Nel's New Day

October 10, 2022

Indigenous Peoples Day/Columbus Day – 2022

On the second Monday of October, the U.S. and many states celebrate Christopher Columbus Day, repeating the myth that the Italian “discovered” America in 1492. Children have been taught this false story for over a century, and banks and the post office have been closed on that day since it  was declared a national holiday in 1934. As usual, most people ignore the history: a sailor on Columbus’ ship, Rodrigo Bernajo, was the first European to sight the Bahamas archipelago and then the island named Hispaniola, now divided into Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Columbus took credit for the sighting and claimed the island for the King and Queen of Spain although it was already populated. He called the people on the island “Indians” because he thought he had reached the Indies. Instead of going to what is now the U.S., he headed south to Central and South America. In another journey, he thought Cuba was Japan. Dying in 1506, he had made conditions at Hispaniola so bad that Spanish authorities sent a new governor and arrested him, returning him to Spain and stripping him of his titles. His model of conquering Native Americans began centuries of Europe colonizing the American continents and exploiting of native American populations.

A year ago, President Joe Biden signed the first presidential proclamation of Indigenous Peoples Day, an event beginning in 1977 to honor Native American history and culture. The second Monday of October has been a national holiday for close to a century, but this will be only the second year that Indigenous Peoples Day has nationally held that designation. Starting in 1989 with South Dakota calling the second Monday in October Native American Day, over 13 states and the District of Columbia changed the name of this day to Indigenous Peoples Day, and at least 130 local governments officially recognize this day instead of Columbus Day.

Almost 500 years before Columbus’ first voyage, Leif Eriksson may have been the first European to land on North American land when he and his sailors searched for a new world. The single-sail Viking boat left Norway, either going off course on his way back to Greenland or deliberately searching for North America after hearing about it from Icelandic trader Bjarni Herjolfsson who saw land from afar.

Eriksson may have landed on Baffin Island, east of the Prince of Wales province, before going to the northern tip of Newfoundland. He called the area Vinland because the wild grapes were suitable for wine. In the spring, Eriksson returned home to Greenland to stay, but other Vikings traveled to Vinland for at least the next decade. In 1960, archeologists found Viking artifacts dating back to AD 1000 and the remains of a Norse village on the northernmost tip of Newfoundland at L’Anse aux Meadows. Leif Eriksson got his own day in 1964 when President Lyndon Johnson signed a proclamation honoring him, his crew, and the country’s Nordic-American heritage. The date was chosen because of the 1825 arrival in New York of the ship Restauration, carrying the first organized band of Norwegian immigrants to the United States.

Greenland brings back the story of then Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) trying to buy the island from Denmark in 2018 and the background for his attempt. A new book by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021, describes how Estée Lauder heir Ronald S. Lauder, longtime friend of realtor DDT, offered to negotiate a trade of Puerto Rico for Greenland. Or the U.S. could buy Greenland outright by taking federal money from Puerto Rico because DDT found it “dirty” after visiting after Hurricane Maria in 1917. Denmark refused, and DDT created a rift with the country with his demands. 

Aides supposedly used ideas like this to keep him from far more bizarre and reckless paths. Still, the aides tried to keep the delusional Greenland story from leaking out, and DDT’s second chief of staff, John Kelly, bought a best-selling book written by psychiatrists about DDT’s mental health. He told others it was a helpful guide for the pathological liar whose inflated ego came from a deeply insecure person.

Kelly’s stories about DDT’s ignorance regarding history and inability to absorb information were humorous, but DDT’s flawed judgment shook Kelly. He decided DDT’s problem was not that he didn’t know right from wrong but that “he always does the wrong thing.” When DDT refused to lower the flag after Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) death, Kelly told him,

“If you don’t support John McCain’s funeral, when you die, the public will come to your grave and piss on it.”

In “normal” times, the stories in the book would be only a reflection of the past and how lucky the U.S. was to escape. At this time, however, DDT is leading the GOP by its nose and heading for a possible reelection in two years—a world disaster. And the Greenland story provided great fodder for late night show jokes while taxpayers paid for months of internal studies.

Home to almost 58,000 people, Greenland is the biggest island in the world, and 80 percent of its 811,000 square miles, three times the size of Texas, are ice-capped. The island’s residents are Danish, but they have governed by self-rule since 1979. Fishing and tourism drive the island’s economy, but it has coal, zinc, copper, iron ore, and rare minerals. Since 1943, Thule Air Base, the northernmost U.S. Air Force base, has operated on Greenland with a ballistic missile early warning system and satellite tracking system. Greenlanders have expressed horror. One Greenlander Else Mathiesen, told local media about DDT’s attempt to colonize Greenland:

“You can’t just buy an island or a people. This sounds like something from the era of slavery and colonial power.”

