Nel's New Day

February 1, 2023

DeSantis Betrays Black History Month

In the area of good news, Australia found its missing radioactive capsule about the size of an aspirin lost from a radiation gauge on a truck along an 870-mile-long highway in the western Outback. The gauge was used in equipment at the Gudai-Darri mine in northwestern Australia. The capsule was reported missing to the government almost a week ago, nine days after its loss when the gauge was unpacked and inspected, and then to the public two days later. Search parties had used portable radiation survey meters detecting radioactivity almost 12 miles away, but authorities were concerned that it had become lodged in a car tire. Within days, new detection devices were added—radiation portal monitors and a gamma-ray spectrometer, attached to moving vehicles and finding the capsule 120 miles from the mine. 

On January 31, the day before Black History Month, the GOP Oversight Committee disbanded the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, focusing on issues including voting rights, freedom of assembly, and criminal justice reform policies. No one knows why except the committee chair James Comer (R-KY) said it was efficiency.

On the first day of Black History Month, pressure from DeSantis for education to follow his personal ideology and his MAGA on his way to the presidency forced the College Board to water down its Advanced Placement (AP) African American studies course, cutting curriculum if DeSantis said it had a left-wing bias.  One change was removing names of Black authors found problematic by Florida officials. Florida objected to subject references to LGBTQ+, feminism, reparations, “intersectionality,” and “Black Struggle in the 21st Century.”

In the revised syllabus, the College Board, a nonprofit that oversees the AP program nationwide, removed the names of several Black authors identified as problematic by Florida officials. The sections about the struggle in the 21st century and the Movement for Black Lives were removed, replaced by suggested research project topics that are “not a required part of the course framework that is formally adopted by states.” Intersectionality is mentioned only in sample project topics “for illustrative purposes” as is “the reparations debate.” The new version doesn’t mention the word “queer” although Black lesbians are mentioned. A new section is called Black conservatism.

Last month, DeSantis announced that the new AP course could not be taught in Florida high schools because it violated the governor’s anti-“woke” law, highly restricting any discussions of race in schools. A member of the College Board said that this watering down is the only way to get African American studies into the schools.

In an analysis of the AP course before it was gutted, history scholar Joshua Zeitz determined DeSantis had cherrypicked the curriculum for a distorted view and described it as “history” instead of the interdisciplinary curriculum with college-level matter, typical of these “advance placement” classes. About the 102 topics in four broad units, Zeitz wrote:

“The curriculum makes a lot more sense if you consider its topline objective: arming students with a range of analytical and critical thinking skills. If you believe that the purpose of a quality education is to prepare kids to thrive in the real world, the AP African American Studies is a win. The subject matter is rigorous, and the texts and other source material are challenging. Isn’t that exactly what a twenty-first century education should look like?”

The course explains a particular theme, in this case the African American experience, through multiple academic perspectives including history, literature, music, philosophy, economics and art.  Zeitz’s description of the content—before it was watered down–is enlightening.

DeSantis’ criticism that white students will be made “uncomfortable” by actions of earlier generations “assumes that students are especially brittle and incapable of dealing with the subject matter,” according to Zeitz. The purpose of this curriculum like all AP courses is five skill sets in critical thinking, analysis, and argument vital for college and the 21st century workforce. Its preparation involved over 100 college syllabi from all eight Ivy League universities and 20 state flagship institutions vetted by focus groups and conversations with 132 college faculty members and 28 college and high school students. Once again, however, as in Texas determining the content of textbooks, the AP curriculum is being designed by politicians, not quality educators.

Some teens are learning about the flaws in their education. Catherine Caruso’s article in Teen Vogue describes the results of a report from the Zinn Education Project, relating the lack of education about the Reconstruction era immediately following the Civil War which was dominated by white supremacists trying to suppress the growth of Black influence. She explains that outdated, inadequate, and sometimes racist propaganda in textbooks are initiated by the Dunning School, Columbia University scholars who portrayed the Reconstruction as a massive failure. They pushed the belief of the noble cause in the South, “as if they were fighting for tradition rather than fighting to maintain human bondage,” according to an educator with the Zinn project. The false narrative was continued by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The DeSantis repression of all education outside the white Western heterosexual history runs parallel to the suppression of education for Blacks during slavery—except now the ideology is for all students.

A February 2022 poll found only 27 percent of people think U.S. history curriculum accurately reflects the Blacks’ role in the nation.

In another of DeSantis achievements that warps education to his own philosophy and woos MAGA supporters, he is converting New College of Florida, a liberal arts school in Sarasota, into a far-right Christian institution through his six appointments to its board. Thanks to the new majority of conservatives from state appointments, its president Patricia Okker was fired at the first meeting of the new board, and DeSantis’ close ally Richard Corcoran was made its new interim president. Despite protests of “separation of church and state,” the Board meeting began with a Christian prayer.

The board did not follow the wish of Christopher Rufo, new board member and creator of the “woke” myth, in abolishing the school’s Office of Outreach and Inclusive Excellence and remove diversity statements and training, but the proposal is scheduled for future policies. “Diversity, equity, and inclusion divide people,” according to Rufo; another new board member, Mark Bauerlein, said that many people see DEI as coercive. The board will also consider “terminating” all employee contracts.  DeSantis wants $15 million for faculty recruitment and scholarships at New College with $10 million recurring funds to build the school in his own image. In 2022, New College was rated #3 in public liberal arts schools in terms of a student’s return on educational investment and median earnings.

On the same day, DeSantis proposed changes to the state’s university system including the removal of funding for all diversity, equity and inclusion programs and start tenure review of professors. Last year, DeSantis and state Republicans put GOP allies in top university posts and limited how race could be taught.

DeSantis hasn’t limited himself to higher education in restricting education. Manatee County School District, with 50,000 students, is one place trying to cope with the state’s “anti-woke” law. Teachers are trying to avoid a third-degree felony by removing all books from the shelves of their classroom libraries until they are vetted by a state-trained media specialist.  

Books aren’t alone in being censored. Shortly before Holocaust Remembrance Day last Friday, a principal told a Bucks County (PA) school librarian to remove posters with a quote by Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize winner, human rights activist, professor, and Holocaust survivor.

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

The Central Bucks School District reportedly has ties to an anti-LGBTQ hate group. In January, the board voted 6-3 for Policy 321 blocking teachers from “advocacy activities” and displaying inclusive symbols such as Pride flags in their classrooms. The librarian has worked in the district for 30 years, and his ninth-grade daughter had emailed him the quotation saying that it “reminds me of you.” In this case, an uproar from the community led to the district allowing the posters to be put back up. Last summer, the district had hired a PR firm for $15,000 a month “to repair strained public relations and improve the school district’s image,” largely because of “executive decisions” targeted at the LGBTQ+ students.

A quotation from Isaac Saul’s online newsletter, Tangle:

“They are people in the mold of everyone from Ron DeSantis to Elon Musk who pay a great deal of lip service to free speech, free thought and the open debate of controversial ideas. These same folks often criticize language policing and the overly sensitive left, while insisting that uncomfortable, offensive ideas — and sometimes even misinformation — should all be discussed out in the open in the name of free expression and free thought.”

In 1647, the colonies in the new world charged and hanged the first woman for “witchcraft” perhaps because of flu in the town or her husband wanting a piece of land that she inherited. Over 40 more people faced trial during the next 15 years for their relationship with Satan; nine women and two men were executed. After 376 years, “witches” may be exonerated if Connecticut passes its bill, requested for years; last year Massachusetts cleared the name of one woman convicted of witchcraft in 1692. She wasn’t executed, but her conviction wasn’t overturned for 330 years. Hopefully, these trials don’t return with the new far-right Christian majority on the U.S. Supreme Court.  

December 17, 2022

News Catchup – December 17, 2022

When I looked at my blog, I found that my last entry was on Thanksgiving Day. Three weeks and one day later, my beloved Sue, my partner in all things for 53 years, 50 weeks, and one day, died of bone cancer. Not diagnosed until a PET scan on December 7, she was admitted to the hospital on the same day. Two days later, she was put on “comfort care” which means almost unlimited medication including morphine and sedation. On December 14, she was brought home and breathed her last at 8:30 am, December 16. [Left: Sue and our dear Coco who died December 7.]

I am grateful that she is no longer in pain and now creating a new pattern of life that still includes researching and writing about progressive politics which begins with going through almost 700 emails of news for the past two weeks. What an amazing time it’s been! When Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) was no longer elected, I had hopes that the news would settle down. Instead it accelerated! Where to begin? Just start writing about whatever catches my interest.

