Nel's New Day

October 25, 2022

Week’s News – October 25, 2022

Liz Truss is out as British prime minister, and Rishi Sunak is in. Fewer than 200 votes conservative MPs made him leader of 67 million people. Gone on the first day is 40 percent of Truss’ 30-person cabinet. The longevity of the anti-immigration, anti-low-income class positions from the wealthy immigrant raises the question of which fruit or vegetable will appear next to his photograph. Sunak was largely responsible for ousting former PM Boris Johnson but had to wait almost two months until Truss came, served, and left before he could take over. The deal was cemented when Sunak met with King Charles III. Almost exactly 75 years after India gained independence from British rule, a British-Indian now rules the United Kingdom.

Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis might have been better off if he had refused to debate his Democratic opponent, former Florida GOP Gov. Charlie Crist. After DeSantis refused to answer Crist’s question about whether he would serve the entire four-year term, the wannabe 2024 presidential candidate lost the October 24 debate, 63 percent to 37 percent from 65,000 respondents, to Crist, according to the informal online poll by local NBC affiliate WFLA. Crist also slammed the misuse of taxpayer funds in DeSantis’ “horrible political stunt” of flying 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, now being investigated by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

During the debate, DeSantis struggled with defending his policies after Crist called him “the most anti-business governor I’ve ever seen.” Crist pointed out the governor’s attacks on the cruise industry for requiring vaccines, on Disney for expressing its point of view about the “don’t say gay” bill, and on the DeSantis order to not invest funds in “woke” corporations which blocked pension fund managers from using environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings when determining investments.

In the land of book banning, anti-LGBTQ parents recruited by Gov. Ron DeSantis are training Florida school librarians in what books to censor. Bipartisan school boards submissions are rejected despite the applicants’ qualifications in favor of members from Moms for Liberty (M4L). Michelle Beavers wants statewide bans on titles, calling them a “felony.” M4L has offered bounties for people turning in teachers who discuss “divisive topics,” attacked the Trevor Project for trying to prevent LGBTQ suicide, tried to ban a book about seahorses for being too sexy, and said that two girls briefly kissing at a school function is “lewd” and “traumatic.” Another “trainer,” Jennifer Pippin, was nominated by the founder of Florida Citizens Alliance that provides lists of “objectionable” school texts accusing them of promoting Islam, socialism, sex, LGBTQ identity, evolutionary science, climate change, and gun control.

The Kanye West scandal has eaten up so much of the media that I’ll join the fray. The white supremacist, anti-Semite Black rapper has gone over the edge so far that Adidas, which “Ye” claimed would never drop him, dropped him. Along with talent agency CAA, record label Def Jam, CAA, Balenciago, and who knows how many more companies. Adidas provides a large share of West’s wealth. Products related to West are removed from stores because, as Gap state, “antisemitism, racism and hate in any form are inexcusable and not tolerated in accordance with our values.” Adidas agreed:

“Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”

Jeremy Zimmer, CEO and co-founder of talent agency UTA, asked staff to “please support the boycott of Kanye West,” and the Endeavor talent agency’s CEO Ari Emanuel said companies that make money from West like Spotify and Apple should drop him. Twitter and Instagram restricted him for his posts, and bank JPMorgan Chase earlier severed ties. George Floyd’s family said they intent to sue West for $250 million for his podcast lie that Floyd was killed by fentanyl.

The evidence-free battle about furries continues! A North Carolina school board is more worried about children wearing furry costumes to school than the shortage of teachers and considered a proposal to ban any furry clothing including gloves and collars. The superintendent of Iredell-Statesville Schools said he spends hours responding to emails and social media about the false  rumor of kitty litter boxes and furry outfits, but a school board member ignored him. The entire rumor started from GOP politicians who oppose trans students, and at least one of the rumor-mongers, a losing candidate for Nebraska governor, had to admit his claims were false. “Christian” hate pastors are spreading the same lies.

Social Security Inspector General Gail Ennis, appointed by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), continues to persecute whistleblowers although DDT has left the White House. In 2019, senior Social Security officials Joscelyn Funnié and Deborah Shaw, who exposed hundreds of thousands of dollars against 100 disabled and poor elderly people without due process or federal regulations, were put on paid leave. Eventually reinstated, they were shunned in assignments, shut out of meetings, and denied any chance of advancement.

Funnié was fired 11 months later, only returning to work as a “special adviser,” in late 2021 after an investigation was opened. During the first six weeks after her return, her only assignment was to read two books on resilience and spirituality. She was then assigned a job requiring auditing and another designing a logo, both skills she lacks, and her supervisor requires his permission before she speaks with colleague. She wrote that Ennis and her staff “pretend I don’t exist.”

In early 2020, Shaw returned to work but was demoted without staff and faced the 45-day unpaid suspension that Ennis mandated. A judge ruled that she is the victim of “whistleblower reprisal” by Ennis’s office with “motive to retaliate” against her. He ordered Shaw receive back pay, return to her supervisory role, and remove potential for a suspension. Ennis’ appeal put the ruling on hold except for the return of her former rank. Ennis’ counsel, coordinator of the Social Security’s whistleblower protection program who retaliated against Shaw, is her supervisory, controlling all her work actions. Shaw is prevented from her former responsibilities in anti-fraud, reprimanded for helping colleagues asking for advice on a fraud case, and assigned to write a legal opinion on the soundness of starting a book club to improve morale on Ennis’s staff. Ennis’s office is last in 432 federal departments in the most recent survey of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government.

A California county judge has ruled that another bakery may discriminate against same-gender couples in refusing to make a wedding cake because of her “beliefs about that the Bible teaches marriage.” The baker wants the community to “grow together.” The Bible doesn’t mention same-sex marriage, and Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. The seven verses in the Bible typically used to condemn homosexuality refer to male ritual sex, rape, and molestation. The good book does approve of polygamy, husbands taking concubines, and treatment of women as property to be traded or sold.

A second DDT-appointed judge has upheld Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law in schools for the second time, despite proof of largely increased bullying since the law went into effect. She declared that bullying is “a fact of life,” opposing the precedent of school’s’ constitutional obligation to “protect students from targeted bullying and harassment based on who they are.”

California-based Fox network is in worse shape for the $4.3 billion defamation lawsuits from Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic about Fox “reporters” lying about their equipment helping to elect Joe Biden as president. The falsehood has been completely discredited, and bigger problems came from the discovery that Viet Dinh became Fox’s top legal officer in September 2018 but wasn’t licensed to practice law in California until June 2022 despite efforts to clear up the problem.   

Dinh claimed California’s state bar lost his application and COVID delayed his application, but the bar rejected these claims. He was paid $12 million last year, partly to operate the business. Plaintiffs could ask for some of Dinh’s communications not related to his legal responsibilities. The case is not going well: motions failed to dismiss both cases and the replacement of Fox’s outside team. Fox’s retention of internal emails has dropped to 13 months as of July 1, 2022, another reflection of the company’s legal worries. One discovery was an email from Fox News president Suzanne Scott indicating she knew the network aired airing false claims, leaving her taking the blame if necessary. Thus far, Fox maintains it only repeats allegations from others.

In an Australian court, court CEO Lachlan Murdoch is the plaintiff in a libel case against a local publication, Crikey, publishing a column concluding that “the Murdochs and their slew of poisonous Fox News commentators are the unindicted co-conspirators of this continuing crisis.” Last week, a judge ruled that Murdoch must explain his person view of who won the 2020 election and Fox clips could be played in court—against the wishes of Murdoch’s lawyers.

Republicans are still trying to define a woman. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), facing a difficult re-election, said women are “the lesser vessel,” needing “masculinity in our lives to balance that … weakness.” Herschel Walker, GOP candidate for Georgia’s U.S. senator, has another definition:

“If you can’t have, you can’t produce, uhhhh, a child, you’re a man.”

In the U.S. approximately 18 percent of females between the ages of ten and 49 can “produce, uhhh, a child.” That leaves the remaining 82 percent of the population men. At least according to Walker.

October 18, 2022

News Bits – October 18, 2022

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) is driving the media while President Joe Biden quietly works toward peace in the world. One of his recent accomplishments is negotiating an agreement between Israel and Lebanon to identify their maritime boundary. At war since 1948, the two countries have sometimes had military conflict, most recently in 2006, partly because of their lack of internationally recognized borders on land and on sea, a problem especially because of the large natural gas fields off their coasts. Progress was difficult because the countries’ officials refused to be in the same room, and Lebanon does no recognize Israel as a country.

Amos J. Hochstein, presidential coordinator for energy security, began diplomacy at the beginning of the year, commuting between Tel Aviv to Beirut through a third country because Israel and Lebanon have no direct air of road links.  He used the approach of how both countries could safeguard their vital interests, and both made concessions. Both sides called the deal “historic” as former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, trying to regain power in the November 1 election, said it was a “disgraceful surrender.” DDT’s former negotiator also attacked the agreement. With the countries at war, this agreement was more remarkable than DDT’s Abraham Accord in which three Arab states—the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco—recognized Israel because the three countries weren’t at war with Israel. Proof that diplomacy pays.

The federal website to apply for relief from student debt opened on October 17, an act that could directly help 43 million people in the U.S. and others connected to them as debt relief frees up family resources. Within a day, over 8 million people completed the application requiring five minutes.

Thanks to another Biden action, people can also save as much as $3,000 with hearing aids now available over the counter.

Earlier this month, Biden issued restrictions on selling semiconductors and chip-making equipment to China, blocking them from critical technologies from supercomputing to guiding weapons. The purpose is to delay Chinese military programs for nuclear blasts, hypersonic weapons, and surveillance. Companies selling advanced chips and chip-making equipment will need a special license given out on a case-by-case procedure.

After Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Hondo plans to build a $4.2 billion electric vehicle battery plant forty miles from Columbus (OH), creating 2,200 manufacturing jobs. Since Biden’s inauguration, the U.S. has added 620,000 manufacturing jobs. By August 2020, DDT had lost 237,000 manufacturing jobs among the total 3.1 million jobs that disappeared during his four years.

Republicans voted against Biden’s infrastructure bills, calling them “socialist,” but returned home to take credit for the funding given to their states. Biden’s response: “I didn’t know there were that many socialist Republicans.”

Fox network continually searches for ways to shame Biden. A recent one is Biden’s telling his son Hunter Biden that he loves him when Hunter was struggling with drug addiction. Sean Hannity played a private voicemail Biden left for Hunter in which Biden first expressed his love for his son and then said, “You gotta get some help. I don’t know what to do. I know you don’t either.” Hannity asked people to “imagine how the mob and the media” would cover the situation if DDT expressed the same sentiment. Maybe with some appreciation for the man?

Biden has never tried to hide his son’s addiction and isn’t embarrassed about loving his children. Yet Hannity whines about “attacks” on Herschel Walker, GOP candidate for Georgia’s U.S. Senate, the man who rejected his three illegitimate children, incessantly lied, considered killing a man in road rage, and threatened to kill his wife and another son. Oh yes, and denied paying for his girlfriend’s abortion and claimed not to know her, the mother of one of his children.

New discoveries about the past administration:

In its third installment, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis report specified DDT’s administrative undermining “the scientific integrity of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) coronavirus response in an attempt to serve the former President’s political goals.” The first installment addressed DDT’s attachment to the deadly “herd immunity via mass infection strategy,” and the second gave evidence of his high pressure campaigns on the CDC COVID decision-making and change scientific reasons. Part of Chairman James Clyburn’s (D-SC) statement:

“The previous administration engaged in an unprecedented campaign of political interference in the federal government’s pandemic response, which undermined public health to benefit the former president’s political goals… President Trump and his top aides repeatedly attacked CDC scientists, compromised the agency’s public health guidance, and suppressed scientific reports in an effort to downplay the seriousness of the coronavirus. This prioritization of politics, contempt for science, and refusal to follow the advice of public health experts harmed the nation’s ability to respond effectively to the coronavirus crisis and put Americans at risk.”

The report contains details of the above statement as well as how DDT used the pretense of a virus spread to close the southern border in the Title 42 order and blackmailed CDC into wasting hundreds of millions of dollars from its budget for DDT’s celebrity vanity campaign leading up to the November 2020 election. CDC said that accurate scientific advice to the public would have stopped some of the COVID deaths.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/10/17/trump-secret-service-hotel-rates-records/     Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, has records proving the Trump Organization charged the Secret Service agents assigned to protect him “exorbitant rates”—up to $1,185 per night—to stay at his properties, amounting to $1.4 million over four years. DDT promised that federal employees traveling with him would stay at his properties “free” or “at cost,” but DDT’s business charged the Secret Service over the government rate at least 40 times from January 2027 to September 2021. Some of the charges were for DDT’s family as in the nightly rate of $1,160 at the Washington, D.C. Trump hotel to protect Eric Trump when he promoted a golf tournament at the Trump National Golf Club.

During his term, DDT visited his own properties over 500 times and continues to take security with him after he left the White House. (To make John Malone, DDT supporter and board member of CNN’s parent company Warner Bros, happy, CNN tried to show that Biden took off more time than DDT but deflated DDT’s days off work and playing golf without discussing DDT’s expenditures in the article.) 

Maloney wrote to Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle, demanding a full accounting of what taxpayers have paid DDT’s business in the past and continue to pay. Cheatle replaces DDT-appointee James Murray who retired under a scandal of missing text message during the January 6 insurrection when the 27-year veteran of the agency returned from her job as senior director at PepsiCo North America overseeing facilities, personnel, and business continuity. Since her return, over one million texts and cellphone messages appeared.

In another probe, the House January 6 investigative committee is asking Cheatle about contacts between Secret Service agents and members of the far-right Oath Keepers group. Court testimony has revealed that Oath Keepers, including leader Stewart Rhodes, claimed to be in contact with the agents before the rallies, one of them giving advice on what weapons they could take to the rally.

In the second and last trial by John Durham, the special counsel investigating the special counsel Robert Mueller probing Russian interference into DDT’s 2016 campaign, the defendant has been acquitted of lying to the FBI about his sources. Appointed by AG Bill Barr before the 2020 election, Durham’s claims about private researcher Igor Danchenko for the Steele dossier about DDT’s Russian connections lacked evidence. During the hearing, Durham became confrontational and aggressive with his own witnesses, FBI counterintelligence supervisor and agent, who described Danchenko as a trusted source of information on Russian influence.

Durham’s first trial led also to an acquittal, and no one else is charged from Durham’s probe, his grand jury is inactive, and Durham will likely be pressured to wrap up his work after failing to achieve DDT’s claim of discovering “the crime of the century.”

The FBI promised Danchenko he would be protected by keeping his identity secret, but DDT’s allies exposed him. A witness testified that AG Bill Barr damaged national security when he gave a declassified redacted report of his interview with Danchenko to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who shared it with the world in an attempt to prove the corruption of the Russian investigation.

New Jersey is suing five major oil and gas companies and a leading fossil fuel lobby group for knowingly lying to the public about the existence of climate change and the role their products play in exacerbating human-caused global heating as far back as the 1970s. Dozens of states and cities have already filed similar lawsuits against fossil fuel corporations. New Jersey’s lawsuit is on the tenth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy which killed 38 people in the state and caused about $30 billion in damage.

Two strange stories from last summer. Deutsche Telkom AG, parent company of T-Mobile, trademarked the color magenta, declaring ownership over them and banning any other business from using them, after making them synonymous with a brand. And only 1,867 solid Pantone colors exist, and pink is already taken by Owens-Corning followed by green-gold by Qualitex. Etc. Trademarks must be renewed every ten years. Ohio University has also trademarked the word “THE,” covering “clothing, namely, t-shirts, baseball caps and hats; all of the foregoing being promoted, distributed, and sold through channels customary to the field of sports and collegiate athletics.”

It’s a crazy world.

September 1, 2022

News Bits – September 1, 2022

Deposed Donald Trump’s (DDT) lawyers tried to stall DDT’s problems from stealing classified documents by claiming that taking them was like having overdue library books, and President Joe Biden gave a speech in Philadelphia about preserving democracy that infuriated Republicans. More about that later while the judge decides whether to assign a “special master” for DDT but meanwhile lots of other news.

In the Alaska’s first ranked-choice election, Democrat Mary Peltola’s win by three percent came from half the people voting for GOP Nick Begich refusing to put Sarah Palin for their second choice—29 percent picked Peltola, and 21 percent didn’t vote for anyone. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), presidential wannabe, tweeted that the GOP-created ranked-choice voting process “is a scam to rig elections.” Peltola’s win was an 18-point overperformance for Democrats in a red state. In special elections since March 2021, Republicans were two percent over the estimated leaning for the winners before Roe v. Wade was overturned; after that, Democrats had an 11-percent lean.

Tony Ornato, DDT loyalist and deputy chief of staff for operations, retired two days before a scheduled interview with Inspector General investigators after stalling for two months. A top Secret Service official, Ornato may have tried to send VP Mike Pence to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on January 6, 2022, so that the presidential counting of votes would be delayed. Pence refused to get into the car. Ornato also told DDT’s White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson DDT demanded to be taken to the Capitol on January 6 after the rally and lunged for the steering wheel when Ornato refused to drive him there. Having met with the House January 6 investigative committee twice about Pence’s location, Ornato said he will meet with the Inspector General investigators, but, as a private citizen, he cannot be required to do so with a testimonial subpoena.

The House committee has asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for an interview regarding his communications with DDT’s senior advisers, including Jason Miller and Jared Kushner, about television advertising claiming lies about fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) wrote that Gingrich was part of the fake elector plot to persuade Pence and congressional members affecting the outcome of vote counting on January 6. Committee investigators interviewed witnesses during much of August and continue to receive many new documents while they work to recover missing texts from the Secret Service and Defense Department that the agencies wiped from phones of former and current officials.

Members are exploring identification of documents that former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows burned in his office fireplace and other mishandling of documents. After the FBI served a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on August 8, Meadows made arrangements to return records to the National Archives.

The committee also interviewed some of DDT’s Cabinet secretaries including Mike Pompeo, Steven Mnuchin, Robert O’Brien and Elaine Chao about their conversations after the insurrection in connection with invoking the 25th Amendment, the removal of a president on grounds of incapacitation, mental health or physical fitness. These discussions could show the serious problems of DDT’s behavior.

Former DDT White House lawyers Pat Cipollone and Pat Philbin have been subpoenaed by the federal grand jury investigating the January 6 insurrection.

New information about Ginni Thomas, wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, may contribute to the January 6 investigation. She pushed state lawmakers in Wisconsin as well as Arizona to overturn Biden’s 2020 election win. Emails show emails to at least two Wisconsin state lawmakers appear to be pre-generated by Thomas, mirroring form letters she sent to 29 Arizona legislators asking them to interfere in the state’s slate of presidential electors. She told them to unilaterally choose a “clean” slate of presidential electors and “consider what will happen to the nation we all love if you do not stand up and lead.”

