Nel's New Day

February 28, 2021

DDT Can’t Escape His History

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) has left the White House and denied access to his favorite communication device, Twitter, but investigations into events during his term in the White House continues to be exposed.  

A recently released report explains how Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was involved in how Jamal Khashoggi, U.S. resident and journalist, was coerced into the Saudi embassy in Turkey for the purpose of torturing him before his murder and dismemberment. DDT consistently covered up MBS’s involvement in the crime for a number of personal reasons. MBS was also a personal friend of DDT’s his son-in-law Jared Kushner. The released intelligence report now fully proves DDT knew about MBS’ involvement in the killing since its occurrence in October 2018 despite his repeated denials.

DDT had been enamored with Saudi Arabia and MBS since his inauguration. His journey to the country was his first foreign trip after he moved into the White House. The media fully covered the visit where he tried to participate in the sword dance and touched  the glowing “orb” along with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi and Saudi King Salman. According to MBS, a new book by New York Times reporter Ben Hubbard, DDT was given the orb, but people were afraid the photos people took with it would cause a scandal. Hubbard wrote, “The orb was hidden away in embassy storage.”

DDT’s not-so-secret weapon to derail mail-in voting, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, has reappeared in a congressional hearing. In DeJoy’s first few weeks last June, he cut back workers, overtime, and equipment to drastically slow down first-class mail delivery so much that Congress tried to block him. Despite lost equipment from his beginning, most of the ballots managed to get delivered on time, thanks to the efforts of Democratic legislators. DeJoy has remained in his position because the DDT-appointed board for the postal service is leaving him there. During his hearing last Wednesday, DeJoy showed a high degree of arrogance. When Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) asked him how long he planned to remain as postmaster general, he responded, “Long time. Get used to me.”

In the hearing, DeJoy also promised greater delays in service along with higher prices, including no longer having two-day delivery for first-class mail and limit air transport for it. DeJoy said, “Does it make a difference if it’s an extra day to get a letter?” He didn’t address the fact that some first-class mail isn’t delivered for weeks. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “The Postal Service needs leadership that can and will do a better job.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) joined other Republicans in accusing Democrats of conspiracy theories to create “chaos and confusion” in the information about delayed mail delivery. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) answered Jordan:

“I didn’t vote to overturn an election. And I will not be lectured by people who did.”

During the hearing, President Joe Biden announced his decision to fill the three vacancies on the nine-member USPS board with these nominees: Anton Hajjar, former general counsel for the American Postal Workers Union; Amber McReynolds, chief executive officer of Vote at Homes supporting mail-voting in the 2020 election; and Ron Stroman, a former deputy postmaster general on Biden’s transition team. Stroman quit last year because of DeJoy’s position on delaying the mail. Two of the appointments are Democrats; McReynolds is unaffiliated. She was Denver’s director of elections from 2011 to 2018 where she implemented a complete vote-by-mail elections system for the city. Appointments include two men of color and a woman.

The current DDT-appointed chair, DDT-supporter Ron Bloom, can also be replaced because he took the place of another board member whose term ended in December 2020. All the Republican members on the board are friends of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and, like DeJoy, have donated large sums to both the GOP and DDT. The entire board is composed of wealthy white men with limited postal service

Last week’s hearings included an investigation into the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by the House Appropriations Committee. Key moments:

Intelligence reported to the U.S. Capitol Police headquarters about an attack on January 5, but the department’s leadership wasn’t notified, according to former Chief Steven Sund, who resigned after the insurrection. The FBI sent an email the night before the attack about an eminent attack, but Washington’s acting Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department Robert Contee said a late-night evening email was not sufficient to highlight the threat.

The insurrection was coordinated, with prepared people bringing equipment such as climbing gear, explosives, chemical spray, etc. They used hand signals and radio communications when they breached the building. Some rioters claimed they were caught up in the spirit of the event, but members of far-right extremist groups planned the attack for weeks and months, judging by the criminal charges against them. Even DDT’s lawyers claimed the attack was pre-planned during the impeachment trial.

Pentagon officials were either unable or unwilling to rapidly sent National Guard troops, as evidenced by their delay after desperate pleas for help.

Sund said he asked the two former congressional sergeants of arms for an emergency declaration to call in the National Guard, but neither one recalled the request. According to Sund, Paul Irving said he “was concerned about the ‘optics’ and didn’t feel the intelligence supported it.” Irving denied saying that and couldn’t remember talking to Sund although Sund said he made the request at 1:09 pm on January 6.

Phone records prove Irving ignored Sund’s pleas for help, according to Yogananda Pittman, acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, who said Sund called Irving at 12:58 pm to request the National Guard as rioters breached the building. Lawmakers were forced into hiding. Sund called Irving another four times until 1:45 pm.

The continued presence of law enforcement and a fence remains, according to Pittman because militia groups announced their intention to “blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible” when Biden addresses the Congress.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), responsible in the past for putting Russian disinformation into the Senate record, read  a statement from an observer standing out by the fence that the violence came only after police provoked the protesters and “fake Trump protesters” were at fault. Before the hearing he had said there was no armed insurrection on January 6.

DDT’s financial records including his tax returns for eight years—reportedly millions of pages—are now with Cy Vance, Manhattan’s district attorney, for review after the U.S. Supreme Court refused DDT’s appeal to block the subpoena. The question now is whether DDT can slow the process long enough to get past the statute of limitations, six years in New York. State law, however, now excludes the time when a person charged with a state crime while acting as president, but the question is whether this exclusion is also for criminal conduct predating the law’s passage. If the law holds up, the time for limitations begins on January 20, 2021. Vance also has only ten months left in his current term and doesn’t plan to run for re-election.

Meanwhile, Vance has enlisted outside experts, including a forensic consulting firm, to examine the documents. The accounting records can determine fraud by showing how tax figures were calculated as were done in the Paul Manafort investigation. Manafort was sentenced to over seven years in prison before DDT pardoned him in December. Tax returns can also determine whether other financial records are false.

Despite DDT’s pardon for Steve Bannon, DDT’s former main strategist, DOJ prosecutors won’t dismiss the indictment against him as a matter of record. Bannon allegedly siphoned off over $1 million from GoFundMe donations for building part of DDT’s southern wall. According to Nixon v. United State, a pardon does not erase the grand jury finding probable cause for Bannon’s committing the indictment’s offenses. The prosecutors’ letter explained:

“Were the Court to dismiss the Indictment against Bannon, it could have a broader effect than the pardon itself, among other things potentially relieving Bannon of certain consequences not covered by the pardon.”

Vance’s office has subpoenaed Wells Fargo and GoFundMe for financial records tied to Bannon’s crowd-funding effort. Bannon may face state criminal charges which cannot be pardoned by a president.

DDT may have a parallel with the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City (NJ) which was leveled by an implosion on February 17, 2021. People paid $10 for watching it in person, and a front-row seat cost $575. The building was the first of DDT’s casinos going bankrupt with unpaid contractors and suppliers. During his campaign he bragged about how much money he made in Atlantic City where he put personal debts on the casinos, leaving debts to investors. The eyesore was destroyed as an “imminent hazard” because of falling debris and metal.

February 14, 2021

Biden’s Work Leads to Popularity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 22, 2020

No Government Shutdown, Little Funding

The threat of the holiday 2020 government shutdown has been averted if Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) signs the $2.3 trillion budget bill. Included in the bill is $900 billion for coronavirus relief. Congress already passed the $741 billion defense bill which DDT has not yet signed and promised to veto. He has until Wednesday before it goes into law unless he vetoes it in that time.

The House passed the budget by 359-53, the Senate by 92-6. The White House said DDT will sign the measure. The six GOP senators voting against the bill: Marsha Blackburn (TN), Rand Paul (KY), Rick Scott (FL), Ron Johnson (WI), Mike Lee (UT), and Ted Cruz (TX).  

DDT has signed a one-week Continuing Resolution to give time for the budget’s paperwork preparation.   

Last May, the House passed a $3 billion stimulus bill; it passed another one for $2.2 trillion in October. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to go above $1.1 trillion but finally settled on $900 billion in his attempt to get two GOP incumbent senators re-elected in Georgia on January 5. Arguments about the contents of the bill included the inclusion of stimulus checks, extended unemployment, and assistance for state and local governments—all opposed by Republicans. The GOP wanted no liability for lack of safety from COVID-19 and the elimination of any programs to use money from the Treasury Department rainy-day fund to save the country from financial crisis. Republicans lost both of these as well as financial help for states. The 5,593-page measure probably has lots of mystery items because lawmakers had only a few hours to consider it. A few openers:

  • $1.375 billion for 56 miles of DDT’s border wall;
  • $5 million for a database to track police misconduct;
  • $153 million for programs to better community relations with police;
  • 3 percent pay raise for military;
  • 1 percent pay raise for the civilian federal workforce.