The day before Sue died, President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act, legalizing marriage equality for same-gender and biracial couples. States aren’t required to marry these couples, but they must recognize them. In the House 169 Republicans were in opposition, and 36 senators voted against the law. The bill was inspired by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who stated that the Supreme Court ruling for marriage equality might not hold up. Married to a White woman, the Black justice didn’t object to biracial marriages. About 700,000 same-gender couples are married in the U.S. According to the new law, religious institutions won’t lose their tax-exempt status if they refuse to recognize same-gender marriages. In the U.S., 71 percent of the population support marriage equality.

The ”funniest” thing that recently happened, at least to my black sense of humor, is the extension of the funding bill, due last October 1. Without another continuing resolution, the government would have shut down yesterday. Now? Any possibility of shutdown is December 23—one week! Republicans are salivating to close down the government, which would result in dire circumstances, to prove how powerful they are. In the Senate, 19 Republicans wanted to shut down the government as did 201 House GOP members. A long term budget bill until the annual deadline of October 1 is in the works, but Republicans want to block its passage until they have control after January 1.  They did get an eight-percent increase in the military budget with $45 million more than the White House request and rescinded the Covid vaccine requirement.

Struggling Republicans facing an election for the House speaker with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) so desperate to win that he panders to crazies such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). Despite the “O.K.” campaign for “Only Kevin,” he still doesn’t have the 218 votes of 222 GOP representatives. His failure would be the first speaker election chaos in a century. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) said “if we stumble out of the gate” their votes “will revolt over that and they will feel let down.” Conservatives in the Freedom Caucus oppose McCarthy and demand a weakening of the Speaker’s office who want legislation drafted from the ground up and ability to amend bills during floor debates as well as the requirement of 72 hours for bills presented for reviewing because voting.

McCarthy has admitted that he can’t persuade the five GOP House members opposing his becoming speaker to support him. Reps. Andy Biggs (AZ), Matt Gaetz (FL), Bob Good (VA), Ralph Norman (SC), and Matthew Rosendale (MT) are adamantly against him and declare they will vote as a bloc, keeping party leaders from picking them off. Others may also not vote for McCarthy. The January 3 vote for Speaker operates in a House without rules not set until after the chamber establishes rules for the 118th Congress. Not selecting a leader delays the approval of the operating rules until a speaker is chosen. McCarthy also delayed conference races for committee leadership positions until after January 3 because disappointment representatives may cause him to lose more votes.

A MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT from Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) declares himself as a SUPERHERO in America. All those sycophants and DDT-haters can get digital crypto art NFT (non-fungible tokens) trading cards, featuring himself—and only for $99 each. And in the first day, 45,000 were snapped up in 12 hours for $4.5 million with ten percent, $450,000, supposedly going into DDT’s personal account, nothing for any campaign. Anyone can copy the images and share online. Within the first day, the cards’ value had more than doubled.

Ridiculed buyers complaining about gas prices and inflation are spending almost one hundred dollars for an NFT image. Phillipp Kennicott describes the product as “clumsy Photoshop pictures of the former president’s face grafted onto reasonably fit male bodies, clad in various costumes of masculine bravado, including sporting garb, a sheriff’s duster and lots of blue suits.” DDT claims that the fake images of him as boxer, wrestler, astronaut, race-car driver, football player, etc. illustrate his “Life & Career.”

After four years, the House Ways and Means Committee received details of DDT’s taxes, and Democrats plan to reveal some information. Every other person elected to president within the past half century has make their taxes available to the public so this revelation follows former protocol except for DDT to fight the process since he was elected. Although Republicans say that the only purpose to release the information is to embarrass DDT, but they gave out protected tax information about groups during the Obama administration.

At the same time, DDT declares himself as a SUPERHERO, special counsel Jack Smith is moving quickly forward in his probe of DDT’s removal (theft?) of highly-sensitive government documents discovered at Mar-a-Lago and DDT’s illegal attempts to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential win in 2020. Legal experts hope—and expect—charges will be filed in early 2023. Smith’s staff is almost double that of Robert Mueller’s legal team, and Smith inherited a trove of damning materials against DDT and his cohorts. In the month since Smith was appointed on November 18, he has subpoenaed officials from six states for a grand jury, sought testimony and communications with DDT and his campaign and 19 associates, and achieved the annulment of DDT’s special master to review documents from Mar-a-Lago which would have concealed them. Thus Smith is free to use the FBI Mar-a-Lago search in his prosecution.

New Twitter owner, Elon Musk, is creating almost as much media attention as DDT. After tremendous First Amendment global backlash, he reinstated accounts of several journalists after suspending them from the social media platform. He said it came from a Twitter poll, dominated by bots, about whether he should wait seven days. Musk lost. Suspended journalists were from major respected U.S. media outlets supposedly because journalists wrote about @elonjet, a former Twitter account tracking the movements of Musk’s private plane. The occupants were not tracked. 

Musk claimed he took over Twitter to promote free speech, something that he has consistently destroyed. He regulates only when he feels threatened; i.e., telling impersonators that they will be permanently banned. Musk has brought together a collection of right-wingers and bots to use for his supposed polls as determination of policies. He also blocked links to rival Mastodon and calls bios of users listing Mastodon “malware” with no evidence. Hundreds of thousands of users flocked to Mastodon in November as Twitter users sought alternative platforms. BBC’s technology editor was able to tweet a Mastodon reference with zsk@mastodonapp.uk because it is not a clickable link. The Twitter account @joinmastodon, which advertised the site and its features, was suspended two days ago when Musk suspended the preeminent tech journalists. The European Union threatened the journalists’ suspensions with sanctions.

Twitter is wooing QAnon advocates by Musk sending a tweet to his 120 million followers: “Follow 🐰.” QAnon members use “follow the white rabbit” as references to Alice in Wonderland and The Matrix. Many Musk tweets recently use QAnon myths relating to child sexual exploitation and the child-pedophile, Satan-worshipping ring run by a cabal of Hollywood and political global elites, lies believed by QAnon folk. Musk insinuated that Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, was in favor of child sexual exploitation. Roth and his family were forced to flee their home and hide. This week, Musk dissolved Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council former in 2016 of over 100 civil and human rights organizations working with the company to make Twitter a safer place for users.

Musk’s enthusiasm for his own definition of “free speech” led to his suspending left-learning Twitter accounts if he disagrees with them and reinstating far-right accounts breaking former Twitter rules. As CEO, he can personally silence any dissent. Instead of blocking Covid vaccine misinformation (lies), he permits it in the name of “transparency.” Twitter has also become a haven for neo-Nazis, reinstating their accounts, videos, alt-right memes, and sharing their praise for Hitler. In an argument with retired Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, Musk called him “both puppet & puppeteer,” perpetuating anti-Semitic tropes for a Jewish person. Musk also posted a Pepe the Frog meme, a character co-opted as a hate symbol in racist and anti-Semitic memes. A new white supremacist account, “Day of the Rope,” comes from The Turner Diaries, a fictionalized blueprint for a white supremacist revolution written in 1978 by neo-Nazi leader William Pierce.

Enough for one day; more tomorrow!

November 24, 2022

Thanksgiving Gratitude for Government Actions

Every year on Thanksgiving, many people express gratitude for what happens in their lives. For me, this means my fabulous partner of over 53 years and our joy in working together. We’re grateful for the friends who contribute to our lives through their love, humor, acceptance, and help whenever we need it. We take delight in our loving standard poodle and our delightful cat. Our home is exactly what we want, and we feel safe in the small town where we live.

Beyond that—because I’m a politics junkie—I have much more to list in my gratefulness because they demonstrate that others share with me my desire for human rights and democracy.

Elections:

After a long 15 days, Alaska has declared the winners of its ranked choice votes. Rep. Mary Peltola (D-AK) returns for a full House term after she won her special election last summer, both elections defeating former VP candidate Sarah Palin. She cares about people, not herself. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) will also return to Washington after Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) tried to destroy her for her impeachment vote against him. DDT endorsed opponents of both these winners.

Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) will be Los Angeles’ first female mayor despite her wealthy opponent outspending her by $91 million.

Two extremely close races flipped the Pennsylvania state House to Democrats for the first time in a decade. The Dems flipped a total of 12 seats in the chamber.

The GOP will likely have 222 members of the House for the 118th Congress, outnumbering Democrats by five. Democrats are suing to overturn districting maps in six states they couldn’t do before 2022 elections: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio, and Texas.

Georgia will determine whether Democrats have 50 or 51 Senators in the election on December 6.  Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) leads opponent Herschel 51 percent to 47 percent and has an 11-point lead among women voters plus 12 percent of those with a four-year or more college degree.

