Nel's New Day

October 22, 2020

GOP Claims ‘Integrity’ in Voting Suppression

Thirteen days before Election Day, courts are still changing voting rules. Tonight, the Supreme Court, in a 5-3 vote, overturned an appeals court and allowed Alabama to ban curbside voting despite the danger of COVID-19 and the need for disabled to have this procedure. The court had already refused to remove Alabama’s requirement requiring affidavits signed by a notary or two adult witnesses for absentee ballots as well as the demand these ballots include copies of photo IDs. A Black voter pointed out Blacks are again in danger of dying from voting.

In an opposite decision, the Supreme Court decided 4-4 earlier this week allowing Pennsylvania to accept ballots up to three days after Election Day if postmarked by the Election Day deadline. Four “originalist” Supreme Court justices—Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Clarence Thomas—dissented in their support of the state legislature over the state Supreme Court in following the exact language of the U.S. Constitution in their philosophy of no nuance or linguistic changes in the 233-year-old document. The dissenters followed the winning argument in Bush v. Gore to negate the decision from Florida’s Supreme Court, that the state Supreme Court, normally the final say on state law, could not take the power from the legislature. Amy Coney Barrett, queen of originalism, would most likely make the decision a majority if she had already been placed on the Supreme Court.

Pennsylvanians struggled with registering to vote or requesting absentee ballots before last Monday’s deadline. In three counties, college students were rejected from registering to vote online, and other voters received rejection notices for absentee ballots with no explanation. One student submitted an application on September 22 and received an email 20 days later it was declined—with no explanation. Electronic signatures have also been rejected. As of October 15, 372,000 applications had been denied. The state blamed counties. Election officials in Pennsylvania spend most of their time coping with telephone calls and facing the first election not demanding an excuse for absentee voting, mail delivery disruption, and the pandemic.

With almost 9 million voters, the state already approved over 2.7 million mail ballot applications as of five days ago with October 27 is the last day to request absentee ballots for the November 3 election. In an effort to create chaos and delated election results in Pennsylvania, the state GOP House refuses to permit any ballot processing or counting before 7:00 am on Election Day. States permitting mail-in voting typically open ballots and prepare them for counting. For example, Oregon, with 100 percent mail-in voting, usually announces all major election results by midnight on Election Day.

In North Carolina, the board of elections offices can contact voters about problems with absentee ballot envelopes. The state court of appeals ruled ballots postmarked by 5:00 pm on Election Day can be collected through November 12. Republicans are frantically appealing that decision to the Supreme Court.

On the other hand, the 5th Circuit Court ruled election officials can deny absentee ballots if they think the signature doesn’t match and doesn’t require the voter to be contacted for verification. Local election officials have no training in signature verification. Although voters must be notified within ten days after the election about their rejected ballots, but they can’t challenge the rejection. After several back-and-forth decisions, Texas can have only one ballot drop box per county. Harris County, home to Houston, has 4.7 million residents in about 1,800 square miles. As a comparison, my home of Lincoln County, with 47,000 residents and slightly over 1,000 square miles has 11 drop boxes. Like other conservative courts, Texas maintains the “integrity” of the election is more important than the right to vote.

Just 20 days before the election, the Iowa Supreme Court upheld a GOP law barring county elections commissioners from mailing absentee ballots to 70,000 applicants who had omitted some information such as their pin number, listed on the voter ID card, on their applications. Counties had filled in the information, but the court ruled the applications mailed to people must be blank. Applicants had to complete their absentee ballot applications before last Saturday to qualify. With delayed mail delivery, Iowans may not receive their ballot on time.

A state Court of Appeals panel in Michigan overruled a lower court and demanded voters have their absentee ballots to local clerks no later than 8:00 pm on Election Day. Third parties are also not permitted to collect absentee ballots within a three-day window before Election Day. Today, a federal appeals court blocked a decision allowing groups to offer free or reduced price rides to polling places.

