Nel's New Day

July 5, 2020

DDT: Week 180 – Failures for the Fourth

 Yesterday, July 4, people in the U.S. celebrated independence: 244 years ago, “colonials” fought against injustice and English oppression. In his speech last Friday, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) campaigned for injustice and white supremacy and against protesters fighting for equal rights. He defended treasonous people, Confederate leaders who fought to overturn the U.S., and dishonored the land in South Dakota where he spoke to people standing closely together without face masks while ordering fireworks dangerous to the land in the extremely dry condition. 

Four years ago, DDT ran on racism, first against Latinx and then against Muslims. This year he replicates his approach, attacking the rights of Black people. His choice of Mount Rushmore for his July 3 speech also expressed his racism regarding Indigenous people. Sixty-foot-tall faces of four white presidents who persecuted Native Americans are on a sacred place to almost 60 tribes. In 1868, the Fort Laramie Treaty determined the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux Reservation, but the government signing the treaty took land away from the Native Americans after the gold discovery in the 1870s.

The Black Hills still belonged to the Sioux Nation almost 50 years later when a KKK member led the Mount Rushmore project in 1927. In 1980, the Supreme Court ruled the tribes had not received compensation for the land and had not agreed to give it up. In United States v. Sioux Nation, the majority opinion stated, “A more ripe and rank case of dishonorable dealing will never, in all probability, be found in our history.” When indigenous people protested DDT coming on their land without their permission, DDT’s supporters told them, “Go home!”  

DDT lambasted “far-left fascism” and “totalitarianism” despite his own fascist actions. His approach follows that of Richard Nixon in 1964—“law and order” and vows for states’ rights in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. DDT’s business claims have fallen far short, and he has only a strategy of “white resentment politics.” His message was the importance of Mount Rushmore’s legacies while he ignored the legacy of the Indigenous people.  

In supporting statues, DDT signed an executive order for a National Garden of Heroes, “the greatest Americans to ever live,” and listed those who must be included such as Betsy Ross (who probably didn’t create the flag), Davy Crockett, George Patton, Audie Murphy, and Antonin Scalia. DDT said about Mount Rushmore, “This monument will never be desecrated.” The four faces, only 79 years old, are cracking.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr’s girlfriend, was not present. She has been diagnosed for COVID-19 and joins people sickened at DDT’s campaign rally in Tulsa (OK) such as former presidential candidate Herman Cain, seriously ill in a hospital; up to 15 Secret Service agents who prepared for the rally; and hundreds of people in Oklahoma.

DDT’s speech this weekend is part of his new campaign strategy: he plans to run as the challenger with Joe Biden the incumbent. By doing so, he doesn’t need to search for his non-existent accomplishments since he was inaugurated; he’ll just copy his winning 2016 campaign that pictured him as an outsider.  DDT’s campaign advisor Jason Miller said the campaign will portray Biden as “part of every job-killing, failed policy decision of the past 40 years.”

More DDT failures this week:

The RNC is having trouble raising money for an alternative location in Jacksonville (FL) for DDT to graciously accept the nomination for presidential candidate. Money from Charlotte (VA) won’t be returned, and donors are not happy about shelling out more cash for a place with skyrocketing COVID-19 infections and a majority of residents polling opposing DDT in their city. After the small crowd in Tulsa (OK), DDT may cancel for fear he’ll suffer another failure.

DDT’s supporters funded a private border wall and helped the builder get $1.7 billion in federal contracts. Months after the wall’s completion, it is falling into the Rio Grande River from runoff erosion. The builder denies the problem, claiming the erosion “a normal part of new construction projects.” Submitting the lowest bid, he had his prototype rejected by both the DHS and the Army Corps of Engineers. DDT’s pressure and support from Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) put the builder of the preapproved list. He donated at least $24,000 to Cramer’s 2018 campaign.

This week, DDT, lobbied by Fox network, pardoned 1st Lt. Clint Lorance after he was convicted of second-degree murder for ordering his men to kill three Afghans on a motorcycle. During Lorance’s three-day command, he threatened a farmer, pointed a rifle at a small boy, and ordered one of his NCOs to provide a false report to the Troop TOC (Tactical Operations Center). Since they returned home in 2013, five of the platoon’s three dozen soldiers have died, and at least four others were hospitalized from suicide attempts or addiction. The survivors tell the stories of how Lorance ruined their lives.

Project Airbridge, spearheaded by DDT’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, was to get private companies to rapidly deliver PPE and other medical supplies from Asia. Interviewing corporation executives, the House Oversight Committee found that the months-old idea delivered only 7 percent of PPE supplies distributed since the pandemic’s beginning and had no direction in directing supplies to hot zones. The government also had no restrictions on prices and didn’t require reporting costs. DDT pressured private medical supply companies to buy PPE at inflated prices from Build Your Dreams (BYD), a Chinese electric car and battery company subsidized by the Chinese government. Purchases were delayed because their N95 masks couldn’t be certified until June 8.  BYD has a $1 billion contract for 150 million masks. FEMA refuses to submit any documents about the program to the House.

Last week, DDT failed to give a coherent answer to Sean Hannity’s questions about his priorities during a second term. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told Hannity he was supposed to help DDT get reelected and scolded him for asking such a hard question. This week, Sinclair’s Eric Bolling offered DDT a “retake” at the answer and asked him for his “main focus.” DDT’s response:

“Well, I didn’t hear anybody who was upset with it, but I will tell you, it’s very simple: we’re going to make America great again. We are doing things that nobody could have done.”

He moved on to bragging about first-term “accomplishments”—such as “rebuilding the military” and bringing back manufacturers—which he didn’t do or took credit for President Obama’s achievements. Third time?

DDT also had a press conference to brag about his unemployment rate. At 11.1 percent, it remains higher than during the Great Recession over a decade ago. The added 4.8 million jobs were before states started shutting down and ignored the millions of people filing for unemployment for the same period of time. The number of jobs is currently down 14.7 million, about ten percent, from the beginning of the pandemic recession, and foot traffic to businesses indicate a dip in late June. The spike in infection combined with the end of enhanced unemployment benefits will create less spending, which results in fewer jobs. Without more federal aid, states and localities will continue to lay off more people in addition to the 1.5 million who have already lost their jobs. Also the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the real unemployment rate at one percent higher—12.1 percent.  

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell painted a dark picture of the economy if COVID-19 is not contained. San Francisco Federal Reserve president Mary Daly said, “I would hesitate to call this a recovery.”

Polling shows that more and more people see DDT as a failure:

  • 60 percent disapprove of DDT’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • 65 percent think that the pandemic is getting worse.
  • 51 percent support the Black Lives Matter movement with only 32 percent in opposition.
  • 70 percent think that the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction with only 22 percent disagreeing.
  • 53 percent approve of the Affordable Care Act, and 49 percent want to see it expanded. 
  • 75 percent believe the country is “out of control,” compared to 14 percent who think it’s under control.
  • 81 percent of people ages 65 and older describe the country in a fiasco; 68 percent of those ages 30 to 44 agree.
  • 47 percent approve of DDT’s economy, 16 percent lower than January. This was to have been the lynchpin of his campaign.
  • 12 percent are satisfied with the state of the nation, down from 55 percent in April. Only 19 percent of Republican are satisfied.
  • 39 percent approve of DDT.
  • 37 percent believe DDT has the right experience to be president; 61 percent believe DDT doesn’t have the right experience.
  • 67 percent think Biden has the right experience to be president.

For the first time in over 50 years of polling, more people want more immigration to the U.S. than those who want to cut immigration—34 percent to 28 percent.

The Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index dropped 134 points to +4 for the second quarter, the lowest in almost seven years and the biggest quarterly drop in history.

According to a new study, “Europeans’ trust in Trump’s America is gone.”

On July 4, COVID-19 infections – 2,935,982; deaths – 132,318.

May 31, 2020

DDT: Week 175 – How Much Worse Can the News Be?

During a week marked by a pandemic, unemployment, and riots throughout the United States—all issues that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) seems totally unable to handle, the other news keeps rolling.  

The riots roll across the U.S. as DDT and AG Bill Barr blame far-left groups of protesting and looting without any evidence. Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said that white supremacist organizations may be looting and destroying local businesses. He said that protesters are being traced, and the Minnesota governor said that 80 percent of arrested people are from out of state. DDT is worsening the violence by threatening anyone coming “close to breaching the [White House] fence” with “the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.” Geraldo Rivera, once a DDT supporter, said to Fox about DDT threats against protesters in Minneapolis, “All he does is diminish himself.”

DDT postponed his dream G-7 summit until September after Angela Merkel said she wouldn’t come to the White House for the meeting in June because of the pandemic. He was able to get only two confirmations for the meeting of world leaders—Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The other three from Canada, France, and Italy either declined or were doubtful. Perhaps looking for friendly faces, DDT said he was also going to invite Russia, South Korea, Australia, and India. Russia has been disinvited from the smaller group, then G-8, after Russians invaded Crimea. DDT insists on re-inviting him whereas the other members oppose the idea. The other six of G-7 may not even attend the summit if DDT makes the decision without them. DDT has already invited the additional four countries and wants the meeting before the election. The G-20 is already scheduled for November 21-22 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia—after the election. 

