Nel's New Day

September 17, 2020

Will DDT Kill Democracy?

Today, Constitution Day, commemorates the adoption of the document guiding the U.S. for 233 years. During 190 weeks, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has consistently failed his oath “to preserve, protect and defend” the U.S. Constitution and ignored its checks and balances, electoral responsibility, and legal accountability. “Congress legislates and the president executes,” according to historian and legal scholar Edward Larson who asks for laws to prevent constitutional abuses: “bar emergency declarations from lasting more than a fixed number of days without congressional approval, and authorize either house of Congress to challenge any such declarations or executive orders in court. Further, no president should have power to reprogram funds where Congress has already considered the issue and rejected the funding”; i.e., DDT’s wall taking Defense Department appropriations. Other DDT abuses are continual acting political appointees and starting wars. The most egregious DDT abuse, however, may be his promotion of extrajudicial “law and order” through encouraging violence.

From the start of his first campaign, DDT called for violence against his opponents. His growing desperation in the current campaign, however, escalated the push for violence to an extreme level. The constitution guarantees the right to protest, yet DDT called the military to Washington, D.C. and used them to attack people in the Lafayette Park because he wanted a photo op.

According to D.C. National Guard Maj. Adam D. DeMarco, federal officials stockpiled ammunition and sought devices to deafen people and make them give them second-degree burns. AG Bill Barr and DDT settled on tear gas, stun grenades, “rubber” pellets, smoke bombs, and batons. DeMarco testified protesters were not warned, and the “heat ray” wasn’t used in war for ethics’ reasons. In the past, DDT wanted to use the device on immigrants.

Throughout the protests, DDT has raised the violence level by personally blaming only the people on the left for violence although his white supremacists, who he called “GREAT PATRIOTS,” usually caused the violence. Because the far-right has the support of police to commit violence and attack demonstrators, they have become more and more open with their attacks.

Portland (OR) law enforcement stood by while the Proud Boys and other militia members carrying guns attacked demonstrators. Police didn’t fire tear gas until the white supremacists left. Albuquerque (NM) police protectively circled armed the right-wing New Mexico Civil Guard who shielded a political candidate firing into a crowd of protesters. The police then tear-gassed the protesters and called the right-wing militia “heavily armed friendlies.” Chicago police casually chatted with white men holding bats and described them as “neighborhood people just trying to protect the neighborhood.” Police told people who called 911 they should be grateful for men with clubs menacing passersby during an anti-racist demonstration in a Philadelphia neighborhood. A Hood County (TX) constable asked the Oath Keepers to protect local businesses. Curry County promoted false rumors of an “antifa invasion” to the small towns along the Oregon coast. As in the decades after the Civil War, police are participants and sometimes leaders of the extrajudicial violence. In the 21st century, law enforcement joined vigilante militias to prevent Blacks from cross through white neighborhoods in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  

With the election fewer than seven weeks away and many polls looking better for Joe Biden than DDT, the right wing is promoting more violence to keep DDT in the White House after 2020. On 9/11, the anniversary of attacks on the U.S., conservative talk show host claimed DDT “will have to… put down the enemy” after the election with military using the Insurrection Act. Levin declared, “The enemy is antifa, the enemy is Black Lives Matter…,” ignoring the use of “antifa” for anti-fascism. To Levin, anyone protesting white supremacy in favor of social justice fits the classification of “traitors” who are “treasonous.” He wants to kill them, and he has DDT’s support.  

DDT commuted Roger Stone’s sentence after he was convicted of witness tampering and lying to Congress. In return, Stone promised to campaign for DDT; now he’s working with QAnon-friendly Alex Jones and other conspiracy theorists to rig the elections. Stone wants DDT to declare martial law, arrest public figures such as Apple’s Tim Cook and Hillary Clinton, and “seize” voter ballots from Nevada because they are “corrupted” by “illegals.” To do this, DDT should nationalize the state police and put AG Bill Barr in charge of the FBI, federal marshals, and GOP state officials on Election Day to file legal objections and “if necessary, to physically stand in the way of criminal activity.”

Michael Caputo, Stone’s protégé and DDT’s friend, warned of left-wing “hit squads” being trained to kill people if DDT wins the election. He told people, “If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get.” Caputo is on a 60-day mental leave, but in HHS, he rewrote or refused to release reports written by CDC scientists so that they would match DDT’s lies. His claims lack evidence, but his statements inspire right-wingers to “buy ammunition.” 

Historian Heather Cox Richardson compared the current right wing to “southern Democratic leaders in 1860, when they knew they did not have the numbers to win the upcoming election fairly. They kept opponents from the polls, jiggered the mechanics of state elections, and warned white voters that, if Abraham Lincoln were elected, he and his dangerous radicals would destroy America. As their calls for violence escalated, they promised supporters that if it came to a fight, weak and frightened northerners would run away.”

