Nel's New Day

August 10, 2022

GOP Problems – DDT, Flooding, Biden’s Improvement

Democrats are turning the insult of “Let’s go, Brandon” toward President Joe Biden into a campaign cry of “Dark Brandon,” complete with a visual showing him as a superhero, mocking Republicans. The vulgar slur from conservatives started in October 2021 and continued to sell political products. According to the Daily Beast:  

“In Dark Brandon lore, Biden only seemed to be incompetent; underneath the images of stumbling senility is a cold, calculating, sinister Machiavelli.”

Don Caldwell, the general manager of the meme-tracking website Know Your Meme, said:

“It’s revealed that he’s pulling the strings behind the scenes and that everything’s going to plan. Sometimes it’s that he’s appearing to be senile and he’s actually completely with it.”

Conservatives tried to maintain that the eagle behind Biden in one image represents Nazis, but that message hasn’t taken off. And the eagle is the national bird of the United States.

The greater the frustration, the more the fury—and opposition. And the need to hide …

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) is losing his refusal to turn over his IRS returns to the House Ways and Means Committee. After DDT appealed a lower court opinion, the three-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court ruled that the IRS give them to the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) first made the request in 2019. DDT’s next stop is the U.S. Supreme Court.

The party of “lock her up” is in a rage about the search warrant on DDT’s Mar-a-Lago home. Six years ago, DDT asked Russia to find former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “missing emails” when he campaigned against her for the 2016 election. Within a few months, the crowds started chanting “lock her up” and never stopped.

In November 2016, former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said, “Look, there’s a tradition in American politics that after you win an election, you sort of put things behind you … to unite the nation.” Four years later, he sang a different song. Six years ago, Republicans at least pretended to want politicians to disqualify themselves from positions of authority when there was a suspicion of their putting documents at risk. Six years later, Republicans are furious, or silent, about the DOJ and FBI’s audacity in trying to retrieve classified documents, known to be at Mar-a-Lago.

GOP comments in the past day have surpassed the usual irony of criticizing Democrats for actions they themselves perform. Republicans’ new chant, “Defund the FBI” comes from the party campaigning on law and order who were enraged about individuals who wanted to “defund the police.” People with those chants wanted to transfer some law enforcement funds to mental health professionals to stop the police practice of killing unarmed people in the streets.

Sleeping through the past six years, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) claimed that the U.S. had never before used political power to persecute opponents. 

The GOP anger also revealed the truth. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) tweeted about the search warrant, “If they can do it to a former President, imagine what they can do to you.” Rep. Elise Stefanik echoed Jordan’s comment. The anger comes from the DOJ position that no one is above the law, not even someone who was elected to the U.S. presidency. Responses to Jordan agreed the position that DDT is not above the law.

“The fact that the law applies to the president, and not just the rest of us, is a feature of democracy, not a bug.” – The Atlantic’s Yair Rosenberg

“Thank you, House Judiciary GOP, for summarizing succinctly the principle of ‘the rule of law’: the law applies to everyone, even a former President.” – Julia Loffe, Puck News

“When I try to overthrow the government, invalidate a free and fair election, illegally steal classified documents, and engage in lavish corruption as President, I’ll expect them.” – Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson

“Yes, if you break the law and steal top secret documents from the White House and commit some of the most heinous crimes in American history, this too can happen to you,” the organization tweeted. “That’s a GREAT precedent! That’s called justice.” – Government watchdog organization Medias Touch

“In which the GOP members of the Judiciary committee take a brave stand against the 4th Amendment. Motherfuckers, do you think any of us thought the FBI *couldn’t* search our homes if they had sufficient probable cause to convince a judge to sign a warrant?” – Reference to how the warrant was likely obtained from a tweet

“If I stole classified documents from the White House (allegedly), I certainly hope they’d do it to me. Please explain why they shouldn’t, a-holes.” – Bob Cessa  

Instead of legislating, the GOP focuses on planning retaliation with multiple congressional committees to put Democrats who oppose DDT in prison.

QAnon followers are delighted with the search warrant; they believe the search at Mar-a-Lago was part of the “plan” that favors DDT. The conspiracy posts told believers to “trust Ray,” interpreting that as FBI Director Christopher Wray. The theory is that “Biden set out to completely destroy the trust and confidence of our country,” and the “raid [has] done just that.” They think DDT will now expose the secret cabal of cannibalistic pedophiles, known to QAnon as Democrats.

Details are slim about the background for the search. DDT issued a 340-word rant but didn’t claim to be innocent. The one person who doesn’t seems to be attacked yet is the magistrate judge who signed the warrant, perhaps because DDT appointed him to the position in 2018.

Texas officials, including Gov. Greg Abbott, joined the hue and cry about the unfairness of the search. The bipartisan Mothers against Greg Abbott trying to oust him from office had an answer for the man behind the state’s draconian anti-abortion law, tweeting, “Try being a woman in Texas.”

The FBI search came from concern that DDT had not produced all the government documents covered by the Presidential Records Act he took from the White House, perhaps ones from the January 2021 insurrection, when he gave up 15 boxes of them in February. Therefore, the FBI removed another twelve boxes from the search. Last February, FBI officials spoke to DDT’s representatives, his appointed loyalists including former chief of staff Mark Meadows and whose job was to keep his records from Congress. In June, the FBI padlocked the storage area where the documents were stored, but DDT had added another padlock which had to be broken.

While Republicans focus on the search of DDT’s home, they ignore the ongoing tragedies in Kentucky from the flooding. Thus far 37 people have died in the disaster, and an 18-year-old boy died after helping flood victims for three days.  Cause of death was not established, but he had no prior health conditions. Rain is due to return with additional flooding. Heavy rains are predicted on August 9 and 10 in central and eastern Kentucky with more flash flooding that will block cleanup.  

The area most hard-hit is also has a large number of low-income families. Only 17,250 Kentucky property owners have federal flood insurance, the vast source of U.S. flood policies, and just 2,485 property owners in the ten counties with recent significant flood damage have this FEMA coverage. That’s 2.3 percent of households in the area. Flood insurance costs about $1,000 a year, and the media household income in Knott County is $32,500, half the national median of $65,000. FEMA maps may have vastly underestimated eastern Kentucky’s flood risk, citing 8.6 million properties in flood Zones instead of 14.6 million properties in reality. Maps are especially inaccurate in eastern Kentucky, three times the number in seven of the ten flooded counties identified by FEMA.

A major cause of the flooding comes from strip mining and the condition of the mines because the areas have been heavily logged and strip-mined for coal during the past decades. First the trees go, then the soil, and finally hundreds of feet of rock are blasted away from the tops and/or sides of mountains to reach underground seams of coal. The result is no water retention, resulting in flash floods. More runoff comes from loggings, gas wells, gas well roads, and power lines along with the climate change. With drainage around valley fills, the ponds and ditches break and more easily carry rocks and trigger dangerous debris flows.

Kentucky also permitted financially unstable or bankrupt mining companies to fall far behind on reclamation requirements, and even fully reclaimed surface mines are significantly likely to have experienced landslides. Yet the anti-regulation Kentucky will probably not even bother to do any studies.

Everything seems to be going wrong for Republicans, which can be a major reason for their anger. They are even discouraged about taking over the Senate next year. Biden has had more successes in less than two years than previous presidents for several decades—major legislation including delaying climate changes and gun reform, the killing of the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, a booming economy with more manufacturing, and more. Maybe the U.S. is turning around.

March 15, 2022

Women’s Equal Pay Day, More Ukraine

Today, March 15, 2022, is Equal Pay Day for white women. The National Committee on Pay Equity sets the date each year that represents how far into the year women, on average, must work to earn what men earned in just the previous year. In 2020, women earned 83 cents for every dollar men make. All women make 73 cents for every dollar that white men make. Other equal pay days in 2022:

  • Asian American/Pacific Islander Women’s Equal Pay Day: May 3 (75 cents for each white man’s dollar)
  • Black Women’s Equal Pay Day: September 21 (58 cents for each white man’s dollar)
  • Native Women’s Equal Pay Day: November 30 (50 cents for each white man’s dollar)
  • Latina Women’s Equal Pay Day: December 8 (49 cents for each white man’s dollar)

On the day before Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses a joint session of the U.S. Congress, President Joe Biden blocked all property and interests owned by Russian-supporting Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and his wife. Lukashenko allowed Russian President Vladimir Putin to send his troops into Belarus for his Ukrainian invasion. A new U.S. visa restriction bans current and former Russian government officials and their families from entry to the U.S., affecting at least 38 people “believed to be involved in suppressing dissent.” 

Upset about the U.S. sanctions, Putin sanctioned 13 U.S. Democrats: Biden, White House press secretary Jen Psaki, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, and other high level Biden officials. (The sanction misspelled Biden’s name.) Putin even included Hunter Biden and Hillary Clinton in the sanction roundup in blocking travel to Russia and freezing their assets there. (Which they don’t have.) In response to the sanction, Clinton tweeted, “I want to thank the Russian Academy for this Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Russians have killed two more journalists in Ukraine, one of them Pierre Zakrzewski, the Fox network photojournalist riding with Fox reporter Benjamin Hall when they were fired on at a checkpoint outside Kyiv. Also murdered was 24-year-old Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova, a Ukrainian working for the Fox network.

Fox network host Tucker Carlson has stopped praising Putin, but he’s still pushing disinformation that Putin re-broadcasts on Russian state TV. In one clip, retired Army Col. Doug Macgregor told Carlson:

“What is happening now is the battle in eastern Ukraine is really almost over, all the Ukrainian troops there have been largely surrounded and cut off … and if they don’t surrender in next 24 hours, I suspect the Russians will ultimately annihilate them. The game is over.”

