Nel's New Day

August 4, 2022

Primaries – August  2, 2022 (Part 2), August 4, 2022

News continues to come in from Arizona, Kansas, and Michigan primaries, but they haven’t brought many surprises.

Arizona (Updates):

Kari Lake, endorsed by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), has been declared the GOP winner for gubernatorial candidate in November by fewer than 20,000 votes out of 719,928 votes from 88 percent of them recorded. Much farther right than the candidate endorsed by former VP Mike Pence, Lake’s competition is Secretary of State Katie Hobbs who won the Democratic candidacy by over 72 percent.

Joe Arpaio, notorious for being the anti-immigrant sheriff of Maricopa County who abused prisoners, is still running for office at the age of 90. This time around he lost the position of mayor of Fountain Hills, population 25,000, to Ginny Dickey by about 300 votes. In 2017, Arpaio was convicted of failing to stop profiling Latinx in traffic stops and cost taxpayers over $200 million for legal bills. DDT pardoned Arpaio two months later.

Two days after the primary election, Pinal County’s elections director, David Frisk, is “no longer employed” by the county because of serious ballot unavailability during the election, primarily GOP ones. South of Phoenix, the county has 425,000 population, some of them in the cities of Casa Grande and Florence.

Missouri:

Cori Bush, a Democrat who won her first primary election two years ago with 48.5 percent, not even three percent over incumbent William Lacy Clay. This year, she took 70 percent of the primary votes although her opposition, Steve Roberts, attacked her on both her voting record and not enough legislating.  

Someone in the state Office of Administration building scrubbed Roberts’ Wikipedia page of sexual assault accusations by at least two women. He filed a civil suit against one of the women but then dropped the case. Identified only by an IP address, one user made four edits on February 7, 2022, and the woman died 33 days later at the age of 37. The edits also eliminated Roberts’ firing from the circuit attorney’s office and background information on Roberts’ family history. On February 28, another account with no IP address, MOfacts, deleted the same sections. The same source added favorable information earlier on February 14. Roberts’ sexual misconduct allegations are back in the Wikipedia piece with additional information about the attempt to remove them. He also tried to shift redistrict maps to move Bush’s voters outside the boundary.

Washington:

Jamie Herrera Buetler and Dan Newhouse are two of the ten GOP representatives voting for DDT’s impeachment who are moving to the general election. The reason might be the “jungle primary” in Washington in the open primary—anyone can vote and the top two go to the November election. A third representative, David Valado, made the cut in California with the same style of election. Of the others, Peter Meijer (MI) and Tom (SC) lost and four others—Anthony Gonzales (OH), John Katko (NY), Adam Kinzinger (IL), and Fred Upton (MI)—opted not to run again. Liz Cheney (WY) trails her opponent for the August 16 primary; Wyoming permits voters from any party to change to another party on Election Day. In the Senate, Lisa Murkowski, the only Republican voting against DDT up for election in 2022,ss also faces an open-primary and ranked-choice voting system on August 16.

In Washington’s 4th Congressional District, Loren Culp came in third to Dan Newhouse and Doug White with only 21 percent. In 2020, Culp lost the gubernatorial election, receiving only 13.5 percent, but refused to concede the race. He withdrew his lawsuit only after his lawyer was threatened with sanctions for a frivolous case. Among Culp’s fringe beliefs was calling for the lynching of a Black man after an attack at a light rail station. He opposes vaccinations and instead told people to pay a Florida telehealth clinic for mailing them treatments including ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.  

Tennessee:

DDT lost one of his endorsements in April when Morgan Ortagus was removed from the 5th Congressional District. Republicans said she did not meet the requirements to be “actively involved” in the party during a three-year residency in the district. The state GOP also removed two others from the ballot in the same district. Ortagus argued that she met the party bylaws—voting in enough recent GOP primaries, participating in GOP women’s groups, and contributing to the state party. She said she talked with members of the State Executive committee “about my core conservative beliefs, my background serving in the Trump Administration and the U.S. Navy Reserves, and my conservative vision for our state and our country.” Critics were upset that Ortagus had supported Jeb Bush in the 2016 primaries and liberal SCOTUS Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg officiated at her wedding.

Andy Ogles won the GOP primary for the 5th district after a bruising campaign, State Sen. Frank Niceley campaigned for Beth Harwell, who came in second, saying that only Jewish members of Trump’s family cared about Ortagus’ candidacy because of her Jewish faith. Ortagus said Niceley “should be ashamed of his repeated anti-Semitic rhetoric,” adding she is “incredibly proud to call myself a part of the Jewish people.”

Odessa Kelly, a long shot, won the Democratic candidacy in the 7th Congressional District. She hopes to be the first openly lesbian Black member of Congress. Two other women, Aisha Mills (FL) and Queen Johnson (NY) hope for the same designation. Voting rights advocates called Kelly’s district the most gerrymandered one in the nation.

Catchup from other states:

DDT has set a trend among fringe candidates to refuse election losses no longer how large. Indicted county clerk Tina Peters, who lost Colorado’s primary for secretary of state by 14 points, is spending over $250,000 in donations for a recount because of “cheating.” Nevada’s gubernatorial candidate Joey Gilbert paid for a recount after losing by 11 points to DDT-endorsed Joe Lombardo. Georgia gubernatorial candidate Kandiss Taylor, receiving only 3.4 percent of the vote, claimed the election was “rigged,” and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell promised a “big investigation” on her behalf. GOP nominee for a January House special election Jason Mariner filed a lawsuit in election fraud after losing by almost 60 points.

And Michael Peroutka—a Christian nationalist and former board member of the neo-Confederate, secessionist League of the South whose extreme views are almost too numerous to enumerate—won the GOP’s nomination for attorney general in Maryland. In 2006, he hosted a five-part series of radio shows, “The American View,” in which he claimed 9/11 was an inside job carried out by an “elite bureaucrat” using pre-set demolition charges inside the buildings. A 2017 report found that the World Trade Center Building 7 collapsed from fire. Peroutka thought a missile looking “like a plane hit the Pentagon.” In 2004, he said he was “still angry” that Maryland was barred from seceding from the United States to join the Confederacy.

The consultant for Pennsylvania’s GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano declared the U.S. is a “Christian nation, Christians are “taking back” the country from Jewish people, and “Christian nationalists” currently congressional members will be joined with elected officials. Mastriano cross the police barricades at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. The consultant is CEO of Gab, which Bloomberg News called “an online haven for white supremacists.”

In Ohio, J.D. Vance, GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, is getting attention from conservatives—for being MIA. Before he disappeared, he told his audience at a Christian high school that couples should stay in bad marriages for the children even if they are violent. His complaint about the ease of divorce is wrong: the rates are at a 50-year low. Yet 70 women in the U.S. are fatally shot every month by intimate partners, and 1 million women living today were shot at by intimate partners, sometimes struck with gun shots. Vance also buys into the “replacement theory,” saying Democrats are “bringing in a large number of new voters to replace those that are already here.”  Conservative gay billionaire Peter Thiel put $15 million thus far into getting Vance elected. 

Mehmet “Dr.” Oz, running for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, is another MIA. Comfortable with his opponent, John Fetterman, having had a stroke, Oz spent a good deal in time in Palm Beach with his first post-primary event on June 10 after winning on May 17. At the end of June, Oz left for Europe, specifically Ireland, for a couple of weeks. The man is also rumored to still be living in New Jersey. In late July Fetterman was ahead of Oz by 46 to 37 percent; a week later Fetterman went up to 14 points ahead, 52 percent of likely voters to 38 percent. DDT is complaining about Oz to Sean Hannity who persuaded him to endorse the TV doctor.

The most infamous candidate Herschel Walker, running for U.S. senators from Georgia, was DDT’s first endorsement. He deserves an entire blog post by himself.

Next Tuesday primaries, Connecticut and Minnesota.

June 17, 2022

Ginni Thomas Corrupts the Supreme Court, the U.S.