The week after DDT announced his 2024 presidential campaign, 57 percent thought it was a bad idea. Only 27 percent approved in the Quinnipiac University poll. Among independents, the disapproval was 58 percent to 32 percent. Forty-four percent don’t want Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to run for president, compared to 37 percent supporting him.

Courts:

The Supreme Court, typically supporting DDT, turned him down in his request to block House Democrats from seeing his tax records. Sought for 42 months, the decision listed no dissenting votes, and the records should be immediately turned over to the House committee.

The Supreme Court rejected appeals from a Virginia public school district and the University of Toledo in Ohio to stop sexual harassment lawsuits by female students using the law prohibiting sex discrimination at schools receiving federal funds.

A federal judge continued to send Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ beloved Stop WOKE Act into the trash pile, starting when he blocked provisions related to regulating private speech. In August, he wrote:

“Normally, the First Amendment bars the state from burdening speech, while private actors may burden speech freely. But in Florida, the First Amendment apparently bars private actors from burdening speech, while the state may burden speech freely.”

DeSantis’ law targeted concepts about race and history that Republicans dislike. In banning any information about critical race theory, DeSantis tried to regulate private businesses’ training sessions with their own private-sector employees. 

The November ruling stopped what the judge called a “positively dystopian” policy restricting how lessons on race and gender can be taught in colleges and universities. DeSantis wants to control what scholars can say in higher education. He quoted George Orwell’s novel 1984:

“’It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen,’ and the powers in charge of Florida’s public university system have declared the State has unfettered authority to muzzle its professors in the name of ‘freedom.”

The judge added:

“The law officially bans professors from expressing disfavored viewpoints in university classrooms while permitting unfettered expression of the opposite viewpoints. Defendants argue that, under this Act, professors enjoy ‘academic freedom’ so long as they express only those viewpoints of which the State approves. This is positively dystopian.”

DeSantis will certainly appeal, but this ruling is a start. Other lawsuits are fighting the suppression of education in K-12.

With no comment, the Georgia Supreme Court rejected the GOP request to remove a day of early voting for the U.S. Senate runoff between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Herschel Walker. The GOP knows that it needs to block voting to win, causing the Republicans already passing a large number of voter restrictions including cutting the runoff calendar in half with a ban on Saturday voting after a holiday. Georgia’s runoff early voting now runs from November 27 to December 2.

A three-judge 11th Circuit Court panel, two DDT-appointed judges and one from George W. Bush, appear ready to support the DOJ by rescinding the special master appointment in the Mar-a-Lago documents case made by DDT’s pet judge Aileen Cannon. One of the DDT judges told DDT’s lawyer that sweeping up personal items in a court-authorized search was not unusual. The DOJ has also asked for the return of 13,000 documents to investigators examining if DDT illegally retained highly sensitive documents of national defense information after he left the White House and possibly obstructed justice in their retrieval.  

A judge asked DDT’s lawyer that if he can’t establish the seizure is unlawful, “what are we doing here?” Another judge pointed out that a special master has no relationship to unlawful seizure.

A complaint has been filed against a Greenville (MS) municipal judge who signs no-knock search warrants allowing police to go into a home unannounced and then keeps them instead of turning them over to the clerk. Violating the state’s criminal procedure rules, his process hides warrants from the public and The public has no access to the warrants and prevents people from defending themselves when they are charged with crimes.

Congress:

The Senate unanimously passed legislature to make funding for survivors of gender-based violence more inclusive of the neediest communities. This amendment to the Violence against Women Act increased funding for domestic violence and sexual assault services specifically helping Native Hawaiian survivors who were inadvertently excluded from the funding. Roughly two-thirds of sex-trafficking victims in Hawaii are Native Hawaiian.

Another unanimous Senate vote passed the Safe Connections Act to help survivors of domestic violence and other crimes cut ties with their abusers and separate from shared wireless service plans, useful to monitor, stalk, or control victims. Abused victims and dependents in their care won’t have penalties or other requirements to separate from shared plans, and the FCC must make rules to keep calls or texts on hotlines from appearing on call logs.

Almost 200 years ago, the U.S. agreed to seat a member of the Cherokee Nation in the House as a non-voting delegate. A House vote could make that happen. The House has six non-voting delegates, including from the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, who can introduce legislation and sit on committees but cannot vote on the House floor.

President Joe Biden:

Facing opposition from conservative states to his student loan forgiveness of $20,000 per person, Biden will extend the payment pause on federal student loans until 60 days after the relief plan is permitted.

The price of crude oil has dropped from almost $120 in March to $77.50, plunging over one-third of its cost from this year’s highest point. Shipping prices are lower, and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) drove investment in U.S. battery equipment manufacturing, taking the industry from China.  

Jason Easley and Sarah Jones wrote about gratitude for Biden:

“After four years of feeling like the country was careening out of control, President Joe Biden assumed office and immediately restored stability and normalcy to the country…. Biden got the pandemic under control, oversaw record-setting job growth, and made a huge downpayment on rebuilding America’s infrastructure and helping the planet. Biden has gotten Congress to function in a bipartisan way and has lived up to his promise to try to help people and make their lives better.

“Things have not been perfect. Inflation remains a stubborn and persistent problem. The Senate filibuster has stopped Biden from achieving goals like voting rights reform, an assault weapons ban, and the codification of Roe.”

Easley and Jones described Biden’s leadership:

“You may not appreciate it at the moment, but you’ll know when it is not there.

“The reason why so many Americans will be able to enjoy their Thanksgiving holiday is that a steady hand is again steering the national ship from the Oval Office.

“The feeling that there has been a dark cloud hovering over the nation has passed.”

Footnote for Biden: For many years, Fox network attacked “liberals” for their “War on Christmas.” Evidently that particular war has ended. Fox’s latest complaint is that Biden is “too pro-Christmas,” led by Laura Ingraham on her prime-time show. (The official lighting of the National Christmas Tree isn’t until November 30.) 

And then there’s the scandal about Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito leaking information to evangelical Christians before his announcements of two cases about reproductive rights. But that’s a longer story!

May 13, 2022

5th Circuit Denies 1st Amendment Rights, January 6 Investigation Broadens

With no explanation, two Fifth Circuit judges, one nominated by Ronald Reagan and the other by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), supported a new Texas law to control private business. The dissenting judge, appointed by George W. Bush, is considered a “liberal” compared to the rabidly right circuit court. Republicans retaliated against their misguided liberal bias perception of ”Big Tech” by forcing large social media companies to disseminate objectionable speech such as dangerous misinformation, foreign propaganda, and hateful expression and permitting anyone to file lawsuits combatting content moderation. These corporations have lost their First Amendment rights although H.B. 20 sponsors claim the legislation is vital to keep “West Coast oligarchs” from silencing “conservative viewpoints and ideas.”

The GOP permitted “smaller” conservative platforms such as Parler and Gab to keep their First Amendment rights, but large companies are even blocked from posting warnings on their own websites for subjects with violence, vulgarity, disinformation, etc. Targeted companies must also submit a great deal of information to the state about algorithms, curation, and account suspension. Twice each year they must also provide a “transparency report” with every “action” taken against “content.” Anytime a company “removes content,” it must present a complex process of notice and appeal. Another provision prevents companies from blocking spam on emails, allowing users to daily collect $25,000 for impeding “the transmission of an unsolicited or commercial electronic mail message.”

YouTube will be forced to accept neo-Nazi and KKK videos promoting racism; Twitter will have to accept ISIS fighters’ terrorist advocacy; and Facebook must allow Russian propaganda about Ukraine. Only illegal incitement and “unlawful” speech can be suppressed, a very small percentage of hateful or violent expression because even intimidation and promotion of illegal conduct are allowed under the First Amendment.

Currently, large platforms use automated editorial tools to remove billions of posts and comments every year. They lack resources to review and resolve each appeal, especially within the 14-day limit. Companies can stop monitoring content, but all complaints of “illegal content” must be assessed within 48 hours. And the law prevents social media companies from providing services in Texas.

The ruling is completely against the First Amendment rights guaranteed to social media companies, according to the Supreme Court, especially Citizens United which gave rights to almost unlimited political donations because of free speech. “Editorial control and judgment” is speech shielded by the Constitution even if it discriminates against a specific group. While on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Justice Brett Kavanaugh ruled that the government cannot “tell Twitter or YouTube what videos to post” or “tell Facebook or Google what content to favor.” Also, a government cannot force corporations to disclose information in an “unjustified or unduly burdensome” manner.