This statement is false, but Putin uses it to convince Russians that he is victorious. MacGregor also told Carlson that Putin invaded Ukraine “in defense of his country” to stop Ukraine’s genocide on Russian-speaking civilians. He also blamed the U.S. “globalists” trying to destroy Russia’s “national identity.” Carlson has frequently chosen the conspiracy theorist with a history of xenophobia as his “first choice for foreign policy analysis.” They agree that the Russia should “absolutely” be permitted to annex as much of Ukraine as Putin wants. They are promoting the country killing their network’s journalists.

Carlson and MacGregor aren’t the only conservatives who have a record of supporting Putin’s brutality over Ukraine’s democracy. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) calls a group of Putin-supporting lawmakers the “Putin wing” in their attempt to support Dictator Donald Trump’s (DDT) attempt to blackmail Zelensky. Staunch DDT supporters are still trying to whitewash his demand for a “favor” to investigate Hunter Biden, the president’s son, in exchange for releasing the congressionally-approved military aid. 

With 80 percent of registered voters in the U.S. viewing Russia as the enemy, Carlson’s propaganda is failing. The number of those seeing Russia as a U.S. ally has dropped by one-half from 17.6 percent in February 2017 to 8.4 percent, according to a YouGov weekly tracking poll. The 80 percent is across both parties and unaffiliated; it’s up one-third from 60 percent since DDT’s inauguration.

A popular demand by some Republicans is a no-fly zone over Ukraine, allowing U.S. and other foreign planes to shoot down Russian planes which can lead to a world war, possibly a nuclear war. Former U.S. ambassador to NATO, Kurt Volker, is leading the charge. Volker was part of DDT’s 2019 blackmail scandal to block the $400 million of U.S. military aid to Ukraine without a bogus probe into Hunter Biden. Volker’s job was to connect Giuliani with a Zelensky aide, access that Giuliani used to push for DDT’s deal.  He even lied about DDT’s behavior under oath in House testimony, saying he wanted to release the funding. Volker also said he had no idea that the deal had anything to do with Biden.

The indictment of Russian oligarch Andrey Muraviev in September 2020 has been made public. The tycoon allegedly funneled illegal foreign donations for Rep. Pete Sessions’ (R-TX) and DDT’s campaigns, among others. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, Soviet-born associates of DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, have been convicted on the same charge in Giuliani’s failed attempt to force Ukrainian officials to investigate Hunter Biden. DDT’s PAC received $325,000 in foreign donations from Muraviev. Sessions received his money for asking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to fire Marie Yavanovitch as U.S. Ambasador to Ukraine, writing Pompeo that he had “notice of concrete evidence” that she had been trashing the Trump administration. DDT fired her a year later, one of the events leading to his first impeachment trials.

For over two decades, Russian oligarchs have stashed their money in the U.S. through the purchase of condos in New York and other U.S. cities, the “luxury apartments” Biden promised to go after in his State of the Union speech. DOJ’s new Task Force KleptoCapture plans to go through the labyrinth of trusts and shell company LLCs to find the owners’ names. DDT joined the scam when he sold Dmitry Rybolovlev a Palm Beach mansion for $95 million at over twice DT’s cost of $14.35 million four years earlier.

Putin claims he’s keeping approximately 500 airplanes leased from foreign countries, most of them inside Russia when the country invaded Ukraine, even if he can’t pay for them. He signed a law allowing his airlines to register the planes, worth approximately $12 billion, and keep flying them. Almost half of the planes are from Ireland, a member of the EU which banned any planes’ sales or leasing to Russia as part of their sanctions. Many of the over 100 leasing companies are too small to survive if they lose these planes.

Leasing companies must end contracts in Russia by March 28. Sanctions also prevent Western companies from providing spare parts and maintenance to Russian airlines, and the planes may also not be insured. Russia will likely use up all the parts they have and then start cannibalizing planes to keep the others flying. Russia plans to use only the planes they own or lease from Russians for flights outside the country.

Putin’s law violates the 1944 Chicago Convention that allows lessors to cross international borders and take back planes from defaulting customers. As of 2019, every UN member—including Russia—had signed on to the agreement except Lichtentein. Because of sanctions, Boeing is losing on-order sales for 35 of its 737 Max and 777 cargo planes. Airbus had orders for 27 planes.  

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new law helps Putin, according to Mark Hertling, a retired U.S. Army officer and Florida resident. In an op-ed for the Miami Herald, Hertling wrote that the law eliminating any incentive for Floridians to generate their own alternative energy provides more oil money to Putin. As former commanding general of the United States Army-Europe, he asserted Russia’s invasion did not come as a “complete surprise” to “those of us who spent most of our professional lives in the U.S. Armed Forces.” They had tracked and reported on Putin’s takeovers and “other adventures in Moldova and Azerbaijan.” Hertling wrote that solar panels on his house cut his electric bills by two-thirds and were paid for within a few years.

Russia’s invasion and its fake disinformation have created a dilemma for its two allies, North Korea and China. Most awkward is Kim Jong Un’s nationalist position, causing an invasion of another country hard to approve. Yet he wants to support one of his very few allies. Korea-language press ignores he invasion.

China looks on Russia as a good ally, but the rapid destruction of Russia’s economy warns the Chinese about danger on Russia’s side against most of the industrialized countries. Chinese President Xi Jinping seems to follow a “pro-Russia neutrality,” a series of contradictory messages with echoes of Russian disinformation. Last week, China promised almost $800,000 humanitarian aid to Ukraine and called the invasion “a war” against Putin’s rules. Yet its propaganda account accidentally posted guidelines for its coverage that said “no posts unfavorable to Russia or with pro-Western content should be published.” State media also published posts using Putin’s term for the U.S. as “an empire of lies” and Russian lies about the U.S. building bioweapons in Ukraine. The question will be whether China gives Russia the military aid it requested.

A custom LEGO retailer in Chicago has raised controversy by selling custom figures of Zelensky and war weapons Molotov cocktails. All the proceeds, thus far $16,540, are donated to Direct Relief, providing emergency medical assistance throughout the world, that donated $26 million to Ukraine in the past six months. When the company ran out of the product, it asked people to donate to “a relevant charity.” The LEGO group has stopped shipments to Russian brand stores and donated £12.3 million in relief efforts through the LEGO Foundation.

 

February 18, 2022

Switch to 4G Cuts Off Electronics; DDT’s Very Bad Week

A few months ago, our cell phone server notified us the 3G phones would stop working. We updated our phones and went on our way, ignorant of other changes we need to make. The same problem applies to landlines, tablets, watches, burglar alarms—even medical devices. AT&T says it’s through with 3G on February 22. After that, landlines won’t even make calls. T-Mobile shuts down the 3G network by July 1 and Verizon, originally scheduled to shut down in 2019, in December. Sprint, purchased by T-Mobile, has a deadline at the end of March. 

Lobbyists for the alarm industry estimate 1.5 million customers need to upgrade their fire or burglar alarms, and about 500,000 people have 3G medical alert devices. The fire alarm will still go off, but it won’t notify the fire department. Zonar, providing GPS and other services for buses and trucks, said trucks not upgraded can’t be used if drivers cannot electronically log their hours, mandate by federal law. Tens of thousands of vehicles can be affected. School districts may lose the ability to locate buses, and drivers cannot use GPS for directions.

Q&A on the changeover from 3G and a list of some devices that will or won’t work after the changeover. 

On another subject, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is having a rough week. On Friday, he received news that multiple civil lawsuits allegedly accusing him of legal responsibility for the January 6, 2021, insurrection won’t be dismissed. The judge wrote that evidence shows DDT assembled the crowd and told them to march on the U.S. Capitol when he knew some of his audience had violent and destructive elements. The ruling also stated DDT’s tweets during the violence about then VP Mike Pence suggested a ”tacit agreement” with that violent element that forced Pence and others to flee for safety. This decision can cause another storm of subpoenas for witnesses and documents. DDT claims his rally was part of his presidential responsibilities, but the judge said he used the rally in his attempt to stay in the White House for another term. The judge stated:

“After all, the President’s actions here do not relate to his duties of faithfully executing the laws, conducting foreign affairs, commanding the armed forces, or managing the Executive Branch. They entirely concern his efforts to remain in office for a second term. These are unofficial acts, so the separation-of-powers concerns that justify the President’s broad immunity are not present here.

The judge continued:

“President Trump’s January 6 Rally Speech was akin to telling an excited mob that corn-dealers starve the poor in front of the corn-dealer’s home. He invited his supporters to Washington, D.C., after telling them for months that corrupt and spineless politicians were to blame for stealing an election from them; retold that narrative when thousands of them assembled on the Ellipse; and directed them to march on the Capitol building—the metaphorical corn-dealer’s house—where those very politicians were at work to certify an election that he had lost.”

Multiple lawsuits by 12 Democratic congressional members and several Capitol Police officers injured by the violence accuse DDT of a civil conspiracy with such groups as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. The judge wrote, “The President’s regular use of the word ‘we’ is notable” and gave examples. He added that sending “thousands to the Capitol” during the Capitol during the voter certification was only the idea of DDT and his campaign and not part of the planning specified in the permit.

