Nel's New Day

June 7, 2019

DDT: Week 124 – Didn’t Go Well

Since Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and his entourage departed England, their gain is the U.S. taxpayer loss. Although he reported stayed at the home of the U.S. ambassador to the UK, VIP rooms at InterContinental hotel on Park Lane, linked to Qatari royal family, cost over $1.2 million.  Another $339,386 was spent at the Hilton and on “passenger car rental.” The Churchill Hyatt Regency reaped hundreds of thousands of dollars, including almost $50,000 for a generator, and the Grosvenor House hotel charged at least $266,882 that included special voice and data cabling in the hotel suites. The Cumberland hotel got only $96,162, but the embassy contracts for chauffeured limousines ran $353,070. Total for this tip of the iceberg expenditures ran about $2.3 million. And then there’s the food, flights, other travel, and other perks of travel. All so that DDT and his family could embarrass the United States.  

After a week of disagreement with GOP legislators who threatened veto-proof legislation against taxing Mexican imports, DDT backed down with his claim that he reached an agreement with Mexico. There’s no indication that he got his way to stop all “illegal immigrants” from coming across the southern border, but he will present a spin that he is victorious. Fox will agree, and DDT’s supporters will believe him. Summer parties can continue now that the top four imports from Mexico—beer, avocadoes, tomatoes, and tequila—won’t be taxed on entry to the U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and GOP senators agreed that DDT was bluffing.

Everyone has always known that it’s all about DDT, but now he plans to prove it again with his own celebration of himself on July 4 and giving a campaign speech at the Lincoln Memorial.  He’s moved the fireworks display which adds to problems of crowd control. Forget a nonpartisan celebration of the Fourth of July.

DDT continues to tell current and former executive branch personnel to ignore House subpoenas to testify, and the House plans to vote on a resolution that authorizes civil enforcement of subpoenas in federal court and permit the House counsel to represent the chamber in litigation. Using DDT’s orders, fixer AG Bill Barr, former White House counsel Don McGahn, and former Communications Director Hope Hicks have already ignored House subpoenas. The resolution would move the issue to court without addressing the language of “contempt.” The House Oversight Committee may also hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt after they refused to turn over information about adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Congress has discovered that DDT approved the transfer of sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia twice after the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. DDT put off giving Congress the information for over two months about the timing of seven transfers of nuclear expertise to Saudi Arabia. Lack of congressional notification may put DDT in violation of the Atomic Energy Act. Saudis refuse to agree that it will not develop nuclear weapons.

Thanks to DDT, the U.S. company Raytheon will start building high-tech bomb parts in Saudi Arabia, leaving the possibility that the Saudis will acquire information about formerly closely-guarded technology. These are the weapons used to target civilians, leading President Obama to stop bomb sales to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. Raytheon is shipping 120,000 precision-guided bombs to the coalition, adding to the tens of thousands of bombs that Saudi Arabia and UAE have stockpiled. As with all other of DDT’s unconstitutional decisions, he declared an emergency for giving Saudis U.S. technology.  

Too few regulations can be a serious problem for big business, as 17 major auto companies pointed out in a letter to DDT protesting his rollbacks to fuel-efficiency standards for the industry that allow less efficient vehicles and greater pollution. With the exception of Chrysler, the world’s largest automakers said his plans to weaken tailpipe pollution standards could cut profits and result in “untenable” instability for them. California and 13 other states won’t tolerate the reduction in standards so manufacturers have to build different cars for different places if they want to avoid fines for violating regulations in 28 percent of the states, possibly 50 percent of the population. List of 83 EPA rollbacks in the past 869 days to increase deaths and health problems as well as destroying the planet. Alaska makes over $2 billion a year from people looking at wildlife so DDT also plans to kill the animals in an expansion of trophy hunting.

DDT told Puerto Ricans to be grateful to him for the $19.1 billion disaster relief bill after he repeatedly blocked the bill because of aid to Puerto Rico. The 7.8 percent of the bill that the U.S. territory receives is a fraction of what the U.S. government promised—and failed to deliver—to Puerto Rico. DDT still doesn’t understand how Congress works. After GOP stalling for weeks and DDT’s obstruction, Congress passed the wall-free disaster relief bill in the House by 354-58 and 85-8 in the Senate. DDT tweeted that “House just passed the 19.1 Billion Dollar Disaster Aid Bill. Great, now we will get it done in the Senate!” Nope, it’s all done with a veto-proof vote. DDT later deleted his tweet, another violation of the public records law.

George Nader, former key witness to Robert Mueller’s investigation and member of DDT’s transition team for the Middle East and Russia, was arrested on child pornography charges in New York when he returned from Dubai. He had pled guilty to the same charges 27 years ago in Northern Virginia. Nadar organized a secret meeting in Seychelles among DDT’s associates, Blackwater founder and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ brother Erik Prince, and a Russian banker linked to Vladimir Putin in January 2017. Prince had tried to convince people that the meeting was just a chance encounter with the principals although they met a month later. In April 2017 Nader, an adviser to the United Arab Emirates, wired $2.5 million to a top DDT fundraiser Elliott Broidy through a company in Canada. 

