Nel's New Day

October 24, 2020

DDT: Week 196 – His World Falling Apart

Most of last week’s news concentrated on the presidential debate and the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court justice. But—unfortunately for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT)—there was much more.

Approximately 50 percent of DDT-supporters also follow QAnon as shown by their “yes” answer to whether “top Democrats are involved in elite child sex trafficking rings.” Only 16 percent of DDT-supporters familiar with would agree that the conspiracy theories have no basis in fact. QAnon’s fake “save the children” message has become so lethal that legitimate groups working to stop human trafficking can no longer use the term. Donors to Marjorie Taylor Greene, disbeliever of a plane hitting the Pentagon on 9/11 and a House GOP candidate from Georgia, include Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who refused to report sexual assault of athletes when he was assistant wrestling coach, and DDT’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, who has consistently blocked the COVID-19 relief funds.

In 2016, Newsweek reported how one of DDT’s companies violated strict U.S. trade bans with Communist Cuba by secretly conducting business in the country. His illegal $68,000+ expenditure in 1998 was funneled through a U.S. consulting firm that told DDT to make it appear as if it were a charitable effort. Seven months after Trump Hotels made the payment, DDT sought the nomination of the Reform Party and traveled to Miami where he promised a group of Cuban-Americans he would maintain the embargo and never spend money, either from himself or his business, in Cuba until Fidel Castro was removed from power. Castro served until 2008. DDT is still wooing Florida’s Cuban-American votes. [visual trump castro]

New York City, Seattle, and Portland (OR) have filed a complaint against DDT’s illegal removal of grants based on his designation of those cities as “anarchist jurisdictions.” The Federal Transit Administration is using the designation to deny these cities COVID-19 public transportation research grants. For months, DDT has threatened to remove federal funding from cities with ongoing protests. DDT has long threatened this punishment but skips over places in Minnesota and Wisconsin, swing states in the election. He may also remove funding for housing, health, and emergency relief.

With like-minded governments (aka authoritarian), the U.S. signed a declaration to ban abortion in “women’s rights” and health. The “Geneva Consensus Declaration,” led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has 32 other “core supporters” such as Brazil, Egypt, Hungry, Saudi Arabia, and Uganda. The signatories include the 20 worst countries to be a woman according to Georgetown University’s Women, Peace and Security Index. None of the top countries on the index, except for 19th ranking U.S., signed the declaration.

DDT signed an executive order for a separate category of public employees not covered by civil service protections to keep only those he considers “loyal.” Agency heads can hire these people without using the merit-based system created in 1883 and fire them at will. The order, similar to the one created two years ago for administrative law judges, changes hiring qualifications from ability to political party. Hundreds of thousands in the federal workforce may become purely political appointees instead of the current 4,000 who can be changed with each administration.

DOJ AG Bill Barr is using taxpayer money to fight DDT’s lawsuits, beginning with E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit, because DDT’s broke campaign can’t afford to pay for the legal actions. Lawyers know DDT will stiff them for payments if he isn’t reelected so they’re working on cheap settlements. For example, they’re asking $52,000 from Omarosa Manigault Newman for writing an unauthorized book about the White House, down from $1 million. According to a Washington attorney, DDT faces massive legal bills, starting with workers he wouldn’t pay before he was elected. More details here. 

As Joe Biden mentioned in this week’s debate, DDT operated an office in China during his first presidential campaign, partnered with a major Chinese government-controlled company, and maintains a bank account not on DDT’s mandated public financial disclosures. From 2013 to 2015, DDT paid China $188,561 in taxes while he paid nothing to the U.S. DDT also made money from the Chinese through property leases and sales, and his income in 2017 spiked with an increase of $17.5 million, more than the combined funds for the previous five years. He withdrew $15.1 million from the account. DDT made millions of dollars in capital gains from sales of real estate to foreign entities since he started his campaign in 2016. Ivanka Trump received multiple patents after DDT’s election and her appointment to a White House position. Biden’s taxes, released to the public, show neither income nor business dealings in China.

DDT bragged about committing felony bribery in his Arizona campaign rally:

“I call the head of Exxon. I don’t know. I’ll use a company. Hi, how, how are you doing, how’s energy coming? When are doing the exploration? Oh, you need a couple of permits, huh? Ok, But I call the head of Exxon, I say, ‘you know, I’d love you to send me $25m for the campaign’” Absolutely, sir, why didn’t you ask? Would you like some more?”

In the same speech, DDT accused Biden of being a criminal and accused reporters of crimes for not spreading DDT’s lies about Russia. DDT and his family are under criminal investigation in New York City for alleged loan and bank fraud.

DDT called Dr. Anthony Fauci a “disaster” and said people are tired of him and “all these idiots.” Fauci’s polling is higher than those for DDT: in a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute regarding U.S. trust in COVID-19 sources of information, Fauci came in second at 49 percent with DDT last at 14 percent. DDT says he’s tired of the virus, but his failure to handle it has not only sickened and killed millions of people but also driven an additional eight million people into poverty, totaling 55 million.   

Fauci confirmed on 60 Minutes that the White House frequently blocked him from interviews with the media. White House communications director Alyssa Farah lied about Fauci’s restrictions and the refusal to allow other coronavirus task force members in Fauci’s place. Earlier, Fauci demanded the removal of DDT’s advertising which took Fauci’s words out of context by making it appear Fauci praised DDT’s response to the pandemic. The mild-mannered Fauci said, “I got really ticked off.” Fauci also said DDT hasn’t attended the task force meetings for “several months.”

DDT now supports the concept of “herd immunity,” people intentionally contracting the deadly COVID-19, and he made Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist, his new “expert.” From this came the Great Barrington Declaration, promoting the sickening and dying of people from COVID-19 until the virus disappeared. Experts estimate over one-half million people would die with this approach. DDT wants to open up businesses and schools, but Fauci calls the theory “utter nonsense.” Others call it unethical. The declaration from the American Institute for Economic Research has supposedly been signed by thousands of doctors, but the names on the petition bring its validity into question; i.e, Dr. I.P. Freely, Dr. Person Fakename, and Dr. Johnny Bananas. Another supposed signatory, Harold Shipman, a doctor arrested over two decades ago for killing 250 of his patients, died in 2004. No credentials were necessary for signing.

According to interviews with 41 people with inside information, Atlas opposes testing and openly fights with other doctors on the coronavirus task force. Colleagues find him manipulative, uninformed, and dishonest, and he challenges Dr. Deborah Birx’s analysis. Marc Lipsitch, director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said:

“It seems to me this is policy-based evidence-making rather than evidence-based policymaking. In other words, if your goal is to do nothing, then you create a situation in which it looks okay to do nothing [and] you find some experts to make it complicated.”

DDT is using taxpayer money to campaign throughout the country because he and the RNC have only $251.4 million remaining, DDT’s share being $63 million. Joe Biden has $177 million, and the DNC has another $260 million. 

Parents for half the 1,000+ children separated (kidnapped) at the border two years ago are still missing. The program deported about two-thirds of those parents while keeping the children. DDT tried to cover up what he did by saying that parents bringing their children for asylum to the U.S. were human traffickers.

With “encouragement” from Karl Rove, DDT is pushing agencies to grant a no-bid contract to lease the Department of Defense’s mid-band spectrum, the 5G market, to Rivada Networks. DDT, Rove, and other prominent Republicans invested in the company which could receive up to $25 billion.

DDT made a treaty with Taliban in Afghanistan and promised to pull out all U.S. troops; now the Taliban violence is skyrocketing. The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan may become a genocidal global war. Turkey, DDT’s friend, is funneling Islamist mercenaries from Syria to fight for Azerbaijan in a sectarian, jihadist fight opposed by Russia and Iran. Failing to act diplomatically, DDT permits the conflict to escalate.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may think DDT’s leaving the White House next year. In response to DDT’s begging Netanyahu to criticize Biden, the PM answered, “Mr. President, one thing I can tell you is we appreciate the help for peace from anyone in America.” This video shows DDT’s face falling.

Despite the DDT-supporter wishes about his accomplishments, a 13-part set of editorials from the New York Times paints the accurate picture.

As of Aug. 27, 2020, the anniversary of his accepting the nomination for presidential candidate, DDT made 22,247 false claims in 1,316 days. By now, the total is likely 25,000, with a possible 30,000 by the election. DDT’s most repeated claims at 407 times that the U.S. economy today is the best in history. Even before COVID-19, the economy—better under Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Bill Clinton—was beginning to fail with a manufacturing recession and the trade war disaster. DDT’s stock market is sixth in increased percentage during the past century among the 14 presidents lasting at least 45 months. Information available in this database and the book, Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth: The President’s Falsehoods, Misleading Claims and Flat-Out Lies.

In the last day, almost 80,000 cases of COVID-19 edges the U.S. total to almost 9 million, and deaths are over 230,000. 

October 23, 2020

Barrett: Polar Opposite of RBG, Part II

Two notable liars in GOP leadership made news yesterday—Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). DDT survived his last, and second, debate by interrupting the moderator far fewer times than in the first debate and talking more calmly. The last debate set his performance bar so low some people ignored the incessant lying and inability to answer questions. No compassion for people, no concern for the country. Just covering up all his problems in the hopes that people will change their minds about him and put him in the White House again, like he did in his interview with Lesley Stahl.     

The second event broke Senate rules by moving the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court justice to the Senate floor despite rules requiring the presence of at least two members of the minority party for a quorum. All ten Democrats boycotted the Judiciary Committee meeting. Graham waived the rules and approved Barrett. One third of the GOP committee members—Graham, Joni Ernst (IA), Thom Tillis (NC), and John Cornyn (TX)—facing difficult reelections and a shortage of campaign funds may receive funding from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for delivering Barrett by the Election Day deadline.

