from the Afghan government or the international community set up the disaster. Wallace said, “The die was cast when the deal was done by Donald Trump.” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg blames Afghan leaders for the government’s collapse because of the refusal to stand up to the Taliban. He follows Biden’s assessment that “what [the U.S.] could not provide [the Afghan forces] was the will to fight for their future.” About 800 NATO civilian personnel are still in Afghanistan for air traffic control and provision of fuel and communication.

Most pundits prefer to write about “who lost Afghanistan,” but Katrina vanden Heuvel addresses how the U.S. got into the seemingly never-ending war. After a few months of defeating al-Qaeda and finding Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush shifted his focus to nation-building to build his importance. Never mind the ignorance of people attempting this effort. Corruption included incompetence, lack of motivation, theft, and drug trade from both U.S. and Afghan military leaders. Every year, inspector generals reported the “war” as a failure. Commanders exaggerated the positive numbers and erased bad ones. Craig Whitlock reported on “explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public” and the distortion of statistics “to make it appear the United States was winning the war when that was not the case.”

Afghans took bribes to move to the Taliban as soon as the U.S. left gone. After DDT’s deal with the Taliban, Taliban leaders offered money for U.S.-provided weapons and a future of surrenders.  Susannah George writes about the steps leading up to Taliban fighters walking into Kabul, the capital, with no resistance.

Despite the trillions of dollars lost by taxpayers and the ever-ending pain of anyone involved in Afghanistan, stockholders greatly benefited from the 20-year failure. An investment of $10,000 in stock with the U.S. top five defense contractors on September 18, 2001, if consistently reinvested, would now be worth $97,295. These stocks outperformed the stock marked by 58 percent during the past two decades. These contractors are Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics. All but Boeing got their money from the U.S. government. 

George W. Bush, who gave the Taliban over $5 million in May 2021, started the 20-year war, and supported torture, gets to view the events in Afghanistan “with deep sadness” and wish Biden, who got stuck with the buck, would move more quickly to evacuate people. DDT, who bragged in June about setting the withdrawal, now calls on Biden to “resign in disgrace.” And Afghanistan diverts the media from climate warming, voting suppression, COVID, and other disasters directly affecting the United States.

August 1, 2021

Arizona ‘Fraudit,’ More DDT Disasters

Almost 100 days after Cyber Ninjas, controlled by conspiracy theorist Doug Logan, began a huge fiasco to prove Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) won Arizona in the 2020 presidential election by counting the gallots again, the debacle has almost completely fallen apart. Recent developments:

Republicans in the state Senate returned almost 2.1 million ballots, possibly damaged after experimental treatment by novices.

Former Secretary of State Ken Bennett unquit after he resigned his position as liaison between the ballot count and GOP senators; he reported Ninjas hid their results from him and perhaps falsified data through manipulation. Bennett had been banned from the vote-counting facility because he gave information to an outside group of professional election auditors about the discrepancy of the amateur count and the public records.

Logan has never provided the promised reports of the Ninjas’ work.

GOP Senate President Karen Fann and Judiciary Committee Chair Warren Petersen authorized new subpoenas for more data from Maricopa County and administrator-level access to the voting machines from Dominion Voting Systems. Dominion stated it will not cooperate with companies not authorized by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and Maricopa County already must pay $3.5 million for new voting machines because of the Ninjas’ damage.

Twitter permanently suspended the account @ArizonaAudit as well as seven other pro-audit accounts promoting DDT’s election lies for violating its rules on platform manipulation and spam.

AZ Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita became the third GOP state senator to criticize the ballot count, accusing Fann of a “total lack of competence” in managing the project when she delegated everything to private contractors and hid the process from the public and legislative members.

Cyber Ninjas received $5.7m in donations from DDT’s supporters believing in the lie of the “stolen election,” including $3.25m from Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock, who said the 2020 election was “rigged.” Other donations were almost $1 million from QAnon Michael Flynn’s America’s Future, $605,000 from One America News Network Christina Bobb’s Voices and Votes, and $550,000 from DDT’s lawyer Sidney Powell’s Defending the Public. Only $150,000 came from Arizona taxpayers. Byrne also funded a documentary, The Deep Rig, spreading lies about election fraud; Logan had a major part in the movie. Flynn said the election could cause a military coup in the U.S. as it recenty did in Myanmar, and Powell faces possible disbarment for her lies in lawsuits for DDT’s “stolen election” myth.

Apologia Church in Phoenix, which defied any lockdowns last year, provided food for counters.

The GOP Senate removed election responsibilities from the Secretary of State, and a number of people are running for the position in 2022. One of them, state GOP Rep. Mark Finchem, was found to lie about his presence at the January 6 insurrection in Washington, D.C. at the Capitol. He not only posted a photograph of rioters wearing his black hat on social media but also praised the insurrectionists. Finchem’s campaign slogan is “Prove It,” claiming he wants proof of no fraud in the election despite no one can prove any fraud. Apparently, the photos of him “prove it” about the claim that he lied about his whereabouts on January 6.

The DOJ released two documents to guide elections to ensure election records are appropriately kept and maintained in accordance with civil rights law and the audit process is not intended to intimidate voters. The latter came after Arizona intended to call voters to go into homes asking voters how they cast their ballots. Earlier, politicians said they had dropped this activity, but people still followed through this illegal act in a few counties. The DOJ said it “will act” if these audits have the “purpose nor the effect of dissuading qualified citizens from participating in the electoral process.” The second guidance stated that the change back to earlier voting procedures from pandemic voting methods of mail and early in-person voting will not automatically be lawful. At least 18 states have passed or considered new laws to put barriers to voting, primarily for minorities and low-income people.

DDT raised $100 million by saying the money would go to ballot reviews on behalf of the “stolen election” movement. He uses the funds for his travel, legal costs, and staff as well as saving for a possible presidential run in 2024.