Before the GOP term “cancel culture” developed glitz by being called “critical race theory,” Fox network had a discussion about Indigenous Peoples Day. Host Rachel Campos-Duffy claimed, “Christopher Columbus, by the way, is the first victim of cancel culture” and added that Native Americans “were just as brutal” as Columbus and other European colonizers. Jesse Watters responded, “Yeah, they’re just going to try to send more slush funds to the reservations and make them out to be victims.” (Right: From Florida, the land of revisionist history.)

Some conservatives justify Columbus by calling him “flawed” and “complex,” but he was basically a murdering, raping, thieving thug who enslaved the people who had lived for thousands of years where he landed. Soon after he took control of Hispaniola, 95 percent of the Taino living there were dead, many of them from diseases brought by Columbus and his men.

If the New York Latin Culture organization is correct, however, the day originally had a positive purpose: the U.S. celebration was founded in the 1890s to stop white supremacist Confederate Southerners from lynching Italian Americans. The Italians migrating to the U.S. from southern Italy had mixed with Africa, only 100 miles away. They did work formerly done by Blacks and lived in and married into African communities. Violent racism led to victimization of Italian men, women, and children with lynchings, murders, rapes, maimings, burnings—any form of inhumanity imaginable. After a massacre of Italian Americans in New Orleans, Italy forced the U.S. to pay reparations to the dead Italians’ families.

The article concluded:

“America’s Italian community can choose its own icons, but why would anyone want to be represented by such a flawed character who stands for unspeakable crimes against humanity? We can do better.”

More about Christopher Columbus and his day: 2015; 2018; 2019; and 2021. 

June 25, 2021

Heat Builds Up in Weather, Voting

Over a month ago, conservative columnist Mark Thiessen wrote one of his evidence-free pieces for the Washington Post, this one about how the U.S. has no problem with drought. He cherry-picked a few facts, including this one from “NOAA figures”—“the past fifty years have been slightly wetter than average” in the United States. 

The new administration recognizes the serious problems of climate change, but those clinging to the unscientific beliefs of the old one are deeply entrenched in denial. They won’t associate the abnormal June heat waves with climate change, but fence sitters may develop an understanding for the seriousness of the problem.

For the second year in a row, Russia saw record-breaking heat north of the Arctic Circle as the country heats up twice as fast as the rest of the world. The land surface temperature in Siberia rose as high as 118 degrees on June 20. The result is record-low sea ice along Siberia’s coastline. Some of the areas are warmer by 16 degrees and severe wildfires burned through Siberia in the past two years.

Last September, a huge Greenland glacier, twice the size of Manhattan and the second largest in the world behind Antarctica, disintegrated. Melting ice in the next eight decades will cause sea levels to rise by over three feet, erasing beaches and coastal properties.

Last summer and fall marked the least area covered by sea ice ever recorded in the Arctic Ocean, unprecedented in at least 1,000 years. The drop has disastrous effects for the planet beyond the sea rise causing storm surges, flooding, and infrastructure costs throughout the world. With higher pH than freshwater, seawater from collapsing ice sheets causes ocean acidification impacting fisheries. In one example, over 80 percent of northeast Arctic cod may be eliminated, dropping the economy from a catch from $285 million to $36 million in eight decades.  

Snow and ice are part of the circular cooling of the earth: less ice, more energy absorbed by land and water which is then translated into heat, blocking an increase of ice. Melting permafrost releases carbon dioxide and methane, accelerating global warming, and diseases from past centuries are released from the thawed permafrost.

Before the end of June, a second heat wave is hitting the western United States. The one last week in the Southwest moved east, and at least 4,000 new temperatures were set this year, including every square inch of Arizona, according to the National Weather Service in Flagstaff. Palm Springs (CA) hit 123 degrees, and Phoenix and other Arizona areas were at least 120 degrees.

Like the current heat wave hitting the Northwest this coming weekend, a heat dome formed by high pressure in the upper atmosphere has put a lid on the area, trapping the hot air. The air sinks down, compresses, and heats up more while the dome blocks clouds and storms which otherwise would provide relief from the sun’s rays. The feedback loop creates longer and more intense heat waves. Temperatures in the next three to seven days will be unusually high—for example, 113 degrees in Portland at a time when normal June highs are in the mid-70s.

The result of this extreme weather can be death from drought, wildfires, and lack of refrigeration. Normal storm systems can’t get under the dome, lack of rain dries up reservoirs, crops suffer, and forests and shrubbery kindle fires. People end up with a shortage of food and water if they don’t burn up in their homes.