Graham’s dishonesty in supporting the confirmation before people select a president and Senate members, made four years ago when he refused President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland, is now followed by his ignoring  rules. He claimed the boycott did a “disservice” to Barrett to not consider her vote under two weeks before the election but ignored Garland for almost nine months before Election Day. People have already submitted is already over one-third of the total vote four years ago; voting in the general election started over three weeks before Graham gaveled in the Judiciary Committee hearings for Barrett.

According to Graham, Democrats are responsible for the dissension surrounding Supreme Court justice confirmations after objecting to Ronald Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork in 1987. Republicans aren’t to blame for objections to bigoted nominees, according to both Graham and McConnell.

Former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) said about Bork:

“Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, school children could not be taught about evolution, writers and artist could be censured at the whim of government.”

Steve Benen wrote:

“Bork, who developed an unfortunate reputation stemming from his role in Nixon’s ‘Saturday Night Massacre’ in 1973, was on record defending Jim Crow-era poll taxes, condemning portions of the Civil Rights Act banning discrimination in public accommodations, and arguing against extending the equal protection of the 14th Amendment to women.”

Even six Republicans voted with Democrats against Bork, and Reagan nominated Anthony Kennedy, confirmed by a unanimous 97 votes. He served with honor until his alleged deal to resign if DDT put highly-flawed Brett Kavanaugh on the high court. Three years after Anthony, David Souter, nominated by GOP President George H.W. Bush, was also unanimously confirmed by a Democrat-controlled Senate. 

By 2016, radically-right GOP Senators followed McConnell in denying middle-of-the-road Merrick Garland the decency of listening to him and giving him a hearing within eight months of the general election. Yet they pushed Barrett in an ill-considered and rapid process starting three weeks and one day before a decision for a president and almost one-third of senators.

Thus far, 47 Democrats and Independents are committed to voting against Barrett along with possibly two or three Republicans. If VP Mike Pence breaks a 50-50 tie, she would be the only Supreme Court justice in history to be confirmed by a vice-president who used undue power in selecting a justice nominated by his president. McConnell dropped the Senate requirement for a Supreme Court confirmation to a simple majority because DDT’s first two nominees couldn’t achieve 60 votes: Neil Gorsuch was confirmed 54-45 and Brett Kavanaugh, 50-48. Even a strong DDT supporter like Alan Dershowitz expressed concerns about future, greater divisive politicization caused by fewer than 51 senators putting a person, particularly a young one, on the Supreme Court for a lifetime job, especially a person obviously selected and confirmed for purely political right-wing reasons.

Barrett is anti-abortion, anti-IVF, anti-contraception, anti-LGBTQ rights.  She dodged questions about the constitutionality of Medicare and Social Security, legality of voter intimidation, need for absentee voting in a pandemic, and presidents’ pardoning themselves, unilaterally changing the date, and staying in the White House through judicial decisions. She expressed ignorance about climate change although she will rule on climate cases. She also can’t remember that the right to protest is covered by the First Amendment. 

In addition, she’s anti-worker, ruling 85 percent of her time on the 7th Circuit Court for corporations. With five conservative justices, Barrett can destroy workers’ rights of unions, collective bargaining, and safety. She already twisted the law to rule against workers for corporations, maintaining the law prevented truckers assigned to yard duty from overtime from overtime (interstate commerce) and blocking minimum wages and other benefits to delivery drivers (identification them as contractors). In the first case, she said driving short distances makes them transportation workers; in the second she said driving short distances doesn’t make them transportation workers.

In another anti-worker opinion, Barrett follows Janus v. AFSCME decision when the right-wing faction of the Supreme Court trashed four decades of precedent to public sector workers don’t have to pay dues or even small fees to unions still forced to represent them.

Barrett tried to conceal her pro-business past as one of two lead attorneys in a six-month case defending a Pittsburgh steel magnate charged with helping drive a major Pennsylvania Hospital System into bankruptcy. The $1.5 billion settlement was one of the largest nonprofit bankruptcies in U.S. history and resulted in several investigations as well as a criminal probe. The Senate questionnaire requests ten cases and their descriptions; Barrett provided only three cases, saying she couldn’t remember any others.

Following the “pro-life” position of protection ends at birth, Barrett deported an immigrant seeking asylum from an El Salvador MS-13 gang after he witnessed them shooting his friends and killing one of them. A dissenting judge on the appeals court called minor discrepancies in the refugee’s story “trivial,” but Barrett sent the terrified man back in hiding. Barrett lacked the decency to comply with his request to redact his name in the decision to keep the El Salvadoran corrupt local police and the vicious gang from learning he was being sent back. 

In a dissent, Barrett upheld DDT’s “public charge” rule, objecting to immigrants’ permanent residence status if they use any public assistance—Medicaid, food stamps, etc. for over 12 months in a three-year period. The time is computed by one type of safety-net program: two different programs in one month accounts for two months. She tried to cover for her opinion by saying she was only ruling on immigrants not affected by the rule, but the majority opinion was addressing the group with restrictions.

In her dissent for Kanter v. Barr, she argued a state doesn’t have the right to ban a felon from buying firearms but can ban them from voting. Several times, she sided with felons in gun cases, using “history” as her justification. 

Barrett overturned a district court finding damages for a Wisconsin county after a prison guard repeatedly raped a pregnant teenage prison inmate hundreds of times before and after she gave birth because the sexual assaults were outside the guard’s official duties. In a similar case, however, she joined a majority of the 7th Circuit Court, finding another Wisconsin county liable in a case in which a jail guard assaulted five women hundreds of times.

Last year Barrett helped college students accused of sexual assault more easily sue their universities. She wrote that the university officials may have chosen to “believe Jane because she is a woman and to disbelieve John because he is a man.”

Barrett also supports giving religious schools the ability to fire anyone they want on the basis these employees are “ministers.” One school fired a woman with cancer to save money on insurance.

On her questionnaire, Barret failed to divulge her involvement in putting George W. Bush into the White House. Twenty years ago, she worked with Bush’s legal team to find thousands of Republican absentee ballots in Bush v. Gore. Martin County officials permitted Republicans to fill in missing information on ballot request forms—a procedure that DDT and Republicans opposed in Iowa and eliminated 70,000 absentee ballot applications. With an appointment on the Supreme Court, Barrett would join two other sitting justices who participated in Bush’s Supreme Court win. John Roberts advised the Bush campaign and prepped a lawyer appearing before the Florida Supreme Court for the election dispute, and Brett Kavanaugh oversaw a manual recount of about 200,000 ballots in which voters failed to properly fill in the bubble next to a candidate’s name.

When asked at last night’s debate for his plans regarding COVID-19, DDT made his usual comment the coronavirus had “rounded the corner” and was getting much better. Today, the United States recorded its highest one-day number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic with at least 82,600 new infections. The surge is across the nation with drastic increases in central and western states such as South Dakota, and Wyoming. In the past two weeks, 24 states broke their records for single-day highs. Over 170 counties in 36 states were designated as having rapidly rising hotspots. DDT blames high numbers on testing, but COVID-19 hospitalizations increased in 38 states last week. Today, the U.S. recorded 8,746,953 cases and 229,284 deaths. Thus far this year, over 300,000 more people than average died in the U.S. All COVID-19 cases are classified as pre-existing conditions, and Amy Coney Barrett wants to do away with the Affordable Care Act. If she succeeds, people with pre-existing conditions, including those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, can be denied health insurance.

September 16, 2020

DDT’s Town Hall ‘Didn’t Go Well,’ Preview of Debates

Filed under: Elections — trp2011 @ 11:37 PM
Tags: , , , ,

Last night, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), frustrated because he can’t get more debates—and publicity—with opponent Joe Biden, met with Pennsylvanian uncommitted voters in an ABC town hall moderated by George Stephanopoulos. DDT lied and treating people rudely, even blaming Biden for not carrying out a mandate masks as if Biden were the president and he was the challenger. Media responses, some GOP columists, to DDT’s town hall:

Jonathan Lemire and Kevin Freking (AP):

“’There are people that don’t think masks are good,” Trump said, mentioning that waiters have struggled with their face coverings and did not like them.

“Trump also tried to counter his admission to journalist Bob Woodward that he had tried to “play it down” when discussing the threat of COVID-19 to Americans earlier this year. Although audio recordings of his comments have been released, Trump said: ‘Yeah, well, I didn’t downplay it. I actually, in many ways, I up-played it, in terms of action.’

“Trump’s unfulfilled promises came into sharp relief during the town hall as Trump insisted he had a [healthcare] plan—but refused to share its details or explain why he’d waited more than 3 1/2 years to unveil it. ‘I have it all ready, and it’s a much better plan for you—and it’s a much better plan,’ he insisted. Trump made a similar promise when it came to immigration, another issue on which he has been promising action for months without details materializing…

“The president sometimes began his answers before the questioners were done speaking, something Ellesia Blaque, of Wyoming, did not allow. She asked the president how people with preexisting health conditions who work hard can stay insured. ‘Please stop and let me finish my question, sir,’ she sternly insisted.”