After Florida pushed hard to disenfranchise felons given the right to vote by a ballot initiative, the state’s secretary of state, Laurel Lee, tried to shut down ballot drop boxes with no legal justification. Over three million Floridians have already sent in their ballots, and state law require 24-hour drop boxes at county supervisor main and branch offices as well as all early voting sites and other discretionary places. Lee sent “guidance” ordering election supervisors to maintain staffing by election officials at all times and guarantee each voter signed and sealed the ballot envelope. She also limited open discretionary drop boxes to only early voting hours. Lack of personnel would close and/or require the removal of hundreds of boxes in dozens of counties.

In federal court earlier this year, Lee admitted she has no authority over county supervisors of elections. The federal court agreed, calling supervisors “independent officials under Florida law who are not subject to the Secretary’s control.” Yet if supervisors ignore the order from Brad McVay, general counsel of the Florida Department of State, the state’s GOP-controlled government can try to throw out Joe Biden’s ballots in those counties if they don’t follow his illegal mandate, allowing federal courts to question the election results and invalidate ballots.

The restrictions on voting tend to be abusive, but Indiana has a peculiar one, upheld by the 7th Circuit Court. Despite mail slowdowns, absentee ballots must be received on Election Day—by noon. Limitations on absentee ballot was justified by the judge’s ruling “that as long as the state allows voting in person, there is no constitutional right to vote by mail.” He added, “During a pandemic a reasonable person entitled to vote by mail transmits the ballot earlier than normal or uses another approved method.”

Even voting in person has perils of voter suppression. Early voting saw long lines in many states, including Georgia which promised to fix the problem after ten-hour waits during the primary. The longest lines are found in predominantly minority areas. A Tennessee poll worker was found turning away anyone with a “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt. DDT rallies of up to hundreds of people gather around the polls and drop boxes. 

With ongoing decisions regarding voting procedures, suppression of voting, and the Oval Office encouraging intimidation at the polls, the U.S. 2020 general election needs international poll watchers. An election observer in Madagascar explains how the nation’s election is undermining its democracy.

Voter intimidation makes people afraid of exercising democratic rights. Election observers in other countries watch for guns close to the polls, but Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) asks for an “Army for Trump” to “fight” for him at the polls. Even unarmed, his “Army” will be unprepared and ready to be violent.

Voter suppression discourages and downright stops people from casting ballots. DDT admitted he kept congressional monies from the USPS to stop mailing in ballots. His actions block legal votes too late to be counted while reducing trust in the postal service and putting people’s health at risk who decide on voting in person to be counted in the 2020 election. In addition, DDT has declared the only valid ballots are those cast in person on Election Day.

Political violence, threatened by DDT’s supporters because of DDT’s encouragement, causes chaos and undermines voting confidence. Kenya’s 2007 election ended up with 1,500 deaths after political leaders promoted violence. In his first presidential debate, DDT told the armed, right-wing extremist Proud Boys to “stand by.” IP addresses in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Estonia are using the Proud Boys by sending threatening emails to Democratic voters in Florida, Alaska, and Arizona; the messages with the subject “Vote for Trump or Else” reference the recipients’ home addresses. John Ratcliffe, DDT’s fixer as head of intelligence agencies and not known for telling the truth, blames Iran.  

Incumbents spreading fake information about elections undermines election. In sub-Saharan Africa, leaflets have provided the wrong election day—like robocalls have in past U.S. elections.

In another way to undermine, and perhaps rig, the election, DDT told his supporters to try to vote twice, an illegal action. His supporters claim he’s being funny or testing the system—such as trying to pull a heist to see if anyone if watching. When DDT’s fixer AG Bill Barr was asked about the legality of voting twice, he said he didn’t know.

And rules for voting change from day to day.

In the past, a few international observers for U.S. elections commented on problems with democracy in United States elections such as long lines, dark money in donations, and gerrymandering. This year, the pandemic will block most international observers.  

No matter what, however, VOTE!!!!     If the U.S. can have an election during its Civil War, it can survive DDT.