Last December, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman blocked the Texas law because social media platforms are not “common carriers” like telephone companies and postal services that “merely facilitate the transmission of speech of others.” Common carriers have far greater regulation because they don’t engage in expression and may hold monopoly power. Those carriers, however, don’t exercise editorial control. Pitman followed U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle’s ruling in Florida on a similar law. Hinkle also ruled that penalizing content moderation violates Section 230, the federal law limiting platforms’ liability over their content.

Judge Edith Jones declared that the plaintiffs, websites, “are not websites.” Although appointed 37 years ago, she’s only 73 and should know better—especially if she’s going to rule on the subject. Judge Andrew Oldham worried that overturning H.B. 20 “would allow phone companies to kick off users.” He formerly clerked for Samuel Alito.

One choice for the tech companies is leaving Texas–except the law prevents them from doing that.

The new Texas ruling immediately lifted an injunction against the law without ruling on its merits, meaning that it can go into effect until future action. Plaintiffs NetChoice and CCIA filed an emergency application with the Supreme Court and asked for amicus briefs. They argue that H.B. 20 is unconstitutional, compelling private businesses to carry speech they would otherwise remove. Chris Marchese, counsel for NetChoice, said:

“The First Amendment prohibits Texas from forcing online platforms to host and promote foreign propaganda, pornography, pro-Nazi speech, and spam. Left standing, Texas HB 20 will turn the First Amendment on its head—to violate free speech, the government need only claim to be ‘protecting’ it.”

Marchese added:

“Texas HB 20 strips private online businesses of their speech rights, forbids them from making constitutionally protected editorial decisions, and forces them to publish and promote objectionable content.”

The request is for the Supreme Court to reinstate the injunction on the law while appeals work through the full Fifth Circuit. Without that happening tech giants such as Meta, YouTube, and Twitter will suffer “irreparable harm.” Justice Clarence Thomas has already said that telephone companies are just like “digital platforms” because they both operate on physical wires. He and the two judges ruling against the tech companies ignore the fact that telephone calls are private; social media messages are designed to be communicated to the world.

The last time the Supreme Court was asked to reinstate an injunction, its “shadow docket” refused to do so, leaving the egregious anti-choice law in place while it is adjudicated. Justice Samuel Alito, liaison to the Fifth Circuit court, is responsible for deciding whether to unilaterally rule or refer the case to the full court.

The Texas case could now be decided on the court’s shadow docket, through which it issues orders without hearing arguments. The decision of whether to take up the case in this way is now up to Justice Samuel Alito, who is assigned to the Fifth Circuit. He will decide whether to rule unilaterally or refer the case to the full court. If the court does take up the case, the decision could come within days.

Did I mention that the law mandates all the social media companies continue to do business in Texas?

The House investigation committee into January 6 insurrection and overturning the election keeps chugging along, and emails from John Eastman, a pet DDT lawyer, reveals more of the corruption. He urged Pennsylvania GOP legislators to recount the state’s vote and trash tens of thousands of absentee ballots to show DDT won. By doing this, legislators would have “some cover” in replacing Biden’s electors with those supporting DDT and overturn the election results. According to his suggestion, GOP legislators could just express a concern with the state’s absentee ballot procedures and use historical data to “discount each candidates’ totals by a prorated amount based on the absentee percentage those candidates otherwise received.” That leaves them “with a significant lead that would bolster the argument for the Legislature adopting a slate of Trump electors — perfectly within your authority to do anyway, but now bolstered by the untainted popular vote.” Joe Biden won Pennsylvania by over 80,000 votes.

The committee obtained Eastman’s emails from the University of Colorado where he was a visiting professor. On December 4, 2020, Eastman wrote Pennsylvania state Rep. Russ Diamond to change the language of his proposed resolution, hiding Eastman’s participation, and explained how to do. Later Eastman said that then-VP Mike Pence could merely refuse to count Biden’s electors on January 6, 2021. The House committee has been in court a number of times trying to get Eastman’s emails sent through another previous employer, Chapman University. 

The House investigative committee has subpoenaed five GOP members: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA), Jim Jordan (OH), Mo Brooks (AL), Andy Biggs (AZ), and Scott Perry (PA). Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said that they learned that these colleagues have relevant information on the January 6 attack “and the events leading up to it.” McCarthy had pulled all his nominations for the committee after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rejected Jordan.

The DOJ has opened a grand jury investigation into the classified documents that DDT took to Mar-a-Lago when he moved out of the White House and subpoenaed the documents from the National Archives.

In Georgia, fake GOP electors are cooperating with the criminal probe as prosecutors investigate DDT’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Fulton County DA Fani Willis is attempting to determine their connection with a broader, illegal plot to pressure election officials and overturn Biden’s win of over 11,000 votes. DDT has made his loss the basis for GOP primaries there, especially for governor and state secretary of state, and the incumbents running in the election, Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger wouldn’t give in to his begging.

After Vernon Jones, DDT’s endorsement for Georgia’s governor, quit, DDT moved to supporting David Perdue who lost his senate seat last year to Democrat Jon Ossoff. Perdue lost support of law enforcement when he denigrated the state troopers in an awkward attempt to blame Kemp, and DDT is growing disillusioned because Perdue came out 16 points below Kemp in the most recent poll. Thursday a judge dismissed Perdue’s lawsuit challenging the 2020 election results, because his evidence didn’t go beyond “speculation, conjecture, and paranoia.”

In a defiant action, DDT’s former VP, Mike Pence, will hold a rally with Kemp on May 23, the night before Georgia’s primary, with Kemp. Pence called his candidate, who refuses to support the lie of election fraud in a “stolen” election, “one of the most successful conservative governors in America.” Headed toward a presidential run, Pence also criticized DDT for admiring Russian President Vladimir Putin.

April 26, 2022

The Faces of the GOP

The weekend focus on France’s election against Hitler/Russia lover Marine Le Pen for the next five-year presidential term glossed over another important European election. Melania Trump’s birthplace, Slovenia, ousted Prime Minister Janez Janša, the autocratic friend of recently elected Viktor Orbán for prime minister who wishes to remove democracy for Hungary. Robert Golob launched the Freedom Movement in January for a “referendum on democracy” and “take the country back to freedom.” Janša continually insisted that Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) won the 2020 presidential election. East of northern Italy, Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia until become independent in 1991.

In the U.S., the pretended ignorance of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) in a hearing about her part in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was followed by CNN’s revelation of 2,319 texts starting on November 3, 2020, Election Day, submitted by former chief of staff Mark Meadows before he decided not to participate in the House investigation committee. Meadows concealed at least 1,000 more texts, many of them from December 9-20, perhaps thinking these were more benign.

Molly Olmstad summarized earlier texts:

“That Trump refused to quickly condemn the violence on Jan. 6; that Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, had accused ‘Biden and the Left’ of ‘attempting the greatest Heist of our History’; that Donald Trump Jr. had developed a strategy for overturning the election even before the election was called for Biden; and that Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Texas Rep. Chip Roy had offered Meadows a statement supporting Trump to ‘leak’ if it was ‘helpful.’”

The new texts filled in some missing pieces, including one from Greene to Meadows to tell DDT to impose martial law to stay in the White House for another term. Under oath, Greene couldn’t “recall” or “remember” this text she sent Meadows on January 17:

“In our private chat with only Members, several are saying the only way to save our Republic is for Trump to call for Marshall [sic] law. I don’t know on those things. I just wanted you to tell him. They stole this election. We all know. They will destroy our country next. Please tell him to declassify as much as possible so we can go after Biden and anyone else!”

DDT’s followers sometimes recommended sedition; other times they just tried to look important.

On January 9, 2021, when Twitter banned DDT, Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) texted, “I truly hope he does create a new platform to complete with Twitter and I hope he calls it ‘Trumpet’ and then we can send out ‘notes’ to each other!”

Before the election, Fox’s Sean Hannity, a supposedly “impartial” reporter, wrote “Yes, sir” to Meadows and promised he would push the vote for DDT “everywhere.”

When Donald Trump Jr. begged Meadows to get his father “to condemn this shit” on January 6, he texted the chief of staff that “this is one you go to the mattresses on,” ala The Godfather.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell sent a long text about the election overturn, concluding with “God has his hand in all of this and has put you on the front line.”

The day before the insurrection, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) texted, “On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all—in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence…”

A text from DDT’s adviser Jason Miller told him to lie to the public by blaming antifa for the attack.  

Former Texas governor and energy secretary Rick Perry denied he took any part in overturning the election, but the disclosed texts were from his phone—and he signed them. He urged an “AGRESSIVE (sic) STRATEGY” for three states to deliver electoral votes for DDT although the popular vote was for Joe Biden. 