With less flow from the Colorado River, Lake Mead (right), supplying water for 25 million people in three Southwestern states and Mexico, is at 36 percent capacity, the lowest point since the reservoir was filled in the 1930s. Arizona will lose one-fifth of its water allotment. The Folsom Lake near Sacramento (CA) is so low that a plane from a 1986 crash appeared. 

It’s not summer yet, and Mark Thiessen says our only choice is to “adapt.” Yet conservatives don’t want any adaptation which would requires conservation of resources, infrastructure redesign, and energy grids that don’t fail with the slightest provocation, as currently in Texas. Ranchers are selling their sheep and cattle early, and dairy farmers are selling their cattle because they can’t come up with the daily 50 gallons of water each animal needs. Farmers are leaving portions of their land fallow. The result is higher prices from less supply. Adaptation will be difficult.

Another heated problem this summer is voting rights. A divided 6th Circuit Court panel replaced a Tennessee law prohibiting first-time voters from using absentee ballots.  

The decision overturned a lower ruling. The Tennessee Supreme Court had permitted anyone with a “special vulnerability to Covid-19” to vote via absentee ballot in the 2020 election. The NAACP argued that the situation can be repeated, but the judicial majority called the pandemic a “unique factual situation.” The judge, a George W. Bush appointment, was joined by a Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) appointee. In her dissent, the third judge, appointed by Bill Clinton, accused her colleagues of “haphazardly wielding the law and the facts.”

Following the insistence that fraud stole the election from DDT, Michigan Senate Oversight Committee investigated the election in their state for almost eight months. The GOP-majority group, led by a Republican, issued a 55-page report finding absolutely “no evidence of widespread or systemic fraud in Michigan’s prosecution of the 2020 election.” According to the report, “Citizens should be confident the results represent the true results of the ballots cast by the people of Michigan.” Every Republican on the committee adopted he report.

Falsehoods debunked by the GOP investigation:

  • Dead people voted;
  • Hundreds of thousands of unsolicited absentee ballots were sent to Michigan voters;
  • A machine error switched votes in Antrim County;
  • Tabulators at the TCF Center in Detroit, where absentee ballots were counted, were connected to the internet which allowed tampering by outside parties.
  • “Fractional voting;”
  • Over 100 percent voter turnout in any Michigan precinct.  

The irony of the investigative report is that it supports anti-voting bills such as preventing the secretary of state from mailing unsolicited absentee ballot applications to registered voters. Proposed GOP bills also want more GOP poll workers in Detroit and canvassers to be present during the process as a stall to counting ballots as well as locking drop boxes before polling locations close. The Michigan House has passed bills for voter ID and signature matching. Other introduced legislation creates an “audit board” to hire an outside firm to review ballots, voting machines, and poll books, targeting the Democratic stronghold of Detroit.

The state’s GOP precinct delegates have called on the party leadership to fire Michigan GOP Executive Director Jason Cabel Roe because he told Politico last year that “the election wasn’t stolen” and only DDT was to blame for his loss.

Regarding dead people voting, the committee probed the only two claims they found. One was a clerical error; the other was a woman who died after she cast her vote but a few days before the election. A video purportedly showing late-night “ballot dumps” was of a news photographer moving his gear, not ballots. Despite the report showing no fraud in the election, Republicans are pushing almost 40 anti-voting bills.  DDT’s supporters rallied on the state Capitol steps calling on the GOP for an audit of the presidential election, exonerated by the legislative Republicans. Over 250 election audits in the state affirmed the results submitted to the Electoral College, including a human error in Antrim County quickly corrected. DDT carried Antrim by 61 percent. The report also called on the AG to investigate “utilizing misleading and false information about Antrim County to raise money or publicity for their own ends.”

In Arizona, the counters finished looking at 2.1 million ballots, and the process has turned to the 70,000-80,000 tally sheets, verifying the data. Cyber Ninjas’ counters have compiled 15 subtotals, points of comparison, with official totals for each candidate, according to the leadership of the Ninjas’ CEO Doug Logan. Official 2020 election records used 10,341 subtotals as its benchmark, a spreadsheet of all votes. GOP Senate President Karen Fann is still debating whether to do another count as comparison to the hand counts from the past two months. Don’t expect any results until at least August.

Several prominent Republicans in Arizona, once approving the “fraudit” fiasco, now oppose it. Conservative talk show host, who initially approved the idea, says the Arizona audit is a disaster for the GOP. He said:

“If we are going to let this audit define the Republican Party, which we are doing right now in Arizona, I think it’s going to be big trouble.”

According to a QAnon conspiracies, a GOP Maricopa Supervisor, Clinton Hickman, fed shredded ballots to the chickens at his family’s egg farm. One of his barns burned down, killing 162,000 chickens, leading to the false accusation that it was his way of destroying ballots.

