Nel's New Day

September 2, 2017

DDT: Week Thirty-two – More Destruction Than Harvey

The cruelty of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) knows no bounds. He campaigned on protecting children brough involuntarily into the United States without documentation, but he threatens to rescind the DACA program that allows them work permits, throwing 800,000 people and their families into turmoil. Even if he keeps the program, he will have tormented millions of people before he announces his decision. DDT told recipients that he would “deal DACA with heart,” to “rest easy.” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), facing a strong opponent in 2018 and suffering from town hall criticism, now supports DACA despite his long time opposition to the program.

DDT ignored the suffering of people in Hurricane Harvey to tout his new tax plan. His speech in Springfield (MO) had no details, but he praised its simplicity, corporate tax cuts (already lower in actuality than most countries), “tax relief for middle class families” (which it won’t do), and “the American model” while brings back money from overseas by extremely low taxes). The last “repatriation” of overseas profits during George W. Bush’s first term resulted in accelerated mergers, increased dividends, and wealthier company executives—but no jobs. DDT told House representatives to write the bill and knows nothing except the wealthy—including DDT—will benefit. The GOP’s only goal is cutting taxes for the wealthy and corporations while slashing all programs for almost all people in the U.S.

Only nine percent of people said corporations paid too much in taxes, while 67 percent said they paid too little. A Bloomberg poll found that under five percent of Americans believe tax policy is the “most important issue facing the country” — less than half the percentage that picked climate change. And that was before Hurricane Harvey.

With daughter Ivanka’s advice, DDT has dumped a rule requiring businesses with over 100 employees report salaries for different genders and races. Without this rule, people will lack an evidence-based foundation to address pay discrimination.

About 4.2 million workers, most of them women and people of color, lose overtime pay after a Texas judge overturned a labor rule doubling the 2004 time-and-a-half overtime salary threshold to $47,476 a year. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and DDT promised to protect U.S. workers, but Acosta indicated that he won’t support the $47,476 threshold.

Acosta has filed a proposal in court to postpone the “judiciary rule” for an additional 18 months so that brokers can cheat clients. If the court agrees, brokers can give advice that benefits only themselves, costing retirement savers billions of dollars annually in high fees and commissions.

Local law enforcement will be re-militarized with free bayonets, grenade launchers, tanks, weaponized aircraft, explosives, and other martial equipment which the DOJ found “inflamed tensions” and violated constitutional rights. Police officers will all look like the armed guards from the counterterrorism squad protecting the South Hampton wealthy listening to Bach at the musical festival and other galas, including a benefit for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. No terrorism threat but the heavily armed guards may draw attacks to these events like bees to honey.

Montana is a model of sanity in militarized law enforcement. Democratic Governor Steve Bullock signed a Republican-sponsored bill, passed with bipartisan support, that blocks state and local police departments from obtaining the militarized equipment. Police can request other kinds of military surplus after they notify the public within 14 days of doing so.

One place that needs protection is Jewish-themed locations.  Over two-dozen anti-Semitic incidents occurred throughout the nation in the two weeks after white supremacists marched on Charlottesville and DDT gave license to anti-Semitism.

In his continued effort to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, DDT cut funding for its outreach by 90 percent. Funding for “navigators,” organizations helping people sign up for health insurance, is also cut by 41 percent.

The State Department closed the San Francisco Russian consulate and trade annexes in Washington and New York. An official said that Washington’s goal is to improve relations with Moscow. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has promised “retaliation.” All non-immigrants in Russia had been suspended between August 23 and September 1, and visa operations at U.S. consulates are suspended indefinitely. Black smoke coming from the SF location on a 105-degree day indicates destruction of something.

“A Renewed Call to Action,” a 2014 White House report on sexual violence, was taken off the government website, just as materials about climate change and LGBT rights were removed after DDT’s inauguration. A copy is still available here.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wants to use diplomacy with North Korea, and DDT had wanted one-on-one talks with Kim Jong-Un. This week, however, DDT tweeted, “Talking is not the answer!” Either the entire U.S. is headed for a huge disaster, or, as Tillerson has said, DDT speaks for himself. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis must believe that: he told reporters after DDT’s tweets that “[w]e’re never out of diplomatic solutions.”