Critics have pointed out that the “stimulus” bill is quite skimpy, especially the direct aid: 

  • $166 billion: the federal unemployment insurance supplement of $300 a week, extended for 11 weeks;
  • $120 billion: direct aid checks of $600 a person making under $75,000;
  • $284 billion: forgivable loans for businesses paying for rent and workers;
  • $15 billion: live venues, movie theaters, and other entertainment;
  • [several billion]: other Small Business Administration programs;
  • $82 billion: colleges and schools with $54 billion going to public schools;
  • $69 billion: vaccines ($22 billion – testing and tracing, $20 billion – vaccine procurement, $9 billion – vaccine distribution);
  • $45 billion: transportation, including $15 billion for the airline industry;
  • $25 billion: rental assistance and an extension of the moratorium on evictions;
  • $20 billion: Economic Injury Disaster Loans;
  • $13 billion: food-assistance programs, increasing the maximum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit by 15 percent;
  • $10 billion: childcare assistance.

States and cities have a full year to use funding from last March’s Cares Act bill. In another measure, health providers must work with insurers for a fair price in case of unexpectedly out-of-network care to avoid massive bills. Republicans get a tax break on “three-martini lunch” because Democrats wanted expanded tax credits for low income families and the working poor. DDT lobbied for that benefit. Lawmakers claim this bill is only a starter for help, but McConnell will almost surely not allow another one. The GOP firmly believes in austerity when a Democrat is president.

Oregon hit national news when about 300 heavily armed white supremacists, including Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer, broke into the state capitol during a one-day special legislative session. The far-right protesters attacked police with spray chemical agents, broke glass in the doors, and tore tarps from vandalized marble reliefs on the front steps. Streets around the capitol were closed, and residents were told to avoid the area. DDT has gone silent about any protesters, including the Antifa, because of the white supremacists’ unprovoked attacks on people. [Left: a protester at the Oregon capitol.]

Arizona’s GOP Chair Kelli Ward wants DDT to “cross the Rubicon,” the illegal action Julius Caesar took to change the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire through civil war and require people to swear fealty to him and not their country.

Caught up in a conspiracy theory, air-conditioner installer David Lopez-Zuniga was going to work in a small cargo truck filled with parts last October when a SUV deliberately struck his truck and forced him to the edge of the highway. Feigning an injury, Mark Aguirre, a former Houston police officer who believed the truck had 750,000 fraudulent ballots, ordered Lopez Zuniga to the ground and pointed a gun at his head. Aguirre claimed “Hispanic children” were used to sign ballots because their fingerprints weren’t in any databases. Steven Hotze, head of a conservative nonprofit, hired Aguirre as one of 20 investigators looking into Texas ballot fraud—conspiracy theories fed by DDT and his court cases. Aguirre was fired from the Houston police force in 2003 for ordering the arrest of 300 people in a retail store parking lot, some of them shopping. He claimed drag racing, and the city paid almost $1 million to settle multiple lawsuits. Aguirre refused to say why he picked Lopez-Zuniga and called the charges a “political prosecution.”  

AG Bill Barr has until Wednesday in office, and he opposes special investigators for both Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, and election fraud. He also thinks DDT is wrong with his rejection that Russia is behind the current cyber espionage; he said the hacking “certainly appears” to be from the Kremlin. On Monday, DDT told a tea party conference he won in a landslide and wants the Justice Department to back him in overturning the election. Barr also said there is no reason for seizing voting machines, something Sidney Powell talked about with DDT Sunday at the White House. DDT’s campaign had fired Powell because of her history of false claims. 

Boeing’s 737 MAX is back in the air after being grounded for 21 months ago, but a bipartisan Senate report describes how the company and the FAA manipulated its recertification tests after the two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019. Boeing “inappropriately coached” FAA test pilots for the airplane’s desirable outcome with some tests on simulators not equipped to recreate the same conditions as the crashes. The FAA also retaliated against whistleblowers, blocking the investigation, didn’t hold senior managers accountable, and permitted Southwest Airlines to operate dozens of falsely certified planes.

The post office is again failing to deliver packages on time. This time the reason is heavy e-commerce and COVID-19 infections/exposures among almost 20,000 employees. DDT’s Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s sabotage of USPS delivery, especially of ballots, worsened the situation by trashing sorting machines and cutting back on overtime. Georgia’s election, with a deadline on January 5, has a request for 1.3 million mail-in ballots.

Last August, Russians poisoned Vladimir Putin’s opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Almost dying, Navalny tricked the Russian assigned to tail Navalny into explaining the method of poisoning: the lethal nerve agent Novichok was planted inside the crotch of his underpants. Konstantin Kudryavtsev believed he was being debriefed by a senior official from Russia’s National Security Council and talked about traveling to Siberia to clean up the evidence. Navalny probably lived because his flight was diverted to Omsk where he was treated within minutes of landing. When Kudryavtsev got the clothing, he applied solutions to destroy any evidence of poison, according to directions from Stanislav Makshakov, the official in charge of the toxin team.

Russia’s four-year ban from international sports competition may be cut in half, but the country will still miss the next two Olympics and the World Cup. No flag, no anthem, no presence at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics, 2022 Winter Games (Beijing), and other competitions such as the FIFA World Cup, the Youth Olympic Games, Paralympics, and other world championships. Russian athletes can compete but not under the Russian flag. The court ruling for Russian doping also requires Russian government representatives, including Putin, cannot attend a major international event for the next two years. Russia must pay $1.27 million to the World Anti-Doping Agency for covering the costs of its investigation and turn over data from its Moscow laboratory.

With the addition of a Moderna vaccine, the CDC is planning more vaccinations with the next tier going to essential workers and people 75 and over. The first group was comprised of healthcare workers and people in nursing homes along with “older” members of Congress. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), 49, joined the “older” group to get vaccinated, becoming one of the 32,000 Floridians in a state with a population of 21,480,000, mostly people over 65 and an enormous nursing home population.

Grifters are making money off the grifter in the White House. Reggie Skyrock and Ashley Weiss selling bus tickets to Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2021, for $40—no refunds. Yes, you read that right. It’s posted on Event Brite. And the announcement was still there a few hours even after The Bulwark outed them.  

December 5, 2020

DDT: Week 202 – More Losing

The day after states certified 279 Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris, making Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) officially the loser, DDT begged Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to call a special session for the state legislature to switch the electors’ votes to DDT. He also wants Kemp to order an audit of absentee ballot signatures although Kemp had told DDT he lacked that authority. Last week, DDT trashed Kemp and said he was sorry he had supported him. Five states still need to certify electoral votes—Hawaii, Colorado, and New Jersey bringing Biden to a total of 306 plus Missouri and West Virginia to give DDT his 232 votes.

After 32 days with no rally, DDT traveled to Georgia, ostensibly to persuade people to vote for the two GOP incumbent senators in January 5’s runoff. He had a few scripted lines about this race being “the most important congressional runoff probably in American history” before running true to form by making people question whether they should vote in a “rigged” election. DDT started out by stating he won the election and rambled for most of the speech, whining and lying.  

In five hours Friday, DDT lost court cases throughout the nation’s six swing states when judges, several of them conservative, either refused the cases or ruled against him. In a Douglas County (GA) machine count, GOP mandated, Biden netted another two votes.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito stalled one case until December 9, the day after the “safe harbor deadline” for certified votes to the Electoral College. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) wants the high court to nullify all his state’s votes and turn over the electoral decision to the GOP state legislature. Alito’s date most likely won’t allow a decision before the final vote on December 14. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court makes the final decision regarding violations of the state constitution, not the U.S. Supreme Court. Also the state’s General Assembly cannot call itself into session until January 5 and lacks authority to overturn the popular vote or its own slate of electors, according to the 1937 Pennsylvania Election Code requiring the popular vote selecting electors.

Forty-six days before Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) leaves the White House, he filled the Pentagon’s assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs with another totally unsuited loyalist. Scott O’Grady will oversee military relationships with NATO members and countries in the Middle East and Africa. His qualifications are claims that DDT won the election in “landslide fashion,” millions of votes were stolen from DDT, and DDT should declare martial law to take the majority of votes. O’Grady also condemned former Defense Secretary James Mattis as a “traitor” and accused Hillary Clinton and George Soros of involvement in a foreign plot against elections. Add to that his support for Sidney Powell, lawyer who can’t even file lawsuits against Biden’s election without massive misspellings and other mistakes. O’Grady joins DDT’s recent acquisitions in the Pentagon such as Michael Flynn’s foreign aide Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) former Russia naysayer aide Kash Patel.

