Nel's New Day

September 12, 2019

Bolton, Science Gone But Not Forgotten

John Bolton is the latest person who Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) dumped: Bolton said he resigned, and DDT’s tweeted that he fired his national security adviser. DDT’s stated reason was that he “disagreed strongly” with Bolton, who has been criticized for being a hawk. A recent disagreement was bringing the Taliban to Camp David for “peace talks” during the anniversary of the 9/11 U.S. bombings in 2001. DDT ignored Bolton and VP Mike Pence who said that the idea was bad. Bolton wouldn’t defend DDT’s positions on Afghanistan, North Korea, and Russia. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) expressed pleasure, saying that DDT should have “people around him who will carry out his policies.” Another major Senate suck-up Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was less pleased, saying that Bolton’s agenda “makes America safe.” Three of Bolton’s top aids resigned the day after DDT fired Bolton. 

Although DDT said that he fired Bolton Monday night, Bolton was still scheduled the next morning to appear with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin for a briefing about new sanctions against a “wide range” of terrorist groups and their supporters. Pompeo and Mnuchin (right) seemed to be downright giddy at the meeting with the press corps without Bolton.

DDT tweeted his firing of H.R. McMaster as national security adviser 17 months ago, but he’s been calling his ex-adviser for advice for almost a year and said he missed him. This pattern is not new: DDT called Reince Priebus after he became disenchanted with chief of staff replacement, John Kelly.

Charles M. Kupperman, Bolton’s acting replacement, might be worse than the war-mongering Bolton. Decades-long associates, they seem to be birds of a feather with Kupperman a past member on the boards of several defense contractors, including Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Kupperman, a right-wing extremist, has connections to Islamophobe Frank Gaffney from when he served on the board of the misnamed Center for Security Policy that promotes Islamophobic conspiracy theories, according to Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Almost two weeks after Hurricane Dorian sat on the Bahamas for two days—and left Alabama untouched—1,300 people are still missing in the country of 395,000, and 50 people are dead. In the hardest-hit northern islands, almost 70,000 people of the 395,000 population have lost everything; on the Grand Bahama Island, population 50,000, three-fourths of the houses were underwater. A tropical storm is now headed for the Bahamas.

Not satisfied with the tragedies facing people from the Bahamas during the Category 5 hurricane, DDT turned on his cruelty to make it worse. He turned back over 100 people heading for refuge in Florida because they didn’t have visas. He refuses to grant temporary protected status to displaced people from the Bahamas, a status that would allow them to work and live in the U.S. until they could safely return home. Although existing visas permit Bahamans to come to the U.S., they won’t be allowed to work. DDT said some of those seeking aid could be “very bad people” and “very bad gang members” and “very, very bad drug dealers.” These statements were a 180-degree switch from DDT’s initial statement when he pledged U.S. help with recovery efforts. DDT said:

“We’re working hard, we’re with you, and God bless you.”

Florida GOP Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott asked that DDT permit Bahamians to live with their relatives in the United States, but DDT separated at least one family instead. CBP took refugee Kaytora Paul from her godmother and sent the child to a detention facility with migrant children. Paul’s mother were living in a wrecked car with Kaytora and her two younger children while Paul’s father stayed with an adult son after their home’s roof collapsed. Officials refused to release Kaytora to a biological aunt at the airport, and the mother, who went to Florida to get her daughter, was told she must apply to be her own daughter’s sponsor, a process requiring many documents and taking weeks. The mother would have been deported in two weeks, but immigration advocacy and publicity forced the reunification of Kaytora and her mother after the 12-year-old was in detention for four days.

DDT looks at all the federal agencies, even those supposed to be independent, as personal “fixers” for his whatever he wants, such as DDT’s forcing NOAA to back his lies about Hurricane Dorian badly damaging Alabama. Documentation shows that a top NOAA official ordered its staff to not contradict DDT’s lies about Hurricane Dorian doing great damage to Alabama. Media reports that DDT told his staff to deal with NOAA contradicting his weather forecast, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney called Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to fix the problem, and Ross threatened to fire people if they didn’t immediately take care of it. DDT said he didn’t tell NOAA to do this. No, he told his staff to tell NOAA. Democrats on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology are investigating the Commerce Department’s part in NOAA’s decision siding with DDT over its scientists and requested a briefing with Commerce Department staff. Former NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco said:

“It is truly sad to see political appointees undermining the superb, lifesaving work of NOAA’s talented and dedicated career servant.”