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and DDT-supporter, features in another ongoing story. First, he bought over nine percent of Twitter’s private shares and forced himself onto the board. They told him he had to own under 15 percent of shares to stay on the board and quit bad-mouthing Twitter. He didn’t like that so he dropped off. Then he offered to pay $9 over the going price for any shares but then dropped that idea. Now he may own the entire company, paying about $44 billion.

Worth about $259 billion, Musk can afford the price although he’s borrowing $23 billion because his wealth is tied up in stocks. Also, Tesla pays no federal tax on its profits. If Musk completes the deal, Twitter will no longer be a publicly-traded company and will have no board. Musk can read everyone’s tweets, even those meant to be private, and put all the MAGA hate speech back on, including that from DDT. Musk also desperately wants an edit button, allowing people to change the meaning of a tweet after it’s been shared. Facebook knows the danger of editing: its feature helped a cryptocurrency scam. 

The deal’s size requires Musk to report his purchase to the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department. Experts say that there are no clear antitrust concerns because Musk is not a social media competitor, but government regulators might slow it down to review the concentration of power. A problem could be collateralizing the payment with Tesla stock, risky for banks.

With over 217 million daily users, Twitter is not as large as Facebook and Instagram with billions, but it is popular with political leaders, companies, celebrities, and others searching for image-building. Musk has used a megaphone to announce his support for free speech, but he tried to suppress a Twitter account tracking his private jet. With uncertain advertising, Twitter’s main source of revenue, Twitter has made no profit for eight of the past ten years. Employees are also concerned about compensation and benefits: the anti-union Musk moved Tesla to Texas and dared United Autoworkers to try to form a union.

Since 2017, unfair labor practice charges have been filed against Tesla at the National Labor Relations Board. In 2018, Musk tweeted workers could lose their stock options if they unionized, and workers involved in organizing activities for organizing unionizing activities. Tesla is the only U.S. auto manufacturer without a union.

Last week, a federal judge reduced a $137 million jury ruling to a $15 million payout for a racial discrimination lawsuit against Tesla. Lawyer for Owen Diaz explained to his Black client that the $15 million is the “maximum” that can be required. Diaz said a Tesla supervisor called him the N-word over 30 times. California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing is also suing Tesla over alleged racism and harassment of Black employees in the same factory in Fremont, “saturated with racism” according to the judge.  

Former staunch Republicans are growing more and more disenchanted with the current GOP such as columnists Jennifer Rubin, Tim Miller, Charlie Sykes, and Rick Wilson. In January, an NBC News poll found 56 percent of Republicans support the party rather than DDT with only 36 percent devoted first to DDT. In October, 54 percent of Republicans put DDT above party.

Joe Scarborough, a GOP representative from Florida for six years, fought for DDT to be elected in 2016, even going to DDT’s apartment to advise him on his campaign although he had hosted an MSNBC show for almost a decade. By August 2016, however, he wrote a WaPo op-ed, “The GOP Must Dump Trump,” and by 2017, he became so disenchanted with GOP that he changed his registration to unaffiliated. In a statement on his show last Friday morning, he said, “I was proven wrong!” Liberals were right about his former Republican Party.

“Over the past six years, the two things that have disturbed me the most have been the Right’s positions on race and my own churches, the evangelical churches’ posture towards Trumpism, and some of the things we’ve seen. I spent my entire life going on shows, going on Politically Incorrect at the time, going on HARDBALL, talking about how what Kevin Phillips and other people in the media were saying about the Republican Party and race were a lie, that the Southern strategy was an oversimplification, that my family, we were conservatives. And I explained why we were conservatives, why people in my community were conservatives.

“I was proven wrong. I was shocked by what I saw over the past five, six years. Donald Trump in the Muslim registry, Donald Trump saying Hispanics are breeders. I could go down the list talking about the others, telling people to go home, members of Congress, Black members of Congress. How could it be that people like David French and myself and other Republicans grew up saying everything that liberals said about our party was wrong when Donald Trump actually seemed to validate much of what they were accusing us of?”

The party has been poisoning itself for a half decade since Bob Dole, evangelicals, and corporations but actor Ronald Reagan into the White House. DDT is a product of the continuing hypocrisy, shamelessness, and corruption overcoming good and decent people who don’t want to see the reality of their elected politicians who rule with hatred, fear, and bigotry.

June 7, 2020

Week 176 – Some Positive Events

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser wants a peaceful city, and Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) wants to turn Bowser’s city into a war zone. A military planner wanted guidance for the U.S. Northern Command in determining “route restrictions” for the “movement of tactical vehicles” and “military forces” from Fort Belvoir, Va., into the city to assist in “Civil Disturbance Operations.” DDT couldn’t get his tanks to the White House for a Fourth of July parade so he’s declaring war on Bowser.

Right now, she’s winning. Bowser just renamed the section of 16th Street in front of the White House “Black Lives Matter Plaza” to honor the peaceful protesters. She said:

“There are people who are craving to be heard and to be seen, and to have their humanity recognized, and we had the opportunity to send that message loud and clear on a very important street in our city. And it is that message, and that message is to the American people, that Black Lives Matter black humanity matters, and we as a city raise that up as part of our values as a city.”

Bowser also asked DDT to remove all “extraordinary” law enforcement officers sent to the city as well as writing GOP Gov Mike DeWine of Ohio and Dem Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, ordering them to remove their National Guard troops from DC. She wrote, “I appreciate your service, but your presence encroaches on the rights of 705,000 tax-paying residents.”  

Until today, DDT refused Bowser’s request to remove troops, but he caved in to bad publicity and claims he ordered the National Guard out of DC—“now that everything is under control.” Defense Secretary Mark Esper had already demanded that National Guard use neither firearms nor ammunition and sent active-duty military from DC. Not involved in that decision, DDT spent the week trying to decide whether to fire Esper against the wishes of his advisers. Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy confirmed all 5,240 out-of-state National Guardsmen would be withdrawn from the nation’s capital within 48 to 72 hours and all 1,600 active-duty U.S. troops that had been put on alert outside the city earlier in the week had gone home.

National Guard troops and active military members are checking their options through the GI Rights Network if they refuse to fire on people in the United States. After watching events in the last week, a National Guard member wrote he no longer believes in a justified use of force:

“Most of all, I feel that I cannot be complicit in any way when I’ve seen so many examples of soldiers and police acting in bad faith.”

Protesters in Washington, D.C. have made the White House fortress fence into an exhibition. Posters, ribbons, flags and origami hung from its black holes, forming a makeshift exhibition or archive expressing both anger and grief from the protests. Next to “POLICE-FREE SCHOOLS,” a white shirt pinned to the fence displayed the slogan: “My body is not a target.” Today, DDT hides behind his fence in a “bigger bunker” from an enormous crowd of protesters.

In an emergency meeting last week, the Minneapolis City Council voted to ban police chokeholds and require officer intervention and reporting of any unauthorized use of force that law enforcement officers see. Since the beginning of 2015, officers from the Minneapolis Police Department have used neck restraints causing people to become unconscious at least 44 times, an unusually high number according to police experts. Other mandated reforms are approval by the police chief for tear gas and disciplinary decisions in a timely manner.

Since then, a majority of city council members pledged to dismantle the Police Department because it cannot be reformed. They have no plans but plan to work with the community.

In Denver, a federal court issued a restraining order against Denver Police, prohibiting them from using chemicals and projectiles against peaceful protesters without supervisory approval.

The executive board of MLK Labor, the central body of labor groups which represents more than 150 unions and 100,000 workers in the Seattle, Washington, area approved a resolution to issue an ultimatum to Seattle Police Officers Guild—either address systemic racism or be expelled. With no response by June 13, the council will vote whether to disaffiliate from the Guild. The Minnesota Federation of Labor has ousted openly-racist Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Officers Federation. Although the AFL-CIO will not expel the police unions, its president Richard Trumka said the labor movement must play a leading role in the racial justice movement “because protesting racial brutality, whether at the hands of a police officer, or a neighbor, or an employer, is not only the right cause. It’s a responsibility.”

Four years ago, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was blackballed for taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem to protest racism but started a movement. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement about racism, social injustice, and peaceful protests:

“We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all players to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe that black lives matter.”

In a tweet, DDT expressed his concern about Goodell’s anti-racist statement.

Hennepin County (MN) won’t get away with its autopsy finding for George Floyd of “no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxiation or strangulation.” The complaint had cited “underlying health conditions … likely contributed to his death,” blaming “potential intoxicants” and preexisting cardiovascular disease. An independent autopsy, however, found Floyd died from asphyxia “due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain.” In addition, “weight on the back, handcuffs and positioning were contributory factors because they impaired the ability of Mr. Floyd’s diaphragm to function.”