Thomas’ push to overturn the election received scrutiny because of her husband’s refusal to recuse himself in a case about the House’s January 6 investigation. He was the only justice to publicly dissent from the Supreme Court’s move not to block a court order permitting House investigators to see DDT’s White House documents. Thomas also exchanged texts with Meadows in 2020 to persuade him in continuing the fight to overturn Biden’s win. Meadows gave these texts to the House select committee. Thomas has also openly opposed House investigation, calling on the two Republican members of the committee to be removed from the GOP caucus.

Owners of Fox network are defending itself in a defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems with the position that media sources shouldn’t be punished for lying about the 2020 election. Dominion asks for $1.6 billion in damages and has moved into discovery with Fox hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Jeanine Pirro being deposed. According to the Fox argument, the First Amendment allows news organizations to lie about public figures if it’s not done knowingly and has no reckless disregard for the truth. A Delaware judge denied the motion to dismiss the suit last year and stated that the case should proceed and that “the Court can infer that Fox intended to avoid the truth.”  

On the flip side of the coin, Lachlan Murdoch, Fox CEO and founder Rupert Murdoch’s son, is suing an Australian news outlet, accusing it of lying about Fox and its news about the election. Lachlan Murdoch contends an article calling the Murdoch family “unindicted co-conspirators” in the January 6 insurrection and the preceding election lies caused him to be “gravely injured in his character, in his personal reputation, and his professional reputation.” Crikey, the independent outlet, had stated that if DDT is indicted, “the Murdochs and their slew of poisonous Fox News commentators are the unindicted co-conspirators of this continuing crisis.” The First Amendment protects the statement in the U.S., but Australia has no such protection.

The Murdochs will want to avoid discovery because opposing counsel has access to emails and other internal communication. Concern about discovery caused Fox to settle a suit with the family of Seth Rich, the DNC staffer who Fox falsely accused of leaking emails to WikiLeaks during the 2016 election after Rich was shot and killed. In the Dominion lawsuit, Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch may be forced to join their hosts in being deposed. The owners claim they don’t make day-to-day decisions on programming or tell hosts what to say or not to say, but text messages prove the opposite.

A three-judge panel of the conservative 8th Circuit Court temporarily blocked Arkansas’ law banning gender-affirming medical care for trans children and teens. The court ruled that the ban would cause “irreparable harm” to trans young people and their loved ones and prohibit “medical treatment that conforms with the recognized standard of care.” Last year, over 200 anti-trans bills were introduced in over 30 states, and many of them have passed. Lies sent about trans people include trans children receiving gender-confirming surgery. Conspiracy theorists have attacked Boston Children’s Hospital for its Gender Multispeciality Service program treating children with gender dysphoria, including a bomb threat this week.

A KKK plaque is installed at the entrance of Bartlett Hall, the U.S. Military Academy’s science center in West Point (NY). It depicts a person in a hood, holding a weapon, with the words “Ku Klux Klan” on a triptych titled “One Nation, Under God, Indivisible.” The KKK was founded by Confederate veterans at the end of the Civil War.

Florida is rejecting donations of dictionaries after a freeze on new books in its libraries and classrooms so that parents have more control of school materials. In Sarasota, officials declined hundreds of dictionaries from a Venice Rotary Club’s donations. The group has donated over 4,000 dictionaries to the city’s elementary schools for almost 15 years in partnership with a nonprofit called the Dictionary Project. The law requires all “reading material” be “selected” by a certified education media specialist, but the district has none.

Texas loves God, as long as he’s straight, Christian, and English-speaking. A new law requires schools to display donated posters with “In God We Trust” in a prominent place. So parent Sravan Krishna tried to present a sign with the national motto in Arabic to a school district, and they refused after they tried to keep him from speaking. Muslims are the fifth-largest religious group in the state, and Texas has the largest population of Muslims in the U.S. The law has no requirement for English, but the school board said they had enough signs. (The law also makes no requirement for the number of signs.)  In addition to presenting posters in Arabic, Krishna donated another one with “God” in rainbow colors. Although a lawyer has said that the motto must be in English, the colored one didn’t pass muster either. About 20 percent of youth in the U.S. identify as LGBTQ+.  

[Note the U.S. and Texas flag on the sign. According to the law, the sign must include them and only the words “In God We Trust”–nothing more.]

Despite GOP attempts to kill unions, their approval is at the highest point since 1965 at 71 percent. And just before Labor Day!

February 12, 2022

Updates: DDT, Protests, RNC, Abbott

The story of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) and his theft of gifts and federal documents may never end. This article is for people who want to claim DDT’s innocence. And other updates from stories earlier this week:  

Canadian Truck Convoy Protest:  

A judge gave permission to clear a primary crossing from Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit (MI), and Canadian police cleared the vehicles. Other protesters still prevented access from going south on the crossing with about 180 remaining late Saturday, February 12. That crossing is the busiest between the two countries, carrying about 25 percent of the trade.

Demonstrators blocked the Ambassador Bridge for the past five days claiming they objected to a vaccination mandate to cross the border. Protests began on January 29.  Lack of parts forced Ford to temporarily stop work at an Ohio assembly plant in Ohio, and General Motors and Toyota announced production cuts, costing up to $700 million. This crossing is one of at least three closed to commerce by truckers, the others into Montana and North Dakota.  

The Toronto-Dominion has frozen two protester group’s personal bank accounts  of $1.1 million deposited by different crowdfunding sites, now blocked, one of them by the Canadian Superior Court of Justice. Much of the money came from the United States. 

The protesting truckers are not representative of Canadian truckers or population. The Canadian Trucking Alliance disavowed the participants, saying that most of them “have no connection with the trucking industry.” Over 84 percent of the Canadian population is vaccinated, compared to 64 percent of people in the U.S., and two-thirds of Canadians oppose the protest. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing 1.4 million people in the U.S. Canada, and Puerto Rico, also opposes the blockade at the border, stating it “continues to hurt workers and negatively impact our economy. The livelihood of working Americans and Canadians in the automotive, agricultural, and manufacturing sectors is threatened by this blockade.”

France and Belgium are banning road blockades, but reports in the U.S. indicate demonstrations affecting Super Bowl on Sunday and the State of the Union address next month. Paris police fired tear gas at demonstrators on the Champs Elysees avenue after a convoy of protesters against COVID restrictions moved into the French capital.

The Fox network leads the U.S. media charge in supporting the protest following the show hosts’ objections to vaccination despite their employer’s requirement they have them.  The network has spent over ten airtime hours for the story with over an hour each for Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, and at least 14 protest participants have been hosted on Fox. In the past month, Fox News has mentioned the truckers or Ottawa 2.5 times as often as CNN and five times as often as MSNBC. The network praises protesters just as they did the insurrectionists on January 6, 2021, calling them “freedom fighters” and more.

Participation in the convoy protest comes from a coordination between anti-vax and anti-government organizations, many of them QAnon conspiracy theorists. Popular among the protesters are the Confederate and neo-Nazi flags as well as QAnon logos. Fake accounts on social media connected to content mills in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Romania, and other countries have pushed popularity with the right wing, including lawmakers Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) as well as DDT. Right-wingers convinced Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) that the truckers had overturned the Canadian government, and Joe Rogan, in trouble on Spotify for his lies and racism, claimed there were “like 50,000 trucks” protesting instead of the highest estimate thus far of 18,000. Other lies were the resignation of “50 percent of the Ottawa police force” in support and Canada blocking hotels from renting to convoy protesters.

Teamsters General Jim Hoffa explained the support is to disrupt the supply chain causing economic stabilization and weakened government in power. It follows the CIA’s destabilizing Chile’s government run by democratically elected Salvador Allende with a truckers’ strike in 1972. Allende was soon overthrown by right-wing dictator General Augusto Pinochet. 

RNC Censure Resolution: 

Most GOP congressional members have completely separated themselves from the RNC after their voice vote to censure Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), members of the January 6 investigative committee. On Bulwark, Willliam Saletan compiled the dizzying spin of cultish Republicans as they excuse their censure of Cheney and Kinzinger for taking ethical action and called the January 6 insurrection, a “legitimate political discourse.”

  • They voted to impeach DDT—the second time.
  • They are taking part in a plot to sabotage the GOP. Cheney voted for DDT 93 percent of the time and Kinzinger 90 percent.
  • Republicans say: We’re not on the committee; it’s their business.
  • Nikki Haley doesn’t want “Republicans going against Republicans.”
  • Republicans aren’t responsible for the RNC, and Chris Christie, who wanted to be the RNC chair, says the resolution is irrelevant.
  • According to Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Cheney is on her own with Wyoming voters.
  • Cheney and Kinzinger are losers because Cheney was removed from House TOP leadership and will probably lose her primary. Kinzinger isn’t running for re-election.
  • The January 6 investigation is illegitimate because it’s an attack on DDT, his family, friends, and “all the people he fought for,” claimed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).
  • The investigation is illegitimate because it’s partisan after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “rejected [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy’s appointees.” She only refused two, one of them who might be subpoenaed and both who suggested they will sabotage the committee. McCarthy pulled all of his nominees.
  • The investigation is illegitimate because it goes beyond the events of January 6 that led up to the attack: coercion of state officials, recruitment of fake electors, threats to seize voting machines, etc. The GOP wanted to know everything about the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic outpost killing four people but nothing about what led to January 6.
  • The investigation is illegitimate because it goes beyond security failures.
  • Nobody cares about January 6.
  • DDT is right to question the election, from Republicans who pander to the cult leader.