July 26, 2020

DDT Pushes Chaos with His Militia in U.S. Cities

Not satisfied with causing unrest in Portland (OR) with his federal militia, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) moved on to create chaos in other cities. This week, protests in cities across the nation turned violent: police and protesters clashed in Seattle, Los Angeles, Richmond, Omaha, and more as law enforcement attacked people with tear gas and pepper spray. A man in Austin was shot and killed, and a Jeep in Denver injured a protester by speeding through people marching on an interstate. In Seattle, a U.S. District judge permitted pepper spray, rubber bullets, flash grenades, and blast balls, earlier banned by a city council ordinance. A “Wall of Moms” has been formed in the city, modeled after the one in Portland, to protest the arrival of DDT’s militia.

Portland is DDT’s prototype to take over U.S. cities. The following is a first-hand report from a medical doctor who has attended the Portland demonstrations since early July when DDT sent in his personal militia. A general surgeon, the protester retired as Chief Medical Officer of a Vancouver (WA) hospital and just finished his term as Chairman of the Washington Medical Commission (the state agency licensing and overseeing all doctors in the state). A community leader and intelligent, educated, informed person, he is not one to exaggerate or spread misinformation. These are his observations:

“1. The protests are confined to a two-block radius around the courthouse, and if you’re four blocks away, you can’t tell anything has been happening. There is nothing going on outside of that region, and Portland is functioning as normally as the pandemic will allow. It is not burning, nor is it out of control.

“2. The protesters are absolutely peaceful at the protests that I have been part of, and with the exception of graffiti, are completely within their constitutional rights to protest. The protests involve singing, chanting, and “white walls” to block whites who are trying to disrupt or corrupt the protests. Yes, cursing is rather commonplace. More than one-half of the protesters are white. All are protesting for Black Lives Matter, although the entrance of the federal paramilitary force has brought out a lot of people, including myself, who are incensed at the use of unregulated federal force against law abiding citizen and against the will of the state and local governments.

“3. ALL of the protesters are wearing masks to minimize transmission of CoV-2. However, as at times there are 1000 or more of us, it is hard (though not impossible) to maintain social distancing. When the federal paramilitary force is deployed, it becomes impossible.

“4. The police responds were unprovoked and brutal, but nothing like the paramilitary force. There is a court order that forbids the police to use teargas. I was not there when it was just the police.

“5. At the protests I have attended, I did not witness any unlawfulness on the part of the protesters.  Each time, the federal paramilitary personnel launched an apparently unprovoked attack. There have been no “riots.” The federal paramilitary force has no training in crowd control, has no oversight, was not invited to Portland by local leadership, does not have any form of identification, do not wear name badges, and wears military camo. They are heavily armed with flash-bang grenades, less-lethal bullets, pepper bullets, pepper spray, and tear gas. They pull goggles off of protesters and spray pepper spray into their eyes. They used a baton to beat a US Navy vet, broke his hand, and sprayed pepper spray in his eyes because he asked why they weren’t honoring their vow to protect the constitution. During the assault, he stood still and did not resist until blinded by the pepper spray when he turned around and walked away. The “line of mothers” on Sunday was gassed and shot with less-lethal bullets for chanting Black Lives Matter. At least one was pregnant. A protester holding a sign up with both hands was shot in the head with a “non-lethal” bullet and will likely have permanent brain damage. While I have not personally seen this, there are videos of people being kidnapped into unmarked vans by the federal paramilitaries as they left the protests, held for a couple of days, interrogated, then released without charges or explanation. At this time, re-read my first two points. The protests are no threat to Portland and only encompass a two-block area. They have been peaceful, with graffiti as the only illegal activity.  They are well controlled and supported by a cross section of Portlanders. There is no reason for the federal government to be involved, and the excessive force being used appears to be nothing more than a political show of force against US Citizens by the Trump administration. 

“6. About 3000 protesters showed up last night (July 21); all with masks, very well behaved. Certainly no chaos, no violence on the part of the protesters. I left at 10:30, the paramilitary attacked at 12:30. I spent an hour talking to the medics. They say they are being targeted by the paramilitary personnel.  They are often the first to be shot at and tear gassed. When they try to help an injured protester, the paramilitary personnel throw flash-bangs and tear gas at them (they carry gas masks). One of them was beaten, dragged away from the injured person they were treating and arrested. They are from OHSU as well as Portland Fire.