These faithfuls have prevented President-elect Joe Biden from meeting with U.S. intelligence officials of agencies controlled by the Pentagon, including the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence, and other military-run spy services with classified budgets and global espionage platforms. Biden was cleared for these meetings two weeks ago. A Defense Department spokesperson claimed no meetings had been denied before saying the requested meetings could happen next week—over a month after the election allowed DDT’s team to contact intelligence agencies with multibillion-dollar budgets, satellite networks, and vast surveillance authorities. With the delay, the president-elect lacked information about espionage operations regarding Iran, China, Russian, and other of the nation’s adversaries from weapons proliferation to foreign interference in U.S. elections. The CIA gave not only extensive access to senior members of Biden’s transition team but also the agency’s computer system and office space in its area used for visiting VIPs.

DDT also purged the more than a dozen members on the advisory Defense Business Board. Two former secretaries of state, Madeline Albright and Henry Kissinger, were replaced with Cory Lewandowski and David Bossie. Former DDT campaign manager Lewandowski was fired after he became violent with press members; Bossie, DDT’s deputy campaign manager in 2016 and insider on the network Newsmax hosting QAnon, currently runs DDT’s legal efforts to award electoral votes to DDT. Other removed members include retired Adm. Gary Roughead, former chief of naval operations and onetime ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, and Rudy De Leon, a former chief operating officer at the Pentagon considered by then-Defense Secretary James Mattis for a high-level policy role. 

What DDT wants from his new Defense Department leadership:

Continued removal of troops from the world: DDT’s order to take almost all the 700 special-ops military members from Somalia means no guard against terrorists. The removed troops aren’t coming home, however; they’ll go someplace else in Africa.   

Sale of $23 billion in arms and F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates: Congress may vote against the sale with a bipartisan concern the UAE may provide U.S. technology to Russia and China. Joint resolutions, up for vote next week, also point out the sale’s risks to Israel.

Leasing the Pentagon airwave spectrum to a private company: Republicans are backing Rivada Networks to create a nationwide 5G network, but career Pentagon officials stated Rivada may lack the knowledge and the plan may be illegal.

Other supposed DDT loyalists are drifting away. DDT accused both the FBI and his former fixer DOJ AG Bill Barr of election fraud to get Joe Biden elected with crazy claims of people receiving up to four ballots and dead people applying for ballots. Barr had told the public he found no widespread evidence of election fraud.

John Ratcliffe, appointed as director of intelligence to supervise 17 agencies because of his loyalist attitude, said—reluctantly—foreign governments are “amplifying” DDT’s false election fraud claims. He said  their goal is “to undermine public confidence in our democratic processes.”

Citing the Russia-connected OAN network, DDT claims the USPS, led by his loyalist Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, “is responsible for tampering with hundreds of thousands of ballots” because the agency is “a Democratic stronghold.” With 99.9 percent of ballots sent on time, DeJoy’s sabotage on the part of DDT may still have disenfranchised 25,000 to 50,000 ballots by delaying voters’ ballots. The problem might have been much worse without congressional hearings for DeJoy’s postal service and lawsuits against his slowing down the first-class mail.

While DDT pushes to stay in the White House, he only has the false claim of election fraud. Gone is his lie about “best economy in history,” especially after November added only new 245,000 jobs. Unemployment shrank from 6.9 percent to 6.7 percent because people stopped looking for work, but only the well-off bounced back.

Most of the populace is struggling. Employment rate for people making $60,000+ is up, and low-wage jobs are down by almost 20 percent. The Dow Jones went over 30,000 last month—a “sacred number,” according to DDT—while car lines at food banks stretch for miles. Of the 3.4 million leisure and hospital jobs lost in the past nine months, only 31,000—under one percent—returned last month. With surging cases of COVID-19 and little hope for a sizeable stimulus package, layoffs are on the horizon. Airlines are down 81,749 employees in nine months, and Southwest Airlines plans to furlough another 6,800 workers, about 12 percent.

Consumer spending, measured by credit and debit card data, began to fall by the end of October. Thirteen percent of households with children report food insecurity, and one-third of people have difficulty paying household expenses. And November’s job report was based on the pay period through November 12 and surveys of households through November 14—before the coronavirus surge.  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wants the stimulus bill included in the must-pass budget measure to keep the government open after December 11. A bipartisan plan for $908 billion:

  • $180 billion: unemployment benefits ($300 per week on top of existing state unemployment).
  • $288 billion: assistance for U.S. businesses.
  • $160 billion: state and local governments.
  • $82 billion: schools.
  • $45 billion: hard-hit transit agencies including airlines, airports, and Amtrak.
  • $25 billion: housing and rental assistance.
  • $10 billion: U.S. Postal Service.
  • $10 billion: childcare.

Also included is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s line in the sand, a liability shield to protect companies against coronavirus-related lawsuits.

Another line in the sand for McConnell is not bringing a new House bill to the Senate floor, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. Passed by 228 to 164 with only four Republicans and one independent joining all but six Democrats, the law would remove marijuana from the Federal Controlled Substances Act and expunge many prior convictions for its possession. The government’s five-percent sales tax on cannabis products would go toward grant programs to help people find work, re-entry services, and legal aid if they have been negatively impacted by the War on Drugs. Forty-four states have decriminalized, legalized for medical use, or fully legalized the substance. In a Gallup poll, 68 percent of adults, the highest percentage every recorded, support cannabis legislation; this year, both red and blue states voted to legislate cannabis.

December 5, 2020: DDT still refuses to discuss the huge cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. (208,790) and deaths (2,251). Numbers typically shrink on the weekend because of less reporting. Infections will go over 15 million tomorrow, and deaths will hit 300,000 within a week.

November 4, 2020

DDT’s Claims Indefensible

Like over half the people in the United States, I woke up this morning with a feeling of dismay and apprehension after almost 70 million people voted to “take the country back” instead of supporting democracy. This column by Alexandra Petri helped me pull myself together.

“I’d Like to Announce Right Now That I Have Won the 2024 Olympics,” by Alexandra Petri

[“’With millions of votes yet to be counted, President Trump falsely asserted election fraud, pledged to mount a legal challenge to official state results and made a premature claim of victory. … In remarks at the White House early Wednesday, Trump claimed that he won several states that are still counting ballots.’”— The Washington Post, Nov. 4, 2020]

“Hello, everyone! As long as we are announcing we’ve won things we haven’t won, I would like to share now that I have won the entire 2024 Olympics. I was surprised, too, given that I do not do any sports, and the Olympics have not concluded—or even started—yet, but, well, there it is. You had better cover my announcement, because I think it is big news for one person to win the entire Olympics of 2024, the Summer Olympics, the better of the two Olympics!

“It’s especially impressive when you consider that I am not an athlete! I used to run, but only when late for a train, and I don’t do that anymore. And yet it did not matter: I won the 2024 Olympics! Incredible! I won the pole vault and I won the gymnastics (floor and balance beam) and I also won all the events that Katie Ledecky usually wins, which should be impossible, but I guess it was not, because I must have believed in myself. A pretty inspiring story, I think, and big news. I hope America will hasten to get behind me and acknowledge my victory with various parades and jet flyovers and things of that nature.

“Please stop saying I haven’t won the 2024 Olympics and we won’t know who won the 2024 Olympics until 2024, at the very earliest. This partisan sniping tears America apart! We all know that the realest, most important part of the Olympics has already happened: the part where it was announced and I decided I would like to have won it.

“All the indications are pretty clear, now, before the races have concluded or even begun, that I am the clear winner in all the Olympic events. My shot-put performance was especially impressive! This overwhelming show of strength by me speaks for itself. Please don’t be distracted by the calls of the so-called athletes to “wait for the Olympics to begin, transpire and conclude before we declare a winner.” That would be divisive, the last thing we need right now, when we should all be rallying around me, the clear winner of events which, were they to have been won by someone else, would be illegitimate and thievish.

“My gymnastics victory was especially impressive. And let me say now: If my gold medal for floor events is stolen from me and given to Simone Biles, simply because in four years’ time she showed up and competed in the actual event, performed a better routine and received a higher score, that will be stealing. Stealing is wrong. What I am doing is not stealing; I just won and am saying so. Two totally different things!

“My victory in the 2024 Olympics was so overwhelming that I can also announce, right now, that I received a Nobel Peace Prize, for being so humble about it. Wow! And a — oh my gosh, the Pritzker Prize, for architecture? You shouldn’t have! Huge story right here, my winning this Nobel Peace Prize that I definitely won, and also this entire Olympics, single-handedly, and this Pritzker, and — an EGOT? This is incredible. If I were the sort of person who could get tired of winning … but fortunately, I’m not.

“All I had to do was believe in myself, it turned out! Congratulations to me, the clear victor, and thank you for giving me the media coverage I so lavishly deserved for my unparalleled achievement, which definitely is real and most certainly happened. Bring me my gold!”