While the Arizona ballot count falls apart, DDT faces more problems:

The DOJ permitted six years of his tax returns to be released to the House Ways and Means Committee because federal law gives congressional tax-related committees a “broad right” toi obtain taxpayer information from the Treasury Department. Committees are denied this disclosure “only in exceptional circumstances.” A year ago, the Supreme Court directed DDT’s tax returns and other financial records to be turned over to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

“Leave the rest to me,” said DDT when he directed the DOJ to declare the 2020 presidential election corrupt with no evidence of widespread fraud and overturn Joe Biden’s win for president. DDT’s onslaught on the DOJ began with a telephone call on December 27. Congress now has documentation of the telephone call perhaps leading to the attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. DDT’s lies led GOP congressional members to follow his lead, especially after he told DOJ he could get his “allies” to back his claims if the DOJ signed off on his mission. Named allies included Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). As Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) pointed out, the notes prove DDT told the DOJ “to overturn a free and fair election in the final days of his presidency.” Bipartisan courts, election officials, and investigations have rejected any evidence of fraud, but Republicans, including  at least 147 House Republicans voting against the election certification, still push the conspiracy theory.

This call was only one of the almost daily ones from DDT to Acting AG Jeffrey Rosen at the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 to deliver his lies about voter fraud and improper vote counts. Notes by Richard Donoghue, former deputy AG, include those for meetings with DDT’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, and White House deputy counsel Patrick Philbin who pushed “Italygate,” a conspiracy theory that people in Italy remotely tampered with U.S. voting machines with military technology.

The DOJ will not invoke executive privilege for questions about contacts with DDT asking for investigations, support of voting manipulation, and other roadblocks to Biden’s election. In that way, anyone can testify about their communications with DDT. Calls from DDT and Meadows started after former AG Bill Barr left his position and ended after the January 6 insurrection. Without satisfaction from Rosen, DDT considered replacing him with a DOJ senior lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, because he was more supportive of DDT’s voter fraud lies.

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a conspiracy theorist, failed to persuade three counties to hand over voting machines and other election materials. They cited no proof of fraud and their unwillingness to pay tens of millions of dollars for voting machine damage. Philadelphia said the cost could be over $35 million and over a year to implement the process. Mastriano threatened to issue subpoenas if counties won’t give him what he wants, but he needs support from other Republicans and isn’t on the committee to have jurisdiction over voting issues.

DDT has lost his first candidate endorsement for far-right supporters after former Rep Ron Wright’s (R-TX) widow lost her run to replace him. Wright died of COVID in February. She was ahead by 17 points in May before DDT’s endorsement but behind by 15 points afterwards. GOP opponent Jake Ellzey beat her with over 53 percent of the vote. DDT’s next endorsement runs on Tuesday in an Ohio primary.

DDT’s friend Tom Barrack, senior adviser for DDT’s 2016 campaign and chair of his inaugural committee, got out of jail by posting a $250 million bail bond after he was arrested for working as an unregistered agent for the United Arab Emirates and advising DDT to benefit the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Lying to the FBI, Barrack has been charged with seven counts heavily documented with thousands of records showing he provided UAE officials with sensitive classified information, including information about the Qatari blockade, and helped Saudi Arabia’s senior leaders.

Barrack followed other DDT’s criminal friends—chair of DDT’s 2016 campaign Paul Manafort for banking and tax fraud; deputy campaign manager Rick Gates for bank fraud, money laundering, etc.; campaign CEO and DDT’s special counsel Steve Bannon for criminal conspiracies to commit wire fraud and money laundering; DDT’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen for tax fraud, bank fraud, campaign finance violations, etc.; DDT’s friend Roger Stone on seven counts of witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and lying to Congress; Michael Flynn for twice lying to FBI investigators; and others for various crimes. DDT’s close associates followed the pattern of dozens near President Richard Nixon who were sent to jail and dozens more in President Ronald Reagan’s administration who were indicted and sometimes convicted. In all three administrations, criminal charges largely focused on abuses of power for political ends.

Remember when DDT said he’d pick only the “best people”?

June 29, 2021

The Barr Show Dominates Media 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Six months later, he said:

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

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

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

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

Barr: “Because it’s true.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harry Litman wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

June 15, 2021

DDT Pushes to Steal the Election

During the administration of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), revelations came out via leaks; now a flood is being legally released. He spied on journalists, congressional members and their associates—even his own White House Counsel, Don McGahn. DDT’s official policy of cruelty toward migrants at the southern border included stealing children from their parents instead of deporting the family together. DDT told the Army National Guard to protect his followers on January 6 while they gathered to attack the Capitol. DDT’s Commerce Department spied on employees and others who opposed Census changes to undercount people of color. DDT’s campaign manager Paul Manafort gave information to a known Russian spy, and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani tried to intimidate Ukrainian government officials into smearing Joe Biden while he ran for president.

Throughout his term, DDT obviously used the Department of Justice, a supposedly independent agency to protect the nation, for his personal business. Recently released documents show how his chief of staff Mark Meadows pressured the DOJ into changing the election so that DDT could stay in the White House, going so far as to demand an investigation of conspiracy theories about Italy changing votes for DDT to Joe Biden through satellites. Democrats in the House Oversight Committee have now added to the lore of DDT’s work to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

On December 14, 2020, when each state’s electors submitted the official voting results for the Electoral College, his assistant emailed then-Deputy AG Jeffrey Rosen explaining why Michigan’s votes should not be recognized by the Electoral College because of voter fraud. DOJ official Richard Donoghue emailed the document to Michigan’s AGs, and DDT’s personally-chosen AG Bill Barr announced his retirement. DDT replaced him with Rosen, and Donoghue took Rosen’s place.  

As lawsuits to overturn the election continued, DDT’s assistant emailed a draft of a legal brief for the Supreme Court to Rosen, Donoghue, and Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall to redo the presidential election in six states that DDT lost to Biden. The pressure on the DOJ continued as did the “Big Lie” that Joe Biden was not the legitimate winner of the election. Rosen and Donoghue called the far-fetched claims “Pure insanity.”