The idiocy of hiding John McCain’s name on a ship from DDT while he was in Japan didn’t stop after he came back from Japan last week. The story went like this:

  • Reaction #1: Of course, no one would tell the Navy to move the ship “out of sight” before DDT’s trip to Japan.
  • Reaction #2: “I never would have done that,” tweeted DDT. But, he added, how accommodating that someone had done it.
  • Reaction #3: The Navy said it wasn’t a “fake” story; it had been asked to hide the USS John S. McCain but didn’t comply.
  • Reaction #4: Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney believes that “probably somebody on the advance team” had given an order to hide the ship, “not an unreasonable thing to ask.”
  • Reaction #5: Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told his chief of staff to tell the White House not to put the military in political situations, to “reaffirm his mandate that the Department of Defense will not be politicized.”

My favorite reaction:   

“Hey @realDonaldTrump, we read the story about the sailors on a US warship being ordered to hide from you because you’re triggered by the name on their hats. So we turned Madame Tussaud’s into a giant USS John McCain baseball cap. Welcome to London!”

There may have been comments in between these reactions. If DDT and White House officials didn’t lie so much, they wouldn’t have to lie to try to get out of trouble. Amazon is sold out of John McCain caps.

Only 75,000 jobs were added in May, and job count numbers for March and April dropped their totals 75,000, making an average of 164,000 job increases for 2019. Wage increases were lower than expected, staying close to the amount of inflation. Construction, mining, and manufacturing are largely flat, and retail is showing a loss. Manufacturing at the lowest level since DDT’s inauguration and last month the worst in almost a decade. U.S. manufacturing dropped to its lowest level since DDT was inaugurated, and last month was the worst month in almost a decade. Business owners and economists blame the slump on DDT’s trade wars around the world. The federal reserve is so desperate that it suggested a drop in interest rates, the only reason that the stock markets began to catch up on last week’s losses. JP MorganChase predicts a 40-percent chance this year for a recession, up from a 15-percent estimate the month before. Tax studies, including one from DDT’s alma mater Wharton, report that tariff taxes on consumers will wipe out any gains from tax cuts.

The commander-in-chief is now assigning U.S. military to painting duties. Displeased about the aesthetics of his wall at Calexico (CA), DDT sent service members for 30 days to paint it. And we need more taxpayer money for the military because?

March 9, 2018

DDT: Week Fifty-nine – Rampant Corruption

The media went crazy over the ballistic behavior of former campaign adviser Sam Nunberg after Robert Mueller subpoenaed his testimony and documents about major players in the Russia scandal.  Nunberg first declared that he would refuse to comply with the subpoena, especially because Roger Stone is so special to him, before he made the round of news shows and backed down after continually asking if he could be put in jail with his refusal. Tuesday ended with a delicious segment on Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show. Nunberg showed up before the grand jury on Friday and testified. Grim-faced, he refused to comment afterward. While complaining on TV, he said that DDT knew about the June 2016 meeting between the Russian lawyer and his son and son-in-law a week before it occurred.

George Nadar, adviser to the United States Arab Emirates (UAE), also testified before a grand jury and is cooperating with Mueller. Nadar represented UAE’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at a meeting in Seychelles meeting in January 2017 with a Russian investor, a friend of Vladimir Putin. ant Erik Prince, DDT’s adviser who founded Blackwater and Betsy DeVos’ brother. Prince had wanted to set up a private military army for DDT in Afghanistan. Mueller is collecting evidence that the Seychelles meeting was to create a back-channel communication system between DDT and Vladimir Putin and foreign money for DDT’s campaign as well as Nadar’s meetings with Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon. Nadar’s testimony contradicted Erik Prince’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee about his encounter with the Russian oligarch in the Seychelles.

After the story about George Nadar broke, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) said, “I don’t have any clue who George Nader is.” Conaway is helping lead the House Intelligence Committee in the DDT-Russia scandal. In addition to his involvement with Russia, Nadar, DDT’s friend, was arrested for child pornography in 1985, including his having received a package with a film of young boys engaged in sexual acts and photos of nude boys. Reasons for the dismissal of the case are not clear.

Paul Manafort pled not guilty to all the charges against him in Virginia, but he is now wearing a second ankle tracking device, the other for Washington, because the two jurisdictions have different systems. The Virginia trial begins in July 10, followed by a September date in Washington.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is leading an inquiry into the $509 million loans Kushner obtained after meeting with the lenders in the White House.

DDT may have obstructed justice or tampered with witnesses by asking at least two of them—White House counsel Don McGahn and former chief of staff Reince Priebus—about their interviews with Mueller.

After head of the National Security Agency, Mike Rogers, testified that the president had not directed him to prevent Russia’s targeting U.S. elections, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to cover for DDT’s inaction, but thus far the State Department has spent $0 of the $120 million allocated to fight foreign cyberattacks on elections. Not one of the 23 analysts working in the Global Engagement Center speaks Russian, and the department has a hiring freeze. DDT is still delaying any sanctions ordered by law and denied that Russian meddling had anything to do with “our votes” in 2016. He promises a “very, very deep study” and “strong suggestions” before the 2018 midterms.

