Nel's New Day

November 14, 2022

News Avoiding the Election, Mostly

Great news for Arizona and democracy! Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, endorsed by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), lost her election to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Bad news for Arizona: after the losses of her and two other major DDT candidates, Mark Finchem for secretary of state and Blake Masters for U.S. senator, election liars may try to burn the state down. DDT wants an entire new election for the state because Democrats won some of the races, and some of the losers refuse to concede, saying that they will ensure that they win. With a little over 100,000 ballots still to be counted, Kris Mayes is only 3,000 votes ahead of GOP Abe Hamadeh, another DDT election liar who can bring lawsuits for the state.

In a three-hour face-to-face meeting, President Joe Biden and Chinese President XI Jinping looked for ways to work together. Biden said there will be no “new Cold War” and believes China has no imminent plans to invade Taiwan. The leaders were in Bali for the G20 summit, and the meeting came after months of quiet negotiations. Biden asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken to follow up on the discussion in Beijing as part of a long process to thaw a tense relationship. Biden kept DDT’s tariffs and restricted selling semiconductors and chip-making equipment to China.

For the first time, Xi warned against nuclear weapons in Russia’s war when he met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a clear signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin. A Chinese senior official said on the condition of anonymity:

“I think there is undeniably a discomfort in Beijing about what we’ve seen in terms of reckless rhetoric and activity on the part of Russia. I think it is also undeniable that China is probably both surprised and a little bit embarrassed by the conduct of Russian military operations.”

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was absent for part of the summit after he was taken to the hospital for a heart problem. He said he is fine. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), possibly the biggest liar in the Senate, feels that Biden is compromised by China. No evidence, just a “feeling.”

The House January 6 investigative committee may subpoena the phone records of Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward according to a Supreme Court ruling. She had claimed the request for her phone records violated the First Amendment. The committee requested call records, phone numbers, text messages, and IP addresses communicating with Ward’s number between November 2020 to January 2021 when she was connected to the scam of an Arizona alternate electors’ slate to overturn Joe Biden’s victory.      

Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented from the decision without explanation. Thomas’ wife, Ginni Thomas, had taken part of the attempted coup by writing 29 Arizona lawmakers, urging them to choose “a clean slate of electors” instead of the state electors pledged to Biden in support of the popular vote. Ward and her husband were “fake electors” from Arizona, lying about the 2020 presidential election in their state. Both the state district court and the 9th Circuit Court disagreed with Ward’s arguments, one of the three-judge panel a DDT appointee.

Ginni Thomas is working on another coup, this one to get rid of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for congressional leaders. She joined almost 60 far-right politicians, some of them like Thomas investigated by the House January 6 investigative committee, in signing a letter to delay the choice of GOP leadership in the 118th Congress.  The American Independent’s senior political reporter Emily C. Singer called it a “who’s who of insurrection supporting Republicans.”

A DDT-supported federal judge in the U.S. District Court for D.C. dismissed a year-old lawsuit by Mark Meadows, DDT’s former chief of staff, to block the House investigative committee to subpoena him. He will likely appear and run the clock out to the end of the 117th Congress, but the ruling is a precedent for many other suits in the same court. Meadows was on the telephone when DDT tried to persuade Georgia election officials to “find” sufficient votes for his victory and with DDT on January 6, 2021 when insurrections illegally entered the Capitol.

A federal judge blocked attempts by Rudy Giuliani to dismiss a lawsuit brought by two Georgia election workers, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. Giuliani’s accusation of election fraud by the mother/daughter pair caused serious threats and harassment against them; Freeman even had to leave her home for months. Giuliani had falsified a video for his lies.

The Senate returns next week, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), also elected for that position in the 118th Congress, scheduled a Wednesday vote on the bill to codify the right to same-gender and interracial marriage. Democratic leader Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) said she thinks the bill has the 60 votes to overcome a filibuster and has reached an agreement on “commonsense” changes to protect religious freedom with Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ, and Thom Tillis (R-NC). In July, almost 50 House Republicans joined Democrats to pass the bill.  

When Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) politely protested Elon Musk’s allowing Twitter impersonation of him—and many others—Musk responded by saying Marky’s own account “sounds like a parody.” Marky tweeted back:

“One of your companies is under an FTC consent decree. Auto safety watchdog NHTSA is investigating another for killing people. And you’re spending your time picking fights online. Fix your companies. Or Congress will.”

A fake tweet from Eli Lilly about free insulin in a supposedly verified account brought outrage after Lilly’s “apology” that it was false, including from a parody imitating Lilly:

“We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account about the cost of diabetic care. Humalog is now $400. We can do this whenever we want and there’s nothing you can do about it. Suck it. Our official Twitter account is @LiIlyPadCo.”

About 37.3 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and 8.4 million need insulin to survive. To manufacture, a vial costs under $10, but Lilly’s list price is $274.70, the generic at $82.41. Most people on insulin require 2-3 vials a month so at least 1.3 million people risk their lives by rationing their insulin. The Inflation Reduction Act caps insulin out-of-pocket costs at $35 per month for Medicare participants, but Republicans blocked all other price caps.  

In the midst of ballot-counting, the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel released the newly declassified summary of a joint interview with George W. Bush and his VP Dick Cheney regarding the September 11 attacks. Members of the 9/11 Commission, did not record the event on April 29, 2004, and the released summary document is the only official record, a “memorandum for the record.”

Bush evidenced no sense about the death and destruction set free by his global war; the interview was at the same time as a massive insurgency in Iraq against a U.S. occupation which would kill thousands of U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Seeing the first plane hit the World Trade Center, he thought what a terrible pilot. When his chief of staff Andy Card told him the U.S. was under attack, he stayed in the classroom where he had been reading My Pet Goat to children. He tried to “collect his thoughts” and decided he should “project calm and strength.”

Communications equipment kept failing, including the secure phone line between Bush and Cheney. Bush couldn’t find Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and complained about not having “good television” on Air Force One. Cheney was responsible for authorizing the military to shoot down civilian aircraft. Bush also claimed he didn’t know anything about Saudi nationals receiving permission to leave the country after 9/11.

Bush said he got no “actionable intelligence” About Osama Bin Laden and preparation for hijackings or other attacks in the U.S. and claimed CIA Director George Tenet said “the threat was overseas.” Cheney criticized congressional oversight of covert operations, especially by the CIA, because it weakened the agency. To make the U.S. less vulnerable to attack, Bush said, “We had to kill them before they kill us.” Working with Putin was important to use U.S. military and intelligence of bases in central Asia.

Inflation dropped to an annual rate of 7.7 percent in October, down a half percent. The biggest inflationary contributors were shelter, gasoline, and food, the first two items raising historic profits for companies. Buyers will find less inflation in used cars prices, household supplies, clothing and accessories, household gas, and some food items.

Biden gave all veterans and Gold Star families lifetime passes to national parks.

New drugs could restore a woman’s period using the same medication as used in medical abortion, misoprostol or in combination with mifepristone. The process might not be classified as abortion because the woman doesn’t know whether she is pregnant. Misoprostol is also used for gastric ulcers in nonpregnant people but have become more difficult to obtain because of its connection to abortions. The courts, however, have described abortion as related to “knowledge of a confirmed pregnancy” or “intent to end a confirmed pregnancy.” Menstrual regulation doesn’t rely on a confirmed pregnancy, and no states ban or restrict this regulation with an unknown pregnancy status.

July 4, 2021

The 4th – “Christian,” DDT’s Ranking from the Bottom, Times Arizona’s Ballots Move

“What to the slave is the Fourth of July?” Frederick Douglass posed this question on July 5, 1852 before the Emancipation Proclamation, Civil War, and ratification of the 13th Amendment. The original U.S. Constitution defined men as “White men” when declaring equalty.