Once I read Petri’s column and finished my breakfast, I almost regained my sanity, ready to put on my mask for grocery shopping and other errands. I’m still watching the results, maybe hopeful for Joe Biden, and ready to go back to the news. DDT’s insane lawsuits: 

DDT uses lawsuits as an outlet for his anger—at least 3,500 in fewer than 50 years. He started out in the early 1970s as a defendant when he violated the nation’s Fair House Act by discriminating against Blacks in his apartment building. DDT’s ghostwriter for The Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz, said the housing case represented a “classic example” of DDT as a “counterpuncher”: to any accusation, DDT “goes back at them with all guns blazing…. And admits nothing.” If Trump loses, he will “declare victory.” Of the 3,500, he was defendant in 1,450 court cases and 1,900 as plaintiff. Of the 3,500 lawsuits, Trump or one of his companies were plaintiffs in 1,900; defendants in 1,450; and bankruptcy, third party, or other in 150. Trump was named in at least 169 suits in federal court.

Possibly losing the 2020 presidential election, DDT is running true to form. After DDT lied about his victory, his campaign announced a legal blitz to stop counting votes in Pennsylvania and Michigan, do a recount in Wisconsin, and challenge the handling of ballots in Georgia. This afternoon, Biden was the projected winner of Wisconsin and Michigan as well as running behind by only 44,000 votes in Georgia and possibly having a path to a Pennsylvania win. AP gives Biden a lead of 264 Electoral College votes over DDT’s 214, although the Arizona governor has still not conceded its 11 votes to Biden. A winner needs 270 votes.

Back to DDT’s litigation. In addition to the above lawsuits, the campaign claims it will challenge voter ID rules’ guidance in Pennsylvania and sue Chatham County, home of Savannah (GA), for mixing ballots arriving after the 7:00 pm deadline with eligible ballots. Early Wednesday morning, DDT said that he was going directly to the Supreme Court, but he needs to first take his problems to lower courts. Last night, the Nevada Supreme Court unanimously rejected the Nevada GOP and DDT campaign request to stop counting ballots in Clark County, home to Las Vegas, a failed tactic forcing the polls to stay open until 11:00 pm and delaying the release of results. Nevada is not rushing the counting process, and all mail ballots postmarked by Election Day are accepted until next Tuesday, November 10.

A federal judge in Pennsylvania looked askance at the GOP lawsuit to eliminate all ballots in a county where voters could fix—or cure—mail-in ballots. State election law doesn’t prevent this from happening; it just doesn’t specifically say they can. The county has done for years, but the GOP waited until after Election Day to file its suit. The George W. Bush judge said, “I do not understand how the integrity of the election was affected. He may issue his ruling on Friday.

After DDT’s legal assaults, he again announced he had won the presidency.

Armed federal officers are not permitted to be stationed at polling places, but they can take their guns into counting rooms, according to AG Bill Barr’s deputy, raising the concern of interference and intimidation. Barr spent the last month listing the most outrageously false examples of possible voter fraud, even “misrepresenting” (aka lying) about nonexistent cases in Texas. The Constitution describes elections as a state matter with no interference from the DOJ.

Counting votes in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania has lagged behind other states, thanks to GOP-controlled legislatures. They refused to permit mail votes to be even processed before Election day, perhaps hoping DDT would be successful in claiming the invalidity of any votes counted after November 3. Most states count mail ballots early, and the few that don’t at least prepare them for counting before Election Day.

Georgia, with DDT about 40,000 ahead, suffered from software problems in counting batches of absentee ballots in large county and a broken water pipe at the ballot processing site in Fulton County, the middle of Atlanta. 

Judge Emmet Sullivan of the D.C. Circuit Court, also known for his fierce preservation of law in AG Bill Barr’s protection of Michael Flynn to support DDT, won’t accept USPS Postmaster Louis DeJoy’s refusal to follow Sullivan’s court orders. “Someone may have a price to pay for that,” Sullivan said when DeJoy didn’t sent postal inspectors to find 300,000 missing ballots yesterday. Now he has disenfranchised 300,000 voters. DeJoy, DDT’s friend and donor, deliberately slowed mail delivery from the beginning of his appointment last spring. In a Senate hearing last summer, DeJoy said under oath that ballots would arrive on time. Sullivan said, “The postmaster’s going to have to be deposed or appear before me. I’m not going to forget it.” The ballots received entry bar code scans at processing facilities, but not exit scans. This map shows how missing ballots impact voting results.  

Good news! COVID-19 is over in the United States. That’s what Trump supporters said. Coronavirus is a hoax and ends on November 4. Except the number of cases yesterday for the U.S.—even Trump supporters—was 108,389, headed toward 10 million toward the end of the week. In addition, 1,201 people died—from COVID-19. Maybe tomorrow won’t have any cases, and this chart will magically drop to zero.   

Election Day Filled with Intimidation, Finishes with DDT’s Demented Speech

November 3, 2020 was Election Day, and a tired and weak-sounding Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) went on state-controlled Fox television to whine. After talking about how “mean” his ex-friends are to him, he said “by far the most difficult country to deal with is the U.S.,” much worse than Russia or North Korea.

Election Day 2020 decides whether people want the U.S. to be a complete dictatorship or a democracy. On this date four years ago, the United States still hoped to elect Hillary Clinton although then-FBI Director James Comey dropped her polling with his email-release “October surprise.” Four years later, the majority of people in the U.S. hope for an end to the petty, selfish, “me-first” toddler behavior from the Oval Office. 

My home state of Oregon, which knows how to conduct complete vote-by-mail, settled the vote within a few minutes after the deadline for ballots to be received. I lost some of my preferred candidates, but Shemia Fagan won the Secretary of State, second to the governor and in charge of electoral issues. Her opposition destroyed her business’s documents after financially defrauding the state, and I wondered if she would do the same with ballots of the opposite party. 

Throughout Election Day, GOP and Democratic groups avidly watched the counting of ballots. The GOP leader, Mike Roman, began his reputation in 1993 by persuading a judge to throw out hundreds of mail-in ballots to seat his candidate, Bruce Marks, in the Pennsylvania State Senate after the Democratic candidate received more votes. As DDT railed against vote-by-mail, he focused only on that state, ignoring the other 80+ percent of states also using the same method. Roman ran GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch’s political network intelligence unit. With volunteers from DDT’s “Army for Trump” website, Roman collected 50,000 supporters plus paid full-time staff in only 11 battleground states. Marks made his legal career representing wealthy Ukrainian and Russian clients.

GOP intimidation continued throughout the day. Robocalls in heavily Democratic Flint (MI) told people to wait until Wednesday—the day after Election Day—to vote because the lines will be shorter. This message is like last year’s scam when robocalls told people that Republicans should vote on Tuesday (Election Day) and Democrats on Wednesday (the day after Election Day). Once again Republicans figure they can’t win if they don’t cheat. Residents in Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, and North Carolina received threatening robocalls telling them to “stay safe and stay home,” and other robocalls in Michigan also told people about “ballot sensor issues.”  

Again, DDT’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany violated the Hatch Act, like many of DDT’s “loyalists,” by politicking for her boss on Fox network. She told the hosts of Fox & Friend that “Democrat [sic] cities” will “send The Left out to attack you” if “you don’t choose The Left’s chosen candidate.” McEnany argued “the left should not be given federal power” and then called for “democracy,” which DDT hates. She made her comments after DDT repeatedly praised a group of his supporters, who he called “patriots,” for attempting to run Biden supporters off an interstate in Texas.

Earlier, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) dropped any pretense of appearing ethical when he introduced DDT at a Florida rally. About the violence from DDT supporters in Texas, he said, “We love what they did.” He continued, “We do that in Florida every day. Fox News host Jeanine Pirro described the violence as “ordinary Americans just taking this election into their own hands.”

Georgia, where Gov. Brian Kemp seemingly rigged the computers in the past, had to resort to paper ballots after the computers broke—again. A poll worker said the scanners were locked and election workers couldn’t get into the machines. The county said it wouldn’t extend voting hours without a court order. The problem was finally diagnosed as faulty loading of information, and the court did extend voting hours to 11:00 pm. The state also delayed delivery of voting equipment to Democratic areas such as Fulton County, the center of Atlanta. Two years ago, Georgia didn’t provide power cords for voting machines and locked up 2,000 voting machines so they weren’t available to areas with high Democratic turnout.