Richardson optimistically argued against the possibility of armed conflict because the economy of the U.S. is not regionally divided and state governors have stayed quiet. She believes more in the possibility of sporadic violence from “Nazi-adjacent QAnon rumors of a Satanic cabal” and gave the example of a 17-year-old killing two people in Kenosha (WI).

Yet police-supported right-wing militias are taking over parts of Oregon. QAnon conspiracy theorists, including a former GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, are spreading rumors through social media about the “antifa” starting fires throughout the state that have burned over 1.5 million acres in a week. The current GOP candidate is also a QAnon believer. Armed people have set up checkpoints, demanding identification, threatening people, and keeping them from traveling public roads. Other right-wingers, falsely claiming to be “chapters of Antifa” have set up accounts where they claim to be setting fires. (Antifa doesn’t have “chapters.”) To push more fear, white supremacists dress up like antifa in black shirts. County sheriffs send statements that the behavior is illegal, but deputies support the illegal behavior. One Clackamas County deputy, Mark Nikolai, appeared in a video advising vigilantes how to avoid prosecution for shooting anyone they suspect of being a looter, for example putting a “knife in their hand after you shoot them.”

A sheriff sergeant was taped saying Multnomah County law enforcement is okay with “openly displaying firearms” and taking “photos of cars and even license plates” that could produce “a great resource” for police. He added, “Standing on the side of the road, parking on the side of the road, 20 deep, with signs and flashers on, that’s fantastic.” A local resident saw White’s comments as “encouragement” for vigilante action. Portland is located within Multnomah County.

DDT, the self-identified “law and order president,” told Fox’s Jeanne Pirro he believes in police shootings as retribution—the extrajudicial kind—when he talked about the police shooting death of Michael Reinoehl, a suspect in the killing of right-wing Aaron Danielson. With the Proud Boys who were attacking demonstrators in Portland with paintball guns, Danielson had been carrying a knife, according to Reinoehl. After police killed Reinoehl, witnesses stated he wasn’t holding a gun and that police in unmarked vehicles fired without announcing themselves. They said Reinoehl was walking in a parking lot, eating a gummy worm and carrying a cell phone. DDT called Reinoehl a “violent criminal” who engaged the officers in a “gunfight.” Like his praise for the 17-year-old killing demonstrators in Kenosha, DDT called their shootings “retribution.”

DDT assassinated Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and wanted to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In the town hall, he said he wants more police force, presumably to cause more violence and deaths. He killed the Kurds to please the Turkish dictator and has no concern about the Yemen civilians who are dying because of his war. He bragged to Bob Woodward for the book Rage how he protected Mohammed bin Salman after the Saudi Crown Prince tortured, killed, and dismembered the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. He proposes to massacre people in the U.S. by encouraging deaths from COVID-19.  DDT’s indifference to human life is in the news daily. And all to please his supporters.

Steven Levitsky, author of How Democracies Die, wrote about DDT’s support of white supremacist militias, “The public embrace of militias and paramilitaries is clearly recognizable authoritarian behavior.” Ruth Ben-Ghiat, author of a forthcoming book on authoritarian leaders Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, compared DDT’s behavior to Mussolini’s use to violence to destabilize violence in order to claim he is the person to stop the violence. Levitsky said:

“The only way you can avoid violence, and perhaps a constitutional crisis, is if the political leadership moves to de-escalate things and demobilize their bases. Trump is doing precisely the opposite of that.”

U.S. COVID-19 cases: 6,874,596; deaths, 202,213. DDT wants “herd mentality” [sic], meaning 215 million cases and 6.386 million deaths—in the U.S. from the virus.

September 1, 2020

DDT Foments Violence in His America for Personal Benefit

Today, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) visited Kenosha (WI), site of police shooting an unarmed Black man seven times in the back in front of three of his small children. Jacob Blake, the injured man, is lying in a hospital bed, paralyzed from the waist down. Public backlash caused the police to remove his handcuffs and leg restraints.

DDT didn’t go to Kenosha to comfort anyone or bring unity. He wanted to talk to law enforcement and survey damaged property. He has already defended a 17-year-old teenager from another state who shot three people, killing two of them and injuring the third. The teen could not legally possess the gun in Illinois because a parent or guardian didn’t sign off for his owning the gun, and he couldn’t legally carry it in Wisconsin. He went to Kenosha to fight protesters, but DDT said he killed the people out of self-defense. The first unarmed man who the teen killed had thrown a plastic bag at the teenager and then chased him to take his gun. DDT lied about saying the teen was attacked when he killed the first man. [Right: police face off protester.]