With the Senate on vacation and the GOP leaders trying to persuade older judges to retire to be replaced by younger, more conservative ones, nothing about a fifth coronavirus bill has happened for almost a week. After Republicans gave trillions to their friends in big business, they are dragging their heels about giving individuals, true small businesses, and state/local governments any part of the pie. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants to wait for a while before taking any action, but senators up for re-election such as Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Susan Collins (R-ME) worry about their states’ response. A major GOP argument is that states don’t deserve any money. Three different times, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) has blocked a bill giving states more flexibility. McConnell also refuses any infrastructure funding, something that Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) want. The red line for McConnell is keeping employees from any liability for mismanaging safety from COVID-19.

While almost one-third of workers in the U.S. lost their jobs and 20 percent of families don’t have enough food to feed their children in April, corporations put away $1 trillion in institutional money market funds, parking money they don’t immediately need. Commercial bank deposits grew from 4.6 percent to 15.8 percent since mid-March. Billionaires personally gained over $500 billion. The amount of cash in the U.S. grew at an annual 42 percent between February 3 to May 4, almost twice the highest rate ever—22.5 percent in 2011—and almost seven percent the average 6.3 percent annual growth in basic money supply since 1976. More cash would have “trickled” to the top without rejection from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Democrats. Companies used their massive tax cuts to buy back stock, and DDT wants to further cut their taxes. In the most recent coronavirus act, people with annual incomes of more than $1 million got 80 percent of the tax saving.

DDT is in trouble with foreign countries. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned the U.S. to stay out of his shipment of oil headed for Venezuela that he’s trading for gold. Rouhani posted a statement on his website the U.S. had created “unacceptable conditions” in different parts of the world, but that Iran would “by no means” be the one to initiate conflict. He added, “We hope the Americans will not make a mistake.” A fourth tanker has reached Venezuela, and a fifth one is on its way. Yet a desperate DDT is threatening anyone—foreign governments, seaports, shipping companies, and insurers—with stiff sanctions if they help the flotilla.   

Earlier this month, DDT vetoed a bill requiring him to get authorization before using military force against Iran, and he’s shown no letup in sanctions killing Iranians. Yet the country is no more repressive than Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other Middle East countries, and keeping an antinuclear treaty with frequent inspections would be safer than turning the country loose. Wealthy U.S. conservatives, however, fund United against a Nuclear Iran (UANI) to help Israel, Saudi Arabia, and UAE spread violence, chaos, and extremism in the Middle East. Despite its supposed goal of searching for extremism and terrorism, UANI chose not to report on the Saudis and UAE. A Saudi Embassy official had provided invaluable assistance to two 9/11 hijackers. Saudi Arabia gave shelter to the Wahhabi Muslims behind Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Muslim terrorists and funded Al-Qaeda forces destroying Syria since 2011. The UAE supplied massive amounts of weapons to Libyan rebels.

DDT told Congress he plans to sell another $478 million of precision-guided missiles to Saudi Arabia, even if lawmakers don’t approve. He will also approve licenses for Raytheon to manufacture more high-tech bomb parts inside the kingdom. DDT had defended the weapons sales as vital for U.S. jobs. Members of both political parties were also furious when DDT bypassed Congress for an $8 billion arm sales to the Saudis and other Middle East countries.

As part of his campaign strategy, DDT wants to take all U.S. soldiers out of Afghanistan before November. Unfortunately for him, the Taliban agreement from last February set a timetable of more than one year for U.S. troop withdrawal. If U.S. military leave before then, the Taliban can see the action as disregarding the agreement. The Taliban will take over Afghanistan again, and the U.S. will get the blame.

Yesterday, DDT arrived 45 minutes late for an announced press conference, spoke for nine minutes attacking China, and refused to answer questions about the man killed by a police officer in Minneapolis. About China, he complained about their actions in Hong Kong, said he would revoke Hong Kong’s special trade status to punish China, and promised to immediately end the U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization. He blamed WHO and President Obama for China’s actions.

China has good reason to ridicule DDT, with large cities on fire every night and his giving authoritarian orders to private businesses such as Twitter. Using executive orders to control private businesses such as social media is practicing socialism.  

DDT had another imaginary conversation, this time with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who supposedly said that he’s not happy with India’s conflict with China. Modi has not talked to DDT since April 4, and Indian officials were “taken by surprise” by DDT’s comment about Modi being not “in a good mood.” Last summer, DDT lied about Modi wanting him to help solve the conflict in Kashmir.

North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is being supported in a multibillion-dollar money laundering scheme by 28 North Korean and five Chinese citizens with 250 shell companies, more proof that DDT can’t stop Kim Jong-Un’s nuclear weapons program with his faulty diplomacy. Kim has said since last year that it would continue testing this year, and DDT said that he didn’t want to meet with Kim until after the November election.

In any other time, DDT’s veto of a bipartisan resolution days after Memorial Day would be considered a conflict of interest; after almost four years since he was inaugurated, it’s just “normal.” Congress recommended overturning a policy creating more problems for students defrauded by colleges to have their education loans canceled. Veterans are one group preyed upon by corrupt schools to take their GI Bill education benefits, thanks to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ regulatory action. The Education Department has received over 300,000 claims for debt relief and for-profits chain college such as Corinthian, ITT Technical Institute, Argosy University, and the Art Institutes closed. Part of DDT’s business has been the now-defunct Trump University, described in the conservative National Review as a “massive scam.” DDT paid $25 million to settle three lawsuits for fraud.

In a cowardly action, DDT is breaking with decades of precedent by not publishing a mid-year economic forecast. The projections come from the director of OMB, chair of DDT’s economic advisers, and the treasury secretary. As comic writer Gerry Conway tweeted:

“Trump figures if he doesn’t tell people they’re out of work, they won’t know they’re out of work.”

Alabama Media Group columnist Kyle Whitmire said:

“It’s like refusing to release a weather forecast that says a hurricane will make landfall tomorrow. Eventually, the truth will tell itself.”

With DDT in the Oval Office, the United States—and the world—are in a mess because officials are afraid of telling him bad news. No one can effectively plan for disasters without getting fired.

May 22, 2020

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Somebody Else’s Death

Protesters paid by far-right organizations have been carrying their assault rifles across the nation and encouraging people to infect others. A study using cellphones show they may be successful as they travel hundreds of miles to events and take infections back home. A Denver event showed participants heading back to neighboring states such as Wyoming, Nebraska, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Utah.

Shutdown orders crossed the nation on March 15, beginning with Illinois, Ohio, and New York City. Starting social distancing just one week earlier—while DDT was still denying COVID-19 was any problem—could have prevented 36,000 deaths, over 36 percent of fatalities reported today. Two weeks earlier, these measures could have saved 54,000 lives. Other than banning some travel from China on January 28 and from Europe on March 13, DDT took no steps to prevent the spread of the virus. Researchers said the U.S. needs to remember this lesson for the future because DDT says he will not be closing down the nation even with a resurgence of COVID-19. A CDC official said the agency was “muzzled.”

Other dangers to human life continue from the federal government. The federal government—including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin—fought against giving Native American tribes the money allotted by Congress. He finally gave the tribes the money instead of to related organizations, but Native Americans still get substandard treatment. DDT’s former chief of staff Zach Fuentes got a contract to sell masks to the government just days after registering his company and bought possibly faulty masks from China. Navajo hospitals got $3 million of these respirator masks; 247,000 of the masks, valued at $800,000, are perhaps unsuitable for medical use. Another 130,400, worth about $422,000, are not the kind specified in the order. Fuentes charged the Navajo Nation $3.24 per mask, compared to the $1.31 he charged the Bureau of Prisons. Pre-pandemic cost per mask was $1. As of today, the Navajo Nation reported 4,434 COVID-19 cases and 147 death—a higher rate than New York’s worst rate.

The government’s incompetence also lets people go hungry. The Northeast, hardest hit by COVID-19, received $46 million, the second-lowest funding of any region, from DDT’s $1.2 billion fresh food aid program. The Southwest, including Texas, received over five times as much money as the Northeast for one-fourth as many coronavirus cases. In short, the Northeast has 10 percent of the country’s population, 33 percent of COVID-19 cases, and 4 percent of food relief dollars. The USDA claimed one rejected Maine distributor was missing a signature, but the distributor said signature was present when he rechecked his paperwork. Food bank demand in Maine increased 35 percent, but USDA blocked Maine’s growers from selling their fresh produce to the program. The USDA also refused both bids from Alaska, meaning the state could not take part in the program until Food Bank found one way to get a winning bidder for fruits and vegetables. Shipments, however, can’t go outside Anchorage, and no meat or dairy is included.

Instead of using the three largest food distribution companies and nonprofits with long histories of feeding the poor on a large scale, USDA hired inexperienced private contractors–$107 million to a San Antonio event planner, an avocado mail-order company, a health-and-wellness airport kiosk company, and a trade finance corporation. The only criterion on where the food was distributed was who won the bids, some of them companies with no USDA license. California Avocados Direct, which received $40 million, can’t start until it pages a road to its facility, buy three cargo containers, and hire 130 people.

DDT plans to keep what he calls his “badge of honor” for a high number of COVID-19 cases and deaths if the virus returns this fall. When illegally touring a Michigan Ford Motor factory making masks without wearing a mask, he announced he would keep the nation open. DDT also attacked the Michigan Attorney General who had asked him to wear a mask, citing a “legal responsibility” under state law and a “social and moral responsibility.” He excused his refusal by saying, “I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.” In a tweet, DDT called the female AG, Dana Nessel, “The Wacky Do Nothing Attorney General of Michigan” and gave himself credit for bringing back auto companies to Michigan. Ford Motor closed two U.S. assembly plants because COVID-19 has not been contained.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, DDT’s virus expert, said a second wave would be “inevitable.” CDC Director Robert Redfield said any decision on shelter-in-place would be “data-driven.” ER physician Megan Ranney, researcher at Brown University, testified before Congress the U.S. is not “currently prepared for a second wave” because of lack of financial support and adequate science. An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll cited 77 percent saying they worry about a second wave of coronavirus happening as more businesses across the country reopen.