Reports that Mueller’s investigation has help from the IRS’s Criminal Investigations unit that focuses “exclusively on financial crime, including tax evasion and money laundering” led DDT to continue his smear of former FBI Director James Comey. Less than 40 minutes after Fox & Friends discussed the topic, DDT tweeted that Comey “exonerated Hillary Clinton long before the investigation was over” in a “rigged system.” People knowledgeable about Comey’s investigation refuted DDT’s accusation. The tweet about being too soft on Clinton follows the letter accusing Comey of being too hard on Clinton in DDT’s excuse to fire Comey.

In response to an article on a previous letter firing Comey that White House counsel considered too “problematic,” Rick Gage responded, “I feel like we are in the middle of a Tom Clancy novel, except that Mr. Clancy respects fiction too much to write something this absurd.” Robert Mueller reportedly has a draft of that letter.

DDT is violating the Hatch Act stopping all executive employees except president and vice-president from campaign activities. Ben Carson was introduced as “the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development” at DDT’s campaign rally in Phoenix. Then DDT read a speech campaigning against Sen. Claire McCaskill written by executive employees. Presidential ad-libbing is acceptable, but executive branch employees’ writing campaign speeches is not.

More leaks from DDT-world describe his losing his temper with anyone around him because of his failures regarding Hurricane Harvey and Charlottesville (VA) response highlighted by the media. DDT was furious at the lack of loyalty after Gary Cohn’s criticism about DDT’s support for white supremacists and about Tillerson’s disagreement with DDT. The small—and sometimes disinterested crowd—at the Phoenix rally also raised DDT’s ire. DDT proudly announced he was speaking to a packed house in Phoenix, but other photos—the ones that were not photoshopped indicated differently.

New chief of staff, 67-year-old John Kelly, has received much of DDT’s fury. Kelly told staff members that he had not had this treatment in his 35 years of serving the nation and would not tolerate it. DDT did the same thing to Paul Manafort when he tried to control him and hates John Kelly’s management of him because of its structure. DDT loyalists call Kelly “the church lady” because of his rule enforcement and position as gatekeeper with no more drop-ins. Kelly hasn’t prevented DDT’s Fox binge-watching, but he has fired Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, and Anthony Scaramucci who gave DDT printouts from conservative media. Others are on their way out. Telephone calls now go through the White House switchboard, and Kelly listens in—which doesn’t go well with DDT. All reports, memos, and news articles are supposedly vetted before DDT gets them.

Roger Stone, a former DDT advisor said, that “Kelly is trying to treat the president like a mushroom. Keeping him in the dark […] is not going to work.” [A television pundit also pointed out that mushrooms are fed sh*t.]

DDT’s lies about his “wall” are building confusion. He claims it will make the nation safer from the Mexican “criminals” but that illegal border crossings have been stopped by 78 to 81 percent. He’s wrong on all counts: Mexico won’t pay for the wall, it won’t stop drugs from coming into the U.S., and DDT made up his statistics. Why does DDT want a wall if he’s already blocking the crossings?

According to Washington Post fact checkers last week, DDT made 1,057 false or misleading claims in his first seven months, about five a day. He repeatedly takes credit for events or decisions made before his inauguration, such as his claim about the extra money pouring into the military at his “strategy” speech this past week. One of his big lies is that President Obama wire tapped the Trump Tower. The DOJ just debunked that lie, stating that there is no evidence to support DDT’s claim.

DDT’s approval rating among people aged 18-29 has reached a new low of 20 percent, according to Gallup which also put him at 34 percent approval generally. Newsweek called the “least popular president ever,” and Time said “that he could become the least popular president in modern history.”

Today DDT tried a do-over in Harvey territory by shaking hands, kissing children, passing out meals, and talking to people. Then he talked about how happy the people were and how “beautiful” the disaster was. “It’s been a wonderful thing,” he said. “Have a good time, everybody!” he told people at the shelter in the convention center. Nothing about the 44+ people who died, the 136,000+ houses destroyed, the places still underwater, the lack of food and water, the danger from polluted Superfund sites, etc. It’s three days until DDT will probably destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of DACA immigrants.