In a Monmouth University poll, only 33 percent of people in the U.S. see the project as legitimate, and even they have no evidence for their belief. In the survey, 57 percent agreed the audits were partisan-based with the goal of questioning the election’s validity. Forty percent think this type of audits weaken democracy, twice as many as those who believe it strengthens it. Another 50 percent of respondents think voter disenfranchisement from red state laws is a bigger issue.

April 26, 2020

‘You Couldn’t Make This Up’ Snippets

While the media attempts to caution the world that a deadly idea from Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) to drink bleach as a cure for COVID-19—and Dr. Deborah Birx puts her spin to protect DDT—other stupidities come out of the federal government and the nation that DDT has created.

DDT doesn’t have enough money for pandemic needs, even testing, but he can provide exorbitant amounts for his wall with no bids. On April 25, Fisher, DDT’s beloved company under investigation by the Defense Department inspector general, got a contract for $7.63 million for 800 linear feet of the slatted design of DDT’s choice—about $73,301 per foot. bid. Earlier this month, the Army gave a big GOP donor $569 million to build 17 miles of his wall–$33 million per mile and far above the $20 billion per mile average thus far. The original contract was only 25 percent of that amount, $141.8 million. The company already got over $1 billion is less than a year for 37 miles–$27 million per mile.  

Last year, DDT wanted to buy Greenland; now he’s opening a consulate there, supposedly to block growing Russian and Chinese interests in the Arctic. Maybe an end-run to still purchase the Danish territory?

DDT plans to keep people from getting disaster money.  Last Monday, the IRS gave recipients of Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits not filing a 2018 or 2019 tax return 48 hours to file for $500 COVID-19 “stimulus” payments for dependent children. Anyone who doesn’t meet that deadline has to wait until next year for payment.

About half the tweets about the virus are from bots feeding gullible people over 100 fake conspiracies like 5G towers cause COVID-19, the U.S. developed the virus as a bioweapon, and U.S. politicians issued “mandatory” lockdowns. Three-fourths of them concern false and often deadly cures such as drinking Corona beer and bleach. DDT re-tweeted a video from his golfing buddy John Daly that alcohol cures COVID-19.

Ignoring the danger of illness or death for his audience, a Louisiana pastor bused in people for Sunday services because they were too poor to have online services to watch his ministrations. Now he wants their $1,200 disaster relief checks, supposedly for non-profit and faith-based ministries so that they don’t have to apply for the paycheck protection program.

A week ago when networks showed a two-hour fundraiser for the World Health Organization, Ivanka Trump tweeted a suggestion for what to do instead of watching the variety show:

“Looking for a Saturday night activity? Try making shadow puppets from Henry Bursill’s recently unearthed 1860’s book of engraving…”

Ivanka received a variety of “interesting” responses, needless to say some of them rather graphic. In one of the more printable responses, Jodie Moss picked up on the “puppet” theme. 

NCAA whined about the vast sums that it lost from the cancelation of March Madness and paid out only $225 million to conferences and schools this year instead of the usual $600 million after insurance paid NCAA only $270 million. Its “financial problems” came in 2015 from university presidents on the board of governors who spent over 80 percent of its $500 million that had been set aside for a contingency such as the pandemic.

The Dow Jones went down less than 500 points last week, but crude oil hit a negative zone for the first time in history. After a new low, the futures trading price went to a minus $37.63

DDT and other conservatives hate the UN, which includes the World Health Organization, but Secretary of State is begging the UN to renew the international arms embargo expiring on October 18, 2020. Without a renewal, supply, sale, and transfer of military weapons, vehicles, and aircraft will no longer require UN approval, leaving countries such as Russia and China free to sell these items to anyone. But according to DDT, the U.S. doesn’t need the UN.

The object of DDT’s war as a “wartime president” is the First Amendment. DDT, who has released thousands of lying ads, is suing small media outlets across the United States because of a composite ad of his statements. The goal is to bankrupt them although the media are precluded by the Supreme Court interpretation of the First Amendment. Like other public officials, he cannot recover damages unless he proves the statements are made with “actual malice”—that they are made with the knowledge that they are false or with “reckless disregard” of whether they are true or false. Like DDT’s ads are.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper, responsible for the safety of over 2 million people in the military, learned something about COVID-19 a week ago: normal, healthy appearing people who show no symptoms of the disease can still infect others. That information was made public in the U.S. at least three months ago.

One of DDT’s arguments against Joe Biden is that electing him president means that “China will own the United States.” China already owns part of DDT himself. A refinanced loan in 2012 for DDT’s 43-story Manhattan skyscraper, the Avenue of the Americas near Trump Tower, put DDT in hock to the state-owned Bank of China for $211 million. The loan is due in 2022.  