Jennifer Rubin (WaPo):

“It was not simply that President Trump resorted to obvious lies at the ABC News town hall Tuesday night, or that he was rude and ineffective in addressing the terrific, substantive questions from real, undecided voters. His campaign’s bigger worry is that he came across as confused, lost and incoherent. He really should not have gone down the road of challenging his opponent’s mental acuity…

“He criticized Biden—who has not been in office for the past four long years—for failing to enact a nationwide mask mandate. He tried to interrupt a questioner, only to have her sternly tell him to let her finish. He rambled and came off as entirely uncaring in not directly answering questions from an African American pastor and a woman whose mother died of cancer…

“The whole disastrous outing was characterized as an ‘ambush’ by Fox News apologists, a surefire sign that even they were appalled by Trump’s performance…”

Greg Sargent (WaPo):

“When Trump is not permitted to freely dissemble with abandon or coddled by an interviewer who treats his magnificence as a foundational premise—as he so often is on Fox—he is actually very bad at answering difficult questions about his performance…

“The notion that this spectacle constituted an ‘ambush’ underscores the point: If this felt like a surprise attack, it’s only because direct and persistent questioning about his towering failures and broken promises really are politically damaging to him.

“The questions from voters and moderator George Stephanopoulos were pointed, but they were largely premised on basic facts about Trump’s presidency. Over and over, Trump tried to lie away those facts, but (and this is the rare part) he was then pressed with follow-up questions based on more facts.

“For instance, one woman asked Trump why he downplayed the coronavirus. When he repeated his frequent lie that he didn’t downplay it (he did, endlessly), she responded that he had admitted downplaying it himself, which he did in fact admit to Bob Woodward…

“After a woman with a preexisting condition pointedly asked Trump how he’d protect people like her, a remarkable exchange followed, in which Stephanopoulos pointed out that the Affordable Care Act contains extensive such protections, that Trump has repeatedly tried to repeal it, and that he supports a lawsuit that would wipe it out right now…

“When Trump claimed our coronavirus mortality rate shows we have done ‘very well’ compared to other countries, Stephanopoulos produced a chart debunking the claim, and pointed out that we have 4 percent of the world’s population and more than 20 percent of cases and deaths.

“Trump spewed lots of other coronavirus nonsense, as Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler documents: He falsely claimed he’d inherited a ventilator shortage, absurdly blamed our high cases on testing (another area of national failure), and dramatically overstated the impact of his China travel restrictions (his weeks of dithering let the virus rampage here after that)…

“[On Fox, Laura] Ingraham appeared to understand how damaging this had been. Baffled, she likened the questioning to the work of the ‘Trump resistance,’ and asked: ‘Why did the president decide to do this?’”

Frida Ghitas (CNN):

“The most obvious conclusion one can reach watching Trump lie about his own record and about what Biden proposes, is that Trump simply does not believe he has a superior plan to offer voters. He looked like a fast-talking salesman hawking an inferior product…

“The President claimed Biden will bring an economic depression, ‘the likes of which we have never seen in this country,’ even though it is under Trump’s administration that the country is in the worst downturn since the Great Depression. He reiterated his claim that the economy will surge in a ‘super V’ shape recovery. Many economists are skeptical of that rosy projection. Trump also falsely claimed Biden ‘wants to raise everybody’s taxes.’ Biden has said he will raise taxes on people earning $400,000 a year or more.

“Trump lied, equivocated and misled about the pandemic, claiming against all evidence that ‘We’re rounding the corner,’ and in spite of expert predictions that more than 410,000 Americans will have died of Covid-19 by the end of this year. He said the virus will go away without a vaccine, but faster with one. In a curious moment, he explained that the virus would disappear as ‘you’ll develop—you’ll develop herd—like a herd mentality.’

“When asked about his refusal to issue a nationwide mask order, he harmfully repeated that ‘there are a lot of people think that masks are not good.’ And then, making a bizarre statement about Democrats, he said: ‘They said at the Democrat convention they’re going to do a national mandate, they never did it.’

“He rejected any claim that the country has a problem with racism, and when asked what common-sense police reforms he could support, he offered perhaps the most startling response of the night. Almost all police officers are good, he explained, but they are afraid that if ‘they do something slightly wrong … their life is ruined.’ Trump’s proposal amid the attention rightly being given to police killings? Give police more power. ‘We have to give the police back that strength that they had a short while ago and that they have in Republican cities,’ he said.

Cheyenne Haslett (ABC):

“[He said the stock market is] proof that Americans are ‘doing better than they were doing before the pandemic came.’

“Trump claimed the benefits of the stock market directly benefit everyone, when in fact the vast majority of stocks are owned by the rich. The wealthiest top 10% of American households own over 80% of stocks, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, and almost half of U.S. households don’t own any stock at all, including 401(k)s, according to the Survey of Consumer Finances.

“Meanwhile, there are other indicators that more clearly paint a picture of Americans’ economic situation as a result of the coronavirus, even as the stock market excels. The unemployment rate skyrocketed from around 3% pre-pandemic to nearly 15% in April. It now sits at 8.4%, meaning more than half of the Americans who lost their jobs are still out of work. Consumer confidence is also down—a measure that show Main Street is struggling even if Wall Street is staying afloat.

Glenn Kessler pointed out more of DDT’s at least 24 blatant falsehoods in his fact checking: a virus vaccine within a “three weeks”; refuting the claim he “played down” COVID-19; “greatest economy in the history of the world”; accusation of Nancy Pelosi saying “this thing’s totally exaggerated”; extolling the safety of New York City under Rudy Giuliani (major crimes actually coming down under Mayor Bill de Blasio); Blacks 81 percent in favor of more police; keeping pre-existing conditions in healthcare; credit for passing the veterans act that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) moved through Congress in 2014; replenishing a “depleted” military; opponent to the Iraq war that DDT initially supported; sending in the Minnesota National Guard that the governor already assembled; and going into Seattle after protesters took over a “big chunk” of the city—in reality, a six-block area, and DDT never “let them know we’re coming in.”

Canadian fact-checker Daniel Dale called DDT’s performance “a firehose of lying” and gave a multitude of examples.

A few other DDT’s comments from his town hall train wreck:

He doesn’t have time to be “presidential.”

Cops who had water poured on them should have gotten retribution.

“I hope there’s not a race problem.”

Andy Borowitz used DDT’s popular quote “herd mentality,” DDT’s new cure for coronavirus, as the topic of today’s satire:  

“Researchers at the University of Minnesota believe that Republican members of Congress have obtained “extremely high” levels of herd mentality, a new study shows.

“According to the study, the researchers found that, in obtaining herd mentality, the G.O.P. lawmakers have developed “near-total immunity” to damning books, news reports, and audio tapes.

“Herd mentality was observed in congressional Republicans from every region of the country, with the exception of one senator from Utah, Mitt Romney, who was deemed an outlier and therefore statistically insignificant.

“Davis Logsdon, the scientist who supervised the study, said, “Herd mentality at these levels historically has appeared only in other mammal species, like lemmings.”

The morning after the town hall, DDT claimed he got “great reviews.” The participants didn’t all agree. One of them said, “He didn’t answer anything. He was lying through his teeth.”

August 29, 2020

The 2020 GOP Platform According to DDT

The “virtual” GOP convention last week was not only bizarre event but also set the 2020 GOP platform designated as anything Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) wants. A few samples from the political platform from the Grand Old Party for the next four years. 

Support for racism and sexism: On the week when others honored the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech and celebrated the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, Abby Johnson delivered her support for racial profiling and allowing only the male head of the household to vote. If the wife disagrees with her husband about the vote, Johnson declared, “In a Godly household, the husband would get the final say.”

Support of violent unrest throughout the nation: DDT’s counselor Kellyanne Conway, leaving the White House because of family conflicts (husband George is a 100-percent anti-DDTer), exulted about the number of votes DDT will get from “chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence” (largely created by the radical right). If the violence isn’t serious enough, DDT sends in his personal militia to make it worse.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rejection of information—security, scientific, etc.: Massive numbers of lies and misleading statements from all speakers reinforced this part of the platform. “We are focusing on the science, the facts, and the data,” DDT said to a large group ignoring social distancing and mask wearing. The plank ignores the massive number of coronavirus cases to achieve a feeling of “normal”—the pandemic is over. (House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Debbie Meadows, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows support this behavior, waiting for DDT’s speech.) 

Misrepresentation of information: In a video on the first night of the RNC riots and crime in “Biden’s America,” the most striking one of four segments showed protests in Barcelona, Spain, taken from Shutterstock, a source of stock images and videos.

Elimination of public education: A heavy emphasis on “school choice” omitted the issue of children not allowed into private schools avoiding testing requirements and other regulations because they can eliminate “less desirable” students such as the LGBTQ, differently abled, and those less motivated. Republicans use private schools and privately run charter schools to funnel public education funding into religion and for-profit businesses.

Promise of non-functioning government: McCarthy summarized this plank by saying that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are wrong when they think that the election is about the government.

Recognition of DDT’s first term failures: VP Mike Pence distilled the essence of this position when he said, “Make America great again, again.” Gone for DDT is “Keep America Great”: Biden purchased that domain where he posts DDT’s broken promises.

Removal of institutions: The DOJ now works only for the man in the Oval Office, the State Department is trying to make the world Christian, the EPA is taking away all environmental protections, the Department of the Interior turns public land over to private interests, and DDT obsesses about erasing mail delivery. His sole goal is to win the election, either through getting rid of Democratic votes on mail-in ballots or delegitimizing the November election to stay in the White House if he loses. DDT refuses to say whether he’ll leave the White House if he loses the election. Joint Chief of Staffs Mark Milley said the U.S. armed forces will not be involved in a dispute about the vote, but Defense Secretary Mark Esper hasn’t answered a question from congressional members whether he will refuse to follow unlawful orders regarding the election results. 