DDT’s followers attacked the Capitol on January 6 to stop the Electoral College voting, and 147 congressional Republicans voted to overturn the election. Twenty-one House Republicans who voted against honoring first responders at the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol objected to calling it an insurrection, falsely claiming the insurrectionists walked through the building in an “orderly fashion.” On the same day, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified the event was “an affront to the rule of law.” Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) voted against the bill awarding Congressional Gold Medals because it honored Capitol Police Officer Williams Evens, killed in April by a knife-wielding attacker ramming a security barricade with his car at the Capitol.

DDT has fanatically followed the latest GOP attempt to steal the election in Arizona, and a shabby building in Phoenix has become the mecca of political conservatives from throughout the nation—Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin thus far. An Arizona newspaper listed all the politicians who use their trip as part of their next campaign. For example, former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is running for the U.S. Senate. He was forced to resign his former position after allegedly blackmailing a woman with whom he was having an affair by releasing nude photographs that he took after tying her up and blindfolding her.

As Arizona temperatures rise to 120 degrees, politicians head to a crumbling structure where volunteers try to count ballots as proof of their conspiracy theory that Maricopa County’s election was rigged. The conspiracy-ridden GOP state senators hired an inexperienced conspiracy-ridden company to lead the “fraudit.” Glowing false praise about the process’s security came from “audit team” leader Randy Pullen, who failed to win his election last fall. The next planned process will recount ballots for his desired position.  

Politician expenses are being covered by the fundraising group led by One America News network host Christina Bobb, who earlier worked for DDT’s administration. OAN is also filming the “fraudit” and raising more money for the process. The fiasco costs several million dollars, most paid by dark money donations, because the state Senate allotted only $150,000 for the fake “count” and “forensic audit,” searching for bamboo in the ballot paper and other QAnon conspiracies. Maricopa County will be on the hook for over $6 million because damaged voting machines must be replaced.

Bobb lost her temper with Jen Fifield, an Arizona Republic reporter, and swore at her for asking a question. At a press gaggle, Fifeld asked DDT-supporter Vernon Jones if he would support a Democrat-led and fundraised audit. Afterwards, Fifield asked Bobb why she stayed silent. “Go talk to your peers who do this to me every f**king day. I don’t care,” Bobb snapped. In addition to raising funds for the process, Bobb has passed information to the GOP Senate president, Karen Fann, to increase the GOP work undermining Maricopa County’s election results.

Former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett was assigned to be the Senate liaison, but flaws in the process bother even this Republican. He thinks another audit, this one digital, should be used to compare results of the two “fraudits.” Toward that end, he is trying to hire another company, California’s Citizens Oversight, also with no experience in audits. CEO Doug Logan of Cyber Ninjas, the company orchestrating the first “fraudit,” has secretly criticized Bennett for the digital count, maybe because he recognizes the shortcomings of his work. Bennett said, “It’s not what evidence is presented to most people, it’s who it is presented to them by.”

After the DOJ warned the Arizona Senate against its plans to canvass voters’ homes as part of its “fraudit,” people falsely claiming to represent the county recorder’s office are knocking on doors in Yavapai County and asking how the inhabitants voted in the last election. Backers of the Senate’s audit have organized their own door-knocking. Yavapai County, population 211,000, is northwest of Maricopa County.

All the demands for “election integrity” are coming from conservatives. The definition for this “integrity” is support for the “big lie” that DDT won the election, despite Republicans as well as Democrats praising the security and accuracy of the 2020 presidential election.

The constitutionality of two Arizona laws blocking voters awaits a decision from the Supreme Court in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee. Anyone other than family member, caregiver, or postal worker collecting and delivering ballots commits a felony, and ballots will be rejected if they aren’t cast in the precinct where a voter lives. The lawsuit deals with discrimination against minority voters. In Arizona, almost 80 percent of voters used mail for casting ballots, but mail service can be sketchy in rural areas where many Latinx and Native Americans live. Only 18 percent of Native Americans in the state have access to home mail delivery. With an area bigger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined, the Tohono O’odham reservation has no home delivery and only one post office.

After Arizona’s district court and two different three-judge panels of the 9th Circuit Court ruled for the state, the full 9th Circuit Court reversed those decisions in favor of the voters. It wrote minority were more likely than non-minorities to rely on others to return their ballots. In addition, the mailing law isn’t necessary for election integrity because third-party ballot collection has not resulted in vote fraud. The court also wrote that Arizona officials frequently change polling places in urban counties with large minority populations leading to voter confusion. In 2018, two-thirds of the 3,709 out-of-precinct Arizona rejected ballots were from minority voters. Nationally, 26 states invalidated 140,000 provisional ballots as out-of-precinct in the 2018 midterm elections. In 2013, John Roberts’ Supreme Court overturned Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requiring federal approval before states with a history of discrimination, Arizona being one of them, could enact new voting laws.

AG Merrick Garland said the GOP-backed ballot reviews are “based on disinformation” and has doubled the number of staff dealing with voting rights enforcement by hiring another 300 people for the DOJ. 

According to Republican Tim Miller, QAnon activists describe the “fraudit” as the first step in “The Great Awakening,” and Arizona’s GOP chair, Kelli Ward, threatens “arrests” of anyone not complying with the audit. Bobb and Steve Bannon are leading the publicity for he debacle, and an Arizona woman quit her job as a real estate agent to detail the event on Facebook and YouTube. Both sides are predicting the fraudulent Cyber Ninjas will call Maricopa County—and Arizona—for DDT, and violence will break out—again.

According to Bennett, the ballot counting has finished all “regular” ballots, leaving only boxes with Braille, large-type, overseas military, and duplicated ballots. The fiasco, lasting almost two months, moves on, perhaps best illustrated by the lightning strike on the Washington Monument. This view is through the pillars at the Jefferson Monument. 