Through social media, Trump supporters openly planned to drive their caravans of vehicles at polling sites, potentially causing problems with election security and violent confrontations despite laws in some states against campaigning on or near polls. Referring to slowly driving around the parking lot of a voting center in Maryland, one organizer said, “There’s nobody that can stop us.” At least 18 of the event organizers reportedly support conspiracy-ridden QAnon. Targeting racially diverse areas, one group of Trump supporters yelled racial slurs at children in Marin City (CA) and another provoked an alteration with residents in Fort Worth (TX). A caravan blocked access to a Temecula (CA) voting center, and a Louisville (KY) Trump supporter directed traffic with a gun at a high school. That’s McEnany’s “democracy.

DDT’s new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, failed to follow a court order to search for and deliver ballots, blocking at least 300,000 of them from arriving at election offices.

Sunday night, DDT told a Michigan audience his son Barron recovered from COVID-19 in 12 seconds. He said that proves children should immediately go back to school. Last week, over 61,000 children contacted coronavirus, 11 percent of all the COVID-19 cases. Some people thought he might have been sedated because of his incomprehensible comments:

“They said, ‘Sir, Barron … just tested positive.’ I said , ‘Tested positive for what?’ “For Corona.’ See, I like the China virus. Or I like the plague from China, but a lot of people use it like it sounds like an island in Italy. I said it’s not Corona. But, ‘Just tested positive for Corona.’ I said, ‘Wow, I don’t like that. That’s not good.’ Barron, you know he’s strong, very tall, he’s only 14-years-old, but he’s very tall. … And he’s a good boy, but he just tested positive. And I said, ‘Wow.’ Then about 12 minutes later I see the doctor. ‘Doctor, how’s Barron doing?’ “Oh, it’s okay, he’s fine now. Took him about 12 seconds to get rid of it.’ Because they’re young and they have a strong immune system. He got better like so fast. You know what I say? Let the kids go to school.”

Allan Nairn wrote, “The Republicans are working harder to stop votes from being cast and counted than they are to stop the spread of the deadly virus Covid-19.” On Election Day, 94,463 people in the U.S. were newly infected, and 1,199 more people died from COVID-19.

From the glorious blog of Margaret and Helen comes this advice—too late for Election Day but still worth pondering:

“It’s unimaginable. Forty percent of Americans are ok with hating the other 60% of their fellow Americans because Trump told them to be afraid. Forty percent of Americans are fine having a President who has 26 credible accusations of sexual assault and bragged about it on video. Forty percent of Americans watched an adult make fun of a disabled person and 4 years later they want more of that. Forty percent of Americans gladly gave up their confederate flags and white hoods and replaced them with a Trump flag and a red MAGA hat. Forty percent of Americans can kiss my ass.

“We are supposed to be better than this. We are supposed to be Americans first and political foes second. Under any other Presidency we would all be wearing masks because Americans have always taken care of Americans in times of crisis. We have our flaws, but we’ve always come together when we had to. But under this guy, under Trump, we couldn’t’ even come together to fight a global pandemic. Wearing a mask is just too much to ask. Grandparents have lived long enough evidently because wearing a mask to protect them was just too much of an inconvenience. You have asthma. Heart disease. Cancer. An unknown health risk. Screw all of you because that mask is uncomfortable.

“Is this who you want to be America? Is this as good as it gets? This idiot? This thin, orange skinned, balding sex offender? Margaret and I hope not. We both married and have now buried veterans who fought for this country. In their honor and in their memory, we implore you. Vote. Him.Out.”

In the ultimate intimidation, DDT came out with his family at 2:20 am EST to address 150 maskless political guests in the White House, telling them that he already won the election, calling wins in states where a large number of ballots have not been counted. He wants “all voting to stop,” perhaps meaning “counting” because “voting” stopped hours ago. Except in Arizona where he hoped to win. At the time of his speech, DDT was behind in both the number of electoral college votes (221-213) and the popular vote (65,876,111-64,300,836), leaving 104 electoral college votes in play. After DDT’s speech, Joe Biden picked up another 11 Electoral College votes by winning Arizona. DDT incoherently said, “What happens to the election? It’s off. They’ll take us to court.” He followed that by saying he’s going to the Supreme Court, presumably to block any more counting of ballots. Let the games begin—or continue.

 

 

September 23, 2020

Whither the Vote

Filed under: Elections — trp2011 @ 12:30 AM
Tags: , , , , ,

Today celebrates two days. Fall Equinox is the halfway date between the longest and the shortest days of the year; the fourth Thursday in September is National Voter Registration Day in 2012. This year, voter registration is reportedly down, perhaps because of COVID-19 but also from all the red states’ roadblocks. Stephen Colbert, host of A Late Show, has provided an informative website for all voters in the U.S. So popular it crashed within minutes of its debut, the website is now on target and available here.  

At no time in recent history has voting been a larger topic in both the courts and the media. For months, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) ranted about the dangers of fraudulent voting by mail although he used this system in the midst of his rants. When he claimed that Democrats had the advantage with this system, Republicans panicked because many older people want to avoid disease and long lines by mailing in or dropping off their ballots. DDT even told people they would contract COVID-19 by putting their ballots into drop boxes. DDT’s attack on mail-in voting led to 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans requesting absentee ballots in Florida.

When DDT’s disinformation failed to convince people their ballots wouldn’t be counted with mail-in voting, he sued the process and encouraged his GOP followers to do the same. This year has seen an unprecedented number of suits related to elections and voting—over 300 in 44 states.  In 1993, Oregon debuted its statewide vote-by-mail with a 39 percent turnout. Eleven years later, the general election in Oregon, using the same system, more than doubled the turnout at 86 percent. The next three stayed over 80 percent. Yet of the listed 300 lawsuits, only four were in Oregon, three concerning problems with initiatives and one protesting the policy of no gatherings. In Texas, where voting is highly restricted, the last general election turnout was 46.45 percent.

In stressing, with no evidence, the unreliability of the postal service delivery, DDT may encourage courts to extend deadlines for returning ballots. In Wisconsin, a federal judge ruled that absentee ballots can be returned up to six days after the election if postmarked by Election Day. DDT lost similar cases in Michigan and Pennsylvania where courts also extended the deadline to receive ballots. Pennsylvania expanded use of drop boxes, and officials told counties they couldn’t reject a ballot based on an election official believing the signatures on the ballot and in the voter’s file don’t match. Almost 1.9 million people applied for absentee ballots. All three are swing states.

In another victory for Wisconsin Democrats, the state Supreme Court kept the Green Party’s candidate off the ballot. The ruling allows ballots to be mailed on time. The majority on the court, including one conservative, determined that the Green Party candidate waited too long to sue. Over one million absentee ballots were mailed last Thursday.

In Nevada, a federal judge dismissed the DDT campaign lawsuit against the state’s new law in which each eligible voter will receive a ballot on the basis of no standing. DDT’s campaign has 30 days in which to appeal, Election Day is 42 days from today. 

Five days ago, a judge in the Michigan Court of Appeals overturned a law opposing third-party collection of absentee ballots (called ballot harvesting) in the weekend before Election Day and permits ballots to be counted up to two weeks after Election Day if they are postmarked the day before Election Day. DDT vigorously objected to the harvesting although someone else took his primary ballot to Florida. The judge pointed out that the case showed only “rare” cases of “voter fraud and threats to election integrity associated with absent voter ballots.” Yesterday, DDT told people in Michigan to vote early by mail after opposing it for months. Michigan is another swing state.

In still another swing state, an Ohio judge blocked the GOP secretary of state’s decision to limit ballot drop boxes to one per county. Voting begins in two weeks, but the state and the Ohio GOP appealed the ruling. The GOP also accused the judge of colluding with Democrats for his ruling, and a Ohio Supreme Court justice, also a Republican, called the attack on the judge “disgraceful, deceitful.” She wrote:

“The Republican Party’s statement should be seen for what it is: part of a continuing string of attacks against any decision that doesn’t favor a political end, regardless of party, even if that decision may be legally correct and indeed legally required.”

As DDT tried to destroy vote-by-mail, he concentrated on the USPS and appointed Louis DeJoy as postmaster general. DeJoy dismantled equipment, working schedules, even mail boxes on the street. 

In a big change, a federal judge in Washington state in a lawsuit by 13 states issued a temporary injunction against DeJoy’s changes. DeJoy had promised Congress he had improved mail service, but delivery declined in 30 of the 67 USPS districts from August 29 to September 4. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian stated DeJoy and Trump are “involved in a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” and “this attack on the Postal Service is likely to irreparably harm the states’ ability to administer the 2020 general election.” In the 13-page preliminary injunction, Bastian wrote, “At the heart of DeJoy’s and the Postal Service’s actions is voter disenfranchisement” and cited DDT’s threats about withholding funds and “the actual impact of the changes on primary elections that resulted in uncounted ballots.” He continued that it wasn’t a stretch of the imagination to conclude that the changes were “an intentional effort on the part of the current administration to disrupt and challenge the legitimacy of upcoming local, state and federal elections.”