A self-appointed House “committee,” including DDT supporters Jordan, Banks, Rodney Davis (IL), Kelly Armstrong (ND), and Troy Nehls (TX), is investigating the Capitol Police to blame them for the January 6 attack. A bipartisan Senate report has found that intelligence agencies didn’t sufficiently warn law enforcement before the riot; senior officials in charge of the Capital Police didn’t receive a January 5, 2021, FBI memo warning of a brewing “war” in Washington. Lacking subpoena power, the shadow House group relies on voluntary interviews.  

After the RNC censure resolution, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) repeated his assertion that January 6 was a “violent insurrection” intended to “prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election.” DDT reacted:

“Mitch McConnell does not speak for the Republican Party, and does not represent the views of the vast majority of its voters. He did nothing to fight for his constituents and stop the most fraudulent election in American history.”

McConnell’s popularity is 25 percent, but the number of conservatives who identify as “supporters of Trump” versus “supporters of the Republican Party” shrank to 36 percent from 46 percent. Conservative Sen. Kevin Kramer (ND) accused the RNC of getting “caught up in its own bubble” with “a complete lack of understanding or awareness of the people they’re supposed to be representing.”

According to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, 68 percent of registered voters think the January 6 insurrectionists should not be pardoned as DDT suggested he might do: 81 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of unaffiliated, and 54 percent of Republicans. Only 20 percent of registered voters want them pardoned despite DDT’s offer to do it at his Texas rally.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

The problems Abbott has after indefinitely assigning 6,500 National Guard members to the Mexico border worsened after the sixth soldier died from an accidental shooting by a fellow soldier. The 19-year-old was handing a personal weapon to another soldier in the backseat of a parked vehicle, and the gun’s discharge hit him in the back. He died at the scene. All six deaths were from personal weapons, four of them suicides since October when they were hastily mobilized. A ruse for arresting asylum seekers at the border is for law enforcement to order them to a particular location and then charging them with trespassing.

A progressive Lincoln Project ad lambasted Abbott for failing Texas a year ago when millions of Texas faced freezing temperatures without heat or electricity. Several people died in their homes from the cold. Abbott faces primary challenges on March 1 from other Republicans. The ad points out the millions in campaign cash Abbott received from “big power and energy companies.”

A federal judge temporarily blocked Texas counties from criminally charging public officials for encouraging the use of mail ballots for the March 1 primary election. The new state voting law includes this provision in trying to prevent mail-in ballots used by over one million Texas voters in the 2020 election. The new law also permits heavy restrictions on who can mail their ballots and violates their privacy by demanding they include their driver’s license or partial Social Security number on the envelope. Thousands of mail ballots have been flagged for possible rejection, including 40 percent of those received in Harris County with about 2.5 million registered voters.

And then there’s the unraveling Russia-Ukraine problem. Too much news these days!

January 7, 2022

GOP Continues Its Shameful Behavior

Until January 6, 2022, President Joe Biden occasionally referred to Deposed Dictator Trump (DDT) only as “the other guy.” In his speech commemorating the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol one year earlier, however, he consistently condemned the lies told by “the former president of the United States” and how destructive the statements from “the former president” are for democracy in the United States. Biden didn’t use DDT’s name once in his 16 references to DDT, one time calling him a “defeated former president” and declaring that his outsized ego won’t allow him to admit he lost.

DDT wasn’t happy about Biden’s speech. Banned from social media for his lying, DDT issued press releases with accusations that the U.S. has corrupt elections, isn’t energy independent, and has a deteriorating international standing. He continued with the false claim about the “rigged” 2020 presidential election—and the same lie again. The next one accused Democrats of trying to “stop the peaceful transfer” of power and made claims of new evidence that Georgia, who he begged for just 11,780 more votes for his win, was selling ballots for $10 and frequent statement about the election itself being “the real insurrection.”

Biden, however, didn’t let the insurrectionists off the hook. He said:

“Those who stormed this Capitol, and those who instigated and incited, and those who called on them to do so, held a dagger at the throat of America and American democracy. They didn’t come here out of patriotism or principle. They came here in rage — not in service of America but rather in service of one man.

“You cannot love your country only when you win. You can’t obey the law only when it’s convenient. You can’t be patriotic when you embrace and enable lies.”

Republicans angrily berated Biden for his lack of unity and plaintively crying about how Biden was “politicizing” January 6. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gave the strangest comment:

“Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.’”

Other shameful events:

Numerous studies point out the massive ignorance of Fox watchers, and their “reporting” on January 6 was a prime example of why. During the many events commemorating the biggest disaster in the U.S. since 9/11, Fox featured a video of a painting dog. On Fox & Friends between 6:20 and 9:00 am, the insurrection anniversary received two slight mentions, a news headline package and Brian Kilmeade’s suggestion that Biden was trying to divert attention to les damaging topics for him. Lara Trump talked about how much time Biden spent in Delaware (not as much as her father-in-law’s disappearance from the White House), a nurse discussed her firing for not being vaccinated, a former U.S. Marine complained about Biden’s Afghanistan pullout, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced distribution of COVID test kits but omitted his allowing almost one million of them to expire from nonuse.

Newsmax, a more conservative network than Fox, used Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) to complain about the bad treatment January 6 insurrectionists were receiving in jail. Conservative news outlets ignored speeches describing experiences while under siege. Top Breitbart headlines included “Democrat Day of Hysteria,” “Kamala Unhinged” and “Dividin’ Biden Blames Trump.” RedState.com led with “The Twisted Morality of Those Who Obsess over January 6th.”

Ignorance.

Jacob Chansley, aka the QAnon Shaman photographed bare-chested in furs at the insurrection and carrying a spear, celebrated his January 6 by calling a QAnon show about his new fake theory about underground civilizations where the military are developing technology “several hundred years” more advanced than on the earth’s surface. Jackson Lahmeyer, Oklahoma’s U.S. Senate candidate, hosted Michael Flynn, who called the Biden administration “a takeover of the United States system of government” and “a shift from democracy to socialism.” Lahmyer consistently called Biden the “former vice president.” He held up a copy of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto and said the current administration was a “total communist takeover.” Flynn continued to call for a military coup in the U.S. and called for “soldiers.”

Fox’s Tucker Carlson brought Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to his knees for repeating his statement about the January 6 assault being a “violent terrorist attack.” The FBI defines domestic terrorism as “violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.” Tucker lashed out at Cruz and his statement, and Cruz rushed to talk to Carlson on his program to take back his comments and apologize. Carlson finally agreed that people who attack police officers should be prosecuted but may not be terrorists. He also told Cruz he didn’t believe his explanation that he “used a dumb choice of words,” sent later in a tweet. Cruz, who considers himself second in running for the 2024 presidential election after DDT, can’t even stand up to a media outlet. Although he was part of the congressional cabal to overturn Biden’s election on January 6.

Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) did have a little press conference as planned, but the highly conservative Newsmax walked out on it. About Cruz’s description about the attack, Gaetz said Cruz can “bend over” all he wants but nobody will ever love him. On Steve Bannon’s podcast, Gaetz claimed that the Capitol was “booby trapped” by removing barriers (probably why attackers climbed the walls) by people who “didn’t know they were breaking the law.” He also said all of them, including himself and Greene, were “blood libeled.” (Blood libel, aka ritual murder libel, is a false anti-Semitic accusation that Jews murder Christian children or other gentiles to use their blood in religious rituals.)

The Supreme Court began 2022 with conservative judges and attorneys arguing against mandates for vaccinations. “The fact that you face at work that risk when you go to work doesn’t make it a workplace risk,” a right-wing attorney told Justice Elena Kagan. Two of the lawyers opposing the mandate argued from home, one of the perks of white-collar employees, because they have COVID

Conservative justices, a majority because of DDT, will most likely use this case to quash the ability of agencies to determine regulations for the nation’s laws. For its vaccination mandate, OSHA used a federal law permitting it to issue an “emergency temporary standard” when it determines that it’s “necessary” to protect employees from a “grave danger” resulting from “physically harmful” “agents” or “new hazards.” The coronavirus is both an infectious “agent” and a “new hazard” that poses a “grave danger.” The mandate fits the law. Justices, however, don’t want to authorize the law because they came from the Federalist movement to erase “the administrative state,” agencies implementing laws passed by Congress. Chief Justice John Roberts opposes OSHA’s mandate because it is based on a law passed “50 years ago.” Despite the burgeoning additional 849,181 infections and 2,015 deaths in the U.S. from COVID yesterday, the six conservatives will find some “constitutional” way around the law designed to slow the pandemic.

Texas, the state where vigilantes can pursue people supporting abortion and women die because the procedure is no longer legally available, now minimize long voting lines like long lines for COVID testing. The state GOP posted an image actually taken in Manhattan. Beto O’Rourke, former Texas representative and current gubernatorial candidate, addressed Gov. Greg Abbott when he wrote, “76,000 Texans have died on your watch and one-fifth of the state’s healthcare workers quit because Abbott “abandoned them.”  

New Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin is mimicking DDT by picking Andrew Wheeler, former coal lobbyist and DDT’s EPA chief, for his secretary of natural resources to obtain a “growing power supply.” While in the federal government, Wheeler promoted pollution by rolling back environmental rules and falsely claimed the climate change threat won’t happen until “50 to 75 years out.” Wheeler’s confirmation goes to the state Senate with a Democratic majority of 21-19. Anti-abortion will likely be another Youngkin issue: when a crowd lambasted him for not being sufficiently against abortions, he told them he had to stay quiet about his anti-abortion beliefs so that he could get elected. A year ago, Wheeler failed to condemn the January 6 attack and refused to criticize DDT.