In another loss for DDT, a judge ruled that he and his two oldest children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., must testify in New York state’s civil investigation about his business because of subpoenas they were issued. Their depositions must be complete within 21 days. DDT will certainly appeal the decision. If he loses the appeal, he is left with the choices to answer questions or claim the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination, something he said only criminals do. Whatever DDT says in a civil disposition can be used against him in the criminal investigation by the Manhattan DA. In 2020, the same judge ordered DDT’s son Eric to testify after his lawyers canceled a deposition. Eric Trump invoked the Fifth almost 500 times as did Alan Weisselberg, Trump Oranization CFO.

The judge used DDT’s accountant, Mazars firing him as a client as part of the evidence for his decision. A letter from Mazars stated no one could rely on the accuracy of the company’s reports based on financial materials DDT gave the company. Revelation of Mazars’ letter came on the heels of statements from Letitia James, New York’s AG, about DDT and his business using “fraudulent or misleading” valuation of his properties for loans and tax benefits,” DDT’s golf clubs, skyscrapers and other properties to get loans and tax benefits. The judge ordered Weisselberg, charged with collecting over $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation, to sit for a limited deposition in connection with a lawsuit against DDT’s inaugural committee for gross overspending at DDT’s Washington, D.C. hotel to enrich DDT and his family.

DDT’s lawyer Alina Habba created a circus atmosphere with her behavior and accusations. She asked if she was “gonna go after Hillary Clinton for what she’s doing to my client.” Habba continued with the lie that Clinton “spied at Trump Tower in your state.” The judge replied, “The Clintons are not before me.” NPR host Peter Sagal described her behavior to the judge as “an opponent on a cable news panel.” The court clerk had to tell Habba to quit talking while the judge was speaking. Habba also accused James of “doing this because he was a former president, and because he sits on the other side of the fence.”

The investigation would disappear if he didn’t run for president, Habba claimed, and called DDT a “protected class” but couldn’t explain how, only referencing his “political speech.” The judge and the clerk pointed out that protected classes include race, religion and sex. The judge added, “He’s just a bad guy.”

Habba, a relatively inexperienced lawyer, met DDT while frequenting his Bedminster (NJ) resort. She is willing to take on lawsuits sometimes considered frivolous that high-profile attorneys won’t tackle. For example, a few months ago she sent a “demand letter” to the interim administrator of Pulitzer Prizes threatening to sue the board unless if it didn’t “strip” the New York Times and Washington Post of its 2018 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.” Then she sued James to stop the civil investigation into DDT’ financial affairs. Habba is known for her appearances on the highly conservative network Newsmax and repeatedly calls Biden an “illegitimate president.” In a threat, she said James might soon have “a bunny boiling in a pot,” referring to an act of revenge in the movie Fatal Attraction.

In the conference before the judge, criminal defense attorney Ron Fischetti failed in his demand for “immunity for what he says, or he says nothing.” Alan Futefas, attorney for DDT’s children, also demanded grand jury immunity as witnesses.

In another possible problem for DDT, a House committee has asked the General Services Administration to terminate DDT’s lease on the Washington, D.C. hotel, citing the Mazars’ letter as evidence that information used to obtain the lease is bogus. The committee cited “new information” that he “may have submitted inaccurate financial information to the federal government to obtain this lease and that he stands to reap millions in profit from selling the lease, reinforce the serious ethical and legal concerns previously raised by the Committee.” Last year Mazars showed DDT said he lost over $70 million at the hotel while he was in the White House. DDT wants to sell the lease for $375 million, netting him at least $76 million, but cannot if the GSA terminates it.

After DDT received so much bad news—including the National Archives confirmation he had stolen top secret documents and hidden them at Mar-a-Lago—he turned to a report by John Durham, who he called Robert Durham, as a diversion. DDT’s AG Bill Barr had assigned Durham to dig up dirt on Robert Mueller’s special investigation. In two years, the only indictment was cybersecurity attorney Michael Sussmann for allegedly lying to the FBI. Durham misspoke when he said Sussmann was working for Hillary Clinton during her 2016 campaign, and a week ago the right-wingers launched into the lie that Durham had proof the Clinton’s operatives “spied on” the former president.

Durham has backed off the right-wing claims, especially after the facts show the data, available without any “spying,” appeared during the Obama era. Durham neglected to include the timeline so the GOP and conservative media made wrong assumptions. These comments didn’t stop Fox from their massive coverage, but Clinton’s speech may have helped. She indicated the Fox coverage might be described as “actual malice,” grounds for a lawsuit. Before her tweet, Fox made 219 comments about the situation in six days; afterwards the mention went to once in 11 hours. That was after DDT falsely accused Clinton of breaking into the White House and his New York apartment, saying her actions should be “punishable by death.”

DDT’s next rally, a fundraiser for David Perdue in Georgia on March 16, will try to help Perdue’s failing campaign for governor against incumbent Brian Kemp. DDT seeks revenge for Kemp not overturning the state election for DDT, but Perdue is doing poorly in both fundraising and polling. 

February 11, 2022

Why DDT Had Trouble Flushing His Toilets – It’s Classified

How many ways did Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) get rid of official documents while he was in the White House? People have known for years that he illegally tore them up when they should go into the National Archives. Reports a week ago, revealed he sent them off to be burned and took more—at least 15 boxes of them and perhaps more—to his post-White House residence at Mar-a-Lago. But more information keeps leaking out.

Since that time, reports have been issued about DDT not only chewing up documents but also trying to flush them down the toilet. Years ago, he repeatedly announced at his rallies that he would have to flush toilets ten to fifteen times to get them to work. After Maggie Haberman explained DDT’s process of getting rid of important White House records in her book  Confidence Man, to be released in October, the reason is clear.  Engineers had to be repeatedly called to clear toilets. According to former White House officials, DDT is “terrified” of the discovery he tried to flush papers down a toilet. In an appearance on The View, former White House communications aide Alyssa Farah said DDT is frightened of the information in Haberman’s book. “He’s scared of that. He is mortified,” Farah said. Haberman has covered DDT since 2011.

A question is whether DDT can be convicted of any crimes, but the 15 boxes of federal materials thus far rescued have classified information, documents marked Top Secret, defined as those that “could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage” to national security if disclosed without authorization. The president of the United States can declassify information, but it has to be done before he leaves the office. Otherwise, the documents are still classified.

DDT faces another problem, serious gaps in the official White House telephone logs, especially on January 6. The House January 6 committee investigating the insurrection found few calls regarding DDT. It is common knowledge that DDT ignored appropriate channels of presidential communication by using his personal cell phone and those of his aides. Yet DDT cried “lock her up” and declared “worse than Watergate” about Hillary Clinton using a private server for email because it was more secure than the government one.  

In his attempt to defend himself, DDT returned to his accusations that the Clintons stole White House furniture and concealed 30,000 classified emails, a debunked claim. He did rant about “two legal standards, one for Republicans and one for Democrats,” correct because the Republicans are being silent about DDT’s crimes. Thank to media and governmental support for DDT, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election was destroyed ten days before voting when the FBI and the New York Times spread the insinuation that Clinton’s emails might be on a laptop already examined. The Times was only continuing its hype of the emails story throughout the entire campaign, always claiming that her carelessness was of grave national importance. The Clinton emails story was political because of no criminal evidence; evidence clearly demonstrates DDT’s criminal behavior.

Aides found preserving records difficult because DDT preferred handwritten notes and printed documents to email correspondence. He also added calendar items without notifying proper channels and sometimes failed to have a stenographer and representative from the White House Communications Agency record interviews or videos for social media. Former White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster on Friday said National Security Council staffers had a “foolproof” system for their own record keeping, but he left the White House in 2018.

The National Archives began searching for DDT’s missing documents in May 2021 when employees noticed important items were not found such as DDT’s correspondence with Kim Jong-Un and the map that DDT altered with a Sharpie pen during Hurricane Dorian after he mistakenly said the 2019 cyclone was going to Alabama. After a failed resolution with the person designated as the records contact person, one of DDT’s impeachment defense attorneys, the archives lawyer went to another DDT attorney last fall. DDT claimed “the papers were given easily and without conflict and on a very friendly basis,” but the situation has “not been fully resolved” because DDT still has documents belonging to the Archives. The Archives told DDT’s team that it would alert Congress and the DOJ if not quickly resolved.

Aides found preserving records difficult because DDT preferred handwritten notes and printed documents to email correspondence. He also added calendar items without notifying proper channels and sometimes failed to have a stenographer and representative from the White House Communications Agency record interviews or videos for social media. Former White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster on Friday said National Security Council staffers had a “foolproof” system for their own record keeping, but he left the White House in 2018.

The job of leading the National Archives and Records Administration should be fairly peaceful—and it may have been until authoritarian Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) moved into the White House. David Ferriero, scheduled to retire in a few weeks, has had the position since 2009 in overseeing the agencies three dozen facilities across the nation that contain over 13 billion pages of documents. In a statement, Ferriero said:

“The Presidential Records Act mandates that all presidential records must be properly preserved by each administration so that a complete set of presidential records is transferred to the National Archives at the end of the administration. NARA pursues the return of records whenever we learn that records have been improperly removed or have not been appropriately transferred to official accounts.”

House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has initiated a probe into the 15 boxes of records obtained from Mar-a-Lago, asking for information about its contents and DDT’s actions “to destroy or attempt to destroy (presidential records), and any actions NARA has taken to recover or preserve these documents.”