DDT is back to buddying up with Vladimir Putin as the two of them block a UN global ceasefire to help the pandemic. DDT wants to keep the right to attack other countries, including Iran. More than 50 governments back the UN initiative. DDT has finally dropped his demand that the resolution call COVID-19 the “Wuhan Virus” after telephone calls with China’s president Xi Jinping.

College students who haven’t graduated have an excellent possibility of filling DDT’s influential positions. Recent hires still working on their degrees will do outreach and build relationships with agencies and outside organizations, director of operations for the personnel office, White House liaison with the Department of Commerce, and assistant to the deputy director of the personnel office. The 29-year-old personnel picker must like people who are younger than he is.

Michael Caputo, new HHS spokesman and associate of Roger Stone, is no spring chicken, but he couldn’t hide his ignorant, bigoted tweets with racist and derogatory comments about Chinese people, claims that Democrats wanted COVID-19 to kill millions of people, and accusations that the media intentionally created panic to hurt DDT. Appointed this month, he erased over 1,300 tweeted insults, profanity, and conspiracy theories, but they are still available at Internet Archive’s “The Wayback Machine.” A few of them are here.

Bad enough that evangelicals have James Bakker selling fake treatments for COVID-19 and DDT touts a drug that can kill people. Now Rep. Louie Gohmert, elected by Texas Republicans, promotes a nonexistent “mist” that kills the virus. He said:

“It is being used in Germany as a mist. Health care workers go through a misting tent going into the hospital and it kills the coronavirus completely dead not only right then, but any time in the next 14 days that the virus touches anything that’s been sprayed it is killed.”

Dr. Jörn Wegner, the head of the German Hospital Association, said nothing about Gohmert’s claim is true. Thomas Ruttkowski, the spokesman for the German Society of Hospital Hygiene, laughed at Gohmert, who claimed that an Arizona plant is manufacturing the powder that should be mixed with water to make the mist. Gohmert also likes DDT’s lethal magical drug for a cure. The U.S. representative is known for wacko claims such as the caribou enjoying the warmth of the Alaska oil pipeline for their “dates.” Even Alaska’s conservative Rep. Don Young chortled when he heard Gohmert’s defense of the pipeline.

Mark Meadows, now DDT’s chief of staff and the fourth in less than one presidential term, may have bitten off more than he can chew, with his job to cater to DDT’s moods. Known for being emotional, he has cried in two different meetings with White House staff, and he is trying to reorganize the staff. Meadows angered Stephanie Grisham’s supporters when he replaced her and may cause more problems if he carries through with plans to put speech-writing, composed of only bigoted Stephan Miller, under the communications department. Jared Kushner upset Meadows by providing names of corporate executives as advisers of re-opening the country who hadn’t been asked and some who didn’t agree to be part of the project. People may be making bets on how long Meadows stays. In the meantime, his departure from the House for his new job leaves his North Carolina district without anyone to vote for the people’s interests until the general election.

Today is the second day in a row that DDT had no press briefing (aka campaign rally), and the United States had over 27,000 more confirmed cases, even without much testing, and another 1,250 deaths. Totals are 987,322 cases and 55,415 deaths. Total number of tests in the U.S. is 5,470,555—16.5 tests per 1,000 people.

October 16, 2019

Donald of the Thousand Days

Fifty years ago, the popular film Anne of the Thousand Years told the story of Anne Boleyn’s three years of tenure before England’s King Henry VIII had her beheaded so that he could marry another woman. Although she ruled for slightly more than 1,000 days, the title may reflect on the downward spiral of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) during his first thousand days. A few memorable moments from those days.

Last March, DDT wanted to shoot migrants—including asylum seekers—so that they wouldn’t cross the southern border. Told that this was illegal, he wanted to shoot them in the legs to slow them down as Israelis do to Palestinians. His Department of Homeland Security told him that shooting migrants was illegal, starting his purge of over a dozen top officials from the DHS. DDT didn’t quit: he decided that he wanted to electrify his border wall, fortify it with spikes to pierce human flesh, and build a moat (which he spelled “moot”) stocked with snakes and alligators. He even asked aides for a cost estimate of his plans. Peter Singer has created one, available here. Costs: $2.5 billion in set-up costs for snakes and alligators, $1.8 billion for annual operating costs; and several billion dollars for building the moat. DDT’s incessant, punitive and sometimes illegal attack on immigrants is chronicled in Border Wars: Inside Trump’s Assault on Immigration by Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael D. Shear.