Disdain for “law and order” so pervasive that a few convention examples will have to suffice: DDT used acting DHS director Chad Wolf, probably illegally in his position, to perform the naturalization of five people who were not informed they would be used to promote DDT’s agenda. Their naturalizations may not be legal because Wolf had performed them.

Subjects in a video intended to smear New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio at the RNC were not told their interviews would be used to support DDT’s campaign. Lynne Patton, DDT’s associate who oversees New York federal housing programs, persuaded four tenants to talk to her by claiming she wanted to discuss conditions in the NYC Housing Authority’s buildings. Three of the four said they didn’t support DDT. Last year Patton violated the Hatch Act, displaying a DDT campaign hat in her office and “liking” political tweets.

Over 80 years ago, Congress passed the Hatch Act, restricting political campaign activities by federal employees except for the president and vice president. This summary was given employees in the Interior Department: 

“The Hatch Act generally prohibits Federal employees from engaging in political activities while on duty, in a Government room or building, while wearing an official uniform, or while using a Government vehicle. Under the Hatch Act, “political activity” is defined as any activity directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group.”

During DDT’s first three years, the Office of Special Counsel issued 134 warning letters to federal employees, disciplined an additional 46 federal workers, told 31 more to withdraw from political races or leave their government jobs to pursue them, and cited at least nine high-level DDT appointees for abusing their government roles to further the DDT’s reelection or disparage his rivals. Former administrations have banned Cabinet members from political activities, but three of them participated in DDT’s political show. Congress is investigating State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo’s speech from Jerusalem for violations. 

The six senators who spoke are primarily vulnerable in this year’s election or running for president in 2024. Seven representatives also spoke as well as four other congressional candidates, one of them a QAnon supporter. A major theme of DDT’s speech, however, was to portray himself as an outsider, to “turn the page” away from “the failed political class.” Half the keynote speeches were assigned to DDT and his family members. Two speakers were given full pardons, Jon Ponder at the event and Alice Johnson the day after.

RNC speakers included six White House aides as well as senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump. Other ways DDT violated the Hatch Act are the use of the National Park Service (NPS) for his campaign fireworks on the National Mall and a video from the Interior Department lavishly praising DDT for new legislation. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said that “nobody outside of the Beltway really cares” about the Hatch Act—which is a U.S. law. It seems the Hatch Act works only for people who criticize DDT.

DDT’s conclusion to his acceptance speech:

“On November 3, we will make America safer. We will make America stronger. We will make America prouder. And we will make America greater than ever before. I am very proud to be the nominee of the Republican Party.”

If he’s the current president, why doesn’t he start now?

Satirist Alexandra Petri described DDT’s message:

“If you think things are bad now under Donald Trump, vote for Donald Trump, who will fix things…

“Any bad things happening now were sent by Joe Biden, from the future. Do not be fooled by the fact that they are happening in the present, when Donald Trump is president…

“Joe Biden has controlled all of government for the past 47 years but, confusingly, he has never gotten through any of the radical policies he really wanted—[for example to] get rid of hamburgers and make cows illegal…

“Joe Biden wants to defund the police, which is why he is advocating not defunding the police.

“Most of all, Joe Biden wants to destroy America’s greatness. (Greatness is what we have right now, under Donald Trump, but also don’t have yet, but will definitely have in the future.) Joe Biden will never create jobs, the way Donald Trump has, by first presiding over the loss of millions of them.

“Under Donald Trump, America has never been safer. It has also never been more dangerous. We must elect Donald Trump to make us safe again, which he has already made us, never more than we are now, although we also aren’t, and won’t be, unless we elect him!

“…Donald Trump is a crusader against nepotism, corruption and the abuse of power for personal gain, wherever it may lurk… He despises people who profit from public office, and the times when he has urged people to stay at Trump properties were just because he gives and gives without thinking of himself…

“In conclusion, Donald Trump has accomplished more than any other president, ever, in his single term, including some accomplishments that did not even happen during his term, like his landmark achievement, the Veterans Choice Bill, passed in 2014 under President Barack Obama. There is no pandemic to speak of, or to put on a mask for; if there ever was one, it was someone else’s fault… Donald Trump does not look at America and see thousands of people needlessly dying and millions losing their jobs — this is what Joe Biden sees. Donald Trump sees greatness!”

So that’s the GOP platform: incessant lying, racism, sexism, and breaking laws. From the beginning of the RNC on Monday night to the end of the event on Thursday night, more people died from COVID-19 in the U.S. than on 9/11. In the past 24 hours, the U.S. has gained another 42,843 COVID-19 cases for a total of 6,139,078. Another 954 deaths bring the total to 186,855. The number seems down, but that usually happens on weekends. 

 

August 14, 2020

DDT Should Be Quiet

As Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden stayed quiet, his ratings kept rising. Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) could take a lesson from Biden, but it’s not in his nature. He finished last week by signing three memoranda and an executive order supposedly to compensate for the lack of a new stimulus bill—measures which are completely useless.   

In his promise of unemployment benefits, he kept changing the amount of the bonus:  

Saturday: “So we’re all set up. It’s $400 per week.”

Tuesday: DDT’s order changed to $300 a week because states didn’t need to add $100 per week to qualify for the federal benefit. The same day, he decided to give nothing to states failing to contribute the extra $100.

Later Tuesday: Economic adviser promised the unemployment policy would be more accommodating, perhaps because DDT’s pet governor, Florida’s Ron DeSantis, saying he couldn’t come up with the money. The Labor Department gave permission to count $100 of regular state unemployment benefits to get the federal funding or money from the CARES Act, but states will need to apply for this relief. DeSantis said that the CARES Act didn’t give him enough money for this exemption. DDT now blames DeSantis for the surge in his state’s virus—although DDT insisted that businesses open up—because DDT can’t give campaign rallies and his acceptance speech in Florida.

The poorest people, possibly ten to fifteen percent of UI recipients, won’t receive any unemployment benefits: anyone making less than $100 per week—i.e., workers counting on tips and the self-employed—won’t see DDT’s $300 or $400 or whatever. Jason Bailey, executive director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, tweeted, “This plan is asking laid-off [Kentucky] workers to somehow live on as little as $39 a week.”

DDT’s payroll tax deferral excludes the 15.5 million people making over $4,000 per bi-weekly pay period $104,000 annually) plus the tens of millions of people who lost their jobs. The cut-off point is absolute: anyone making $4001 or more won’t see the deferred payroll tax. Except measure states “generally” less than $4,000. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin confessed that DDT’s payroll deferral is “voluntary”—employers decide whether to give workers an increase in pay now and then be forced to find the money to pay back the government later. A real payroll tax cut requires congressional approval, and it faces bipartisan disapproval.

“I’m protecting people from eviction,” DDT said last Tuesday. He claimed, “The Democrats didn’t want to do a protection from evictions.” First, the Dems’ plan, rejected by Republicans, had clear eviction protections. And second, DDT’s measure doesn’t protect anyone from evictions. Kudlow said, “It’s not quite an eviction moratorium.” Calling it “protection,” as Kudlow did, was a long stretch. The executive order has no moratorium or funds for helping people pay mortgages or rent. Instead, it asks agencies to “consider whether any measures temporarily halting residential evictions of any tenants for failure to pay rent are reasonably necessary.” Even the lapsed congressional moratorium covered only one-fourth of the U.S. 44 million rental units and provided no money to help tenants with months of back rent.

And the student loan relief? The congressional relief didn’t end until October, and DDT’s memorandum DDT only directs Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to take action on student loan relief. He doesn’t provide relief for defaulted loans and collections while ignoring the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. With no guidance from the Education Department, loan servicing companies don’t know what to do about billing, employee training, and notification systems. 

Within a week, people realize they are receiving no unemployment benefits, no payroll deferral, no eviction protection, and uncertain loan relief because DDT’s measures are meaningless.

Republicans won’t allow a stimulus bill because they think they’ve already spent too much money for the economy. DDT’s solution: another large tax cut for the wealthiest people in the U.S. Meanwhile protesting Kentuckians are furious with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who’s up for reelection. One sign stated, “Mitch better have my money.”

In the swing states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, 62 percent of the people want an extension of enhanced unemployment benefits. Also, 80 percent support another $1,200 economic stimulus check for most people. Republicans rejected these ideas but added $8 billion in military equipment spending to the relief package.

DDT’s idiocy continued throughout the past week at his “press conferences,” which are really campaign rallies:

Monday: DDT was briefly pulled out of the room because of a suspected shooter. Unfortunately, he came back to tell more lies. CNN’s leading fact-checker Daniel Dale called the event notable for his dishonesty, even when compared to DDT’s low bar. The top lie may have been about “Spanish flu” which DDT always insists started in 2017 instead of 1918, the accurate date. He claimed the disease killed all the soldiers and “ended the Second World War”—27 years later in 1945. 

Tuesday: DDT searched for a campaign strategy against Joe Biden’s VP pick, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA). Too moderate? Most radical? Hiding her crime-fighting prosecutor past? At the same time a radical socialist and an unprincipled shill for Wall Street? But definitely, from DDT’s description, “nasty” and “horrible.” (To DDT, all women are either “nasty” or “housewives.”) Harris is a disappointing pick to DDT because she’s harder to oppose; he was counting on Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) or former national security adviser Susan Rice. The announcement of Harris as the Democratic VP pick reduced him to gibberish. In 2011 and 2013, DDT gave Kamala Harris $6,000 for her campaign. In 2015, she donated his $6,000 to a nonprofit working to secure civil rights for Central Americans. Other Harris donors were Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Wednesday: Looking drugged, DDT slurred and mispronounced even simple words; i.e., “doctors” became “doxxers.” Both times he used “fatalities,” it came out “fatilities.” The classic performance, however, was his inability to field a question from Huffington Post’s S.V. Dáte.