“7. The Elk statue was taken down by the Police to “protect” it, but the Elk statue was a favorite of the protesters because it was uncontroversial; so they got a blow-up elk and put it where the real statue used to stand. It’s sort of a rallying point.”

“This should concern, if not terrify, all of us. This is an unidentified and unaccountable federal police presence attacking American citizens who are not violating any federal laws. This is literally how the ‘secret police’ in other authoritarian regimes began. The comparison to the early stages of Nazi Germany is NOT AN EXAGGERATION anymore.”

“Silence is complacency. Please share this post. Please spread this information. Please get involved. Do not allow or condone this conduct by our federal government. I don’t care which political party you support, this is an affront to the U.S. Constitution and the founding principles of our nation.”

 Legal lawsuits regarding law enforcement brutality against protesting:

Federal judge Michael Simon barred federal officers from using force, threats, and dispersal orders against journalists and legal observers for two weeks. He wrote:

“The free press is the guardian of the public interest, and the judiciary is the guardian of the press.”

Simon’s order is similar to the one he issued against Portland police, but it allows for liability against individual federal officers or their supervisors for any “willful violation” of his order. He also disagreed with the federal argument that journalists don’t have a right to stay, observe, or document when federal agents “close” public streets. He noted:

“Federal Defendants are not the entities that ‘close’ state public streets and parks; that is a local police function.”

He also wrote a job of journalists and legal observers is to determine if “the ‘closing’ of public streets (e.g., declaring a riot) is lawfully originated and carried out.” The lawyer opposing Simon’s decision admitted federal officers have no evidence of crimes by journalists or legal observers during demonstrations. Police and federal agents cannot arrest, threaten to arrest, or use force against a person “who they know or reasonably should know” is a journalist or legal observer. Officers cannot seize their cameras, audio or videotaping equipment, or press passes unless they have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed, the order says. This restraining order against local police doesn’t expire until October 30.

Denis Vannier, senior deputy city attorney, said the city backed the restriction of federal officers because of “the disconnect between the federal defense’s legal position and really the facts on the ground.” He reminded the court Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was tear gassed in explaining the use of force by federal officers is disproportionate to the threat they face. The problems are “happening despite the city’s repeated request” for them to stay inside the courthouse and ultimately leave Portland altogether. When Simon asked about federal officers’ crowd-control training, the federal lawyer said he didn’t know about specialized training. The judge made reference to the baton-battering of the Navy veteran who didn’t threaten anyone, the assault on 26-year-old Donavan LaBella shot in the head for holding a music speaker above his head across the courthouse, and federal officers’ picking people up off the street.

U.S District Judge Michael Mosman denied a lawsuit from Oregon’s AG Ellen Rosenblum for federal agents to identify themselves when seizing protesters and stop arrests without probable cause. He also ruled Oregon lacks standing to bring a suit on behalf of protesters or others targeted by federal officers. Rosenblum is concerned Oregon may have no recourse on behalf of the state.

A county judge in Seattle ordered media outlets to turn photographs and video footage of a May 30 demonstration over to police.

DDT’s militia has been accused of war crimes and violating the Geneva Convention and the International Criminal Court statutes for destroying medical equipment during the Portland protests when they pepper sprayed medical supplies in medics’ tents. Article 19 of the 1949 Geneva Convention states:

“Fixed establishments and mobile medical units of the Medical Service may in no circumstances be attacked, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.”

A lawsuit alleges federal agents “brutally attacked” volunteer medics in violation of First and Fourth Amendment rights. 

Inspectors general at the DOJ and DHS claim they will investigate the federal agents’ behavior in Portland. At DHS, Joseph Cuffari, DDT’s minion, has proved so incompetent that not much can be expected from him. Michael Horowitz at the DOJ has a better reputation.  

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said he wished DDT attacked the coronavirus half as hard as he is attacking the city of Portland.

Photographer Mathieu Lewis-Rolland reported on the federal agents’ brutality including directly pointing their weapon at him although he was well marked with the word “press” on his helmet, T-shirt, and backpack. He also wraps his camera in fluorescent tape. Federal agents still shoot at him with “less-than-lethal” munitions, hard plastic bullets filled with lead, causing serious injuries to others.  

