Nel's New Day

May 11, 2019

Make ‘America’ Poor Again

An update to the Don McGahn story about his refusal to declare that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) didn’t obstruct justice: DDT attacked his former White House counsel today, claiming that he was “Never a big fan” of McGahn and that “I was NOT going to fire Bob Mueller, and did not fire Bob Mueller…. Actually, lawyer Don McGahn had a much better chance of being fired than Mueller.” This message was one of almost six dozens tweets or retweets from DDT today. He was at his Virginia golf cub several hours today.

DDT threatened China with a “far worse” trade deal in his “second term” if they “don’t act now,” in more of today’s tweets. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said no further trade talks are planned “as of now.”

The conflict encouraged by DDT in Venezuela arrived on his doorstep when forces of DDT’s puppet, Juan Guaido, entered the Venezuelan embassy by force and threatened the U.S. volunteer antiwar Embassy Protection Collective. One invader left voluntarily; Secret Service escorted the other one out of the embassy. Guaido’s people are blocking access to delivery of food and medicine to the embassy. DDT hasn’t arrested people for their illegal actions as they cheer physical attacks on those attempting to deliver food. Utility bills have been paid in full, but the building’s owner, a Guaido supporter, shut off the embassy electricity with police protecting those who did it. DDT forced legally elected president Nicholas Maduro’s embassy staff to leave the country by refusing them visas.

The Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply” on the southern border, U.S. border guards told an immigrant rights advocate who was detained for over four hours with an invasive body search after acting as an observer for an asylum-seeker legally entering the U.S. Ana Adlerstein wasn’t charged although officials told her she was under arrest for “illegal alien smuggling”and denied a lawyer. She supported an immigration attorney representing a man facing threats of violence in Mexico who was illegally and forcibly turned away from a port of entry for a second time after he had obtained permission to enter the U.S. Adlerstein was taken into custody for “illegal alien smuggling.” In another border action, Scott Warren may go to prison for 20 years after his arrest for giving two migrants food and water. In his trial this past week, defense lawyers argued “religious freedom” for his actions. A portrait of Warren is here.

For the first time since the eight-country Arctic Council was formed in 1996, it failed to release a declaration of joint agenda because Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s delegation refuses to accept that climate change seriously threatens the polar region despite the White House’s 1,000-page report explaining that DDT’s anti-climate policies will devastate the Arctic. Pompeo’s said that the rapidly melting Arctic devastating indigenous peoples and the rest of the planet is great for trade and mining. U.S. climate policies currently annually cost U.S. people $500 billion. DDT’s anti-climate actions are so severe that Vladimir Putin made fun of the U.S. at the forum. After Pompeo refused to sign the declaration, he cancelled a trip to Germany. In Britain, he threatened Prime Minister Theresa May if her country works with the Chinese tech firm Huawei in building the 5G network.

The EPA has permitted carcinogenic contamination in at least 610 water sources through 43 states although the problem may be much worse. Acting EPA secretary, newly confirmed Secretary Andrew Wheeler, released an “action plan” to reduce PFAS contamination that has no Maximum Containment Level for PFAS in drinking water. The agency’s non-enforceable advisory for PFAS applies to only two types and is much higher than risk levels. The Pentagon and the chemical industry are also not required to clean up its contaminated sites.

Ben Carson’s HUD wants to eliminate all families with undocumented immigrants from public housing—25,000 families, including 55,000 children who are citizens or legal residents, most of them in California, New York, and Texas. Children with unstable housing “perform worse on standardized tests, have lower school achievement, have delayed literary skills and are more likely to be truant and are more likely to drop out.” Homeless teenagers have a higher risk of substance abuse. Carson’s rule has a 60-day public opinion period.

The fundamentalist Christian legal Liberty Counsel is accusing the State Department of promoting “the LGBT agenda” because homophobic Secretary Mike Pompeo, who has tried to block LGBTQ rights throughout the world, denounced “arrest and abuse” for “LGBTI” citizens. Matt Staver, leader of the hate group Liberty Counsel, said, “I’m going to Israel at the end of the month. I don’t want to see a rainbow flag flying over Israel.

After DDT lobbied against a bill permitting a casino on a Massachusetts Native American reservation, Republicans withdrew their earlier support. DDT’s adviser Matt Schlapp, head of a lobbying firm, was paid $30,000 to block the casino because it would compete with Schlapp’s client who owns a casino in nearby Rhode Island. Mercedes Schlapp, Matt Schlapp’s wife, is DDT’s strategic communications director.

DDT plans to change the definition for poverty so fewer people will be poor. A few statistics:

  • 28 percent of voters “falling behind in rent or mortgage payments.”
  • 36 percent of voters “falling behind in gas, electric, or phone bills.”
  • 39 “having too little money to buy food.”
  • 39 “being unable to get medical care because of the cost.”
  • 42 “paying a credit card balance.”
  • 48 “finding a decent job with good wages.”
  • 70 percent of voters, including 61 percent of DDT’s voters, with at least one of these economic challenges.

Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said that DDT would be “embarrassed” with the release of his tax returns but claimed he didn’t know what was in the returns. Before that statement, he lied or “misrepresented” twice. Unlike Mulvaney’s opinion, Congress is “entitled” to DDT’s tax returns “by law,” one in effect for almost a century. Mulvaney is also wrong saying that DDT’s legally required financial disclosure forms show “how he makes money.” These forms show what DDT has—not how he got it. Tax returns show the sources.

Fundamentalist Christian leader Jerry Falwell Jr. suggested that DDT get two extra years in office in reparation for the investigations into him, and DDT welcomed the idea. His own former fixer Michael Cohen said under oath, “I fear that if [DDT] loses the election in 2020, that there will never be a peaceful transition of power.” Supporters of the idea should consider voiding all his actions of his first two years—all appointments including two Supreme Court justices, all decisions that the two justices voted for, all executive orders and laws that he signed, everything he’s done. Before he gets those two years, Bill Clinton should be president for six of the eight years he was investigated with no indictments. Or—the best idea—DDT’s entire election could be voided because federal intelligence proved that Russia helped get him elected; he might not be president without that help. Maybe everything he did could be erased.

DDT faces over 20 investigations with one going to court in three days about his attempt to quash a subpoena for financial records from the House Oversight Committee. Trump can quash a House Oversight Committee subpoena demanding financial records from his personal accounting firm. Another goes to court on Friday about his refusal to submit tax returns. Other DDT lawsuits are against his lender the Deutsche Bank, his private bank, Capital One, his defense regarding violating of the emoluments clause in the Constitution, and his security clearance process. Other investigations involve immigration issues, private communication between DDT and Putin,  and the Affordable Care Act.

Former statements from current GOP members of Congress haunt their current protection of DDT’s fixer AG Bill Barr.  In 2012, they said, “No Justice Department is above the law and no Justice Department is above the Constitution, which each of us has sworn an oath to uphold.” Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI said in 2012, “The Department [of Justice] has stood in open defiance of Congress’ moral and constitutional obligation to conduct oversight of this affair.” From Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) comes this assertion:

No one can be above the law, not even the attorney general. I think an attorney general held in contempt of Congress is someone who should resign. I think it is outrageous that any attorney general, Republican or Democrat, refused to comply with Congress’ constitutional right to hold them accountable and the Justice Department accountable. I would say that if this was a Republican.”

Any support for Palestinians causes accusations of anti-Semitism. A few facts about Israel’s taking over Palestinian land:

  • 304: Gaza Palestinians killed by Israeli snipers in past year.
  • 31,691: Gaza Palestinians injured by Israeli snipers in past year.
  • 6: Israelis killed by Gaza Palestinians in past year
  • 250: Israelis injured by Gaza Palestinians in past year: 250

DDT’s outrage that the Kentucky Derby “winner” was disqualified for breaking the rules brought this response.

[Note: Those who wish to read more about the news above and/or factcheck the material may wish to use the links.]

December 10, 2017

Jerusalem: DDT Further Isolates U.S.

Evangelical approval for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) fell 17 points last week, and DDT wants to bump it up again—recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In the 19th century, Bible teacher John Nelson Darby created the theory that the Jews had to control Jerusalem before Jesus could return to earth in a second coming to save his loyal followers by the seven-year suffering and turmoil called the Armageddon when Satan is defeated and Christ controls the world. Hal Lindsey popularized the belief during the 1970s in The Late Great Planet Earth. At DDT’s rally in northern Florida, conservative state Sen. Doug Broxson said that DDT may bring the biblical end times. The crowd cheered.

DDT has already shown success in starting a conflict with his Jerusalem executive order as protests have spread across the Middle East. The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem barred all personnel and their families from traveling in the West Bank and Jerusalem’s old city immediately after DDT’s proclamation. Both the Palestinians and the Israelis claim Jerusalem as their capital, and part of the city is also occupied by Christians. The last quarter is occupied by Armenians. Although Jordan claims the east half of Jerusalem and Palestine calls Jerusalem its capital, the city has a distinct status as not belonging to any country, according to the international community.

Only the U.S. and the Czech Republic recognize Jerusalem as Israeli’s capital, and the United States would have the only embassy in that city. The senior Christian leader in Jerusalem, Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III, sent a letter with a dozen other church leaders in the Holy Land warning of “irreparable harm.” DDT’s move “will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division”, they wrote.