The Supreme Court may be at its lowest ebb during modern times with a massive leak of the anti-abortion draft, a California man at Brett Kavanaugh’s house armed with a gun and knife, and protests outside other justices’ homes. Justice Clarence Thomas has decried the situation, blaming the “left,” but his own conflicts of interest, especially those exascerbated by his wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, may be the biggest problem of the current court. A poll shows that 61 percent of the respondents want Congress to open an investigation into Clarence Thomas’ refusal to recuse himself, following Ginni Thomas’ increasing activism to overturn the 2020 presidential election

Events about Thomas, a major figure orchestrating insurrection events, have been increasingly revealed within the past several weeks. Before the third House January 6 investigative hearing, the one focusing on Mike Pence’s refusal to overturn the 2020 presidential election despite the false theory from John Eastman that it was his prerogative, more coup information about Eastman came out in connection to Ginni Thomas:

  • Eastman’s private December 24, 2020 email stated he knew about an internal “heated fight” at the Supreme Court about hearing arguments on DDT’s overturn attempts.
  • Eastman directly corresponded with Ginni Thomas while they coordinated to keep DDT in the White House after he lost the 2020 election.
  • The House investigative committee, according to its chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS), will ask Ginni Thomas to testify before of this information.

Eastman had clerked for Clarence Thomas in 1996 and 1997, and Thomas has strong ties with the Claremont Institute, where Eastman works, having spoken there and regularly quoting the conservative founder. In an 8-1 decision against blocking the release of White House records connected to the January 6 insurrection, Thomas was the one vote to support DDT by opposing the request.

Ginni’s Timeline:   

During 2022, more and more information has come out about Ginni Thomas’ pressure on everyone to overturn the election:

January 2022: Jane Mayer’s seminal essay in The New Yorker established Thomas’ background and her work to politically swing Supreme Court decisions. Thomas’ connection with the Oath Keepers who helped organize the violence at the January 6, 2021 insurrection includes speaking at one of their events.

February 2022: A lengthy piece from the New York Times describes how Thomas worked to bring together the organizing factions behind the January 6 rally and Charles Pierce’s response to Jane Mayer’s essay. Thomas led the C.N.P. Action coalition of leaders from such groups as the Federalist Society, the National Rifle Association and the Family Research Council in “action steps” to pressure state officials in Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania to overturn the people’s votes. Clarence Thomas’ former clerks also tried to overturn the election.

March 2022:  Twenty-nine newly-revealed texts between Thomas and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows before the insurrection communicate her conspiracy theories and urge him and others in DDT’s inner circle to overturn the election.  

May 2022: Communication between Thomas and two Arizona GOP state legislators showed her argument to ignore the voters’ decision to choose Biden for president and appoint their own “clean slate” of electors for DDT.

June 2022: It was discovered that Thomas actually lobbied 27 more Arizona legislators for a total of 29 to set aside the 2020 popular vote and “choose” presidential electors for DDT. That total is more than half the state GOP lawmakers in Arizona. She told them that the responsibility to choose electors was “yours and yours alone” and wrote in her email to them:  

“The nation’s eyes are on you now. Please consider what will happen to the nation we all love if you do not stand up and lead.”

A month later she sent other similar emails to 23 of the Arizona GOP legislators. Her earlier influence with DDT included regular meetings with him and gave him lists of people to hire and fire. Thomas’ email correspondence with Eastman details the plan for overturning the 2020 election, more extensive efforts than previously known. She had also sent a text on election night to Meadows stating, “Do not concede. It takes time for the army who is gathering for his back [sic].”

On January 6, 2021, Thomas also attended the “Stop the Steal” rally and was seen at the Willard Hotel, location of the “command center” where Rudy Giuliani led the group to overthrow the election. She is a friend of the chief of staff for Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who sued to force Pence to keep DDT in the White House. The chief of staff also belongs to the private “Thomas Clerk World” email listserv, past and present Clarence Thomas law clerks who support QAnon and who Thomas persuaded to join her overturning scheme. Next year, the House will be safe from Gohmert: he gave up his seat to fail a run for Texas attorney general. He now pushes for “justice” for those attacking the U.S. Capitol on January and accuses of the government in lying about these cases.

Ginni Thomas has long been intimately involved with several conservative groups with connections to the Supreme Court. In 2000, Thomas, then a staffer at the conservative Heritage Foundation, screened resumes for Bush administration employees while the court had yet to rule on the legality of the Florida recount. Her husband, Clarence, was one of the five justices who put a stop to the recount in Florida, later shown to have a majority for Democratic candidate Al Gore who would have been president with the electoral votes from Florida.

More recently, Ginni Thomas was on the advisory board of the conservative group Turning Point USA, which transported busloads of insurrectionists to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. Clarence Thomas was the only dissenter to the case which required DDT to allow the House investigative committee to receive White House documents. It was one of ten election-related cases that Thomas helped decide. In addition, Ginni Thomas openly complained that the U.S. is in danger of falling into the hands of “transsexual fascists.”

Stephen Gillers, an NYU law professor and a judicial ethicist, said:

“I think Ginni Thomas is behaving horribly, and she’s hurt the Supreme Court and the administration of justice. It’s reprehensible. If you could take a secret poll of the other eight justices, I have no doubt that they are appalled by Virginia Thomas’ behavior. But what can they do?”

Clarence Thomas has allied himself with conservatives in his speeches and rejects the “left” in his “we” and “they” terminology. In his talks, he also defends Senate Republicans for refusing President Obama his right to appoint Merrick Garland ten months before the end of his term with no excuse for a GOP Senate who put Amy Coney Barrett on the high court in under two weeks before DDT lost his election.  

Earlier, Republicans tried to push the narrative that she had no influence over her husband, Clarence Thomas, who is the longest-sitting justice on the U.S. Supreme Court—and one of the most controversial for his possible unethical behavior in that position. In March, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) denied that Ginni would have any influence over her husband’s decisions and condemned Democrats for their demands that Clarence Thomas recuse himself from cases in which she is involved. A question might be if he sticks to his insistence that people are making “spurious accusations about fake ethical problems or partiality.”

After the latest revelation about Ginni Thomas, that she was working with a major figure in DDT’s attempt to overturn the election, Democrats are calling for her husband to resign from the Supreme Court, at the very least recuse himself from election-related cases. Approval of the high court is 36 percent, the lowest it’s been since the Supreme Court put George W. Bush into the White House in a 2000 decision and lower than President Joe Biden’s 39 percent approval rating at this time.  

A MoveOn.org petition to impeach Clarence Thomas has reached almost 238,000 signatures with impetus since the Wednesday hearing revealed emails between Ginni Thomas and John Eastman.

The argument has always been that the president is not above the law. That might be true, but Supreme Court justices, with no ethics guidelines and no oversight, will probably never be brought to justice.

April 16, 2022

Dying Democracy, Updates

Updates for posts on April 13, 2022; April 11, 2022:  

After blocking trade at the southern border for over a week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott completely caved, saying that Mexico promises to improve border security. His followers would probably claim the decision didn’t have anything to do with multi-mile backlogs, losses in millions of dollars, and business owners’ anger—or the face that he apparently found neither drugs nor migrants.

Elon Musk decided that buying Twitter would be easier than building a social media platform and offered shareholders $8 for each share over its selling price. Fighting back, Twitter fought the $43 billion hostile takeover bid with a “poison pill,” giving shareholders the chance to buy more Twitter shares at a discount, diluting the stake of the person behind the takeover.

The impeachment trial for South Dakota’s AG Jason Ravnsborg has been scheduled for June 21-22, and the Senate leader has named the lead prosecutor. The first state official to be impeached, he must take a leave until the outcome of the trial. The two articles of impeachment are for crimes leading to the death of Joe Boever and malfeasance in office. One Republicans voting in favor of impeachment did so after reading Ravnsborg’s letter begging the state House members to exonerate him.

Democracy:

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said about the U.S., “we’re not a democracy,” and he’s working hard to make it a reality. People who go to the polls to elect a president think that the majority vote in a state will select the electoral votes, but he texted Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff for over two months after the election of President Joe Biden, that “there could be a path” to put Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) back into the White House “if a very small handful of states were to have their legislatures appoint alternative slates of delegates.” In other words, Lee wanted to overturn the popular vote with a legislative decision. Meadows responded that he was “working on that.”

A month before the 2020 election, Lee tweeted: “Power is not found in mere majorities, but in carefully balanced power.” Despite the U.S. being a republic, voters select their leaders by voting for them. Lee wants to overturn that right and call it “constitutional.” His position of “we’re not a democracy” means that victories for a Democratic president don’t count.

Texts to Meadows demonstrate Lee’s lack of fealty to the constitution and the United States. On November 20, 2020, Lee wrote Meadows:

“Please give me something to work with. I just need to know what I should be saying.”

