Nel's New Day

August 26, 2022

Some News – August 25, 2022

The most dangerous story of the day may be how a Christian fundamentalist company is taking over Texas school boards on its way to control the U.S. for evangelicals. The Texas-based Patriot Mobile markets itself as “America’s only Christian conservative wireless provider,” meaning Christian nationalist/MAGA far right. Electing school board members is the beginning to take over every part of the nation’s political structure with its anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ, anti-feminist, anti-minorities, anti-history, anti-science, anti-nonChristian religion philosophy—and put all that in the school curriculum.

Former DDT adviser Steve Bannon has promoted Patriot Mobile and its “mission from God to restore conservative Christian values at all levels of government—especially in public schools,” according to Mike Hixenbaugh in his article for NBC news. Patriot Mobile created a PAC this year with $600,000 in seed money to spend on school board races in the Fort Worth suburbs. They bought 11 seats in four districts.

The Keller Independent School District pulled 40 books from the library shelves, including a graphic adaptation of Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl. The company donated framed posters of “In God We Trust” to the Carroll Independent School District, required to display them in each of the school buildings because of a new Texas law. These posters are spreading in schools across Texas after the passage of Senate Bill 797 requiring “a public elementary school or secondary school” to display the motto in a “conspicuous place” if a poster or framed copy of the motto is “donated for display at the school or institution” or “purchased from private donations and made available to the school.” The bill’s co-author tweeted:

“The national motto, In God We Trust, asserts our collective trust in a sovereign God.”

The Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District board voted 4-3 for a set of policies restricting how teachers talk about race and gender, limit the rights of transgender and nonbinary students to use bathrooms and pronouns corresponding with the genders, and simplified a process for parent to ban library books dealing with sexuality. Almost 200 people signed up to speak during public comments, many of them recruited to support the policies but others voluntarily protesting.

Christian fundamentalists must take over all parts of the government in their “Seven Mountains” theology, aka “dominionism,” once a fringe theology.  Pastor Rafael Cruz, Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) father, started weekly Bible studies for employees at Patriot Mobile’s corporate office to be posted on YouTube. Cruz preached that American founders intended a “one-way wall” for religion, banning government from interfering with the church but not stopping the church from controlling the government.

Supporters of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) are fixated on finding negative information about the Biden family, two of them so much that they stole the diary of Ashley Biden, President Joe Biden, during his 2020 campaign. Two defendants pled guilty to stealing the diary and selling it to Project Veritas, the conservative organization pretending to be a news media organization while falsifying videos and other information for negative lies about Democrats. The two thieves received $40,000 for the diary and returned to take more of Ashley Biden’s property. She had written intimate information about herself and her family while she recovered from addition.

The release of a nine-page memo from the DOJ after a court order shows the obfuscation of former AG Bill Barr in covering for DDT after Robert Mueller filed his report about the investigation into the ties between Russian interference and DDT’s campaign in the 2016 presidential election. Barr explained that DDT couldn’t be charged with any crimes because of no conspiracy, different from Mueller’s report. A highly redacted version of the memo was released in 2019; this version is complete. Barr signed and approved the memo on March 24, 2019, the same date he notified Congress of his decision not to prosecute DDT. It ends with a formal recommendation to not charge DDT. Both Mueller and legal analysts criticized the DOJ for being “selective” about items in the report.

Two federal courts concluded that Barr didn’t rely on the memo for legal advice and decided to not charge DDT before he commissioned the memo. A federal appeals court described the memo as an “academic exercise” or “thought experiment” that meant to bolster the public rollout of Barr’s decision against prosecuting Trump. In the memo, Barr’s deputies, the memo’s authors, wrote DDT couldn’t be charged because of lack of precedence and claimed Mueller couldn’t find any comparable cases with “remotely similar circumstances.”

The ”Trump Defense,” according to Barr’s DOJ: DDT’s acts were not criminal because of his thoughts, anger, and ineptitude.

  • DDT’s steps were “not for an illegal purpose” but because he believed the investigation was politically motivated.
  • DDT’s “driving force” was anger over Comey’s refusal to publicly declare that the FBI was not investigating Trump himself rather than an effort by Trump to derail the investigation.
  • DDT’s obstruction was never carried out because people didn’t follow his orders.

The government watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which obtained the memo after a lawsuit, stated the excuses presented a “breathtakingly generous view of the law and facts for Donald Trump.” The group’s statement added:

“It significantly twists the facts and the law to benefit Donald Trump and does not comport with a serious reading of the law of obstruction of justice or the facts as found by Special Counsel Mueller.”

Mueller had pointed out that DDT fired FBI Director James Comey after the former director did not “let this go” in the criminal probe of DDT’s former top adviser Michael Flynn. DDT told his White House counsel, Don McGahn, that he never tried to fire Mueller, but the memo claimed “there is insufficient evidence to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the President sought to induce McGahn to lie.”

In another sticky problem for DDT, one of his appointed judges returned his filing to limit the DOJ review of records seized from Mar-a-Lago with the request that he clarify what he is seeking—why the court has jurisdiction over the dispute and what “precise relief” he wants. Legal observers are already criticizing the suit for being convoluted and failing to ask substantial legal questions. DDT had asked for a special master to review the materials and bar the FBI from examining the documents until the master is appointed. The purpose might be to determine whether the seized documents are protected by attorney-client privilege or any other legalities.

Another potential DDT problem is the release of a redacted version of the Mar-a-Lago search warrant affidavit by noon on August 26, per a court ruling. It describes the probable cause for crime, possibly adding more charges against DDT.

More news about documents at Mar-a-Lago came from an email sent by the National Archives chief counsel, Gary Stern to DDT in May 2021. He references two dozen boxes stored in DDT’s White House residence not returned despite the request to give them back. Stern wrote that DDT’s lawyer Pat Cipollone agreed the boxes of official records needed to be returned. For months, DDT repeatedly declined to return the items while his lawyers expressed concerns about his keeping the documents.   

Conservative love to play the victim, and former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, now the GOP candidate for a Montana U.S. House seat by 1,608 votes is no different. He is claiming the DOJ is persecuting him although the agency has refused to bring charges against him for the second time. A report from the Interior Department’s inspector general reveals that Zinke lied and misled his way through an inquiry into possible misdeeds including a casino operating decision following extensive lobbying to bury the project. An earlier investigation into Zinke found he lied about his involvement in a land deal in his hometown of Whitefish (MT), benefitting him personally. He had falsely claimed that his meeting with the developers was “purely social.”

And notably, it’s the second time the Biden DOJ has passed on pursuing Zinke for allegedly lying to investigators. Another IG report released earlier this year found Zinke had allegedly lied about his involvement in a land deal in his hometown of Whitefish, Mont., which he stood to benefit from personally. Zinke claimed his role was minimal and that a meeting he held with the project’s developers at the Interior Department’s headquarters was “purely social.” Yet Inspector General Mark Greenblatt, a DDT appointee, reported that communications proved Zinke had “an extensive, direct, and substantive role in [representing] negotiations” with the developers. Even without any charges for his illegal actions, Zinke called it a “political hit job” by the Biden administration.

The federal government declined to move forward from the investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) until after the general election. In this week’s primary, Gaetz defeated his opponent to be the GOP candidate. Yet the case against Gaetz for sex-trafficking underage girls may be solid, and he could be tied into a massive investigation in corruption throughout central Florida through his connection with an associate, former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, who is due to be sentenced in December after several extensions. Like Gaetz, some of his charges are for sex-trafficking, but the investigation into ? covers illegal real estate deals, embezzlement of federal COVID relief, Republicans running ghost candidates, and public corruption. An op-ed from Gaetz’s primary opponent wrote about Gaetz using money from his donors intended for conservative causes to pay for his sex-trafficking defense and expressed concern about Gaetz, a member of the Congressional Armed Services Committee who has access to top secret information, is open to blackmail.  

July 30, 2022

Udates, News on July 30, 2022

News from the past week have led to extensive updates:

Ukraine: The 12 HIMARS sent from the U.S. are stopping Russia from gaining air superiority in its invasion, according to the Pentagon, and British defense officials said Ukraine has successfully repelled small-scale Russian attacks in the Donbas region. Ukraine announced that its fighting in the Kherson area destroyed over 100 Russian soldiers and seven tanks as well as stopping rail traffic across the Dnipro River, cutting off Russian forces west of the river from supplies out of Crimea and further east.

Missing January 6 texts: Department of Homeland Security Inspector General James Cuffari, appointed by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), refused to collect agency phones in an attempt to recover deleted Secret Service texts. After a senior forensics analyst in Cuffari’s office collected the phones, Cuffari’s told investigators to not take the phones and not seek any data from them. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), Judiciary Committee chair, asked the DOJ to intervene in the investigation of the missing texts.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a statement Friday calling the missing messages “an extremely serious matter” and said he would ask the Justice Department to intervene. Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), chair of the House January 6 investigative committee, and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) have asked that Cuffari be replaced in the investigation. Text messages from former acting homeland security secretary Chad Wolf and acting deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli, both appointed by DDT, are missing for a key period leading up to the Jan. 6 attack, but both of them said their phones had the texts when they gave their phones to DHS. Secret Service Director James Murray, another DDT-appointed official in the missing text scandal, will need to delay his retirement at the end of July for a job at Instagram because of the investigations.

The PACT Act: GOP senators scuttled a bill they had already approved expanding VA healthcare for seriously ill military veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits of waste. Immediately before Republicans voted against support for veterans, they tweeted their admiration for the veterans. After their negative votes, Ted Cruz (TX), Steve Daines (MT), and others gloated with joyful fist bumps and handshakes on the chamber floor in a video that has gone viral. Republicans complained the bill’s change in the House would allow Democrats a “slush fund,” but it kept other agencies from siphoning off the healthcare funds. Democrats threaten delaying the August recess with 15 Republicans needing to campaign for the 2022 election. Bill advocate Jon Stewart’s response to the happy GOP senators.