Dáte: “Mr. President, do you regret all of the lying you have done for the American people?”

DDT: “All the what?”

Dáte: “All the lying, all the dishonesties.”

DDT: “And who is that?”

Dáte: “You have done.”

Pause. DDT moved on. [The video is well-worth watching.] 

Dáte tweeted, “For five years I’ve been wanting to ask him that.”

Wednesday was also the day that the government rolled back regulations on shower pressure to keep DDT happy. He said, “My hair … I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect. Perfect.” In the midst of an epidemic killing at least 170,000 people in the U.S. in less than six months.

Thursday: DDT repeated his decision to sabotage the election by destroying the USPS he had made at a Fox interview earlier that day. Bothered by the hard questions, he violated the rules of the press conference by inviting three extremist far-right media sources publishing conspiracy theories—Epoch Times, Gateway Pundit, and OANN. And he introduced his new medical person, Scott Atlas, who will obviously follow DDT in lockstep. More about him later. 

DDT also came out full-birther by saying the assertion about whether Harris is a U.S. citizen is very “serious” and questioned whether she was born in the U.S., making her ineligible to run for VP. Promoter of the lie in Newsweek is John Eastman, described as “a right-wing American law professor notable for several unaccepted petitions to the U.S. Supreme Court and for unsuccessfully seeking election to a number of public offices.” DDT said he heard Eastman is “a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer.” Eastman has been Federalist Society chairman, former clerk to Clarence Thomas. and fellow of the hard-right “think tank” the Claremont Institute. Last year, the QAnon conspiracy pusher, Pizzagate promoter Jack Posobiec, received a Claremont fellowship. (Pizzagate was the QAnon conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton ran a sex trafficking scheme for children out of a Washington, DC pizza restaurant.)

When Harris was born in Oakland (CA), neither of her parents were naturalized, leading right-wing sources to call her an “anchor baby.” The 14th Amendment states:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) ruled the only exceptions to “natural-born” citizens, people born in the U.S. to non-citizens, are Native Americans, children of diplomats, and “children of alien enemies, born during and within their hostile occupation.” The case was decided before Native Americans were granted citizenship. The Supreme Court majority traced birthright citizenship to English common law prior to U.S. independence, “birth within the … kingdom.” The 14th Amendment overturned the notable Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857, a pro-slavery decision, ruling Scott not entitled to the rights of citizenship because blacks are “regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations.” A leader of the birther movement against President Obama, DDT publicly asserted in September 2016 that the president “was born in the United States” but continued to privately “question the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.”

Friday: DDT again refused to answer questions, this time about QAnon, but praised the most recent QAnon member to be a congressional candidate. 

DDT is now back at his golf resort in Bedminster, NJ while more people get infected and die from COVID-19 in the U.S.: 5,476,266 cases and 171,535 deaths as of August 14.

July 28, 2020

Barr: ‘Not That I Remember’

Filed under: Executive action — trp2011 @ 11:38 PM
Tags: , , , ,

In today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, AG Bill Barr confirmed to the free world that the United States is well on its way toward becoming an authoritarian nation. The U.S. attorney general supposedly supports the people of the United States, but his testimony further guaranteed he sees his sole purpose is protecting Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and the Department of Justice is no longer an independent agency.

The British publication Independent summarized Barr’s misconduct:

“Barr misrepresented the Mueller report; refused to pursue the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community’s Trump-Ukraine criminal referral; interfered in the criminal cases of President Trump’s allies; fired the US Attorney at the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman; ordered the brutal clearing of peaceful protestors at Lafayette Square for Trump’s bible-holding photo op; and made some controversial remarks about racism in America…

“He falsely called the “Russiagate” scandal ‘bogus,’ falsely claimed President Trump has never interfered in his work (Trump has done so publicly), defended unleashing brutality on protestors, and denied systemic racism in policing. As Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) would later say in this hearing, the statement ‘read like it was written by Alex Jones or Roger Stone.’”

Barr’s testimony was marked by obfuscation, delaying, lying, and the repeated statement, “Not that I Remember.” [Horrible memory for a person who runs one of the most important agencies in the United States!] Samples of the hearing:

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) asked about the right-wing protesters occupying the Michigan Capitol where they “carried guns, Confederate flags, and swastikas, and call for the governor of Michigan to be beheaded and shot and lynched.” Barr said he didn’t know anything about it. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) pointed out Barr’s selective objections to protesting: the AG doesn’t mind when the protesters are armed right-wingers belligerently objecting to stay-at-home orders.

Barr claimed violent clearing of peaceful protesters in DC’s Lafayette Park was to move the perimeter, not for DDT’s photo-op. He also denied tear gas was used despite proof to the contrary.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) asked if Barr had ever recommended a reduced sentence for anyone other than DDT’s friends. Barr couldn’t remember anyone. Swalwell followed by asking why the DOJ told DDT’s former fixer Michael Cohen he would go back to solitary in prison if he didn’t sign an agreement to not write a book or speak to the media. Barr said he didn’t know anything about it.

Rep. Jackson Lee (D-TX) asked about systemic racism. Barr denied it existed.

Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) asked about excessive use of force primarily against Black people. Barr said that more Blacks were killed by other Blacks than by police officers.

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) asked if president’s accepting or soliciting foreign assistance in an election is appropriate. Barr first said it “depends” on the assistance. Cicilline said “any kind”; Barr struggled and finally said no.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) questioned Barr about DDT’s response to the COVID-19 CRISIS. Barr said he needed “to see the context” when Jeffries quoted Barr describing DDT’s guidance as “superb.” About DDT’s suggestion that people treat the virus by swallowing disinfectants, Barr said, “That’s not what I heard.” He also repeated the debunked claims that President Obama had not replaced the PPE although DDT had three years and sent much of the supplies to other countries at the beginning of the pandemic.

Jeffries also asked Barr what he would do if DDT loses the election but refuses to leave office. Barr said, “If the results are clear, I will leave office.” He added he was “not familiar” with DDT’s comments on the issue.

Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) questioned Barr about his lying in April when he said that “the White House fully cooperated with the special counsel’s investigation.” Barr answered, “Mm-hmm” before he said he meant only “the supplying of documents.” Neguse said that Barr knew when he made the statement DDT had not agreed to be interviewed by the special counsel, and Barr became visibly uncomfortable.  

Neguse continued with questioning Barr’s claim that former U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman had “stepped down” from his position. Barr laughed and answered, “He may not have known it, but he was stepping down. He was being removed!” Neguse told Barr he lied because the statement didn’t say Berman was being removed or fired.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) asked about the legality of advanced surveillance techniques—cell-site simulators, facial recognition, and sweeping surveillance of internet activity—on protesters. Barr answered, “I really can’t speak to those instances if they’ve in fact occurred.” The question was raised about whether Barr thinks DDT can have mass surveillance of protesters without congressional authorization. On July 21, Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) wrote Barr and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe asking them to confirm that federal agencies stopped surveillance operations authorized under the now-expired FISA provisions.

Some of Barr’s statements attempting to defend his actions:

Referring to shortening Roger Stone’s sentence for lying under oath: “Do you think it’s fair for a 67-year-old man to be sentenced to prison for seven to nine years?”

About the acceleration of protesting in Portland (OR) by sending in untrained, violent federal agents: “What unfolds nightly around the courthouse cannot reasonably be called a protest; it is, by any objective measure, an assault on the government of the United States.”

Defending police killing of unarmed Black people: Barr said studies show “police are less likely to shoot at a black suspect, a little more likely to shoot at a white suspect.”

A fact-check on Barr’s statements from the conservative Oregonian:

Barr: There have been two months of violent protests and rioting in Portland. Both attendance and the level of violence have waxed and waned since May 28, and no one has consistently described the nightly groups as riots. The vast majority of the gathering is peaceful, and the federal courthouse became a target only when federal agents (aka DDT’s militia) were sent to Portland in early July. The protests escalated after a federal agent shot peaceful protester Donovan La Bella in the head.

Barr: Antifa is active in the Portland demonstrations. A variety of left-wing groups have participated in the protests, but they don’t collaborate. Recently large groups of mothers, dads, teachers, healthcare workers, lawyers, and veterans have identified themselves by their garb. Violence has come from far-right extremists, dressing in traditional antifa-appearing clothing.

Barr: Protests are being hijacked by violent demonstrators whose primary aim is to injure federal officers. Although federal agents disperse crowds without discrimination or warning, they seem to focus on volunteer medics. Protesters, including La Bella, have received high-profile injuries without provocation.

Barr: There are less than 100 federal officers deployed in Portland. The count is at least 114 federal agents, and several FBI agents are investigating protesters’ alleged criminal activity.

Six mayors from Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Washington DC, Albuquerque, and Kansas City (MO) sent a letter to Congress requesting legislation to block DDT’s “unacceptable, un-American, and unconstitutional” use of force. They wrote, “This provocation is resulting in direct physical harm to our communities and must end.” [Below: federal and local law enforcement collaborate.] 

Other cities are discovering the violence from right-wing extremists as DDT sends his militia across the country. Richmond (VA) police arrested six right-wing saboteurs carrying pro-BLM signs and breaking windows at downtown businesses. Boogaloo members wearing Hawaiian shirts to signify their push for a racial war have appeared in Minneapolis, Salisbury (NC), Bentonville (AR), Seattle, and Los Angeles. One of the members, arrested at a Denver protest, had a large arsenal in his car’s trunk. A fake flyer in Olympia falsely offered $200 per individual to act as “paid protesters,” supposedly paid by George Soros and the Open Society Foundation. The white nationalist Evropa organization spread a hoax on Twitter advocating violence, tweets which Donald Trump Jr used to support his father’s blame on antifascists for violence.