April 3, 2021

DDT’s Future: Defending Himself in Court

As Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) remains ensconced at Mar-a-Lago permitting favored ones into his presence, his advisers grow increasingly concerned about the immense buildup of legal investigations and filings. Yet loyalists must tell him he will probably remain safe from lawsuits emanating from his incitement of violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Last week, two Capitol Police officers injured on January 6 while engaged in hand-to-hand combat are suing DDT for inciting his supporters who mobbed the Capitol to stop the Electoral College election of President Joe Biden. Officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby assert DDT has the direct responsibility for the insurrection because of his call to riot. Blassingame describes how rioters slammed him into a stone column while shouting racial slurs. Hemby, who was also sprayed with a chemical spray, said his hand and knee injuries still require medical care two months later. Both men suffer emotional trauma. DDT has tried to rework stories of January 6 by calling it a peaceful assembly with “zero threat.”

After breaking free of the crowd, Blassingame helped House members evacuate to a committee room and stayed among the maskless people until 7:30 pm. Hemby couldn’t get medical assistance until 9:00 pm. Part of the lawsuit uses speeches by GOP congressional members such as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-CA) who stated DDT could be legally liable for inciting the riot.  

Their suit follows ones by Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA). Another political case against DDT filed in late December accuses DDT and the Republican National Committee of conspiring to violate the rights of Black voters. The case asks the judge to not only stop them from any further actions to overturn or undermine the 2020 election but also issue an order forcing them to obtain court approval for demands of recounts or participation in future “post-election activities.” In January 2018, a federal judge in New Jersey lifted the 1982 court-monitored settlement banning the RNC from “ballot security” activities based on the “racial or ethnic composition” of a specific community. In that agreement, the RNC agreed it had tried to intimidate, threaten, and disenfranchise voters through voter roll purges and by paying police officers to patrol polling sites in predominantly Black and Latino areas under the pretense of preventing election fraud.

This lawsuit expands a November case that the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) filed in federal court in Washington, DC, against DDT and his campaign for deliberately focusing fraud accusations on cities with large Black populations, including Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia. These claims were brought under the federal Voting Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan Act.

The Fulton County (GA) DA, Fani Willis, is pursuing an investigation into DDT’s election fraud through his telephone calls begging officials, including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, to cheat on counting votes from the 2020 general election in DDT’s favor. Willis is putting together an investigative team, and two grand juries are underway, close to making subpoena demands for documents and recordings. She’s searching for three more lawyers and another investigator.

DDT’s Supreme Court justices, who were appointed to return him to the White House, have rejected the last of three cases to challenge his election loss, the one about absentee ballots in Wisconsin. The other two were about Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Another rejected case asking justices to block the January 5 Senate runoff elections in Georgia was filed by DDT’s loyalist Lin Wood. Democrats won both these elections bringing their total to 50 members.

Wisconsin’s Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is going to court for over $250,000 from DDT that the state paid to defend the popular vote against his attempt to overturn the vote so he could return to the White House. The request for an order states DDT and his attorneys brought their two lawsuits “in bad faith.”

A New York appeals court is permitting a defamation lawsuit by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos against DDT because he is no longer in the White House. DDT denied her allegations about sexually assaulting her in 2007, and Zervos wants to depose DDT as part of her lawsuit. She is one of two women suing him for defamation. 

Three cases against DDT are being prosecuted by Roberta Kaplan, well-known for the Supreme Court case U.S. v. Windsor regarding legalized marriage equality. Kaplan is filing civil suits for defamation, fraud, and more fraud against DDT by his niece Mary Trump and writer E. Jean Carroll. DDT had claimed Carroll was lying about his raping her, and Trump’s case is about DDT and two of his siblings depriving her of an inheritance worth millions by lying about the worth of his father’s estate. Kaplan’s third case concerns the relationship of DDT and his three oldest children with a purported pyramid scheme by ACN.

DDT’s biggest problem may come from the New York criminal probe into his business affairs. Prosecutors are examining millions of pages recently acquired in a search for witnesses who can explain these to a jury. The next step is issuing subpoenas regarding the investigation into DDT’s reduction of his tax liabilities by lying about property values. Financial records about DDT’s Chicago skyscraper and his Seven Springs estate in Westchester County (NY) have been subpoenaed. In addition to possible criminal charges filed by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., New York Attorney General Letitia James may file civil charges.

A judge has voided DDT’s non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with Jessica Denson, his former Latinx outreach director, ruling it too vague and broad to enforce under New York’s contract law. Although the decision applies only to Denson’s NDA, the same ruling may be possible for all DDT’s NDAs. The judge described the scope of the NDA as “unlimited,” that “campaign employees are not free to speak about anything concerning the Campaign.” The broadness makes the NDA “not reasonable.” Earlier, a campaign arbitrator issued a $50,000 award against Denson for violating the NDA, but it was overturned. Denson believes the NDAs blocked criticism about DDT for the past six years. 

DDT typically required the same secrecy of his companies’ employees and staff before he followed the same practice in his campaign and the White House. First Amendment experts warned him public employees could not constitutionally be forced to swear an oath of secrecy. Last year, DDT’s DOJ used an NDA to file a lawsuit against Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former volunteer adviser to first lady Melania Trump, over Winston Wolkoff’s tell-all book. The suit was dropped days after Biden’s inauguration.

While in the White House, DDT and his top officials indulged themselves in shady deals now coming into the light. They fought key oversight investigations conducted by government watchdogs in at least nine different cases. A high profile one concluded Elaine Chao, wife of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), abused her position as Transportation Secretary for personal reasons such as helping a family business. In another one, a White House physician, retired Navy rear admiral Ronny Jackson who raved about DDT’s superb health, abused substances while on the job and created a toxic work environment for his staff. 

The revelations can have no consequences because Chao resigned her position after the Electoral College determined Biden as president. Jackson has been elected as a U.S. representative from Texas.

Investigators described almost impossible obstructions: DDT’s attorneys made internal communications off limits because of their confidential nature and demanded to be present at witness interviews. Information was released either extremely slowly or not at all, preventing the ability to assess and correct internal problems in real time. DDT’s ultimate solution to investigations was to fire internal investigators.