Women couldn’t vote in federal elections until 1920 and lacked other rights until the last part of the 20th century such as obtaining credit cards in their own name. Females still lack reproductive health rights in most of the GOP states.  Indigenous people weren’t U.S. citizens until 1924 and couldn’t vote until 1947. Other ethnic groups were banned from voting on July 4, 1776: Jews until 1828, people with Asian ancestry until 1952, Washington, D.C. residents until 1961, etc. In 1856, North Carolina was the last state to allow non-property Whites to vote. Thus today people celebrate freedom for all on a date that permitted freedom only for property-owning White people.For most of the time since the Civil War, laws and violent actions by Whites stopped Blacks from voting in many parts of the nation. On the last day of the 2021 term, the Supreme Court permitted an anti-voting law so onerous that minorities and the poor will be stopped from voting in Arizona; the law can move to other GOP-controlled states.  

 In the 21st century, evangelicals are declaring the United States was created as a “Christian nation” to block others from fully participating in the “freedom” of the country. In 2019, Marjorie Taylor Greene, now a Georgia-elected House member, told Muslims Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashinda Tlaib (D-MI) they must retake their congressional oath on a Bible after using the Quran for the ceremony. Greene claimed the two women had performed an illegal act by not using a Christian Bible despite of the constitution demanding no “religious text.”

Fewer than ten years ago, the constitutions of eight states prevented non-religious people from being elected to office. Of three groups banned from holding office—ministers, atheists, and duelists—Tennessee plans to allow ministers to be elected. The constitution will not overturn the requirement of belief in God to “hold any office in the civil department of this state.” Duelists are still banned.

Christians, especially evangelicals, often claim the U.S. was founded as a “Christian nation,” using their religion to discriminate against groups such as LGBTQ. Yet they are wrong. Although people living in American colonies before 1776 were ruled by a religious nation, the British Empire, U.S. independence led to both religious and political independence. Even Baptists in the 18th century opposed government religion. In the 1790s, however, deism led to evangelical popularity, increasing in the 19th century and leading to the falsehood about a “Christian nation” to overcome secular principles within the nation’s founding.

Protestant Christian principles weren’t used to create founding documents and organize the government; these came from the Enlightenment, Whig, and classical republican theories for a secular governance. The U.S. became the first nation in history to have no religious disqualifications from officeholding and civil engagement, a legitimacy based on popular will and not a higher power.

Most founders were theological liberals who based the nation structure on a rational perspective. The few with more conventional Christian beliefs saw no conflict between faith and Enlightenment natural rights. The Declaration of Independence referred to rights as “endowed by their Creator,” but the U.S. Constitution has no reference to any deity except for the date “in the Year of our Lord,” added after the draft was approved at the Constitutional Convention. The text has no religious tests for officeholders, no national religion, and no interference with free exercise of faith, including lack of faith. Founders believed religion would corrupt the state and the state would corrupt religion.

The 1797 Treaty of Tripoli stated, “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” The document was introduced by George Washington, signed by John Adams, and unanimously ratified by a Senate half-full of the constitution’s signers. Conservatives in the mid-20th century ignored the Founders’ wishes, adding “one nation under God” to the Pledge and “In God We Trust” as the national motto. Along came the National Day of Prayer and National Prayer Breakfast to keep conservatives happy. In 1984, Richard John Neuhaus converted from being a Lutheran minister to a Catholic priest, declaring Catholicism, declaring politics as “unavoidably a moral concept, and that means the religiously grounded moral convictions of the American people cannot be excluded from the public square.” Evangelical followers absorbed the fiction of the U.S. as a “Christian nation.” Some evangelical leaders’ lies:

  • Fifty-two of the original 55 signers of the Constitution were “evangelical believers.”
  • The First Amendment refers only to Protestant denominations, thus a “Christian nation.”
  • “We do not restrict other people’s right to worship however they choose to worship, but that doesn’t men we treat all religions equally… Every other religion [that Christianity] is an poster, an infidel.”—David Barton
  • Test oaths and Christian establishments in the earliest state constitutions still apply today.