Kentucky’s flooding:  Kentucky’s death toll from flooding has gone to at least 25 with “still a lot of people unaccounted for,” according to Gov. Andy Beshear. Since the beginning of heavy rainfall last Wednesday, almost 300 people have been saved, but more rain is forecast for Sunday. The historic flooding follows the deadliest tornadoes in its history killing over 70 in December 2021.

More Florida regulations: Gov. Ron DeSantis has attacked a Miami restaurant hosting drag shows in the presence of children by threatening to pull its liquor license. DeSantis consistently approves of parental decisions—if they do what he wants. Parents criticize the accusation that the drag show violates the state statute opposing anything “injurious to people’s morals and manners.” DeSantis says that drag shows will “sexually abuse” young people. A state representative pointed out that DeSantis doesn’t mind children going to Hooters restaurants, that he thinks “it’s only sexually explicit if it’s LGBTQ+.” DeSantis doesn’t mind hurting trans children. He told schools to ignore federal guidelines protecting transgender youth, threatening repercussions if they follow Title IX guidelines.

Gaetz donations for abortion access:  Misogynistic rants by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) about how anti-abortionists are too ugly to “impregnante” raised over $1 million for abortion access within 72 hours after he personally attacked Olivia Julianna, a member of Gen Z for Change. By late Saturday, July 30, the fund had about $2 million to provide access for this “critical reproductive health care.” Gen Z is defined as people born between 1997 and 2012. Representing one-tenth of the electorate thus far, the racially-diverse Gen Z grew up with technological expertise and are more pragmatic and financially-minded after watching their parents take huge hits in this area. Although similar to Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, Gen Z is more progressive on social issues and believe the government should take a bigger role in solving problems, including climate change which they attribute to human activities.  

And a bit of more news:

High oil prices are causing inflation and tremendous ire from people in the U.S., but major gasoline companies are raking in huge profits.  The three largest Western oil companies—Chevron, Exxon, and Shell—made a record $46 billion in total profits last quarter, with $17.9 billion going to just Exxon. It’s profit of $2,245.62 comes to more than four times as much as the same time period in 2021. The Wall Street Journal wrote:

“Exxon’s oil and gas production was up about 4% from the same period last year. Chevron’s oil-and-gas production declined globally about 7.4% compared with the same period a year ago, largely due to the end of projects in Thailand and Indonesia, though its production rose in the U.S. by about 3.2%.”

One word for that practice is “profiteering.” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), said, “The oil companies are ripping Americans off.”

Following DDT’s goal of keeping immigrants out of the U.S., he required fingerprinting and extensive background check for every household member, instead of only the sponsor, where an unaccompanied child would live. Before DDT’s order, this practice was followed only because a safety concern. Children spent weeks and sometimes even months longer in custody. DDT’s office said the practice was unworkable but continued it without any further information that children were at risk. Thanks to a lawsuit, the U.S. will now establish fingerprinting deadlines for parents and sponsors trying to get unaccompanied immigrant children out of government custody, seven days for appointments and ten days for completion of processing with tracking reports.

n Austin (TX), podcaster Alex Jones is facing his first Sandy Hook defamation trial and not doing well in defending his accusation that the mass shooting of 22 children and six educators was a hoax. His attorney, Andino Reynal, flipped off opposing counsel Mark Bankston inside the courtroom. Producer Daria Karpova, defense-selected representative for Jones’ network Infowars, characterized his 2017 interview with Megyn Kelly, then on NBC, as about the Sandy Hook shooting, allowing the plaintiffs to play the 17-minute segment in open court. In the video, Jones said that the images of children fleeing Sandy Hook “looked like a drill” and admitted his “research” came from internet articles. He had refused to apologize for any of his statements. Karpova then talked about the stress of representing Jones because people told horrific lies about him when testifying about the man who called the Sandy Hook massacre a hoax involving actors and trying to increase gun control.

Perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, Jones’ media company Free Speech Systems filed for bankruptcy on Friday. Plaintiffs are asking for $150 million to the family of one child killed in the 2012 mass shooting. Last April, Jones’ company Infowars and two more of his business entities filed for bankruptcy, which delayed the trial until now. His lawyers said the current bankruptcy filing won’t delay the current trial, expected to conclude this coming week. Courts in Texas and Connecticut already found Jones liable for defamation in default judgments against Jones without trials because he failed to respond to court orders and turn over documents. In court records, Jones claimed he was $20 million in debt, but he made over $165 million between 2015 and 2018 in sales of nutritional supplements and survival gear. He also asked his Infowars listeners for donations.

A federal judge dismissed a $195 million lawsuit from a Catholic school student against six national media outlets for defamation after reporting on Nicholas Sandmann’s actions while he was in Washington, D.C. for an anti-abortion rally in 2019. A combined $1.25 billion came from the inclusion of lawsuits against seven other media organizations in the suit. Reports of Sandmann’s interaction with Native American rights activist Nathan Phillips at the Lincoln Memorial included videos, indicating racial motivation. The judge said the reporting of Phillips’ statement that Sandmann “blocked him and wouldn’t allow him to retreat” was the activist’s opinion for which the media couldn’t be sued. The quote couldn’t be proved true or false. Three other media outlets had previously settled with Sandmann. Depicting himself as a 16-year-old victim, Sandmann plans to appeal in a case which the majority of Supreme Court justices could use to overturn the constitutional freedom of the press.

DDT is in trouble with voters for supporting Saudi Arabia by hosting the LIV golf tournament, the Saudi’s attempt to eliminate the historic PGA tour, at his resort. He may also be breaking federal law by using the presidential seal on items such as towels and golf carts at the Bedminster (NJ) golf course.

People who get more spam in your email can blame the Republicans. GOP fundraising dropped off so Republicans attacked Google for putting fundraising emails into spam despite no evidence. Google may be forced into exempting campaign emails from spam detection.

July 27, 2022

GOP, DDT Reject Human Rights

After a year, the Senate passed a bill to provide $280 billion for chip manufacturing, design, and scientific research. Seventeen Republicans supported the bill in the 64-33 vote with only one member of the Democratic caucus, Bernie Sanders (I-VT), in opposition because of its weak guidelines. The U.S. has contributed no money to chip manufacturing, compared to the $150 billion that China pays to support the industry. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she had the votes in her chamber for the bill.   

Most of the funding goes toward advanced, rather than basic, chips, the majority currently coming from Taiwan. The U.S. went from making 37 percent of the world’s chips in 1990 to only 12 percent while the nation contributes “nearly nothing” to their manufacturing  compared to China’s $150 billion investment. Even with the advantages to their states, some senators, such as Tommy Turberville (R-AL) ignored the importance of chips, i.e., a critical component for Javelin missiles, manufactured in Turberville’s state.

After Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined Republicans to force the removal of tax increases for the wealthy and big businesses from the bill, he failed to vote after testing positive for COVID.

In Congress, Republicans joined Justice Clarence Thomas to make women into baby incubators by removing female rights to travel, contraception access, and marriage to whom they love. Although 47 GOP House members voted for marriage equality, only eight supported the right to contraception, and 205 Republicans voted against women traveling across state lines for an abortion. This dystopian vision of the U.S. comes directly from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The GOP refusal to protect marriage equality and contraception is exactly the same Republicans used to deny protection for Roe v. Wade—their assumption these rights will never be overturned. Yet justices are calling the 2015 marriage equality ruling “undemocratic,” “a problem that only [the court] can fix.”

Sen. Joni Ernst has also blocked a bill legalizing contraceptives; at 52 years old, she probably doesn’t need them. Ernst made her reputation—and may have gotten elected in 2014—with a TV ad about comparing her goals in the Senate to castrating hogs.

Twenty House Republicans also supported human trafficking by voting against a bill to combat the problem. One of them, Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), criticized Democrats for doing nothing about protecting victims. Another naysayer, Matt Gaetz (R-FL), is under investigation for sex trafficking at least one underage girl. Pence’s former aide, Marc Short, said about Gaetz’s recent speech to Turning Point USA, a conservative student group, “I’m actually surprised the Florida law enforcement still allows him to speak to teenage conferences like that.”

In his speech to Turning Point, Gaetz said all anti-abortionists were fat and ugly, that they couldn’t get pregnant anyway. After a 19-year-old Texas girl objected, he used her photo to support his lie and sent her a vile insulting tweet. She used his body-shaming abuse to raise $214,000 thus far for an anti-abortion group.  

DDT’s favorite network—no, it isn’t Fox—may disappear after Verizon Fios stopped carrying One America News, removing 3.5 million subscribers. Earlier this year, OAN lost its biggest revenue when AT&T dumped DirecTV off the service in April, losing another 15 million subscribers. Far to the right of Fox, OAN created a haven for pundits who couldn’t get jobs on other channels, those willing to promote conspiracy theories including the “stolen” election.  OAN has admitted Verizon thinks that the channel is not “a credible news organization.”

Perhaps not noticing that CNN’s new CEO is directing the network to the right-wing dark side, DDT threatens to sue the company for defamation going back to his 2016 presidency campaign. DDT is still claiming his 2020 election was “stolen,” as recently as his speech in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. Clarence Thomas has said the Supreme Court should create an easier environment for people to win lawsuits against the media.   