State and local officials—the governor, the attorney general, and the town’s mayor—asked DDT to not come to the town in an attempt to keep the peace. Only a former alderman, who co-founded the Kenosha Guard attacking protesters, wanted DDT present. While in Kenosha, DDT called police abusing Black people “some bad apples,” denied any systemic racism in law enforcement and the U.S., and attacked anyone who disagreed with him “all Democrat.” Although there were few fight in the city today, the mood was tense. DDT also falsely took credit for the National Guard deployments authorized by the state governor.

DDT claimed he went to Kenosha because he had “such success” in other cities where sending in his personal militia “shut down [the violence] immediately.” Presumably he was talking about Portland (OR) where DDT agents caused such large protests that they had to leave in a month. The protests calmed down until caravans of white supremacists—mostly from out of state—invaded Portland. Last Saturday one of them was killed after Proud Boys, Three Percenters, and American Guard drove over 1,000 vehicles throughout the city and fired paint balls at demonstrators. DDT said protesters “shot a young gentleman and killed him—not with paint, but with a bullet. And I think it’s disgraceful.” [Left: Paintball guns carried by the radical right could appear to be real guns in a stress situation.]

Last Sunday, Joe Biden condemned violence “whether on the left or the right.” Six hours later, DDT denounced Biden for not criticizing what he called “the Anarchists, Thugs & Agitators in ANTIFA,” leading his supporters to also accuse Biden of ignoring the violence. This timeline shows Biden’s condemnation of the violence—on both sides—for a week. Meanwhile, DDT lied, “Portland has been burning for many years, for decades it’s been burning.” He repeatedly assert that protesters there wanted to kill Mayor Ted Wheeler while he praises his radical right supporters’ violence as he always has.

Cops continue to kill unarmed Blacks in the United States of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). While 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee was riding his bicycle, Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies stopped him for an unspecified traffic violation. He dropped his bike and began to run away. A block away, he punched a deputy in the face and dropped clothing with a semi-automatic handgun. Officers shot Kizzee at least five times; witnesses heard more bullets fired. One witness saw him put his hands in their air after dropping the clothing and gun.

Last night, DDT went off the rails during an interview with Fox’s Laura Ingraham, despite her attempt to protect him. In one piece of the session, DDT compared police who kill unarmed Black men and use other excessive force to golfers. He said, “They choke. Just like in a golf tournament, they miss a three-foot putt.” Ingraham responded, “You’re not comparing it to golf,” but DDT didn’t deny he wasn’t making that comparison.

In another segment, he repeated a QAnon conspiracy as if it were fact. DDT tried to prove Joe Biden is “weak” with his claim Biden was “controlled like a puppet” by “people you’ve never heard of. People that are in the dark shadows. They’re people that are in the streets, they’re people that are controlling the streets.” Protesters in Portland are paid by this shadow group, according to DDT—and QAnon. He continued by saying funding for a “revolution” is coming from “very stupid rich people that have no idea that if their thing ever succeeded, which it won’t, they would be thrown to the wolves like never before.” These funding groups are “a Marxist organization,” DDT said.

Again, Ingraham tried to divert him by saying, “That sounds like a conspiracy theory.” DDT failed to pick up the cue he sounded crazy and kept on going about a planeload of “thugs” flying to an unspecified location to cause trouble.

“We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend. And in the plane, it was almost completely loaded with thugs, wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms, with gear and this and that. A lot of the people were on the plane to do big damage.”

When Ingraham asked for details, he said he couldn’t tell her right now, but he would “sometime.” Today, DDT repeated his conspiracy theory to the press, and QAnon members used his comments as proof that a shadowy group of elites works to undermine DDT. Conspiracy theory researcher Travis View tweeted:

“He’s a hairsbreadth away from just pushing Illuminati, Freemasonry, and Rothschild conspiracy theories. Trump kept the identity of the ‘shadowy’ enemy vague, so conspiracy theorists can fill it with their favorite villain. Some choose China, the Deep State, or ‘Elites.’ Though some prefer the stronger antisemitic twang of ‘banking families.’”

Avowed conservative Bill Kristol noted this morning, “When Laura Ingraham is amazed by something Donald Trump has said, and tries to save him from himself, Donald Trump has jumped the shark.” 

DDT’s craziness followed with the 89 tweets and retweets from Sunday morning, one retweet from OAN blaming “this coup attempt” on “a well funded network of anarchists trying to take down the President.”

Eric Trump’s wife, Lara Trump, agrees with DDT’s retiring counselor that increasing violence will help DDT in his reelection campaign. And radical right Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) supports DDT in defending the teenager’s killing two people in Kenosha. DDT is doing nothing to stop the problems except threaten everyone who may not be his followers with attacks by his militia and the National Guard. Atlantic’s Ron Brownstein questioned whether “suburban voters look at these pictures and say, ‘yes, where I belong is in the same political coalition as men who crowd into pickup trucks w/guns, as in Bosnia 1998 or a Third World dictatorship?’”