The party of White supremacy is whitewashing the right-wing insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, by denial, differentiation (It wasn’t that bad according to conspiracy theorists like Tucker Carlson), and transcendence (look at the bigger picture). Another diversion is bolstering, claiming that DDT’s base loved the way he fought for them. Since the beginning of his campaign in 2015, DDT has attacked the United States and licensed people to follow his hatred through his confirmation.

December 25, 2021

Christmas 2021: A New Era

During the four years when First Lady Melania Trump designed the Christmas décor for the White House, several volunteer florists followed her directions much to the difference of public opinion regarding the FLOTUS style. After criticism of the bare branches during her first year, people laughed at her basic red topiary trees lining the East Colonnade for the next year. By the last year, in the midst of COVID, Trump claimed the safer décor of transport and native wildlife from the nation’s students came from her coast-to-coast travels during the term of now Deposed Donald Trump (DDT).

The year 2021 represents a more traditional approach from the past four years starting with the theme, “Gifts from the Heart.” Decorations illustrate faith, community, family, friendship, learning, nature, gratitude, service, peace, unity and the arts. Included are the East Colonnade’s doves and shooting stars for bravery and selflessness, the library’s 2,700 books joined by butterflies and birds from recycled newspapers, paintings and other decorations for Visual Arts in the Vermeil Room, Friendship and Sharing in the China Room with tableware from past presidential families, Gratitude in the East Room, trees with natural orchids and purple ornaments for Nature in the Green Room, (left) Peace and Unity in the Blue Room, Performing Arts with hanging brass instruments in the Red Room, and Family with ornaments and photographs of past and present presidential families in the State Dining Room as well as the official 2021 Gingerbread White House. Christmas Trees in the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall illuminate Faith and Community with scenes of towns and cities. 

Melania Trump’s blood red trees haven’t disappeared. Publicity indicated they were dragged out for a DDT fundraiser at Naples (FL) on December 3. For $10,000 a person or $30,000 for a family for four, each one can get one—no more—selfie with DDT in the airport hanger with Melania’s trees. It is supposedly “not a political fundraiser,” but no one knows where the money goes although DDT “does get a piece of the pie.” The event receive little media notice before and none afterwards.

On the other hand, one volunteer florist for Jill Biden’s White House decorations received a great deal of notice. Jasmine Kaidbey (right) wrote Dr. Biden a letter, asking her to include her mother Suha Kaidbey, among the over 100 volunteer florists for the 2021 White House holiday decorations. Her mother had never been accepted before, and it was her dream to help with the event. Jasmine Kaidbey’s parents left their careers in Beirut, Lebanon, to escape a civil war and opened their Washington, D.C. floral shop, Le Printemps, in 1983. COVID took business away from their arranging flowers for ambassadors, governors, congressional members, Supreme Court justices, and former first ladies, and the Le Printemps struggled with the loss of contracts with hotels that had no guests. Jasmine, a Ph.D. student in public health at George Washington University, took over some of the store’s duties. In late November, Suha was at the White House for three days in the East Room, State Dining Room, the China Room, and the first lady’s office.

The right-wing media, sometimes with help from the mainstream media, has steadily criticized President Joe Biden throughout the holiday season. The supply chain was a constant topic as Biden was accused of “ruining” Christmas because presents wouldn’t appear on time. Yet packages are rolling on time after much work by Biden’s administration, and Fox is working on another spin. Jesse Watters, who encouraged a QAnon crowd to “ambush” and “kill” Dr. Anthony Fauci, admitted the delivery has improved but doesn’t know if Biden deserves credit, saying consumers and ports fixed the problem.  

DDT, however, is taking credit for ending the far-right-manufactured “War on Christmas”: Mike Huckabee on Newsmax told DDT he was responsible for returning “Merry Christmas” to the greeting instead of “Happy Holidays.” DDT agreed, saying, “When I started campaigning, I said you’re going to say ‘Merry Christmas’ again, and now people are saying it.” He continued, “Whether you’re Muslim, whether you’re Christian, whether you’re Jewish, everyone loves Christmas.” Yet, this year’s far-right Newsmax company gathering, mandating vaccinations, is called a “Holiday Reception.”

In 2021, the Fox network moved from the mythical disaster of not saying “Merry Christmas” to the biggest tragedy of the past century, according to Foxers—the burning of its “fake” $500,000 tree in front of its New York’s headquarters on December 8. The facts: a mentally-disabled homeless man allegedly started the fire burning the tree. Fox made over 100 mentions of their burning tree in less than 36 hours, far more coverage than for the killing of four people in a Michigan school the prior week. Tucker Carlson called the burning a hate crime, an attack on Christianity like the burning of a Koran. The chyron running on the bottom of the screen below Fox host Tammy Bruce read, “THE LEFT WANTS YOU TO BE AFRAID.”

Fox contributor Jacque DeGraff compared the burning to the bombing of Pearl Harbor when he said, “These colors don’t run” in what could be a comparison between their tree and the nation’s flag. Pearl Harbor killed 2,335 U.S. military members and wounded another 1,143 along with 68 civilian casualties and 35 wounded. The plastic tree was replaced with no casualties 41 hours later.

Fox’s Ainsley Earhardt said:

“It’s a tree that unites us. Brings us together… It’s about Jesus. It’s about Hanukkah. It is about everything we stand for as a country. Freedom and being able to worship the way that you want to worship.”

Instead of repeating the complaint about “the war on Christmas” for 2021, Fox concentrated on its tree, but fundamentalist Christians opposed “Christmas trees” for the America’s first two and a half centuries. In fact, the same religious people opposed Christmas celebrations. Gift-giving and card exchanges didn’t appear until the middle of the 1800s, and the day didn’t become a legal holiday in some states until the 1860s. The U.S. declared December 25 a legal holiday on June 26, 1870.

Protestant groups such as Puritans refused the recognition because Christmas isn’t in the bible. Like today, fundamentalists stuck to a strict interpretation of Christianity, seeing Christmas celebrations as a pagan practice—as indeed it is. In addition, Robert Skinner’s Christs Birth Misse-timed (1649) found the date was miscalculated, proving that “all error cometh from Rome.” The presence of lambs in December adds to the confusion because they aren’t born until spring.

In 1632, Puritan pamphleteer William Prynne equated Christmas celebrations with “paganizing priests and monks,” and Puritan Thomas Mockett’s relation of Christmas with Catholicism tied it to “riotous drinking, health drinking, gluttony, luxury, wantonness, dancing, dicing, stage-plays, interludes, masks, mummeries.” Puritan Philip Stubbs Christmas a time of “great wickedness.” New England almanacs didn’t list December 25 as the birth of Christ, and colonial records have almost no references to Christmas celebration. In his 1687 pamphlet “Against Several Prophane and Superstitious Customs,” Increase Mather wrote, “The manner of Christ-mass-keeping, as generally observed, is highly dishonourable to the Name of Christ.”

Puritans tried to use government and the law to fight Christmas, passing a 1659 law fining anyone “found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way’ five shillings.” December 25 to dispel any notion that there was something special about the day. The English Parliament fined people for desecrating churches with seasonal decorations and imprisoning ministers who preached on the Nativity. In 1642, Christmas plays were outlawed, and December 25 was designated as a day of repentance for fasting, not feasting, in 1647.

The first Christmas tree on display in the United States didn’t appear until the 1830s. It was installed by German settlers in Pennsylvania. 

Both the current president and the former occupant of the White House issued brief messages for Christmas. Banned from Twitter, DDT sent a statement from his Save America PAC:

“Merry Christmas to all. We will Make America Great Again!” – President Donald J. Trump

Among the critics who pointed out that DDT is no longer president, Chartruce Powell responded:

“We already did. YOU GOT FIRED.”

President Biden tweeted:

“From our family to yours, Merry Christmas! May your time with loved ones be filled with warmth, comfort, and joy this holiday season.”

We are indeed in a new era. May it last. And may everyone have satisfying holidays.

December 14, 2021

Can Meadows, DDT Lie Their Way Out?

Late Tuesday evening, the House voted 222-208 for the DOJ to send DOJ a recommendation to criminally charge Mark Meadows, former chief of staff for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), after he refused to appear for his subpoenaed deposition with the House January 6 investigation committee. Desperate to regain DDT’s support after he revealed that DDT had tested positive a week for COVID a week before his hospitalization, Meadows had reversed his cooperation with the committee. Two Republicans, Liz Cheney (WY) and Adam Kinzinger (IL) voted with all the Democrats. Three Republicans and one Democrat didn’t vote.

Meadows, former North Carolina representative from North Carolina and DDT’s last chief of staff, sold his soul to overturn the government and keep DDT in the White House. He also wrote a book revealing secrets about his boss’s time in office and turned over about 9,000 damning documents to the House January 6 investigating committee, such as the PowerPoint presentation laying out plans for Republicans to take over the nation by overturning the 2020 election.

Sunday night and Monday morning, the committee released more information and voted 9-0 to send a resolution of criminal contempt against Meadows to the House members. News from Sunday’s report about Meadows’ communications:  

The National Guard will be present on January 6 to “protect pro Trump people.” No mention of congressional members or their staff. Or VP Mike Pence.

An exchange of emails with congressional members discussed the appointment of alternate slates of electors as part of a “direct and collateral attack.” Meadows said, “I love it” before, “Yes. Have a team on it.”

Text messages “provided guidance to an organizer of the January 6th rally … after the organizer told Meadows that ‘[t]hings have gotten crazy and I desperately need some direction.'” 

Texts from unnamed congressional members stated Pence “should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.” The day after the insurrection, one lawmaker wrote Meadows, “Yesterday was a terrible day. We tried everything we could in our objections to the 6 states. I’m sorry nothing worked.”