DDT’s speech seems to be winding up to another presidential campaign with the lies about stolen elections and LGBTQ people front and center, especially trans women. For example, he misgendered swimmer Lia Thomas, accusing “him” of having “arms that are 30 feet long” and “seriously injur[ing]” a competitor “because he swam so fast that he gave her major wind burn as he went by.” Thomas also wasn’t named “female athlete of the year” and didn’t break the record “by 38 seconds.” DDT also talked about a transgender weightlifter who doesn’t seem to exist. In his speech, DDT called LGBTQ people “sickos.”

Fifty-five trans candidates running in 2022 have been joined by 20 gender nonconforming candidates, 18 nonbinary candidates, and four Two-Spirit candidates. Some of them are in red states such as Montana and Oklahoma. A total of 1,068 LGBTQ candidates, an increase of 73 percent since 2020, is running this year when legislatures introduced 162 anti-LGBTQ bills before July 1. Congress has 11 elected LGBTQ members.

Witnesses in the House January 6 probe are revealing more of his lies. The Pentagon now supports the many claims that he never called on the National Guard to protect the U.S. Capitol. DDT’s former acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller said DDT never requested the 10,000 troops to secure the Capitol before January 6, a claim made by both DDT and his former chief of staff Mark Meadows. DDT’s former official Mick Mulvaney will also testify before the committee; he says he believe the testimony of witnesses Cassidy Hutchinson and other top former DDT officials,

After eight hearings from the House January 6 investigative committee showing DDT’s involvement in the failed coup at the U.S. Capitol, the DOJ is taking steps to investigate him. Concerns include DDT’s attempt to force former VP Mike President to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential election and DDT’s ties to establishing fake alternate electors in battleground states he lost. In five of seven states, these electors appear to be driven by DDT’s lawyers with DDT also involved. The DOJ interviewed witnesses, seized phone records of his top allies, and searched the home of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark who enabled DDT in his election-fraud theories. AG Merrick Garland has repeatedly said that no one is above the law, and the Fulton County (GA) criminal investigation into DDT’s efforts to overturn the election is also expanding.

Furious about the investigation, DDT used his Truth Social to repeat his lies and conspiracy theories—“massive and irrefutable” evidence about the “rigged and stolen” election, his “perfect” phone call to Georgia begging for more votes to make him a winner, and more whining about his impeachments and Russia scams. The extensive quotes, complete with excessive capital letters, are here.

The DOJ has a new warrant to search John Eastman’s phone in the continued investigation regarding a criminal conspiracy between DDT and his lawyer to overturn the election, partly through using fake electors. Eastman’s employer, conservative Claremont Institute, is backing off from its staunch DDT support after standing by Eastman before it learned more about his actions. Now they’re lamenting that he decided to jettison the Constitution for DDT’s benefit. The question now is how the think tank can separate itself from Eastman.

The House committee evidence supports charges of obstruction of an official proceeding with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and used against hundreds of insurrectionists along with possibly seditious conspiracy, like charges brought against Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. In a new poll, 79 percent of people think DDT’s actions on January 6 were illegal or unethical with only 21 percent believing he did nothing wrong. Even 55 percent of Republicans agree with either illegal or unethical behavior, the same percentage of Republicans who don’t want DDT as the 2024 candidate. The 69 percent of people who believe the January 6 attack to be a crisis or major problem for American democracy is up from 65 percent earlier this year.

Leaked audio from Steve Bannon, added to his saying that DDT would declare victory on election night even if he lost, are his conspiracy with exiled Chinese mogul Guo Wengui and his associates to spread the lies that Hunter Biden’s computer, Joe Biden’s son, contained proof about salacious crimes. Guo controls pro-DDT media sites spreading far-right disinformation. Before the election, Guo’s associates disseminated videos and photos of Hunter Biden in sexual encounters and drug use.

After paying almost $2 million for DDT’s legal bills, the RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said the money stops if he becomes a 2024 candidate using the weak excuse of its “neutrality policy.” Earlier, DDT backed down when McDaniel made the same threat after DDT said he was creating his own political party. DDT’s leadership PAC, Save America, and his presidential committee-turned-PAC Make America Great Again PAC are paying legal bills for issues related to January 6, raising concerns about his witness tampering.

A Harvard study of almost 500 documents shows primary motivation for 417 Capitol rioters charged for insurrection: support for DDT, 20.6 percent; DDT’s lie about a stolen election, 20.6 percent; “peacefully protest,” 7 percent; and “general interest in violence,” 6.2 percent.  

May 20, 2022

Republicans Fight Democrats, Each Other

A week after Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) had his time in the sun by single-handedly blocking the $40 billion Ukraine aid package, the Senate passed the House bill by 86-11. Eleven Republicans, 22 percent of the GOP caucus, voted against the bill: Marsha Blackburn (TN), John Boozman (AR), Mike Braun (IN), Mike Crapo (ID), Bill Hagerty (TN), Josh Hawley (MO), Mike Lee (UT), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Roger Marshall (KS), Paul, and Tommy Tuberville (AL). All 57 dissenters to the bill in the House vote 368-57 are Republicans. 

About the serious shortage of baby formula, Republicans claim that President Joe Biden is doing nothing about the problem or women should breastfeed so they don’t need the formula.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), among the House leadership, called Biden and other Democrats “pedo grifters.” She blamed the shortage on Biden’s economic policies instead of mismanagement by one of the four monopolizing manufacturers with dirty conditions and massive expenditures on the company’s stock. Republicans ignore Biden’s actions solving the shortage:

  • Invoking the Defense Production to speed up the production.
  • Authorized the Defense Department to use commercial aircraft to bring more imports for overseas.
  • Requiring suppliers to fulfill orders from baby-formula producers before other customers.
  • Making a deal with Abbott Nutrition for them to manufacture baby formula if they clean up the plant where it’s made.

His ideas seem much better this one from Republicans, introduced by Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott: starve migrant infants so that white infants will have the formula. Or Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), allegedly accused of sex trafficking minors, who wants to deny fomula to infants in poor families and save it for “hard-working Americans.”

The House appropriated $28 million in emergency funds for the baby formula shortage, but only 12 Republicans supported the bill. Stefanik, a new mother who uses baby formula, was not one of them, but she did vote for the Access to Baby Formula Act, temporarily waiving exclusive contracts between states and baby formula manufactures for six million people enrolled in the Women, Infants, and Children program. Nine other Republicans, however, voted against that bill: Andy Biggs (AZ), Laurie Boebert (CO), Matt Gaetz (FL), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Clay Higgins (LA), Thomas Massie (KY), and Chip Roy (TX).  Stefanik’s own bill was for more foreign imports of the product. 

The Senate unanimously passed the Access to Baby Formula Act but didn’t take up the funding bill.  

The U.S. House also passed a bill 217-207 permitting Biden to issue an energy emergency declaration blocking gasoline and home fuel price gouging. Despite the huge hue and cry from the GOP about inflation, no Republicans voted for the bill, and it has little chance of getting the necessary 60 percent of votes in the Senate. Four House Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the bill: Reps. Jared Golden (ME), Lizzie Fletcher (TX), Stephanie Murphy (FL), and Kathleen Rice (NY). 

The partisan vote in the House of 222-203 on the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022 shows how the GOP supports white supremacy.

Republicans hate globalization and want to bring home manufacturing, but Senate Republicans will likely drop a small program to train workers in new careers if they lose jobs from offshoring. GOP legislators say the U.S. is not working on new trade deals with other countries although old trade deals are still in effect. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) stated that Republicans care very little “about people getting laid off because of bad trade deals and tax policy that encourages jobs to go overseas.”

As frustrated as Democrats are with the GOP, Republican splits are causing dissension within the party. Hardline tactics of the highly conservative House Freedom Caucus have forced recorded votes instead of voice votes on what should be noncontroversial bills; legislators forced to stay for the voting can’t leave to do other business. A heated confrontation during a 2.5-hour voting on 13 measures led to raised voices from Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) and caucus members Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Scott Perry (R-PA), the current chair. Witnesses reported that Rogers promised consequences for the Freedom Caucus members if they continue delaying tactics. Beyond virtuous comments about the need to review all legislature, the Freedom Caucus bragged that they slow down the Democrats’ “agenda.” Suspension bills need a two-thirds’ vote to pass, and some are failing because of GOP opposition. One required the VA to provide contraceptives without co-pays. The bill later later passed after the normal rules process. In another bill, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) was the only member of the House to oppose a resolution calling on leaders to condemn anti-Semitism.  

The House January 6 investigation committee is heating up the media with more information about who worked to overturn Biden’s presidential election. With evidence that Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) led a tour of the Capitol complex on January 5, 2021, the committee wrote him, asking for his testimony. GOP legislators had claimed that security footage shows “no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats on” in the complex on the days before the insurrection. The committee wants to know about “individuals and groups engaged in efforts to gather information about the layout of the U.S. Capitol, as well as the House and Senate office buildings, in advance of January 6, 2021.”

Both Loudermilk and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IA) denied any tour like that, stating “a constituent family with young children meeting with their Member of Congress in the House Office Buildings is not a suspicious group or ‘reconnaissance tour.’” They added, “The family never entered the Capitol building.” Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) accused Republicans of leading tours to people using them to help interrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election results. She didn’t provide any names, and Loudermilk called anyone in Congress who made these claims “morally reprehensible and a stain on this institution.” He asked the House Ethics Committee to “take quick and decisive action to ensure this never happens again.” The committee’s evidence contradicts these denials and raises questions about Loudermilk’s tour and its purpose. He is also among those texting former chief of staff Mark Meadows to overturn the election.

Note that Loudermilk and Davis lied with their claim of “no tours” for the past 16 months.