One of the most humorous episodes of DDT’s 1,000 days is his desire to buy Greenland. He even cancelled his state visit to Denmark because Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said she wouldn’t sell Greenland to him. The Danish newspaper Politiken published a satiric piece in which Kim Kielsen, Premier of Greenland, suggested his government might buy the U.S. back. The author parodied an interview with Kielsen saying Greenland has a prior claim on the U.S. because Leifr “The Lucky” Eiríksson was the first European to settle America. Kielsen said no price had been established, but Greenland would take into consideration the vast U.S. debt and lower the price if DDT were included in the deal. (Technically, Eiríksson, although spending part of his childhood in Greenland and some of his adulthood working for the Norwegian court, was born in Iceland.)

Although DDT tweeted that he didn’t plan to build one of his towers in Greenland, his son Jr. took the photo seriously, cheering that this building could be finished within ten years. 

DDT did joke about trading Puerto Rico for Greenland, and Puerto Ricans are delighted with the possibility. A man tweeted about the improvement of education because “Denmark is the country with the best education in the world.” Nieto, a Puerto Rican podcaster, shared photos of his Danish “Starter Kit” with “Danish Delights” butter cookies, the TV show Vikings, and Danish beer. Others included a Danish-to-Spanish dictionary on their “Starter Kits.” Another tweet added a picture of a “Conversational Danish” reading book. Using the hashtags #DenmarkPR and #DinamarcaPR, Denmark in Spanish, Puerto Ricans claimed the Danish royal family with perks of being a Danish territory, “representation in the Europe [League] and possibly in the World Cup.”

People around the world now know that Greenland isn’t for sale, but tourism searches soared after DDT’s unrequited demand.

DDT already showed Denmark his antagonism when he sent them Carla Sand as the U.S. ambassador. The wealthy widow of a billionaire and climate denier who promotes QAnon conspiracy theories such as a fake video reportedly about blacks hitting a white woman DDT supporter bought her position for under $300,000. The cancellation of his visit less than two weeks before the event—a visit which DDT initiated—was a snub that cost both countries money and provided more reason for the European Union not to trust him to follow through with his promises. Denmark had already organized discussions about increasing investments in the United States. 

Some people speculated that DDT also cancelled his visit to avoid comparison with President Obama, who visit a few weeks after DDT’s aborted visit. DDT has always been jealous of the former president because of how well liked the former president is–and how much better he looks as shown by their visits to England. Or neo-Nazi aide Stephen Miller told DDT to avoid those “globalists” in his campaign term. 

In another baffling episode, delusional DDT told 9/11 First Responders that he had helped at Ground Zero:

“And I was down there also …. I spent a lot of time down there with you.”

Retired New York City Fire Department Deputy Chief Richard Alles stated he never heard of a group of rescuers hired by DDT to assist, as DDT claimed, and that additional help from private responders had not been necessary. Ground Zero was on lockdown by 9/15/01, and a government-issued ID badge was required to access the site. DDT’s claim that he “helped” clear rubble adds to the other lies about his involvement in assistance after the tragedy. One gas station owner went a step farther in promising free gas on any day that DDT “doesn’t say something stupid.” 

DDT told the AMVETS, a volunteer-led veterans service organization, that his aides talked him out of giving himself a Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for acts of military valor. A reminder: during the Vietnam War, DDT avoided the military with five deferments, four for college and one for bone spurs in his heel. He made this comment shortly after he named himself “the Chosen One” in his administration’s trade conflict with China and looked up at the sky to make his point clear. In Australia, he told his audience he gave himself bogus awards all the time, but he wasn’t lying because he received them from himself.

Medals are important to DDT also ordered the Navy Achievement Medals awarded to four prosecutors in the Eddie Gallagher case be rescinded. The Navy SEAL platoon turned Gallagher in for stabbing a captured and wounded teenage fighter repeatedly in the neck and then threatened to kill those who reported him. Yet DDT sold a Medal of “Freedom” to Miriam Adelson for campaign donations. She and her husband, Sheldon, gave $500,000 to a legal fund for DDT’s aides involved in the Russian scandal investigation. This “freedom” donation topped the $30 million DDT received from the Adelsons in late 2016 and the $100 million to GOP candidates and PACs for the 2018 election. They also donated $5 million to DDT’s inaugural committee. In return for their largesse, DDT moved the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. Created by John F. Kennedy, the Medal of Freedom is awarded for “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Sheldon Adelson received $670 million in the first quarter of 2018 because of DDT’s tax cuts for the wealthy and big business, and DDT lobbied Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to allow construction of a casino owned by one of Adelson’s companies. DDT displayed other forms of gratitude for donations. For prolific GOP donor Robert Murray, DDT pressured the Tennessee Valley Authority to save an old, unprofitable coal plant that buys its coal from Murray Energy. EPA Secretary Andrew Wheeler is an ex-lobbyist for Murray. DDT stopped negotiating lower drug prices after Pfizer gave $1 million to DDT’s inaugural fund.