And two days later:

“Please tell me what I should be saying.”

He explained why the states had to do the heavy lifting in overturning Biden’s election. He repeatedly wrote that the Senate needed state legislatures to toss legitimate electoral votes:

“We simply have no authority to reject a state’s certified electoral votes in the absence of a (sic) dueling slates.”

Lee also tried to involve Sidney Powell, called “the Kracken,” in the plot. These are three of Lee’s texts to Meadows:

“Sydney [sic] Powell is saying that she needs to get in to see the president, but she’s being kept away from him. Apparently she has a strategy to keep things alive and put several states back in play. Can you help her get in?”

“It was at the president’s request that Sydney has been working on a strategy and has been trying to get in to see him. But she’s being kept out.”

“[Powell email address][Powell phone number] Sidney Powell”

Texas legal regulators are asking a judge to discipline Powell for her frivolous lawsuits supporting DDT’s lies about election fraud. A Michigan judge has already said her lawsuit “was never about fraud. It was about undermining the people’s faith in our democracy and debasing the judicial process to do so.”

Two days after the texts to Meadows promoting Powell, the anti-democracy Lee told Meadows that the Conservative Partnership Institute featured Powell at a steering committee for the purpose of “socializing with Republican Senators” to pursue the coup. Later Lee pushed John Eastman who had “some really interesting research” to overturn the election.

On November 23, Lee called for an “audit” of ballots in four battleground states (PA, WI, GA, and MI) that DDT lost. Coincidentally those were the only states where Lee felt “something is not right.”

On December 8, less than a week before the Electoral College deadline to confirm Biden’s win, Lee came up with another idea: tell GOP legislators in a few states voting for Biden to ignore the popular vote and send DDT’s electors to the meeting for confirmation. That was his “path” to putting DDT in the White House. DDT fake electors in the state met and then tried to claim they were the real thing instead of those selected in the popular vote. Lee didn’t give up on his plan even after the Electoral College voted.

On January 3, 2021, Lee texted Meadows:

“I don’t think the president is grasping the distinction between what we can do and what he would like us to do. Nor do I think he’s grasping the distinction between what certain members are saying that sound like they could help him, but would really hurt him.”

Lee didn’t go far enough for DDT. The next day on January 4, 2021, DDT said he was “a little angry” at Lee for not endorsing DDT’s far-out positions. Lee’s feelings were hurt, and he complained to Meadows:

“To have him take a shot at me like that in such a public setting without even asking me about it is pretty discouraging. I don’t think the president is grasping the distinction between what we can do and what he would like us to do. Nor do I think he’s grasping the distinction between what certain members are saying that sound like they could help him, but would really hurt him.”

Although Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) didn’t stay the distance, he advised on the conspiracy theory for weeks, calling for “ammo … fraud examples” and even offering to fly to Georgia to help overturn their election. On November 22, he was searching or the cover of respectability, pushing John Eastman and his ideas. Roy texted Meadows on November 22:

“Frigging Rudy needs to hush…”

More emails from November 9, 2020, two days after the networks called the election for Biden, onward.  

Lee is up for re-election in 2022 and received DDT’s endorsement. With three opponents in the primary on June 28, 2022, Lee might be asking Meadows for more advice about what to say. 

Despite a defense that DDT told him to storm the Capitol on January 6, Dustin Thompson was found guilty by a jury on all six counts in the January 6 attack, one of them felony obstruction of Congress. Judge Reggie Walton, initially put on the bench by Ronald Reagan and named to a circuit court by George W. Bush, said:

 “I think our democracy is in trouble, because unfortunately we have charlatans like our former president, who doesn’t, in my view, really care about democracy but only about power.”

War is a time when fighting for democracy is most important, according to a new study. Russian President Vladimir Putin has struggled with his invasion into Ukraine because, as an autocrat, he fails to communicate. People around Putin are terrified; therefore, he cannot get accurate information to make good decisions. Democracies tend to relate better with other democracies: that’s the reason that the U.S. developed problems with other countries when DDT moved toward a dictatorship. Ukraine’s growing democracy led the country find help from surrounding democracies in fighting an autocracy. Support for Ukraine helped it both in obtaining weapons and other assistance to fight the invader and economically isolating Russia.

The GOP conspiracy to overturn the election may be a dry run for 2024. Either a Republican wins the presidency with electoral votes from the popular vote, or state legislatures will be persuaded to declare their own GOP electors even if the popular vote goes Democratic. Republican-controlled legislatures in at least 14 states have already started the process by taking all power away from the secretaries of state. At least five of those states—Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—voted for Biden in 2020. 

If all else fails, Republicans will send violent people to attack the Capitol during the counting of votes on January 6, 2025. With practice from 2021, they could be successful.  

In the United States, democracy is dying at the ballot box because of gerrymandered Republicans in legislative control throughout purple and blue states. As the judge said, “Our democracy is in trouble.”

February 14, 2021

Biden’s Work Leads to Popularity

Republicans are still wreaking havoc from Saturday’s acquittal of Deposed Dictator Trump (DDT): instead of declaring any victory, they are damning the seven GOP senators who voted to convict DDT for inciting violence in his unrelenting attempt to overturn the election—and democracy. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) explained best the reason for votes for conviction—“he is guilty.” His op-ed in the Baton Rouge newspaper covers the facts that DDT’s cult followers refuse to recognize.

For those who question the Democrats’ wisdom in not calling witnesses after the Senate voted in favor it, another reason has emerged. Republican senators threatened to filibuster every Biden nominee, every piece of legislation, in short everything Democrats brought to the Senate. Attempting to get 60 votes for everything with only 50 Democrats in the Senate was not worth the risk. As Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), lead prosecutor for the trial, said:  

‘We could have had 500 witnesses and it would have not have overcome the kinds of arguments being made by Mitch McConnell and other Republicans who were hanging their hats on the claim that it was somehow unconstitutional.”

DDT issued a statement about his victory and insinuated he could return in some fashion. President Joe Biden set the tone for the future of the United States. He stated the impeachment trial showed the charge against DDT is not in dispute and quoted House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who voted to acquit but still believes DDT is guilty of a “disgraceful dereliction of duty” and “practically and morally responsible for provoking” violence at the U.S. Capitol, directly killing five people:  

“This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile. That it must always be defended. That we must be ever vigilant … Each of us has a duty and responsibility as Americans, and especially as leaders, to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.”

Contrasting DDT’s life in the White House with family events of the Bidens, this video shows a casual-looking Biden couple wandering the White House lawn with their two dogs looking at the Valentines that Dr. Biden had arranged to honor the day.

Conservative pundits accused Biden of avoiding the impeachment trial by working, ignoring his busy schedule which was so different from DDT’s obsession with watching television and being admired. These are a few of his accomplishments in the past week while the media focused on impeachment.

Biden reinstated the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, greatly changed and unstaffed during the previous administration. Melissa Rodgers, First Amendment lawyer and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, will head up the agency with goals including help for disadvantaged communities, advancement of global humanitarian work, and protection for “church-state separation and freedom for people of all faiths and none.”

Before the impeachment trial, nominees for secretaries of the Education Department and the Labor Department were passed out of committee with the customary few naysayers.

Biden will rescind the ability of states to mandate work requirements for Medicaid coverage. Because of DDT’s request for these rules, some states require residents work for 20 or more hours a week in jobs, job search, community service, or taking classes. Judges have already struck down some of these requirements.

Protections under the Fair Housing Act now cover LGBTQ people, allowing the government to investigate discrimination complaints based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This executive order follows an earlier one prohibiting the same discrimination in employment. Last summer, then HUD Secretary Ben Carson stripped protections for transgender people to go to federally funded homeless shelters, a policy set to go into effect in two months until Biden reversed it.

Biden said his climate-change executive order combined with “Buy American” would help create one million new jobs in the automobile industry.

The 9th Circuit Court revoked an earlier general permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ authorizing most of commercial shellfish aquaculture in Washington’s Puget Sound seriously harming the environment.  

The government has finalized deals for another 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by summer, half from Pfizer and half from Moderna, bringing the total to 300 million. 

Biden told Congress he terminated DDT’s national emergency order diverting billions of military appropriations DDT used to build part of the southern wall. DDT issued the order because Congress refused to allocate the money. Part of Biden’s direction was to divert no more taxpayer dollars to construct a border wall and review “all resources appropriated or redirected to that end.”