Meanwhile, protesters are losing their constitutional rights. Federal agents are arresting protesters for such minor offenses as “failing to obey” an order to get off a sidewalk on federal property. At least 12 of those arrested were released from jail only if they agreed to not attend protests, some of them anywhere in Oregon—a violation of their First Amendment rights. The order was signed by a federal magistrate in Portland.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said the federal government’s authoritarian behavior poses an “enormous” threat to democracy, and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) described the tactics as “an all-out assault in military-style fashion.” Military control of the U.S. was last imposed in the U.S. after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941.

A sliver of hope comes from talks between Oregon’s Gov. Kate Brown and the federal government to reduce federal agents if the state increases its own enforcement. There is no agreement, but DDT may realize that his militia’s violence isn’t getting him votes.

March 15, 2020

Covid-19: DDT Prays, Concentrates on Businesses While Cases Grow

Evangelical Christians are providing dangerous disinformation about the covid-19 epidemic. On Fox & Friends, Jerry Falwell Jr, head of Liberty University, accused DDT’s enemies, listing the media as among them, of wrongly giving information about the virus and its spread. He also blamed the disease on totalitarian regimes such as North Korea. (Falwell is also urging western Virginia counties to leave the state and join West Virginia, saving them from Democrats, in a movement called “Vaxit.” Even highly conservative Strom Thurmond used the word “traitorous” for telling a county to secede from a state.) When a parent questioned the wisdom of Falwell keeping the university open during the healthcare crisis, Falwell called him a “dummy.” Jonathan Shuttlesworth, the co-founder of Revival Today TV, called coronavirus prevention measures the work of the devil and said that only “sissies” and “pansies” use hand sanitizer or wash their hands to prevent the virus’ spread.

Having failed to block covid-19 in the U.S., Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has declared today as a day of prayer for all the people afflicted through his ignorance and his desire to minimize problems during his ploy for reelection this fall. Last week, he gave a tone-deaf speech that declared a travel ban from 26 European nations that didn’t have his businesses. By Saturday, he gave in to include the UK and Ireland where numbers of infections and deaths are growing faster than in the U.S.—at this time.

DDT, who has avoided press briefings like the plague, has had three of them in three days. Today’s comments bragged about the prime rate lowered to 0.0 percent, destroying people’s savings, in his attempt to save the stock market for his reelection campaign. He also commented about how his actions result in “more buying than at Christmas,” priding himself on the consumerism. He failed to point out that the buying is done for hoarding because of the extreme fear in the U.S. and that buying will shrink when people use the supplies that they are collecting. He left VP Mike Pence to make a few comments, such as the risk of contacting covid-19 is “extremely low,” and take questions.

DDT’s travel ban, which was corrected to exempt U.S. residents, created a panic among people in Europe with huge crowds by inadequate staffing to process them when they arrived in the U.S. before tonight’s deadline. One person tweeted:  

“Confirmed cases in Illinois more than doubled between Friday and Saturday. Inbound travelers are stuck at O’Hare for six-hour waits.”

Acting DHS director Chad Wolf tweeted that he’s working to “expedite the process” but “the health and safety of the American public is first & foremost.” People exposed to covid-19 in the airport will still be regarded as not infected until later.

Hospital leaders report that DDT’s rolling back some regulations in his “national emergency” declaration won’t help their serious shortage of supplies and risk to workers, especially with a prediction of 1.9 million ICU admissions within the next few months. The U.S. health system has approximately 100,000 ICU beds. This problem could be somewhat alleviated through rental of hotels or other arrangements, but that would require federal funding for hospitals to keep operating. DDT has refused, however, to meet with hospital leaders to discuss their issues while DDT meets with retail and financial CEOs.

Emergency medical providers also lacked guidance; CDC waited almost four weeks after the World Health Organization announced the outbreak in China and over two weeks after confirmation of the first known U.S. case to give the responders guidance. The 20,000 emergency medical service agencies in the U.S. vary greatly in oversight and assets; about one-third of them depend on volunteers. 

Public pressure finally pushed DDT into taking the covid-19 test after he wandered around shaking hands with many people and is known to spend hours with people who have tested positive. DDT said he took the test “because the press is going crazy.” After over two months, the White House has decided to take the temperature of people “in close contact” with DDT and VP Mike Pence.  

DDT attacks CDC, Fed Reserve, President Obama, Joe Biden, and others for the disaster that he created, but his obsession with personal ratings led him to brag that his handling of the health crisis has a “78% Approval Rating, the highest on record.” That number came from an RNC mailing to donors

On Saturday, he bragged about Friday’s stock market having the largest increase in history but didn’t mention that the day before had the biggest drop in 30 years. Friday also had the biggest one-day U.S. increase in new covid-19 cases—almost 500. Without widespread testing in the U.S., the figures show an increase of cases from 89 to 2,131 in only two weeks.

The CDC is woefully behind in tracking statistics about cases and deaths from covid-19 so many people turned to a website from Johns Hopkins University. Russia hackers now use the site to spread password-stealing malware by advertising a digital coronavirus infection kit, and Chinese hackers, known as Vicious Panda, trick people into sharing sensitive personal information with a fake document supposedly from the Mongolian Health Ministry.

Even my favorite website for statistics has indicated it suffered cyber attacks and has taken action to stop these malicious acts. As of early evening, it has indicated 3,752 cases and 68 deaths in the United States. Another, more specific, website was developed by 17-year-old Avi Schiffmann, a high school junior on Mercer Island. His site trails the one above by just a few numbers. He developed his site in late December when fewer than 1,000 cases of covid-19 existed. The website updates about every minute through “web scraping” from the websites that he has entered. To make the information more positive, he also includes the number of people who are recovering. The site has about 35 million viewers with only 60 percent from the U.S.   

Conservative voters claim that they want to elect someone who runs the government like a business. They got DDT. David Atkins wrote:

“At every step of the way, Trump and the conservative media have treated the coronavirus as a PR problem, a political problem, and a business problem. They have tried to downplay the severity of the disease, tell people to continue life like everything is normal, continue flying and going on cruise lines, and boost the markets however possible. Friday’s bizarre press conference was little more than an infomercial for some of the top health-related businesses in the Dow Jones average, with a parade of CEOs talking about their commitment to doing vague somethings about the pandemic right before the closing bell. It worked, at least for now: the Dow surged as a result of the upbeat corporate presentation. For weeks now the administration has slow-played testing under the theory that lower reported numbers would somehow look better and magically change the actual reality on the ground until the problem went away.

“Like so much of modern American business culture, the ethic here is short-sighted and self-serving at best, and cruel, callous, and malevolent at worst. Today’s fast-moving capital markets are explicitly designed to be reactive rather than proactive, and every incentive built into them is to push for growth at all costs. Problems are meant to be pushed to the side and out of sight so the good times can keep rolling at the top; inconvenient costs are externalized and socialized on the backs of workers, the impoverished, and the environment. In the best of times, this dynamic creates massive inequalities and injustices that the market doesn’t notice, because the victims most affected are insignificant to—and go unnoticed by—the invisible hand. In the worst of times, however, it utterly hobbles a society’s ability to respond to crises that require active management before they can be directly felt in the marketplace.”

For decades, Republicans have swept problems under the rug, including the trillions of dollars that George W. Bush’s war cost. At the same time, they push against solutions for the future such as a Green New Deal, universal healthcare or even a pandemic response office. The incompetence became worse with DDT’s insistence on hiring only ignorant loyalists, his refusal to learn, and his pathological lying.

An example of this lying is his false claim that Google has 1,700 engineers quickly working on a website to help people figure out if they need testing and give them information about where to get the test, the “stores” for testing “in virtually every location.” Part of his long spiel was an attack on the Affordable Care Act website. Google said it is NOT building a website, and another company of 400 people is in “early stages of development” of building a covid-19 website nothing like DDT’s description and only for the Bay Area.  

With good reason, 53 percent of U.S. voters worry that someone in their immediate family might catch covid-19, and 60 percent think the worst is yet to come in the U.S. Over 40 percent believe the virus will change their day-to-day lives. Only 30 percent of Republicans, however, plan to avoid gatherings.

May 4, 2019

DDT: Week 119 – Master Liar at Work

After publicly telling 5,000 lies in his first 601 days, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) doubled this total to 10,111 in just 226 more days, upping his average of 8 lies a day to almost 23 days in little more than the past seven months. Some days he did better—for example, the 45 lies in a telephone interview with Sean Hannity on April 25 and 24 lies in one speech to the NRA. His best record may have been the 61 false claims in a campaign rally on April 27. DDT’s tweets help his average too: 171 false or misleading claims in three days between April 25 and 27. April was his best month thus far! Twenty-percent of lies are about immigration, thanks to the 160 times he falsely claimed that his border wall is being built. The WaPo “Bottomless Pinnochios” have reached 21 with claims earning Three or Four Pinocchios repeated at least 20 times. More of his lies.

DDT shared lies with Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in their hour-long talk. Despite the Mueller report facts, DDT, who had no visual contact with Putin, proudly pointed out that Putin “smiled” about the “no collusion” between Russia and DDT. He said they would denuclearize North Korea despite North Korea’s continued testing of weapons. DDT also failed to talk to Putin about his interference in the 2016 election, but DDT is satisfied that Putin won’t be a problem in 2020—because Putin said he wouldn’t.