On the 4th of July, Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) became 4th—from the bottom—in C-SPAN’s Historians Survey of Presidential Leadership. Only Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson, and James Buchanan are below him. DDT is even five ranks below Herbert Hoover who caused the Great Depression. He did manage to achieve 44th—bottom—for Moral Authority and Administrative Skills. The GOP has made DDT the “leader” of their political party.

Barrack Obama moved into tenth place from earlier 12th rankings. Abraham Lincoln has ranked #1 since the survey started in 2000 as well as George Washington and Franklin Roosevelt in the next two places.

C-SPAN respondents were kind to DDT: In 2018, before COVID, DDT’s two impeachments, and the Capitol insurrection, a Boise State University survey rated DDT last. Even respondents identifying as GOP-leaning put DDT at 40th.

At #41 in competency, DDT hopes for a return to the White House in a fraudulent ballot count investigation in Maricopa County (AZ). Since the unknowledgeable company, Cyber Ninjas, undertook a “fraudit” of 2.1 million ballots over two months ago, the scandal continues, this one sexual harassment complaints by workers. Several women who complained about the harassment to management said management ignored them although witnesses and victims corroborated another victim’s account.

Complaints addressed more than one offender, but one man particularly cited in the complaint was kept employed for a month after management was alerted about his behavior. He demanded dates from women he considered attractive, engaged in unwanted touching, and made comments such as “you showing off your butt?” When he was rebuffed, he insulted them and made angry outbursts. A witness said:

“This issue seemed to stem from some type of anger over women having authority over him.”

The GOP Arizona Senate President Karen Fann released the following statement from the project’s “lead vendor,” possibly Cyber Ninjas:

“I have never received any written complaints of any type of sexual harassment, nor has a complaint like this been brought to my attention. The closest thing I can think of is I am aware of a single table manager who was cussing a lot, and had apparently told an inappropriate joke. We fired him immediately.”

For the 4th time, ballots and voting machines have been moved, this time to clear the coliseum for a gun show. In May, the workers had to leave for several days of high school graduations. Originally, the “fraudit” was scheduled for one week, starting April 23. A spokesman said the company has “a little more work to do.” An observer watching the process for Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the chief elections officer, explained the delay may have been caused by workers trying to reconcile their own numbers. One worker asked why a sound process resulted in so many mistakes.

New procedures are constantly introduced as recently as this past week when workers started weighing all the boxes of ballots, supposedly to find more ballots. Ryan Macias, former acting director of certification and testing for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, said:

“They are scrambling. They are tired. They are making mistakes. And the entire thing is chaotic.”

Hobbs wondered if the ongoing delays are to financially benefit fundraisers to obtain private funds supplementing the $150,000 in taxpayer dollars that the Senate appropriated for the process. Costs are now up to several millions, and Maricopa County must already pay over $6 million for new voting machines after the process compromised the old ones. She is also concerned about the safety and security of ballots as they are frequently moved, this time to a 19,000- square-foot exhibit hall at the fairgrounds building not temperature-controlled for July temperatures.

Last year, both state and federal judges rejected allegations of fraud or irregularities in Arizona’s vote after Joe Biden won the state by about 11,000 votes. In Maricopa County, hand recounts of randomly-selected ballots selected by both political parties and a forensic audit by federally accredited labs verified no widespread fraud. A QAnon film released last week, however, reinforces the GOP fantasy of a stolen election in Arizona.  

Enjoy your Fourth of July before Republicans kill democracy.