The president also plans to ask Congress to eliminate $40 billion in taxpayer subsidies for the oil industry. Last year, progressive lawmakers in both chambers introduced legislation to end federal subsidies and loopholes.  

Biden has “indefinitely” shelved DDT’s deal for Oracle and Walmart buying much of the Chinese-owned video app TikTok. DDT had claimed “national security” but was really upset because the young people on the app had first ordered unused tickets for his Tulsa (OK) rally and then advertised the Georgia senatorial runoff election for younger voters in favor of the Democrats.

The DOJ notified the Supreme Court it does not regard the Affordable Care Act to be unconstitutional and considers it legal as the high court considers a challenge to the law by Texas and other GOP states. California and other Democratic states are defending the law. Although the Supreme Court earlier upheld the individual mandate in the law, some justices have been replaced by DDT’s appointments.

After the February 1 military coup in Myanmar, aka Burma, Biden announced sanctions on the leaders who deposed and detained its elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and others until it relinquishes power and releases prisoners. Biden will also freeze U.S. assets of up to $1 billion benefiting the Burmese government. Like the attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, the coup was intended to destroy the nation’s democracy.

While the House works on the stimulus bill, Biden is working on a $2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package to create jobs and rebuild transportation networks, both growing the economy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In an opening meeting, four members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, two from each party, joined both Biden and VP Kamala Harris in the White House. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg participated by video while he is quarantining after exposure to COVID-19. They agreed new infrastructure must be built in both urban and rural areas. More meetings with congressional members are planned. Biden pointed out China is advancing high-speed-rail projects. Sen. Shelley Capito (R-WV) called the meeting productive. Biden has said he doesn’t support increasing the gas tax, but it has had no changes for 24 years while inflation and better gas mileage has taken its purchasing power. The current federal surface transportation expires in Fall 2021.

With Ron Bloom the new chair of the postal service board, the leadership has changed although the former RNC chair, Mike Duncan, remains as a Governor. Bloom plans to “revitalize” the USPS and restore its functionality, badly needed since DDT’s choice of the Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was intended to destroy the agency before the election. Working on the automobile industry bailout over a decade ago, Bloom was a senior adviser to the Treasury Secretary. Getting rid of DeJoy may be difficult, especially because he wants to stay, because the conservative majority of the board hired DeJoy. Biden could fill the three openings on the board, but Congress would need to confirm them.

DeJoy apologized to the board for problems with delivery and promised to do better, but his vision for the future includes even deeper service cuts, more expensive postage and services, and lower delivery commitments. Already one-time delivery of non-first class mail last month dropped to 38 percent, half of the same month in the previous year. Without DeJoy, the USPS could come back, especially if Congress passes its legislation rescinding the law requiring the agency to pre-fund 75 years’ worth of retiree benefits—something no other government agency requires. This mandate is responsible for putting the USPS billions of dollars in debt giving DeJoy and the GOP leverage for their changes. Democrats have also been pushing an expansion into postal banking to both provide more revenue and give over 7 million unbanked Americans with options for checking and savings accounts, bill payments, small loans, and low-fee ATMs instead of usurious payday lenders and check-cashing businesses.

Since the election, the favorability of the GOP has seriously dropped, completely because of changes from Republicans. For the first time in eight years, the Democrats are more favorable than Republicans by double digits. In 25 states, the only ones making voter registration available, 140,000 registered voters have dropped the GOP in the first month after the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Only 20 percent of voters think the GOP idea about the stimulus bill being “too much” is right, whereas 79 percent believe the COVID-19 relief package is either “about right” or too small.

And many Republicans, such as state GOPs and several congressional members, continue to sabotage anything Biden does.

January 11, 2021

Backlash to Attempted Insurgency at Capitol

Since last week, the battleship of disaster may be reversing its direction as Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) looks more and more like a sinking ship. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who led the charge to overturn the election on January 6 even after the attempted coup, said, “The president’s language and rhetoric crossed the line, and it was reckless.” Of course, he would benefit in a run for the 2024 presidency if others voted to disqualify DDT. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who also wants to be in the 2024 running, excused rioters because they were “lied to by politicians.” Nothing Rubio said before the travesty tried to counter what he now calls lies, nor did he object to DDT’s incitement to violence on Twitter. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) claimed he had nothing to do with his campaign using the lies about Democrats “stealing the election” for fundraising but didn’t correct the team’s report that he “stands with President Trump.”

The federal government has failed to tell the public about the attempted coup. Washington, D.C.’s mayor Muriel Bowser gave a press conference on January 6, but the federal government stays dark—no official briefings from Capitol Police, DHS, the FBI, White House, etc. Although Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) initially asked if they were Iranians, perpetrators were DDT’s followers, not foreigners, called to violence by the man in the Oval Office after Republicans spent years pushing party members into believing Democrats should be removed from all power by any means.

In a video, Arnold Schwarzenegger, California’s former GOP governor, compared the event to Germany’s Kristallnacht, the night of broken windows and glass initiating the Nazis’ “Final Solution” to “exterminate” Jewish people.  He said:

“The mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol, they shattered the ideas we took for granted. They did not just break down the doors of the building that housed American democracy. They trampled the very principles on which our country was founded.” 

According to the 14th Amendment, anyone who “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States “or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” cannot serve in Congress. Last week, the biggest newspaper in Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) home state called for his expulsion; this week two large Texas newspapers, including one from his hometown, called for dropping Cruz from the Senate. Both editorials in the San Antonio Express-News and the Houston Chronicle want either his expulsion or resignation because of the part he played in fueling the insurrection at the Capitol with his lies about voter fraud.

Even in the siege’s lockdown, no one talked to Hawley, and Chad Sweet, Cruz’s friend and chair of his 2016 presidential campaign, said Cruz had abetted an “assault on our democracy.” Sen. Pat Toomey (PA) called both of them “complicit in the big lie.” About 7,000 law students and lawyers called for both Hawley and Cruz to be disbarred, especially after Hawley’s gesture of support to the crowd attempt to overturn the election.

The New York State Bar Association is investigating whether to revoke DDT’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s membership after his violent language before his followers stormed the Capitol. According to the association, the blame “lies first and foremost” with DDT, but he “did not act alone.” At the rally with DDT, Giuliani advocated for “trial by combat.” The group’s bylaws prevent any member “who advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States, or of any state, territory or possession thereof, or of any political subdivision therein, by force or other illegal means.” Elimination from membership leaves Giuliani able to practice law in his home state of New York unless the grievance committee of the Appellate Division of the state’s court system takes action.

Emily Rainey, head of Army PsyOps at Fort Bragg who led 100 conservatives to Washington, D.C. on January 6 to protest election fraud, had resigned last September but a resignation can take up to six months. She had twice torn down caution tape at a North Carolina playground closed by COVID-19 restrictions. In the military, her responsibility was to use information and misinformation to favorably shape the emotions, decision-making, and actions of foreign adversaries.

The search to identify seditionists at the Capitol on January 6 discovered off-duty members of at least five police departments and fire departments throughout the U.S., including in New York City and Florida, who used their badges to enter the Capitol for the attempted insurgency. Some came from as far away as Seattle.

At least 12 Capitol police officers, perhaps as many as 17 at this time, are suspended or being investigated for their cooperation with the insurgents—taking selfies with them, wearing a MAGA hat, showing them around the building, letting them into the building, etc. Capitol Police officers were reportedly sent home early on January 6 just before the mob onslaught and not recalled to help stop the attack.

Chad Wolf, illegally performing as acting DHS Secretary, has resigned, blaming “ongoing litigation.” His announcement makes the third Cabinet member to leave after the attempted coup. Two days ago, Secretary Chad Wolf called for DDT to condemn the violence at the Capitol, describing the actions of DDT supporters “tragic and sickening.” DDT immediately withdrew Wolf’s nomination to lead the Homeland Security Department. Wolf said he would stay until Biden’s inauguration for an “orderly transition.”

At least 150 large firms—Blue Cross, Marriott, Morgan Stanley, Dow, AT&T, BP, ConocoPhillips, etc.—will not be donating to campaigns for any congressional members voting to overturn the U.S. election.  Others such as Microsoft, Citibank, and Facebook took the easy way out by blocking political donations to members of all parties. Hallmark Cards even asked Hawley and another dissident, Sen. Roger Marshall, (R-KS) to return their contributions. Stripe also stopped processing DDT’s online campaign donations, refusing business with “high risk” businesses including those that “engages in, encourages, promotes or celebrates unlawful violence or physical harm to persons or property.”