Meetings and calls discussed the need to “fight” back against “mounting evidence” of purported voter fraud after courts rejected these claims, one of them tweeted from Meadows’ personal account.

Another call days before the January 6 insurrection with DDT, congressional members, DDT’s election campaign attorneys, and “some 300′ State and local officials [discussed] overturning certain States’ electoral college results on January 6, 2021.”

On Monday, Vice-chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) read desperate texts to Meadows with this introduction:

“These texts leave no doubt: the White House knew exactly what was happening at the Capitol. Members of Congress, the press, and others wrote to Mark Meadows as the attack was underway… Hours passed without necessary action by the president. These non-privileged texts are further evidence of President Trump’s supreme dereliction of duty during those 187 minutes.”

Texts Cheney read:

Donald Trump Jr: “We need an Oval address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand.” He also pleaded with Meadows to persuade his father to “condemn this shit Asap. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.”

Fox’s Laura Ingraham: “Hey Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home … this is hurting all of us … he is destroying his legacy.”

Fox & Friends Brian Kilmeade: “Get [DDT] on tv… [Tell him] destroying everything you have accomplished.”

 Sean Hannity: “Can he make a statement? … Ask people to leave the Capitol.”

People hiding in the Capitol on January 6 sent these texts to Meadows:

“We are under siege here at the Capitol.”

“Mark, protesters are literally storming the Capitol, breaking windows on doors, rushing in. Is Trump going to say something?’

“There’s an armed standoff at the House chamber door.”

“We are all helpless.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) talked to Ivanka Trump, asking her to “tell his people to leave.”

Meadows did official government business through personal email accounts, cellphone, and the messaging system Signal, unlocked only by the person with the account. He forwarded claims of election fraud to DOJ he privately received and introduced DDT to then-DOJ official Jeffrey Clark who wanted to replace the AG and tell state officials to appoint alternate slates of electors.

Conservative media channels, including Fox, gave no coverage of the House committee hearing about texts from them and other insurrectionists until Hannity and Ingraham attacked the media late Tuesday. 

The riot of pro-DDT mob at the Capitol to stop the Electoral Votes affirming Joe Biden’s presidential win on January 6 led to five dead and 140 law enforcement members wounded. Philip Bump wrote a chronological account of DDT during that time:  

While DDT was speaking at the rally, rioters breached the first barricade on the west front of the Capitol. DDT said people who “catch somebody in a fraud [are] allowed to go by very different rules” and “we must stop this deal and then we must ensure that such outrageous election fraud never happens again.”

At 1:49 pm, protesters approached the building inside the perimeter, and DDT said, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Less than 10 minutes later, Capitol Police reported injuries.

At 2:12 pm, attackers breached the Capitol building, and VP Mike Pence was evacuated. On Fox network, a man talked about his disappointment about Pence not following DDT’s plan to overturn the election but said, “But I still believe President Trump has something else left.”

At 2:24 pm, DDT, in his first statement about the insurrection, tweeted, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” National security adviser Keith Kellogg told DDT Pence was secure but added, “Nobody’s carrying a TV on their shoulder. You need to get a tweet out real quick, help control the crowd up there. This is out of control.”

Ten minutes after the attack on Pence, DDT tweeted, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”

Four minutes after that tweet, Ashli Babbitt attempted to enter the Speaker’s Lobby adjacent to the House floor and was shot. She later died. A legislator tweeted Meadows: “Hey, Mark, protesters are literally storming the Capitol. Breaking windows on doors. Rushing in. Is Trump going to say something?” Another tweeted: “POTUS has to come out firmly and tell protesters to dissipate. Someone is going to get killed.” And another: “TELL THEM TO GO HOME.”

At 3:13 pm, DDT tweeted, “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order—respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”

An hour later, DDT published a video message talking about the “stolen” election and saying “You have to go home now. We have to have peace.” He continued later in the video, “We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace.”

Less than 10 minutes later, Rosanne Boyland was trampled to death by a mob on the east side of the Capitol attacking police officers in an attempt to get inside.

After 5:00 pm, the National Guard arrived.

Slightly after 6:00 pm, DDT issued his last tweet: “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”

Bump concluded: (1) only DDT, the catalyst, could stop the violence, but he didn’t for hours while he watched it on television; and (2) tweets to Meadows instead of DDT show that only Meadows could get DDT’s attention, that DDT ignored everyone else.

In an interview with Sean Hannity Monday evening, Meadows said about DDT’s behavior: “At the end of the day, they’re going to find that not only did the president act, but he acted quickly.” Meadows’ new book tried to conceal DDT’s part in the insurrection, and Republicans support Meadows’ coverup as shown by Tuesday’s Houe vote against criminally charging him with contempt. The documents, however, show his Meadows complicity and DDT siding with the attackers.    

Disillusioned with DDT, two January 6 organizers, Duston Stockton and Jennifer Lawrence, are coming forward with names, text messages, discussions, and other documents for planning the January 6 rally. They plan to testify next week about congressional members, including Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), and DDT’s administration planning to overturn the election that led to the insurrection at the Capitol. Also involved was Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) who had suggested DDT might give Stockton and Lawrence a “blanket pardon” in another investigation for their help. The former MAGA leaders, who had been hiding out from both far-right retaliation and the left subpoenas, warned Meadows and others of possible violence on January 6 months before the event.

The committee has promised to reveal names of congressional members involved in the insurrection. More news is guaranteed.  

August 13, 2021

GOP Promotes COVID, Commit Voter Fraud

When Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) was in the White House, he had no ventilators to send states. The “cupboards” were empty because of President Obama, he said, although the crisis began three years after DDT was inaugurated. After DDT finally obtained supplies, he sent them primarily to GOP states or places where he could guarantee over-the-edge praise for him. Six months after Joe Biden became president, he sent 200 ventilators and 100 high-flow nasal annual kits to Florida, the state with 20 percent of all U.S. new infections, over 24,000 new Florida infections of yesterday’s over 144,000 new infections just yesterday. The U.S. now has over 37 million recorded cases and at least 635,257 deaths in under 18 months.

Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis said he doesn’t know anything about any requests for help or any emergencies in his state, but Savannah Kelly, spokesperson for the state hospital association, said the “unprecedented level of patients” requires more ventilators. Florida hospitals reached a high of 13,435 hospital beds, over one-third more than the high on July 23, 2020, are used for COVID, including 3,112 intensive-care beds. 

Angry about school officials protecting children through mask mandates, DeSantis threatened to remove their salaries if they did. Press Secretary Jen Psaki said if DeSantis follows through the American Rescue Plan could provide salaries. DeSantis had issued an executive order preventing any public or private sector in the state from requiring mask wearing or social distancing. The threat to block salaries from officials of schools mandating masks didn’t last long: DeSantis admitted he has no control over their salaries. He could fine schools, but some school superintendents stated they are more concerned about public health than DeSantis’ GOP political agenda. To the governor’s threats, Alachua County School Superintendent Carlee Simon explained in a Washington Post op-ed

“As our school board chair has so aptly put it, better a loss of funding than a loss of lives.”

DeSantis has been named in two lawsuits for his ban of mask mandates in schools. One comes from a coalition of large counties accusing the governor of violating the state constitution requiring a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality system” of public schools. The suit claims defendants “cannot legally deny … basic human needs for health and safety.” The Disability Independence legal services group is representing another group of parents protesting the withholding of state funds from schools not complying with his anti-mask mandate. A news release about the case asserted “politics do not override the ability for a child to go to school without risk of serious injury of death.”

In Texas, where Gov. Gregg Abbott issued the same ban as DeSantis, county judge ruled San Antonio and Bexar County can require masks in public schools and municipal buildings. The order lasts a few days until plaintiffs return to court for a longer extension.

Republicans’ “free market” beliefs disappeared with COVID laws. Florida prevents private businesses from requiring vaccinations for customers, and Texas has a new law blocking restaurants and bars from mandating at least one COVID vaccination for indoor diners. The law removes state licenses for any vaccination requirements. Republicans protect businesses from denying services to LGBTQ people but are outraged at any denial of service for public health. Steve Benen’s conclusion: “business owners who make choices Republicans don’t like should expect punishment. 

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been the most virulent perpetrator of vaccine denial. Turns out his wife, Kelley Paul, bought stock in Gilead Sciences making a drug to treat COVID-19 just as people started to die from the disease in late February 2020—and he didn’t disclose the information for 16 months after the 45-day reporting deadline in the Stock Act prohibiting insider trading for federal employees. Unfortunately for Kelley Paul, the stock in the company making remdesivir is now worth about $5 per share than the purchase, but Rand Paul, a member of the Senate health committee, has told his constituents to refuse to be vaccinated. Paul attended no briefings on COVID and was the first U.S. senator to test positive for the coronavirus. The man regularly lying about COVID said he didn’t know the form wasn’t submitted. [Rand and Kelley Paul in 2017]

Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) outrageous disinformation about COVID caused YouTube to suspend him for a week. That ban was joined by Twitter who suspended Rep. Marjorie Greene (R-GA) for a week after she lied about “failing” and ineffective vaccines. This is Greene’s third Twitter suspension; her current argument against vaccinations is that “we can’t live forever.”

Greene is also using her wealth to hire a lawyer in a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for her mask mandate. Her choice of attorney, Chris Wiest, was earlier suspended by the Ohio and Kentucky bar associations for insider trading. Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Ralph Norman (R-SC) have joined Greene in the suit for “freedom.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is fundraising off these shirts, an ideal gift for people who have died or are hospitalized from COVID. 