Future releases of investigations may be the White House blocking delivery of Puerto Rico’s financial aid after Hurricane Maria and the Commerce Department’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the U.S. census. The Pentagon is also looking into the $400 million border-wall contract DT wanted to award to a subpar North Dakota construction company. The General Services Administration inspector general is conducting a sweeping review of responses to the coronavirus from several different federal agencies. 

Congress will now have the ability to examine records from DDT’s term, blocked from them during the past four years. The Presidential Records Act (PRA) allows former presidents to restrict access to their records for 12 years, but an exception permits release of records to Congress or “any committee or subcommittee thereof if such records contain information that is needed for the conduct of its business and that is not otherwise available.” These can include DDT’s blackmail in Ukraine, Michael Flynn’s lies to the FBI, the January 6 attempted insurrection, White House visitor logs, DDT’s phone logs, and other abuses of power. In the past, Democrats could not get records from the archives, which released them only to the majority party. Democrats now are the majority although they may suffer some delays. DDT can cite privilege, but Biden must uphold his claims. In filing lawsuits, DDT no longer has the support of the Department of Justice and must fund the lawsuits himself with personal lawsuits.

The import of the business lawsuits is beginning to sink into Eric Trump’s perception as shown by his meltdown on the Fox network. He was close to tears when he talked about what his family was facing.

Defending himself from defamation, fraud, and corruption. That is the future of the man who spent the last four years ruling from the White House and now hides in Florida.

January 5, 2021

Georgia Goes to the Polls

Georgia’s runoff election on January 5 will determine the extent of gridlock in the U.S. government for the next two years. If at least one of the two GOP incumbents, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, wins, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will block every action from the House and President Joe Biden. If both Raphael Warnock, a Black pastor involved in social and political activism, and Jon Ossoff, who almost won a special congressional GOP-leaning district in 2017, win, the people of the United States will benefit.

Corruption – the GOP:

The runoff is a gold mine for GOP campaigns. Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is collecting money supposedly for the GOP candidates but gives them nothing. Other politicians duplicate the scam although some of them keep only half the take: Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Mike Lee (R-UT) along with Reps. Cathy McMorris Roberts (R-WA), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), and Madison Cawthorn (R-NC).

Republicans aren’t comfortable voting in this election because conspiracy theorists such as attorney Lin Wood and convicted Michael Flynn told them to boycott the election because it’s rigged. DDT briefly supported the GOP candidates at Monday’s rally before he launched into a long rant about election fraud.

Corruption – the Candidates:

Barack Obama said:

“Every single voter in Georgia should know that both of their Senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, profited to the tune of $20 million as a result of their insider trading stemming from classified briefings they received on the coronavirus in January. For months Perdue and Loeffler questioned if the virus was real, obstructed relief for small businesses and unemployed Georgians, and pressured the Supreme Court to strike down protections for Georgians living with pre-existing conditions during a historic pandemic. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, they made off like bandits as their own constituents died.”

Corruption – Kelly Loeffler:

  • Made last-minute “irregular” contributions reports without employment information for hundreds of donors and misleading information about employers or their positions, including lobbyists and executives with corporate or personal ties to herself.
  • Donated $67,200 to herself in 24 donations of exactly $2,800, possibly fencing these for donors who already gave the maximum allowable amount.  
  • Sits on the Senate committee with direct oversight over the top global financial firm, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), founded by her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, who owns the New York Stock Exchange and where Loeffler worked for over a decade.
  • Owns between $5 million and $25 million in ICE stock.
  • Helped ease regulations to benefit Bakkt, a new market for trading Bitcoin in which she once owned $15.6 million, and another two subsidiaries in which she holds large investments.
  • Failed to identify donors from the Asplundh family, owners of the multibillion-dollar infrastructure clearing company, which one of Loeffler’s committees oversees.
  • Received donations from CEO and CFO of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s former company XPO Logistics which plans to go public to trade on the NYSE owned by her husband.
  • Made 27 trades between $1.2 million and $3.1 million to dump stocks likely to lose money from the developing disaster after a classified briefing about the upcoming pandemic while saying COVID-19 will be no problem.
  • Cost Georgians an additional $18 million in heating and gas bills between 2006 and 2007 by helping a firm acquire natural gas stock in highly speculative unregulated energy trading.
  • Illegally solicited campaign donations on Fox network while standing inside the U.S. Capitol.
  • Claimed on annual reports she used her private jet to “save taxpayer money” but takes taxpayer-funded commercial flights to and from her home, at first-class cost.
  • Repeatedly poses with white supremacists and other members of extremist groups for photo shots and claims she doesn’t know who they are.
  • Interviewed by neo-Nazi collaborator at One American News network to attack the Black Lives Matter political organization.
  • Celebrated endorsement from racist QAnon Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA.

In last weekend’s campaign, Loeffler went over the edge in lying and racism. She accused her opponent, Raphael Warnock, of being involved in child and domestic abuse, hiding, and accepting a donation from Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer. Warnock had insisted a juvenile at a church camp have representation before being questioned by law enforcement about alleged child abuse. Neither Warnock nor the juvenile was a suspect, and all charges were dropped because of “miscommunication.” The donor, David Boies, is a member of a law firm defending people on the right and left; the firm donated to a PAC supporting both Warnock and Ossoff for U.S. Senate.