New committee findings include official White House photos from January 6 showing Dictator Donald Trump’s (DDT) activites on the day. The probe is also targeting DDT’s 11:20 am phone call with then-VP Mike Pence in a final push for him to overturn the election and DDT’s 2:24 pm attack tweet, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.” At that time, the Secret Service was rushing Pence into an underground Capitol loading dock for protection from the mob. The committee perceives this tweet as the driver of the mob’s fury and worst violence as well as DDT’s indifference to it.

Shortly after the 2020 presidential election, billionaire Larry Ellison, co-founder/chair of the Oracle software company and the biggest backer of Elon Musk’s attempted Twitter takeover, participated in a call with Fox’s Sean Hannity, DDT’s lawyer Jay Sekulow, True the Vote’s attorney James Bopp Jr., and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) focusing on strategies for overturning the election. Ellison’s part may have been to assess Sidney Powell’s false claims about voting machines. He has been an active participant in a number of DDT’s conspiracy theories.  

Powell, well-known for her evidence-free claims of election fraud in multiple court cases, is now providing financial support for high-profile insurrectionists through donations to her non-profit, Defending the Republic. One of them, Kelly Meggs, is an Oath Keeper facing seditious conspiracy charges who has a new lawyer after her former one, Jonathan Moseley, was disbarred in Virginia for improper billing practices. In 2009, Virginia suspended his law license for frivolous discovery requests and false statements about the judge in the case. On January 6 he was in a restricted area at the Capitol but said he didn’t notice.

Known as the “Kraken,” Powell is also paying to defend Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and another Oath Keeper, Kenneth Harrelson, from the network of militia-style groups created in 2009 after Barack Obama’s first presidential election. A few dozen face criminal charges for the January 6 insurrection, and 12 of them have been charged with seditious conspiracy for allegedly plotting to use violence to stop the transfer of power to Joe Biden.

Powell was responsible for a far-reaching set of conspiracy theories about the non-existent election fraud from billionaire George Soros to the involvement of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez who died in 2013. The committee subpoenaed Powell, and Dominion Voting Systems is suing her for $1.3 billion. She is also facing disbarment in Texas from allegations that she violated rules of professional conduct prohibiting attorneys from making false statements, using false evidence, bringing frivolous lawsuits, and taking a position that causes “unreasonabl[e] delays” or “burdens” and “engag[ing] in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.”

Another DDT shyster lawyer and architect to overturn Biden’s election, Rudy Giuliani, testified to the House committee for nine hours.

Emails show Ginni Thomas, wife of SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas pushing two Arizona state lawmakers to overturn Biden’s win in that state by picking their own electors contrary to the popular vote. The justice is also godfather to the son of Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick, married to one of the lawmakers, and the lawmaker, Shawnna Bolick, is a candidate for the secretary of state. Incestuous? Definitely a loss of democracy for Arizona’s voters if she’s elected.

May 5, 2022

Overturning ‘Roe v. Wade’: The Bombshell

Monday, May 2, 2022, Politico dropped a bombshell: a 98-page draft, supposedly from an initial majority vote for Supreme Court justices and authenticated by Chief Justice Roberts, overturning the 50-year-old decision Roe v. Wade giving women the right to have abortions during the first third of the pregnancy. The article provides extensive information, including Alito’s caustic, non-caring language, and the draft. An analysis of the draft. The biggest leak in SCOTUS’ history, ramifications are overwhelming. 

Republicans who have long sought this action don’t want to talk about the substance of the draft. Instead, they focus on the leak to distract the nation from their corruption of the January 6, 2021 insurrection. Chief Justice John Roberts initiated an investigation, but Republicans demand a DOJ criminal investigation. According to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the leak has done irreparable harm to the nation—as if the court isn’t already doing that.

GOP accusations don’t hold much water: the draft lacks national insecurity information, meaning that a prosecution is unlikely. Republicans, however, manage to play the victim despite the possibility that a conservative is behind the action. Yet their feeling of victimization isn’t the loss of a human right; it’s the act of a leak illustrating this loss. Following the old adage “be careful of what you wish for,” overturning the right to abortion loses GOP political funding. Even worse for Republicans, the GOP could lose the election because 69 percent of the people want to keep Roe.

Samuel Alito, author of the leaked draft, may be avoiding the public eye now. He canceled his appearance at the 5th Circuit Court judicial conference in New Orleans. Both Justice Clarence Thomas and Roberts were also to speak at the 11th Circuit’s judicial conference in Atlanta this week, but no one knows if they will appear.

With Roe overturned, women and children impregnated by rape will be forced to carry the fetus to full term in over half the country, mostly in the South and midwestern states. After the announcement of overturning Roe on Monday, Democrat Carol Glanville defeated GOP Robert “RJ” Regan in a special Michigan House election for a seat always been occupied by a Republican. He received only 40 percent of the votes with almost 8 percent going to write-ins. About rape, Regan said he told his daughters to “just lie back and enjoy it.”  He also called feminism a “Jewish program to degrade and subjugate white men” and the Russian invasion of Ukraine a “fake war just like the fake pandemic.” State GOP leaders denounced his comments but didn’t call on him to withdraw because they were positive any Republican could win the election. 

Another male misogynist, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) who is being investigated for sex-trafficking of minors and other crimes accused women protesting against the anti-abortion draft of being “under-loved millennials” and “no Bumble matches.” The term refers to a location-based dating app using Tinder’s “swipe right or left” format. He said the women “who sadly return from protests to a lonely microwave dinner with their cats.” One protester said, “I’ll take my cats over a man like this ANY day. Because they aren’t trying to take away my rights.” He’s up for re-election this fall.

According to the Turnaway Study, denial of an abortion can have negative effects with both health and financial impacts. The research compares women who received an abortion with women denied them because they were just past the legal gestational cutoff.

Issues for those denied abortions:

Worse mental health. These include anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation, giving up life goals and staying with an abusive partner. This bad mental health can lead to chronic pain.

Greater health risks for carrying pregnancies to full term. (Two women in the study doing so died after giving birth.) Banning abortion will lead to a 21-percent increase in pregnancy-related deaths, jumping to 33 percent among Black women. Maternal mortality rates have skyrocketed to an all-time high and the U.S. has the highest maternal death rate among developed nations. States with the greatest restrictions on abortions have the highest maternal mortality rates.

Poor credit. Women seeking abortions having the same credit scores before pregnancy suffered far more financial problems after denial.

Debt and bankruptcy.

Children more likely to live in poverty. Women forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term have a four times greater chance of being below the federal poverty level.

Children less likely to achieve developmental milestones.

When women have abortions to wait, their children do better than those of women denied abortions in terms of emotional bonds between mother and child, economic well-being, and less poverty. The current anti-abortion decision is based only on ideological reasons because Roberts specifically ordered justices to ignore data. Dr. Jennifer Kerns, associate professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, said the leaked document illustrates how the court is no longer a neutral group, “It really lays bare how out of touch their rulings are with people’s lives.”

Michele Norris addressed the issue that most of the media—and Republicans—ignored: What about the children? She wrote:

“The sanctity of human life is all-important right up to the point when that flesh-and-bone child enters a world where programs designed to support women, the poor or households teetering toward economic ruin are being scaled back by a party that claims to be about family values.”

Many states with the most restrictive bans on abortion spend the least for health and economic benefits for expecting mothers and children once they’re born. Evidence comes from state rankings on maternal morbidity, infant mortality, premature birth, child poverty, birth weight, access to health care, day care, food stamps and housing. The Mississippi case, basis for Alito’s draft, ranks dead last in preterm births, neonatal mortality and overall child well-being. George Carlin’s acerbic comic routine is going around the internet. As he says at the finish, “If you’re pre-born, you’re fine, if you’re preschool, you’re f*cked.”

Tanya Lewis concludes the Scientific American article:

“For people who are unable to get their abortion because the Supreme Court just lets states ban abortions, we’re going to see worse physical health, greater economic hardship, lower achievement of aspirational plans, kids raised in more precarious economic circumstances, and people’s lives upended.”

People have misconceptions about abortions. The facts:

Abortions are safe and effective; complications from all types of abortions are rare. Abortion barriers and restrictions passed by health-ignorant lawmakers jeopardize the health of women.

Some state laws require doctors to lie to patients, for example the falsehood that abortions cause cancer, infertility, and mental health issues.

Many women feel relief after an abortion so mental health issues may come from forced pregnancies. Unwanted pregnancies can cause significant and long-lasting maternal depression and parenting stress which can last for decades.

Avoiding pregnancy is not easy. Birth control is not 100-percent effective.

So-called anti-abortion “heartbeat bills” are based on falsehoods. The electrical activity which people call a heartbeat at six weeks doesn’t indicate a functioning heart which doesn’t form until 16-18 weeks of development. Even cardiac activity doesn’t equate to fetal survival.

Anti-abortion Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has a concern—her loss of privacy because of COVID contact tracing on cell phones. Trump’s administration started the program two years ago to anonymously track individual’s exposure to the coronavirus. Subscribed users could opt out from notifications that they were at risk of contracting COVID based on proximity to infected people. The CDC did no tracking and bought the program from a company bankrolled by Peter Thiel, DDT’s ally and one the biggest donors to his 2016 campaign. Blackburn appears to have ignored Alito’s draft of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe. It states that neither privacy nor self-determination exists in the Constitution because they are “not deeply rooted in history.”

Barbara Quade, former U.S. attorney general, theorizes that conservatives may have leaked the draft, hoping the release might dull the roar in late June when the actual ruling is released. A leak might also lock in the ruling, with the hope that those voting for the majority won’t have the courage to reverse their opinions which would give the impression “they are caving to public pressure.”