In an attempt to regain his voting base, DDT said he will “override” governors to open churches this Sunday. He lacks the power to do so but declared houses of worship as “essential places that provide essential services.” At least two reopened churches in Georgia and Texas closed because of attendees testing positive for COVID-19, and three dozen cases spread by a pastor and his wife after a March opening in a rural Arkansas church also killed three people thus far. DDT also indicated he was ordering CDC to make churches essential because he thinks the “timeline that I think is right.” DDT’s desperation comes from his dropping polls with white evangelicals (-11 percent), white Catholics (-12 percent), and white mainline Protestants (-18 percent).

DDT also panics about his re-election because it may require a good economy. Even Larry Kudlow, top economic official, said any economic rebound numbers “are downright bad in most cases” because of the virus’ unpredictability. Another 2.4 million people filed jobless claims last week, bringing the total to almost 39 million in less than two months. months. Mortgage delinquencies skyrocketed to 6.45 percent in April, three times the previous single-month record of 2008, and over double that of 3.06 percent in March. Only 21 percent of the 4.75 million homeowners in forbearance made their May payments. DDT is still claiming the stock market comeback at a “V,” but forecasters are predicting a “Nike swoosh” taking well into 2021 or beyond.

New guidance from CDC states one-third of infections are asymptomatic, and 40 percent of transmission occurs before people feel sick. Its “best estimate” is 0.4 percent of people who show symptoms and have COVID-19 will die, but estimates are based on data collected almost a month ago. Carl Bergstrom of the University of Washington called the projected mortality rate “optimistic,” “way out of line” with estimates of numbers infected in places such as New York City and don’t reflect “behavioral changes, social distancing, or other interventions.”

Counties with DDT’s base are the new hot zones of COVID-19. During the past four weeks, counties who voted for DDT in 2016 are more likely to show a high prevalence of the virus—100 or more cases per 100,000 people. From May 10 to May 17, 176 new counties joined the list of hundreds of counties in that category. All the new ones voted for DDT by a 12 percent margin in 2016, and he won 151 of them outright.

An analysis determining where people are most at risk for COVID-19 looked at above-average rates of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and obesity. Risks on this map go from lowest (white) to highest (darkest purple).  [visual COVID-19 risk]

Six months ago, DDT claimed his unscheduled visit to Walter Reed hospital and staying out of public view for two days was a head start on his annual physical. No report on the results was ever made, and DDT hasn’t completed his mandatory annual examination. In early March, he said he was “so busy, I can’t do it” when asked when he would complete the physical. Since that time, he has dodged reporters’ questions about the timing. His 2018 physical showed heart disease common for men in his age group. Normal presidents have this examination at the beginning of a new year.

According to a new study of 96,000 people, Covid-19 patients who took hydroxychloroquine, DDT’s drug of choice he claims to be taking, showed no special improvement and were significantly more likely to develop dangerous heart conditions.

The Merriam-Webster word-of-the-day for yesterday, “per capita,” was defined as “per unit of population; by or for each person” and “equally to each individual.” https://www.alternet.org/2020/05/he-aint-bright-trump-brutally-mocked-for-nonsensically-insisting-there-are-many-per-capitas/   Earlier, DDT tried to explain almost 100,000 deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19 aren’t too bad in response to researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore statistics that the U.S. has the ninth highest coronavirus death rate, per capita, in the world and the highest numbers of coronavirus deaths period:

“And, you know, when you say “per capita,” there’s many per capitas. It’s, like, per capita relative to what? But you can look at just about any category, and we’re really at the top, meaning positive on a per capita basis, too. They’ve done a great job.

On May 22, the U.S. had 1,645,094 COVID-19 cases and 97,647 deaths with some states lying to lower the numbers. Florida fired the person in charge of COVID-19 data because she wouldn’t doctor it to get the state opened. An analysis of deaths for five weeks ending April 25 show 1,358 to 1,831 unexpected deaths, suggesting that the epidemic death toll could be 17 percent to 58 percent higher.

 

May 17, 2020

DDT: Week 173 – The Friday Night Dump—and More

In the past, the notorious news release on late Friday night has been with the hope that it will fade by Monday when people pay attention. That theory has disappeared with the prevalence of internet users and the growing fixation of media watching. Yet Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) continues his purge on Friday, last night the retaliatory firing of State Department inspector general Steve Linick, the third Friday move in three weeks to dump people who alienated DDT. Linick’s sins:

  • July 1, 2019: Investigating the use of tax-payer Diplomatic Security agents to run personal errands such as picking up takeout food by State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo and his wife. (Agents called themselves “UberEats with guns.”
  • August 2019: Issued a report alleging State Department leaders mistreated and harassed staffers, accusing them of disloyalty to DDT.
  • October 2, 2019: Gave documents about Ukraine disinformation to the House’s impeachment inquiry into DDT that personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani gave the State Department
  • November 14, 2019: Released a finding that DDT’s high-ranking political appointees retaliated against  career civil servant while Rex Tillerson was Secretary of State. 

DDT’s real reason, however, may have come after House COVID-19 legislation provides the inspector general would have oversight for funding in the bill passed yesterday. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) tweeted how the firing was shameful:

“Another late Friday night attack on independence, accountability, and career officials. At this point, the President’s paralyzing fear of any oversight is undeniable.”

DDT’s replacement, director of the State Department’s Office of Foreign Missions Steve Akard, withdrew his nomination in 2017 to become director general of the Foreign Service because of opposition. Akard, a former Mike Pence underling in Indiana when the VP was governor, was rejected because of lack of experience and a political appointee. The appointment of Akard bypasses Linick’s deputy, Diana Shaw. 

On Friday, May 1, Acting HHS IG Christi Grimm was fired after 8:00 pm; on Friday, April 3, Intelligence IG Michael Atkinson was fired at 10:00 pm. Acting Defense Department IG Glenn Fine went on April 7. The person in that position oversees DDT’s handling of $2.3 trillion in the “stimulus package.”

In a problem for DDT, Michael Pack, nominee to lead the Agency for Global Media overseeing the Voice of America and other news outlets, is being investigated for unlawful use of $1.6 million from his nonprofit, Public Media Lab, that were sent to his independent production company, Manifold Productions. Pack refused to send requested documents to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for almost eight months, and his vote before a panel for his confirmation last Thursday was postponed. The D.C. attorney general’s office has been asked to look into the allegation. DDT has threatened to adjourn Congress so that he can make any appointments he wants without confirmation. He also accused the Voice of America of promoting Chinese propaganda for its independent reporting. VP Mike Pence also threatened a Voice of America reporter with retaliation for disclosing that Pence was told his needed to wear a mask to visit the Mayo Clinic last month. The truth was especially embarrassing for Pence because his wife, Karen Pence, claimed that her husband didn’t know about the mask policy what was posted on the walls.

DDT can fire anyone he wants in the executive branch, but he doesn’t have the same rights in Congress. To purge someone, therefore, he needs to run a smear campaign against him—like he did against Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) with the help of his fixit AG Bill Barr. Thanks to the DOJ, the FBI raided Burr’s house and took his cell phone in an insider trading case. Burr has been removed from his chairmanship of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence which just happens to be investigating the connection between the Russian influence on the 2016 election and DDT. The committee has one more segment of their report to release.

Burr’s sell-off of his stock may be hinky, but he isn’t alone in the behavior. Other senators—Diane Feinstein (D-CA), James Inhofe (R-OK), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA)—took the same action. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), brother of DDT’s Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, made millions by selling stock options just before the market crash this spring and then buying them back. After Perdue received classified information about COVID-19, he sold his casino shares before the market crash and bought Pfizer (drugs) and DuPont (medical supplies). Burr is just alone in being investigated.

Before Burr stepped down, he asked DDT to quickly declassify the last of five parts of their Russian investigation, a bipartisan effort. The executive branch determines what is declassified, and the finale to the committee’s work may never see the light of day. With the top Democratic senator on the Intelligence committee, Virginia’s Mark Warner, Burr issued a statement that they would release an unclassified version on the Senate floor even if there is no declassification. Lawmakers cannot be prosecuted for what they say as part of the legislative process. An Alaska senator entered 4,000 pages of the classified Pentagon Papers into the Congressional record. The first four parts of Burr’s committee were on U.S. election security, Russia’s use of social media, the Obama administration response to the interference, and the January 2017 Intelligence Committee Assessment validating the intelligence analysis describing Russia interference include efforts to help DDT win the election as accurate, thorough, and untainted by political bias.   

White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow wants to cut in half the taxes for corporations, already slashed by 40 percent to only 21 percent, if they bring their operations back to the U.S. Other perks would be liability protection and a payroll tax cut for returning businesses, taking money from Social Security and Medicare.

The Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, warned of an “extended period” of weak economic growth, promised to use the U.S. central bank’s power, and asked for more spending to help the economy. Interest rates were almost zero before the virus epidemic because of DDT’s insistence, and the lending to companies and first-ever corporate bond purchases have set precedents. At this time, Powell promised the interest rates wouldn’t go into the negative zone below zero.