An overview of Monday night’s protest in cities across the nation.

September 3, 2019

Courts Still Help ‘We the People’

August may be a time for Congress and Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) to take a hiatus, but the courts keep chugging along. Here are a few highlights:


Today, North Carolina’s state court ruled the GOP legislative gerrymandering unconstitutional and gave specific guidelines to the GOP state legislature in redrawing the lines within two weeks by September 18. Other gerrymandered states such as Wisconsin, Maryland, and Texas could follow the same directions.

Mississippi shows how bad gerrymandering can be. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court ruling forcing the legislature to redraw the 102-mile-long state Senate District 22 spanning parts of six countries. The districting, done in 2012, diluted black voter strength to re-elect a Republican. Multiple voting machines in nine counties during last week’s Mississippi election switched votes and kept voters from their choices during a gubernatorial runoff race. The machines preferred Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves who won the runoff with 54 percent of the vote. At a Las Vegas convention, attendees as young as 11 were able to hack into voting machines, and at least ten states have made remote hacking easier by connecting computers to the internet. 

Paperless voting machines are another GOP way of controlling the vote, and a federal district court judge ordered Georgia to stop using paperless voting machines after 2019. For 2020, Georgia must either use paper ballots filled out with a pen and then fed into an optical scanner or voting machines that print a paper ballot record. Election officials must also fix errors in the state’s voter registration database and provide paper backups for the electronic poll books at each polling place, used to track whether a registered voter has cast a ballot or not when a voter shows up on Election Day. Employees of the firm that manufactured Georgia’s current paperless voting machines left them open to hacking by designing electronic ballots from their home offices rather than in a secure location. The ruling is the first to block use of paperless voting machines, also used in a dozen other states. Earlier this year, the state gave a $107 million contract for “ballot-marking devices,” machines that print a bar code and a text summary of individual votes. The bar code, which voters cannot read, is used for tallying votes, not the text summary. The lawsuit began when Brian Kemp, the Republican in charge of voting, was “elected” governor last year after evidence of security failings was destroyed. Like Kemp, his successor opposes paper ballots. 

The 7th Circuit Court supported a lower court in rejecting a 2017 Indiana law allowing election officials to cancel a voter’s registration without the voter’s confirmation. By using Interstate Crosscheck, faulty computer software checking a database of 24 states, the state got rid of Democratic registrations. The National Voter Registration Act requires that states cannot remove voters from rolls without a “reasonable effort.” The judge said that “the only way to know whether voters want to cancel their registration is to ask them.”

Ohio’s aggressive voter removal process has also been temporarily settled when the state agreed that all eligible voters removed through 2019 may cast provisional ballots in any local, state, special, or federal election through 2022 which are counted. Doing this will restore voters to the rolls. Ohio failed to provide proper notice to voters whose registration was in jeopardy and now must notify non-registered eligible voters of the settlement with the deadline for registering and tell boards of elections to use motor vehicle records to determine if voters still live where they registered. After the settlement, the Ohio Democratic Party sued to keep over 200,000 voters from being removed on September 6.

With Texas facing the possibility of turning purple, emails show that Gov. Greg Abbott (R) led the effort to purge thousands of voters from state election rolls although former Secretary of State David Whitley got the blame and resigned. A federal court stopped the purge of almost 100,000 people wrongfully identified as non-citizens. Texas tries to keep Texas voters white and GOP through restrictive voter ID laws, barriers to earlier voting, and difficulties in casting ballots, efforts overturned a half-dozen times in the past few years. Texas conservatives also hire people to sit outside driver license offices and register people after screening them with the question of whether they want “less government and less taxes” or “more government and more taxes.” Last year, Democrats flipped two congressional seats, and gained 12 in the Texas House and two in the Texas Senate.


In Maryland, a district court ruled that transgender military service members have legal standing to sue for their rights. DDT cannot block judicial review of his trans military ban.  