The CEO of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) resigned because his group made robocalls telling people to come to the Capitol on January 6. Dark money behind RAGA helped organize the attack on the Capitol. Its so-called nonprofit Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF) was listed as “participating in the March to Save America” along with Stop the Steal, Turning Point Action, Tea Party Patriots, and others. Donors to RAGA include the Koch industries, Walmart, Home Depot, Chevron, the NRA, Monsanto, Exxon, and Fox.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said there are no procedures to bring impeachment to his chamber until after Joe Biden’s inauguration when the Senate reconvenes. In 2004, however, the Senate gave the majority and minority leaders the power to bring back the Senate in a time of emergency if the two leaders agree. Soon-to-be Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is willing so McConnell will be making the decision.

Created by the Mercers who donated big to DDT’s first campaign, Parler, the major communication source of seditionists, may have disappeared, but someone downloaded about 90 percent of its contents—messages videos, users’ location data, even deleted material—passed along during the Capitol siege.  How the hackers succeeded.

According to Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein, DDT is like Jefferson Davis, the secessionist president of the Confederacy, because DDT “has taken his movement and himself out of the equation of the legitimate governance of the United States of America.” Bernstein added DDT “seceded himself and his movement from who we are as a country. That’s what the meaning of that attack is.” He said DDT’s followers are “in another country … apart from the rest of the United States.”

After five days, at least one conservative media site removed an op-ed denying the sacking of the Capitol. An op-ed on RedState website originally accused the attempted insurrection as exaggeration and distortion with the headline “Enough! There Was No Riot, Insurrection or ‘Storming!'” Retired infantry officer Mike Ford called the insurgents “concerned Americans.” RedState only commented the retracted op-ed had some material that was “incorrect or inappropriate.”

Atlanta-based Cumulus Media and its syndicate Westwood One is blocking conspiracy theories about election fraud on AM talk radio. Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro and Dan Bongino are among many far-right radio hosts affected by the ban, but Rush Limbaugh is still safe on Premiere networks.

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots coach, has refused the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. With the past week, DDT has given the award to three golfers and two dissident congressional members.

My favorite hero story of January 6: While Capitol Police officers opened the gates to let the insurrectionists enter, one Black officer, Eugene Goodman, used himself as bait to lure the white rioters away from the Senate chamber after they chased him up the stairs. Without him, congressional members could have been killed or at least badly wounded. [visual – Eugene Goodman]

DDT is less upset about his impending second impeachment than PGA’s termination of the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey. According to the statement, it would be “detrimental” to its “brand.” Expect DDT to sue them. And maybe rage about it tomorrow during his visit to southern Texas tomorrow. Nine more days until the inauguration!

January 17, 2020

DDT: Week 156 – ‘Trump Knew … What Was Going On’

Another busy, frustrating week for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), that Kerry Eleveld called a “five-alarm fire” for the White House.

  1. The Government Accountability Office reported that DDT’s administration broke the law freezing congressionally-allocated funding for Ukraine.
  2. Rachel Maddow’s interview with Lev Parnas, associate of DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, revealed the unethical and possibly illegal machinations of DDT, his administrations, and his shadow associates in Ukraine.
  3. Ukraine started a criminal investigation into DDT’s allies.
  4. Seven House “managers” took two articles of impeachment to the Senate for a trial.
  5. GOP senators who vociferously claimed to exonerate DDT swore under oath to “do impartial justice.” Many of the 22 GOP senators up for re-election this year, including appointed Martha McSally from Arizona, search for exists from their dilemma such as lying, avoid facts, and smearing the media.

1. On the same morning that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts swore in all the senators for DDT’s impeachment trial—senators who may have lied under oath when they swore they would “do impartial justice,”—the non-partisan federal GAO ruled that DDT violated the law in withholding aid designated for Ukraine. The Impoundment Control Act mandates that the Executive Branch cannot make funding changes without asking Congress to reconsider its allocations. Congressional members weren’t even notified of DDT’s decision.

The OMB claimed the freeze was “to determine the best use of such funds” and “necessary to ensure that the funds were not spent ‘in a manner that could conflict with the president’s foreign policy.'” The GAO called that reasoning “impermissible” because the president cannot “substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law.” The OMB’s claim of the hold being a “programmatic delay” has “no basis in law,” according to the GAO decision.

2. MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow show devoted almost two hours to Maddow’s interview with Parnas as he explained how DDT, Giuliani, and AG Bill Barr directed the extortion of Ukraine’s new president Volodymyr Zelensky to force him into an announcement of an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter for DDT’s political benefit. Parnas has enough texts, documents, and notes to make many of his statements ring true, especially when members of the State Department, such as Gordon Sonderland, made the same testimony. Parnas said:

“President Trump knew exactly what was going on. He was aware of all of my movements. I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani [DDT’s personal secretary] or the president.”

Like DDT’s comments about other people who give damaging information about him, he kept declaring that he doesn’t know Parnas—nine times in two minutes. Multiple photographs of Parnas and DDT together have long been on the internet, and a video of them has also surfaced. Parnas’ phone records also have contacts with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), who played a key part in defending DDT on the House Intelligence Committee during the impeachment inquiry. A month ago, Nunes couldn’t “recall” Parnas’ name but regained his memory this week although he claimed they were “talking about random things.” [Newly-released documents show extensive contact between Parnas and a Nunes aide to obtain damaging material from Ukrainian prosecutors about Joe Biden.] Despite photographs to the contrary, DDT’s White House aide Kellyanne Conway suffers from the same amnesia as does House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). Parnas also gave information about VP Mike Pence’s involvement in the Ukrainian scheme, for example, when Pence went to Poland on DDT’s behalf to meet with Zelensky.

Knowing about Parnas’ actions, Barr refused to release Parnas’ documents for three months to the House for its impeachment inquiry. Parnas told Maddow that the DOJ would make corruption charges against Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash disappear if he would provide damaging information against Joe Biden and that Barr knew about the potential deal. Firtash gave Parnas $1 million, and Parnas retained Giuliani’s firm while working for Giuliani to give attorney-client confidentiality to DDT because Giuliani represented both him and Parnas. Barr ultimately did not intervene in Firtash’s case but met with his lawyers Victoria Toensing and Joseph diGenova. The DOJ refused to answer questions from Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) about why Firtash has not been extradited.

Parnas told Maddow that he is being open about the events to protect himself from Barr. He said:

“[Officials in the Justice Department are] trying to scare me into not talking. My wife is scared. My kids are nervous.”

After claiming that she was putting together a “small” group of senators to vote for witnesses in the impeachment trial, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) accused the House of doing “an incomplete job” by not addressing evidence from Parnas until after the impeachment articles were released. Information that Barr was suppressing. Since her vote for the tax cuts for the wealthy and Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, Collins, up for re-election this year, has gone from the most popular GOP senator at 82 percent to the least popular at 42 percent, even below that of the generally-hated Mitch McConnell. Collins walks a very fine line between pleasing DDT to get money from him for her campaign and getting votes from dissatisfied constituents.

3. According to texts from Robert Hyde on Parnas’ phone, the DDT donor was tracking former U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch last March.  A few of his statements:

“They know she’s a political puppet. They will let me know when she’s on the move… They are willing to help if you/we would like a price.”

“Guess you can do anything in Ukraine with money… what I was told.”

These statements fit with DDT’s comments to Zelensky in the July 25 telephone call about Yovanovitch:

“Well, she’s going to go through some things.”

Robert Hyde is a member of conspiracy-theory ridden QAnon, designated by the FBI as a possible domestic terrorism threat.

Yovanovitch’s anti-corruption work threatened pro-Russians working with Parnas, Giuliani, and others. The U.S. ambassador escaped Ukraine last spring after she was notified by a superior during an important ceremony to “get on the next plane to the U.S.” She immediately left the country. After this information became public, Pompeo cancelled a classified congressional briefing about embassy security, a mandatory monthly event.

Ukraine’s national police has asked the FBI for assistance in its new investigation regarding these illegal activities.  According to Ukrainian authorities, an ambassador possibly being “under illegal surveillance and her electronic gadgets … interfered [with] by the private persons at the request of the US citizen” can be a violation of both Ukrainian laws and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which protects diplomats on foreign soil.