A Scientific American piece defined the county’s “findings” as gaslighting, “psychological manipulation employed to make a victim question their own sanity, particularly in scenarios where they are mistreated.” The authors continue by explaining gaslighting toward blacks in ways that society blames them for the racist acts. A further explanation about the autopsy and the abuse of gaslighting in the medical field is here.

The county has released a more complete autopsy, listing blunt-force injuries to his face, shoulders, hands, arms, and legs not contributing to his death. It also listed drugs in his system but added that tests are not reliable.

Fox network actually apologized for connecting the death of George Floyd to the increase in the stock market in an “infographic” of S&P 500 correlating with horrific events such as Martin Luther King, Jr’s assassination, police acquittal for Rodney King’s killing, the killing of Michael Brown, Jr in Ferguson (MO), and Floyd’s murder—all deaths of unarmed blacks resulting in extreme protests. Initially, Fox Business Insider defended its report but finally admitted to “insensitivity” and lack of “full context.”

In what may have been intended as a free speech move, the New York Times published an op-ed from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) inciting violence by encouraging martial law in the U.S. Staffers objected the piece as misinformation by NYT’s standards. The editorial page editor James Bennet has resigned after four years in that position and the deputy editorial page editor James Dao reassigned to the newsroom. Bennet had originally defended the essay but not read it before publication. “Free speech” in the First Amendment doesn’t include inciting danger such as lying about the people who are protesting.

Not all Republicans are fools. Some state GOPs—even in VP Mike Pence’s home state, Indiana—can’t find enough delegates to attend DDT’s anointment for candidacy because of COVID-19.

The Marines directed their corps commanders to “identify, and remove the display of the Confederate battle flag or its depiction within workplaces, common-access areas, and public areas on their installations.” The order is to “support our core values, ensure unit cohesion and security, and preserve good order and discipline.” 

Throughout the South, Confederate monuments are again being removed, following a movement started by a white supremacist killing nine black people at a Bible study. For example, Virginia’s Daughters of the Confederacy removed the statue of a soldier. In Richmond, the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee will come down as soon as possible with the approval of Gov. Ralph Northam and other officials. It goes into storage for the time being. Despite protesting state Senate GOP leaders, a fourth-generation descendent of Lee said, “We have created an idol of white supremacy.”

The Center for Democracy & Technology filed a lawsuit against DDT’s “Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship” because it violates the First Amendment. His order targeted the federal law protecting tech companies from liability for third-party content on their sites.

Twitter refuses to be bullied. It marked DDT’s tweets for lies and “glorifying violence” and then pulled a four-minute ad campaign video for violating NASA guidelines. Former astronaut Karen L. Nyberg also objected to the photo of her and her son because she had never given consent. Twitter, joined by Facebook, also removed DDT’s campaign tribute video to George Floyd because of copyright complaints

From Sergio Peçanha comes this brilliant photo-essay about DDT’s infamous walk to the church.

May 29, 2020

DDT: Week 175 – Creation of a Banana Republic

Over 100 years ago, U.S. writer O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) coined the term “banana republic” in describing the fictional Republic of Anchuria. A century later, the term expanded from being a small country economically dependent on a single export commodity to one which is poor, corrupt, and badly ruled, typically by a dictator or the armed forces. Since the election of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), the United States, although a large country, has grown closer dto fitting this description, and this week puts the U.S. on the edge of Banana Republic classification.

On Memorial Day, a police officer, now discharged and arrested, killed George Floyd while at least three other police officers watched. The former officer pressed down on Floyd’s neck with his knees for over eight minutes. Floyd cried out “I can’t breathe” until he lost consciousness after a little more than five minutes. He died because he literally could not breathe. Floyd had complied with police requests after he tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes. National protests followed the lack of action regarded the police officer’s crime. Video from the store shows that Floyd did not resist.

This morning, black/Latino CNN reporter Omar Jimenez (left), his producer Bill Kirkos, and his Latino photojournalist Leonel Mendez were arrested by several white Minnesota state police officers while the video was playing live on air. Police claimed crew refused to move when instructed, but the video footage shows only courtesy on the part of Jimenez. Later, the state patrol tweeted an insinuation that they didn’t know the men were reporters. The three men were wearing CNN identification, and Jimenez politely explained to the police that he was standing where they had told him to be. Jimenez said that he would go anyplace that they told him, but they handcuffed him and led him away. The police refused to answer his question about why he was being arrested before they arrested Kirkos and Mendez. The camera, still running, chronicled the arrest

At the same time, white CNN correspondent Josh Campbell was reporting about a block away. He said that the police were “polite” when they asked him the name of his outlet. The arrested men were released about an hour later after the Gov. Tim Walz intervened and apologized to CNN’s president, Jeff Zucker. Andrea Jenkins, Minneapolis city council vice-president, told CNN in an interview that the arrest was another example of systemic racism and asked local and state officials to declare racism in Minnesota a public health emergency.

Since his inauguration, DDT has been complaining about the media violating the First Amendment by publicizing facts about him. The arrests of Jimenez, Kirkos, and Mendez are a real violation of the First Amendment.

Yet DDT whines about Twitter stifling his free speech because the company suggested a fact-check on the outrageous lies DDT tweets about mail-in voting. DDT has not talked to Floyd’s family, but he did have time to tweet about the protesters, calling them “THUGS” and blaming the events on “the very weak Radical Left Mayor.” In the same tweet, he threatened to kill protesters: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Twitter responded with a warning that reads:

“This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”

Twitter followers can read the tweet by clicking on the warning but cannot, like, dislike, or retweet the message. Thus far, DDT seems to have backed down from an attack on Twitter, merely tweeting that looting can lead to shooting. The weekend isn’t over, however.

DDT has a history of glorifying racist protesters, beginning almost three years ago when he called violent white supremacists in Charlottesville (VA) “very good people.” When protesters who tried to open up all business in Michigan carried assault-like rifles and broke into the capitol, DDT told Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to give them what they wanted. He praised them as “very good people.” He may be partially correct about the term “thugs.” Members of the “boogaloo movement”—gun enthusiasts who have found a home with white supremacists—have decided to infiltrate the protests about the killing of George Floyd, perhaps to encourage a race war. The boogaloo-ers were behind the protests in Michigan. Alex Friedfeld, an investigative researcher at the ADL Center on Extremism in Chicago said:

“There’s two versions of boogaloo. There’s the white supremacist burn society down and build a white ethno-stage. And then there’s the anti-government resist tyranny at all costs, and if it creates a civil war, so be it version.”

Yesterday, DDT signed a threatening executive order that may lack any power. It claims to remove immunity from lawsuits against Twitter for removing conservative tweets after Twitter posted a suggestion to fact-check his rabid lies about mail-in voting.  Although studies show he is wrong, DDT firmly believes that mail-in voting favors Democrats and will make all Republicans lose in the fall election. He tweeted:

“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives [sic] voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.”

DDT’s frantic behavior comes from his losing to Joe Biden in the polls. He’s setting up the scene to be the victim if Biden wins the votes in the electoral college to become president. Four years ago, DDT shouted at his rallies that the election was “rigged.” Once he won the electoral votes, he quit mentioning a “rigged” election until his polls looked bad.  DDT’s fixer Michael Cohen said:

“Given my experience working for Mr. Trump. I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, that there will never be a peaceful transition of power.”

As always, DDT was careful with his language: his order directed federal officials to examine Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. In the same way, the media reported that he opened up all the meatpacking plants when he told Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to tell them to follow OSHA. DDT’s order did state that companies could lose legal protection from lawsuits if they restrict the views that can be expressed on their websites. According to the order, online platforms “are engaging in selective censorship that is hurting our national discourse.”

Legal experts disagree with the order’s premise. Conservative legal UCLA scholar Eugene Volokh said:

“Twitter, Facebook and the like are immune as platforms regardless of whether they edit, including in a politicized way. Like it or not, this was a deliberate decision by Congress.”

The order tells the FCC to draft regulations regarding actions to expose Twitter to liability if it would “restrict speech in ways that do not align with those entities’ public representations about those practices.” About this demand, Eric Goldman, who teaches internet law at Santa Clara University, said:

“The FCC has no authority over this, because Congress hasn’t delegated that authority.”

Goldman added:

“The First Amendment protects those words that Twitter added. It means Twitter can say that there are additional facts that readers should consider.”

Marc Rasch, an expert on internet law at Kohrman, Jackson and Krantz, said websites are private entities and therefore can restrict content in the same way shopping malls can keep out protesters.

DDT’s regulation could backfire if social media protects themselves by deleting posts or blocking users. 