Corruption – David Perdue:

  • Sued for wage theft and discrimination while losing $150 million in two years as CEO of Dollar General before leaving with a $42 million bonus
  • Purchased shares in a company selling body bags while saying that COVID-19 is no problem.
  • Sold his Washington, D.C. home off-market to an official in an industry regulated by the Senate Banking Committee on which he sits.
  • Promoted government contracts for FireEye, a cybersecurity firm, while owning shares in the company.
  • Made 2,596 trades since joining the Senate. (Martha Stewart went to prison over one trade.)
  • Couldn’t face Jon Ossoff in any more debates after Ossoff asked him about these accusations.
  • Built his career by moving businesses and jobs offshore, particularly to Asian low-wage factories, resulting in loss of jobs in Southern mill towns.
  • Takes credit for other people’s accomplishments.
  • Panders to racists; i.e., repeatedly and deliberately mispronouncing VP Kamala Harris’ first name in a rally and elongating the nose of Jon Ossoff, who is Jewish, in ad photos.
  • Bought stock in company supplying nuclear components for Navy submarines a month before he became chair of the seapower subcommittee and added a multibillion-dollar nuclear submarine to the nation’s defenses.
  • Bought stock in Regions Financial before co-sponsoring a bill to loosen regulations for banks like Regions.
  • Ordered the sale of $1 million in Cardlytics after lying about his trades being made by an independent adviser.
  • Supported Loeffler by pushing Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin into a regulation giving a tax break benefiting Loeffler as co-owner of Atlanta’s WNBA team.

Religious Attacks:

Loeffler’s real religion is stock trading, but she attacked the Rev. Raphael Warnock’s religious beliefs and sermons as “radically liberal.” Like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Warnock preaches the liberation of the oppressed and the Christian moral responsibility to oppose racism and other societal sins. Ten days before Warnock entered the race, Loeffler gave a speech in his church where she said, “Dr. King’s call to service, to sacrifice, to put others first—it shaped our home and inspired us to ask what Dr. King asked the world: ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Voter Suppression:

The far-right conservative Texas group, True the Vote, illegally joined Georgia’s GOP to challenge the eligibility of 360,000 voters across the entire state, starting on the first day of Georgia’s early voting. State law allows individual voters to challenge another voter’s eligibility, a law True the Vote uses. Some counties ruled against the practice, but Muscogee County, home to the state’s second largest city, allowed the complaints, requiring a large number of provisional ballots requiring proof of eligibility to have the ballots counted. 

The GOP filed a lawsuit blocking newly registered voters in Georgia from voting if they moved from another state where they voted for a senator and asked all ballots be separated for those who registered in Georgia between November 4 and December 7. The plaintiffs used selected language from the 1965 Voting Right Act.

Two Georgia counties closed several early voting locations in majority-Black and Latino communities. They were forced to reinstate them but not until four days before early voting ended.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger claimed Georgia had no election fraud but opened investigations into four progressive groups registering voters with the effect of disenfranchising them. He claimed they “sought to register ineligible, out-of-state, or deceased voters.”

Federal judges rejected GOP lawsuits to restrict absentee voting after hundreds of thousands of people had already voted by mail or in person. Two goals were to block the use of drop-boxes and raise the requirements for signature verifiers to accept absentee ballots.

Last week, a federal judge ordered two counties to reverse their purges of over 4,000 from the rolls before the runoff election. The voters had been removed because they appeared to match USPS change-of-address records, an unreliable source of residence changes.

Conclusion:

Surveys are uncertain about the winners, but a record 3 million people, at least 100,000 of them first-time voters, have voted before the final day on January 5. A left-learning youth group, Peaches for Progress, has joined Gen Z for change, using TikTok to encourage younger voters. Some of Ossoff’s videos have over a million views. Voters 18-29, 20 percent of the Georgia electorate in the general election, may have turned Georgia blue by voting for Biden. About 23,000 Georgians turned 18 since the general election on November 3.

Polls close at 7:00 p.m. (EST), but anyone in line by that time can vote. People may not know the results for two weeks, and Republicans will likely not accept any losses. Watch for the fallout!

October 12, 2020

GOP Gets More Bizarre

The following is from Letters from an American (October 11, 2020) by Heather Cox Richardson 

Today’s political chatter was just bizarre. The talking point on the Sunday talk shows, pushed hard by Republicans and enabled by the media, was that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden needs to explain his stance on “court-packing,” that is, adding more justices to the Supreme Court. Some Democrats have begun to talk about that outcome if the Republicans ram through Amy Coney Barrett in these last few days before the election. 

This is bizarre first of all because the Republican Party did not even bother to write a platform this year to explain any policies at all for another Trump term, and Trump has been unable to articulate any plans for the future, while the idea of “court-packing” is a future hypothetical, dependent on what today’s Republican Senate does.

It’s bizarre because Trump is egging on his followers to violence—just today he urged supporters to “FIGHT FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP.” He is so misrepresenting the reality of the coronavirus pandemic that today Twitter tagged one of his tweets as a violation of Twitter rules and Dr. Anthony Fauci publicly objected to the Trump campaign’s misrepresentation of his statements about Trump’s handling of the pandemic. The campaign quoted Fauci out of context and without his permission, but campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh dismissed Fauci’s complaint, saying that they were indeed Fauci’s words, and Trump agreed. The New York Times has also continued its coverage of Trump’s taxes, showing him to be deep in what amounts to a pay-to-play scandal, in which he has essentially turned the U.S. government over to the highest bidder, revealing himself to be the most corrupt president in U.S. history.  

And yet, today the chair of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, told Margaret Brennan on CBS’s Face The Nation that she would not talk about Trump’s financial scandals because “you have a Democrat running on the biggest power grab—the absolute biggest power grab in the history of our country and reshaping the United States of America and not answering the question. That’s all we should be talking about.” The media seems to be taking this distracting bait.

What makes this so especially bizarre is that it is Republicans, not Democrats, who have made the courts the centerpiece of their agenda and have packed them with judges who adhere to an extremist ideology. Since the Nixon administration began in 1969, Democrats have appointed just 4 Supreme Court justices, while Republicans have appointed 15. 

The drive to push the court to the right has led Republicans under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take the unprecedented step of refusing to hold a hearing for Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, the moderate Merrick Garland, on the grounds that it was wrong to appoint a Supreme Court justice during an election year. There have been 14 justices confirmed during election years in the past, but none has ever been confirmed after July before an election.