People told Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) that she could not trust Brett Kavanaugh’s promises to her during his confirmation that Roe was settled law. She got re-elected despite voting to confirm a person accused of sexual assault for a life-time SCOTUS justice. Now she just can’t understand how both Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch could have lied to her and under oath in hearings. She did point out that the final vote hasn’t come out yet. Will she be stunned about her “betrayal” then?

Roberts’ rogue court will go down in history—not only for denying women their reproductive fights but for erasing many voting rights and letting the wealthy control the election of candidates—such as Peter Thiel donating $10 million to elect J.D. Vance in the GOP Ohio primary. With the overturning of Roe, Roberts’ court can then move on to block any rights to contraception and marriage equality for biracial couples and same-gender couples.

Not satisfied with the Supreme Court destroying reproductive rights for about half the women in the nation, Republicans are laying plans to ban abortion everywhere after six weeks, before most pregnant women are aware of their status. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) would introduce the legislation in the senate—a good look to have a woman take on the task. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) already introduced anti-abortion bills in the House.  

January 12, 2022

Politics: Moving into 2022

Congress is back, as the fireworks. A few bits.

The former girlfriend of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is testifying before a federal grand jury, probably under an immunity deal to avoid obstruction of justification. Gaetz is being investigated for having sex with an underage female for money and, with others, transporting people across state lines for the purpose of prostitution, violating the Mann Act. He is also investigated for obstruction of justice. The probe into Gaetz began over a year ago when his former friend and ally, former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg, was charged with multiple crimes such as cheating taxpayers in a cryptocurrency scheme, smearing a political rival, sex-trafficking the girl in the Gaetz investigation, and being a pedophile. Greenberg pled guilty to six charges of identity theft, stalking, wire fraud, conspiracy to bribe a public official, and sex-trafficking of a minor.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) again called for Gaetz to be removed from the House Judiciary Committee, tweeting that Gaetz “is entitled to the presumption of innocence but [not to sit on the committee] that has direct oversight over the very Department investigating him for sex crimes.” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) won’t take action on Gaetz because he hopes to be Speaker if the GOP takes the House in 2022.

McCarthy is also refusing to talk to the January 6 investigation committee after earlier having said he would cooperate. Members want to ask McCarthy about his conversations with DDT on January 6 and following days. Previously, McCarthy described his telephone call to DDT after the beginning of the attack as “very heated.” During that call, DDT sided with the rioters, telling McCarthy they were more upset about the election than he was. A Politico article reported McCarthy telling other Republicans that DDT had admitted a level of responsibility for the attack in conversations with him.

On the night of McCarthy’s refusal, the media is playing a video of his speech over a year ago when McCarthy said “the president bears responsibility” for the riot. Yet he opposed any committee investigating the insurrection although 35 other Republicans voted for its formation. In selecting five GOP members for the committee, he chose the greatest obstructors to it and then pulled all his nominations after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to accept two of them.

Seven states were busted for sending identical forged election certificates for DDT before the Electoral College vote count on January 6, part of John Eastman’s plan to overturn the election approved by DDT. Congressional members had sent former chief of staff Mark Meadows text messages and emails about sending alternative elector slates. He responded, “I love it” and then, “Yes. Have a team on it.” Joe Biden won all these battleground states—Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—in the popular vote. They have a total of 85 electoral votes. Eastman declared the states had competing electors, but DDT electors had no authority in their claim to be electors. Investigators are focusing on possible crimes for the January 6 committee.

In addition to the identical forged certificate, Arizona sent another one with different electors.   Lori Osjecki said “AZ Protect the Vote,” supposedly a group of “sovereign citizens of the Great State of Arizona,” prepared the second fake document and had it notarized after they met with DDT’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. The state’s majority vote supported Biden, but they took this action because they thought the state’s governor, Doug Ducey, didn’t support DDT’s efforts. Katie Hobbs, Arizona Secretary of State, said the group used a state seal on its false certificate “to make it look official, which is not a legal activity.”

During testimony about COVID before the Senate, Dr. Anthony Fauci claimed Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was making money from “a catastrophic epidemic.” The two have had heated exchanges in the past. Paul accused Fauci of a “smear campaign,” denouncing conservative academics opposing the 2020 shutdown measures, but Fauci pointed out the emails to Fauci’s colleagues were only a link to a Wired article debunking “herd immunity.” Fauci said that Paul’s accusations “kindles the crazies out there” and he receive “threats upon my life, harassment of my family and my children with obscene phone calls because people are lying about me.” He pointed out that Paul uses his diatribes “for political reasons” and “distracts what we’re all trying to do here today—get our arms around the epidemic and the pandemic that we are dealing with, not something that is imaginary.”

Paul’s campaign fundraising has used Fauci’s image with calls to “fire Fauci.” Soon after the hearing, Paul’s campaign sent donors an email with the subject line “Fauci is hysterical” and provided a link for Paul’s supporters to “Chip in if you agree.” Fauci said that Paul’s accusations “kindles the crazies out there” and he receive “threats upon my life, harassment of my family and my children with obscene phone calls because people are lying about me.”

In another Senate hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) harassed DOJ members. He recently became a worshipper of Fox’s Tucker Carlson after the host disapproved of Cruz’s statement about the January 6 riot being an act of “domestic terrorism.” Carlson said that calling the insurrection “terrorism” is “a lie.” To gain Carlson’s approval, Cruz not only reversed his description of the insurrection, but also went full-throated by damning a new DOJ task force dedicated to domestic terrorism, doubling in the past year.

Talking about the new DOJ unit, Cruz used Carlson’s lies to ask questions about January 6, as well as conservative screenshots of an Arizona man, Ray Epps, who was, according to conspiracy theorists, a federal agent involved in the attack. Cruz demanded information about the participation of FBI agents or informants in the crowd who “deliberately encouraged illegal violent conduct on January 6.” He insisted Epps was an informant and wanted to know about other FBI agents or informants in the January 6 crowd, if they participated in criminal activity and encouraged “violent criminal conduct.” He was told the DOJ couldn’t discuss those matters. Talking to Carlson, Cruz had ranted, “They want to paint us as Nazis!” and bragged he was “leading the fight in the Senate against the garbage.”

The January 6 committee already interviewed Epps. He said he has never worked with or for any law enforcement agency and never been an informant for any law enforcement agency including the FBI. Despite facts about Epps’ background to the contrary, Carlson claimed Cruz’s questions proved that “DOJ had some role in the events of January 6.” Carlson has already escaped a lawsuit accusing him of lying on his program after the judge declared he was only entertainment and no one should believe anything he says.

People should definitely not believe Carlson’s latest cure for COVID, the penis-lifting Viagra. Carlson cited a woman in the UK who came out of a coma have being given massive doses of the medication. CNN’s Jim Acosta commented, “I suppose some people will justify those prescriptions with just about anything” and continued that Carlson’s show “really should come with a Surgeon General’s warning for disinformation.” Male overdosing on the medication can cause prolonged erections, known as priapism, nausea, chest pains and irregular heartbeat. The penis can become permanently damaged, causing future erections, if priapism is not treated with 24 hours. A Columbia man had to have his penis amputated from gangrene after he suffered priapism from too much Viagra. https://www.drugwatch.com/viagra/  Using the drug has been linked to vision and hearing loss, heart complications, and melanoma.

Another anti-vaxxer swears by drinking one’s own urine as a cure. Christopher Key claims his idea comes from “tons and tons of research.” The research? Blood goes through the liver which removes toxins, dead cells, and other waste before pumping through the kidneys, which extract excess fluid water-soluble molecules—nitrogen, vitamins, minerals, proteins, antibodies, and other metabolites—before transferring them to the bladder. Urine is not sterile when it leaves the body; the urinary tract hosts bacterial colonies. Believers are the same people who won’t wear masks—and don’t want to put vaccine in their bodies.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell wants to put “300 million” American people into prison for life because of election fraud. [In 2020, 159 million people voted, and the U.S. census counted 321 million people, including children.] He also repeated his promise that his case is going to the Supreme Court in the next seven months. He said:

“Evil is revealing itself. Evil is popping up like pocket gophers. They pop their heads up, it’s whack-a-mole. It’s everywhere.”

Lindell has spent $25 million since the election to find fraud and is being sued by Dominion voting machines for $1.2 billion. He said he didn’t care if it was a “scrillion.” Lindell reports he’s spending a million dollars a month to support his new election “go-to hub,” spreading DDT’s election lies, and another $250,000 a month for the new election-conspiracy group Cause of America. It’s operated by two women at the Capitol insurrection. The group promises a lawsuit to force a “full forensic audit” of the 2020 election like the one in Arizona.

Lindell had to cancel his Monday night program, the Lindell Report, because of illness.

January 7, 2022

GOP Continues Its Shameful Behavior

Until January 6, 2022, President Joe Biden occasionally referred to Deposed Dictator Trump (DDT) only as “the other guy.” In his speech commemorating the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol one year earlier, however, he consistently condemned the lies told by “the former president of the United States” and how destructive the statements from “the former president” are for democracy in the United States. Biden didn’t use DDT’s name once in his 16 references to DDT, one time calling him a “defeated former president” and declaring that his outsized ego won’t allow him to admit he lost.

DDT wasn’t happy about Biden’s speech. Banned from social media for his lying, DDT issued press releases with accusations that the U.S. has corrupt elections, isn’t energy independent, and has a deteriorating international standing. He continued with the false claim about the “rigged” 2020 presidential election—and the same lie again. The next one accused Democrats of trying to “stop the peaceful transfer” of power and made claims of new evidence that Georgia, who he begged for just 11,780 more votes for his win, was selling ballots for $10 and frequent statement about the election itself being “the real insurrection.”