DDT’s violation of international law in his executive order follows the U.S. pattern of allowing the illegal expansion of Jews-only colonial settlements in occupied Arab Jerusalem and across the West Bank. But this act is creating even more problems in the area. DDT has removed any leverage in the negotiations for peace between Palestine and Israel and confirmed that the U.S. is a completely biased party to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Twenty-five former Israeli Ambassadors, academics, and other dignitaries publicly denounced the move. The pope of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church canceled his meeting with VP Mike Pence when he travels to Cairo this week, saying that DDT did not take into account the “feelings of millions of Arab people.” Only the visit to Israel may be pleasant to Pence; the ones to Germany and Egypt are guaranteed to be chilly. For the first time, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, committed to a two-state solution, is refusing to meet with a senior U.S. leader. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi predicted “possible dangerous repercussions,” and Turkey warned the decision represented a “red line” for Muslims. The Middle East is already volatile, and Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said the U.S. was “plunging the region and the world into a fire with no end in sight.” He hinted Turkey might cut diplomatic ties with Israel if the embassy is moved.

History has already shown how a supposedly small act can be incendiary. The second intifada in late 2000 began when Ariel Sharon declared the Temple Mount complex, site of the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, the holiest place in the world to Jews and the third holiest site in Islam, reserved for Israel. The result was a two-year bloody war of suicide bombers and military attacks that killed both Israelis and Palestinians. In the Palestinian-Israel conflict, symbols matter.

Instead of consulting with impacted countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt, DDT said, “This is what we are going to do.” The Arab League of 21 countries said:

“The decision has no legal effect… it deepens tension, ignites anger and threatens to plunge the region into more violence and chaos.”

Jordan said that DDT’s announcement has “no validity under international law.”During a meeting of the Arab League, Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil called on members to consider economic sanctions on the U.S. to stop it moving its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He said:

“Pre-emptive measures (must be) taken… beginning with diplomatic measures, then political, then economic and financial sanctions.”

Countries such as Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and China have condemned DDT’s action as a threat to peace.

DDT also ignored Defense Secretary Jim Mattis who recommended a different course. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson argued against DDT’s order and took the brunt of anger in Europe during a tour to convince State Department officials that they are better off without any employees and, in some cases, without ambassadors. Federica Mogherini, the foreign policy chief of the European Union, stood beside Tillerson while telling reporters that the U.S. was wrong to back away from the Iran nuclear deal and that the move of the U.S. embassy would undermine peace. Countries such as Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and China have condemned DDT’s action as a threat to peace. Other foreign ministers showed their disapproval of DDT’s action in an indication of decreased respect for the U.S. Relationships with Europe could worsen if DDT appoints Mike Pompeo to lead the State Department.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Only VP Mike Pence seemed pleased as he watched like a proud father as DDT held up the order like a toddler who had accomplished a fine BM.

The United States stands largely alone after DDT made his proclamation. The UN passed six resolutions affirming Palestinian rights and condemning Israeli violations of international law. One resolution stated that “any actions by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem were illegal and therefore null and void.” Six countries, including the United States and Israel, voted against the resolution; 151 voted in favor of the resolution. In an emergency meeting, 14 of the 15 nations on the UN Security Council condemned DDT for his declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel because of its threat to peace. The 15th member of the Council is the United States. Council members are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Bolivia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine and Uruguay.  Bolivian Ambassador Sacha Llorenti said:

“While there are two parties in this conflict, they are not on a level playing field. One is an occupying power, the other is an occupied people. One party builds illegal settlements… One party puts a siege on Gaza… One party takes over the water resources and farmlands of the other …. One of the parties engages in forced displacement.”

DDT’s decision to placate the evangelicals also benefits his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is working to further an anti-Iran coalition in the Middle East developed around Saudi Arabia and Israel. A few days before DDT signed the order, DDT pressured the PLO office in Washington with eviction if they didn’t agree the Israeli human-rights-violating settlements. Kushner has supported illegal West Bank Israeli settlements for years, helping to funnel tens of thousands of dollars to Jewish institutions in the settlements encroaching on Palestinian land through his family’s foundation. In late 2016, Kushner ordered Michael Flynn to persuade Russia to delay the UN Security Council vote criticizing these illegal settlements although Russia didn’t follow Flynn’s request. Kushner’s family also has lucrative real estate deals with Israeli financial institutions, one of them shared ownership and profits on a New Jersey apartment building. Another Kushner relationship is with two Israeli banks investigated for helping wealthy clients evade U.S. taxes.

Only 23 percent of evangelicals believe in a two-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis whereas a majority of U.S. Jews support a Palestinian state. Only 17 percent of U.S. Jews think that moving onto Palestinian land helps Israel’s security. Almost two-thirds of evangelicals think that a candidate’s stance on Israel matters “a lot” whereas only nine percent of U.S. Jews agree with that statement. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley claims that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and declaring the city to be Israel’s capital is “the will of the American people.” Yet 59 percent of people in the U.S. prefer that the U.S. select neither side of the Palestine-Israel conflict, and 63 percent oppose moving the embassy.

As with all his other actions, DDT shows no thought. He merely threw gasoline on the embers of a fire, perhaps hoping for an easier war than in North Korea so that he can look like an important leader in the world. Instead he has further isolated the United States from any part in global decisions, all of which negatively affects the United States’ status in the world.

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