Obama nominated Garland in March 2016, but now, in October, McConnell is ramming through Trump’s nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

Americans are worried that the increasingly conservative cast to the court does not represent the country. Four, and now possibly five, of the current justices were appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote and have been confirmed by senators who represent a minority of the American people: Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate support represented just 44 percent of the country. 

So there is talk of increasing the size of the Supreme Court. This is legal. The Constitution does not specify the size of the court, and it has changed throughout our history. But the current number of justices—9—has been around for a long time. It was established in 1869. Nonetheless, in 2016, when it looked like Hillary Clinton was going to win the presidency, Republicans announced that they would not fill any Supreme Court seats during her term, and if that meant they had to reduce the size of the Supreme Court, they were willing.  

Instead, with Trump in the White House, the Republican Senate has pushed through judges at all levels as quickly as it possibly can.

This is no accident. Since Nixon, Republicans have made control of the nation’s courts central to their agenda. But while most voters tend to get distracted by the hot-button issues of abortion or gay rights, what Republican Supreme Courts have done is to consolidate the power of corporations.

In 1971, a corporate lawyer for the tobacco industry, Lewis Powell, wrote a confidential memo for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warning that corporate America needed to work harder to defend what he called “free enterprise.” Angry that activists like Ralph Nader had forced safety regulations onto automobile manufacturers and the tobacco industry, he believed that businessmen were losing their right to run their businesses however they wished. Any attack on “the enterprise system,” he wrote, was “a threat to individual freedom.” 

Powell believed that business interests needed to advance their principles “aggressively” in universities, the media, religion, politics… and the courts. “The judiciary,” he wrote, “may be the most important instrument for social, economic and political change.” He wrote that “left” institutions like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), labor unions, and civil rights activists were winning cases that hurt business. “It is time for American business—which has demonstrated the greatest capacity in all history to produce and to influence consumer decisions—to apply its great talents vigorously to the preservation of the system itself.”

The following year, Nixon appointed Powell to the Supreme Court. During his tenure in office, Nixon would appoint three more justices. Nixon’s successor, Gerald Ford, would appoint another.

Democratic President Jimmy Carter, who followed Ford, appointed none.

Under President Ronald Reagan, cementing the interests of business in the Supreme Court would become paramount. Reagan’s Attorney General, Edwin Meese, deliberately politicized the Department of Justice in an attempt, as he said, to “institutionalize the Reagan revolution so it can’t be set aside no matter what happens in future elections.” Reagan made 4 appointments to the Supreme Court.

During Reagan’s term, lawyers eager to push back on the judicial decisions of the post-WWII Supreme Court that had expanded civil rights and the rights of workers began to organize. They wanted to replace the current judges with ones who believed in “originalism” and who would thus cut regulations and expanded civil rights.

In 1982, law students at Yale, Harvard, and the University of Chicago organized the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies to advance a legal ideology that opposed what they believed was “judicial activism.” Judges who expanded rights through their interpretation of the laws were “legislating from the bench,” they believed, intruding on the rights of the legislative branch of the government.

By the time of President George W. Bush, the Federalist Society was enormously influential. Members of the society made up about half of his judicial appointments. The society also urged Bush to stop letting the American Bar Association rate judicial nominees, believing the ABA was too “liberal” and therefore rated conservative judges more harshly than others.

During the Obama administration, justices who were associated with the Federalist Society were deciding votes for the 2010 Citizens United decision permitting businesses unlimited contributions to political campaigns and the 2013 Shelby v. Holder decision gutting the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Under Trump, its power has grown even greater. Five of the 8 current members of the Supreme Court—Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh—and now Supreme Court nominee Amy Barrett, are members of the Federalist Society.

While Republicans desperately want to make the Barrett nomination about her religion, the reality is that the members of the Supreme Court who are wedded to an originalist interpretation of the document threaten far more than reproductive rights. Among other things, the court is taking up the Affordable Care Act just a week after the election.

Most Americans believe that the Barrett nomination should wait until after the election, but a key Republican constituency is demanding it. Americans for Prosperity, a pro-business group backed by billionaire Charles Koch, has launched a campaign on her behalf. It aims to mobilize voters to pressure senators who might otherwise try to avoid a confirmation at such a time. AFP also launched fights for Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. 

[Note: Recent polling about the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett (Yahoo News/YouGov): 77 percent of voters want Congress to focus on passing more COVID-19 relief for struggling workers and businesses than on confirming Barrett for the Supreme Court; 66 percent want the vote on a relief bill before voting on Barrett’s nomination.]

September 4, 2020

More DDT Failures after Convention

Filed under: Donald Trump — trp2011 @ 12:14 AM
Tags: , , ,

Despite his “reality show” convention last week, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) faces a large number of disasters. Even the convention was not successful: after the DNC convention during the previous week, DDT’s approval rating in an ABC/Ipsos poll dropped to 32 percent. His own convention lost him another one percent. Joe Biden’s favorability among Democrats rose seven points after his convention to 45 percent. Only 37 percent of the population approved of the RNC programming, compared to the 59 percent who disapproved. Sixty-two percent thought the RNC spent too much time criticizing Democrats, compared to 51 percent who said Democrats spent too much time criticizing Republicans at their convention.

Today, the Atlantic article about DDT’s calling military members “losers” and “suckers” if they are wounded, killed, or captured might have more negative opinions about him.

As DDT’s problems pile up, he grows more desperate. Yesterday, the self-proclaimed “law and order” man told North Carolinians to vote twice, once by mail and once in person. Encouraging people to vote more than once is illegal in North Carolina. The next day, DDT claimed he meant for people to check at the polls if the absentee vote had been counted. That’s not what he said, and following his latter recommendation would cause longer lines and more virus transmission.

AG Bill Barr, leader of the highest judicial agency in the U.S., said he doesn’t know if voting twice in the same election against the law in North Carolina. He did, however, repeat his evidence-free allegations about voting fraud. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) said:

“As the attorney general, you are expected not to be an idiot when it comes to basic legal principles. Federal law prohibits voting more than once in the same election. 52 U.S. Code § 10307.”