DDT keeps trying to persuade investors that the downturn in the stock market will shoot up any day now and makes other promises such as a vaccine by the end of the year. Small investors may not worry about the market’s volatility despite its falling three days during the past week, but they should. Those who think that the markets will follow a “V” shape, bounding right back, should note that stock prices starting to fall in September 2007 during the Great Recession didn’t bottom out for 17 months and the fall during the Great Depression from October 1929 until the middle of 1932 dropped the market 80 percent. Stocks didn’t come back until the mid-1950s. The market would give a bounce and then drop again.

While Republicans demonize China to distract people from DDT’s COVID-19 failure, Cabinet members, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, are making money off their relationships with the country. Others with personal business interests are Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) wife, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue (brother of Georgia’s senator discussed above).

According to a newly released transcript, DDT’s son-in-law Jared Kushner “misled” Congress about his friend who provided a backchannel to Russia. The House hearing in 2017, run by Republicans, failed to elicit the information that Rick Gerson acted as a Kushner operative who also worked for the UAE and secretly met with a Russian hedge fund manager in the Seychelles.

DDT is desperately looking for photo ops and campaign rallies outside the White House, but a Pennsylvania factory manufacturing PPE canceled “a presidential visit” because of health reasons. Masks are a big issue with DDT who never wears one, and Pence rarely does. On a visit to an Alexandria nursing home, he stood closely to staff with no protective gear, accompanied by his press secretary Katie Miller who tested positive for COVID-19 the next day. She also didn’t wear a mask. DDT found another PPE factory in Pennsylvania to visit—still no mask

Almost a week ago, the public learned that three White House aides—one each for DDT, Pence, and Ivanka Trump—tested positive for COVID-19 as well as 11 Secret Service agents. Since then there have been no new reports of confirmed cases, but DDT was so furious at the earlier revelations that staff may be hiding any new cases.

At the unveiling of his new space force flag, DDT, looking happier than he has for months, bragged about the military developing a new “super duper” missile traveling 17 times faster than anything the U.S. has. Either the Pentagon doesn’t know anything about the missile, or it doesn’t want to talk about it. Defense Secretary Mark Esper didn’t elaborate when asked for specifics.

While DDT ignores COVID-19, the number of confirmed cases went above 1.5 million and the deaths are over 90,000—headed for over 100,000 by the end of the month.

May 9, 2020

DDT’s Shift to Economy Kills

Filed under: Health Care — trp2011 @ 7:47 PM
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Last Sunday, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) held a freewheeling interview with two Fox interviewers in a setting that made him look very small—the Lincoln Memorial. Always the TV producer, he loved the set but maintained that he hadn’t told the Interior Department to clear if for him although he was responsible. DDT did talk about whether to protect people or kill them to protect his economy. He claimed that “you can really have it both ways,” but he picked the latter. He claimed about his unity in the U.S. after siding with the 14 percent, mostly white guys protesting while carrying assault rifles and pushing people around.  

DDT said he wanted to end social distance so he could “sit next to people”—and probably feel loved at his roaring crowds.

DDT wants to kill people by hiding information. Dr. Anthony Fauci has been largely muzzled in the White House, yet he’s still giving interviews, for example when he said on CNN:

“How many deaths and how much suffering are you willing to accept to get back to what you want to be some form of normality sooner rather than later?”

This past week, DDT was comfortable killing about 100,000 people with COVID-19. Back on the campaign trail in Arizona, DDT referenced how it’s okay with him if people are “affected badly” to make the stock market go up. “The people of our country are warriors,” he said, and “we have to get our country open.” He ignored signs telling people to wear masks at a factory that makes masks in Arizona which had is highest number of deaths from the virus on the day of his visit.

Looking like a fool at his White House campaign rallies, DDT said he would disband the coronavirus task force. After severe backlash, he said he had no idea that his daily performances were so popular. He plans to keep the task force but change its focus to the economy instead of COVID-19 .

DDT is blocking testimony from his coronavirus task force to the House, claiming that they are “Trump haters.” Testimony might reveal Jared Kushner’s directive to supply-chain vendors to prioritize orders from “VIPS” (aka conservative journalists) and use inexperienced volunteers.

The disease control experts at CDC spent weeks developing guidance for reopening communities in the safest ways possible, and the White House buried their guidelines. The report included flow charts to help local leaders make decisions about reopening or staying closed. DDT’s new press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, she of the “I won’t lie to the media” claim, said that CDC Director Robert Redfield hadn’t approved the documents. She lied. Redfield approved the document, and DDT shelved it on April 30. Also in the document was a set of phased guidelines, “Steps for All Americans in Every Community,” about testing, contact tracing, and other infection controls. DDT may not mind tracing contacts, but without tests that don’t exist, there’s no one to trace.

Redfield heard nothing after he sent the approved report to the White House for approval on April 27 although he kept asking about its status. The White House killed the document on April 30, saying that it “would [not] ever see the light of day.” On May 7, part of the report emerged into the light when AP published an article about part of it. Yesterday, they got the rest of it. The White House then called CDC and told them to take out the church flow chart.  The guide recommends three phases of reopening, including social distancing, but DDT rejected the guide because it was too cautious.

Governors are helping DDT kill more people. Hours after Arizona’s Gov. Doug Ducey announced his grand reopening plan, the state’s Department of Health ordered Arizona’s two major universities to “pause” compiling data and creating models about COVID-19 cases in the state. The university statistics argued that opening the state wasn’t safe until the end of May. After a public hue and cry, the state backed off from its demand. Arizona’s deaths from COVID-19 is skyrocketing.

COVID-19 infections and deaths are also skyrocketing at meatpacking plants, but HHS Secretary Alex Azar, working hard to please DDT, explained: all their infections happen at other places, and they just happen to be working at the plants. And they get infected because they aren’t “regular folks,” according to Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack during oral arguments suing the government for his stay-at-home order. Location of the meatpacking company under discussion, Brown County HHS Department said no one should blame the meatpacking industry for the outbreak that went from 60 cases to 800 in two weeks.

Health officials in Grand Island (NE) wanted to shut down the meat plant to develop a when they saw the devastating effects of infection at JBS, but Gov. Pete Ricketts refused their pleas. Employers told workers were told to go to work even if they were sick, and rural areas are unprepared for infections in at least 10,000 workers at over 100 meat plants. With a population of 58,607, almost 90 percent living in Grand Island, Hall County has 1,285 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 31 deaths, 38 percent of all the deaths in Nebraska, population about two million.

Four other GOP governors joined Ricketts in bragging how their refusal to issue stay-at-home orders is a “model for success”: Govs. Mark Gordon (Wyoming), Asa Hutchinson (Arkansas), Kim Reynolds (Iowa), and Mike Parson (Missouri). Over 1,600 workers at four Iowa meatpacking plants have been infected; Missouri’s 368 infections on Monday reported the highest number of new cases in one day; Nebraska’s infections in Grand Island is a higher per capita rate of infection than New York; and the virus infected over 100 prisoners and a staff member.

With the help of his sycophants, DDT uses COVID-19 to kill people through lack of transparency, lying, incompetent appointments, failure to care for country’s infrastructure, elimination of health care, restriction of supplies, favoritism, pressure to open the country for rewards, and indifference to human life except for his own.

DDT doesn’t care about anyone else’s health or death, but his Navy valet’s COVID-19 infection sent DDT to “lava-level mad,” accusing his staff of not protecting him. Close to DDT throughout the day, the personal valet serves DDT’s meals, brings him beverages, and ensures that DDT’s clothes are ironed and shoes shined, but DDT claimed he had “very little contact, personal contact with this gentleman.” CDC protocol is that anyone having close contact with an infected person stay home for 14 days since that exposure, check their temperatures twice a day, and stay away from people are high risk of getting seriously ill.

(SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

After DDT discovered his valet tested positive for the virus, he met with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Neither wore a mask. Abbott, over 60, has a weaker immune system after a 1984 accident left him partially paralyzed with a spinal cord injury. DDT’s meeting with two dozen GOP congressional leaders did not require masks and had limited social distancing. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said they had tests. After exposure to the infection, DDT also met with seven World War II veterans, ages 96 to 100. No one wore masks. DDT said he won’t wear a mask because he might look ridiculous.

Katie Miller, VP Mike Pence’s spokeswoman, has also tested positive. She frequently travels with Pence and can often be found at his side in meetings. She recently married Stephen Miller, the xenophobic author of DDT’s anti-immigration decrees. DDT said her test shows why “the concept of tests aren’t necessarily great…. Something can happen between a test where it’s good and then something happens and all of the sudden.” CDC recommends that anyone exposed to an infected person stay in quarantine for 14 days and maintain six feet social distance from all other people. Pence met with faith leaders yesterday before a roundtable on securing food supply.

Ivanka Trump’s personal assistant also tested positive, but she’s been teleconferencing from home for two months.

DDT is getting pushback on his reopening states:

  • 63 percent worry that states will lift restrictions too fast (Monmouth University Poll).
  • 70 percent of adults avoid large gatherings, and 556 percent regularly wear masks in public, including almost half of registered Republicans.  (Reuters-Ipsos poll last week)
  • Only 16 percent said they would be comfortable going to a restaurant or bar, and only 10 percent would be comfortable at public events or large gatherings. Only 32 percent said they would definitely or probably go to church services if restrictions were lifted. (Navigator Research poll in late April)
  • 43.9 percent approve of DDT’s handling the crisis; 52.3 percent disapprove. (RealClearPolitics average of polls)
  • 42 percent approve of the job DDT is doing, down 6 points from mid-April (Reuters-Ipsos poll last week). Monmouth has the same 42 percent, down 8 points from March, and only one-third said that DDT’s advice was helpful with 42 percent saying it was harmful.