In 2019, DDT said in an interview with Breitbart:

“I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump—I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough—until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

Two years earlier, he told police, “Please don’t be too nice.” DDT is pushing them to this “certain point.”

At the convention, DDT promised a wonderful life would begin on November 3. Why not now?

“Law and order” without law also has no “order.” DDT doesn’t want “law” for the perpetrators of violence, whether civilians or police. He couldn’t even follow the law in his own convention last week. Instead of trying to bring “law and order” through peace, he escalates the rage with praise for white supremacists and rage for everyone else, including a call for jailing New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the Democrat who finally quelled the COVID-19 surge in his area. In addition to demanding imprisonment of political foes, which he’s done for a half-decade, he encourages violence for his personal benefit from private mobs and undermines civil authorities.

Like all good authoritarians, DDT uses his party members to manipulate investigations and smear his opponent, tells everyone in his administration to refuse to cooperate with Congress, invites foreign election interference for his benefit, stops vote by people who might oppose him, dismisses competent nonpartisan government officials to replace them with loyalists, uses agents from the Executive Branch as his personal militia, packs the courts, makes money off laws and rules he creates and changes, allows the Russians to put bounties on the heads of U.S. soldiers, and increases civil disorder as a campaign strategy.

As of today, September 1, 2020, another 1,164 deaths from COVID-19 brought the U.S. total to 188,900 after another part of DDT’s campaign strategy allowed the virus to continue unabated, thus making Democratic states look bad. The 41,9479 cases in the past day brought the U.S. total to 6,257,571. The U.S. still has no national testing program, and the death rate per capita is higher than any other advanced countries. That’s life in DDT’s America.

May 9, 2020

DDT’s Shift to Economy Kills

Filed under: Health Care — trp2011 @ 7:47 PM
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Last Sunday, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) held a freewheeling interview with two Fox interviewers in a setting that made him look very small—the Lincoln Memorial. Always the TV producer, he loved the set but maintained that he hadn’t told the Interior Department to clear if for him although he was responsible. DDT did talk about whether to protect people or kill them to protect his economy. He claimed that “you can really have it both ways,” but he picked the latter. He claimed about his unity in the U.S. after siding with the 14 percent, mostly white guys protesting while carrying assault rifles and pushing people around.  

DDT said he wanted to end social distance so he could “sit next to people”—and probably feel loved at his roaring crowds.

DDT wants to kill people by hiding information. Dr. Anthony Fauci has been largely muzzled in the White House, yet he’s still giving interviews, for example when he said on CNN:

“How many deaths and how much suffering are you willing to accept to get back to what you want to be some form of normality sooner rather than later?”

This past week, DDT was comfortable killing about 100,000 people with COVID-19. Back on the campaign trail in Arizona, DDT referenced how it’s okay with him if people are “affected badly” to make the stock market go up. “The people of our country are warriors,” he said, and “we have to get our country open.” He ignored signs telling people to wear masks at a factory that makes masks in Arizona which had is highest number of deaths from the virus on the day of his visit.

Looking like a fool at his White House campaign rallies, DDT said he would disband the coronavirus task force. After severe backlash, he said he had no idea that his daily performances were so popular. He plans to keep the task force but change its focus to the economy instead of COVID-19 .

DDT is blocking testimony from his coronavirus task force to the House, claiming that they are “Trump haters.” Testimony might reveal Jared Kushner’s directive to supply-chain vendors to prioritize orders from “VIPS” (aka conservative journalists) and use inexperienced volunteers.

The disease control experts at CDC spent weeks developing guidance for reopening communities in the safest ways possible, and the White House buried their guidelines. The report included flow charts to help local leaders make decisions about reopening or staying closed. DDT’s new press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, she of the “I won’t lie to the media” claim, said that CDC Director Robert Redfield hadn’t approved the documents. She lied. Redfield approved the document, and DDT shelved it on April 30. Also in the document was a set of phased guidelines, “Steps for All Americans in Every Community,” about testing, contact tracing, and other infection controls. DDT may not mind tracing contacts, but without tests that don’t exist, there’s no one to trace.

Redfield heard nothing after he sent the approved report to the White House for approval on April 27 although he kept asking about its status. The White House killed the document on April 30, saying that it “would [not] ever see the light of day.” On May 7, part of the report emerged into the light when AP published an article about part of it. Yesterday, they got the rest of it. The White House then called CDC and told them to take out the church flow chart.  The guide recommends three phases of reopening, including social distancing, but DDT rejected the guide because it was too cautious.

Governors are helping DDT kill more people. Hours after Arizona’s Gov. Doug Ducey announced his grand reopening plan, the state’s Department of Health ordered Arizona’s two major universities to “pause” compiling data and creating models about COVID-19 cases in the state. The university statistics argued that opening the state wasn’t safe until the end of May. After a public hue and cry, the state backed off from its demand. Arizona’s deaths from COVID-19 is skyrocketing.