In the same interview, Barr agreed justice system cases exist in which Black people are treated differently but added, “I don’t think that’s necessarily racism.” And “If anything’s been baked in [to the system] it’s a bias toward non-discrimination.” Huh?

Despite DDT packing the courts for his personal benefit, some judges still provide justice:

A New York judge ordered DDT’s lawyers into court September 23 to explain why he and his son Eric shouldn’t respond to subpoenas in the civil investigation about the Trump Organization falsifying real estate assets for both loans and better tax benefits.

A federal judge blocked DDT’s rule, provided by anti-immigrant Stephen Miller, moving the determination of initial asylum claims from the appropriate agency of Citizens and Immigration Services to the unqualified Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents. DDT had lied about agents being “trained comparably.” In just 2019, border agents allegedly sexually and verbally abused detained children wrongfully mailed a U.S. citizen, assaulted migrants, and continued to separate families in violation of a court order.

In an 8-2 vote, the full D.C. Circuit Court ruled a federal judge can examine the DOJ decision to drop a case against Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser convicted for lying twice to the FBI under oath about seeking Russian assistance during President Obama’s second term. This ruling reverses a three-judge panel decision with two DDT-appointed judges ordering the judge to immediately close the case. DOJ’s acting solicitor general, Jeffrey B. Wall, had declared the judge had no authority to look into the administration’s motives in AG Bill Barr’s intervention. Despite statements from the two DDT-appointed judges, the court majority asserted that the judge had exhibited no “bias in connection with the underlying criminal case” and his views came from what he knew from “carrying out his judicial responsibilities.” 

The full DC appeals court may be busy hearing panel decisions. In the same court, a three-judge panel put a hold on allowing Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance from immediately getting DDT’s tax returns. Arguments are scheduled on September 25. The Supreme Court already rejected the idea DDT is above the law. Part of another New York investigation examines a $50 million loan related to DDT’s Chicago hotel and tower project he claims to owe himself. It may be part of DDT’s fraud by inflating the value of the asset for loans before deflating them for taxes. Apparently DDT pays no interest or principal on the loan, which is a type made to credit risk borrowers. The loan may be a tax dodge for a settlement for another loan in 2012.

Another three-judge panel determined White House lawyer Don Gahn does not need to obey a congressional subpoena to testify. In testimony, McGahn could tell Congress about his memo to Chief of Staff John Kelly regarding the need for downgrading Jared Kushner’s security clearance as described in Michael Schmidt’s new book, Donald Trump v. the United States. Kushner received a top-security clearance after DDT demanded he receive one.

A federal judge in Washington state temporarily blocked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from giving private schools more coronavirus funding than Congress intended. The $13.5 billion was targeted for K-12 schools in the March Cares Act, but DeVos said states wouldn’t suffer irreparable economic damage with her rule of distributing money on the basis of students in the school and not the number of poor students as required in the law. Since she was appointed, DeVos has concentrated on giving all the government funding to private schools. Unlike public schools, private schools, some with millions of dollars in endowments, were eligible for PPP funds designated for small businesses.

After almost seven years, a unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court ruled the sweep by the National Security Agency program of data on billions of telephone calls by people in U.S. illegal and possibly unconstitutional. The decision found “bulk collection” of such data violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. George W. Bush started the call-tracking program with no court authorization with a similar program approved and renewed by the FISA court. The panel also determined that U.S. intelligence officials lied about the surveillance.

Backlash is saving children from going hungry. The Department of Agriculture backed off a decision stopping a school meal program after protest educators protested. Free meals to millions of children can be picked up from any convenient school campus in the same program provided during the summer. The government had planned to make families pay for the food and get it from the school where children had attended. Of the 30 million students eating school meals, 22 million live in households qualifying for free and reduced-price meals. That number probably increased over the summer as unemployment continued to create more poverty in U.S. households.

A federal judge ordered the State Department to issue a U.S. passport to the daughter of a married gay couple. DDT’s administration argued the child, born in England, was ineligible for birthright citizenship because she was biologically related to only one of the parents. The State Department’s rule is only for same-sex couples, not heterosexual couples. Both parents, Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg, are U.S. citizens; their daughter was born to a surrogate using one father’s sperm. The argument against birthright citizenship was that she was “born out of wedlock.” The State Department is “reviewing the decision with the Department of Justice.” Oral arguments at the 9th Circuit Court for a similar case appealed by DDT’s administration is scheduled for October 7.

Once again transgender Gavin Grimm has won a court case declaring students can use bathrooms corresponding with gender identity instead of “biological gender.” Grimm began his series of rulings in 2015 while he was a Gloucester County High School (VA) student. In 2017, the case went to the Supreme Court which remanded it to a lower court after DDT rescinded the Education Department’s protections for transgender students under Title IX. A federal judge ruled in favor of Grimm a year ago, and this latest win came from the 4th Circuit Court. In June, the Supreme Court ruled Title VII of the Civil Right Act applies to sexual orientation and gender identity.

People question why DDT wants so badly to get reelected. One answer is “follow the money.” Or more specifically, “follow the prosecution.” Journalist Jason Zengerle writes about Donald Trump Jr’s concern his family face criminal prosecutions if DDT loses to Biden. Almost the entire family has become key in the GOP 2020 operation, and they know about its corruption and fraud. Just as some prognosticators view Rep. Joe Kennedy III’s loss to incumbent Sen. Ed Markey in the Massachusetts Democratic primary as the fading of a dynasty, they see the same decline in the nouveau Trump dynasty.

If the United States had done an average job of fighting the coronavirus like the rest of the world, 145,000 fewer people would have died in the country. But another 1,094 deaths in the past 24 hours—one-third of the 9/11 deaths—added to the U.S. total of 191,058—1,000 every day since the beginning of the deaths in February. The total will hit 200,000 deaths in ten days. The 44,507 new deaths in the U.S. brings that total to 6,335,244. And the man in the Oval Office does nothing except recommend “herd immunity” and less testing to cause more cases and more deaths.

 

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