And more polls. Other polls disapproving of DDT’s handling the virus.

Most people in the U.S. aren’t comfortable with opening the businesses with so many infections and deaths. The majorities are in both parties, for example, 59 percent of Republicans don’t want sit-down restaurants opening. Over 80 percent think that movie theaters should not open.

On May 9: United States – COVID-19 confirmed cases, 1,347,309; deaths, 80,037

                  World – COVID-19 confirmed cases, 4,100,788; deaths, 280,432

 
 
 

February 25, 2020

Coronavirus Hits the Economy

The latest victim to fall to the coronavirus in the United States was the economy: in the past two days, the Dow Jones stock market dropped almost 2,000 points, the worst two-day point drop on record. The three biggest indexes—Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq—each averaged three-percent drops for both yesterday and today. Goldman Sachs, citing the dangerous virus, cut its growth forecast for the U.S. economy to 1.2 percent for the first quarter, well below the 2.3 percent rate in 2019 and nowhere near the 4 to 6 percent that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) promised when he pushed through his massive tax cuts for the wealthy and big business.

DDT largely ignored the coronavirus until the drastic drop in stock markets. That’s when he considered a request from Congress for first $1 billion and then $2.5 billion to ameliorate the disease–and raise the Dow. Asha George, director of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, said an immediate package of $3 billion is necessary for funding vaccines and antidotes, stockpiling medical supplies, manufacturing medications, creating and sending diagnostic kits to doctors and hospitals, and planning and guidance. She said that agencies already need the $200 million taken from other programs to fight the disease. HHS has already transferred over $130 million from some of its accounts into combatting the virus, including an emergency infectious disease rapid-response fund. DDT wants to move $535 million from an Ebola preparedness account, a disease killing tens of thousands of people, making people vulnerable to that disease.

DDT attacked Democrats for wanting more money, but they aren’t alone. When HHS Secretary Alex Azar asked Congress for the $2.5 billion, some Republicans agreed that it might not be enough. “If you lowball something like this, you’ll deal with it later,” Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) told Azar. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said that senators will “decide the final numbers.”

DHS acting deputy secretary, Ken Cuccinelli, demonstrated DDT’s low level of competence in appointments when Cuccinelli frantically tweeted for help in in finding a map showing the coronavirus spread. When he couldn’t locate the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering department’s map showing the latest COVID-19 numbers and locations, he tweeted that it “seems like bad timing to stop helping the world.” Curiosity had caused the site to be overwhelmed, but meanwhile Cuccinelli had publicized his ignorance to the world. The article about his experiences is well worth reading just because of Twitter responses.

Acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf did almost as badly as Cuccinelli during a Senate hearing when he couldn’t accurately state the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S., didn’t know how many cases came into the US. from cruise ships, couldn’t explain how the virus is transmitted, and was unaware of mortality rates for both coronavirus and influenza. According to the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu deaths are about 1 in 1,000 people in the U.S. compared to 1 in 50 deaths from coronavirus. Wolf doesn’t know whether the U.S. has enough respirators and masks. His ignorance was made obvious by questioning from Louisiana’s GOP Sen. John Neely Kennedy. Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.).

On her MSNBC news program, Rachel Maddow pointed out how DDT has weakened the U.S. fight against the coronavirus health crisis: In 2018, DDT “fired the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command back in 2018 and never replaced them with anyone,” according to Pulitzer Prize winning science journalist Laurie Garrett. He fired the point person on all global health security matters on the National Security Council and didn’t bother to find someone else for the job. President Obama had one person in charge of the Ebola crisis, but DDT has left the coronavirus response to different agencies with difficulty in cooperation. The National Security Council’s entire global health security unit was shut down, and John Bolton pushed out a similar team from the DHS. Many of the CDC global health section were cut along with a reduction of countries where CDC worked from 49 to only 10. DDT is eroding the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and wants to cut it by 40 percent. In addition, DDT’s cuts to the National Institutes of Health and CDC hurt the possibility for research into the disease.  

DDT has come up with two solutions for the growing pandemic: it will be over in April with warmer weather, and the U.S. is “very close to a vaccine.” The severity of some viruses lessens in spring and summer, but CDC is concerned that the coronavirus may not be one of them. Under optimum conditions, a vaccine for coronavirus might be available between 12 and 18 months. The White House tried to cover for DDT in his mistake with the claim that DDT referred to the Ebola virus in talking about being close to a vaccine.

The CDC opposed putting people with coronavirus on the same plane as those who tested negative to fly them from Japan for quarantine, but DDT’s administration ignored the recommendation. DDT said there wouldn’t be any problem in mixing presumably healthy people with sick ones. Director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy Michael Osterholm called that decision “one of the cruelest human experiments I’ve seen in my entire career.” The administration, however, is protecting DDT. Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was told not to go to India with DDT because Mulvaney had a cold.

DDT, supported by his National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, is endangering public health in the U.S. by encouraging people to buy “these dips” in order to make DDT look good before his election while minimizing the danger of a disease that has already killed thousands of people. DDT’s claim that the virus is “under control” has no proof. A public health crisis needs trusted information, something that people will never get from DDT.

Rush Limbaugh, the most recent recipient of DDT’s Medal of Freedom, complained about how “the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump.” Limbaugh has his own alternative fact about coronavirus that he shared with millions of conservatives and says that he’s “dead right on this.” He falsely claims that “coronavirus is the common cold.”

With no evidence for his conspiracy theory, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) maintains that China deliberately created the coronavirus that is killing its citizens and destroying its commerce. Experts debunked Cotton’s theory, but he continues to talk about the proximity of a lab to a market, falsely considered the virus’ starting point. His justification for his myth is “China’s duplicity and dishonesty” and persists in identifying the false “hypothesis” of an engineered virus. According to the highly reputable medical journal Lancet, scientists from several countries outside China conclude that this virus, like many other recently emerging viruses in humans, originated in wildlife

The CDC sent out faulty coronavirus testing kits to U.S. labs, but officials aren’t saying how many of the 200 kits are in that category. These kits, each testing 700-800 specimens, were intended to provide results faster than shipping samples to CDC in Atlanta. Over 30 kits intended for other countries weren’t shipped because of the flaw. One ingredient in the test caused the problem. Mislabeled samples in San Diego allowed a woman with coronavirus to be discharged from a hospital. Tests cannot also identify infected people still in the incubation period.

A few facts about Covid-19, the new strain of coronavirus:

  • Symptoms: Coughs, fever, and breathing difficulties that can lead to pneumonia. Some people who test positive have no symptoms.
  • Cure: Recovery depends on a person’s immune system because antibiotics have no influence on the virus.
  • Transmission: Person to person within six feet through air, coughs, and sneezing.
  • Extent: 80,000 people in 31 countries, the worst being China. China has 2,663 deaths among 77,658 cases. Over 12,000 people in China have recovered. Italy, Japan, and South Korea have hundreds of cases, and deaths have occurred in Hong Kong, Taiwan, France, Iran and the Philippines.
  • Mortality rate: 2 percent in the epicenter of the outbreak.
  • Other coronaviruses: Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).

Market Watch posits that the drop in stocks is more than the effect of the Covid-19 on the world economy. The uncertainty of the virus consequences may be equaled by the uncertainty of the 2020 election outcome. Economists have been waiting almost a year to see when over-valued stocks would “correct” as DDT kept using the high stock markets as an indicator of economic growth. Recession in the U.S. has been a concern for at least a year, and the virus concern may kick these worries into overdrive.

February 23, 2020

‘Zero’ Immigration Hurts Economy

“We are desperate” for immigrants was part of the message by Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), in a speech at Oxford Union while Mulvaney was in England. (That was after he said that Republicans care only about huge deficits when there is a Democratic president. Mulvaney and DDT have managed to increase the national deficit by $3 trillion in three years.)  About the U.S. need for immigrants, Mulvaney said:

“We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we’ve had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants.”

Immigrants contributed 15 percent of U.S. economic growth between 1990 and 2014. They provide taxes to support domestic programs for U.S. children and seniors as well as tending to be better educated. They founded 30 percent of U.S. firms that have gone public and more than 50 percent of startups valued at over $1 billion that have yet to go public. They generally do not speak English as well as native-born citizens so they don’t compete for jobs in communication, concentrating more on scientific and technical employment. Others work in fields sometimes rejected by native-born citizens; immigrants comprise 36 percent of workers in the farming, fishing, forestry, building and grounds cleaning, and maintenance workers; 27 percent of hotel workers; and 21 percent of home health care industry workers. Their mobility fills in gaps for labor market efficiency.

As DDT does in the U.S., Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson (nicknamed BoJo), with the help of his home secretary Priti Patel, is imposing a rigid points-based system to deny most immigrants the right to live and work in Britain. They get their points by proving they speak English, are educated, and have a job offer paying a middle-class wage. BoJo hopes his white nationalism will appeal to older and wealthier conservative voters.  Like in the United States, BoJo’s system will result in a massive shortage of workers in healthcare, home care, lodgings, restaurants, farming, and other areas relying on low-paid employees. The government estimates that 70 percent of immigrants from the EU since 2004 would not have qualified.