COVID-19 infections and deaths are also skyrocketing at meatpacking plants, but HHS Secretary Alex Azar, working hard to please DDT, explained: all their infections happen at other places, and they just happen to be working at the plants. And they get infected because they aren’t “regular folks,” according to Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack during oral arguments suing the government for his stay-at-home order. Location of the meatpacking company under discussion, Brown County HHS Department said no one should blame the meatpacking industry for the outbreak that went from 60 cases to 800 in two weeks.

Health officials in Grand Island (NE) wanted to shut down the meat plant to develop a when they saw the devastating effects of infection at JBS, but Gov. Pete Ricketts refused their pleas. Employers told workers were told to go to work even if they were sick, and rural areas are unprepared for infections in at least 10,000 workers at over 100 meat plants. With a population of 58,607, almost 90 percent living in Grand Island, Hall County has 1,285 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 31 deaths, 38 percent of all the deaths in Nebraska, population about two million.

Four other GOP governors joined Ricketts in bragging how their refusal to issue stay-at-home orders is a “model for success”: Govs. Mark Gordon (Wyoming), Asa Hutchinson (Arkansas), Kim Reynolds (Iowa), and Mike Parson (Missouri). Over 1,600 workers at four Iowa meatpacking plants have been infected; Missouri’s 368 infections on Monday reported the highest number of new cases in one day; Nebraska’s infections in Grand Island is a higher per capita rate of infection than New York; and the virus infected over 100 prisoners and a staff member.

With the help of his sycophants, DDT uses COVID-19 to kill people through lack of transparency, lying, incompetent appointments, failure to care for country’s infrastructure, elimination of health care, restriction of supplies, favoritism, pressure to open the country for rewards, and indifference to human life except for his own.

DDT doesn’t care about anyone else’s health or death, but his Navy valet’s COVID-19 infection sent DDT to “lava-level mad,” accusing his staff of not protecting him. Close to DDT throughout the day, the personal valet serves DDT’s meals, brings him beverages, and ensures that DDT’s clothes are ironed and shoes shined, but DDT claimed he had “very little contact, personal contact with this gentleman.” CDC protocol is that anyone having close contact with an infected person stay home for 14 days since that exposure, check their temperatures twice a day, and stay away from people are high risk of getting seriously ill.

(SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

After DDT discovered his valet tested positive for the virus, he met with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Neither wore a mask. Abbott, over 60, has a weaker immune system after a 1984 accident left him partially paralyzed with a spinal cord injury. DDT’s meeting with two dozen GOP congressional leaders did not require masks and had limited social distancing. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said they had tests. After exposure to the infection, DDT also met with seven World War II veterans, ages 96 to 100. No one wore masks. DDT said he won’t wear a mask because he might look ridiculous.

Katie Miller, VP Mike Pence’s spokeswoman, has also tested positive. She frequently travels with Pence and can often be found at his side in meetings. She recently married Stephen Miller, the xenophobic author of DDT’s anti-immigration decrees. DDT said her test shows why “the concept of tests aren’t necessarily great…. Something can happen between a test where it’s good and then something happens and all of the sudden.” CDC recommends that anyone exposed to an infected person stay in quarantine for 14 days and maintain six feet social distance from all other people. Pence met with faith leaders yesterday before a roundtable on securing food supply.

Ivanka Trump’s personal assistant also tested positive, but she’s been teleconferencing from home for two months.

DDT is getting pushback on his reopening states:

  • 63 percent worry that states will lift restrictions too fast (Monmouth University Poll).
  • 70 percent of adults avoid large gatherings, and 556 percent regularly wear masks in public, including almost half of registered Republicans.  (Reuters-Ipsos poll last week)
  • Only 16 percent said they would be comfortable going to a restaurant or bar, and only 10 percent would be comfortable at public events or large gatherings. Only 32 percent said they would definitely or probably go to church services if restrictions were lifted. (Navigator Research poll in late April)
  • 43.9 percent approve of DDT’s handling the crisis; 52.3 percent disapprove. (RealClearPolitics average of polls)
  • 42 percent approve of the job DDT is doing, down 6 points from mid-April (Reuters-Ipsos poll last week). Monmouth has the same 42 percent, down 8 points from March, and only one-third said that DDT’s advice was helpful with 42 percent saying it was harmful.

And more polls. Other polls disapproving of DDT’s handling the virus.

Most people in the U.S. aren’t comfortable with opening the businesses with so many infections and deaths. The majorities are in both parties, for example, 59 percent of Republicans don’t want sit-down restaurants opening. Over 80 percent think that movie theaters should not open.