The complaints about Twitter in DDT’s executive order project DDT’s own actions. These objections about Twitter describe the way DDT operates and benefits:

  • “Hand pick the speech that Americans may access and convey on the internet [to] exercise a dangerous power.”
  • “Shape the interpretation of public events; to censor, delete, or disappear information; and to control what people see or do not see.”
  • “Flaunt[ing] his political bias in his own tweets.”
  • “Profiting from and promoting the aggression and disinformation spread by foreign governments.”
  • “Use … power over a vital means of communication to engage in deceptive or pretextual actions stifling free and open debate by censoring certain viewpoints.”
  • “Engage in deceptive or pretextual actions … to stifle viewpoints with which they disagree.”
  • “Problematic vehicles for government speech due to viewpoint discrimination, deception to consumers, or other bad practices.”
  • “Unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.”
  • “Suppress content … based on indications of political alignment or viewpoint.”

DDT’s demands against mail-in ballots may already cause him problems: the Pennsylvania GOP fears offending DDT by promoting mail-in ballots. All people in the state can vote by mail without a reason, and the GOP pushed the practice—until now. As of yesterday, about 1.3 million registered Democrats requested mail ballots for the June 2 primary election, compared with about 524,000 Republicans, only 29 percent of the requests from the GOP that represents 38 percent of registered voters.  

Meanwhile, 104,542 have died of COVID-19, and the number of confirmed cases is spiking, almost at 1.8 million by today, May 29.

December 15, 2019

‘Anti-Semitism’ Ban Doesn’t Protect Jewish People

At a White House Hanukkah reception, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) signed an executive order explicitly naming Jews as a protected class under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and cracking down on anti-Semitism by denying federal funds to any group exhibiting his definition of anti-Semitism. Title VI lists non-discrimination only for race, color, and national origin which means that Jewish people are protected as “national origin” and not religion.

The order punishes any First Amendment free speech criticism of Israel, blocks the BDS movement—Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions—which attempts to “end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians” by boycotting Israel for its illegal activities in the West Bank and Gaza, and eliminates any support for Palestinians. Curriculum that did not completely support Israel would also be banned under this order.

A hue and cry declaimed that DDT didn’t declare Judaism a “nationality,” that he just put it under “race” and “nationality.” That explanation seems to have the same meaning as “nationality”—it even uses the same word. The order raises questions such as whether Ivanka Trump, a Jewish convert, now has a new “race” or “nationality.” Most of the Jews in the U.S. describe their identity as cultural or religious—or perhaps heritage—while they are Americans. Being separate from Americans can deny them the nation’s rights. If the government determines a definition of nationality for Jewishness, this different category leaves them open to more discrimination.  

Several Jewish organizations raised objections to DDT’s order. Alissa Wise, an activist rabbi with Jewish Voice for Peace, said:

“Trump has never cared about stopping antisemitism — this executive order is about silencing Palestinians and the people who speak up with them.”

Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street, said:

“We feel it is misguided and harmful for the White House to unilaterally declare a broad range of nonviolent campus criticism of Israel to be anti-Semitic, especially at a time when the prime driver of anti-Semitism in this country is the xenophobic, white nationalist far-right.”

In its petition to reject DDT’s executive order, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights states:

“Though touted as a means of protecting Jews and of supporting Israel, this planned Executive Order only threatens First Amendment rights, which include the right to criticize the actions of any country on earth, while confirming a centuries-old antisemitic trope — that the primary loyalty of Jews is not to the state in which they live. This supposition has resulted in horrific discrimination against Jews in countless countries. Take a stand against it today.”

Emily Mayer, political director of IfNotNow, wrote:

 “Trump’s executive order is not about keeping Jews safe. After a week in which he spewed classic anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money, this is just more anti-Semitism. The order’s move to define Judaism as a ‘nationality’ promotes the classically bigoted idea that American Jews are not American. This order is a dangerous move to silence the free speech of human rights advocates and, in particular, Palestinian and Muslim college students.”

Last weekend, DDT used anti-Jewish negative stereotypes of the wealthy Jew in real estate when he said to the Israeli American Council:

“A lot of you are in the real estate business… You’re brutal killers, not nice people at all, but you have to vote for me. You have no choice. You’re not going to vote for Pocahontas, I can tell you that. You’re not gonna vote for the wealth tax.”

DDT continues his pattern of protecting anti-Semitic white supremacists, as he did after their racist protests in Charlotte (VA). Despite the nationalist protesters’ cries of “Jews will not replace us,” DDT continues to insist that they were “fine people on both sides.” 

The executive order is reminiscent of the 1870 Crémieux Decree that the French government enacted in Algeria with the white supremacist goal of giving Algerian Jews the rights and protection of French citizenship while leaving Muslim and Amazigh Algerians second-class citizens. Jewish Algerians lost their privileges when Nazis took over Europe and set up the Vichy regime in France.

By creating citizenship for Algerian Jews, the French government deflected Algerians’ anger of the violence of colonization onto this minority group. Separating the two oppressed groups, Jews and Muslims, meant that they could not successfully opposed the French colonial power. The rise of anti-Semitism drove Jews out of Algeria to France and the anti-colonial movement. By 1940, Muslims fought colonization in Algeria, and Jews faced genocide in France.

France suffers from both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, the direction that the United States is taking. White supremacist governments, including the United States, isolate religious and ethnic groups to pit them against each other to block solidarity. DDT separates Jews and Muslims to make them more ineffective in the fight against white supremacy. He strengthens his division of minority groups by ordering that Palestinian liberation work and fighting anti-Semitism are in opposition.

George W. Bush and President Obama used Title VI to oppose discrimination against people of different religions, not specifically Jewish, and did not declare them a nationality. Instead, discrimination against Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, etc. was covered by Title VI if the discrimination is based on “the group’s actual or perceived ancestry or ethnic characteristics” or “actual or perceived citizenship or residency in a country whose residents share a dominant religion or a distinct religious identity.”

DDT uses a pattern of stating that Jewish people in the United States aren’t really “Americans.” Speaking to Jewish groups, he calls Israel “your country” and Benjamin Netanyahu “your prime minister.” He uses perspectives about Israel, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and himself to define the Jewish community as “loyal” or “disloyal.” Prominent Jewish people, for example, Alexander Vindman who testified during the impeachment inquiry, suffer from questions about their patriotism and their loyalty to “America.” DDT’s executive order expands on the difference, insinuating that “Jewish” is separated from “America” and putting that idea into law. This follows DDT’s position that “Mexican Americans” aren’t really Americans.

The new executive order lumps together all anti-Israel conduct without considering whether it is anti-Jewish. The First Amendment protects anti-Semitic speech—at least until DDT was inaugurated. Although it may be repugnant, the term “I hate Jews” is as protected as “I hate carnivores.” The order bans free speech by requiring all government agencies consider the nonbinding International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism in enforcing anti-discrimination law. The criteria, developed for data-collection, are so vague and imprecise that a Palestinian rights group on campus could lose funding for a school.

To ban all criticism against Israel is to stop criticism of a country.  Israel is a political entity, and DDT’s order bans any criticism of an entire country and its government. Criticism of illegal West Bank settlements is a political discussion, not “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious or racial group,” a definition of anti-Semitism. Debates about Israeli policy is not necessarily anti-Jewish.

DDT’s goal with his executive order is to stop any criticism of Israel by calling it “anti-Semitic.” Israel is a political entity, and his order bans any criticism of a country and government. Criticism of illegal West Bank settlements is a political discussion, not “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious or racial group,” the definition of anti-Semitism. Debates about Israeli policy are not anti-Semitism.

Technically, DDT’s executive order against “anti-Semitism” should oppose discrimination against a wide range of communities. Although claims have been made that “anti-Semitism” is exclusively for Jewish people, the term Semite covers people in West Asia, North and East Africa, and Malta—all racially connected by the Semitic language. Therefore, bans against anti-Semitism should stop discrimination against Muslims, Palestinians, etc. DDT’s “anti-Semitism” order is actually anti-Zionism. Both left and right Zionists want the state of Israel, but DDT’s ideology, the rightwing Zionists, combine religion and politics while opposing peace with Palestinians in order to take over all their land. The Zionists want privileges for Jews over Arabs, Palestinians, and Christians.

As a person, DDT is pro-Zionist, trying to protect the state of Israel to keep the evangelical Christians happy, but he demonstrates anti-Jewish behavior which encourages his prejudiced base to behave violently toward Jewish people in their desire to rid the U.S. of Jewish people. Anti-Jewish episodes in the U.S. increased 60 percent in the first year after DDT’s inauguration and continued into a record number of attacks, for example the killing of four people at a Jersey City kosher supermarket this past week.  