According to three scholars from a Swiss university, watching Fox causes people under 65 years old to refuse vaccinations:

“Watching one additional hour of Fox News per week ‘accounts for a reduction of 0.35 to 0.76 weekly full vaccinations per 100 people’ in May and June.”

This study supports research at the beginning of the pandemic, that Fox viewers are more likely to subscribe to conspiracy theories that CDC exaggerated the virus to damage DDT. Tucker Carlson has suggested the COVID vaccine killed recipients, the government considers vaccines ineffective, and untrustworthy authority figures try to force people to take questionable vaccines. Carlson was joined by Fox’s Laura Ingraham to lambast vaccine efforts as authoritarian and promote paranoia about their dangers. Fox viewers have a greater denial level than CNN and MSNBC viewers by about 10 percentage point because of Fox programming.

The Supreme Court supported an 7th Circuit Court ruling permitting Indiana University to mandate vaccinations for students and faculty members meeting in person after Justice Amy Coney Barrett requested the students’ request for emergency relief. The case was the first challenge to a vaccine mandate.

The National Education Association has also endorsed vaccine requirements for school workers with the opinion for regular COVID testing.  American Federation of Teachers take the stance of negotiating mandates with local governments and school systems. Both groups support COVID vaccines as does Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

Landlords failed to block the renewed eviction moratorium until early October when a federal judge left it in place. The extension came after the recent COVID surge and failure of the government to distribute $44 billion of the $47 billion allotted for rental payments. The judge followed a similar ruling by the Washington, D.C. circuit court.

The U.S. has settled with Dr. Rick Bright, the whistleblower who reported DDT botched the early pandemic response, compensating him “to the fullest extent allowed by the law” with “back pay and compensatory damages.” The government removed him in April 2020 as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for his concerns about preparedness, according to Bright. He also said his ousting came became he refused to push the drug hydroxychloroquine to cure COVID.

The U.S. may have finally found a case of voting machine tampering—by a DDT-loving clerk in Grand Junction (CO). That’s Rep. Lauren Bobert’s (R-CO) district, the QAnon follower who runs a gun-promoting bar. A video depicts the conversation between an election official and a Dominion employee as the official asks about how the machine can be tampered with over the internet using the BIOS motherboard settings. During the January 6 insurrection, the clerk had made a variety of social posts about the ease of tampering with election equipment. A county clerk tweeted that someone in her office carried out a breech to prove the vulnerability of election machines.

The same DDT-loving clerk, Tina Peters, is also accused of leaking information to QAnon promoter Ron Watkins as well as filming a Dominion employee updating the election system software, according to Colorado’s Secretary of State Jena Griswold. The clerk’s office had ordered county staff to turn off surveillance cameras monitoring the voting equipment and left off until this month. In late May, Peters’ staff illegally permitted a man called Gerard Wood to join Dominion during an installation. The mystery many obtained footage of Dominion updating the machines, footage put on Watkins’ Telegram channel on August 2. Griswold was able to identify the place and time of the video from the footage from an image of passwords for accessing election equipment.

Peters could not be found in her office last week because she appeared on the stage at MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s bogus Cyber Symposium conference where Watkins shared the data stolen from Mesa County with the entire world. Forty pieces of Mesa County’s election equipment will need to replaced, at taxpayer cost, because of the broken chain of custody. The lawyer for Rep. Lauren Boebert’s campaign manager is also involved.

This day in August, Friday the 13th, is when people like MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell predicted DDT would be back in the White House on “Reinstatement Day.” It didn’t happen, but DHS officials worry about resulting violence because of DDT’s lies about election fraud.

August 9, 2021

Republicans Caused COVID Surge

All the COVID news from Florida is worse. A week ago, NBC reported, “The state has become the new national epicenter for the virus.” The weekend showed Florida breaking another of its records for new infections, and COVID-related hospitalizations are an all-time high. Fatalities are climbing in Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis is fighting the coronavirus by blocking all methods to stop infections—“no to lockdowns, no to school closures, no to restrictions, and no [to] mandates.” He followed that by lambasting public-health officials, President Joe Biden, journalists, and immigrants. 

After officials threatened to disobey DeSantis’ order, his office threatened to withhold salaries of officials, including superintendents and school board members, who mandate masks in schools. DeSantis believes his new surges are “tolerable” and don’t need “a robust response to quell.” He blasted reporters for spreading “hysteria” about the growing number of state infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Not all Republicans, however, agree with him. Yesterday on CNN, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) disagreed with DeSantis and said, “The local officials should have control here.”

DeSantis also lost the battle with the cruise lines. A judge had ruled in favor of his banning Norwegian Cruise Lines from mandating vaccination proof if they dock in Florida. Yesterday, a federal judge issued an order that removed DeSantis’ ban, ruling that the cruise line would be “irreparably injured” by DeSantis’ policy. The cruise line argued that Florida violated the First Amendment and interferes with interstate commerce. Republicans typically tout the rights of private businesses but not with the vaccine.

Travel from 49 states in the U.S. would be banned to Florida if it were a country. Jonathan Reiner, a professor and expert on infectious diseases at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, said only Botswana and the state of Louisiana had “higher” viral loads of COVID.

Some Republicans fight back by blaming the Democrats for not encouraging vaccinations. For example, Sen. John Barasso (R-WY) maintained that his party supports vaccines. He may not have heard Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) comparing vaccine mandates to segregation and calling on people in Biden’s vaccination push to be shot. She laughed when a reporter asked her if she felt responsible for deaths caused by her vaccine disinformation. [Visual – Greene laughing]

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told his state to resist the CDC guidance, saying, “They can’t arrest all of us.” He continued by claiming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) plans to arrest him and his staff. Paul is up for reelection in 2022.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has asked Biden to require the 1.4 million military service members to be vaccinated by waiving the federal law giving people a choice if the vaccine is not fully authorized by the FDA, an action expected by Labor Day. Last month, Biden mandated either vaccinations or frequent testing for federal employees. Over 30 percent of active-duty troops have not been vaccinated. The military requires 17 FDA authorized vaccines for a number of diseases including flu, measles, mumps, polio, tetanus, and yellow fever. The State Department and Pentagon again require indoor mask use.

Texas school districts and a non-profit group are suing Gov. Gregg Abbott for his ban on mask requirements in schools, and Dallas ISD will require masking. Other school districts are considering mandates on masks. On August 8, 254 counties had 2.7 million cases. Joining Florida with one-third of the new infection cases, Texas is in such bad shape that Abbott asked hospitals to delay nonessential procedures and requested medical care from other states.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has also banned mask requirements in schools despite outrage from physicians who wrote Ducey:

“Your prohibition on mask requirements means no Arizona school can provide a safe learning environment,” the group of over 150 doctors wrote. “Each and every one of our students and their educators deserve better.”

A major excuse for vaccine denial is that vaccinated people have breakthroughs, yet only 0.01 percent of fully-vaccinated people have suffered hospitalization or death. That’s 1,507 deaths and 7,101 hospitalizations out of the over 164 million people vaccinated against COVID.

Vaccinations radically slowed down after two-thirds of the population, desperate to receive them, managed to get the shots. After that, vaccine deniers, still known in the media as “skeptics” or “doubters,” took over through conservative and social media. They weren’t even persuaded by the diversity of bribes to protect themselves and others. Worldometer puts the number of infections at over 36 million, today’s new cases at 102,375. Deaths are over 633,000 in the U.S.

Men exhibit more reluctance to protecting themselves and others from COVID—including masks, hand-washing, and vaccinations—than women, and a study shows that men trying to project traditional masculinity represent a larger number of vaccine deniers. Men identifying as the most masculine are more likely to attend gatherings of more than 10 people. The “completely masculine” are almost twice as likely to accuse mask-wearing as “dangerous to the health of the wearer” and three times more likely to be infected with the coronavirus. GOP men also comprise the largest percentage of vaccine deniers; eight times as many Republicans as Democrats refuse to be vaccinated.

Vaccine denial also comes from a variety of conspiracy theories, many of them from Fox network—especially Tucker Carlson. Beyond guests talking about microchips and magnets in the vaccine, Fox has reported about deaths, paralysis, and the lack of need for any vaccine. Carlson has said that wearing masks has “no basis in science.” Very little has been said on Fox network about the vaccine’s safety until recently.

According to John Culhane, an intentional bad act of one allows another to sue for personal injury, property damage, and economic loss caused by the wrongful activity. Deliberate representation is fraud, and viewers may have the right to a claim.

“First, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant made a misstatement of fact, knowing that it was false or with reckless disregard as to whether it was true or false. (“Reckless disregard” means that the defendant did no investigation at all, but just put the statements out there.) Examples of such misstatements on Fox are abundant… [Samples]

“To prevail on a fraud claim, the plaintiff next has to show that the defendant intended that the injured party rely on the misrepresentation (this can be inferred from the fact that Fox holds itself out as a purveyor of news) and that the plaintiff reasonably relied on the misstatement. Each potential plaintiff would have to allege, and then prove, that they had relied on Fox and the ‘expert’ making the statements that induced them to forgo vaccination. It’s impossible to imagine that at least some of the sickened and killed didn’t count on Carlson, his guests, and the rest of the Fox misinformers, and it would be hard to hear Fox attorneys claim that no one should “reasonably” rely on what their news station puts out. (Ironically, the network has successfully made this argument in court before, but in a case that involved statements by Carlson that might reasonably be seen as hyperbole. It’s a different story when he puts out information—some of it from so-called experts—that makes demonstrably false claims in a case involving hard facts.)