A U.S. district court judge in Michigan permitted a challenge to DDT’s Muslim Ban that bars immigration and travel from identified predominantly Muslim countries. The judge supported the claim of unconstitutional religious discrimination, writing that “the Plaintiffs present sufficient evidence that the Proclamation is unable to be explained by anything but animus towards Muslims.”

An Oklahoma judge ruled that drugmaker Johnson & Johnson helped fuel the opioid epidemic through its marketing of powerful painkillers and ordered the company to pay $572.1 million in damages. The decision is the first in approximately 2,000 state and local lawsuits against health care companies pushing opioids. Oklahoma stated that J&J was “at the root of the crisis” and created a “public nuisance.” Earlier this year, the state settled claims against Purdue for $270 million and Teva for $85 million. The wealthy Sacklers family, who made their fortune from Purdue Pharma’s oxycontin, may keep most of their money by selling the company to avoid a federal $10 billion to $12 billion settlement.

A federal judge temporarily blocked a Missouri law banning abortions after eight weeks with no exceptions for rape and incest. Courts blocked similar laws in Mississippi and Kentucky earlier this year. A federal judge also blocked Ohio’s so-called “heartbeat law” that would ban abortions as early as six weeks before women know that they are pregnant.   

Taylor Dumpson, the first black woman to serve as student government president at American University in Washington, D.C., was awarded $725,000 from a massive “troll storm” against her by Andrew Anglin, founder of neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer, Andrew Anglin, and follower Brian Ade, who failed to appear in court. Anglin, who fled the U.S., has also been ordered to pay $14 million to Tanya Gersh, a Jewish Montana real estate agent who he harassed, and $4.1 million to Muslim comedian Dean Obeidallah after falsely accusing him of involvement in the May 2017 terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. Eight months ago, another defendant, Eugene (OR) actor and musician Evan McCarty, settled after an apology to Dumpson and publicly renouncing white supremacy, completing 200 hours of community service at a racial justice organization, and finishing “anti-hate” training.

A judge invalidated the Treasury Department’s permission to IRS to conceal the identity of donors who contributed over $5,000 to nonprofits during one year. The IRS violated the law by not having the required notice and comment period.

In Arizona, a state court of appeals ruled that people in the state have a constitutional right to online privacy from police who don’t have a warrant based on appearance of criminal activity because Internet users have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” for information about themselves furnished to internet providers based on the state constitution. The decision conflicts with federal court rulings that people give up privacy when they give information to third parties and are no longer protected against unreasonable search and seizure in the Fourth Amendment.

Despite federal attempts to open all public land to mining, drilling, and housing developments, a federal judge blocked construction of a huge open-pit copper mine in Arizona’s Coronado National Forest considered ancestral sacred burial sites for the Hopi, Tohono O’odham, and Pascua Yaqui tribes. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, former lobbyist for the copper company, wanted to give his friends this land as well as another place near the border for a 70,000-person housing development destroying the San Pedro, one of the Southwest’s last free-flowing rivers. The current project, near Benson, is back on after the federal government issued permits. People are waiting to see if the government will close a uranium mine near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon contaminating groundwater with radioactive waste.

The 11th Circuit Court ruled that feeding the homeless is “expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment” and sent a lawsuit back to a lower court to see if a city ordinance violates those rights. In 2014, after Fort Lauderdale (FL) required a permit to share food in public parks, police arrested a 90-year-old man (left) and two ministers who gave food to homeless people. 

A federal judge dismissed a $250-million libel lawsuit against the Washington Post filed by Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann after he received negative media attention from his behavior in Washington, DC while attending a pro-life march. The filing called the reporting false and defamatory; the judge called it constitutionally protected. Sandmann’s dad, Ted, plans to appeal.

After New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo, whose chokehold killed the unarmed Eric Garner in 2014 while other police officers watched, was exonerated last summer, outrage built, and a police administrative judge found Pantaleo guilty of violating a department ban on chokeholds. The tragedy was resolved with Pantaleo was fired and stripped of his pension benefits. Garner had cried out “I can’t breathe” eleven times until he stopped breathing. Garner had been accused of selling untaxed cigarettes.