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July 8, 2017

DDT: Week Twenty-Four – Mostly Russia!

The last week of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) was dominated by North Korea, his world trip, the fallout from his commission’s demand to garner all the states’ voting data, GOP’s lies in their attempt to destroy health care, and, of course, his tweets. But there’s more.

The U.S. is rapidly losing its world leadership: a majority of people in the U.S. have more confidence in Angela Merkel, the chancellor of the country poised to take over the U.S.’s former position, than in DDT.

The White House publication of all its employees’ salaries shows a 37 percent discrepancy in male and female median earnings. Women’s median wage is $72,650 while men get $115,000. DDT’s gap is more than double the national gap of 17 percent and the largest since 2003. Of 22 staffers paid the highest in the White House, only five are women. In April, DDT revoked President Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order requiring companies with federal contracts to comply with labor and civil rights laws. DDT made it possible for all companies to pay workers unfairly.

Science has literally left the White House. The last three employees departed the science division of DDT’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

Although 222,000 jobs were added in June, new manufacturing jobs were half those in February, and 59,000 of the new jobs were in health and services—the area on the GOP chopping block with Trumpcare. DDT promised at least a four-percent increase in the economy in his first year, but Wall Street is forecasting half that or lower, about the average since President Obama brought the nation out of its Bush recession. The recent slump of the dollar comes from the world view of U.S. economy. As the Fed normalizes monetary policy by raising interest rates, the government has lost its opportunity for cheap loans to repair the nation’s infrastructure. Less federal tax revenue indicates faltering personal income. Although people think that the country is in good shape because of rising stock markets, some experts have expressed concern about the future of stocks.

DDT is clinging to his travel ban, but it’s alienating people—even grandparents—because of the highly restrictive definition of “close” relatives connected to people applying to come into the country. The exclusion of grandparents as “close family members” has hit social media.

The extremist radical policies from DDT are facing courts and sometimes losing. Scott Pruitt’s EPA huge favor to the oil and gas industry last month has been overturned. The Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Pruitt lacked authority to delay an Obama-era regulation cracking down on pollutants from drilling operations. /The EPA admitted that Pruitt’s two-year delay would have a bad affect on the health of children near oil and gas operations.

Tom Price’s HHS agency reported that the Affordable Care Act is “working as intended” because it protects insurers from big risks and moderates consumer premiums. The charge on plans with lower average risks that is transferred to higher-risk plans is neutral within every state. Another temporary plan, reinsurance, protects insurers from high-cost enrollees by paying companies for the first three years. Both plans are permanent in George W. Bush’s Medicare’s prescription program, Part D. Medicare Part D also assesses insurers collecting huge profits from the program and paying them to insurers with commensurate losses, but the GOP maintains that this is an insurer “bailout” for the ACA. Reinsurance reduced net claim costs by four to six percent in 2016. Stopping the program is driving up premiums for 2017 and 2018, thus the GOP is causing the infamous “death spiral” of health care.

Eighteen states plus the District of Columbia are suing Betsy DeVos because of her delay in regulations to protect federal student loan borrowers who have been defrauded by their schools. The rules, set to take effect last July 1, prohibit colleges from forcing students to settle complaints through arbitration instead of court and make it easier for the borrowers to seek debt forgiveness.

The Hatch Act prevents government officials in the executive branch from involvement in political activity; a 2012 amendment added disciplinary action to its violation. Dan Scorvino, DDT’s social media director, may have broken this law when he tweeted in April that DDT’s supporters should defeat Rep. Justin Amash (MI) in the primary. It goes far beyond his vicious tweets that almost equal those of DDT. During DDT’s campaign, Scorvino tweeted an anti-Semitic image of Hillary Clinton atop piles of hundred-dollar bills and a Jewish Star of David that read, “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” Another violator is UN Ambassador Nikki Haley for her retweeting a DDT message endorsing Ralph Norman, the Republican running for Congress in South Carolina’s 5th District. Norman won the special election.

Russia stays in the news:

Jared Kushner, DDT’s son-in-law, finalized a $285 million refinancing loan from Deutsche Bank the month before last November’s election when the bank was in court answering a federal mortgage fraud case and charges that it aided a possible Russian money-laundering scheme. DDT has also garnered almost $8 million from Russian government official Igor Zorin for Florida properties.