Biden, however, didn’t let the insurrectionists off the hook. He said:

“Those who stormed this Capitol, and those who instigated and incited, and those who called on them to do so, held a dagger at the throat of America and American democracy. They didn’t come here out of patriotism or principle. They came here in rage — not in service of America but rather in service of one man.

“You cannot love your country only when you win. You can’t obey the law only when it’s convenient. You can’t be patriotic when you embrace and enable lies.”

Republicans angrily berated Biden for his lack of unity and plaintively crying about how Biden was “politicizing” January 6. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gave the strangest comment:

“Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.’”

Other shameful events:

Numerous studies point out the massive ignorance of Fox watchers, and their “reporting” on January 6 was a prime example of why. During the many events commemorating the biggest disaster in the U.S. since 9/11, Fox featured a video of a painting dog. On Fox & Friends between 6:20 and 9:00 am, the insurrection anniversary received two slight mentions, a news headline package and Brian Kilmeade’s suggestion that Biden was trying to divert attention to les damaging topics for him. Lara Trump talked about how much time Biden spent in Delaware (not as much as her father-in-law’s disappearance from the White House), a nurse discussed her firing for not being vaccinated, a former U.S. Marine complained about Biden’s Afghanistan pullout, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced distribution of COVID test kits but omitted his allowing almost one million of them to expire from nonuse.

Newsmax, a more conservative network than Fox, used Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) to complain about the bad treatment January 6 insurrectionists were receiving in jail. Conservative news outlets ignored speeches describing experiences while under siege. Top Breitbart headlines included “Democrat Day of Hysteria,” “Kamala Unhinged” and “Dividin’ Biden Blames Trump.” RedState.com led with “The Twisted Morality of Those Who Obsess over January 6th.”

Ignorance.

Jacob Chansley, aka the QAnon Shaman photographed bare-chested in furs at the insurrection and carrying a spear, celebrated his January 6 by calling a QAnon show about his new fake theory about underground civilizations where the military are developing technology “several hundred years” more advanced than on the earth’s surface. Jackson Lahmeyer, Oklahoma’s U.S. Senate candidate, hosted Michael Flynn, who called the Biden administration “a takeover of the United States system of government” and “a shift from democracy to socialism.” Lahmyer consistently called Biden the “former vice president.” He held up a copy of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto and said the current administration was a “total communist takeover.” Flynn continued to call for a military coup in the U.S. and called for “soldiers.”

Fox’s Tucker Carlson brought Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to his knees for repeating his statement about the January 6 assault being a “violent terrorist attack.” The FBI defines domestic terrorism as “violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.” Tucker lashed out at Cruz and his statement, and Cruz rushed to talk to Carlson on his program to take back his comments and apologize. Carlson finally agreed that people who attack police officers should be prosecuted but may not be terrorists. He also told Cruz he didn’t believe his explanation that he “used a dumb choice of words,” sent later in a tweet. Cruz, who considers himself second in running for the 2024 presidential election after DDT, can’t even stand up to a media outlet. Although he was part of the congressional cabal to overturn Biden’s election on January 6.

Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) did have a little press conference as planned, but the highly conservative Newsmax walked out on it. About Cruz’s description about the attack, Gaetz said Cruz can “bend over” all he wants but nobody will ever love him. On Steve Bannon’s podcast, Gaetz claimed that the Capitol was “booby trapped” by removing barriers (probably why attackers climbed the walls) by people who “didn’t know they were breaking the law.” He also said all of them, including himself and Greene, were “blood libeled.” (Blood libel, aka ritual murder libel, is a false anti-Semitic accusation that Jews murder Christian children or other gentiles to use their blood in religious rituals.)

The Supreme Court began 2022 with conservative judges and attorneys arguing against mandates for vaccinations. “The fact that you face at work that risk when you go to work doesn’t make it a workplace risk,” a right-wing attorney told Justice Elena Kagan. Two of the lawyers opposing the mandate argued from home, one of the perks of white-collar employees, because they have COVID

Conservative justices, a majority because of DDT, will most likely use this case to quash the ability of agencies to determine regulations for the nation’s laws. For its vaccination mandate, OSHA used a federal law permitting it to issue an “emergency temporary standard” when it determines that it’s “necessary” to protect employees from a “grave danger” resulting from “physically harmful” “agents” or “new hazards.” The coronavirus is both an infectious “agent” and a “new hazard” that poses a “grave danger.” The mandate fits the law. Justices, however, don’t want to authorize the law because they came from the Federalist movement to erase “the administrative state,” agencies implementing laws passed by Congress. Chief Justice John Roberts opposes OSHA’s mandate because it is based on a law passed “50 years ago.” Despite the burgeoning additional 849,181 infections and 2,015 deaths in the U.S. from COVID yesterday, the six conservatives will find some “constitutional” way around the law designed to slow the pandemic.

Texas, the state where vigilantes can pursue people supporting abortion and women die because the procedure is no longer legally available, now minimize long voting lines like long lines for COVID testing. The state GOP posted an image actually taken in Manhattan. Beto O’Rourke, former Texas representative and current gubernatorial candidate, addressed Gov. Greg Abbott when he wrote, “76,000 Texans have died on your watch and one-fifth of the state’s healthcare workers quit because Abbott “abandoned them.”  

New Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin is mimicking DDT by picking Andrew Wheeler, former coal lobbyist and DDT’s EPA chief, for his secretary of natural resources to obtain a “growing power supply.” While in the federal government, Wheeler promoted pollution by rolling back environmental rules and falsely claimed the climate change threat won’t happen until “50 to 75 years out.” Wheeler’s confirmation goes to the state Senate with a Democratic majority of 21-19. Anti-abortion will likely be another Youngkin issue: when a crowd lambasted him for not being sufficiently against abortions, he told them he had to stay quiet about his anti-abortion beliefs so that he could get elected. A year ago, Wheeler failed to condemn the January 6 attack and refused to criticize DDT.

The party of White supremacy is whitewashing the right-wing insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, by denial, differentiation (It wasn’t that bad according to conspiracy theorists like Tucker Carlson), and transcendence (look at the bigger picture). Another diversion is bolstering, claiming that DDT’s base loved the way he fought for them. Since the beginning of his campaign in 2015, DDT has attacked the United States and licensed people to follow his hatred through his confirmation.

November 19, 2021

Today’s Events: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

The Good:

The House passed President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) Act by 220-213 on its way to an uncertain future in the Senate. Seniors will benefit because Medicare can negotiate lower prices for some medications, saving Medicare $262 billion, and they will have coverage for new hearing aids every five years. Seniors and people with disabilities can also have more home healthcare services, and the bill increases wages and benefits for caregivers.

Drug prices are skyrocketing. Part of the $21.70 increase in Medicare comes from the $10 additional cost from the high price of the new Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm, $56,000 a year per patient. People in the U.S. pay almost three times as much for drugs as they would in dozens of other countries. Although critics express concern about less research and development of new drugs, pharmaceutical companies use billions of taxpayer dollars for R&D and spend more on advertising than on R&D. The drug industry is now flooding the media with ads claiming people with serious illnesses can’t get vital medications. Yet 93 percent of people—90 percent of Republicans—believe lowered prices won’t damage the ability to develop drugs.

Other benefits of the bill include free universal preschool for children ages three and four, gives four weeks of family leave (still much shorter than in most of the world), addresses climate change, and increases Pell grants for college tuition. Costs will be covered by increased corporate taxes and IRS enforcement. Other provisions include affordable housing investments and a cap of child care at seven percent of income. (Amounts above are for ten years, not one.)

Maine’s Jared Golden was the only “nay” vote; all Republican representatives voted against the bill.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill will cost about $1.7 trillion in the next decade, $170 billion a year. Funding for IRS reinforcement will decrease the deficit $127 billion by 2031. Lawmakers applauded the bill’s passage, clapping for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and chanting “Nancy, Nancy, Nancy.”

The Bad:

In opposition to the bill, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) spoke—frequently slowly—for eight hours and 28 minutes, the longest continuous speech in the House for over 110 years. His statements, sometimes rambling and incoherent, failed to mention the pandemic except for his perception that China was at fault. Yet he complained about such issues as reasonable costs for insulin, vital to save diabetics’ lives.

McCarthy’s delay means that the vote happened during the day, in much better media time, instead of late in the evening. He claimed he was “talking to the American people.” McCarthy assured “the American people” he would “always fight for you, fight for your family” while he is fighting for higher drug prices, no paid leave, greater housing costs, less health care, higher costs for education and child care, etc. Instead, he talked about Reagan’s missile defense initiative, his friend Elon Musk, and other non sequiturs in addition to a long detour into the painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware River which hangs in his office.  Although he criticized China, he praised the country, saying China wouldn’t force payment of taxes as Democrats did in the BBB bill.

McCarthy was briefly silenced during the speech. When he declared, “Nobody elected Joe Biden to be FDR,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called out, “I did!” Another person said, “Me too.”

When McCarthy finished at 5:04 am (EST) on Friday morning, he yielded the floor to Pelosi who had left the chamber several hours earlier. A few sleepy Republicans applauded his endurance.

McCarthy’s only accomplishment with his speech was to delay the vote a few hours, but he’s working hard to show he deserves to be Speaker if Republicans take over the House in 2022. Mark Meadows, former chief of staff for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), is advocating DDT for that position; the Speaker doesn’t need to be an elected representative. DDT called the idea “very interesting.” He has already made clear that McCarthy hasn’t been his loyal supporter, especially after McCarthy said immediately after January 6 that DDT “bears responsibility” for the insurrection. (McCarthy spent the next nine months trying to walk back that statement.) DDT has repeatedly indicated that GOP leaders aren’t fighting the Democrats. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) praised McCarthy after the speech for his “fight.”