4. The seven managers from the House to prosecute DDT in the impeachment trial in the Senate delivered two articles of impeachment. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi selected these prosecutors with an emphasis on litigators, comfortable in the courtroom. Six are lawyers; the seventh, Val Deming, served as the first female chief of the Orlando (FL) Police Department. Leaders are Committee Intelligence Chair Adam B. Schiff (D-CA) and Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). Pelosi also achieved diversity in her selection: three of the seven (Deming, Garcia, and California’s Zoe Lofgren) are women; Demings and Hakeem Jeffries (NY) are black; and Sylvia Garcia (TX) is Latina. Jason Crow (CO) and Garcia not only provide geographic diversity but also represent the freshmen House class.  

5. The GOP senators have presented two defenses for DDT: what he did wasn’t illegal and so what–known as the “what about it” response. 

DDT first wanted a big show for the trial but now wants the trial dismissed. GOP senators rejected the idea. McConnell first claimed he had enough votes to keep any witnesses or documents from the trial, but a few GOP senators consider joining Democrats to vote for a real trial with witnesses instead of a sham. McConnell plans keep the trial from media reporting and block the trial from being filmed although the House hearings were available for public viewing. He also wants to block media access to senators as they come and go from the chamber and deny access to reporters to and in the elevators.

The “imminent” trial is unhinging DDT. He kept a student audience waiting for an hour to hear about prayer so that he could watch senators sign their oath. After reporters’ questions, he whined and exaggerated his trade deals and furiously talked about the impeaching being a “hoax,” over and over again. Then he shouted in a tweet, “I JUST GOT IMPEACHED FOR MAKING A PERFECT PHONE CALL!” Following that, he begged retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to vote against witnesses in the trial. His meeting with aides also focused on impeachment. During his ceremony for national champion LSU football team, DDT devolved into swearing about an attempt to impeach him. (He’s already impeached.) Why is he so afraid if he’s done nothing wrong?

The Senate convenes for opening arguments in DDT’s impeachment trial at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.

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.

January 4, 2020

Bad Year’s End for DDT

Why did Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) attack Iran when Iraqis perpetrated the killing of the U.S. mercenary and the attacks against the U.S. embassy in Iraq? DDT was told he looked weak after he called off an airstrike following the unproved report that Iran had downed a U.S. surveillance drone. According to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), DDT killed Qassem Soleimani to look stronger than President Obama after lack of military action following the 2012 deaths of four people at the Benghazi diplomatic outpost. 

Nothing changed before DDT decided to kill Soleimani; the DOD had to make up excuses after the decision—just as they did with by freezing military aid to Ukraine. DDT’s major reason may be wooing evangelicals after Christianity Today called him “immoral.” All his actions this year will be based on his drive to be re-elected. As always, however, the main reason can be to distract from other negative news about him, such as these somewhat unreported bits from last week.

A whistleblower with access to documents from Deutsche Bank and Russia’s state-owned VTB bank claims that Russia underwrote DDT’s $2 billion loans from Deutsche Bank as well as being the proposed lender on DDT’s desired but uncompleted Trump Tower Moscow. The reason behind DDT’s huge loans from Deutsche Bank has been a mystery, especially because they occurred soon after his bankruptcy and high losses from several New Jersey casinos and his gigantic fine for money laundering in the resulting bankruptcies.

The documents supposedly came from a Deutsche Bank official who killed himself, one of two suicides connected to Deutsche Bank. In investigating Putin’s control over DDT, Congress should be able to obtain information. Judges at the district level and two ensuing appeals all ruled that Congress should receive the records, but the Supreme Court will hear arguments in March about whether Deutsche must comply with the congressional subpoena. SCOTUS usually doesn’t hear cases with no conflict at the lower level and ones between the two branches of government. 

DDT also had a chummy talk with Vladimir Putin last weekend when they talked about “mutual interests.” Russians have taken over the third U.S. base in northern Syria since DDT abandoned the area.

Making impeachment worse for DDT, a judge ordered the release of almost 300 pages of emails about DDT’s freezing the military aid to Ukraine.  “Clear direction from POTUS to continue to hold,” Michael Duffey, associate director of national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), told Elaine McCusker, the acting Pentagon comptroller in an Aug. 30 email, only available in redacted form until now. A news source has seen unredacted copies from June through October that show how defense and budget officials frantically tried to cover for DDT’s illegal hold. Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s senior adviser, Robert Blair, started the process on June 19 when he called acting head of OMB Russell Vought and told him, “We need to hold it up.” DDT rewarded Blair for not testifying about his part in the extortion of Ukraine by promoting him to a new position where Blair, with no experience, plays a prominent role in 5G work. After three months of blocking the funding release, After his order to freeze the funds, Duffey amazed McCusker by falsely blaming the Pentagon for not releasing the money. 

In late August, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo, and then national security adviser John Bolton failed to persuade DDT to release the aid. OMB’s lawyers worked on an argument permitting DDT to override the congressional law—that he had signed—to send the funding to Ukraine. Mark Sandy, who controlled the release of the money from the Office of Management and Budget, maintained that freezing the funds would violate the Impoundment Control Act protecting Congressional spending power, but Duffey told Sandy to say that the freeze was temporary. Orders to block the Pentagon spending were sent every few days for weeks.  

These revelations are even more awkward as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) leads some Republicans in a coverup by refusing to call any witnesses for the impeachment trial including Bolton, Mulvaney, Duffey, and Blair. 

Weeks ago, DDT wanted a big show for his impeachment trial in the Senate; now he suggests that it be called off before it starts. His tweet supported a plan from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) to move for a complete dismissal of the trial. This idea, showing the weakness of DDT’s position, follows his attempt to pick a lawyer for the trial. DDT was said to choose either personal lawyer Jay Sekulow or over White House counsel Alan Dershowitz Pat Cipollone because the former have more “television experience.” Dershowitz is fighting an Epstein-related rape allegation, which might make him DDT’s pick. DDT’s personal lawyer, also fighting an indictment, has volunteered for the job. Other TV hucksters who DDT wanted are the loudest screamers from the House, meaning Doug Collins (GA) and Jim Jordan (OH). Devin Nunes (CA) probably lacks the necessary volume and has been quieter after his connection with indicted Lev Parnas in the Ukrainian scheme has been made public. DDT doesn’t get to pick the House members at his trial. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is infuriating DDT with her delay, and his fury may land on Cipollone because he wants a fast quiet trial.

Parnas, an associate of DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, may provide more information for the impeachment after a U.S. district judge ruled he can share information with the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI had seized.

More trouble for both DDT and Giuliani comes from the public knowledge about Giuliani’s part in trying to depose Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in another part of Giuliani’s being assigned a leading part in foreign diplomacy with no official position. His communication with Maduro in late 2018 opposed the government’s policy to take up a harder line against the Venezuelan government and connected him with a client in the region, a wealthy energy executive investigated for money-laundering. Parnas is also connected to Giuliani’s deal-making.

DDT bragged about how he could get North Korea to denuclearize, but his strategy not only failed but also overturned 30 year of U.S. strategy to contain NK’s nuclear program. Nineteen month after DDT ignored lower-level diplomatic talks, negotiations are gone, and Kim Jong-Un is chortling about his “new strategic weapon,” possibly a long-range ballistic missile. Kim denies DDT’s claim that they will soon meet although DDT keeps talking about his “very good relationship” with NK’s leader. President Obama warned DDT that NK would be his most serious foreign policy challenge—before DDT’s massive blunders in the Middle East—but DDT raised NK to a major global stature. Lawmakers and analysts see the U.S. in a worse position with UK than two years ago: Kim develops his nuclear weapons while DDT stopped joint military exercises with South Korea and weakened international sanctions. Like everyone else dealing with DDT, Kim saw DDT as a patsy and played on his weaknesses.

DDT’s tariffs are failing despite all his bragging. He lies about tariffs’ generating government revenue and boosting U.S. manufacturers. Instead, manufacturing has shrunk for the fifth straight month, dropping to the lowest level in over a decade during the recession. At 47.2, December’s index is slightly above 46.3 in June 2009 and far below the expected 49. A federal study reports that “the 2018 tariffs are associated with relative reductions in manufacturing employment and relative increases in producer prices.” The economy also grew more slowly in 2019 than in 2018, and both years are below growth in 2015 when DDT declared his candidacy with complaints about the terrible economy. The year 2019 may also be the worst for job growth in the past decade. If DDT had not messed with the economy, it would have been in better shape.