On May 9: United States – COVID-19 confirmed cases, 1,347,309; deaths, 80,037

                  World – COVID-19 confirmed cases, 4,100,788; deaths, 280,432


September 15, 2019

Immigration in the U.S.: The Center of Cruelty

Public opinion—aka outrage—about deporting approximately 1,000 seriously ill migrants, primarily children, by denying them any deferred status drew attention before Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) moved Hurricane Dorian to Alabama. Families who must renew their medical deferred status every two years were notified in August that they would be automatically forced to leave the country within 33 days. After a backlash, DDT said he would reconsider the new policy that sends all these migrants to their certain death because they would lack health care, but he hasn’t provided a resolution.

Ken Cuccinelli, acting director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, failed to appear for an emergency House hearing about the travesty, and Daniel Renaud, the associate director for field operations, said that he just follows orders. USCIS, formerly responsible for processing the deferral requests, handed all non-military requests over to ICE. ICE said it knew nothing about the change, and recipients of the deportation letters were not notified. Now ICE won’t address deferral requests until the subjects have an order of removal. The most recent information comes from American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Those people aren’t the only ones who DDT is killing. Last Thursday, ICE rushed the deportation to Cuba of Yoel Alonso Leal, an asylum-seeker with several serious medical conditions including a lung tumor. Over 100 physicians argued that he stay in the U.S. and warned that he might not even survive the flight. No matter—ICE refused to release him to his U.S. citizen wife and family for more tests and treatment. Leal said that Cuban authorities detained and assaulted him in 2016 and 2018 before he sought asylum. 

DDT already killed a man born in Greece 41 years ago, who legally came to the U.S. at less than a year of age, by deporting him to Iraq where he died without insulin for his diabetes. Jimmy Aldaoud never learned Arabic and was part of Detroit’s Chaldean Catholic community, targeted in Iraq by extremists. He was sent to Iraq because Greece doesn’t recognize birthright citizenship. Other Chaldeans, a conservative group, are also targeted for deportation, one of them for a years-old marijuana conviction that was dropped from his criminal record.

ICE also plans to kill detain immigrants by not vaccinating children for the flu. Despite the claim that detainees are held for only 72 hours, they can remain in detention for over a month. At least three people in government “care” have already died of the flu.

DDT also wants to terminate a program protecting undocumented family members of active-duty troops from deportation. Currently the program allows military family members illegally entering the U.S.—for example, overstaying a visa—who cannot adjust their immigration status to temporarily stay in the U.S. The program avoids distractions coming from worries about a spouse being deported and allows the spouse to apply for a green card. Already ICE doesn’t follow its own policies by deporting former service members and breaking the tradition of giving a path to citizenships for those who serve in the military—almost 130,000 since 2001. Last year, the Pentagon discharged immigrants with special skills recruited under George W. Bush’s program.

A lawsuit against Cuccinelli purports that all his directives are “invalid” because he “lacks the authority to serve as acting director.” Cuccinelli is also unqualified to serve in this position because he describes immigrants as rats although his job is to facilitate legal immigration. His new policies include fast-tracking initial screenings of asylum-seekers from 48 hours to a “full calendar day,” blocking them from preparing for interviews of seeing legal help. Cuccinelli is serving as “acting director” because GOP senators have doubted his appointment.

In another cruel form of current government bureaucracy, 37 asylum seekers accused of illegal entry were all processed at one time and expected to answer questions in unison. Public defendants had under two hours to talk with 41 defendants in one case. Unlike other courts under the judicial branch, immigration courts are under the control of DOJ AG Bill Barr. [Right: “Justice” under the reign of Barr and DDT.]

New tent courts recently established at the southern border will hear thousands of cases for asylum-seekers in closed hearings with no court observers unlike open immigration court proceedings. Attorneys are not allowed to participate although most asylum-seekers can’t get legal representation. Over 42,000 asylum-seekers are forced to wait in Mexico where they have been assaulted, kidnapped, and extorted. Others have let Mexico bus them to the middle of the country or the border of Guatemala. The hearings in the tent court facilities are via video teleconference, a serious problem from faulty equipment with poor video and sound quality that prevent due process. 

Last week, people believing in justice breathed a sigh of relief when a federal judge ruled that DDT cannot require asylum seekers to ask another country for shelter before seeking refuge in the U.S. According to DDT’s coerced agreement with Guatemala, people coming from Central America into Mexico must try and fail to obtain asylum in Guatemala before moving on to go through the same process in Mexico before seeking asylum in the U.S. Mexico had refused DDT’s negotiations, but he still forces the “third-country” asylum rule on that country. A 9th Circuit Court ruling against DDT’s new restriction had been only for the ten states in its jurisdiction, but Jon S. Tigar made that ruling consistent for the entire country to prevent “uneven enforcement.”