All election mail must be treated with first-class delivery standards, andBastian’s order included banning DeJoy’s “trucks leave on time” policy which Bastian called a “Leave Mail Behind” policy:

“Plaintiffs have made an extensive showing of irreparable harm that is caused and will be caused by the Postal Service’s ‘Leave Mail Behind’ policy and the Postal Service’s refusal to ensure that election mail will be treated as First Class mail to ensure timely delivery.”

Investigations have proved the drastic reduction of on-time mail delivery—up to 85 million more late deliveries in one week. Every USPS district in the country saw a drop in on-time performance with the worst delays in some key November battleground areas: northern Ohio (20.4 percent), the Ohio Valley (15.8 percent), Detroit (19.1 percent), and central Pennsylvania (17.9 percent). Bastian also blocked the removal of sorting machines, noting 72 percent of the machines were taken from counties supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016. He wrote:

“DeJoy’s actions fly in the face of Congress’s intent to insulate the management of the Postal Service from partisan politics and political influence and acknowledgement that free and fair elections depend on a reliable mail service.”

DeJoy apologized to almost half the secretaries of state in the U.S. about the false information on a postcard sent to people and said he would work with in the future. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who sued DeJoy for the misleading postcards, said “actions speak louder than words.“ DeJoy’s excuse for his changes was to save money, but his salary and those new positions filled with four people from his former company come to about $1 million. He added two senior executive advisers, an executive administrator, and a chief of staff.

American Oversight is suing the USPS because it also refused a Freedom of Information request to see DeJoy’s calendar. He also won’t show it to congressional members. Austin Evers, the organization’s director, asked, “Who has Postmaster General DeJoy been meeting with and why is he trying so hard to keep it a secret?”

Yesterday, a federal judge in New York also ruled against DeJoy’s changes and mandated the USPS treat election mail as a priority. He also ordered USPS permit overtime and extra deliveries as needed by election mail. The USPS must file weekly public reports to the court about its performance. If the two sides who went to court don’t agree on a plan by Friday, the judge will impose his own order.

Looking into DeJoy’s past shows a multitude of unethical, if not downright, criminal behavior. He has a variety of conflicts of interest and promised his employees he will repay them with bonuses for their donations to the RNC to make him look better. He cheated his brother with deceptive financial practices in the family trucking company which may have included theft of mail. The case was settled with a secrecy settlement. An audit found USPS noncompetitive contracts with DeJoy’s former company cost up to $53 million more than if competitively bid and “did not fully meet Postal Service requirements.”

Early voting has already started in eight states, and absentee ballots were mailed out in another 23 states. (See dates). Absentee or mail-in voting is smart because people can avoid intimidation at the polls. This scene from Fairfax (VA) shows the MAGA folks demonstrating in the midst of people waiting to vote. The lines are much longer because of social distancing, beyond the 40 feet where demonstrators are not allowed. Opening up more room inside the government center gave some voters shelter, and officials escorted voters by the group—like escorts at women’s clinics past protesters.

In another danger, DDT has decided he may have his personal federal judges count the votes and the “federal court system” will call the winner hours after the polls close. Never mind that ballots will be coming in after Election Day for at least two weeks. If he doesn’t win, he plans to have his Supreme Court—with the new justice—appoint him for another four-year term. And the radical right is buying lots of ammunition to support DDT’s rigging the election. It’s the DDT way—bully everyone into submission. Happy National Voter Registration Day!

September 12, 2020

DDT Seeks Win for Personal Power

Filed under: Donald Trump — trp2011 @ 12:12 AM
Tags: , , , , ,

Today is 9/11, the 19th anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s bombings in the U.S. which killed 0.015 percent of people who have died thus far in the United States from COVID-19.  Today is also the release of news that, throughout the term of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), the U.S. Treasury skimmed almost $4 million dollars from the Fire Department of New York’s (FDNY) World Trade Center Health Program, a program which “tracks and treats FDNY firefighters and medics suffering from 9/11 related illnesses.” More people have died of 9/11-related illness than on 9/11. Former comedian Jon Stewart led the charge shaming Congress into passing the law for this healthcare almost unanimously in 2019.

A huge irony of 9/11 is the difference in reactions to U.S. deaths. In a survey, 57 percent of Republicans—DDT’s supporters—found 180,000 deaths acceptable, but the country was completely traumatized by the attacks on the trade center. Jon Schwarz provides a reason for the discrepancies.

George W. Bush, appointed president by the Supreme Court, actively generated panic for 9/11:  

“Americans could not sleep safely in their beds unless we invaded Afghanistan. The FBI should be able to obtain the bank records or internet activity of citizens anytime it wanted without a warrant. Saddam Hussein was hiding anthrax in his mustache.”

The almost 200,000 deaths from COVID-19, allowed and promoted by DDT’s policies, came after he “played down” the concern even when the CDC predicted the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S., perhaps as many as 1.7 million. At the same time, DDT “played down” the upcoming economic disaster for tens of millions of people.

The difference comes from politics based on illusions inside our heads created by leaders. With people traumatized by 9/11, Bush and his administration could do anything they wanted—“a more permanent role in Gulf regional security” that “transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein,” according to the think tank Project for a New American Century. Then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said he wanted to “go massive–sweep it all up, things related and not,” including Iraq. if possible. Then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Bush viewed 9/11 as an “opportunity.”

COVID-19 required a big government response, but DDT only wanted  to star in his TV show. He cared nothing about PPE, contact tracing, or funding to help people out of work; his only wish was to do nothing but retain power to keep power and hide his financial records, 

Through history, governments determine what they want and find the rationale:

December 10, 1989: President H.W. Bush wanted to invade Panama. When Panamanian troops shot a U.S. soldier and threatened to rape a Navy officer’s wife, Bush had his chance and killed hundreds of thousands of people. There was no connection between the event and the invasion, but Bush used it to oust Manuel Noriega, a CIA asset who because Panama’s military leader.

August 2, 1964: The single bullet hole in the U.S.S. Maddox when it exchanged fire on August 2, 1964 with North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin led to the escalation of a war killing millions of people in Indochina.

April 1980: Iranian-backed members of Islamic Dawa opposed to Saddam threw a grenade at Iraq’s deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz: Saddam took Iraq to war with Iran with millions of people killed on both sides.

June 1982: Palestinian terrorists tried to assassinate the Israeli ambassador to the U.K. in London: Israel invaded Lebanon, resulting in thousands of people dead as well as the Sabra and Shatila massacre.

September 1938: Jewish Herschel Grynszpan shot a German diplomat in Paris: Nazis . According to the Nazi Party’s SA paramilitaries, this required them to carry out Kristallnacht.

DDT is using Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and AG Bill Barr to get reelected.

Louis DeJoy: Two appearances and investigation into the removal of necessary equipment to keep the mail moving has shown that DeJoy’s assignment in his new job is to delay mail delivery in DDT’s desire to stop voting by mail. But more revelations show more corruption by the new USPS postmaster general.  

DeJoy jeopardized the “health of millions of Americans” with his “significant” delays in delivery of prescription drugs, according to pharmacies..

DeJoy’s donations of hundreds of thousands of dollars to DDT and GOP senators match in time to the February nomination of his wife, Aldona Wos, to the post of U.S. ambassador to Canada.

As RNC fundraiser, DeJoy repeatedly urged workers at his supply chain company to donate to GOP candidates and later reimbursed them with larger bonuses, leveraging his influence for advancement of his personal interests. A “straw donor” scam carries prison time. DeJoy said he didn’t know anyone felt pressured. In 2018, DDT pardoned right-wing agitator Dinesh D’Souza for his straw donor scheme.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), vulnerable in his upcoming election, was a top recipient of DeJoy’s generosity. Tillis is in more trouble after his staffer was taped telling a constituent, a three-time cancer survivor who had endured medical bankruptcy and difficulty accessing care, to not get insurance if she couldn’t afford it—like a new dress shirt. The woman’s husband is furloughed because of the pandemic.

DeJoy’s company XPO Logistics, in which he holds at last $30 million, made $286 million from the USPS in seven years, including the $14 million since he became postmaster general, four times as much during the same months last year.   The company which Postmaster General Louis DeJoy used to work, and in which he still holds a $30-$75 million stake, has made $286 million off of the post office in the last 7 years. That includes $14 million paid out just in the last 10 weeks, since DeJoy has been in his new U.S. Postal Service job. The company, XPO Logistics, has seen a huge increase in business from the USPS this year The New York Times found through a public records request. It made just $3.4 million in the same time frame during 2019 and $4.7 million in 2018.