DDT is going to be more desperate to find immigrants after his conservative Supreme Court ruled to lift stays on the wealth test—that immigrants even on the path to citizenship will be deported if they receive public benefits for 12 of 36 months. Justice Sonia Sotomayor stated the court was violating its own rules about when to step into the legal process. Until DDT’s election, the Court did not typically grant stays while cases were in the lower courts. Sotomayor pointed out that this “extraordinary act” now seems to be the “new normal.” Of the 23+ applications for “extraordinary” stays since DDT’s inauguration, 12 were this year compared to a total of eight requests during the 16 years of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. DDT’s government also wins two-thirds of the requests, showing that his Supreme Court bends the law in his favor.

“It is hard to say what is more troubling: that the government would seek this extraordinary relief seemingly as a matter of course, or that the court would grant it.”

Sotomayor also argued that “this Court is partly to blame for the breakdown in the appellate process … because the Court … been all too quick to grant the Government’s ‘reflexiv[e]’ requests.”

Immigrants already in the U.S. use public benefit programs less than U.S.-born citizens. In 2013, 32.5 percent of the latter received SNAP benefits compared to 25.4 percent of naturalized citizens and 29 percent of noncitizens. Immigrants also receive lower benefit values. Having jobs such as child care, home care, and fast food employment doesn’t keep people from needing these benefits

The Supreme Court decision impacts millions of immigrants; at least 69 percent of the over 5 million people receiving green cards during the past five years have at least one “negative” factor that could deport them. Even applying for a green card is counted against applicants. Other factors counting against applicants:

  • Not having an income that is 250% of the poverty line ($76,700 for a family of five).
  • Being unemployed.
  • Dropping out of high school.
  • Lacking English fluency.
  • Being older than 61 or younger than 18.
  • Having medical issues, especially if uninsured.
  • Not having private health insurance.
  • Having a mortgage, car loan, or credit card debt.

A missing piece in DDT’s budget, however, seems to reinforce the hiring of undocumented immigrants, perhaps again at his own businesses. The use of E-Verify, a program that checks new hires for undocumented immigrants, is no longer mandatory although it was part of his campaign promises. Jared Kushner, DDT’s son-in-law and adviser, has been working on a 600-page immigration proposal that makes immigration more business friendly, and the budget cuts $3.7 million from E-Verify’s funding.

Big employers don’t use E-Verify “Because I don’t have to,” according to their interviews with Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies.  The Trump Organization didn’t use E-Verify until a scandal about DDT’s undocumented workers erupted over two years after his inauguration. In May 2019, DDT told Fox that his business tried to use E-Verify while building his hotel in Washington, D.C. but the program blocked them from hiring “qualified” people. Florida’s biggest businesses—including agriculture, tourism, and construction—opposed the mandatory use of E-Verify because it was a threat to their workforce. Twenty-four states, including Florida, require E-Verify only for some government employers, but only eight states mandate the program’s use for all businesses.

The shortage of immigrants comes from far-right, racist, anti-immigrant Stephen Miller who persuaded DDT that a white country is a good country. In The New Yorker, Jonathan Blitzer wrote a profile of Miller and his steps to turn the United States white.  

After 9/11, Congress created the Department of Homeland Security, the third largest federal department with a $50 billion budget and a staff of about 200,000 employees, combined a number of protective agencies for disaster recovery, cybersecurity, infrastructure, the Coast Guard, and immigration. Miller’s focus was only on the last one: he ignored policy-making and requires lower-level officials to answer directly to him without the knowledge of their high-up’s.

Under the auspices of Director of Domestic Policy Council, Miller eliminated decades of immigration policies and precedent while using law to reduce legal immigration. His ten-point list includes an “end to catch and release,” “zero tolerance for criminal aliens,” penalties for sanctuary cities, a vow to reverse Obama’s executive orders, and a “big-picture” vision for reforming the immigration system “to serve the best interests of America and its workers”—meaning no one but white. Because of Miller, DDT revoked DACA to rid the U.S. of a “foreign-born” workforce before Miller guaranteed that Congress wouldn’t find a bipartisan solution for its reinstatement.  

Miller led a meeting with DOJ officials to push them into prosecuting border crossers as criminals so that families could be separated. Parents received criminal charges; children were considered unaccompanied minors. DHS wasn’t ready to implement the program and had no system for reuniting families, but Miller forced the agency into taking 2,500 children, including 102 under the age of five, from their parents. Hundreds of parents were deported without their children.  

Almost a year ago, DHS began the great DHS purge, beginning with firing Kristjen Nielsen and moving on to dumping the head of ICE and the DHS top lawyer. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said that DDT “pulling the rug out from the very people that are trying to help him accomplish his goal.” Miller moved in his own loyalists such as Matthew Albence as head of ICE who compared detention facilities to “summer camp.” But Kevin McAleenan, DHS fourth DHS head under DDT quit. He said:

“What I don’t have control over is the tone, the message, the public face and approach of the department in an increasingly polarized time.”

Miller refused to accept the resignation, but McAleenan left anyway. His replacement, Chad Wolf, is another acting appointee not confirmed by the Senate for that position. To get Wolf into that position, DDT pushed him through as Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Strategy, Policy, and Plans. Wolf could not be an agency director without being Senate-confirmed for another agency position.

Although he denied involvement in the “zero tolerance” immigration policy, Wolf helped develop the concept of separating families at the southern border as punishment and said, “My job wasn’t to determine whether it was the right or wrong policy.” He is also architect of the “Remain in Mexico” policy which forces almost 50,000 migrants caught in dangerous conditions while awaiting refugee asylum.

Last fall, hundreds of Miller’s emails exchanged between 2015 and 2016 with Breitbart were made public. They included links to articles on the white-supremacist Web site vdare, as well as an enthusiastic reference to The Camp of Saints, a racist anti-immigration French novel. One email forwards an article arguing that the U.S. should deport immigrants on trains “to scare out the people who want to undo our country.” Miller’s policies have almost completely sealed the southern border and has moved on to ordering DHS to send armed agents from Border Patrol swat teams to so-called “sanctuary cities” such as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. He also wans ICE officers to pull children out of school. A senior DHS official told Blitzer that “there’s no one left at DHS to say ‘No’ to Miller anymore.” With Miller, DDT and the United States won’t have the workers they need to grow the economy.

February 17, 2020

Washington’s Birthday 2020

Until Richard Nixon was elected president, people celebrated two holidays in February—Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on the 12th and George Washington’s birthday on the 22nd. Although Washington’s birthday was designated a federal holiday in 1855, it subsumed Lincoln’s birthday when the Uniform Monday Holiday Act moved Washington’s Birthday to the third Monday of February in 1971. For the past few decades, many people have nicknamed this date “Presidents Day,” sometimes putting the apostrophe before or after the last “s.” Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) puts it before the “s,” perhaps because he wants President’s Day to refer only to himself.  Thirteen states don’t celebrate either Washington’s Birthday or Presidents Day as a state holiday, and some Southern states refuse to celebrate any part of Abraham Lincoln.

George Washington, in his 1796 farewell address after two terms in office, was most concerned for the safety of the U.S. Constitution and the unity of government after the rise of factions from political parties. He wrote:

“The Constitution which at any time exists, until changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government. All obstructions to the execution of the laws …. are destructive of this fundamental principle.”

In contrast to Washington’s noble image of a new country is DDT’s impression as described by history, documentarian, and filmmaker Ken Burns whose 30+ productions covered two centuries of U.S. achievements. In a 2016 interview, Burns’ prescience came from a discussion of his then new project Defying the Nazis as he explained his reason for public opposition to DDT:  

“I have never in my professional life ever spoken out in this way. I certainly have my own opinions and have a yard sign at elections and make sure I vote. But I spoke out because he represents the greatest threat to American democracy since the Second World War. He is so fundamentally un-American, and not only because he is unqualified, but because he is mentally unsuited. He represents a kind of strong man, narcissistic thing that represents the potential death of the Republic. All of my films are about the United States and all of them are about trying to understand how it works and how it doesn’t work, and I just felt compelled to speak out.”

About DDT’s appeal to his base, Burns said:

“He has tapped a dark unconscious, in which it is easier to vilify the other than to see what you share in common. It’s easier to be afraid than to welcome change. It’s always been there. We had a civil war, you know. We killed 750,000 of ourselves over this issue. He’s appealing to that in the most venal and vulgar ways.”

In his interview, Burns talked about DDT’s full-page ads demanding the death penalty to five young people, the “Central Park Five,” later exonerated for a horrible crime. DDT never backed down on his calls for the death penalty even after the guilty person was found. Asked if DDT is a fascist, Burns said:

“Absolutely. When you talk about having extra-judicial, threatening rivals with jail. You can call it fascistic or you can call it dictatorial. You can call it monomaniacal or imperial. Whatever you want to say, this is not the way that our country works.”

These comments were made over three years ago before DDT was elected as U.S. president.

Three years later, writer for the National Catholic Reporter Michael Sean Winters wrote about DDT’s “seven deadly sins”—greed, lust, gluttony, sloth, envy, wrath, and pride:

“What we see with President Donald Trump and his cast of sycophants and co-conspirators . . . is a rare thing: All seven deadly sins on display at once.”

Winters wrote about how the “deadly sins” spur DDT’s actions:

His unsatiated greed for money and fame during most of his life extends to greed for power.

His lust for women came out before the election in the tape about how he could grab women “by the pussy,” a tape that 63 million voters ignored and enjoyed. By now, his lust for 23 women has been widely politicized, but his base ignores or rejects the possibility that he committed these actions.