One recent decision is questionable and could throw the nation into chaos. The 10th Circuit Court has ruled that representatives for the Electoral College are not required to vote in accord with the popular vote of their states. The lawsuit came after seven of the electors went “rogue” in the 2016 election. If that decision were left to stand, 538 individual people would be the only ones to vote for the president of the United States. The ruling covers six Western states unless it is overturned by an en banc decision or the Supreme Court. 

March 22, 2019

DDT: Week 113, Part 1 – Raging, Losing

The biggest news today is that Robert Mueller has finished his report, but no one except AG Bill Barr knows what’s in it. More news when some is released.

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) doesn’t know what his officials are doing. He tweeted:

“It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea. I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!”

Technically, the Treasury Department announced the sanctions yesterday, not today, but Fox may not have told DDT. Asked about DDT’s change, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said, “President Trump likes Chairman Kim.” Sanctions on Chinese shipping companies that helped North Korea evade international sanctions fought North Korea denuclearization. Even national security adviser John Bolton considered the sanctions “important.”

DDT started the week with 29 raging tweets on Sunday before and after he made a rare appearance at church where he wore a red tie to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day green. His fury was directed  against General Motors, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Saturday Night Live (the Christmas rerun), some Fox hosts (while supporting Jeanine Pirro), President Obama (along with FBI, DOJ, and CIA), Google, the Paris Climate Agreement, and others. DDT’s vitriol against McCain continued for the entire week during a press conference with his South American doppelganger, Brazil’s new autocrat Jair Bolonsaro, and in front of a Lima (OH) audience at a tank factory. By Wednesday, he began whining about how he didn’t get a “thank you” for McCain’s funeral and claimed that he had to “approve” the event. Congress approved McCain’s lying in state in the U.S. Capitol for three days; DDT only arranged for transport. After that diatribe, McCain’s widow, Cindy McCain, shared a hate-filled tweet sent her that used obscenities to attack McCain and their daughter Meghan McCain.

Some Fox shows criticized DDT for his McCain comments. Neil Cavuto called out Republicans for not offending McCain, especially Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who has gone all out in defending DDT as part of Graham’s re-election campaign. In a Friday interview with Fox Business Maria Bartiromo, DDT attacked her for asking him about his attacks:

“You shouldn’t have brought it up. Actually, I thought you weren’t supposed to bring it up, but that’s okay. Fake news every once in a while.”

Fox is officially fake news, according to DDT. His anger continued during his departure to Mar-a-Lago later that day when he ignored Fox reporters other than glaring at them. Republicans who have kept quiet about DDT’s diatribes may struggle with their votes if Sen. Chuck Schumer introduces a bill renaming the Russell Senate Building for McCain, especially because it would switch the name from honoring a Democrat, Richard Russell, to a Republican. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may not let the bill come up for a vote.

With Congress on recess and everyone waiting for the Mueller report, DDT had nothing to do this week except rant, sometimes against the husband of his counselor, Kellyanne Conway. The courts, however, sometimes ruled against him.

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch swung to the left in supporting the rights of Native Americans, permitting the Yakama Tribe’s 1855 Treat rights to travel the public roads without being taxed on the goods brought to the reservation to Washington from Oregon, agreed when the U.S. took most of the Yakima land.

A U.S. District judge blocked drilling on 300,000 acres of public land in Wyoming because the Department of Interior auctioned the land for fossil fuel leasing without any consideration of climate change risks, violating the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The decision is the first ruling against DDT’s business-first, climate-last agenda and will certainly be appealed.

A federal judge ruled against implementation of DDT’s transgender military ban because one of the injunctions against the ban still exists. In all four federal cases against the ban last year, judges issued injunctions. One injunction was lifted in March, and the Supreme Court overturned two others. Although An appeals court overturned another injunction in January, the judge said that the appeals court ruling could change because plaintiffs have until March 29 to ask for a rehearing. The Defense Department had set April 12, 2019 as the date to block transgender recruits signing up for the military, and military service members are already prevented from transitioning.