The Postal Service Board chair, Robert Duncan, has a close connection to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as a director of a major GOP super PAC for GOP senators. McConnell, who wants to privatize the USPS, recommended Duncan to DDT and blocks legislation for funding the postal service.

Duncan’s board secretly met to look at the investigations into DeJoy; two Republicans were pleased with DeJoy’s performance and don’t mind the slow delivery. They also accept DeJoy’s innocence in campaign finance violations because DeJoy believes in it.  

DeJoy is advertising for someone to manage public policy issues.  

Another DDT servant helping him keep power and hide all his finances, AG Bill Barr, is saving DDT legal fees in the E. Jean Carroll lawsuit and requiring taxpayers to fund the defense provided by the once-independent DOJ and moving the case from state to federal court. Carroll had accused DDT of rape, but she could not sue him because the statute of limitations had run out after over two decades. The case had switched to defamation because of DDT’s denial in 2019 interviews. Barr wants the government to “substitute itself” for DDT because his denying the rape is part of DDT’s “scope of his office.” When DDT said he wouldn’t have raped Carroll because she “wasn’t his type,” he was using his official capacity. Taxpayers will also be required to pay for any damages, and the case’s move will delay the lawsuit.   

Carroll said DOJ’s actions “demonstrate that Trump will do everything possible, including using the full powers of the federal government, to block discovery from going forward in my case before the upcoming election to try to prevent a jury from ever deciding which one of us is lying.” The DOJ has no defenses of DDT, and a federal judge must first decide whether the U.S. government can be the defendant. The DOJ will have to explain why denying a rape and lying about never having met Carroll is an official duty of the Oval Office occupant and lying about never having met her, especially when it concerns an action taken before his election.    Steve Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor, stated the DOJ might be trying to get the case thrown out “because the government itself can’t be sued for defamation.”

Satirist Andy Borowitz wrote a humorous piece about Barr’s being DDT’s lackey:

“…In a move that many in the legal profession and laundry industry called unprecedented, Attorney General William Barr announced that the Department of Justice will start picking up Donald J. Trump’s dry cleaning, effective immediately…

“Barr abruptly ended his press conference, stating that he had to get Trump’s brown loafers reheeled.”

Once again, the daily number of COVID-19 deaths—1,094—is more than one-third the deaths on 9/11. Is 197,421 total number of deaths in the U.S. still “acceptable” to 57 percent of the Republicans? The number of infections is rising—46,600 (totaling 6,636,247).        

August 25, 2020

DDT’s Claims False But He’s the GOP Agenda

After Day One of the GOP convention, party lawmakers and strategists asked for more vision and less doom, but the RNC has no values in its platform. It’s sole agenda is Dictator Donald Trump (DDT)—whatever he wants—“the Party’s strong support for President Donald Trump and his Administration.” His campaign page does list 50 points divided into ten categories beginning with new jobs and businesses while cutting taxes and giving more money to large companies. It finishes with hiring more police, being more punitive on immigration, and creating more military strength both here on Earth and in space. Nothing about anti-abortion, religious freedom, or the U.S. Constitution—nothing that DDT used to woo the evangelicals.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) concluded last night’s convention by falsely claiming “our side is working on policy”—unlike the Democrats. The GOP non-platform of 2020 using only catch phrases and no debating or writing proves Scott wrong. Annie Lowrey wrote in The Atlantic, the GOP is “the party of no content,” which has grown “remarkably quiet on how they would govern” and “moved into a queasy post-policy space.” Follow Scott’s claim with questions, What policies? And where are they?”

The four-night production speaks only to DDT’s base. Former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), who lost his district in 2018, said that parties only “about the cult of personality don’t so well in the long term.” After his narrow loss to a Democrat in 2018, the two-term Curbelo said DDT wasn’t the future for “a small government, free enterprise party.”

The GOP has the advantage of spinning off the Democrats’ convention. Speakers last night stressed what a lovely person DDT is: kind, compassionate, empathetic, just downright sweet. Certainly not racist, despite references to “Chinese virus,” and much better than his opponent, Joe Biden. Other rosy views included how well DDT did in handling COVID-19—with no numbers of deaths or infections—and his humanitarian treatment in criminal justice. These perspectives, as well as the sunny view of the economy, erased the past seven months. [A round-up of commentary from the Daily Kos.]

Tonight, Eric Trump who professed his love for his father, touted peace in the Middle East, (eradicating any notice of Palestinians), and cited his father’s love for law and order, (ignoring the many arrests of his associates and Eric’s subpoena to appear in a fraud investigation regarding the Trump Organization). If Eric wants to claim the Fifth Amendment, he must appear in court and give that response to every question.

Also discordant was the naturalization ceremony for five people in the White House while DDT is blocking all other naturalizations throughout the U.S. because they must appear in person. For purely partisan purposes, DDT used the White House to present people as props from places he called “sh*thole countries.” 

Another speaker allowed to speak, Abby John, praised the police of being “smart” if they racially-profile her biracial son, saying, “Statistically, my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons.” 

The speech drawing the biggest controversy was the one from Pompeo who bragged about giving a possibly illegal, and definitely unethical, partisan speech from Jerusalem, where he is on official business. U.S. policy is that the U.S. speaks with one voice overseas and not for one political party. According to updated memos, approved by Pompeo, give this instruction:

“Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees may not even attend a political party convention or convention-related event.”

Pompeo is not exempted, and restrictions are more strict for U.S. diplomats overseas. Last month, he sent the directive to all people on diplomatic and consular posts. State Department employees expressed disappointment in Pompeo, but many were not surprised because of his past partisan activities. Left-learning pro-Israel organizations expressed opposition to Pompeo’s choice of backdrop for his speech because of the partisan U.S.-Israel relationship. Yet he needs DDT’s support for a 2024 presidential run.

My favorite message from many of the speakers is that people in the United States need to think for themselves—as long as they think the way that these same speakers tell them to do.

One of the speakers for the second night of the Republican National Convention was scrubbed from the program for her QAnon tweet telling her 40,000+ followers to investigate an evidence-free Jewish plot to enslave the world. On the same night that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke from Israel, Mary Ann Mendoza, a DDT campaign advisory board member, was supposedly going to speak about her son’s 2014 death caused by a drunk driver illegally in the U.S. The anti-Semitic tweet related lying smears about Jewish banking forces determined to enslave non-Jews and promote world wars as well as Nazi hoaxes. Her tweet described Hillary Clinton as a “Satanic High Priestess” and the smell of sulfur in Barack Obama’s Washington home, relating him to the devil and Hell. Former Utah GOP legislator Sheryl Allen has called for the RNC to remove House candidate Burgess Owens, another Qanon believer, from speaking tomorrow night.

In a disastrous press conference, DDT rolled out  his convention the day before with a “breakthrough” for his new COVID-19 miracle cure. He pushed an emergency use authorization (EUA) of the convalescent plasma transfusion treatment with antibodies with the claim of 35 percent mortality reduction. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said “we dream” of this statistic, and FDA commissioner Steven Hahn glowed about “a 35 percent improvement in survival,” even defending it to a reporter who questioned whether he was over-selling the treatment.

The truth emerged about the “breakthrough” being only hype from incomplete data by a subgroup of hospitalized patients. A scientist from the Mayo Clinic study didn’t know the source of DDT’s figure he attributed to the study. It wasn’t in any material. Dr. Walid Gellad, leader of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh, added, “For the first time ever, I feel like official people in communications and people at the F.D.A. grossly misrepresented data about a therapy.”

In addition, the study, lacking a placebo group, was not a randomized clinical trial,  Duncan Young, a professor of intensive care medicine at the University of Oxford, UK described problems with the EUA:

“We will not know if it works, as the EUA essentially causes clinicians to give the treatment rather than entering patients in clinical trials. There may also be a rationing problem as it may be in short supply.”

Hahn said the criticisms are “entirely justified”; DDT and Azar are keeping mum.

Lawmakers have written Hahn about concerns of politicization. The day before Hahn’s erroneous comments, DDT tweeted an evidence-free accusation of the FDA being part of the “deep state” and creating difficulties in testing “vaccines and therapeutics … hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd.”  The letter cited the announcement as the latest example of politicizing science since the pandemic, i.e., the hydroxychloroquine debacle, criticism of Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the White House coronavirus task force sidelining the CDC. Hahn also refused to answer a question about DDT’s evidence-free claim about 99 percent of virus cases being “totally harmless.”

The letter requests information about future vaccine reviews and FDA’s safeguards against political pressure by September 4.

Although the White House denies the information, DDT is considering a EUA to avoid regulatory procedures for vaccines so he can get a vaccine out by Election Day. U.S. health agencies require a trial of 30,000 people; an experimental virus vaccine is being tested in the UK on 10,000 people. HHS stated the FDA won’t issue an EUA before the election, hoping the vaccine will be developed by early 2021. We’ll see: DDT said Sunday, “You’ll be hearing about [vaccines] very soon.” Russia and China bypassed large clinical trials, but only 24 percent of Russian doctors said they would take the vaccine.