NARA has asked the DOJ to look into DDT’s treatment of White House records because the National Archives has no enforcement mechanism. The person destroying government records commits a crime only if the person knows it is breaking the law. DDT knew he was breaking the law. While in the White House, its counsel Donald McGahn had explained the Presidential Records Act to DDT as had two of his chiefs of staff Reince Priebus and John Kelly. An internal 2017 memo also warned that the destruction of presidential records is a crime. Starting early in his 2016 presidential campaign, DDT accused Hillary Clinton of breaking the law by supposedly mismanaging emails.  As early as 2017, a study revealed the Times the same number of cover stories about Clinton’s emails as “all the policy issues combined in the 69 days leading up to the election.” But Fox network now largely ignores DDT’s criminal activity in contrast to how it would treat the same behavior from President Joe Biden. Public Notice’s Aaron Rupar tweeted:  

“If two prominent reporters broke news that Joe Biden was flushing documents down White House toilets, [Fox News Channel personality Sean] Hannity would anchor special Fox News coverage that would last through 2024. Trump flushing documents down WH toilets has been mentioned twice on Fox News today, once in passing.”

DDT’s last chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has worked hard to cover up DDT’s crimes. Appearing on the far-right Newsmax, his spin on the situation turned him into a whirligig. “We were very diligent in making sure that we preserved those documents, and ultimately I think the record will show that,” Meadows told Newsmax anchor Rob Schmitt. He continued:

“When the staff secretary prepares documents, actually those documents got reviewed in the West Wing, they got signed in the West Wing. The staff secretary was very diligent in making sure that those documents were preserved for the federal records. To suggest that somehow now that this should be news is just hard to imagine.”

Meadows ridiculed the notion that ripped-up papers requiring tapping back together “show some nefarious purpose.” He moved on to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ripping up a photocopy copy of DDT’s last State of the Union speech at the end of his performance. DDT had given Pelosi the copy before he started speaking. Meadows claimed  that “those documents,” meaning the president’s speech put onto teleprompter, couldn’t be found and “somehow she got a pass.” The “documents” actually belonged to the White House because it was DDT’s speech.

Meadows also asserted that Hillary Clinton committed the real scandal in which she “destroyed documents.” DDT’s response to Pelosi’s ripping his speech in half proves he knows the law when he declared “it’s illegal” to tear up “an official document.” He concluded, “She broke the law.” Actually, she didn’t, but he did.

A warning for DDT: Patrick Garner of Cardinal Plumbing, Heating & Air in Northern Virginia said that “computer paper” caught in a toilet if DDT tries to flush it “can maintain legibility.” Maybe back to a bonfire.

October 9, 2020

DDT’s Erratic Behavior Increases

In a finish to Wednesday’s vice-presidential debate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) tweeted people should think hard about who they pick in the election. Responses to his tweet are biting, including the one from Republicans for Biden. or this one from Lesley Abravanel accompanying the photo to the right:

“Seems like we’re all pretty much decided that we’ll go for the guy who didn’t kill 213,000 Americans and the economy.”

Following are more reasons to not vote for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and the man with the fly on his head:

With Election Day only 25 days from now, DDT said that VP Mike Pence’s best answer in the debate was to reject a peaceful transition of power unless DDT wins.

“I don’t think I’m contagious at all,” said DDT who claimed he told doctors how to treat him in the hospital. Tomorrow he plans a campaign rally for thousands on the White House lawn and another one in Florida on Monday. No requirements for masks or social distancing. He claims he isn’t holding a political event at the “people’s house,” but his rhetoric will undoubtedly be highly partisan. Thus far, DDT has appeared to the public only in edited videos wearing heavy makeup and struggling for breath. 

DDT is still running against Hillary Clinton. In late October 2016, FBI Director James Comey insinuated Clinton’s emails were incriminating, just ten days before Election Day. They weren’t. Criticized by DDT, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he is releasing Clinton’s emails, just a few days before Election Day after a State Department investigation determined no “persuasive evidence” of widespread mishandling of classified information by Clinton or her aides. After DDT’s complaints about Pompeo, the Secretary said, “We’ve got the emails, we’re getting them out.” He didn’t say which ones. DDT had earlier said, “Forget about the fact they were classified.”

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates led by a Republican refused to clear DDT for in-person participation in the October 15 debate, and DDT objected to the change of the town hall-style debate to a virtual event for health and safety protections. Therefore the event is canceled. Joe Biden will hold his own town hall event on ABC.  Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) in-person debate with opponent, Jamie Harrison, was also canceled because Graham refuses to be tested. Questions have been raised about the reason for Graham’s refusal, especially after he attended “The Rose Garden Massacre,” resulting in at least 12 infections.

Questions have also been aroused by unreliable statements from Sean Conley, DDT’s doctor recommended by DDT’s former unreliable doctor Ronny Jackson, and DDT’s behavior. The Monday before DDT announced his diagnosis, presenters at his press conference stayed far away from DDT and used a separate podium. The next day, DDT didn’t take a coronavirus test before the debate, and his erratic, aggressive behavior was consistent with being on steroids. Wednesday, DDT’s fatigue was noticeable. A doctor announced the antibody treatment began on Thursday—before DDT supposedly tested positive for the first time and far too early unless he had tested positive at the beginning of the week. The White House refuses to answer questions about when DDT last tested negative for COVID-19.

DDT has abortions to thank for the antibody treatment he is touting as his personal miracle cure for COVID-19. The development of two drugs for DDT used cells from an aborted fetus, a process DDT aggressively blocks. A researcher said the use of fetal cells “has led to immense medical breakthroughs, including the development of vaccines for polio, measles, and rubella,” and critical understanding of other diseases. DDT called Regeneron’s antibody cocktail and Gilead’s antiviral Remdesivir “miracles coming down from God.” Regeneron developed the treatment from a long-lived line of cells taken from the kidneys of a fetus electively aborted in the Netherlands around 1972. Remdesivir used the same cell lines. Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson use fetal cell lines to develop and test vaccines. In 2019, DDT’s administration banned almost all federal funding for new scientific research using cells or tissue obtained from aborted fetuses. According to GOP guidelines, the use of fetal tissue is wrong unless it is old or provides healthcare for Republicans.

After DDT’s mystery trip to Walter Reed hospital last fall for what he called the first part of his annual physical—the one never completed—he required his doctors to sign a non-disclosure agreement in addition to HIPPA protections. The two who refused are no longer allowed to treat him.

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, surely knows far more about DDT’s health than the people of the United States if he listens to private conversations between DDT and his doctors, family, friends, and other advisers. DDT is well known for calling people from unsecured phones and other careless security protocol.

The DOJ will not be releasing damaging information from John Durham’s investigating the investigation into Russia before November 3, frustrating DDT. New Director of Intelligence John Ratcliffe, another of his lapdogs, released almost 1,000 classified pages to the DOJ to Durham’s investigation. Early this week, Ratcliffe released heavily redacted notes written by former CIA Director John Brennan appearing as if he briefed President Obama in 2016 on intelligence from Russian sources. Senior intelligence officials objected out of concern it supports Russia’s unsubstantiated disinformation.

DDT is still running against Hillary Clinton. In late October 2016, FBI Director James Comey insinuated Clinton’s emails were incriminating, just ten days before Election Day after he earlier said that there was no evidence of mishandling them. They weren’t. Criticized by DDT, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he is releasing Clinton’s emails, just a few days before Election Day after the State Department said there was no “widespread. Pence also attacked Clinton in the debate, saying that she had colluded with Russia during her presidential campaign.  

DDT alienated former European allies and created horrific humanitarian consequences by placing financial sanctions on 18 Iranian banks although his former sanctions have not stopped problems with the country caused by his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. European nations also fear their banks and other companies will face penalties for conducting business with Iran. DDT’s withdrawal to please Israel and GOP hawks such as Sens. Ted Cruz (TX) and Tom Cotton (AR) only causes more alienation from the world’s democracies. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin claimed the U.S. allows humanitarian transactions, but the system for this has already failed.

In a monologue on Rush Limbaugh’s program, DDT ranted what was described as a “genocidal screed” against Iran with threats to “do things … that have never been done before.” With groundwork from Pompeo and other hawks, DDT may attack Iran immediately before the election.

With no discussion with the Pentagon—not even an advance notice—DDT tweeted he would pull all U.S. troops from Afghanistan before Christmas. The move violates a separate deal that troops would leave by next May if the Taliban reduced violence and severed relationships with al-Qaeda militants. DDT’s latest declaration pleased the Taliban and worried Afghan leaders. The Taliban has kept its connections with Al-Qaeda.

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency wants the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to erase its paper trail and destroy internal documents, including CBP misconduct. Records must be kept because of the way that DHS has violated the rights of immigrants.

Down almost 30 points with seniors, DDT decided to bribe them with $200 “Trump cards” to pay for drugs after he scuttled an agreement of lower drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry. The $7.9 billion campaign cost, including $51 million to create and distribute the cards, comes out of taxpayer-funded Medicare, supposedly in fiscal jeopardy. DDT plans an additional $19 million cost this month for letters to hype the plan to seniors because cards may not arrive before November 3. DDT plans to end Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes if he is reelected, eliminated the ability of Medicare to pay for senior health care.

Another DDT election ploy is his attempt to reinstate the negotiations for a stimulus bill after wiping it out just three days ago. Tuesday, he said the bill cost too much; today he tweets, “Go Big!”  

After a judge ruled William Pendley is illegally serving as acting Bureau of Land Management (BLM) director, possibly invalidating his anti-environmental policies issues during his 430 days, DDT changed his title to the bureau’s Deputy Director for Programs and Policy.  

DDT again lost the Nobel Peace Prize, this year to the UN World Food Programme to combat hunger, created in 1961 at the request of U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower. In 2018, DDT cut all U.S. WFP funding for the West Bank and Gaza, as well as all other humanitarian aid for Palestinians.

Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM), a faith healing school connected to DDT, has had a COVID-19 outbreak of at least 137 cases in the past month. At DDT’s request, the ministry’s leadership anointed “every door in the White House” with olive oil to ward off demons after DDT disguised Bill Johnson, the school’s owner, as a janitor. The radical religious right also circulated photos of DDT during his anointing and “laying on of hands” ritual. The school has 1,600 paying “students.”

My question for today: Why didn’t VP Mike Pence go to Indiana to vote as planned? Yesterday, he gave his speech in Arizona and then headed back to DC. His staff said “no positive tests,” but his performance at Wednesday’s debate shows his willingness to lie.

August 21, 2020

2020 Democratic Convention Wraps Up, DDT Moves toward Authoritarianism

The 2020 Democratic convention is finished, a truly “feel-good” experience with clips and speeches emphasizubg unity, family, and a positive future. A highlight from Night 4 before Joe Biden’s acceptance speech was 13-year-old Braydon Harrington reading about his experience with Joe Biden. A stutterer himself, Biden taught the boy how to overcome his speech impediment. Braydon still sometimes struggled, but he has developed the bravery to speak to at least 20 million people. Compare this visual to the video of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) from his campaign when he mocks Serge Kovaleski, a reporter with arthrogryposis (a congenital syndrome affecting the joints). People have ridiculed Biden for his verbal gaffes, but the reason might be traced back to his own stuttering as a child.

President Obama expressed the greatest fear when he talked about the possibility the United States could lose its democracy under another four years of DDT. Barack Obama’s memorable line: “Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.” Earlier Hillary Clinton  said this about her former opponent: 

“Remember in 2016 when Trump asked: ‘What do you have to lose?’ Well, now we know: our health, our jobs, even our lives. Our leadership in the world and, yes, our post office. As Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders warned us on Monday: If Trump is re-elected, it will get even worse.”

A person commented Clinton could have skipped the speech, leaned back with a glass of wine, and said, “I told you so.”

A contrast to the GOP message is “Vote!” Many of the speakers encouraged voting as early as possible in contrast to the fear-mongering from Republicans led by DDT.

Perhaps because Fox network refused to show more than one hour each night, its ratings were far lower than other cable networks. MSNBC came out on top each of the first three nights: Monday, 5.2 million; Tuesday, 5.3 million; and Wednesday, 6.3 million. At Fox: Monday, 2 million; Tuesday, 3.1 million; and Wednesday, 2.169. MSNBC also set a precedent with three women—Rachel Maddow, Joy Reid, and Nicolle Wallace—running the show prior to and during the two-hour convention segments.

MSNBC was the only cable news network to increase its number of watchers from the 2016 DNC, up 16 percent on the first night. Although the number of watchers dropped from 2016, but live streaming and watching unique clips the next day may have put the number higher than four years ago. And the total number increased from under 19 million on the first night to 23 million on the third night.

Next week’s Republican convention? Get ready for fear and hatred for eight hours next week to follow up DDT’s vitriolic tweets and speeches he gave around the country in an aborted effort to upstage the Democrats. DDT is determined to outdo this week’s virtual convention. He plans most of it on the White House lawn and the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium close to DDT’s hotel, finished by fireworks on the National Mall if he can get National Park Service permission. With COVID-19 restrictions, the auditorium cannot hold more than 100 people and may have only 30. DDT also plans to travel next week to Charlotte (NC), the former site DDT rejected because of restrictions surrounding the virus.

RNC speakers include the St. Louis couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter people walking on the sidewalk in front of their home and the Catholic high school student who tried to intimidate a Native American protester at the Lincoln Memorial. The couple was charged with “unlawful use of a weapon.” VP Mike Pence will speak from Fort McHenry in Baltimore. And Ivanka Trump is slated to introduce her father at the White House next Thursday. Prime-time speeches will be live, risking technical problems which can’t be edited out. Other speakers include Richard Grenell, in the midst of the Ukraine scandal; Nikki Haley, an Indian woman who was suggested as vice-president; Andrew Pollack, father of a Parkland shooting victim; anti-abortionist Abby Johnson; South Dakota Gov. Kirsti Noem, who refused to shut down the state or the meat plant despite the surging number of COVID-19 cases; and Alice Johnson, pardoned federal criminal at the request of Kim Kardashian West. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), whose election is in question because of her closeness to DDT, will speak on Monday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), also facing a close election, will send a taped presentation.

Polling may be causing fear in the conservative branch. After the disasters of DDT’s first term, non-voters in 2016 may emerge—and 52 percent of them claim they’ll vote for Biden. Only 32 percent support DDT. Biden also has an 11-point lead among voter who supported a third-party candidate in 2016—41 percent for Biden compared to 30 percent for DDT. The other 28 percent still plan to vote for a third-party candidate. DDT is keeping 88 percent of his 2016 voters, but 8 percent of them plan to vote for Biden.

One news item receiving short-shrift this week is the poisoning of Vladimir Putin’s anti-corruption opponent, Alexei Navalny, on a flight back to Moscow. He had called the vote to extend Putin’s terms and other constitutional changes a “coup” and a “violation of the constitution.” Navalny is in a coma on a ventilator. In 2017 Navalny suffered a serious chemical burn to his right eye from an assault with antiseptic dye; in July 2019, Navalny became ill, possibly from poison, while completing a 30-day jail term. Navalny and his allies had been trying to increase support for their candidates in next month’s Russian regional elections.

Some people survived assaults. Journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza alleged he was poisoned twice by Russian security services. Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia recovered from the 2018 poisoning by a nerve agent in England.

Other Putin victims were not as fortunate. In 2017, WaPo reported on ten Putin critics who died in violent and suspicious circumstances.

  • Denis Voronenkov, former Russian Communist Party member, shot in Kiev after fleeing Russia in 2016: he was a key witness in a treason case against former President Viktor Yanukovich.
  • Boris Nemtsov, Russian opposition leader leading massive street rallies to protest election results, shot in February 2016 after urging public to march against Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine.
  • Boris Berezovsky, Russian oligarch who had a falling out with Putin and accused the Kremlin of killing Alexander Litvinenko, found dead in a locked bathroom at his UK home with a noose around his neck in 2013.
  • Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova, human rights lawyer representing Chechen civilians against Russian military and journalists critical of Putin and a journalist from Novaya Gazeta, fatally shot in 2009.
  • Anna Politkovskaya, Novaya Gazeta reporter, slain in 2006.
  • Sergei Magnitsky, investigator in massive tax fraud case for a British-American businessman, brutally beaten and denied medical care while in police custody in 2009.
  • Natalia Estemirova, journalist and rights activist investigating abductions and murders in Chechnya by pro-Russian security forces, kidnapped and shot in 2009.
  • Anna Politkovskaya, Russian reporter for Novaya Gazeta whose book Putin’s Russia accused him of turning the country into a police state, shot in an elevator in her apartment building in 2006.
  • Alexander Litvinenko, former KGB agent, poisoned with polonium-210 at a London hotel in 2006 by Russian agents acting on Putin’s orders.
  • Sergei Yushenkov, former army colonel looking for evidence that Putin was behind an apartment bombing in 1999, gunned down outside his Moscow home in 2003.
  • Yuri Shchekochikhin, author writing about crime and corruption in the former Soviet Union and investigating the apartment bombing, died suddenly from mysterious illness in 2003.

DDT largely ignored Navalny’s death; 12 hours after reports emerged, DDT said he “haven’t seen it yet.” The State Department chose not to comment. No decrying of assaults on democracy or offering necessary support. Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said:

“What troubles me right now is our voice is missing … President Trump is not only indifferent to democracy, he embraces Putin the autocrat and makes excuses for him. He assigns moral equivalency between the United States of America and Putin’s Russia. And when you do that … you are enabling this kind of behavior.”

DDT has openly defended Putin for five years and wrote Putin in 2007 to tell him what a fan he was of the Russian authoritarian—just like he stays a fan of Mohammed bin Salman after the Saudi Crown Prince ordered the torture and dismemberment of WaPo journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi. And DDT stays a fan of North Korean Kim Jong-Un. Imagine life in the U.S. if the country loses its democracy with the reelection of DDT, and DDT decides to literally kill off his opposition.

August 16, 2020

Week 186 – Signs of Hope

Republican Dan Lavey, adviser and manager for notable Oregon GOP candidates such as former Sen. Gordon Smith and gubernatorial candidates Chris Dudley and Knute Buehler, explained on Facebook why he’s voting for Joe Biden:

“Some days I am literally sick to my stomach about the latest Trump statement or action. I’m angry and sad about what has happened to the political party I’ve supported since before I was old enough to even vote. It’s no longer a conservative party committed to a better America for all Americans. It’s Trump’s Party—riddled with conspiracy theories, racism, sexism and intolerance. It’s anti-intellectual and anti-science. It’s corrupt to the core. Trump must be defeated and in a big way.”

Recognizing a majority of Oregonians will vote against Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), Lavey continued with the reason for his vote: 

“We need a President we can respect—even when we disagree. Joe, Heal our nation. Bind up our wounds. Speak to our better angels. Stay off social media. Because if you do, Americans will follow.”