The Connecticut supreme court ruled that victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre can sue Remington Arms on the basis that the company irresponsibly marketed the weapon used in the shooting to high-risk individuals, violating state law. One argument was one of standing, whether a person without a business relationship with the defendant can sue for unfair trade practices, but the court ruled that people injured by unfair trade practices—in this case, families killed in the shooting—can sue. Manufacturers of weapons are the only U.S. companies that cannot be sued for their products’ deaths and injuries, according to a law passed in 2005.

The government has dropped charges for all 191 protesters at DDT’s inauguration who did not plead guilty, removing the possibility that each one could serve over 60 years in prison. Twenty-one of those arrested took guilty pleas.

The U.S. Supreme Court reversed an Alabama court by unanimously agreeing to recognize a lesbian couple’s legal adoption of a child in Georgia. The couple has separated, and the one who gave birth to three children argued that Georgia was wrong in granting joint custody to her former partner. Justices required that Alabama must give “full faith and credit” to another state’s court decision. Thirty states grant “second-parent adoptions” to same-gender couples through laws or court rulings. Hundreds of thousands of adoptions have been granted since the mid-1980s, and approximately 65,000 adopted children live with a lesbian or gay parent.

By not hearing an appeal from a Hawaii B&B, the high court ended a 12-year-old lawsuit. A lesbian couple won their suit after they were turned away from the lodging because of their sexual orientation. The decision may affirm non-discrimination laws against Q people despite “religious freedom” claims.

The second blow against Monsanto, this one a unanimous decision from a federal jury that weedkiller Roundup was a large factor in causing a man’s cancer, might end up in over 4,000 lawsuits against the company. A second phase of the trial concerns whether Monsanto is responsible. Another cancer patient was awarded $78 million. Recent analysis of glyphosate, an ingredient in Roundup, shows that the EPA was wrong in declaring it safe by disregarding the scientific evidence about its carcinogenic dangers.

DDT sees most of his policies knocked down by federal judges because they don’t meet minimums of legal reasoning. Normal win rate is 70 percent; DDT’s rate is 6 percent. Judges point out that policies lack legitimate explanations for policy shifts, facts, and public input while putting ideology over governance.

German officials have called for the expulsion of U.S. Ambassador to Germany, DDT-appointed Richard Grenell, for his interference in Germany’s politics. Wolfgang Kubicki, speaker of Germany’s Bundestag, asked the German foreign minister to “declare Richard Grenell persona non grata immediately.” Carsten Schneider, parliamentary manager of the Social Democrats Party, said Grenell is a “total diplomatic failure” who was acting like a “brat.” Grenell claims he wants to “empower” conservative movements in Europe, threatens sanctions regarding a German-backed pipeline, and urges German companies to stop operations in Iran.

Marine commandant, Gen. Robert Neller, told acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan that DDT’s deployments of troops to the southern border posed “unacceptable risk to Marine Corps combat readiness and solvency.” Neller also wrote that the “unplanned/unbudgeted” deployment and funding shifts to support border security forced him to cancel or reduce planned military training in at least five countries and delay urgent repairs at bases. According to Neller, hurricanes severely damaged Marine Corps facilities and housing in North Carolina and Georgia, and Marines are already short $1.3 billion for recovery operations requiring service members to work “in compromised structures” as hurricane season is three months away. In their testimony next week before the House Armed Services Committee, Shanahan and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, may be asked questions about Neller’s statements.

DDT’s new privatized VA program is so flawed that it threatens to disrupt health care for about 75,000 veterans every day, according to an independent study from U.S. Digital Service, hired to help federal agencies improve their technology. The software to determine who is eligible for the program can lengthen each appointment by five to ten minutes by generating errors, running slowly, or crashing. The report also indicated that there is insufficient time to test the tool and address errors. Last year, the VA’s software caused veterans to be evicted and ruined their credit scores. Last year, three men from Mar-a-Lago oversaw the IT division because it lacked a permanent chief.

The Republicans in some states are trying to put DDT on the ballot in the general election with no primary, but 18 states are considering legislation that would keep candidates for president and VP off the 2020 general election ballots if they don’t release their income tax returns.

DDT’s approval rating from the conservative Gallup poll is back down to 39 percent in the first half of March. Not a good week for DDT.


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