On Steve Bannon’s radio show, however, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) blamed Republicans for the passage of BBB in the House because 13 of them helped pass the earlier infrastructure bill that has now become law. Gaetz described McCarthy’s speech as “a really long death rattle. The outcome was already determined as a consequence of poor leadership and poor strategy.”

House rules permit leaders to talk as long as they want when they are recognized for one minute of floor time. In 2018, Pelosi talked for over eight hours about the Dreamers bill for young undocumented immigrants. Ocasio-Cortez said if McCarthy “wanted to outdo [Pelosi], he should’ve done it in stilettos.”

The Ugly:

Kyle Rittenhouse, 18, walked free of any charges after illegally obtaining an AR-15-style rifle, crossing state lines, and searching for protesters in Kenosha (WI) with militia members when he was only 17. He killed two men, wounded another, and endangered two more in a claim of “self-defense.” Rittenhouse escaped counts of not only two charges of homicide and one of attempted homicide but also two of reckless endangerment for shooting at others, including a videographer.

Supporters, most of them encouraged by conservative media and social media, raised Rittenhouse’s $2 million bail soon after he was indicted. When out of jail, he was seen drinking in a bar and flashing white power signs while being “loudly serenaded” with the Proud Boys anthem. He also moved from one home to another without notifying the court. The bail was provided by hundreds of supporters responding to conservative news sites and social media, as well as from gun activists.

A question about his exoneration is what part the judge, highly sympathetic to Rittenhouse, and the even more supportive conservative media played in the “not guilty” verdict on all counts. The verdict cannot be appealed; it’s a done deal The judge has consistently appeared friendly to Rittenhouse and his defense while critical of the prosecution. After the reading of the verdict, the judge said he “couldn’t have asked for a better jury to work with.”

Rittenhouse escaped counts of not only two charges of homicide and one of attempted homicide but also two of reckless endangerment for shooting at others, including a videographer.

Rittenhouse claimed he was a trained EMT; he wasn’t. As a vigilante, he searched for people hostile to him and his militia group, claiming he was offering medical attention. His only prior experience with the rifle was firing 30 rounds during a weekend before heading to Kenosha. Prosecutors said that Rittenhouse’s self-defense claim was invalid because his use of deadly force was unreasonable.

Rittenhouse has jobs waiting for him: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), under investigation for sex trafficking and other crimes, has offered the killer a congressional internship as has Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), censured by the House this past week for his anime cartoon threatening to kill Ocasio-Cortez and draw swords on Biden. Gosar tweeted he would “arm wrestle” Rep. Matt Gaetz in order to “get dibs for Kyle as an intern.” Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) offered an internship to Rittenhouse on Instagram and is using the verdict to celebrate with guns. He stated, “Be armed, be dangerous, and be moral.” [Right: What a congressional intern looks like.] 

DDT used the verdict in his fund-raising email, praising the acquittal and claiming the trial was “nothing more than a WITCH HUNT from the Radical Left” who “want to PUNISH law-abiding citizens, including a CHILD, like Kyle Rittenhouse, for doing nothing more than following the LAW.”

People can expect more worship of Rittenhouse. Fox network’s host Tucker Carlson sent a film crew to shoot footage for a documentary and plans to interview Rittenhouse next week.

The verdict announcement in favor of racist vigilantism lacked any surprise, even from those opposing Rittenhouse’s actions. He could, however, face federal charges for crossing state lines with the rifle. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) has called on DOJ to investigate the possibility.

And More Ugly: 

Thanks to DDT’s General Postmaster Louis DeJoy, who tried to block mail-in voting by horrible USPS delivery service, shipping will temporarily cost more for the holiday season between From October 3, and midnight Christmas Day, supposedly to cover “extra costs.” Prices go between $0.75 for flat rate boxes and envelopes to $5 more for packages as large as 70 pounds. Last year, the USPS raised costs for commercial customers; this year’s increase is for everyone.

DeJoy’s time in control of the postal service may be short-lived. Biden will not nominate Ron Bloom, the Democrat running the USPS board and DDT-supporter John Barger, for another term after their current ones expire on December 8, 2021. Bloom was surprised he was not re-nominated. The Senate must confirm Biden’s two nominees. When Barger’s and Bloom’s terms expires, the remaining seven board members will have three Biden-appointed members; one of DDT’s four appointments is a Democrat.  

October 24, 2021

Congress Needs to Shut Down Corruption

Creeping among all the other stories about fraud during the past week was the indictment of Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) for his lying to the FBI about taking $30,000 from Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury, funneled through Californians and distributed to four politicians. Fortenberry alternately expressed shock, surprise, and expectation to be indicted. He resigned from his leadership on the Agriculture Committee but made a lovely video sitting in his vintage pickup with his wife and dog, cornfields in the background, explaining why he had done nothing wrong. His wife, Celeste, stood by her man, also claiming that her husband didn’t lie to the FBI. Fortenberry used the indictment for fundraiser, calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) a “swamp creature.”

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Central District of California stated a federal grand jury was charging Fortenberry with “concealing information and making false statements to federal authorities who were investigating illegal contributions made by a foreign national to the congressman’s 2016 re-election campaign.” Charges include one count of scheming to falsify and conceal material facts and two counts of knowingly and willingly making false statements and representations to federal investigators. Chagoury has cooperated with the investigation and paid $1.8 million in fines.

It seems that Fortenberry faces at least three false statements charges under 18 U.S.C. § 1001:

  • He was aware after the fundraiser that Chagoury was the real source of the $30,000 he received and were funneled to Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), and himself.
  • The fundraiser host began cooperating with the FBI in September 2016, and Fortenberry asked him to host another event in 2018. The informant told Fortenberry several times that Chagoury provided the original funds, violating both the ban on foreign campaign contributions and the ban on straw man donors.
  • Fortenberry also lied by saying he ended the phone call with the fundraiser after he made a “concerning comment”: in fact, Fortenberry asked him to host another fundraiser.

During the term of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), two sitting congressional members, both Republicans, were criminally charged: New York’s Chris Collins for insider trading, and California’s Duncan Hunter for stealing over $250,000 from his campaign donations. Both were re-elected but resigned, both were sentenced to prison, and both were pardoned by DDT. If guilty, Fortenberry faces up to five years in federal prison. 

DDT supported Fortenberry by saying:

“Isn’t it terrible that a Republican Congressman from Nebraska just got indicted for possibly telling some lies to investigators about campaign contributions, when half of the United States Congress lied about made up scams.”

Fortenberry belongs to the secretive political evangelical Christian group, The Family, highlighted in Jeff Sharlet’s book, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. The organization is tied to the Uganda lawmaker who pressured his country to pass legislation called “Kill the Gays.” The Family supports the bill that sentences people committing homosexual acts with the death penalty. In 2014, the text was softened to “Jail the Gays,” sentencing LGBTQ people to life imprisonment, but the Ugandan Supreme Court invalidated the law. Fortenberry’s chief of staff, Andy Braner, is a fellow insider of The Family. The Family has funded Fortenberry’s multiple events overseas connected to the group. 

Another current GOP may be moving toward toward indictment. The FBI has assigned two more two prosecutors to sex-trafficking probe of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), one expert in child exploitation crimes and the other a leader in the public corruption unit. The sentencing of Joel Greenberg, a witness against Gaetz, has been postponed until March as, according to prosecutors, Greenberg continues to provide valuable assistance in their investigation. Gaetz not only lost money on his “America First” tour around the country with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) but also paid $613,000 in the third quarter of 2021 to get under $500,000 in donations. It has been reported that, before DDT left the White House, Gaetz “privately asked” administrators “for blanket pre-emptive pardons for himself and unidentified congressional allies.” 

Gaetz can no longer practice law because he failed to pay his license annual dues. For reinstatement he would have to pay the $265, an extra $150 reinstatement fee, and a $50 late fee. In addition, he would need to petition the executive director to be reinstated. Convicted of any felonies, he would be disbarred anyway. 

USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, appointed under DDT, appears intent on running his agency into the ground. He’s raising prices, slowing down delivery, and appears to be steering the government work to his former company. More conflicts of interest have emerged from his and his family’s investments in XPO, where he served as CEO, and 13 other major companies with relationships to the postal services. With a financial interest between $30 million and $75 million in XPO, DeJoy refused to divest himself for months after he was confirmed and has more investments in companies such as AT&T, CVS, Verizon, Lockheed Martin, Discover Financial Services, IBM, and JPMorgan Chase—all with USPS government contracts. Federal law requires government employees, including agency heads, to divest from investments worth more than $15,000 in companies that may be affected by their work.

Also ongoing is a probe into DeJoy’s campaign-finance scandal when he coerced employees to donate to Republican candidates. President Joe Biden cannot fire DeJoy without approval by the USPS governing board, who must also be confirmed by the Senate. Although the board president is a Democrat, he said DeJoy is “the proper man for the job.” Bloom’s tenure on the board expires, however, in December 2021. 

Republicans may give up on DeJoy after he began banking in post offices located in Washington, Baltimore, Falls Church (VA), and the Bronx by accepting paychecks or business checks of up to $500 in exchange for prepaid Visa gift cards. Postal officials plan to expand the program in 2022 with bill-paying services and ATMS in post offices. Republicans still want DeJoy’s campaign donations but don’t like the USPS competing with private financial institutions. In a letter to DeJoy, Reps. James Comer (R-KY) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC) wrote that the program “undermines the trust during your engagements with Congress and raises questions as to whether you worked with us in good faith.”

More corruption, money-laundering on a large scale, has been discovered in the Midwest: federal prosecutors seized $12 million allegedly part of “The Shadow Exchange” between the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates. Some of the money was used to buy armored vehicles for an illegal drug trafficking operation in Michigan. The money origins were hidden with fake invoices and other documents sent to banks, including major ones in the U.S., through wire transfers. Federal authorities obtained the money in December 2020, January 2021, and May 2021.