The relief ended when DDT’s U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay to that judge’s ruling until the courts settled the cases, a process taking and leaving the Supreme Court as the final decider—or “fixer” for DDT. The lower courts determined that DDT’s policy conflicts with existing immigration statutes, violates the requirements of administrative rulemaking, and completely blocks all asylum for people on the southern border unless they come from Mexico. The decision was not explained.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginzberg submitted a dissent stating that lower court decisions should be respected and a stay overturning a lower court is “extraordinary.” The Supreme Court should not be used for the government to ignore lower court litigation. DDT’s administration has made an “extraordinary” number of requests—20—to bypass normal procedures or lower court actions. In addition to procedural anomalies, the dissent pointed out that the goal of DDT’s asylum policy is acting in bad faith. Facts do not support their arguments and illustrated that the policy puts untold numbers of people in serious danger—which DDT and his co-authors know. The decision overturns a longstanding offer of safe refuge to the persecuted with no input before DDT loses on the case’s merits. The lower court determined that DDT’s new policy broke government rules, violated the law, and lacks justification by being arbitrary and capricious.

One group of immigrants that DDT wants to protect are Venezuelans. He thinks that it might help him win the state of Florida in the 2020 election.

Perhaps the worst part of immigration court is control by the DOJ instead of the judicial branch. DDT’s fixer AG, Bill Barr, promoted the six judges with higher rates of denying immigrants’ asylum to the immigration appeals court that can overturn lower court decisions. Two of them came from courts drawing complaints of unfair proceedings from attorneys and advocates, and a third denies asylum to domestic violence victims. The six comprise over one-fourth of the appellate board, and four are on the DDT-created Board of Immigration Appeals. Barr established a regulation giving himself the ability to make any appellate decision binding. DOJ sent an email to all immigration court employees with a link to an article from the white nationalist website VDare that “directly attacks sitting immigration judges with racial and ethnically tinged slurs.”

The DOJ also filed a petition to decertify the union of immigration judges with the claim that they are “management officials.” The Federal Labor Relations Authority refused this tactic over 20 years ago, but the new FLRA members mostly belong to DDT. Last year, the union fought the new DOJ quota system of completing 700 cases a year and “efficiency” procedures that could damage due process in court. DDT has appointed at least 43 percent of the 440 immigration judges; changing them to “management” would allow him to fire them at his whim.

While DDT torments and kills migrants, the asylum law is now at the center of his immigration battle. The law says: “Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States, whether or not at a designated port of arrival … may apply for asylum.”

Not satisfied with detaining only immigrants, DDT wants to incarcerate the homeless in a federal facility, starting his roundup in California to rile up his base for the 2020 election.

At his speech in Baltimore, DDT used a favorite term, “goddamn,” which the evangelical community hates. Texas megachurch leader and DDT supporter Rev. Robert Jeffress said, “I can take just about everything else, except [taking the Lord’s name in vain.” For evangelicals, cruelty, corruption, killing, abuse, lying, racism all okay, but “goddamn” crosses the line.

August 10, 2012

U.S. Still Not ‘Post-Racial’

Previous elections have had one-day stories—here for a few hours and then gone. This year is different. Stories stick around. One example is Mitt Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns. Perhaps this might have been because people now are getting more news from the Internet that keeps the issues at the forefront. For whatever reason, the stories that pervade the Internet these days frequently depict the prevalence of racism.

The election of Barack Obama to the office of president created the myth that the United States had entered a post-racial era. Instead, racism has become more and more widespread. For example, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), commonly known as the deadbeat dad because he owed more than $100,000 in child support, is calling on the Tea Party to pat the Commander-in-Chief, President Obama, on the head and call him “son.” (Walsh is also known for attacking the service of his opponent, Tammy Duckworth, for her value as a veteran; Duckworth is well known as a helicopter who lost both legs and damaged an arm when her UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by Iraqi insurgents.)

Andrew McCarthy renewed another story that won’t go away when he gave a speech at the National Press Club supporting Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) horrific charges that Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. He went further than Bachmann, saying that she “actually understated the case” because “Ms. Abedin had a very lengthy affiliation with an institute founded by a top figure at the nexus between Saudi terror funding, Brotherhood ideology, and al-Qaeda’s jihad against the United States.”

McCarthy claimed that one connection came from Abedin’s exerting influence over Clinton by having her appear at a college that Abedin’s mother had founded in Egypt, the same school where George W. Bush’s adviser Karen Hughes spoke. Mother Jones reporter Adam Serwer asked McCarthy how the president supported sharia law when he also support marriage equality. And what about his position that the president killed Osama bin Laden because

“the Islamists [Obama] wants to engage have decided al-Qaeda is expendable” and counter to their peaceful takeover of American institutions.