DDT topped off his 1000 days by posting this photograph of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) shut down his insane comments about Syria by saying that “all roads with you lead to Putin.” He thought he could embarrass Pelosi with the caption of “Nervous Nancy’s unhinged meltdown!” Pelosi now uses the photo of DDT’s personal meltdown on her Twitter account, and the image shows his bewilderment and the ducked heads around the room.  

For the past 1000 days, DDT has run the United States like a Banana Republic for his personal gain:

  • He relentlessly demonizes the press, putting journalists’ lives at risks by calling for violence against them.
  • He undermines a federal criminal investigation and claims that he is above the law, even above any scrutiny.
  • He interferes with election results and voting rights, for example trying to throw out Arizona’s election results when Democrat Kyrsten Sinema received more votes than GOP Martha McSally. 
  • He pardons crimes for ideological reasons, for example when he pardoned Arizona’s former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio in an “endorsement of racism” and “deep disdain for the judiciary,” according to Chiraag Bains, senior fellow at Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Policy Program.
  • He shamelessly monetizes the position of president by not divesting from real estate holdings and hiring his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner who also keep running their businesses.

In DDT’s first 1000 days, he spent 310 days at his resorts and 239 days playing golf at his courses. He daily lies, with a total of at least  13,435, and makes “stupid” comments, something that this gas station owner noted.

 

August 17, 2019

U.S. Trouble around the World

Anyone questioning whether Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is an autocrat, should consider his directive to Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu blocking Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from visiting Israel because they support the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement to sanction Israelis over human rights abuses of Palestinians and Israeli’s occupation of the West Bank. DDT tweeted that the two women “hate all Jewish people”—a lie—and added that “it would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit!”

Israeli’s foreign aid from the U.S. is dependent on congressional approval; Omar is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee with oversight over U.S. foreign aid. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said that if Israel doesn’t want U.S. congressional members in the country, they could return the annual $3 billion that Congress allots them for military aid. Even prominent Republicans opposed Israel’s ban on two congressional members taking part in a congressional delegation to the country, a first for the U.S. The day after the ban, Israel said Tlaib could visit her 90-year-old grandmother for the first time in 12 years if Tlaib promised to say nothing about laws punishing public contractors who boycotted Israel for its treatment of Palestinians. When Tlaib refused to go if she were muzzled, DDT accused her of “grandstanding.” Israel’s mandate, like U.S. Republicans who support Tlaib’s suppression, proves Israel as a repressive regime without free speech.

DDT renewed his attacks on Iran by issuing a warrant for the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker detained in Gibraltar, hours after a Gibraltar court ordered the ship released after the British navy intercepted it. The U.S. wants the ship, 2.1 million barrels of oil, and $999,500. The warrant is dated November 16, 2019—not August 19, and Iran is fighting it.   

U.S. officials remain silent about an explosion off the northern coast of Russia on August 8 that spread radioactivity for miles and killed seven people, including scientists. Apparently a test for a cruise missile propelled by nuclear power, the explosion occurred just five days after DDT officially dropped out of a treaty with Russia controlling nuclear weapons. Analysts think that the missile is a prototype of one spreading radioactivity that cannot be stopped because it has an unpredictable path at low altitudes.

Spreading misinformation, Russian officials first denied the radiation leak before confirming it. Three naked injured men wrapped in translucent plastic bags were taken to a regional hospital, but no one notified the hospital staff that the patients were radioactive. Two of the three patients died on the way to the airport on their way to Moscow. Five hospital staff workers, including senior doctors, were required to sign non-disclosure agreements. The staff’s questions were not answered, but the offer to fly them to Moscow for tests was rescinded when one was found with a radioactive isotype, a byproduct of the nuclear fission of uranium-235, in his muscle tissue. Tests were moved to the regional hospital.

Russia also stated that it flew nuclear-capable TU-160 bombers to a far eastern Russian region opposite Alaska to show the country’s long-range ability to launch nuclear weapons into the U.S.

DDT is siding with North Korea’s opposition to U.S./South Korea military exercises against his own military advice after Kim Jong Un wrote him a “really beautiful letter.” Kim wrote that he wants to save the U.S. money by stopping the exercises. North Korea has tested four different new weapons since July, with the most recent yesterday, and threatened continued testing if DDT doesn’t stop the long-planned exercises and lift sanctions. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/17/north-koreas-kim-jong-un-expresses-great-satisfaction-after-test-of-new-weapon   Kim expressed “great satisfaction” about the tests’ “mysterious and amazing success rates” and vowed to build up “invincible military capabilities no one dare provoke.”