They may have talked for the first time since Russia opposed DDT’s attempted coup to depose Venezuela’s democratically elected president, Nicholas Maduro. DDT said that Putin told him that “he is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela, other than he’d like to see something positive happen for Venezuela.” That statement contradicts DDT’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said that Russia had actually “invaded” Venezuela. Pompeo added that “the Russians have people working over there in the hundreds” and that the Russians persuaded Maduro to stay in Venezuela instead of going to Havana.

Like Putin, DDT, who cares nothing about human rights in other parts of the world including the United States, also lies about human rights as the reason to replace Maduro with U.S. puppet Juan Guaidó. To make his desired regime change, DDT greatly increased sanctions against Venezuela in addition to earlier ones punishing the nation. He also covertly sent weapons to support Guaidó last February. Eric Prince, founder of the Blackwater mercenaries and brother of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, wants to provide 5,000 mercenaries to Guaidó.

Members of CODEPINK and Popular Resistance are living in the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C. to protect it from a possible invasion and coup by U.S.-backed opposition forces. Expelling people from the embassy would violate the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that “the premises of the mission shall be inviolable.” U.S. agents cannot enter the embassy without the Maduro government’s permission, and the U.S. has a duty to protect the embassy against, intrusion, damage, and disturbance of the peace. The embassy is “immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.”

Until he talked with Putin, DDT was in complete accord with national security adviser John Bolton to overthrow the existing leadership not only in Venezuela but also in Cuba and Nicaragua. Threats with “a full and complete” embargo” toward Cuba if it fails to “immediately” stop supporting the Maduro government were preceded by DDT’s blocking Nicaragua’s bank loans. U.S. GOP presidents historically intervene in these three countries—Eisenhower in 1960 and Reagan who tried but failed to overthrow Daniel Ortega’s socialist government in Nicaragua. George W. Bush followed with a failed coup against Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Bolton wants to eradicate “communism and socialism in this hemisphere,” and DDT sees the half-million voters born in the three countries to be pivotal in Florida for the 2020 election. U.S. corporations want Venezuela’s oil, the biggest reserve in the world.

After his conversation with Putin and Guaidó’s failure to accomplish his coup this week, DDT’s enthusiasm for overturning Maduro seems to have dampened. Gone is DDT’s strong support for Bolton and Pompeo’s military action in Venezuela, and back is DDT’s typical waffle position of “all options are on the table.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who wants touch military action, will have to reverse his position—again.

DDT selects his officials for their abilities to lie, and AG Bill Barr is a prime example. This past week’s attention focused on Barr’s lying under oath in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Mueller investigation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) accused Barr of committing a crime by lying to Congress. Barr’s connection with the secretive conservative extremist Catholic group Opus Dei, developed in Franco’s Spain during the 1930s, provides support for his “ends justify the means” approach, recently demonstrated by his comfort with lying during testimony. Like Barr, the organization prizes wealth and power at the expense of those more disadvantaged while it uses politics to further its personal advancement and destroy justice and democracy.

Barr was forced to admit that Mueller’s investigation discovered DDT’s implication in a felony with the case referred to the Southern District of New York. The case concerned crimes of hush payments that violated campaign finance laws.

The day after the redacted Mueller report was released to the public, White House lawyer Emmet Flood wrote AG Bill Barr criticizing Mueller for explicitly stating that his investigation did not “exonerate” President Trump on allegations of obstruction of justice and accusing Mueller’s report of making “political” statements. Flood’s full letter is here.

Lies from DDT’s associates also created problems in Mueller’s investigation as he noted in the report. Campaign manager Paul Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn faced criminal charges for their lies, and others, such as Donald Trump, Jr., couldn’t be questioned. Other witnesses, like Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Sergei Millian, left the country. DDT himself displayed an abysmally poor memory in the few answers he gave to Mueller.

In lying about how President Obama was at fault for the Russian involvement in the 2016 election, DDT again brought to light House Speaker Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) refusal to work with the president in this issue. McConnell had already taken drastic steps to block Merrick Garland from being considered for the Supreme Court for several months, and he promised scorched earth if President Obama went public with the knowledge that Russia was working to elect DDT.

Republicans may deny the possibility of climate change, but the EPA has published a report telling people how to plan for climate change’s catastrophes. Despite the EPA ban of using these terms of “climate change” or “a changing climate,” the report used them 29 times. Communities should assume “the worst-case scenario” as they adapt to the “debris-related impacts of climate change,” according to the report. Concerns are chemical and industrial release along with gas emissions.

Because of the firefighters’ support of Joe Biden’s candidacy, DDT sent 58 attack tweets or retweets in an hour early Wednesday morning.  He lied about everything that he had done for the firefighters.

Once again, this week was Infrastructure Week. Supposedly DDT agreed with Democratic congressional leaders Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Dick Schumer (D-NY) that $2 billion was a good number for the nation to rebuild its crumbling bridge, roads, and other parts of the infrastructure. DDT first called the public-private partnerships of last year recommended by economic adviser Gary Cohen as “so stupid.” GOP opposition, however, will likely scuttle the deal: acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has already told people that the idea is too expensive and doomed for failure. McConnell also opposes the deal, and Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) asked how “we are going to pay for this.”

Raising gas taxes by 35 cents would raise only one-fourth of the needed amount, and tax increases would be necessary for the remainder. Republicans want to keep giving taxes from the poor and middle-class to the wealthy so that won’t work. DDT will probably follow the same as pattern as he did with immigration—agree with Democrats and then call off the entire deal.

When DDT is lying, his comment and speeches devolve into derangement, like his enactment of the Paris massacre during his talk at the NRA convention. Or his graphic lying description of how Democrats “execute babies” at his Wisconsin speech.

DDT looks good with the dropping unemployment rate. The bad news is for blacks, the college-educated, and involuntary part-time workers. Increase came in temp help, and local government jobs almost tripled. Wage increases match the inflation rate. The raw numbers are good, the reality not so much. Like the stock market going up because tax cuts for corporations permit them to buy more stocks.

Farmers’ personal income fell by the most in three years during the first quarter of 2019 from the ongoing trade war. Other factors included low commodity prices and the climate change disasters such as the Midwest spring floods. Earnings dropped by $11.8 billion in the quarter, just shy of the $12 billion that DDT promised to pay them out of taxpayers’ pockets. DDT’s 2020 budget cuts reduce federal subsidies for crop insurance and small growers from 62 percent of premiums to 48 percent with limits on growers making less than $500,000 annually. In January, he told farmers that his trade deals “are going to get you so much business, you’re not even going to believe it.”

Coming soon: “Make America Worse.”

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

 

June 29, 2017

DDT: Bully-in-Chief

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) keeps hitting all-time lows in his self-proclaimed drive to regain the “American Dream.” The worst this week—thus far—may be his tweet attack on the hosts of MSNBC Morning Joe show, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough:

“I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came..

“…to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”

People in the White House feel that they don’t need to live up to any standards because DDT doesn’t. Fifteen minutes before DDT’s tweets, White House social media director Dan Scavino tweeted:

 “#DumbAsARockMika and lover #JealousJoe are lost, confused & saddened since @POTUS @realDonaldTrump stopped returning their calls! Unhinged.”

Scavino apologized; DDT did not.

DDT’s attitude toward Scarborough has reversed since the host helped with his campaign. After DDT’s inauguration, he suggested that he marry Brzezinski and Scarborough at Mar-a-Lago or the White House. Before the election, Scarborough went to Trump Tower and gave DDT advice on how to win the election.

In the same way that DDT has unified the European Union because of their opposition toward him, he created a bipartisan outcry although Republican legislators’ comments were a bit more muted. GOP comments included “[not] an appropriate comment” (House Speaker Paul Ryan), “beneath the office” and “highly inappropriate” (Sen. Lindsay Graham), “isn’t normal” (Sen. Ben Sasse),

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has a solution:  “Since our President clearly has a problem with women, let’s send more to Congress.”

In a press conference, Sarah Huckabee Sanders justified DDT by saying that he always pushes back when he’s attacked. She claimed that he has never been violent—this statement about the man who told his audience that he would pay lawyer’s fees for people who punch out protesters. Asked about the president being a role model, she said that only God has this role. Her justification for his behavior was that people knew what they were getting when they voted for him.

A statement from DDT’s wife, Melania, said that her husband hits back “ten times harder” when he is attacked. Asked about her cyberbullying program that she had proposed, her office stated that she Grisham was asked about Melania Trump’s stance against cyber bullying, the response was that she is “continuing to be thoughtful about her platform.”

DDT has said that “my strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament.” He also claimed, “I can be the most presidential person.” Only 20 percent of people in the U.S. think that DDT’s tweets are “effective and informative,” and almost 70 percent find the tweets “reckless and distracting.” DDT is getting stranger—if that’s possible. Today, he interrupted a call to newly elected Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar to compliment a female reporter, calling her “beautiful” with a “nice smile.” Turning back to the prime minister, he said, “I bet she treats you well.”

No one is sure what specific problem initiated DDT’s virulent attack on the Morning Joe hosts, but it came soon after Brzezinski called him a narcissist and “needy” because of his “fake” Time cover hanging in at least four of his golf clubs. One of DDT’s common lies is that he appeared on the cover of Time more than anyone else. that he had been on the cover of Time magazine more than anyone else. When he made this claim, he had appeared on that periodical cover 11 times; Richard Nixon was on 55 times, and Barack Obama was on 12 times in just 2008.