Gluttony, obvious that he can never get enough money or power or women, reveals his drive for satisfying only his own needs with no concern for the country that he was elected to lead.  

Sloth is evident in his refusal to read briefing papers and his constant golfing, even during disasters affected the United States. He has no knowledge of history or the ramifications of his actions.

Envy, largely directed at his predecessor, is he cause behind almost every decision DDT makes—eliminating items for budgets, dropping out of treaties, destroying the environment, taking health care from people—anything to erase President Obama’s legacy no matter how much damage it does to the country.

Fury pours out at all his campaign rallies and throughout his tweets; inside sources report his wrath within the White House. Recently, he used the National Prayer Breakfast to rail at people who didn’t show him absolute loyalty. His anger at former opponent Hillary Clinton is still on full display at the rallies, and he always calls for chants of “lock her up.”

Pride for DDT “is the pride of the con man,” according to Winters. “He is proud of his ability to make people think he is a man of abilities when he really is a man of few gifts beyond those we associate with showmanship.” In 2016, David Brooks wrote about DDT:

“[His] vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa.”

DDT has managed to consistently break all the Ten Commandments:

  1. “I am the Lord thy God who has brought you out of the land of Egypt.” DDT has said that only he can save the people of the U.S.
  2.  “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Evangelical Christians, who have been able to swallow everything else that DDT throws at them, have complained about his taking God’s name in vain.
  3. “Thou shalt have no other gods beside Me. You shall not make for yourself any graven image.” DDT has declared himself the “lord” and puts his name on everything possible.
  4.  “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.” DDT uses his Sabbath for election campaigning.
  5.  “Honor thy father and mother.” Even at his father’s funeral, DDT could not resist making the event all about himself.
  6.  “Thou shalt not kill.” DDT has vastly increased the “collateral damage” from bombings in the Middle East and is indifferent to murdered civilians. He refuses to take any action in mass shootings, and his unadulterated support for Israel is killing thousands of Palestinians.
  7.  “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Breaking this commandment has been one of DDT’s favorite activities. A prime example is that he pled the Fifth for 97 times during his divorce from Ivana Trump to avoid incriminating himself about his public extramarital affair with Marla Maples who he then married before divorcing. 
  8. “Thou shalt not steal.” DDT has stiffed workers by not paying their wages, taken others’ pensions by declaring bankruptcies, and generally cheated everyone possible. He also stole from his own charitable foundation.
  9. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” DDT fits the old joke: How can we tell that he is lying? He opens his mouth. A few months ago, he was past 16,000 lies since his inauguration.
  10. “Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s house, nor his wife, his man-servant, his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” In addition to the neighbors’ possessions, DDT covets attention, love, glory, power and victory. 

More examples here

DDT fits the description of the conservative Christian anti-Christ, the one who opposes Christ while substituting himself in Christ’s place. Pure evil, DDT is a polarizer, hatemonger, and fearmonger with no understanding of or respect for the nation’s political values and traditions. The one value he seeks in those around him, loyalty, means that he wants only their agreement, not advice.

This Vanity Fair piece by Marie Brenner from 1990 shows that DDT hasn’t changed in 30 years.

After DDT’s weekend vacation at Mar-a-Lago, President Obama managed to drive him into another rage with this tweet on Washington’s Birthday:

“Eleven years ago today, near the bottom of the worst recession in generations, I signed the Recovery Act, paving the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history.”

Unfortunately for DDT, his bragging falls short—again. His “greatest economy ever” is only sixth out of the last ten presidential terms—and it’s headed downhill.

Happy “President’s Day!”

February 12, 2020

Budget Shows DDT’s Cruel Priorities

Last year, household debt topped $14 trillion.

The day before Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) Trump tweeted “BEST USA ECONOMY IN HISTORY!” he slashed a scheduled pay raise for federal workers from 2.5 percent to 1 percent because, according to DDT, he’s “keeping the nation on a fiscally sustainable course.” The White House said that a president can “implement alternative plans for pay adjustments” in “a national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare.” This assertion came from the man who signed $1.5 trillion cuts for the rich and big business. The increase in cost of living for 2019 was 2.3 percent, the highest since 2011, which means that federal workers’ wages dropped 1.3 percent.

In January, the federal deficit climbed to $389, 25 percent more than the same period last year. The Treasury Department estimates a deficit of more than $1 trillion, even higher than the almost $1 trillion for each of the first two years after DDT was inaugurated. Revenue is down because of loss from individual corporate tax cuts of 40 percent.

Against this backdrop, DDT released his new budget with the redundant name “The Budget for America’s Future.” On the campaign trail, DDT said he would eliminate the federal debt, or at least halve it, during his presidency. Instead, his new budget adds $3.4 trillion by 2024 on top of the $3 trillion he already added—and that’s likely a very conservative guesstimate—with an “optimistic” projection of ballooning debt until 2035.

When he pushed the tax cuts, DDT promised to grow the economy by at least four percent and maybe 5 percent or 6 percent. Last year, the GDP grew at 2.3 percent, and he projects 2.8 percent for 2020, going up to 3 percent a year after that. He’s still saying that his tax plan will create business investment and economic growth. The Congressional Budget Office’s far more realistic estimate is GDP growth of 2.2 percent this year, 1.9 percent in 2021, and average 1.7 percent through 2030.

Saturday morning, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) tweeted that he “will not be touching your Social Security and Medicare in Fiscal 2021 Budget.” The next day, DDT’s newly released budget showed “steep reductions in social-safety-net programs” of $2 trillion, including $1.6 trillion cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, according to the conservative Wall Street Journal. Among the $920 billion cut for Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act are $135 billion for prescription drugs and $292 billion in safety-net cuts such as work requirements and food stamps. [Last year, drug prices increased by 5 percent] DDT’s budget cuts Medicare by $451 billion. Gone are $1.7 billion for low-income children’s school meals, $200 billion by requiring Social Security numbers for the child tax credit and earned income tax credit, and $170 billion for student loan programs. Social Security was cut by $70 billion eligibility for disability benefits, adding to a total of $4.4 trillion cuts for programs benefiting families and working people.

With Mick Mulvaney still making the $203,500 for salary from his past position as director of the Office of Management and Budget but now action chief of staff, acting OMB director Russell Vought, making only $179,000 to do Mulvaney’s dirty work, was left to justify DDT’s budget. According to Vought, the administration isn’t making these cuts at all: it will “remove” parts of the Medicare and then “moderate their growth” with reforms. He declined to give a total figure of all cuts (aka moderations of growth) to Medicare and Social Security.

Vought couldn’t answer the question about DDT’s introduction of the new budget that stated the government “abused its authority to go after business.” He said:

“Who? Who? Who’s saying that? Don’t have it in front of me.”

The White House put most of Vought’s briefing “off-camera.”

Asked about the $2 trillion in proposed cuts to “entitlement programs,” Vought answered that they weren’t cuts. He said, “We believe these are good-government reforms.” He also commented that “the coronavirus is not going to have a ripple effect.”

Under oath while testifying before the House Budget Committee, Vought refused to answer the question about whether President Obama’s administration had created any jobs.

Once again DDT panders to his base with his budget. His only increases are 12 percent to NASA for a trip to Mars (which DDT unfortunately won’t be taking), an increase in military spending to $740.5 billion, and 13.3 percent increase to the VA mostly for veterans’ health care, some of it for the after affects of DDT-caused head injuries from rocket attacks. And of course, the wall would get another $2 billion.

Other cuts:

  • 9 percent cut from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • 8 percent cut from the Education Department.
  • 21 percent cut from foreign aid.
  • 21 percent cut for the State Department and related international programs which includes the elimination of the Overseas Contingency Operations account.
  • 26.5 percent cut from the EPA.
  • 22 percent cut from the Army Corps of Engineers.
  • 37 percent cut from the Commerce Department.
  • 15 percent cut from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • 11 percent cut from the Labor Department.
  • 8 percent cut from the Energy Department.

The White House projects the economy will grow by an average of 3 percent a year if all of its proposals are adopted. The administration said real, or inflation-adjusted, gross domestic product would grow by 3.1 percent in 2021, up from its estimate of 2.8 percent this year. The administration forecast is considerably higher than the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that GDP will grow by 2.2 percent this year, 1.9 percent in 2021 and average 1.7 percent through 2030. White House forecast is based in part on the expectation the 2017 tax cuts, which would be extended in the budget plan, will spur business investment and economic growth.

DDT’s budget proposal nullifies a two-year deal negotiated with Congress last summer that raised both defense and domestic spending.

Two years ago, James Hohmann wrote a piece for Washington Post about DDT’s budget. Everything he said then holds true in 2020:

“[DDT] campaigned like a populist, but the budget he proposed Monday underscores the degree to which he’s governing as a plutocrat….

“’This is a messaging document,’ budget director Mick Mulvaney told reporters at the White House.”

These are the messages:

DDT campaigned on never cutting Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security, but his budget proposes these cuts with block grants.

DDT campaigned on bringing back manufacturing jobs, but he’s slashing budgets for training and support of job loss. Last year, the auto industry alone lost 50,000 jobs.

DDT campaigned on a balanced budget and created almost $3 trillion in deficits in his first three years.

DDT keeps campaigning on strong GDP growth while it becomes weaker.

DDT campaigning on helping the low-income workers but passed tax cuts for the rich and big business that helps only the “haves.” His budget promotes human suffering.  