A meteorologist said that he had never before been told “to not say that truly is the forecast.” Other agencies have sided with DDT against facts, but accurate weather forecasts in disasters are vital to preserving lives. Acting NOAA administrator Neil Jacobs and NOAA director of public affairs Julie Kay Roberts, who had worked on DDT’s campaign, were responsible for the anonymous false statement trying to cover up for DDT’s “mistake.” The department’s Inspector General is reviewing NOAA’s statement supporting DDT’s false statement about the great danger to Alabama from Hurricane Dorian.

Most of DDT’s hurricane briefings were by people without meteorological expertise. A 2018 survey of scientists in 16 federal agencies revealed a culture of fear and self-censorship with sidelined scientific evidence in favor of political expediency.

Meteorology will become even more problematic if DDT gets his 5G cellphone networks that seriously degrade forecasting accuracy, up to 30 percent according to Jacobs’ testimony on Capitol Hill. He added that the loss in tracking could cut “forecasts’ lead time by roughly two to three days,” a catastrophic effect on human life. The 5G is already available from Verizon to corporate customers in some cities.

In his desire to return to 1986 in water pollution, DDT will roll back a 2015 regulation to protect waters that feed into But critics say the rollback will speed the conversion of wetlands and headwaters, which provide critical habitat for wildlife and support the nation’s drinking water supply. Americans drained about half of the 220 million acres of wetlands in the contiguous United States between the 1970s and 1980s, most of it to expand farmland. The 2015 rule gave the federal government authority to oversee a wide array of lakes, streams, wetlands, storm-water controls and ditches that feed into larger waterways that are clearly protected under the 1972 Clean Water Act. He justified the rollback with his claim that he wants “crystal clean water.”

The DDT-led Equal Employment Opportunity Commission plans to dump reporting rules by large companies, those with more than 100 workers, for gender and race pay disparities by large companies. In 2017, Mick Mulvaney, Director of Office of Management and Budget, froze the data collection, but a court ordered the collection for 2017 and 2018. DDT’s EEOC chair confirmed by 50-43, Janet Dhillon, is a former general counsel for Burlington Stores and JCPenney. The gender pay gap has not moved from 82 percent during the past year, only four percent higher than the 78 percent 12 years ago. The gap is 62 percent for black women and 54 percent for Latinas. Ivanka Trump opposed collecting the data after she tweeted on Equal Pay Day that “we must work to close the gender pay gap!”

Luckily DDT has Pompeo to lie for him. He was in Kansas when a state university a physics professor asked Pompeo if he supported “the suppression of scientific reports from the U.S. Department of State” because of the “exodus of scientists” from federal agencies after their work is suppressed. Pompeo said he disagrees because “no one supports the absence of science.” With a straight face, he said this and more on the same day that NOAA was told to support DDT’s falsifying science with his Sharpie line on a hurricane map. DDT also didn’t a pick a scientist to be the chief scientist at the USDA, and he hid dozens of government-funded studies warning about the climate crisis and potentially dangerous chemicals.

DDT, however, knows that his magical black sharpie pen that he uses to sign orders, make notes on his hands for speeches, and redirect hurricane warnings will solve everything. 

March 26, 2018

The Door Keeps Swinging

Filed under: Donald Trump — trp2011 @ 9:01 PM
Tags: , , , , , ,

Left over from last week’s news about the administration of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is the swinging door of federal employees and DDT’s legal team.

In 1946, Eleanor Roosevelt was instrumental in creating the UN created the Commission on the Status of Women in 1946 to promote gender quality and the empowerment of women. DDT thinks so little of women that he sent Bethany Kozma, a self-described stay-at-home mom,” as the U.S. representative for the 82nd meeting of CSW. She has described the UN as a “pro-life nation” and called trans children “gender confused” in her battle to keep them from using bathrooms matching their gender identity by claiming that it leaves students open to “sexual assault or rape.”

According to DDT’s friend Christopher Ruddy, DDT thinks that the White House is operating “like a smooth machine” and has been “perplexed” by news reports of chaos. DDT claims to be keeping Chief of Staff John Kelly and HUD secretary Ben Carson, what he usually says soon before he gets someone to fire them. On vacation in Florida, DDT continues to attack fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by saying that he didn’t have the “brains or energy” for the job.

Emails showing that DDT fires everyone who he considers disloyal to him has caused Democrats on the House Oversight Committee to demand State Department records of internal communications. The agency tried to reassign a staffer after Breitbart and Newt Gingrich complained about her Iranian surname. Independent investigators report that retaliation against career staffers is rampant throughout the government. Because their firings can only be based on merit and work performance, DDT is breaking the law by basing firings on political affiliations or patronage. At the same time Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director Mick Mulvaney, suggested as a replacement for Chief of Staff John Kelly, has worked to replace existing employees with political appointees that can violate civil service laws.