May 25, 2021

DDT, GOP in Trouble; Arizona Continues Corruption

President Joe Biden’s approval rating has increased to 62 percent, compared to the 45 percent Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) received in May 2017. Most of his ratings—economy, stimulating jobs, administering the government, etc.—are above 60 percent, and his worst rating, the one for handling immigration, is still at 53 percent. Approval of the Democratic Party went up to 55 percent while the approval of the GOP is still below 50 percent at 49 percent. Highly conservative Rasmussen Reports, one of the few polls to give DDT higher than a 50-percent approval rating, infuriated Republicans by finding Biden at 54 percent approval.

A grand jury has been convened to determine whether to indict DDT if Manhattan’s prosecutors present criminal charges in the investigation against the Trump Organization. The jury could also indict the business’s executives and the business itself. The jury will be in session three days a week for six months and may hear information beyond the Trump Organization probe. A major issue is whether DDT lied to lenders and insurance companies about his properties’ values to obtain larger loans and pay lower taxes. The investigation includes Trump Tower, the family estate Seven Springs, DDT’s Chicago hotel, and condo tower, and the hush money paid to shut up Stormy Daniels about her alleged affair with DDT. DDT is again whining, “Witch Hunt!”

Although the DOJ has released part of a memo from former AG Bill Barr, the department is appealing the order to disclose the entire memo. Barr used the 2019 memo from his Office of Legal Counsel to not make charges against DDT based on special investigator Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to DDT’s campaign. Part of the concealed memo provides factual and legal analyses of some incidents of possible obstruction. The judge earlier called Barr “disingenuous” in using the document to conclude DDT had not broken the law. She concluded that Barr used the memo “for a preemptive strike on the Mueller report.” The memo also stated the DOJ should decide whether DDT broke the law. The judge concluded the department’s intent was to legally justify a decision already made by DOJ leaders—to not accuse DDT of a crime.

Even out of office, DDT still claims he’s above the law (aka absolute immunity from civil lawsuits) in a lawsuit filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell of violating federal civil rights and local incitement laws. Donald Trump Jr, Rudolph Giuliani, and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) are also defendants in the case, all of them for speaking at the rally near the White House on January 6 before the insurrectionists moved on to attack the U.S. Capitol. DDT’s defense is that he cannot be sued after being acquitted in an impeachment for the same conduct. DDT’s lawyer declared DDT is protected under the First Amendment. The lawyer stated about the presidency:

“While holding that office, former President Trump was free to advocate for the appointment and certification of electors, just as he was entitled to advocate for the passage or defeat of a constitutional amendment, or the reconsideration of a congressional act over his veto even though the President does not directly participate in those congressional acts.”

The U.S. Constitution declares a president can be subject to criminal or civil actions after leaving office. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) has been joined by ten other congressional members and the NAACP in filing a similar lawsuit based on the Civil Rights Act of 1871, known as the Ku Klux Klan. It permits lawsuits against government officials for claims about conspiring to violate civil rights. That suit alleges DDT and Giuliani conspired with the extremist groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

Gordon Sondland, DDT’s former ambassador to the EU who testified against him during the first impeachment, is suing him and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for $1.8 legal fees, costs from the 2019 impeachment probe. Sondland alleges Pompeo reneged on the State Department covering the fees. Top Pompeo aides supported Sondland’s claim, but Pompeo changed his mind about paying after Sondland’s testimony about the “quid pro quo” that didn’t support DDT. The lawsuit demands payment from the government or from Pompeo personally, claiming the promise was made for Pompeo’s “own political survival.” Sondland also explained high bills by DDT’s restriction of “access to materials essential to his preparation.” DDT fired Sondland two days after his impeachment acquittal.

After fighting a subpoena for years, former White House Counsel Don McGahn will testify to the House Judiciary Committee behind closed doors after the DOJ made a deal for his testimony about DDT’s obstruction attempt against Mueller’s Russian investigation. The committee will release the interview transcript. Members can ask him about events documented in the report about attempts to fire Mueller and block the Russia investigation as well as about the Mueller investigation’s accuracy. McGahn can decline answering questions on other topics.