“Suburban housewives,” DDT’s term for all women he doesn’t call “nasty,” have taken umbrage at his condescending sobriquet for females. Facebook has at least eight groups using that name aiming at defeating DDT. He has gone from winning the suburban vote by five points in 2016 to losing their support. A recent poll shows Joe Biden ahead of DDT by 25 points among all suburban voters and 66 percent of suburban women disapproving of DDT

A federal appeals court ruled former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will not be required to give another deposition about her emails. The issue has been thoroughly investigated by Congress, the FBI, the State Department Inspector General, and another lawsuit. Last year, the State Department concluded that “there was no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information.” 

According to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO), both Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli have no legal right to be acting DHS secretary and top deputy because the previous acting DHS secretary, Kevin McAleenen, also had no legal basis for his installation. Therefore DDT’s appointments of Wolf and Cuccinelli are also invalid. If a judge agrees with the GAO findings, their decisions in office could be overturned, including sending federal agents to declare martial law in such cities across the U.S. as Portland (OR). Wolf’s order to “reject all pending and future initial requests for DACA” despite the Supreme Court’s decision against this policy can also be at risk just like all actions with either Wolf’s or McAleenan’s names. 

In March, a federal judge found that Cuccinelli had illegally been appointed as acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, voiding his new asylum policies. One of these is limits for asylum seeker to work legally in the U.S., a policy being opposed in court last week. Chairs of the House Homeland Security and Oversight committees requested an emergency GAO review of Wolf’s and Cuccinelli’s positions. Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) have said that Wolf should “return to his Senate-confirmed position as Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans.” They added that Cuccinelli “should immediately resign from the Federal government and retire his unprofessional official Twitter account.”

Even some Republicans pushed DDT to withdraw William Perry Pendley’s name from consideration for director of the Bureau of Land Management, the agency managing about one-tenth of the U.S. land mass. The agency has had no confirmed director since DDT was inaugurated; Pendley is currently the acting director. Throughout his career at the conservative Mountain States Legal Foundation, Pendley has opposed the BLM and supported rancher Cliven Bundy who led the biggest armed standoff against the U.S. over the use of federal land. Three GOP senators vulnerable in their November reelections—Martha McSally (AZ), Cory Gardner (CO), and Steve Daines (MT)—are relieved, perhaps a reason DDT withdrew the name. Pendley will continue with the BLM as deputy director for programs and policy, but two federal lawsuits accuse the administration of keeping him acting director longer than legal.

The Interior Department inspector general reported that DDT’s top Interior Solicitor, Daniel Jorjani, illegally withheld public documents before Interior Secretary David Bernhardt’s Senate confirmation hearing and “perjured himself under oath.” A former lobbyist for the Westlands Water District and large oil companies, Bernhardt is trying to increase Delta water exports and help corporate agribusiness developments plus raising Shasta Dam on the Sacramento River. The result will be inundating remaining sacred sites of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe on the McCloud River and destroy winter-run and spring-run Chinook salmon and Central Valley steelhead populations. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) called for a criminal investigation into Jorjani, describing the Interior Department the most corrupt since the “Teapot Dome scandal” almost 100 years ago. Jorjani manages over 370 attorneys in the department.

With infections at ten times the high rate of Arizona, the death rate of the White Mountain Apache tribe is far lower—just 1.3 percent compared with Arizona’s 2.1 percent—because of contact tracing. Teams are using the inexpensive oximeter which is clipped to a finger to identify dangerously low blood oxygen levels. In that way, they can find people who may not realize they are seriously ill and get them medical care. People may not recognize the extent of their illness from COVID-19 because low oxygen levels doesn’t necessarily result in gasping for air.

DDT’s chief of staff Mark Meadows denied USPS sorting machines were being dismantled until Jake Tapper provided him specific information to the contrary on CNN. Yet Meadows echoed DDT’s lies about ballot fraud with no evidence. “There’s no evidence that there’s not,” he said. (Republicans used the same argument to declare its 2003 war on Iraq by stating they had no evidence that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction. Iraq didn’t). Meadows finished his “no evidence” argument by saying having no evidence is “the definition of fraud.” The “definition” and look on Tapper’s face is about 2:20 on this video.) Then Meadows said that President Obama was responsible for slowing down the mail.

The House Oversight Committee on Sunday scheduled an emergency hearing on August 24 about mail delays and DDT’s interference in the Postal Service; Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and USPS Board of Governors Chairman Robert M. Duncan are invited to testify. August 24 is the beginning of the RNC presidential conference. The USPS inspector general is reviewing DeJoy’s policy changes and his compliance with federal ethics rules because of his financial conflicts of interest with the postal service. AGs from Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Washington, and North Carolina are planning lawsuits to stop USPS operation changes or funding lapses affecting the election.

Over 100 protesters gathered outside DeJoy’s gated home next to the Greensboro (NC) golf course. The day before, about the same number protested outside DeJoy’s apartment complex in Kalorama, a wealthy residential DC neighborhood. DeJoy has maintained that all the delays make the USPS more “efficient.”  

Over 190 lawsuits in 43 states and DC have been filed about mail-in ballots, voter eligibility, voting deadlines, and polling sites in connection to coronavirus problems connected to the election. The total of lawsuits including those not connected to the pandemic could be more than the previous record of 394 cases for the 2018 election. One that the people won was in Rhode Island: the Supreme Court determined that signatures on mail-in ballots don’t need witnesses.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced the state will send ballots to all 6.3 eligible voters that they can return by mail or in secure drop boxes. Eight other states are using the same process.

Nervous that Republicans won’t vote in the 2020 election because of DDT’s accusations about fraud, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “I think any Republican that gets their ballot in the mail should vote and make sure their vote is counted.”

Three of four finance chairmen announced by the RNC in 2017 got into serious trouble: Las Vegas casino owner Steve Wynn forced to resign for sexual misconduct allegations, Elliot Broidy for telling a foreign government he could get the DOJ to drop a graft investigation for $75 million, and imprisoned former DDT fixer Michael Cohen for multiple offenses. As for the fourth RNC finance chairman, Louis DeJoy, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) made a criminal referral in his state, asking for a grand jury empaneled to indict DeJoy on charges of election tampering through sabotage of the postal service. DeJoy answers to a board of governors: tell these white men to remove DeJoy:

  • Robert Duncan:
  • mduncan@inezdepositbank.com
  • 606-298-3511
  • John Barger:
  • barger.jm@gmail.com
  • 626-460-6321/213-639-8356
  • Ron Bloom:
  • ron.bloom@brookfield.com
  • 212-417-7000/212-978-1707
  • Roman Martinez:
  • roman@rmiv.com
  • 212-634-1190/917-392-9308/917-270-4608
  • Donald Moak:
  • lee.moak@moakgroup.com
  • 202-838-3800
  • Wiliam Zollers:
  • directoraccessmailbox@cigna.com pic.twitter.com/aIdzgUkSD0
  • 913-696-6100/913-232-8068/415-394-9000

Even the numbers of COVID-19 infections have decreased during the past day—36,843 new cases and 522 deaths. Unless the shrinking number is only for the weekend or the way that DDT conceals the statistics through his new private company supposedly keeping track of the numbers. Totals for the U.S. are 5,566,63 infections and 173,128 deaths on August 16.     

January 12, 2020

The Messiah Keeps Failing

Televangelist Jim Bakker told his audience that “Trump is a test whether you’re even saved. Only saved people can love Trump.” Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has now been raised to the level of Jesus. Here are a few of this week’s actions connected to the evangelists’ new Messiah.

Taxpayers have funded the DOJ for over two years to investigate the conspiracy theory regarding corrupt in the Clinton Foundation The inquiry to satisfy conservatives is over. The investigation found nothing in contrast to the discovery of massive corruption in DDT’s “charity” foundation. It’s the 1990s all over—nothing there. Now DDT is hoping for “better” results from the DOJ investigation into the origins of the FBI’s 2016 examination into a tie between DDT’ campaign and Russia.

DDT’s fixer, AG Bill Barr, may be the subject of an investigation after the New York City Bar Association asked Congress to investigate Barr for making the DOJ and its prosecutors as “political partisans willing to use the levers of government to empower certain groups over others.” Barr has spoken about the progressives’ “campaign to destroy the traditional moral order” and promised to use the DOJ to resist “forces of secularization.” He criticized DAs from large cities “who style themselves as ‘social justice’ reformers, who spend their time undercutting the police, letting criminals off the hook, and refusing to enforce the law,” according to a letter from 450 450 former federal prosecutors working in GOP and Democratic administrations.” Barr also misrepresented DOJ reports to protect DDT and manipulated the agency for the same end.

After DDT gave states permission to take Medicaid coverage from people who don’t meet work requirements, several red states took advantage of another way to punish the poor. Now, six states—Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, and Virginia—have reversed or suspended these increased restrictions because of legal challenges and coverage losses. Maine governor Janet Mills said that more people were uninsured with no greater participation in the workforce. Arizona cited “the evolving national landscape.” Kentucky has a new Democratic governor, Andy Beshear, who campaign against the new work plan, protecting health coverage for almost 100,000 low-income state residents. Michigan’s new Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, urged a reversal of the work requirement which could cause up to 183,000 Michiganders to lose coverage because of its highly restrictive statute. Arkansas may be take coverage from people who should be exempt by their law because almost 25 percent of the target population lost coverage in the first seven months and work requirements haven’t helped people find jobs. Federal courts have already vacated work requirement waivers in three states because they fail to meet the central objective of Medicaid.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wants to keep hiding how taxpayer money is being spend on DDT when he leaves the White House and on DDT’s family—at least after the 2020 election. This agreement with Congress is connected to Mnuchin’s attempt to move the Secret Service DHS to Treasury. DDT complained about the $96 million cost for President Obama’s travel in eight years, an amount possibly equaled during DDT’s first year. The White House has refused to divulge any travel expenses for over two years.