Employees can appeal their firings to the Merit Systems Protection Board, but the one-member board can’t hear cases until two DDT’s appointees are confirmed. At the beginning of 2018, the backlog, the longest in history, is 750 cases.

Conservative congressional members are pushing bills that would give Cabinet members the right to fire anyone they wish. Rep. Lloyd Smucker’s (R-PA) Labor Department Accountability Act would give them the authority to suspend, involuntarily reassign, demote, or remove employees and senior executives. Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) has a similar bill.

The most unpopular appointees in March are Gina Haspel for CIA director and John Bolton for national security adviser. A promoter of torture, Haspel destroyed videos with impunity about CIA torture in a black site that she oversaw because the CIA classifies these torture sessions as formal government meetings and exempt from being preserved. Haspel will also claim that any information about her is “classified,” even if it’s already in the public domain, during confirmation hearings.

With H.R. McMaster out and John Bolton in as national security advisor, everyone in the U.S. should prepare for war. All the negative information about Bolton makes no difference because he doesn’t need to be confirmed by the Senate for his position. I’ve written before about Bolton, but the horrifying news keeps emerging:

  • Bolton hired Cambridge Analytica in 2014 for “behavioral microtargeting with psychographic messaging” and knew that the material came from harvested Facebook data.
  • In addition to being a contributor to Fox, Bolton chairs the Gatestone Institute that publishes “fake” news about threats from Islam to Western society. Its anti-Islam vitriol has the sole purpose of establishing bigotry against Muslim immigrants and refugees by spreading racial lies about them that Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, and DDT repeated during their presidential campaigns. Bolton also wrote the foreward to a book by anti-Islam conspiracy theorists Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. Gatestone, which has paid $310,000 to Bolton, works to sway elections not only in the U.S. but also in European elections through support of far-right, anti-Muslim candidates on social media.
  • As George W. Bush’s policymaker on Iran, Bolton actively conspired from 2002 through 2004 to set up conditions for military action and manipulated intelligence about weapons of mass destruction that he hoped would start a war on Iran with support from Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the militantly Zionist casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.
  • Bolton is behind DDT’s intention to back out of the Iran nuclear deal.
  • Fifteen years after George W. started the Iraq War with the urging of John Bolton and others, Bolton still thinks that the preemptive strike on Iraq was right.

All we can hope is that Bolton’s typical abusive behavior turns toward DDT who can then shop for a fourth national security adviser.

Other disastrous DDT nominees:

Roger Severino, nominee for HHS Office for Civil Rights, says that as the child of Colombian immigrants he understands discrimination on a first-hand basis, but his education doesn’t apply to LGBTQ people. He believes that health care workers should be able to use their personal religious beliefs in determining who gets treatment. Severino has said that marriage quality is “using government power to coerce everyone, including children, into pledging allegiance to a radical new gender ideology” and using the right pronoun for transgender students is was the “equivalent to making them say two plus two equals five.”

Robert Redford, nominee for head of the Centers for Disease Control, has been accused of overstating the therapeutic effects of an experimental AIDS vaccine that led to corrections and having an “inappropriate” relationship with the evangelical Christian group Americans for Sound AIDS/HIV Policy (ASAP), now Children’s AIDS Fund. Founded by the virulently anti-LGBT and anti-abortion activists Shepherd and Anita Smit, the group promotes abstinence as the only proper prevention behavior and opposes the use of condoms. Anita Smith complained about the “power struggle between homosexual white men who abuse all the government AIDS programs fundamentally to fund their subculture and their political activities.” A devout Catholic, Redford wants churches to take over the care of HIV patients. Nobody has a chance to interview Redford, however, because he doesn’t need to be confirmed.

Peter Wright, nominee for the EPA Office of Aland and Emergency Management (OLEM) could protect big companies, like his former employer Dow Chemical, from having to clean up the 1,300 Superfund toxic cleanup sites, one-tenth of them caused by Dow that gave DDT $1 million for his inauguration fund. The money has already paid off because EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt reversed a ban on Dow’s brain-damaging insecticide.