DDT’s pet Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) went too far with her comparison of required mask wearing to gassing Jews during the Holocaust. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), silent for days, called the statement “appalling,” and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) bravely said he “does not agree with these comments and condemns these comparisons.” McCarthy continued by blaming for anti-Semitism “on the rise in the Democrat [sic] Party” being “completely ignored” by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

Two years ago, Jewish groups considered comments about Israel from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as anti-Semitic. Pelosi forcefully demanded an immediate apology, and Omar said she didn’t mean to promote negative stereotypes of Jews with her comments on Israel. Another objection may be protests from some House members about Israeli’s killing Palestinians, driving them out of the homes, destroying their infrastructure, and preventing them from worshipping in their Jerusalem mosque. McCarthy didn’t make any suggestions about actions against Greene.

Greene was not pleased about McCarthy’s statements. She hastily reposted a tweet about McCarthy with her addition but then removed within six minutes:

[Quote from a tweet]: “Look you moron, nobody supported Israel in their recent conflict with Hamas more than MTG. Her analogy may not have been perfect but you seriously need to get a grip you feckless c**t. Pelosi is the villain here.” [Greene’s addition]: “Thank you for seeing the truth and how much I support Israel.”

Even Senate Minority Mitch McConnell (R-KY) openly turned against Greene. Asked by a reporter about whether she should be censured, he said:

“Well, she doesn’t serve in the Senate, but this is one of a frequent outbursts that are absolutely outrageous and reprehensible, but any punishment I assume would have to be administered by the House.”

More news from the Arizona vote counting fiasco: The so-called “audit” has now resumed with “counters” selected by an organization operated by DDT’s wealthy supporter and “stolen” election believer Patrick Byrne, formerly Overstock.com CEO. He is in charge of background checks, non-disclosure agreements, and volunteer agreements of “workers.”

Wake TSI, the Pennsylvania IT company running the audit, came to the end of its contract on May 14 and won’t be back. With little or no experience regarding elections, the company took the job after an Arizona senator, a bit advocate of the “Stop the Steal” movement, asked for it. A Scottsdale (AZ)-based tech company StratTech, possibly with no election or auditing experience, is taking over.

Arizona’s GOP-led House Appropriations Committee stripped legally-elected Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) of her ability to “defend election lawsuits” after she expressed “grave concerns” about the audit. Her responsibilities have been transferred “exclusively” to Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) through the end of the 2023 fiscal year. In further retaliation against Hobbs, the Republicans removed Hobb’s “oversight of the Capitol Museum” after state lawmakers when she “flew a gay pride flag from the building’s balcony” in 2019.

After determined to remain silent for over three weeks, Stephen Richer, the GOP recorder in charge of Maricopa County’s elections, said there was no “legitimate reason that would have prompted this audit.” About former audits, he pointed out that “all the tests came back clean. The parties themselves oversaw the hand-count auditing of 47,000 plus votes.” He also expressed frustration “that some professional, legitimate companies did make bids to the Arizona Senate to do this work and we would have welcomed that.” The county told the Senate to preserve all documents related to the audit administration in a litigation hold, looking into charges of defamation.  

An observer’s report of the audit told to Washington Post editor Sophia Nguyen—including horror of a “counter” who found “cheese powder” on a ballot. 

Will DDT be back on Facebook? Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill, possibly called the Trump Protection (TP) law, which fines social media platforms permanently banning political candidates in the state. A ban is limited to 14 days with a daily $250,000 fine after that. As almost everyone knows, DDT has made Florida’s Mar-a-Lago his residence. The law comes from the party believing in freedom for private business and no regulations. Florida has blocked free speech from private entities, violating the constitution’s First Amendment. Exempt are companies owning theme parks or entertainment venues larger than 25 acres, aka Disney World and Comcast’s Universal Orlando Resort. Another lawsuite in the wind.

Watch for much more about the Grifters’ Old Party. 

 

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