“The final requirement for a successful fraud claim is a showing of economic loss, which would be easy enough. Hospital bills not covered by insurance, lost wages, and even lost income from the deceased, in a wrongful death situation, are some ready examples.

“But one final hurdle remains. Although such a case would look strong when ticking through the requirements of a fraud case, this situation does not look much like a traditional claim, which typically involves a direct out-of-pocket loss that was itself intended by the fraudulent party. More run-of-the-mill cases would include stock fraud, or selling someone a used car the seller represents as safe, but which has a shoddy transmission of which he had knowledge. Yet even though the misstatements in this case seem designed not so much to bilk viewers out of money directly, it could be argued that Fox News intended to pad its bottom line by catering to a particularly conspiracy-minded market by pushing its anti-vaccine garbage.

“Even beyond the potential economic gain to Fox, though, at least some courts have been willing to extend fraud claims to situations where the defendant’s conduct violates a strong public policy—even without demonstrable economic loss…

“In our world of segmented media, Fox News watchers rely heavily on what they hear on the network. They trust Fox to deliver truthful information. No greater breach of that trust can be imagined than relating misinformation designed to keep people away from lifesaving vaccines… How many … people relied on Fox News? Perhaps we will one day find out in court.”

Talking about the vaccine, conservatives claim right to privacy. A question is whether they will stop buying the Apple iPhone now that the company has new tech to search the phones for child pornography. Software can scan all photographs on the phone. Apple’s “Siri” will also “intervene” if it hears an inappropriate question about sexual abuse or child pornography. Microchips in vaccines are fake; Apple’s new search software is real—like technology’s other methods to violate privacy.

July 24, 2021

The Big Lies: Anti-Vaccines, ‘Stolen Election’

As GOP politicians begin to figure out that their constituents are hospitalized and dying because Republicans have opposed vaccinations, a few lawmakers begin to advocate, sometimes reluctantly, for the COVID vaccine. House Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) announced he got his first vaccination last week, and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said “it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks” for COVID. The unvaccinated, Ivey said, are “choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain” and added that the unvaccinated are “choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.” With only one-third of Alabama adults vaccinated compared to 69 percent in the U.S., the state has a 92 percent increase in infections and 72 percent rise in hospitalizations over the past week.  

Even Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis, defensively protecting lack of vaccinations in the past, presented data about the almost 100 percent of hospitalized people not receiving their shots and said “these vaccines are saving lives.” Florida is one of three states, along Texas and Missouri, currently having 40 percent of new virus infections.

 

Only 51 percent of Republicans have gotten their shots compared to 83 percent of Democrats, and Republicans are deadset against vaccinations—only 12 percent of unvaccinated Republicans saying they plan to get vaccinated. GOP pollster Frank Luntz said:

“I think [Republican politicians have] finally realized that if their people aren’t vaccinated, they’re going to get sick, and if their people aren’t vaccinated, they’re going to get blamed for COVID outbreaks in the future.”

Yet Luntz, reporting on his most recent focus group with vaccine holdouts, said he saw a shift from skepticism into complete refusal:

“The hesitation has transformed into opposition. And once you are opposed, it is very hard to change that position. And that’s what’s happening right now.”

 

GOP lawmakers have pushed anti-vaccine positions for months: downplaying the virus’ severity, refusing to be vaccinated, signing bills protecting the unvaccinated, and rolling back health mandates to protect people from COVID. Tennessee went so far as to block all outreach about any vaccinations for youth and fire the state’s top immunity official until the state changed its position after two weeks. Yet the state’s health department may not promote social media information promoting vaccinations for children. Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) is still praising anyone choosing against vaccinations, blaming Democrats for the GOP distrust.  

The GOP blame continued in a House news conference advertising information from Republican doctors in Congress about the increasingly common delta variant of the coronavirus. Instead of pushing vaccinations, the group complained about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and President Joe Biden hiding the origins of the COVID virus. Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC) commented on vaccine “side effects” and “a personal decision.”

Trump Party (TP) leaders like QAnon Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and founder of Turning Point USA Charlie Kirk push the lie that up to 1.2 million people may have died after receiving the vaccine. Asked if she feels “any responsibility” for spreading disinformation about COVID in reference to a five-year-old’s death, Greene laughed and said, “Gee, you crack me up. You know what, I think people’s responsibility is their own.”

Praised for recommending vaccinations, Fox’s Sean Hannity: “I never told anyone to get a vaccine!”

Obstetrician Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) sticks with his anti-vaccination position. During a hearing with CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, he claimed, with no evidence, that “probably zero” of the 400 youth who died of COVID had no pre-existing condition. Marshall proved he wasn’t concerned about death when he pushes hydroxychloroquine as a COVID cure. Reputable sources purport over four million children in the U.S. may have contacted the virus, and almost half of them “may have lasting symptoms.”

A few statistics on the vaccine:

Sixty-nine percent of people in the U.S. who are 18 years old have at least one vaccine shot, but rates are as low as 48.4 percent in Mississippi, 51.3 percent in Wyoming, and 54.7 percent in West Virginia.

Three states with lower vaccination rates, Florida, Texas, and Missouri, had 40 percent of all the nation’s cases. 

Over 91 million people live in US counties with high Covid-19 infections, counties with the lowest vaccination rates.

The U.S. averaged over 37,000 new cases each day for a week with the number averaging over 65,000 for the past two days.

Cases of COVID have doubled among children since late June, last week over 23,000 at 16 percent of weekly reported cases.

The vaccines are 90 percent effective at preventing serious illness and hospitalization, and 99.5 percent of U.S. COVID-19 deaths this year have been among unvaccinated people. As of July 12, CDC reported 5,492 severe infections, including 1,063 deaths, among the 159 million vaccinated people in the U.S.

Free-lance writer and lawyer Dean Obeidallah has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Fox network regarding an alleged violation of the 2020 Covid-19 Consumer Protection Act in which a corporation or individual may not “engage in a deceptive act or practice in or affecting commerce associated with the treatment, cure, prevention, mitigation, or diagnosis of COVID–19.” It is the responsibility of FTC to protect the public from false information intentionally peddled by for-profit businesses. According to Obeidallah, “people receiving accurate information about the Covid vaccines is literally a matter of life and death.” Tucker Carlson’s lies have received the most attention, but Media Matters reported “57 percent of segments [between June 28 and July 11] about coronavirus vaccines on [Fox] network included claims that undermined or downplayed vaccination efforts.” These varied between Biden’s vaccination outreach taking “freedom” to suggestions “that vaccines are unnecessary or dangerous.” For example, Laura Ingraham rates “natural immunity” over the vaccine. As Obeidallah concluded, people are “entitled to accurate information about entitled to accurate information about Covid-19 … [L]ives depend on it.”

In Arizona’s big lie about a “stolen election,” a ballot recount suffered more problems, this one from a leaky roof, before a visit by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) to the state today. Unlike much of the West suffering a huge drought with wildfires, Phoenix is in the midst of the monsoon season with torrential rains. Because of no maintenance at the Coliseum, a former site for the fraudulent count, fire was considered a danger. The lease there ended in May, and ballots were again moved, this time to the Wesley Bolin building, named after a governor who died after only five months in office. The building is not air-conditioned, and temperatures make the building unsuitable for summer use, this year skyrocketing to almost 120 degrees in the past few months. A former state GOP chair claimed, “No ballots are at risk,” yet experts following the “fake” audit have questioned the veracity of the secret process at every turn.

In another glitch, former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, supposedly assigned as the ballot count’s “director,” cannot enter the building because he gave data to outside experts showing the recount followed “very closely” with earlier counts and recounts. It is reported that state Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, gave the order.

Doug Logan of Cyber Ninjas, is making new demands for more information and recounting the number of ballots, not the presidential votes. Inside observers report Logan believes his own hand count missed thousands of votes and is in a desperate attempt to support his QAnon belief of the “stolen election” when he began the process over three months ago, that DDT actually won Arizona in the 2020 election instead of being short by over 10,000 votes.

Publicly, the contractors maintain that they are working on the trail to the “stolen election.” If demands are granted by a subpoena, contractors could keep searching; if they don’t get what they want, they can cry “foul.” After DDT falsely claimed that the investigation found “hundreds of thousands” of missing votes for him, one of the contractors, who invented some of the more fantastical claims, lied about fraud denying DDT of electoral college votes. Privately, however, people working on the project realize their efforts point to the conclusion that Biden won Arizona’s electoral college votes.

Delighted with the “fraudit” surrounding the big lie of the “stolen election,” Texas is considering the same path. State Rep. Steve Toth introduced the Texas Voter Confidence Act for a “forensic audit” with Republicans—the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the House—to select what he called an “independent third party” to conduct the election audit. According to the proposed bill, the review focuses on votes in Texas’ 13 counties with populations over 415,000, stopping at the counties voting for DDT. In fact, DDT carried the state, and GOP senate incumbent John Cornyn was also easily victorious. Yet Biden won areas such as Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Like Arizona and other states considering the same fraudulent ballot counts, only areas voting in favor of Democrats are subject to GOP questions about “election integrity” or “voter fraud.”

Toth was clear about his intent. Asked about including smaller counties in the election review, he responded, “What’s the point? I mean, all the small counties are red.”

https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/23/politics/arizona-audit-politicians-invs/index.html     Candidates running on the “stolen election” big lie have the same evidence-free opinion as Oklahoma pastor Jackson Lahmeyer: “Who could possibly believe the idea there were 80 million votes for Joe Biden?” And who would believe that conservatives would define “freedom” as being hospitalized, having long-term physical and mental effects, and dying from COVID.

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