Ukrainian banking oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky bought a disintegrating factory Harvard (IL), population 9,281, much to the delight of the depressed community. He did nothing with the factory, originally built in the late 1990s by Motorola before the business failed, and the U.S. has hit him with sanctions for “significant corruption” in Ukraine for overseeing Ponzi schemes. Before Kolomoisky, a Miami investor, Chaim Schochet, purchased the facility on behalf of Optima International, a company buying commercial real estate throughout the Midwest. Both Schochet and Kolomoisky used laundered money and fraudulent loans to buy property and then let it rot. They paid no property taxes, starving the communities, and in 2016 Kolomoisky sold the Harvard property to a Chinese Canadian businessman. After spreading dreams throughout the community for a year, Canadian authorities charged the new owner of a money laundering scheme, and New Zealand detailed how he led a “multi-national pyramid scheme.”   

Money laundering moved to the Midwest from urban areas because they have no laws against anonymous real estate purchases, unlike cities like New York City, Dallas, and Seattle. Desperate for help, places suffering from economic decline are also ripe for this kind of corruption. When Kolomoisky bought up many downtown Cleveland buildings, the Ohio city was helpless when he let them fall apart. Last year, Congress banned anonymous shell company formations, overriding DDT’s veto, and will be debating the Transnational Repression Accountability and Prevention Act to counter authoritarian regimes targeting journalists in democratic countries—if Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) permits.  

In an unusual coalition, four members of the House—Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Joe Wilson (R-SC)—are introducing the Establishing New Authorities for Business Laundering and Enabling Risks to Security (ENABLERS) Act closing loopholes foreign kleptocrats use to launder money in the United States. Financial institutions are required to report suspicious transactions; ENABLERS expands that requirement to others such as law and public relations firms, accountants, investment and real estate advisors, and art dealers who allow the secrecy of origins through shell companies, trusts, and other investment vehicles. The four representatives founded the Caucus Against Foreign Corruption and Kleptocracy recently leading the charge to anti-corruption legislation in the House’s national defense bill.

Now the country needs ten good Republicans in the Senate to fight corruption.

October 22, 2021

House Votes for Bannon’s Criminal Contempt

The U.S. House voted today to hold Steve Bannon, former White House adviser to Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), in criminal contempt of Congress because he refused to comply with the subpoena from the January 6 Committee investigating the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Nine Republicans joined all Democrats for the 229-202 yes vote; seven of the Republicans also voted to impeach DDT the second time. Bannon, who left the White House 3.5 years before DDT did—and before the attack on the Capitol—has claimed protection from DDT’s “executive privilege.” Legal experts, however, state that the claim cannot apply to private citizens. The charge can result in up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

DDT is also using executive privilege to keep the House investigation committee from obtaining archived records surrounding January 6, but he isn’t the executive. President Joe Biden has already approved the request for the records. At her weekly news conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that Bannon reportedly “had specific knowledge about the events of January 6th before they occurred and had multiple roles relevant to the attack and [was] very outspoken about it.”

Last year, Bannon was charged in a fundraising scam supposedly to collect money for DDT’s wall on the southern border in which he took about $1 million. One of DDT’s last acts before leaving the White House was to pardon Bannon, and a judge dismissed that specific fraud case four months later. After Bannon’s conversations with DDT leading up to the attack, he made a January 5 comment on his podcast that “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.” The “hell” included five dead, several of them police officers, and over 140 officers injured with ax handles, metal batons, wooden poles, hockey sticks, and other weapons.

Although the January 6 Committee has two Republicans, House Minority Leader (R-CA) Kevin McCarthy falsely claimed that it represents “the first time in the history of Congress that the minority was not able to participate.” McCarthy pulled all his GOP nominations for the committee after Pelosi refused two of them, one of them being Jim Jordan (R-OH) who may receive a subpoena to testify before the committee. The other one, Jim Banks (R-IN) is still claiming the riot on January 6 was a “permitted political rally” and asked why it needed to be investigated. Both Banks and Jordan voted against creating the committee and to overturn Biden’s presidency on January 6.

Banks also wrote letters signing himself as the “ranking member” of the committee in a letter to the Department of the Interior on September 16 when he requested all information provided to the committee. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy), actually a committee member, called him out for his falsehood on the House floor today. Another committee member, Rep. Jamie Rankin (D-MD) called Banks “not only delusional and fantastical, but it might be some kind of violation of the rules of the House.”

The fireworks were on display both during the debate for the vote and earlier during the Rules Committee hearing when Republicans tried to protect Bannon from the subpoena. The January 6 Committee had unanimously voted to hold Bannon in criminal contempt and refer charges to the DOJ, and the Rules Committee met to determine process for the full House vote. Appearing before that committee, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) argued that DDT’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election was legal came to naught when confronted by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a constitutional law professor. Raskin said DDT’s over 60 lawsuits to “prove” a “stolen” election failed courts found no evidence of voter fraud, and Gaetz claimed a need for a legal “remedy.” The law professor responded:

“There’s no remedy because there’s no violation, Mr. Gaetz.”

Gaetz said the courts didn’t “take up the facts” on “jurisdiction or remedy,” and Raskin came back at him:

“You know what? That might work on Steve Bannon’s podcast, but that’s not going to work in the Rules Committee in the United States House of Representatives.”

The discussion went to why Gaetz didn’t want a congressional inquiry into the violent January 6 attack. Gaetz declared the inquiry was “unwarranted,” and Raskin accused him of not wanting “to know the answer.” In denying investigations, Gaetz may have been thinking of the FBI probe into Gaetz’s alleged sex trafficking and other crimes with evidence, including witnesses.

The perpetually angry former assistant wrestling coach who ignored reports of his team doctor’s sexually abusing athletes, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), furiously refused to say the 2020 election was “not stolen” by President Joe Biden. Jordan claims he never said the election was stolen but that it should be investigated, later falsely saying that Republicans “condemned violence every stinking time” although many of his colleagues compared the January 6 attack to “tourists” in the Capitol.

Jordan again displayed his poor memory when he told the Rules Committee he couldn’t remember how many times he talked to DDT on that day. He repeated his statement that “it’s not about me” and testified that he didn’t talk to DDT “before or during” the attack.” Yet he told Politico in August that he was “sure” one of the calls was in the safe room where lawmakers were sequestered during the attack. Democratic lawmakers have suggested that Jordan may also be subpoenaed to testify before the January 6 Committee.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), a member of the committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, also testified before the Rules Committee:

“Mr. Bannon’s and Mr. Trump’s privilege arguments do, however, appear to reveal one thing: They suggest that President Trump was personally involved in the planning and execution of January 6th, and this committee will get to the bottom of that.”

Cheney also directly addressed “my Republican colleagues”:

“Almost all of you know in your hearts that what happened on Jan. 6 was profoundly wrong. You know that there is no evidence of widespread election fraud sufficient to overturn the election; you know that the Dominion voting machines were not corrupted by a foreign power. You know those claims are false. Yet President Trump repeats them almost daily.”   

McCarthy told all the Republicans to vote against holding Bannon in criminal contempt, but he might also be subpoenaed for testimony regarding his events on January 6. Last month, Sidney Powell, one of DDT’s lawyers to overturn the election, implicated both McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) in the plot. She suggested the insurrection could delay the election’s certification until DDT’s lawyers could file a 12th Amendment case allowing state electors to change their votes to DDT. Buying time could allow Justice Samuel Alito to block the certification.

In another high-profile subpoena, the January 6 committee summoned Jeffrey Clark, the former little-known DOJ official who tried to overturn Biden’s election. It was the 19th subpoena leading up to the vote on Bannon’s criminal contempt charge. Clark had delivered a letter to George state legislators and others requesting a delay in the election results certification. Despite no evidence of fraud, he also wanted to hold a news conference about allegations of DDT’s claims about a “stolen” election. DDT and Clark discussed ousting the newly-appointed acting attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, to force Georgia to overturn the state’s presidential election results, according to former DDT administration officials.

Clark’s subpoena was the 19th from the January 6 Committee. Fourteen subjects have scheduled depositions, and three are “engaged. George Baron Coleman representing Ali Alexander, head of Stop the Steal, won’t be deposed. Alexander said he planned the January 6 insurrection with the help of Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), and Paul A. Gosar (R-AZ).

In the Senate on Wednesday, all 50 Republicans voted against the right for Democrats to vote on the Freedom to Vote Act. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) objected to an earlier voting rights bill and promised to write a bill that Republicans could support. He wrote the bill, it was presented, and Republicans voted down any debate on it in a filibuster for the third time regarding a bill blocking many eligible voters in the nation, primarily low-income and minorities, from democratically voting in elections. House Minority Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called the bill permitting eligible voters to participate in elections a “rotten core” and a “radical agenda.” He also claimed that requiring 60 percent of the senators to even discuss a bill came from the “framers,” which it did not. Unlike the past when filibusters required a person’s nonspeaking behavior on the Senate floor, a senator can just call in a filibuster while they are on vacation.

The “rotten core” McConnell claimed: a paper trail for ballots, Election Day a holiday, two weeks of early voting, no permission required for vote by mail, and automatic and same-day voter registration. the bill also prohibits partisan gerrymandering, require transparency in advertising, and protect election officials from attacks. The Federal Election Commission gutted under DDT would be rebuilt. The Senate has an advantage over individual states: the federal lawmakers must have 60 percent to pass a bill whereas state legislatures require only a simple majority. In the U.S. Senate 41 senators represent only 21 percent of the population. 

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