At a fundraiser, DDT said Kim “only smiles when he sees me” and “if I hadn’t been elected president, we would be in a big, fat, juicy war with North Korea.” In the same speech, DDT used a fake Japanese accent when he told about a conversation with Shinzo Abe about Abe’s kamikaze pilot father when he asked if kamikaze pilots were drunk or on drugs. Abe said they loved their country; DDT said, “Imagine they get in a plane with a half a tank of gas and fly into steel ships just for the love of their country!” About South Korea, DDT talked about getting rents from tenants:

“It was easier to get a billion dollars from South Korea than to get $114.13 from a rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn, and believe me, those 13 cents were very important.”

DDT mocked the accent of South Korean leader Moon Jae-In, ridiculing him for “caving in” to negotiations and praised his son Don Jr. as a gun expert—seemingly over the FBI, CIA, military generals, U.S. army soldiers, reservists, national guardsmen, and Secret Service.

Thus far, DDT has clearly shown no support for Hong Kong protesters trying to protect themselves from China’s Communists. He explained that China’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen showed that China’s behavior “shows you the power for strength.” DDT’s avoidance of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement has isolated him from Congress, the State Department, European allies, and his hawkish White House advisers. Instead, DDT supports President Xi Jinping.Even Russia-supporter Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tweeted that a violent crackdown on the Hong Kong protesters “would be completely unacceptable.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), usually DDT’s lapdog, tweeted that “30 years after Tiananmen Square all Americans stand with the peaceful protesters in Hong Kong.’’ Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson, co-founder of the Brexit movement, argued that China must respect Hong Kong’s autonomy. In his avoidance of supporting human rights, DDT said nothing about the Moscow mass protests challenging President Vladimir Putin and supports repressive governments of autocracies such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, and Poland.

The election in Guatemala, DDT’s new pawn, is over, and 58 percent of the electorate didn’t show up—the biggest absentee rate in 20 years. Their choice between a right-wing candidate and an extremist right-wing candidate came after the top two contenders were banned from participation. The extremist candidate won. DDT may lose an agreement with Guatemala to block Central Americans from seeking asylum in the United States. The agreement, which needs to be ratified by the Guatemalan congress, would require the country to extend asylum to migrants coming through the country and make some asylum-seekers who pass through Guatemala ineligible for protection in the U.S. President-elect Alejandro Giammattei wants to change the highly unpopular deal, especially after a U.S. judge suspended a separate safe third country accord. The current president signed the agreement after DDT blackmailed him with threats of tariffs and charges on remittances sent to Guatemalans.

Declaring Guatemala a “safe country” has raised deep concerns. In 2016, its murder rate was five times that of the U.S., and people who live in Guatemala fear the high level of crime. Guatemala also has the world’s third-highest rate of femicide, the sixth-highest rate of chronic malnutrition, and an infant mortality rate four times higher than in the United States. DDT and Morales signed the agreement amid a time of violence in Guatemala on the day after two Indigenous community leaders were killed, one of them hacked to death with a machete outside his home and the other hit by a mining company vehicle. The president-elect promises to prohibit marriage equality, criminalize “sodomy” and all education on questions of sexual diversity, and ban abortions under all circumstances.

The coup by U.S. trained and equipped Guatemalan soldiers in 1954 led to 36 years of military rule, still U.S. supported, with genocide razing 600 villages and killing 200,000 people, 83 percent of them ethnic Mayan. Currently, two percent of the Guatemalan population controls 70 percent of arable land. The United Nations-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), expected to shut down next month, has worked with Guatemalan prosecutors to destroy systemic corruption. Asylum-seekers in Guatemala already face threats of murder and physical attacks.

DDT’s sanctions against Venezuela may not have the impact he wants because Panama is still permitting ships through the Canal.

Danish authorities ridiculed DDT’s idea of buying Greenland and its 50,000 citizens. Unfortunately, there is a precedent: in 1917, Denmark sold what is now the Virgin Islands to the U.S. for $25 million. In response to DDT’s suggestion, the huge headline on the cover of New York’s Daily News read: “Fjord to Trump: Drop Dead.” Gerald Ford said a similar headline protesting his lack of assistance for New York City, “Ford to City: Drop Dead,” cost him the 1976 election. The newspaper also echoed a headline after DDT dumped the Paris climate agreement with “Trump to World: Drop Dead.”

Update on DDT’s speech at the Pennsylvania Shell construction site on August 13: Workers were paid overtime to attend the speech and ordered “no yelling, shouting, protesting or anything viewed as resistance.” Those who skipped the speech forfeited all pay for the day and lost all overtime for the week. The new operation may harm the area’s air quality and increase carbon emissions and plastic pollution.

DDT finished his vacation at his Bedminster (NJ) resort during a week of telling lies and facing stalled approval ratings, increased polarization, escalating trade wars in Europe and Asia, war-like tension with North Korea and Iran, an unstable stock market, and a contentious aftermath of two mass shootings last weekend.

 

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