DDT’s longtime buddy Michael Cohen has lost his place in DDT’s inner circle to separate DDT from Russian connections. Cohen bought apartments from DDT, bullied DDT’s condo board into submission, and acted as intermediary with mafia-linked DDT business partner, Felix Sater, and Ukraine parliamentarian, Andrii Artemenko, soon after DDT’s inauguration. Artemenko gave Cohen documents to deliver to Michael Flynn before he was fired for Russian connections. Cohen denies reports that he met overseas with Russian officials and operatives, but he has acquired his own lawyer and refuses to provide documents to or appear before congressional intelligence committees.

Sater, a Russia-born real estate dealmaker who allegedly has organized crime links, is agreeing to testify in an international investigation into a Kazakh family’s dealings in the U.S. including the Trump SoHo in downtown New York City. Sater is a known mob informant who fled to Russia to avoid criminal charges. He was also in prison for slashing a man’s face with a broken cocktail glass. His history is here. DDT has said, “I am not involved in Russia.” That doesn’t mean that Russia isn’t involved with DDT. Others are also willing to report on DDT’s connection with financing the Trump SoHo in a front for money laundering.

Although Peter Smith, the man who may have been involved in Russian hacking, has died, the news about his attempts to get Hillary Clinton emails continues. A document of involved people lists senior members of DDT’s campaign, some of them now serving in the White House. Included are white supremacist Steve Bannon. DDT’s counselor Kellyanne Conway, senior Agriculture Department adviser Sam Clovis, and the fired national security adviser, Michael Flynn.  Security consultant Matt Tait, a Smith colleague, gave reasons “that the group was formed with the blessing of the Trump campaign.” The UK cyber-analyst wrote about how Smith recruited him to verify the accuracy of emails.

What has DDT’s Department of Homeland Security to investigate Russian cyber attacks on U.S. voting machines? Nothing.

Hackers from a foreign government—probably Russia—hacked at least a dozen U.S. power plants, including a nuclear facility in Kansas. DDT still hasn’t addressed the problem with Russian president, Vladimir Putin. After DDT’s talk with Putin in Hamburg (Germany) this past week, Putin came away with the impression that DDT agreed that there had been no hacking into the U.S. election.

The company that provides cybersecurity for the U.S. government, including the Pentagon, may lose its contract. Kaspersky Lab, based in Moscow, has certifications issued by the Russian Security Service (FSB) which allows the Russian government to examine anything from Kaspersky. Its security software is also sold at U.S. retail outlets such as Target and Walmart. U.S. intelligence is increasingly concerned that Kaspersky software could cyberattack U.S. infrastructure such as the electric grid, airlines, water utilities, etc. Former CIA station chief in Moscow, Steve Hall, pointed out the Russian control over all of Kasperky’s data:

“Any time [Russian President Vladimir Putin] wants Kaspersky to do something – anything – he’ll remind them that’s where their families are and where their bank accounts are. There’s no doubt in my mind it could be, if it’s not already, under the control of Putin.”

Last Sunday, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) said, “I get so frustrated when we get focused on tweets.” DDT is responsible for Cassidy’s frustration, and over two-thirds of people in the United States wish that DDT would stop the tweeting. The miserable attacks on Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough were followed by a view of DDT’s fat ass in the air while he pummels a character labeled CNN. He didn’t create the video, but he retweeted it which makes it an official communication from the White House.

While in Germany, DDT attacked Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta, claiming that all the foreign powers were talking about her email serve and tweeting that he “refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA.” A few DDT mistakes: Podesta’s emails were not on the DNC server; he was not involved with the DNC; the CIA spies on foreign governments and wasn’t investigating cyber-attacks on Clinton.  And DDT continually says that Russia wasn’t involved in the hacking.

“‘The president of the United States is the most powerful person in the world. The president is the spokesman for democracy and liberty. Isn’t it time we brought back the pomp and circumstance and the sense of awe for that office that we all held?’”

The above quotation is from DDT’s 2015 book, Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again. He should read it sometime.

 

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