In a New Yorker story, Jane Mayer wrote that Russia blocked DDT from appointing Mitt Romney as Secretary of State, according to researcher Christopher Steele.

DDT keeps pushing the media to investigate the Russia collusion in the time of President Obama, and they have—with all roads ending at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refusing to release any information about Russian election meddling before DDT was elected. McConnell says that he’s “perfectly comfortable” with that decision to conceal the Russian election manipulation from the public.

Nastya Rybka (real name Anastasiz Vashukevich), an escort in Thailand, claims to have 16 hours of audio proof connecting the Russian campaign to DDT that she will release if the U.S. gets her out of prison.

Title X, the only federal grant program dedicated to comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services, will now favor programs with a focus on abstinence-only sex education and “natural” family planning methods. The over 4 million people who use this program for health department and other nonprofit community health centers, in place for almost a half century, may have more difficulty obtaining birth control or getting access to cancer and STD screenings with the new guidelines. Title X funded clinics helped people prevent 822,300 unintended pregnancies, averting 387,200 unplanned births and 277,800 abortions in just 2015.

Jeff Sessions is suing California to overturn state immigrations laws, including the program that inspects federal immigration detention centers for its rampant mistreatment and abuse by private companies. DOJ is also threatening any other states that pursue similar laws. State and local officials have complained about DDT’s ICE activities because they undermine local economies and make communities more dangerous.

DDT has decided to remove new tee markers with the presidential seal from his golf courses.  [Markers at Eagle Sign, New Albany (IN) and Louisville (KY)]  Manufacture or use of the seal, its likeness, “or any facsimile thereof” for other than government business is punishable by up to six months in prison. Earlier, DDT used the “family crest” that he took without permission from the family owning Mar-a-Lago.

After DDT said he talked to North Korea on the phone when he actually spoke to South Korean Moon Jae-in, he announced a meeting with North Korea in late May without any State Department or other diplomatic input, probably to draw attention from Russia or Stormy Daniels. Hours before DDT announced the talks, State Department Secretary Rex Tillerson said that talks would not be “realistic” or prudent yet. DDT put Kim Jong-un in control by elevating a rogue state to an equal to the United States—without any rewards for the U.S. The day after DDT’s announcement, the press secretary said that conditions need to be met before the meeting. Look for far more media about the meeting that may never happen.

Jared Kushner also ignored diplomats, including the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, when he met with the Mexican president.

At the Gridiron Dinner, a gathering of 65 journalists with a self-deprecating roast-like speech by the current president, DDT made all his jokes at the expense of his family, colleagues, and enemies. Before the speech, he said, “My staff was concerned that I couldn’t do self-deprecating humor.” He can’t.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA accused Stephen Colbert of being a “danger” to the nation after a segment in which Colbert showed a memo stating “Devin Nunes is a [redacted]” with the question about what the redacted word is. After trying to shut down the probe into the DDT-Russian collusion, Nunes added that Colbert, like others on the left, “attack people who are trying to get to the truth.” Colbert answered Nunes complaint by showing another segment in which he was unable to meet with the representative.

DDT’s tariffs on steel and aluminum will cost the nation at least 146,000 jobs. The steel manufacturing industry employs 140,000 people; manufacturing with steel provides 6.3 million jobs. The Constitution gives Congress the power to stop DDT, but the unhappy Republicans won’t cross him.

Virginia Heffernan described Ivanka Trump’s growing problems with her connections with former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who lied to the FBI; developer Felix Sater, guilty of a $40-million stock fraud scheme with the Russian mobsters; and Tamir Sapir, tied to racketeering with the Gambino crime family before he died. Ivanka brought Flynn to DDT, toured Russia with Sater, and collaborated with Sapir. Heffernan also described Ivanka’s involvement in shady real-estate projects.

When DDT hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, Netanyahu said, “This will be remembered.” As the Mueller investigation gets closer to possible Russian collusion with DDT, Israeli police has recommended that Netanyahu be indicted on bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three corruption cases, the most recent one this week. Mueller is getting closer to DDT’s corruption. “This will be remembered.”

Fond of dictators in other countries, DDT wants to emulate China after President XI Jinping wants to do away with any term limits in the Constitution. DDT praised Xi’s efforts to become “president for life” and said, “Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday.”

Afraid of firing people, DDT lets others discharge them or belittles them in the hopes that they will quit. Now that DDT is ready to dispense with John Kelly as Chief of Staff, he has sent Anthony Scaramucci on the talk show circuit to smear Kelly. At least that’s what the media from left to right is reporting, although Scaramucci says the story from White House insiders isn’t true.

This last week, DDT tweeted that he was asking China for ways that they could reduce their trade deficit with the United States by $1 billion. DDT’s administration figure is actually $100 billion; he was off by $99 billion. And why would China want to do this?

More on the week with appointments, resignations, and lawsuits later.

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