Yesterday was another disaster for DDT with the testimony of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy before the House Oversight Committee. Although he felt that DDT’s war against mail-in ballots was “not helpful,” he thinks his only job with the USPS is making the trucks run on time. According to DeJoy, he isn’t responsible for removing the sorting machines, cutting overtime, and slowing down delivery. He doesn’t know who is, and he doesn’t care. And he won’t change them. He doesn’t know how much anything costs in the postal service except for a first-class stamp. He lied about delayed deliveries before he took over, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said she will subpoena his calendar for information about his secret meetings after he said he’d check with counsel to see if he has to submit a public record to Congress. To a question from Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) about his Senate testimony, he said he couldn’t remember what he told them—a problem for a person who lies.

According to internal USPS not available to members of the Senate when DeJoy lied to them, steep declines began when DeJoy started and not in April or May with the pandemic.  He took over in early June; priority mail was delivered over 90 percent of the time in early July but dropped to under 80 percent within a month. Marketing mail experienced an 8.42 percent decline and periodical deliveries, 9.57 percent. DeJoy did not share these documents with Congress. DeJoy said anyone who blamed him for the changes in USPS is lying. Walter Einenkel describes questioning by 30-year postal employee, Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI).  answer—democracy and rights.

For the first time in two days of hate-filled monologues, Melania Trump expressed sympathy for the families and friends of the 182,404 people (or more) who have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. All the hugging, kissing, and closeness of people at the convention may add to the 5,955,728 people in the U.S. known to contract the disease. That figure will top six million before the convention ends.

August 22, 2020

DDT’s Sabotage of USPS to Suppress Voting

Filed under: Elections,Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 8:29 PM
Tags: , , , , ,

California: Tehachapi – Crates of mail in the post office that should have been delivered the night before. Santa Clarita – Automated sorting machines disabled and padlocked so that employees couldn’t plug them in for use and first-class packages taking ten days for delivery instead of one. South Los Angeles – Gnats and rodents around containers of rotted fruit and meat with dead baby chicks inside their boxes. Sacramento – At least five high-speed mail machines removed from processing plant as well as two more in Santa Ana, six in San Diego, and seven in one Los Angeles facility—machines serving over 1,000 post offices, some of them in rural addresses. Machinery gutted, dismantled, or trashed in places where employees worked six days a week, struggling to keep up—before the loss of the equipment. Delivery delays forced them to shift most shipping business to FedEx. Cutting schedules back to five days per week caused chaos. The parking lot was filled with semi-trailers piled high with unsorted mail because inside warehouses were packed wall to wall with mail and few employees in sight.

These are a few of the problems caused by Louis DeJoy, a major GOP donor, who has become the servant of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) with the title of Postmaster General. FEC records shows how much he has donated to Republican committees and congressional candidates—especially those in tight races—meaning that they either verbally support him or stay quiet.

Ignoring the huge conflicts of interest because of the tens of millions of dollars he has in a competing company to the post office and stock options in Amazon, the government also accepted the way he may have got the job through the influence of another big GOP donor, USPS board member John Barger. DeJoy was not part of a pool of candidates vetted by a non-government firm hired to fill the job. The only qualification DeJoy seems to have is slowing down mail delivery.

According to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin participated in DeJoy’s hiring through meetings with the USPS board. In a meeting with the Congressional Progressive Caucus, former USPS board member David Williams related details about Mnuchin’s influence on mail operations and finances. It has been known how Mnuchin withheld the congressional funding for the USPS, first threatening to remove its collective bargaining and then to find confidential contracts. Williams reported on Mnuchin’s “illegal” demands of officials and demanded members receive Munchin’s “blessing” before confirmation. Describing DeJoy, Williams said, “Corruption, plain and simple.” The removal of USPS mailboxes was ordered by Mnuchin. In his interviews, DeJoy had to be coached as Barger would “finish a number of sentences where he got stuck” and “explained to the board what Mr. DeJoy meant during the presentation.”

Williams reported removing mailboxes and mail-sorting equipment will save no money despite the claim from DeJoy, Mnuchin, and DDT. Breaking down the machines costs millions. Mnuchin wants higher prices for USPS to enable FedEx and UPS to raise their prices. The USPS charter states it is an independent, apolitical organization, making Mnuchin’s or DDT’s involvement in postal service decisions a violation of its charter.

Every day adds to the new rules for the post office appearing to be creating chaos and confusion. The first noticed step was the dismantling and removal of mail-sorting machines as well as the elimination of overtime for mail delivery. What doesn’t get done one day can be done the next—or in several weeks or months—according to the directives. The most recent “efficiency” directive prohibits all workers on duty from signing mail-in ballots as witnesses while on duty, a requirement in seven states including the swing state of Wisconsin. In Alaska, a postal worker can be an “authorized official” to act as a voter’s witness.

Yesterday, DeJoy lied under oath in testimony to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Check the first paragraph above for some of his false claims:

There have been no changes to how election mail gets handled.

Limiting extra trips by postal workers to retrieve mail has no impact on delivery. DeJoy had to back down after shown a chart of drastic drop-off in delivery speeds.  

He has “no intention” of returning mail-sorting machines because they are “not needed” but “there have been significant service slowdowns.” 

He answered Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) question whether he took steps to “eliminate” or “curtail” overtime with “No.” (Agency memo: “Overtime will be eliminated.”)

He didn’t know about the removal of mailboxes and sorting machines until public uproar—but he won’t return them.

Shortly after DeJoy promised to suspend his policy changes, Kevin Couch, a director of maintenance operations at USPS, emailed postal workers “not to reconnect/reinstall machines that have been previously disconnected without approval from HQ Maintenance, no matter what direction they are getting from their plant manager.” The same day DeJoy said he was suspending his changes to slow delivery, mail-sorting machines were being dismantled in Grand Rapids (MI). The video is here. 

After the election, DeJoy intends to raise package rates, especially in rural areas; charging more for service in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico; reducing discounts for nonprofits; requiring first-class postage for ballots; and leasing space in USPS facilities to companies and government agencies. JPMorgan Chase, the biggest U.S. bank, wants ATMs in post offices, killing any public postal bank system providing revenue for the USPS and expanding services for the unbanked. Another significant change would be transporting first class mail on trucks rather than airplanes.

AARP, whose members comprise a goodly percentage of DDT’s base, called on DeJoy to not reduce service. The letter was accompanied by a petition from 111,717 members.

The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) is suing DeJoy, DDT, and Mnuchin for violation of the Hatch Act prohibiting executive officials from political activity for “interfering with or affecting the result of an election.”

President Obama’s administration ran the USPS more efficiently and cheaper than DDT: it paid less overtime because it had more employees—5,000 career employees more than under DDT for total mail-processing workforce. The doubling of USPS overtime in fewer than six months under DDT is higher than the total overtime increase during Barack Obama’s second term. DeJoy plans to create a task force.

Rural voters have become upset about DDT’s plan to destroy the post office. Sen. Jon Tester (R-MT) received 4,800 complaints in a state of about one million population. Facing a popular Democratic governor, the state’s GOP senator, Steve Daines, is vulnerable for his reelection in November. Daines refused to discuss the post office problem. Maine, where GOP Sen. Susan Collins faces an uphill reelection this year, has suffered from receiving dead chicks. Collins is responsible for the law requiring the fund of 50 years of pension for the USPS which put it in debt. Shipments of lily bulbs from South Carolina are experiencing deadly delays. Skewing conservative, a bipartisan group of likely rural voters said they were less likely to vote for a candidate who reduced the budget for USPS or privatized the agent.

Showing how far out of touch DDT is with the people of the United States, DDT and his staffers were amazed by the backlash to his destroying a 275-year-old institution. DDT should know better; he sent all of us letters at no cost to him telling us that the $1,200 we received came from him. 

Today, the House voted 257-150 for legislation to provide $25 billion to the USPS and stop DDT’s equipment destruction and operational changes disenfranchising people casting votes. DDT has promised to veto the bill, meaning that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) won’t touch the bill. And thousands of people attend protests today to “Save Our Post Office!”

Without evidence except for a few cases by Republicans, DDT said voting by mail is fraud: he voted by mail. Without evidence, DDT said “harvesting” ballots is fraud: he had a “representative” take his ballot to Florida. DDT didn’t start complaining about voter fraud from mail-in ballots until his polling numbers began to shrink. He’s using it to excuse a loss in November, sort of “See? I didn’t lose.”

Monday, DeJoy is scheduled to testimony under oath before the House Oversight Committee.

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