DDT may have been able to pardon possible war criminal retired Army Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn before his murder trial, but Lt. Gen. Francis M. Beaudette, commander of U.S. Army Special Operations, won’t reinstate Goldsteyn’s Special Forces tab. The decision now goes to an administrative panel who will also consider reinstatement of Golsteyn’s Distinguished Service Cross.

E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against DDT after his insults about her charges of sexual assault may continue, and a judge okayed the discovery process. DDT had said he was innocent because Carroll isn’t his “type.”

Gerrymandering is one of the reasons that Republicans have taken over the majority of states and then elected DDT through the Electoral College. Although the Supreme Court sometimes blocks gerrymandering if it’s based on racial reasons, the conservative justices will support gerrymandering if Republicans rig the system for the GOP. One person proving the lengths to which Republicans go has released a cache of computer information to show how her deceased father, Thomas Hofeller, drew a vast quantity of maps to make all districts easier for Republicans to win, often to take voting rights from minorities. Stephanie Hofeller has now posted all the files she has on the website thehofellerfiles.com, linking to a Google Drive of Hofeller’s emails and documents tied to his gerrymandering work.

Some of the files went public earlier through court filings and news reports, and Stephanie Hofeller already released a document connected to DDT’s failed attempt to add a citizenship question to the Census, another method of trying to add GOP districts to control states’ legislatures, House membership, and the presidential election. Hofeller’s 2015 studies shows that adding the question “would be advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.” That discovery caused justices to block the question on the Census.

After Stephanie Hofeller discovered her father had died, she collected his belongings, including hard drives and USB sticks. She gave them to the government watchdog Common Cause that used the information in a North Carolina case about the state illegally drawing districts to favor Republicans. 

Common Cause won its case last fall, a case that may influence anti-gerrymandering lawsuits in other states. Thirteen state Constitutions require elections to be “free and equal,” five more require them to be “free and open,” and eleven others require them to be “free,” offering significant opportunities for other state Constitutional challenges to partisan.” North Carolina legislature is required to redistrict much of the state Senate and House maps with the requirements that they have fairly equal populations, be contiguous and compact, and stick to county groupings. In addition, districts must consider existing municipal boundaries and not consider race. The ruling also mandates compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act.  

Unfortunately, the court told the GOP General Assembly to draw new maps which were still biased for Republicans. Soon after, the Wake County Superior Court ordered the start of candidate filing. Because dates for the primary elections could not be changed, the current gerrymandered districts be used for the 2020 elections.

Losing a question about citizenship on the Census, DDT has persuaded DHS to share government data so that the Census Bureau can get this information for everyone in the U.S. His goal is to redraw districts based on the number of eligible voters instead of residents, as required by the Constitution. This method would also benefit Republicans and non-Hispanic white people. DHS is releasing information that cannot be obtained with the person’s consent or a waiver from the DHS secretary. Latinx community groups are suing the administration because of DDT’s new plan. Another reason for lawsuits is that the process may not produce accurate data.

DDT is still on the campaign trail, and his speeches keep getting longer with more lies. At over two hours, the December 18 speech had 120 fact-free declarations, 67 percent of the total statements. In his most recent speech, DDT focused on lies about Iran and Ohio’s economy. He’s still calling for the audience to chant “lock her up” about Hillary Clinton, apparently not understanding that she is not a 2020 presidential candidate.

DDT is refusing to comply with a court order to release 40 pages of emails between Robert Blair, top aide to acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and a member of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, about the freeze on Ukraine’s congressionally mandated military aid package. The 300 pages of emails already released show the growing tension between the Pentagon and the White House in late August and early September.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is calling for changes to the Senate impeachment rules, a pattern that the Republicans have used for all their wins when they are in the majority. Chances of changes are unlikely because 67 votes are necessary for revising rules amenable to Republicans. By now DDT wants to cancel the impeachment trial. His tweets today show that he’s increasingly obsessed with impeachment, moving closer to panic.

Disappointment at the low December job increase of 145,000 caused the stock markets to drop. The average monthly jobs gains for 2019 were 176,000, a drop from 223,000 in 2018. Average hourly earnings rose by a mere 0.1 percent in December to make the annual increase 2.9 percent. This increase is approximately equivalent to inflation, and much of it comes from minimum wage increases in a few states. Economists say wages are not growing as fast as they should be, especially for those who aren’t seeing a boost from state and local minimum wage increases.

More jobs were created in the last 34 months of the Obama Administration (7.7 million or 227,000/month on average) than the first 34 months of the Trump Administration (6.1 million or 178,000/month on average through November 2019. This total is the smallest since 2011.

September 13, 2019

DDT: Week 138 – Speeches, Lesss Publicized Info

Last night, audiences in Baltimore and Houston heard some odd statements. In Houston, the “meh” Democratic debate among ten candidates had a few peculiar moments for Joe Biden—even for him. He called Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) “the president,” referred to himself as “the vice president as the United States,” and retorted “this is America” to Sanders’ statement that the United States pays twice as much in health care as Canada does. Millionaire business owner non-politician candidate (does that sound familiar?) Andrew Yang used a possibly illegal gameshow technique to give away $12,000 to each of ten people from his campaign funds. In the debate’s aftermath, award-winning “pro-life hero” and Texas representative Briscoe Cain, who says he “supports the value of life,” tweeted “my AR is ready for you” after candidate Beto O’Rourke said that he would ban all assault weapons.

At the same time as the third Democratic candidate debate, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) gave a meandering speech at the House Republicans’ retreat. The geriatric man in the Oval Office referred to his vice president as “Mike Pounds” and explained that the water is so clean because 25 years ago “there was nobody here” in America to explain why the water was so clean at that time. He also blamed his rejected new energy efficient light bulbs for making him “look orange.” A photographer said that lighting, which doesn’t make DDT’s teeth turn orange, has nothing to do with his orangey-red skin, that the color comes from the heavy coat of bronzer that he puts on himself. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) worshipful statements about DDT tried to cover DDT’s racist slurs against Baltimore—and that was after DDT called McCarthy a “cow.” [visual – McCarthy]

About Hillary Clinton, DDT said that she “didn’t like stairs, didn’t like airplanes, didn’t like a lot”—and would rest for weeks between stops. In four years as Secretary of State, Clinton spent 401 days—over 25 percent of her tenure—to travel 956,733 miles to visit 112 countries. DDT spent the same percentage of time visiting his personal golf clubs, not counting the weekends and vacations when he didn’t play golf—including the weekend that he skipped a visit to Poland to play golf. He couldn’t even go a few miles in the rain to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I in France. 

Republicans say they oppose bailouts, but DDT promises them a bailout of $30 billion after he cost them billions from his trade war with China cost them billions. Democrats threaten to not fund part of that huge sum as part of the appropriations bill necessary to keep the government from shutting down at the end of the month. DDT originally said that farmers are okay with the sacrifice, but farmers have been increasingly upset—especially when they lose their farms—as the 2020 election nears—and especially because the wealthiest farmers receive the bulk of the money.

White House officials have said that the bailout may not be legal because of its huge scope. Almost 40 years ago, President Jimmy Carter banned U.S. sales of wheat to Russia; the country produced and exported wheat in competition with the U.S. for its prior markets. Farmers believe that they are still paying for the Russian wheat embargo, and Brazil is now taking over the soybean market.   

The NRA is unhappy that retail stores are dropping sales of guns and ammunitions, and NASCAR refused advertising with K-Var Corp., a large distributor of firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories.  Yet Walmart, despite an announcement that it wouldn’t allow open carry in its stores, isn’t living up to its promise.

And NRA has its own insider telling DDT about avoiding gun legislation. Michael B. Williams, formerly the top law for the American Suppressor Association that represents the silencer industry and law clerk for NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, has become deputy assistant to DDT. Scrapping the idea for background checks, that has an 89-percent approval, DDT is considering more mental health facilities and hospitals along with capital punishment for mass shooters.

DDT’s friend Bob Wright has written proposals to stop mass shootings. The former NBC chair’s “advisers” proposed monitoring “phones and smart watches” to see who will become violent. It’s an interesting answer for people so paranoid that they won’t register guns.

At a White House ceremony this week, DDT handed out an awards for “heroes” of recent mass shootings without vetting the recipients. One of them, Chris Grant, wasn’t there because he was detained by the Secret Service with an arrest warrant. El Paso police said that a video showed that Grant misrepresented his actions that were only “self-preservation.”

When Republicans in four states—Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina—eliminated presidential primaries, one of them cut out the newest candidate from its own state, South Carolina’s former governor Mark Sanford. Republicans in those four states have kept at least three presidential candidates from running. The GOP says it’s just saving money; others say that they’re rigging the election and protecting DDT. Republicans know that they need to stop Democrats from voting to win; now they show that they need to block voting to elect DDT as their candidate.

The RNC is accusing DDT’s campaign of further rigging by concealing DDT’s unpopularity in specific states and congressional districts. Information like this would allow GOP candidates to publicly distance themselves from DDT. Former RNC chairman Michael Steele said, “The RNC is not an independent actor; the RNC is now a part of the Trump campaign.”

In another campaign technique, Fox and other far-right media are warning that people won’t be safe if Democrats are elected in 2020. On The View, Meghan McCain predicted “a lot of violence” if laws take “people’s guns away from them.” She added, “I’m not going to live without guns.”