Kellyanne Conway is running DDT’s new “opioids cabinet,” and her first action was to drive out drug policy professionals and replace them with political staff who call for the border wall and a “just say no” campaign. A quote from her speech to college students:

“On our college campuses, your folks are reading the labels, won’t put any sugar in their body, they don’t eat carbs anymore, and they’re very, very fastidious about what goes into their body — and then you buy a street drug for $5 or $10 and it’s laced with fentanyl, and that’s it. So I guess my short advice is, as somebody double your age: eat the ice cream, buy the French fry, don’t buy the street drug.”

About the rumor that VA Secretary David Shulkin is on his way out, DDT denies it—another dangerous sign for employment. A possible replacement is Fox & Friends host Pete Hegsweth.

The scariest thought is that EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt might see his continuing wish fulfilled to replace AG Jeff Sessions.

DDT’s frantic reaction to Robert Mueller’s investigation into his involvement resulted in rapid shifts in his legal team’s membership. Two new DDT hires after team leader John Dowd bailed, Fox contributor Joe diGenova and his wife Virginia Toensing, disappeared in less than a week. A senior official said the couple’s disheveled appearance at their first meeting with DDT caused him to decide that they didn’t belong on his team.

DiGenova is a conspiracy theorist with a lot of baggage who thinks that the FBI and DOJ are framing the president by inventing the Russia scandal to keep DDT from being president. Leader of DDT’s legal team, Dowd quit because DDT didn’t follow his direction to fire Mueller. Not only does DDT not pay attention to his lawyers, but he also has a reputation for not paying them. DDT’s loss of lawyers gives him a team of oneJay Sekulow—who is little more than a PR person.

The U.S. House of Representatives has an extra Democrat after the GOP candidate in PA-18 admitted defeat to Conor Lamb. The Republicans put over $10 million into the race where DDT won by over 20 points in 2018. Democrats spent less than $3 million. The amateurish GOP ads tried to tie the Democrat to a sheep, reminiscent of the horrible 2010 demon sheep ads, but the Lamb (left) won anyway.

The “Exposed” DDT image is featured on this week’s New Yorker in artist Barry Blitt’s 15th image of the president for the magazine’s covers as he faces the media. Blitt said, “I wanted to address President Trump’s stormy relationship with the press” and called DDT the “gift that keeps on grifting.”

April 3, 2015

‘Give Peace a Chance’

Two huge stories have overwhelmed the news during this past week: the attempts in the United States to permit discrimination against anyone in the United States because of expressed religious belief, and the framework agreement between world powers and Iran to curb Iran’s nuclear program for the next decade in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. Iran must reduce the number of its centrifuges that can be used to enrich uranium into a bomb by more than two-thirds and redesigning a power plant to keep it from producing weapons-grade plutonium as well as eliminating much of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium. In the agreement, Iran consents to regular international nuclear inspections. President Obama said that “this framework would cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.”U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the deal would contribute to peace and stability in the region.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims the agreement is a “threat to Israel’s existence.” His government released a statement that Iran has made no concessions despite its agreement that it will give up 97 percent of its enriched uranium stockpile and sharply reduce the number of centrifuges.

Israel’s media disagrees with Netanyahu. In Haaretz, Israel’s oldest newspaper, journalist Barak Ravid wrote that the agreement “is not a bad deal” and concluded, “Israel will have a hard time fighting this agreement, or portraying it as bad.” The article states that the agreement preserves Israel’s security interests.

Without the agreement, Iran could possibly produce a nuclear bomb in three to four months. With the agreement, Iran will be required to scale down three production facilities for at least a decade and turn these into scientific and medical research. The country is blocked from building any new facilities for 15 years. The 25-year international inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities, supply chain for nuclear materials, and uranium mines will be the most intensive in the history of the world. Any violation will immediately bring back the sanctions against the country.

Iranian citizens have celebrated their country’s agreement with the P5+1—the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany—while hardliners are furious. Moderate Iranian politicians have lost their power for not being sufficiently anti-American. Any easing of hostilities between Iran and the United States is, according to hardliners, a matter of treason. Basically, the Iranian conservatives in Iran take the same position as the conservatives in the United States.