Homelessness is increasing since DDT’s inauguration after shrinking while Barack Obama was president.  Last week, HUD reported a 2.7 percent increase, the third consecutive year the number spiked.

Polls supporting the impeachment of DDT indicate that people may be less entrenched in their views. Over half of those surveyed think that DDT should be removed from office, up from 42 percent immediately after the House voted for impeachment. Other results:

57 percent: DDT has committed an impeachable offense.

57 percent: The Senate should hear from new witnesses to learn about DDT’s conduct.

86 percent: Senators should be impartial jurors.

In an Economist/YouGov poll that was published this week, only 38 percent of respondents want DDT to run for president this year, and 51 percent wish he weren’t running. Only 33 percent have a positive view of the GOP, and only 40 percent said they would vote for DDT or for Republicans.

And the world opposes DDT’s assassination of Soleimani while people increasingly think it wasn’t a good idea.

December 21, 2019

DDT: Week 152 – Dems Busy beyond Impeachment with GOP Obstruction

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) used tweets on Friday to attack the conservative evangelical publication Christianity Today founded by Billy Graham because it advocated his impeachment. Adding to his 15,000+ lies in less than three years, he called the publication “a far left magazine, or very ‘progressive,’ … which has been doing poorly and … knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call….” He also tweeted, “I won’t be reading ET [sic] again!” Graham’s son Franklin Graham criticized CT’s position but said he had not read the editorial about impeaching DDT. Mark Galli, editor-in-chief of the piece, retired on January 3 after 30 years involved with the magazine. 

DDT continued to threatened $250 million funding for Ukraine by blocking a $1.4 trillion spending package funding the federal government through the end of September 2020 if it contained the provision that he must release funds for the U.S. ally within 45 days. Democrats gave in to his demands to keep the U.S. from a shutdown by withdrawing the deadline for the funding release. The bill also lost a mandate that letters authorizing the release of congressional funding must be made public. In the $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), DDT got his “space force,” and government employees got 12 weeks paid parental leave

The bills also raised the federal minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 and a 3.1% pay increase for the troops and civilian federal employees. DDT got $1.375 billion for his wall, partly repair and less than the $8 billion he wanted. Defense spending increased by $22 billion. Elimination of three taxes to pay for the Affordable Care Act adds $373 billion to the deficit over the next decade. Forty-seven Republicans, once the party of fiscal prudence, voted for the budget that leads to more deficits. The GOP tax 2017 tax law already reduced U.S. tax revenue which fell 2.5 percent of tax-to-GDP in 2018, the most of any country in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. 

Republicans managed to keep violent white supremacists in the military by blocking an amendment while non-violent transgender recruits are banned.

DDT’s signatures on the bills avoids a government shutdown days before the first anniversary of the last one, a rancorous event that lasted 35 days and cost the U.S. economy $11 billion.

With a vote of 385 to 41, the House passed another major bill this week, the trade deal with Mexico and Canada called NAFTA Lite. The bill looks very different from DDT’s original draft; even the AFL-CIO approves. Gone are the pharmaceutical protections for drug companies, and appearing are higher labor standards in Mexico, faster dispute resolution, higher environmental standards, and stronger enforcement of the deal. Mexico almost backed out with the requirement of five people from the U.S. to supervise its labor arrangements. While not perfect, the new trade agreement is considered better than the original NAFTA, passed 23 years ago.

These major accomplishments negate DDT’s and Republicans’ assertion that the impeachment inquiry kept the House from addressing any other issues. DDT called the opposing party “the Do-Nothing Democrats,” but “do-nothing” better fits Republicans. The House’s hard work is visualized in this photo of 275 House bills DOA (Dead on Arrival) in the Senate because (Do-Nothing) Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refuses to acknowledge them. 

Facebook removed over 600 accounts connected to the pro-DDT conspiracy website The Epoch Times for using artificial-intelligence identities to push fake stories about topics including impeachment and elections. The network, “The BL,” was operated by Vietnamese users pretending to be Americans and using fake photos created by algorithms to fake real identities. In pushing the pro-DDT conspiracy theories, The Epoch Media group spent $9.5 million on ads to spread content on the pages and groups that FB suspended. DDT’s official FB page posts their stories. A U.S.-based media company, The Epoch Media group, has now joined foreign governments to use foreign people posing as U.S. people to push pro-DDT content to its 55 million followers. Publisher of the U.S. editions of The Epoch Times, Stephen Gregory, claimed that it has no connection to BL because it’s part of Epoch Times Vietnam and that their former employees creating and working for BL doesn’t show any connection with its 89 pages, 156 groups, and 72 Instagram accounts.  The largest buyer of pro-Trump ads on Facebook until August, The Epoch Times was banned from buying FB ads after the company consistently violated FB’s political advertising rules.

One of the many lies in DDT’s Wednesday Michigan rally went viral, and Republicans, including DDT’s sycophant Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), demanded that DDT apologize. In response to Rep. Debbie Dingell’s (D-MI) vote for impeachment, DDT said that her husband, a World War II veteran and former member of Congress, had gone to Hell. DDT also falsely claimed that Rep. Dingell had called him after her husband’s service to praise DDT when he called her. Pelosi said that DDT “misunderstands … that cruelty is not wit.”

The Dingell attack is part of DDT’s five ruling hallmarks:

Governing as perpetual warfare: us against them to inflame base and create deep divisions.

Governing by exhaustion: a war losing participants from boredom.

Governing by grievance and hyperbole: victimhood and martyrdom from declaring the BIGGEST or BEST or WORST as shown by the comparison of his impeachment to the Salem witch trials and the crucifixion of Jesus.

Governing by defiance: no matter the evidence, DDT also claiming that he’s never wrong.

Governing with “alternative facts”: over 15,000 lies in less than three years along with stories with no identification of people or changing names of characters. (Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) supports this position by telling Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), “We’ve beat the facts back all the time.”)

In exhaustion, the fifth top official at the Pentagon resigned within the past week from these positions: international cooperation in weapons systems, Asia policy, personnel and readiness, advanced research, and intelligence. Acting chief-of-staff Mick Mulvaney is expected to depart following the impeachment trial after being ignored in personnel, policy, and impeachment decisions. Rumor suggests his replacement is founder of the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), who said he won’t run for re-election and may work for DDT, something that he’s done for the past three years.

More exhaustion at DDT’s Michigan rally appeared when his “four more years” chant died in fewer than ten seconds. At the rally, DDT also claimed, “The steel is back”: Two days later, US Steel laid off 1,545 workers in closing its Great Lakes Works mill near Detroit.  In October, 376 Louisiana steel workers lost their jobs when Bayou Steel shut down its mill in LaPlace.

Senate Republicans keeps allowing Russia to interfere in U.S. elections while DDT’s administration fights to protect Russia from sanctions, but Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who usually walks in lockstep with DDT, introduced legislation to punish Russian people and companies for its interference in the 2016 election and its targeting of Ukraine, Syria, and dissidents for attacks. Sanctions were partly because of Russia’s capture of Ukrainian sailors and ships. DDT’s State Department sent a 22-page letter to Graham in opposition to his bill. It passed out of the Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday with opposition from five of the 12 Republicans. McConnell can block the bill from going to the Senate floor.

After DDT met with Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, in the Oval Office during the impeachment inquiry, Vladimir Putin-approved state TV confirmed that DDT is a Russian agent in a segment called “Puppet Master and ‘Agent’—How to Understand Lavrov’s Meeting with Trump.” And DDT isn’t the “puppet master” as this photo, requested by DDT, shows in Lavrov standing as the power behind the throne. 

Russia does expect DDT to “face a very unhappy period” after he leaves the White House. A joke was whether Russians should “get another apartment in Rostov ready.” Former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych settled in Rostov-on-Don when he fled to Russia in 2014. Valery Korovin, director of the Center for Geopolitical Expertise, said, “There are no disagreements or contradictions between Trump and Russia.” Putin-supporter and law professor Mikhail Antonov said, “Putin has expressed undisguised delight with the crusade led by Trump and Giuliani to whitewash Moscow’s interference in the U.S. elections” and pin the blame on Ukraine.

Former White House officials say that DDT passes Russia propaganda such as the false theory about Ukrainian hacking supporting Clinton because Putin told him to do it.