The photoshopped image of DDT’s “fake” cover is dated March 1, 2009 and touts his show The Apprentice. The headline reads, “Trump Is Hitting On All Fronts…Even TV!” An analysis of the cover shows that two secondary headlines were on the March 2, 2009 cover that used an image of Kate Winslet. Several parts of the cover are wrong, including the exclamation point which Time never uses, the narrower red strip around the cover, and the bar code for software that lets you be a karaoke DJ. A Photoshop tutorial blog post provided the bar code free in 2010. Time has confirmed that the one with DDT is not their cover and asked for its removal from DDT’s properties. At a press conference, Sanders refused to answer question about whether DDT knows that the image is fake.   (Time has now published a tutorial on how to spot a fake Time cover that uses DDT’s image as an example.)

None of the actual DDT covers of the New Yorker seem to appear in his properties, but they are available here. This one from April is an example of them. Parodies of DDT’s Time cover are also well worth perusing.

DDT continued his tweet diatribe with his frequent war on the media.

“So they caught Fake News CNN cold, but what about NBC, CBS & ABC? What about the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost? They are all Fake News!”

White House press secretaries have constantly announced that they don’t want press conferences because they want DDT’s words to speak for themselves. Yet DDT’s words continue to be lies. Almost 60 percent of people agree that DDT is not honest, up from 53 percent at his inauguration. Two major newspapers have started tracking DDT’s lies.

New York Times reporters David Leonhardt and Stuart A. Thompson have kept track of DDT’s lies since his inauguration and found at least one every day for each of the first 40 days and  then on at least 74 of 113 days. Days without lies were while he vacationed or golfed. Some of these lies were reversals of others as he piled lies on top of other lies. The majority of them come from taking credit for others accomplishments. The next categories were false historic detail and recent news that didn’t happen. After that came false exaggerations, descriptions of federal government functions, fabricated economic statistics, job impacts of his policies, and positive effects of his work. And other categories exist.

Daniel Dale at The Toronto Star found 337 DDT lies since he was inaugurated, an average of 2.1 per day. DDT managed 18 during just his Iowa rally, the first one west of the Mississippi. Dale listed the lies by date, but they can be searched by topic.

DDT’s “misrepresentations” may be the most dangerous. In praising the Senate’s disastrous version of Trumpcare, he stood in front of Alaska’s GOP senator Lisa Murkowski and talked about a 203-percent increase in premiums but omitted the reductions from tax credits. The Affordable Care Act brought the 25 percent increase last year to 1 percent for 93 percent of people in Alaska. Most of them pay less for health insurance than in 2013, before the ACA, and many others couldn’t buy insurance before the ACA because they had pre-existing conditions. In 2017, the 86 percent of Alaskans receiving tax credits pay $93 a month—far less than the $344 they paid in 2013. Only ten percent of people in the United States have to pay full premiums because they aren’t on Medicaid or Medicare, aren’t poor enough to receive subsidies, or don’t receive insurance from their employers. That’s a lot of people, but it’s only three percent of the people in the United States.

Brzezinski was right when she called DDT “needy,” and she may be right to call him a narcissist. Characteristics of narcissism is lying and telling people different things to feel good. Narcissists fail to follow social conventions, and others “normalize” their behavior and cover for them. Narcissists enjoy firings, recriminations, and punishment for any perceived enemies. Their “gaslighting” is intended to convince others that they perception of reality is wrong, a part of narcissistic lying.

DDT has spent his entire life lying to get what he wants. He’s always been a brutal bully, always on the attack, especially against women. But DDT is no longer a CEO, much as people think that is the job of the President of the United States. That position is a role model for the world, an influence for acceptable behavior by both adults and children. DDT’s presence in this position has coarsened people and caused other great nations to reject the United States.

President Obama held himself to the higher standard of his position. He ignored the racist jokes, the posters that showed him being lynched or appearing to be Adolf Hitler, even the slurs against his wife when Republicans called her “a male” or a “gorilla.” The former president did have altercations with the Fox network, perhaps because Fox leadership ordered their hosts to slant the “news” to make the president look bad.

In less than 23 weeks, DDT’s behavior and speech have made the United States the laughingstock of the world. No one, not even his lawyers, seems able to curb his crude manner or educate him about governing. People said, “Give him a chance.” He’s taken that chance to constantly embarrass the people of the United States.

Today DDT is the face of the GOP. Republicans might want to consider whether he is the image that they want to portray.

April 16, 2017

Different Kinds of Facts?

 

If the major goal of a newspaper is to create controversy, the Register-Guard (Eugene, OR) seems to have succeeded with Anna Katharine Mansfield’s “Puzzling over Trump’s Truth,” reprinted from the Washington Post. It is the umpteenth attempt to explain to those who don’t support Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) why he’s actually telling the truth—emotional truth, according to Mansfield–and received several “questioning” letters to the editor in response.

Mansfield’s premise disagrees with the accusation that DDT is considered a liar by “much of our logic-based, Enlightment-indoctrinated society” because these people use evidence to determine truth. The professor of winemaking who got her certificate in Christian theology education from Sewanee-University of the South, a place that evidently has sent certificates online, talks about “truths” other than factual ones, which she calls “nonfactual truths.” She explains it as “an ability to understand that stories are true, even when the primary elements of the story are not historical fact.” Evidently that’s where taking DDT “seriously, not literally” emerges.

One of her examples of an “emotional truth” is the belief that DDT, not Hillary Clinton, won the popular vote last November. She continues with another “truth” that the mainstream media isn’t trustworthy because it doesn’t represent the conservative point of view. Going back to President Obama, she tries to explain that the belief that is a Muslim or communist explains how it’s believable that he could interfere with DDT even if there is no proof. Mansfield wrote:

“Tom Forman, chief executive of reality TV shows like ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,’ said in a recent NPR interview that Trump is a master at ‘being directionally correct.’ Trump knows, Forman said, how to amplify what viewers already know to be true, what they ‘know in their bones.’ That’s emotional truth, and factual truth can’t touch it.”

Mansfield claims that sometimes DDT should tell the truth when “logic is called for” but not in “minor issues” because our society needs “emotion-based truth.” It is highly unfortunate that the leader of the (hopefully) most powerful nation in the world can operate without evidence in any part of his commanding.

Personally, I’m terrified that the country is being led by a philosophy that evidence isn’t important because the “emotional truth” of these people carries the same weight as proof-based information and personal feelings based on nothing are equal to education.

A letter from John Blondigen perhaps better states my concern:

So, in the interests of balance, here are emotional truths that I hold dear:

  • I don’t believe the economic health of the fossil fuel industry is more important than the health of the world’s climate.

  • I don’t believe that in a country this wealthy, people should lack medical care because of an inability to pay. The purity of some congressman’s free market ideology is less important than anyone’s health.

  • I refuse to go back to a time when only heterosexual white men were first-class citizens. I remember those times, and they weren’t great.

  • I won’t lead the cheers for the use of deadly force to prove anyone’s toughness.

  • And I absolutely refuse to renounce fact for the sake of indulging anyone’s emotional truth.

Other comments to the article from the Washington Post:

This is an excuse for wishful thinking and rampant confirmation bias. There are dangers to such sloppy sentimental thinking.

“Emotional truth” as opposed to “factual truth” has, since the Enlightenment, been simply called ignorance.

Donald Trump’s lies don’t qualify as myth. They are, quite simply, lies. If an individual finds “emotional truth” in the statement that “white is black and black is white,” then I am probably more interested in getting him/her a scrip for Thorazine than granting him/her the succor that comes with validating a delusion.

If more citizens of our country sought both spiritual guidance and scientific knowledge, we would not be living with such a narrowly educated and cold-hearted leader in the White House.

[The article] boils down to, if it “feels right” I should believe it, regardless of any and all evidence to the contrary, and my opinion should be as valid as any other. If that is true, then Dr. Mansfield, I assume, believes we should give deference to flat Earthers, anti-vaxxers, moon landing conspiracy proponents, and any other believers of things she may be less sanguine about.

The error here is in the false equivalency. Emotional truth is individual. Logical truth is universal. To give equal credence to both would destroy society. My emotional truth is not the same as yours , thus there would be no structure. So, although I will defend to the death, the right of a Jesus person to his own personal truth, for the sake of our country, our society, and our planet, logical proof must prevail.

If tRump supporters hold everyone else in the world to certain moral standards of behavior, yet throw those standards away for their president, then we have no basis for communication. They are willing to accept ANY un-Christian act from him, and still consider him God’s chosen candidate. They ignore all of the lessons of the bible (which is SUPPOSED to be the basis of their faith).

Followers of DDT’s “emotional truth” are losing faith in their leader, shown in Tumblr’s “Trumpgrets” and Facebook’s “IregretvotingforTrump.” The Twitter feed “Trump Regrets” also retweeted those sorry DDT voters. Disappointments: not locking up Hillary Clinton, putting Jared Kushner in the White House, dismissing information about Russia, in general not following his (hot air) promises. They’re also amazed that the GOP health plan raises their premiums and DDT is deporting their family members instead of those “bad hombres.” Their “emotional truth” has now clashed with DDT’s beliefs—military dominance, intimidation, and accruing wealth. The question for their “emotional truth” is whether the economy implodes, resulting in another shift of “emotional truth.”

Some evangelical Christians may not accept DDT’s “emotional truth.” Ten percent left their church by mid-November, and 15 percent of all church-going people left their church because they think that DDT politics has become too divisive. The two groups were DDT supporters with pastors who didn’t and those who disagreed with DDT-supporting pastors. A review of data indicates that progressive and moderate evangelicals left their church after its takeover by the right-wing.

Now I’m just waiting for all those articles that explain to DDT supporters the “emotional truth” of the DDT opposition.

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