According to a former agent of the Israel intelligence agency Mossad, Russia picked DDT as most advantageous to its goals and then “deployed a system [of bots] for the length of the elections.” This statement follows two Senate-commission reports that Russia used every social media tool to support DDT for the election. This article was published almost nine month ago, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has ignored it, blocking any legislature to correct these cyberattacks.

Investigated for his business affairs, DDT says that he plans to release information about his financial affairs—but not when.

Information coming out about VP Mike Pence’s stay with his family at DDT’s resort show that the cost for just limousines was $600,000 to go back and forth across Ireland. Taxpayers have paid DDT for Pence to visit DDT’s properties at least 20 times, and political groups connected to Pence have hosted six events at DDT’s properties.  

Three years ago, DDT called Gregory Cheadle “my African American” at a campaign rally. Cheadle now says the GOP pursues a “pro-white” agenda and uses black people like him as “political pawns.” He is running as an independent for a U.S. representative from California.

DDT is presenting a false picture of the southern border by using Mexican information instead of data provided by the U.S. government. The media adopted DDT’s chart about the drastically declining number of migrants in the U.S. needing processing came from Mexico; the true story is a much higher number of migrant crossings. DDT’s chart has no citation about its source.

DDT gave up on his attempt to blackmail Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden this year by releasing the $250 million that Congress had approved to oppose pro-Russian separatists backed by Moscow. The money was released only hours before a debate on a defense bill amendment stopping DDT from similar actions in the future.  

The racial wealth gap will cost the U.S. economy up to $1 trillion by 2028. A faster growth of white wealth over black wealth could increase that sum to $1.5 trillion, six percent of GDP. Failure to build wealth in black families comes from not only family income but also family wealth, family savings, and community context (a community’s collective public and private assets).

DDT violated federal laws in not getting congressional authorization when moving entrance fees to keep national parks open during the most recent 35-day shutdown, according to the legal opinion from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office.

DDT’s trade war has lost 300,000 jobs for people in the U.S. with another lost 500,000 jobs in the next 16 months. If the recession doesn’t exist before the 2020 election, DDT’s re-election will cause it.

Sixty percent of people expect a recession within the coming year, and 60 percent say that DDT doesn’t deserve to be re-elected. 

Mourn for the environment and the nation’s public lands as DDT begins building his wall across the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona. Seventy-four percent of people say that climate change is a crisis or a major problem, and two-thirds say that DDT is not doing enough to solve the problem. DDT’s central re-election message is “You have no choice.” He’s right: another DDT term would completely destroy the U.S.—and the world. People have no choice.

April 24, 2019

‘A Serious Crime against America’

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has declared war on the U.S. Congress while treating members as if they work for him instead of being in a separate and equal branch of the government. The Robert Mueller investigation closed down soon after the Senate confirmed DDT’s new fixer, Bill Barr, as the U.S. attorney general—a position that is supposed to be independent of the President of the United States. Now DDT is trying to block every House investigation into his actions.

Details in DDT’s Finances: DDT’s accounting firm Mazars USA told House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings (D-MD) that it would give him ten years of DDT’s financial statements if they received a subpoena after DDT’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, said that DDT had participated in possible bank fraud by inflating or deflating his assets to get loans and avoid real estate taxes. First, DDT’s lawyers threatened the firm with legal action if it follows the law and then sued Cummings to block the subpoena using the 1880 Supreme Court ruling in Kilbourn v. Thompson. That case was overruled by a 1927 decision.

Testimony from DDT’s Former White House Counsel: Trying to block Don McGahn’s testimony from Don McGahn by invoking executive privilege, DDT had earlier told McGahn that he could talk freely with Robert Mueller and failed to claim executive privilege in the release of the Mueller report. McGahn testified to Mueller that DDT told McGahn about DDT’s attempt to fire Robert Mueller. Not only does McGahn work in the government now, he worked for the people of the United States, not DDT. About McGahn’s declaring executive privilege, former federal counsel Jessica Roth said, “That ship has sailed.”

DDT’s Tax Records: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is still dragging his heels in turning over DDT’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee, saying that he will decide by May 6. Committee Chair Richard E. Neal (D-MA) has a century-old law for his request. DDT’s lawyer wrote the Treasury Department to stop the tax returns from being handed over to House Democrats.

DDT’s Security Clearance Process: The Oversight Committee is also investigating whether people with drug, criminal, or financial problems received top-secret security clearances because of DDT’s demands. DDT’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is one of the clearance recipients. The House subpoenaed Carl Kline, the person responsible for giving clearances after people failed the vetting, who also retaliated against the woman who reported his actions. DDT told Kline, as he told other aides, to ignore all subpoenas to appear before the House committee. Cummings warned that Kline could be held in contempt if he doesn’t appear.

Today, the Washington Post published an op-ed about the need for a response to DDT’s actions that was written by former First Lady, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton:

Our election was corrupted, our democracy assaulted, our sovereignty and security violated. This is the definitive conclusion of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report. It documents a serious crime against the American people.

The debate about how to respond to Russia’s “sweeping and systematic” attack — and how to hold President Trump accountable for obstructing the investigation and possibly breaking the law — has been reduced to a false choice: immediate impeachment or nothing. History suggests there’s a better way to think about the choices ahead.

Obviously, this is personal for me, and some may say I’m not the right messenger. But my perspective is not just that of a former candidate and target of the Russian plot. I am also a former senator and secretary of state who served during much of Vladi­mir Putin’s ascent, sat across the table from him and knows firsthand that he seeks to weaken our country.

I am also someone who, by a strange twist of fate, was a young staff attorney on the House Judiciary Committee’s Watergate impeachment inquiry in 1974, as well as first lady during the impeachment process that began in 1998. And I was a senator for New York after 9/11, when Congress had to respond to an attack on our country. Each of these experiences offers important lessons for how we should proceed today.

First, like in any time our nation is threatened, we have to remember that this is bigger than politics. What our country needs now is clear-eyed patriotism, not reflexive partisanship. Whether they like it or not, Republicans in Congress share the constitutional responsibility to protect the country. Mueller’s report leaves many unanswered questions — in part because of Attorney General William P. Barr’s redactions and obfuscations. But it is a road map. It’s up to members of both parties to see where that road map leads — to the eventual filing of articles of impeachment, or not. Either way, the nation’s interests will be best served by putting party and political considerations aside and being deliberate, fair and fearless.

Second, Congress should hold substantive hearings that build on the Mueller report and fill in its gaps, not jump straight to an up-or-down vote on impeachment. In 1998, the Republican-led House rushed to judgment. That was a mistake then and would be a mistake now.

Watergate offers a better precedent. Then, as now, there was an investigation that found evidence of corruption and a coverup. It was complemented by public hearings conducted by a Senate select committee, which insisted that executive privilege could not be used to shield criminal conduct and compelled White House aides to testify. The televised hearings added to the factual record and, crucially, helped the public understand the facts in a way that no dense legal report could. Similar hearings with Mueller, former White House counsel Donald McGahn and other key witnesses could do the same today.

During Watergate, the House Judiciary Committee also began a formal impeachment inquiry that was led by John Doar, a widely respected former Justice Department official and hero of the civil rights struggle. He was determined to run a process that the public and history would judge as fair and thorough, no matter the outcome. If today’s House proceeds to an impeachment inquiry, I hope it will find someone as distinguished and principled as Doar to lead it.

Third, Congress can’t forget that the issue today is not just the president’s possible obstruction of justice — it’s also our national security. After 9/11, Congress established an independent, bipartisan commission to recommend steps that would help guard against future attacks. We need a similar commission today to help protect our elections. This is necessary because the president of the United States has proved himself unwilling to defend our nation from a clear and present danger. It was just reported that Trump’s recently departed secretary of homeland security tried to prioritize election security because of concerns about continued interference in 2020 and was told by the acting White House chief of staff not to bring it up in front of the president. This is the latest example of an administration that refuses to take even the most minimal, common-sense steps to prevent future attacks and counter ongoing threats to our nation.

Fourth, while House Democrats pursue these efforts, they also should stay focused on the sensible agenda that voters demanded in the midterms, from protecting health care to investing in infrastructure. During Watergate, Congress passed major legislation such as the War Powers Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973. For today’s Democrats, it’s not only possible to move forward on multiple fronts at the same time, it’s essential. The House has already passed sweeping reforms that would strengthen voting rights and crack down on corruption, and now is the time for Democrats to keep their foot on the gas and put pressure on the do-nothing Senate. It’s critical to remind the American people that Democrats are in the solutions business and can walk and chew gum at the same time.

We have to get this right. The Mueller report isn’t just a reckoning about our recent history; it’s also a warning about the future. Unless checked, the Russians will interfere again in 2020, and possibly other adversaries, such as China or North Korea, will as well. This is an urgent threat. Nobody but Americans should be able to decide America’s future. And, unless he’s held accountable, the president may show even more disregard for the laws of the land and the obligations of his office. He will likely redouble his efforts to advance Putin’s agenda, including rolling back sanctions, weakening NATO and undermining the European Union.

Of all the lessons from our history, the one that’s most important may be that each of us has a vital role to play as citizens. A crime was committed against all Americans, and all Americans should demand action and accountability. Our founders envisioned the danger we face today and designed a system to meet it. Now it’s up to us to prove the wisdom of our Constitution, the resilience of our democracy and the strength of our nation.

This week, DDT said, “I’m the most transparent president in history” while he objects to all subpoenas about his taxes and financial affairs, vetting for security clearances, testimony for the Mueller investigation, and holds secret meetings.

George Conway, husband of top White House official Kellyanne Conway, said about Clinton’s op-ed: “I’m with her.” So am I.

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