Most Republicans in Congress have worked hard to destroy any possibility of an agreement with Iran. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) invited Netanyahu to address Congress to sway not only legislators but also the people of the United States. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) convinced 46 other senators to sign an open letter to Iran in the hopes of scuttling any diplomatic efforts. Following the announcement of the agreement, right-wingers have made egregious statements about the framework:

  • Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL): The deal is worse than Neville Chamberlain’s talk with Hitler before World War II.
  • Israeli columnist for Politico Ari Shavit: The Iran agreement is just like the Iraq War—which is the country’s bloodiest conflicts of the twenty-first century.
  • American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s video: The visual shows the Statue of Liberty’s arm falling off in response to the agreement.
  • Bloomberg’s Eli Lake: “The Iranian-Swedish con man is gloating,” in reference to one of the agreement’s proponents, Trita Parsia who moved from Iran to Sweden as a child and lived most of his life in the United States.
  • Laura Ingraham:If only the secular Left put as much trust & faith in the people of Indiana as they do in the rulers in Iran.”
  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): Upset about the lack of support for the United States, he would “absolutely” defy American allies by scrapping an Iran deal.
  • Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI): The presidential candidate would cancel any Iranian deal, sight unseen, that comes from the Obama administration. (He doesn’t need to read anything to reject it!)

As Jonathan Chait wrote, the conservatives hate this agreement because they hate all agreements since World War II.

The Yalta agreement stopping the war against the Soviets after the Allies defeated Germany in World War II formed the basis for Sen. Joe McCarthy’s (R-WI) paranoid ravings. Conservatives who tried to amend the constitution with the “Bricker Amendment,” limiting the president’s ability to agree to foreign treaties, were blocked by President Eisenhower.

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), a pact to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to states that had not yet obtained them, was denounced by the National Review as “immoral, foolish, and probably most impractical, a policy that makes nonsense of our defensive alliance in Europe, that favors our enemies and slights our allies.” The NPT is now used to prevent Iran from obtaining nukes.

President Richard Nixon’s opening to China was compared by conservatives to Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler.

Nixon’s policy of detente with the Soviet Union was described by conservatives as “one of the greater triumphs of the Soviet propaganda machine.”

The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) was “profoundly unwise,” according to conservatives. Ronald Reagan opposed it in his campaign and then abided by it before signing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, to massive dismay from the right-wingers who compared Reagan to Chamberlain negotiating with Hitler.

In his speech announcing the agreement with Iran, President Obama said:

“When you hear the inevitable critics of the deal sound off, ask them a simple question: do you really think that this verifiable deal, if fully implemented backed by the world’s powers, is a worse option than the risk of another war in the Middle East?”

The United States started the Iraq War with conservatives spreading fear about nuclear weapons. Netanyahu was a major instigator of this war when he told Congress in 2002 that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction.”

John Bolton, booster and co-architect of the war in Iraq, represents most conservatives in Congress with his recent NYT op-ed, “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.” Thirteen years ago, he was “confident that Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction and production facilities in Iraq” and “the Iraqi people would be unique in history if they didn’t welcome the overthrow of this dictatorial regime.” He was 100 percent wrong, and he knew it at the time.

Robert Gates, defense secretary for George W. Bush and Barack Obama after CIA director under George H.W. Bush, said bombing Iran could prove a “catastrophe.” Meir Dagan, leader of Israel’s external spy service from 2002 to 2011, warned that an attack on Iran “would mean regional war, and in that case you would have given Iran the best possible reason to continue the nuclear program.” He added, “The regional challenge that Israel would face would be impossible.”

Since 9/11, jihadists have killed 26 Americans on U.S. soil, 13 of them killed by another soldier at Fort Hood, while right-wing extremists have killed 39. During the same time, an average of over 30,000 people died from guns each year—an approximate total of 450,000 people. Many of the same people who fight to keep unfettered ownership of guns spread fear about Iran with hopes to bomb the country.

About 1 million people died in Iraq during the ten years after the U.S. declared war on the country; 220,000 died in Afghanistan, and 80,000 died in Pakistan. During just the Bush years, 4.5 million Iraqis—one in six—were displaced, and only five percent went back to their homes by 2009. The 1-2 million widows and 5 million orphans leave half the people in Iraq tragically impacted by deaths.

Two years ago, the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was estimated to go as high as $6 trillion dollars–$75,000 for every household in America. At that time, more than half the 1,560,000 discharged military service members had gotten medical treatment and been granted benefits for the rest of their lives. All the financing for the wars was done by borrowing, which has run up interest that taxpayers must fund. At the same time, Bush’s tax cuts cost the country about $2.1 trillion in lost revenue during the first nine years.

People in the United States don’t feel any safer when conservatives win elections by spreading fear. The conservatives claimed that war in Iraq would cost taxpayers about $200 billion. Between tax cuts that didn’t improve the economy and war costs, the tab is closing in on $10 trillion and sure to rise even without bombing Iran. That’s $10 trillion that could have dropped the deficit. A war in Iran will cost even more. In the words of John Lennon, quoted in another context by presidential contender in his coming-out speech, “Give peace a chance.”

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