McCarthy responded, “I’m a whack job, I guess.” But he keeps promoting whack ideas so that other whack jobs can follow him.

And Bachmann isn’t alone in her whack job attitude: her letters calling for an investigation about the Muslim Brotherhood’s “deep penetration” in the U.S. government were also signed by Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Thomas Rooney (R-FL), and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA).

Even anti-President Obama religious leaders condemned these far-fetched claims. One of 42 organizations signing a letter of protest to these letters is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops which has opposed many of the president’s policies.

Gohmert called his critics “numb nuts.” One of the “numb nuts” is Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who has seemingly returned to sanity after his campaigns for president (2008) and senator (2010). On the floor of the Senate, he said, “These allegations about Huma Abedin, and the report from which they are drawn, are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated American, and a loyal public servant.”

Wes Harris, the founder and chairman of the Original North Phoenix Tea Party, ranted against McCain and promised a recall. Harris’ blog piece against the senator ended with what sounded like a threat: “Go to hell, Senator, it’s time for you to take your final dirt nap.”

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) demanded “credible, substantial evidence” from Bachmann to back up her accusations. In response, he received a letter he described as “16 pages worth of repeated false allegations. Just regurgitated nonsense.” In the letter, Bachmann did omit one of prime sources, Frank Gaffney, so far right that even the far-right organizations have refused to allow him to attend their meetings. He is the source for Rep. Allen West’s (R-FL) claim that the House is sheltering 80 communists among the Democrats. On Gaffney’s radio show, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) endorsed Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) paranoia. Bachmann is a member of this committee.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA) defended Bachmann in her Islamophobic quest. In a CBS interview with Charlie Rose, Cantor stated that her accusations came from her “concern about the security of the country.” Romney’s campaign advisor John Bolton joined Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh in saying that there was nothing wrong with Bachmann’s investigation.

Bachmann’s website has posted this statement: “The letters my colleagues and I sent on June 13 to the Inspectors General of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Department of State – and the follow up letter I wrote to Rep. Ellison on July 13 – are unfortunately being distorted.”

One serious effect of Bachmann’s stupidity was the protesting against Secretary of State Clinton in Alexandria last month. Bachmann’s lies  led Egyptians to believe that the country’s new Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, was pushed on them through a U.S. plot. One of them explained to journalists “that the Obama Administration is pursuing a closeted pro-Muslim agenda.” A Egyptian blogger used information from Gaffney’s radio show as evidence that the U.S. has a strong connection with the Muslim Brotherhood.

After Japan won the 2011 Women’s Soccer World Cup by defeating the United States, U.S. fans flooded social media sites with racist comments about “Japs” and “Pearl Harbor.” The situation was no better this year when the U.S. defeated Japan 2-1 when U.S. fans  gloated about payback, comparing the defeat to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs (MS) refused to marry church members Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson because they are black. No black wedding is permitted at the church. The Southern Baptist Convention still supports slavery.

The killing of six Sikhs in Wisconsin last week is the culmination of over 1000 cases of random violence, killings, vandalism, bullying, beatings and intimidation against the Sikh community since 9/11.

The current Republican presidential nominee told the world in a speech that people in Israel are better off because the Palestinians are a “different” (aka lower) culture than the Israelites, in the same way that people in the United States are more productive than the people in Mexico because of U.S. “culture.”

Google “U.S. racism,” and you get almost 5,000,000 hits—from just the last month. This country is nowhere near “post-racial”!

Everyone in the country should heed McCain’s statement about Bachmann’s actions: “When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it.”

July 28, 2012

Conservatives Promote Evil

Sick, disgusting, and evil. These are the words that come to mind when I read about the billboard paid for the Ralph Smeed Foundation, an Idaho-based group that espouses limited government and individual liberty. Twenty-six miles out of Boise anyone can read the message comparing President Barack Obama and James Holmes, who killed 12 people and wounded another 49 in an Aurora movie theater.

“Kills 12 in a movie theater with assault rifle, everyone freaks out,” reads the sign’s left half, which displays a photo of Holmes. “Kills thousands with foreign policy, wins Nobel Peace Prize,” reads the right side of the panel, which shows a photo of Obama. The point of this vicious complaint about the president is what the foundation perceives as the president’s handling of the Afghanistan war.

Conservatives now accuse the president and his supporters of blaming George W. Bush for the problems that the country has. They ignore the fact that Bush declared war on the basis of a lie about the existence of “weapons of mass destruction” and to satisfy his own personal ego.

This hateful, offensive act follows several years of bigoted behavior about the first part-black president. Conservatives ignored all the killing done in the eight years before the election of Barack Obama; now they will do anything to get rid of the man who wants only to help the people of this country—which includes the people who despise him.

When I first read about this billboard, I thought it was another piece of satire. Sadly, it’s true.  How much farther can the hate mongers of this country go?!


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