A federal judge allowed the lawsuit against DDT and his administration alleging violation of federal records law after DDT confiscated and destroyed his meeting notes with Putin. No detailed records of DDT’s and Putin’s communication in their multiple meetings exist.

The White House is catching crazy from DDT’s conspiracy theories: reporter Brian Karem said it’s claiming that Hillary deliberately lost the election by getting help from Russian hacking so that DDT could be impeached. Although the logic sounds wacko, that is the culture of DDT’s administration. DDT also claimed that Democrats started trying to impeach him before he declared candidacy.

After DDT pardoned military war criminals, his approval rating with service members dropped—42 percent approval. Half of them gave DDT an unfavorable rating.

December 14, 2019

DDT: Week 151 – More Bullying Buffoonery

Last week, the media focused on the impeachment inquiry and the release of a DOJ report about the creation of the FBI investigation into the connection between Russia and the 2016 presidential campaign of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). Both DDT and his fixer AG Bill Barr contradicted, without evidence, the conclusion of the report from DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz that the FBI investigation did not show bias in starting the probe. Attorneys from the conservative Checks & Balances blasted Barr’s rejection of his own IG’s report, and another conservative attorney, referring to DDT as Barr’s “client,” said:

“The attorney general has returned to his playbook of distortion and obfuscation in a transparent effort to undermine the IG’s meticulous, fact-based conclusions.”

Barr blamed President Obama and the FBI, with no evidence, for trying to destroy U.S. democracy by spying on DDT’s associates. Ignoring the “lock her up” chants about Hillary Clinton, Barr said that people who want to send political rivals “to jail” are “poisoning the system.” He also ignored the anti-Hillary Clinton bias among FBI agents who sent anti-Clinton text messages and wanted to investigate DDT’s conspiracy theories about the Clinton Foundation. In 2018, Horowitz reported that former FBI Director James Comey reopened the probe into Clinton’s emails ten days before the election because he thought FBI agents might leak information. Anti-Clinton agents were not punished. Horowitz’s investigation of FBI leaks to DDT’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani is ongoing.

Regarding his misrepresentations of the facts, Barr blamed the “irresponsible” media’s fault for “fanning” what he called “a bogus narrative.” He sees his job to ensure “that [the law enforcement and intelligence apparatus] doesn’t play an improper role in our political life.” In his crusade outside his job’s purview, Barr focuses on public perception and press reporting instead of legality. Barr is running a media campaign about the FBI that “if you go ahead and investigate foreign interference in our election, William Barr may come after you,” according to former DOJ spokesman Matthew Miller on Joy Reid’s MSNBC AM Joy

When Horowitz testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) falsely claimed that the FBI had stopped Russia’s attacks against Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election just by telling the campaign about Russia’s actions. Horowitz testified that neither Barr nor John Durham, the U.S. AG for Connecticut who Barr assigned to run a parallel investigation with Horowitz, “changed our findings” about no bias on the part of the FBI despite the 17 errors or omissions. The FBI did not put spies in DDT’s campaign, according to Horowitz’s testimony. When the IG declared that Russians interfered in the 2016 campaign, even Graham agreed.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) asked that Barr be investigated for his following the bidding of the president. Horowitz said that he takes the issue seriously, but he’s legally prevented from looking at the misconduct of DOJ lawyers, including the attorney general. “The law has to change, senator,” Horowitz said.”

DDT also attacked his own appointee, FBI Director Christopher Wray, for saying that DDT’s criticism betrayed his “own bias.” Lying about the IG report, DDT claimed that it “totally exonerates” him of allegations of collusion with Russia or obstruction of justice. He called the FBI “scum” and threatened to “get involved” with the DOJ, a constitutional danger for the independent agency. During this week’s Pennsylvania rally, DDT also told his security to be rougher on a protester and slurring more than usual through his rants, according to a Vox reporter.  

In March, the Supreme Court will hear DDT’s appeal about hiding his tax returns and other financial affairs from the House and a New York prosecutor. The ruling is due by June. No lower court has ruled that DDT has the right to hide these documents from investigations.

The Supreme Court may be kept busy hearing all DDT’s appeals. A federal judge has ruled against DDT’s request to delay a lawsuit against AG Bill Barr and Commerce Wilbur Ross who defied congressional subpoenas in their handling of the failed citizenship question for the 2020 census.

Two other federal judges, one in El Paso and the other in Northern California, stopped DDT’s paying for his wall with $3.6 billion in military funds. The decision is based on a GOP-generated law blocking President Obama. The president cannot “eliminate or reduce funding for any program, project, or activity as proposed in the President’s budget request” unless approved by Congress. Later, GOP congressional members added “increase” to “eliminate or reduce.”

At the urging of House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the Pentagon is looking into a $400 million contract for a segment of the southern border wall with a DDT-pushed company that doesn’t meet necessary standards. DDT had picked the company after seeing the owner, a GOP donor, on Fox network.

Glenn Fine, the Pentagon’s inspector general, opened a review three months ago to examine whether U.S. military deployment to the southern border is legal after 30 congressional members requested an investigation. The deployment may violate a law preventing active duty military troops from law enforcement duties inside the U.S. Since DDT started sending service members to the border in 2018, the number has sometimes exceeded 5,000.

DDT has again announced that he and China have a “phase one” trade deal. China called it a “win-win,” but no text has been released. DDT lowered tariffs—mostly on toys, cellphones and laptops—and China said it will buy the farm-products that they had already intended. The deal will also enhance intellectual property protections at China’s own pace and permit U.S. banks and credit card companies full access to China which China had wanted. No “phase two” was addressed. DDT will claim a win, but China isn’t altering its economy as DDT promised, won’t send jobs back to the U.S., and hasn’t committed to scale back subsidies that give China an advantage over the U.S.

The general announcement caused the markets to rapidly increase; the details given out on the next day ended up with an almost flat gain. Winners are farmers, bankers, and Apple. China won because President Xi Jinping stood his ground and DDT caved in. This week reflected the fifth time this year that DDT delayed or canceled tariffs, encouraging China to further drag out negotiations for more wins. DDT has a long way to go to match President Obama on agricultural exports to China. 

Last week, DDT announced tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil and Argentina; this week the administration announced that it hadn’t decided about these tariffs yet. Just another one of those orders that didn’t exist.

Customs and Border Protection officials not only refuse to vaccinate migrants in U.S facilities but also arrested doctors who tried to provide free vaccinations.

Amazon is accusing the Pentagon of obeying DDT’s orders by selecting Microsoft for a $10-billion cloud computing contract that has been called a crucial national security priority. Oracle and IBM are also challenging the contract. Amazon pointed out several reasons that Microsoft’s program is inferior to theirs. Defense Secretary Mark Esper waited two months to recuse himself from the procurement process because his son works for an initial bidder.  DDT’s ongoing feud with Amazon’s owner, Jeff Bezos, began with reporting by the Washington Post, also owned by Bezos. 

DDT supporters should be grateful that federal agencies ignored his some of his demands. Peter Bergen, in his new book Trump and his Generals: The Cost of Chaos, wrote that DDT wanted to move the 9.8 million people in Seoul because it was too close to the North Korean border. He insisted, “They have to move!” And he wasn’t joking. That was when he told his national security team that threats from Kim Jong-Un would be “met with fire and fury.” Months later, he demanded “an evacuation of American civilians from South Korea.” Warned that this action would signal war, DDT ordered, “Go do it!” The Pentagon ignored his orders to move Seoul and evacuate all Americans from South Korea, DDT forgot about it, and the United States hasn’t gone to war with North Korea—yet.

In the midst of 123 furious tweets in one day during the impeachment inquiry hearings, DDT found time to demand that 16-year-old Greta Thunberg “work on her Anger Management problem” after she was awarded Time’s “Person of the Year”:

“So ridiculous. Greta must work on her anger management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”

Thunberg used DDT’s words for her Twitter bio. Time wrote that it chose Thunberg because she created “a global attitudinal shift” and “offered a moral clarion call.”

Even more vile, DDT’s fundraising campaign photoshopped DDT’s head on Thunberg’s body money with the caption, “When it comes to keeping his promises, there’s only one Person Of The Year.”

New jobs increased 266,000 in November with manufacturing comprising 54,000 of them, but 48,000 of those came at the end of GM’s strikes. Despite some wage increases in blue states raising minimum wages, rising costs of living in 2019 outpaced workers’ economic growth. Forty-four percent of U.S. workers earn low wages.

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