Anti-Muslim evangelical Christian leader Robert Jeffress spoke at the Hanukkah event where DDT signed his order. Jeffress maintains that “you can’t be saved being a Jew” and called Mormonism “a heresy from the pit of hell.” According to anti-Jewish Jeffress, Hell is “filled with good religious people who have rejected the truth of Christ.” DDT supports Jeffress because “I like people that talk well about me.”

DDT is not a friend of the Jewish people in the United States.

August 16, 2019

DDT: Week 134 – New Rules Ruin More Lives

Only 14 percent of Republicans approved of President Obama’s executive orders. GOP approval of autocratic orders and rules escalated to 43 percent since DDT was inaugurated. He These rules are from the past week while he is on vacation at his resort in Bedminster (NJ).

The brand-new acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli, is living up to the hopes of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). In defending new extreme financial restrictions on immigration, Cuccinelli said that only immigrants who can “stand on their own two feet” are welcome in the United States. In explaining the Emma Lazarus poem on the Statue of Liberty, he said that the poem referred to European immigrants who came from “class-based societies,” not from poverty. DDT’s new rule will turn down many green card and visa applicants with low incomes of little education who may have used Medicaid, food stamps, or housing vouchers. In a CNN op-ed, Cuccinelli wrote that “self-sufficiency has been a core tenet of the American dream.”

Thirteen states filed a lawsuit against DDT’s rule to deny visas and permanent residency to poor migrants who don’t meet high enough income standards or receive any public assistance. Washington state AG Bob Ferguson said that the rule to take effect October 15 violates the Immigration and Nationality Act by redefining “public charge” in a way unconnected to its original meaning and congressional intent.

While families—including small children—swam in the Rio Grande River at Juarez, border patrol agents fired rubber bullets at them. Rubber bullets, although defined as “non-lethal,” can cause serious injury and harm, especially when randomly shot into a crowd. Israel’s 2000 study revealed that inaccuracy in aim can lead to “substantial mortality, morbidity, and disability,” in particular if people are hit in such vulnerable areas as the head or neck. Matthew Bowen, the border patrol agent who deliberately hit a Guatemalan migrant with his truck, almost running him over, and referred to immigrants as “subhuman” and “mindless murdering savages” was allowed to plead guilty to one misdemeanor charge. Supposedly he will resign from the Border Patrol.

In an early Christmas present to big business, DDT bulldozed the Endangered Species Act in completing rollbacks to 46-year-old law to pave the way for business development. Hundreds of species, including the wolverines and monarch butterflies, could be gone if DDT succeeds in his goal. Gone, too, will be much of the habitat for threatened wildlife. DDT may be declaring revenge on the bald eagle that was saved by the 46-year-old law. 

The Labor Department has announced a new rule for private contractors allowing the government to more easily fire LGBTQ people and unmarried women who become pregnant—all with the excuse of “religious belief”—because these categories of people are not protected classes. DDT also has asked the Supreme Court ? in a case that it will hear in October. Another rule proposed this week excludes permission for hospitals, health care providers, and insurance companies that receive federal funding to refuse service to LGBT people and people living with HIV. DDT has also asked the Supreme Court to legalize firing workers for being transgender in a case to be heard in October.

DDT also has a new rule allowing states the ability for force drug tests on people receiving unemployment benefits. Required blood tests in other areas such as food stamps have already proved a failure, and the ACLU pointed out that the Fourth Amendment blocks unreasonable government searches.

DDT’s executive orders are always poison, and this one could destroy free speech in the nation. He believes that any criticism of himself is too much progressive speech so he plans an order to give federal agencies the ability to select the acceptability of internet information. According to a draft, the rule asks the FCC for new regulations about how and when the law protects social media websites when they decide to remove or suppress content on their platforms. These new policies would be considered in investigations or lawsuits against companies. DDT has consistently complained that conservative content on social media has been suppressed, ignoring the reasons such as misinformation and calls for violence. His censorship rule would eliminate the rights of private companies and allow the party in power to control speech on the internet.

The DOJ has started to decertify the union representing 440 U.S. immigration judges by filing a petition with the Federal Labor Relations authority defining judges as “management.” Judges are not happy about DOJ’s move. Judge Ashley Tabaddor, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, stated:

“We are trial court judges who make decisions on the basis of case specific facts and the nation’s immigration laws. We do not set policies, and we don’t manage staff.” 

In ridiculing the concept of immigrations as management, Tabaddor said, “We don’t even have the authority to order pencils.”

The Department of Agriculture, possibly violating the law by moving its research agency far away from Washington, DC, now avoids the “latest available science” to help farmers by concealing its study on negative affects of climate change on nutritional value of rice. The results show damage of higher CO2 concentration on levels of protein, iron, and zinc levels. After the feds suppressed research from Lewis Ziska, the 25-year veteran of the department left for a job at Columbia University while morale at the EPA has drastically dropped.  

Massive numbers of bankruptcies and foreclosures from DDT’s policies and lack of concern for climate change has caused concern among farmers. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue had an answer for them at a Farmfest in Minnesota when he told a joke about what to call two farmers in a basement: “A whine cellar.” After he was booed, DDT tweeted the falsehood, “Farmers getting more than China would be spending.” DDT’s brief postponement of tariffs won’t help the farmers. Most of DDT’s welfare for farmers has gone to the wealthy, and net farm income dropped in the last five years from $123.4 billion to $63 billion. DDT promised to help them, but farm income is still shrinking. In the Nigerian language, the word MAGA, acronym for “make America great again,” is defined as a pawn in a scheme, a sucker or fraud victim. DDT has suckered in investors and millions of supporters. China refuses to play DDT’s games.

DDT’s trade war was partly to bring jobs back to the U.S., his promise during his campaign. In the first two years after DDT’s inauguration, companies announced the return of only 145,000 factory jobs, and only 30,000 are from his tariffs. Trade policies moved factories to low-cost Asian countries such as Vietnam. Reacting to a backlash toward the new draconian tariffs with China, DDT changed the deadline for “some” tariffs on Chinese imports—about 60 percent of those threatened— from September 1 to December 15. The investors followed his newest promise with their typical sheeple purchase: a day earlier, the Dow Jones dropped almost 400 points after Goldman Sachs told its clients that the trade war would continue until after the 2020 election. The day of the promise, the Dow regained almost all its losses but fell 800 points the next day. Once again, MAGA.

In July, Chinese imports of U.S. goods fell 19 percent from a year earlier while their exports to the U.S. declined 6.5 percent. China has delayed customs clearance for U.S. goods and licenses in finance and other fields. At the same time, other global areas have benefited from more Chinese exports to them after DDT’s tariffs. DDT lost his agreement with China by saying that he would keep the tariffs even if China returned to buying soybeans and other exports from the U.S. The U.S. trade deficit with China has fallen, but the U.S. overall trade deficit increased as U.S. exports remained flat and imports grew. Chief economist Mark M. Zandi for Moody’s Analytics warned that DDT’s trade war is doing economy damage, especially in manufacturing that is “pretty close to recession.”

Aides to DDT say he is “rattled.”  Anxious about the economy because he needs positive views for a re-election, DDT consulted business leaders and financial executives—and the news was not all good for him. The Dow Jones rose over 300 points today, but it is still down almost 300 points for the week after wild fluctuations of over 1000 points. It was a one-day reprieve: the next day the Dow dropped 800 points after the bond market announced the possibility of a recession. DDT is screaming for the Federal Reserve to save him, but is he taking advantage of selling short? At least, DDT may have learned to say the phrase “inverted yield curve.”

The US budget deficit also widened to $867 billion for the first 10 months of the fiscal year, an increase of 27% over this time last year. 

This week, DDT took credit for a major manufacturing complex in western Pennsylvania that was announced in 2012, the year that President Obama campaigned for his successful second term. DDT’s speech was filled with slurs about Democratic presidential candidates. 

DDT’s tax cuts have provided almost no benefit for economic growth, business investment, and worker pay. Half of surveyed corporate chief financial officers expect the economy to shrink by the second quarter of 2020, and two-thirds expect a recession by the end of 2020. Deficits have soared back to the levels of the crisis at the end of George W. Bush’s regime, and only five percent of growth from tax cuts have offset the losses. The interest cut last month was an attempt to counteract the slump in manufacturing and investment. The highly touted salary increase from the tax cuts averaged $28 per worker. That’s the picture of what DDT calls “the strongest economy in the world.”

July 19, 2019

DDT Uses Racism to Avoid Problems

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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