DDT wants to kill the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, programs to prevent pollution, and eliminate any program that might stall climate change.

DDT campaigns on less government while increasing the part that he loves—military build-up. [In 2013, when former Defense Secretary was a Marine general leading Central Command, he told Congress, “If you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more ammunition.” Now DDT buys more ammunition.]

DDT continues his plan of privatization to destroy public lands through mining, grazing, etc. and increase private school vouchers for Christian schools while slashing the Education Department budget.

About his budget, DDT said:

“We’re doing a lot of things that are good, including waste and fraud. Tremendous waste and tremendous fraud.”

Yes, he’s right. He’s doing “a lot of … waste and fraud. Tremendous waste and tremendous fraud.”

An overview of DDT’s budget. 

February 4, 2020

State of the Union Speech: The Great American Comeback (GAC)

One year ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) vigorously clapped for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) at his State of the Union speech when DDT said called on Washington to “reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good.” After a year of threats and obstruction, DDT now calls for former national security adviser John Bolton to be investigated and plans to also attack Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY). Sources say that DDT “has an enemies list that is growing by the day.”

DDT’s legal team already spent the vast majority of their time attacking DDT’s self-perceived political enemies who had nothing to do with the impeachment—President Obama, former FBI director James Comey, special investigator Robert Mueller, FBI employees Strzok, Page, and Ohr—the list was extensive. Pam Bondi spent almost an hour attacking Hunter Biden for charges that Ukraine and U.S. investigation declared baseless. 

Tonight, DDT moved forward to spread vitriol, sob stories, and falsehoods in his third State of the Union speech, adding mightily to his 16,000 lies over the past three years. 

GDP Growth – Fiction: “U.S. economy “best it’s ever been. Fact: The GDP growth in the last quarter was 2.1 percent with 2.3 percent for the entire year. The average growth rate since 1947 has been 3.2 percent. Economic growth slowed. DDT in September 2016: “We think it could be 5 (%) or even 6 (%).” He was wrong.

Economic Success – Fiction: DDT takes responsibility for having “reversed the failed economic policies of the previous administration.” Fact: Economists maintain that economic growth because during President Obama’s terms.

Tax Law – Fiction: Giving money to the wealthy and big business by slashing the corporate tax by 40 percent will create a massive increase in domestic capital investment and then more jobs. Fact: A brief increase in investment in 2018 collapsed back to previous levels.

Jobs Growth – Fiction: A huge expansion of jobs under DDT. Fact: President Obama averaged 201,600 jobs per month after the George W. Bush’s loss of jobs was reversed in October 2010. For 2017 to 2019, with some of those months credited to his predecessor, DDT averaged 191,000 per month, five percent less than President Obama. DDT managed an average of 176,000 new jobs per month in 2016, a decline of almost 13 percent from his predecessor. The 6.7 million jobs created since DDT moved into the Oval Office is fewer than President Obama’s 8.2 created jobs in his last 36 months.

Manufacturing Jobs – Fiction: Blue-collar boom. Fact: Employment growth in manufacturing slowed to fewer than 50,000 jobs in 2019, the second worst in the past decade. Job growth decreased from 2.6 percent at the beginning of 2019 to 1.3 percent at the end of the year in mining, construction, and transportation. Instead of 12,000 new factories, the total of new ones is under 11,000, and over 8,000 of them employ five or fewer people.

Jobs Growth in Auto Industry – Fiction: NAFTA-New to “create nearly 100,000 new high-paying American auto jobs.” Fact: DDT’s own trade rep says 76,000 jobs in the next five years, and the nonpartisan International Trade Commission estimates 28,000 jobs.

Jobs for Minorities – DDT’s statement about “unemployment rate for African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans [reaching] the lowest levels in history” overlook the fact that these levels are now going up.

Wage Increases – Fact: Raises came from state and local increases in minimum wage law.

Farms – Fiction: Farms will benefit from DDT’s election. Fact: Farm bankruptcies increased by 20% in 2019 compared with 2018. After DDT’s trade war with China, soybean production was expanded in China. DDT compensated farm losses, mostly for wealthy farmers with a Socialist donation to them of $28 billion taxpayer money.

Oil Industry – Fiction: DDT taking credit for U.S. becoming #1 producer of oil and natural gas in the world. Fact: The U.S. became #1 in gas production in 2011 and #1 in oil production in 2014—during President Obama’s terms.

Pre-existing Conditions – Fiction: Claim of permanent protection for “patients with pre-existing conditions.” Fact: DDT has worked hard to weaken or eliminate pre-existing conditions, including his new regulations, legislation he championed, and the lawsuit to declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional that his AG Bill Barr is litigating for DDT. Information about DDT’s damage to health care

Social Security/Medicare – Fiction: Swears to eternal protection. Fact: At Davos (Switzerland) he said he will get rid of both programs, and his economic policies, such as tax cuts, takes money from these funds.

Sanctuary Cities – Fiction: “Local officials order police to release dangerous criminal aliens ….” Fact: Most cities direct police not to release any undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes unless they make bail.

Trade Deal – Fiction: The U.S. lost 25 percent of manufacturing jobs after NAFTA’s adoption. Fact: Factory employment increased immediately after NAFTA, and the trade deal was not responsible for later job losses. Some jobs were lost while other jobs were created elsewhere. China’s joining the World Trade Organization in 2001 led to greater loss in manufacturing jobs.

Drug Prices – Fiction: Drop in costs of prescription drugs last year. Fact: The Consumer Price Index for drugs doesn’t include all prescription drugs, and the Index has gone up again.  

Religion – Fiction: Claims that his administration is “defending religious liberty, that “we cherish religion.” Fact: Only Christianity is “cherished.” Muslims are persecuted and kept out of the country, and Judaism is accepted only when doing so benefits DDT. He “cherishes” white supremacists, who chant “Jews must go.” Evangelicals are placed far above other religions such as Catholicism as shown by DDT-sanctioned discrimination by adoption organizations. The bit about how “we raise our sights to the Glory of God was a bit much from the notorious “pussy-grabber.

Venezuela – Fiction: Juan Guaidó introduced as the “true legitimate president.” Fact: He is self-declared president, but countries such as Russia, China, and Iran as well as the UN recognize Nicolás Maduro’s government.

ISIS – Fiction: The claim that “the ISIS territorial caliphate has been 100 percent destroyed.” Fact: The Pentagon reported this week that the death of al-Baghdadi made little difference in ISIS’s ability “to maintain continuity of operations, global cohesion, and at least its current trajectory.”

Qassim Suleimani – Fiction: Murdered because he “directed the December assault on United States Forces in Iraq and was actively planning new attacks.” Fact: No evidence for these claims, and the killing may violate international law.

The Wall – Fiction: Built over 100 miles and will have 500 miles finished very soon. Fact: Almost all the 115 miles of new border wall are where vehicle barricades or tattered barriers existed. In Texas, the government lacks 144 or 162 private land that officials want for the wall. In his speech he skipped the lie he told in New Jersey that “the wall is ultimately and very nicely being paid for by Mexico.”

DDT’s focus on generalities made him able to avoid awkward facts about the wall. For example, a 37-mph wind blew down a 130-foot length of the wall in Mexicali, stopped only by trees on the Mexico side. People have easily scaled the wall and cut through it with a $100 saw. The wall also requires hundreds of unstaffed and manually-operated storm gates to be opened for months every summer in mitigation of flash flooding because the wall looks and acts like a sewer grate that collects debris. Open gates require forklifts to open and close the gates. operation.

Rivers and creeks reach dangerous volumes from summer storms, and the border has hundreds of drainage channels and several rivers. The Santa Cruz River begins in an Arizona valley and flows through Mexico’s mountains before returning with more water to again cross the border. The flood plain of the San Pedro River, which goes north from Mexico into Arizona, is wide as a football field and must be kept clean of any obstacles including trees. Until gates are built, the new parts of the wall leave gaps at these waterways that wildlife needs to cross the border and provides areas for smugglers and migrants to cross the border.

As always, DDT’s State of the Union speech, intended to unite the country, was strange—campaigning from the beginning with Republicans chanting “four more years” and DDT refusing to shake the hand of the House Speaker who reached out her hand to him. Pelosi, however, got the last word: she tore his speech in half. Conservatives were enraged, but stories about her action have already gone viral—along with all DDT’s lies. Yet Republicans swallowed DDT’s lies in the last election, suffered buyers’ remorse when they didn’t come true, and are now opening their mouths wide for another dose of falsehoods.

Next Page »

Mind-Cast

Rethinking Before Restarting

the way of improvement leads home

reflections at the intersection of American history, religion, politics, and academic life

© blogfactory

Genuine news

Civil Rights Advocacy

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

AGR Daily News

Quaker Inspired, Evidence Based, Art And Science Of Sustainable Health Plus Success - How To Create Heaven On Earth - Education For Seventh Generation Rainbow Warriors

JONATHAN TURLEY

Res ipsa loquitur - The thing itself speaks

Jennifer Hofmann

Inspiration for soul-divers, seekers, and activists.

Occupy Democrats

Progressive political commentary/book reviews for youth and adults

V e t P o l i t i c s

politics from a liberal veteran's perspective

Margaret and Helen

Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting...

Rainbow round table news

Official News Outlet for the Rainbow Round Table of the American Library Association

The Extinction Protocol

Geologic and Earthchange News events

Social Justice For All

Working towards global equity and equality

Over the Rainbow Books

A Book List from Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: