Nel's New Day

September 27, 2022

News on September 27, 2022, Hearing Canceled Etc.

The House January 6 investigative committee has postponed its September 28, 2022, hearing because of Hurricane Ian, expected to go through Florida the next two days. The upcoming hearing was expected to focus on a declaration of victory for Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) despite his loss in the 2020 presidential election. Danish filmmakers filmed DDT’s friend Roger Stone during the months prior to the election showing his prediction of violent clashes with left-wing activists because DDT would use armed guards and loyal judges to stay in power. In one video clip, Stone says:

“F–k the voting, let’s get right to the violence. Shoot to kill. See an Antifa? Shoot to kill. F–k ’em. Done with this bulls–t.”

The committee also has details about Stone’s contacts after obtaining records of Kristin Davis, aka the Manhattan Madam, who was with Stone at the Willard Hotel in Washington DC on the day before and the day of the Capitol attack. Stone also called Enrique Tarrio, head of the Proud boys, before and after the January 6 and contacted the former Oath Keepers chief Stewart Rhodes nine days after the attack. Both are charged with seditious conspiracy.

Other Stone contacts are with prominent Republicans who tried to overturn the 2020 election such as Texas AG Ken Paxton and Donald Trump Jr’s aide Arthur Schwartz. During the 2016 election, Stone was middle-man between Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, and DDT’s campaign. In his book The Breach, Denver Riggleman, former staff member of the investigative committee, describes how DDT’s former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was the center of the efforts to stop the certification of Biden’s electoral college win through his thousands of texts.

According to recent revelations, Secret Service leadership turned over cell phones from 24 agents to DHS Inspector General, DDT-appointed Joseph Cuffari, in July. The House committee had requested texts from the phones almost a month ago. Cuffari knew in December 2021 that the phones had been wiped, but he waited to inform Congress and the National Archives required to retain the records. His own staff called on President Joe Biden to fire Cuffari, and political scientist Norman Ornstein describes Cuffari’s actions a “coverup of treason.”

Paxton, who initiated the persecution of families with trans youth, ran away in a truck to avoid being served with a subpoena for a federal court hearing scheduled for Tuesday. The lawsuit is from nonprofits trying to help state residents pay for out-of-state abortions because of Texas’ vigilante law against the procedure. Paxton claimed he left the premises because he was concerned for his safety although the process server identified himself and held up the subpoena. For the past seven years, the attorney general has been under indictment for securities fraud and faces a lawsuit from former top deputies accusing him of abuse of office. In his reelection primary, Paxton received under 43 percent of the vote as high-profile Republicans tried to unseat him, but he defeated George P. Bush, Jeb Bush’s son, in the runoff. Texas’ voter suppression laws will likely put Paxton into power while he awaits a trial on his indictment.   

DDT’s special master, Raymond Dearie, has postponed the deadline for another week to complete digitizing the 11,000 documents seized from Mar-a-Lago because no vendor will work for him. The government may need to hire a vendor. DDT’s $3 million new lawyer, Chris Kise, has also disappeared from the investigation into the 11,000 documents seized from Mar-a-Lago; he may be moved into DDT’s business legal problems.

Two new books about DDT reported House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called DDT “crazy” and considered a vote to convict DDT in the January 2021 impeachment trial. Now McConnell has endorsed the bipartisan electoral count reform bill to keep future presidents from trying to overturn presidential elections through Congress. The bill would reaffirm that the vice president has only a ceremonial role for the joint session of Congress to count electoral votes and increase the number of congressional members to object to a state’s electors. The Senate bill already has support from 11 GOP senators, more than enough to overcome a filibuster if all Democrats vote for cloture.

McConnell prefers his bill to the House bill passed by 229-203 with support from nine Republicans who will not be returning in 2023. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was one of the sponsors, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) called the bill unconstitutional. The House bill requires at least one-third of the members of both the House and the Senate to object to a state’s electors instead of the current one member from each chamber. McConnell’s preference is for one-fifth of the members from both chamber in the Senate bill.

The electoral bill has been struck from the continuing resolution bill trying to avoid a government shutdown this weekend. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-V) will not support Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) bill because part of the pipeline runs through his state and seizes property from private owners. Kaine said he wasn’t consulted on the language of the bill or given a chance to share his constituents’ “deep concerns” over the project. The bill also changes the legal battle from the 4th Circuit to the D.C. Circuit. Kaine said litigants should appeal instead of changing “federal law to achieve their goal” if they object to the 4th Circuit ruling. If Congress doesn’t soon pass some sort of budget agreement, the government will shut down on October 1.

In a frantic search for the way out of his problems, DDT moved from Hillary Clinton’s missing emails to the “lost” millions of emails in George W. Bush’s White House. In 2008, Democrats claimed the missing emails left an “enormous gap in the historical record“ during a critical period. Newsweek reported in 2016:

“This correspondence included millions of emails written during the darkest period in America’s recent history, when the Bush administration was ginning up support for what turned out to be a disastrous war in Iraq with false claims that the country possessed weapons of mass destruction, and, later, when it was firing U.S. attorneys for political reasons.”

DDT may have given up on Clinton’s “scandal”: the article states in the first sentence that no evidence of criminal wrongdoing by Clinton exists. After his recent—and repeated—claims about Clinton, DDT lied about Barack Obama taking classified secrets and clashing with the National Archives. DDT still can’t find a parallel for his taking classified materials, leaving them lying around in a fancy country club, refusing to return them, and being investigating for obstructing the retrieval process. He’s working on the “what about …” and “everybody does it” defense.  

The party of “law and order” and its leader are still savagely attacking the FBI, the lead agency for enforcing both domestic and foreign crimes. After its investigation into DDT’s alleged crimes, DDT called them “corrupt,” “mobsters,” “vicious monsters,” and “a real threat to democracy” while accusing them of “atrocities.” His allies fell in line, claiming they are politicized, pushing conspiracy theories and calling on the FBI to be defunded—sort of like “defund the police.” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told Fox network viewers that a possible “cabal” within the FBI politicized the agency’s work.

Next year if they gain power, the GOP plans extensive investigations, possibly a select committee, to probe the recovery of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago as well as curbing FBI funding and surveillance permissions. With no visible evidence, the GOP “Commitment to America” claims “more than 14 whistleblowers” have “come forward to publicly raise concerns about the FBI’s politicization,” based on an assertion from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

The people of the U.S. should be treated like little children, says Arizona’s supposedly Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema as she praised McConnell and declared she shares GOP values. According to her reasoning, the filibuster needs to be restored to its former glory because parents shouldn’t give children everything they want. MSNBC Chris Hayes described her comparison:

“Sinema and others like her are the Grown Ups. And We The People are spoiled children constantly asking for things.”

Sinema falsely claims the filibuster was “what our forefathers intended.” The first use of the Senate filibuster,however, was in 1837 to keep President Andrew Jackson from a resolution of censure, and it didn’t become popular until the mid-20th century when Southern Democrats used it to fight the Civil Rights Act. Until 1970, a senator could filibuster only by standing on the chamber floor and non-stop talking, but now it requires only a senator effortlessly submitting an intent to filibuster in writing.

MSNBC Lawrence O’Donnell pointed out:

“The number 60 never appears in the Constitution, but it seems to live in Kyrsten Sinema’s imagined version of the Constitution. If a simple majority vote is a dangerous and fickle threshold for governing in a democracy, then why should only five members of the United States Supreme Court get to decide the final interpretation of the law of the land? Why doesn’t Senator Sinema advocate a minimum of a 6-vote threshold in the Supreme Court instead of a mere majority and why is the United States of America the only country that has a 60 percent threshold to win a vote in a national legislative body?”

More news tomorrow.

September 5, 2022

News – September 4, 2022

A few catchups from the past week:

While Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) raves about a rigged election in a Pennsylvania rally, one of his own was convicted for trying to rig a siphoning scam to take votes from a Democratic candidate. The Seminole County (FL) GOP chair was found guilty of using his cousin as a “ghost” candidate,” an increasingly common practice in Florida, through putting a fake candidate on the ballot advertised as a progressive to take votes from the legitimate Democrat candidate. Floridian Republicans have also changed voter registrations from Democratic voters to the GOP without consent, and several Republicans in the retirement Villages voted twice. Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has created state election police, but they are not investigating these election frauds. 

DeSantis’ election force has also not investigated him for another voter fraud, arresting 20 people with one of them dragged to jail in his underwear at 6:00 am. In 2018, Florida voters overwhelmingly supported the right of released felons to vote, but GOP legislators said they had to first pay all their fees and fines. Chaos reigned with no system to let people know if they were ineligible to cast a ballot. DeSantis’ appointees approved the completed registration cards for felons so the duly registered ex-felons didn’t know they were disenfranchised. To convict those charged, prosecutors must prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the arrested people knew their votes were illegal. DeSantis just want to make eligible voters afraid to cast ballots, destroying democracy.

At least 150,000 Jackson (MS) residents continue to lack safe drinking water, and the mayor said they face “a much longer road ahead” before services are fully restored. Relying on bottled water, they can’t take baths, wash dishes, etc. The city said that “all of Jackson should now have pressure,” useless for most personal needs except flushing toilets. After decades of neglect, the Pearl River flooding set off problems at one of two water treatment plants, but residents had already been under a boil-water order when the pumps failed. The crisis is a combination of poor infrastructure, climate change, and systemic racism as a Democratic city government tried to deal with a Republican governor and state legislature.

The governor accused the city of mismanagement two months after the federal EPA system violated the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. In March 2020, the EPA found the potential for bacteria such as E.Coli and issued an emergency order to fix the deficiencies. Jackson residents lost access to clean water for weeks in 2021 when the pipes froze. A fire knocked all five pumps at one treatment plant out of service, and last October lawyers sued for “hundreds if not thousands” of children being poisoned by lead in the water. As white people fled the city, 20,000 between 2000 and 2010, Jackson lost both tax revenue and institutional support as In 40 years, the population of Jackson dropped from 200,000 in 1980 and over from 50 percent white to 80 percent Black.    

The long tentacles of health care provided by the Catholic Church reaches farther than hospitals, as students at Ohio’s Oberlin College discovered last week. Campus student health services would provide contraception only for health problems other than preventing pregnancy, and only victims of sexual assault can receive emergency contraception. Oberlin outsourced the student health services to a Catholic health agency which follows religious directives prohibiting contraception to prevent pregnancy—and blocking gender-affirming care. The college developed an alternative plan to offer reproductive health services to students on campus, but some states’ guidelines are similar to the Catholic Church. About 40 percent of reproductive age women live “in areas with high or dominant Catholic hospital market share,” according to a researcher of data in 2020. Many people don’t realize that the Catholic Church controls their health care because the information is concealed. Options of patients, especially low-income ones, can be disproportionately restricted.

Texas spent $12.7 million to bus migrants to the East Coast–$1,400 per person. A one-way, same-day ticket from El Paso costs $291 to New York City and $324 to Washington, D.C., and same-day flights are under $400. Gov. Greg Abbott is asking for private donations for his project but received only $167,828 as of August 17. His goal is to “incite fear among Americans,” a typical Republican strategy, but busing saves migrants money by taking them closer to their destinations.

After DDT spent months attacking House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), warfare is breaking out between McConnell and Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), chair of the GOP’s Senate campaign arm. Like many other Republicans privately express, McConnell doubts the “quality” of DDT-picked candidates winning primaries, fearing both the Senate and House this year will be lost—again. Scott attacked McConnell in an op-ed for the conservative Washington Examiner, accusing “the very people responsible for losing the Senate last cycle” of “trash-talking our Republican candidates.” Without giving McConnell’s name, Scott’s message was clear, coming two weeks after McConnell expressed concern about the GOP taking back the Senate in 2022. Some of DDT’s infamous candidates for Senate are Blake Masters (AZ), Herschel Walker (GA), and Mehmet Oz (PA). Earlier this year, Scott irritated McConnell by releasing the radically-right “Plan to Rescue America” which alienated many affiliated voters.

Scott is also in trouble for the lack of money in the GOP Senate campaign arm. By the end of July, the committee collected a record $181.5 million but spent over 95 percent of it, $26 million just on texting people to donate. The remaining $23.2 million is less than half of the Democratic committee stash leading up to the November election in two months. Scott is getting blamed for not bringing in money, and his group is canceling bookings for advertising, ones they can’t get back even if they manage to raise the money.

The Senate funding committee decided to not pick anyone in the primaries after DDT’s endorsements. In the past decade, it avoided out-of-the mainstream nominees who might lose in the general election; this year many GOP candidates winning the primaries haven’t run for office before. Their negative, expensive primaries left favorable ratings underwater, and they trail in many battlegrounds with well-funded Democratic opponents. By mid-August, Dems outspent their opponents by four-to-one in Ohio, over double in Arizona, and almost two-to-one in Nevada as well as by $14 million in Georgia.  

Scott gained more notoriety by criticizing President Joe Biden’s Delaware “staycation” while on a luxury yacht in Italy during the Florida primaries. He claimed he had planned his trip to Italy long ago because of a wedding anniversary, but the primaries were also planned well in advance. Presidents typically take off a few weeks in August because of the annual congressional recess for the month, and Scott defrauded the government out of Medicare funds while CEO of a large Florida health system.

After 28 months, litigation about DDT’s financial records going to a House committee has reached a settlement: DDT’s former accounting firm Mazurs must turn over some records to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Records are narrowed to financial ties between DDT or his businesses with foreign countries for 2017-2018 and documents between November 2016 and 2018 for DDT’s company holding the lease with the federal government for the former Trump International Hotel. Earlier this year, Mazurs said it had fired DDT and that the firm’s financial statements prepared to DDT “should no longer be relied upon” because it used DDT’s figures.

Last month, despite DDT’s legal opposition, a three-judge appellate court agreed with a lower court decision that the Treasury Department should provide DDT’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee. DDT’s DOJ allowed former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to block the committee from obtaining the returns with the excuse that Democrats wanted them for partisan reason. The committee successfully renewed the request after Biden’s inauguration, seeking DDT’s tax returns and additional information from 2015 to 2020. 

A Virginia state judge dismissed two cases attempting to bar the public display and sale of two books the plaintiff alleged obscene under an obscure state law. By taking this action, the judge also struck down the law, finding it unconstitutional. Filing by lawyers, presently a GOP state assembly delegate and a former GOP congressional candidate, assert the award-winning graphic memoir Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe and well-reviewed A Court of Mist and Fury by bestselling author Sarah J. Maas were “obscene for unrestricted viewing by minors.” The statute does not allow for a work to be “obscene for minors” and failed to prove that the books are obscene at all. The plaintiffs’ declaration violated both the U.S. and the Virginia constitutions. One of the lawyers, who lost his June 21 primary for Congress by 40 points, tried to build a case for “parental rights.” John Chrastka, executive director of EveryLibrary, said that the plaintiffs tried to weaponize the use of obscenity laws against books that don’t “fit their worldview.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs will begin providing abortions for beneficiaries if the person is endangered by pregnancy or the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest. The VA has made this medical procedure available before but amended its regulations for safety reasons after the Supreme Court and states overturned Roe v. Wade. The rule will be available for a 30-day comment after being published on September 1.

July 21, 2022

January 6, 2021 Hearing – July 21, 2022

The eighth hearing from the House January 6 investigative committee lasted 135 minutes and covered 187 minutes while supporters of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) followed following his orders to violently destroy the orderly process of announcing electoral votes for the next president of the United States, Joe Biden. For that entire time, congressional members, their staff, and others were hiding from the insurrectionists while the Capitol Police tried to protect them. The Secret Service, who also feared for their lives and made goodbye calls to their loved ones, smuggled VP Mike Pence out of the Capitol and into safety from the mob chanting “Hang Mike Pence” because he didn’t follow their demands.

Complainers about how the hearings’ information has already been in the news are, in part, correct, but witness testimony verifies what was formerly called hearsay. DDT attacked a Secret Service driver when he demanded he was going to the Capitol for the insurrection and had to be forced back to the White House where he sat in his dining room and watched Fox reporting on the insurrection. For almost three hours he refused to take any action, despite begging from family, friends, and advisers; as Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-OH) said, “He chose not to act.” DDT would not allow any photographs and legal record-keeping of his communications during that time. 

Committee Vice-chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) facilitated the session, and Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS), isolated after testing positive for COVID, spoke by video at the beginning and end of the hearing. Kinzinger and Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) led the questioning of witnesses Matthew Pottinger, former National Security Council official, and Sarah Matthews, DDT’s deputy white House press secretary. Matthews, a House GOP staffer, has already been attacked as a liar and a pawn for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on the House GOP account from the office of Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY). Jeremy Adler, one of Cheney’s top aide, shamed Stefanik’s team because Matthews is “doing her patriotic duty.” The tweet was then deleted. A second tweet calling tonight’s hearing “heresy,” perhaps meaning hearsay, was also deleted.

Clips at the beginning and end of the hearing play speeches immediately after January 6 by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) given on their chamber floors. McCarthy said, “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters” because he didn’t act “immediately.” McConnell said, “It was obvious that only President Trump could end this” because people were acting on Trump’s behalf and blamed DDT for using false voter-fraud claims to inflame supporters.   

The committee revealed more hearings are planned for September after Congress returns from its August hiatus. More people are volunteering testimony to support the proof DDT’s dereliction of duty and violating his oath to protect the U.S. Constitution.

Showing DDT’s dereliction of duty, White House counsel Pat Cipollone gave a detailed timeline on DDT’s January 6 activities during the insurrection, beginning as early as 2:00 pm when Cipollone and several others pushed for a statement to call off rioters. After a long pause, he answered a question by adding that everyone in the White House wanted the insurrectionists to leave except DDT.

Outtakes of DDT’s videos to—reluctantly—stop the mob’s violence and his follow-up speech the next day demonstrate his refusal to include any mention of peace and vilification of the insurrectionists (which Republicans still call “tourists”). He also couldn’t say, “The election’s over.” DDT did not call any agency—not Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, or any other—for a response to the attack. That was left of to Pence while he was in hiding. Then White House chief of staff Mike Meadows told Gen. Mark A. Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to say that DDT had called him, not Pence, in an attempt to make him look as if he were in control. Earlier, DDT refused to take a call from the Pentagon that was seeking to “coordinate on the response to the attack.” Adviser Eric Herschman told Cipollone that “the president didn’t want anything done.”

DDT wasn’t through after the failed insurrection. His personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani made calls reinforcing support for the plan of overturning the election to such congressional members as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Lindsey O. Graham (R-SC), Josh Hawley (R-Mo), and Ted Cruz (R-TX). A voicemail for Tuberville laid out the scheme: “just slow [this hearing] down.”

DDT left his dining room for his White House residence at 6:27 pm on January 6 after his last tweet of the day, a love note to his followers:

“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide victory is so unceremoniously, viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly, unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love and peace.”

The last thing DDT said on January 6 was “Mike Pence let me down.” Herschmann said everyone left the White House because they were “drained.”

At the Capitol, congressional members came out of hiding, resumed the electoral vote counting about 8:00 pm, and then finished their job at 3:41 am EST on January 7, 14 hours and 41 minutes after they started. The counting must be done in a session beginning son January 6 unless Congress passes a law changing it.

Senate staff had saved the paper Electoral College ballots when the chamber was evacuated because the mob was breaking into the building.

A lasting video of the eighth hearing is Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) running in terror through the halls and down steps. This was after he thrust his fist in the air in support of the protesters and adding fuel to the violence while he was behind the barricades.

Three days after the insurrection, texts from DDT’s campaign officials and loyalists Tim Murtaugh and Matthew Wolking show their disgust and rage with DDT when he didn’t even acknowledge the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick on the night of January 7. Wolking wrote, “Everything [DDT] said about supporting law enforcement was a lie.”

Viewers see the hearings as building a criminal case against DDT and his enablers of seditious conspiracies in overthrowing the government and forcibly opposing its authority. The DOJ can use the committee’s work. Just as important, however, is “to stop Trump’s continuing attack on American democracy,” according to Robert Reich who lists six ways through the hearings:

Be crystal clear that the continuing attempted coup is based on a lie through repeatedly playing DDT’s former AG Bill Barr stating:  

“I saw absolutely zero basis for the allegations [of voter fraud], but they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people, members of the public, that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes didn’t count and that these machines controlled by somebody else were actually determining it, which was complete nonsense. And it was being laid out there, and I told them that it was—that it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on that. And it was doing a grave disservice to the country.”

Showing the battle between democracy and authoritarian is non-partisan with all the GOP witnesses who worked for DDT, GOP legislators, GOP-appointed judges, GOP-elected state officials, etc. They are all citizens disgusted by and worried about DDT’s attempted coup.

Appealing to Republican lawmakers to stop supporting DDT’s continuing attempted coup in stressing oaths to defend the U.S. Constitution. 

Explaining how average people fell for DDT’s treachery with disastrous results with witnesses such as Stephen Ayers representing the ordinary “family man and a working man” who took part in the insurrection because he thought DDT wanted him there.  

Reminding people of their duties to democracy as Committee chair Thompson said in the seventh hearing:

“We settle our differences at the ballot box. Sometimes my choice prevails, sometimes yours does, but it’s that simple. We cast our votes. We count the votes. If something seems off with the results, we can challenge them in court, and then we accept the results. When you’re on the losing side, that doesn’t mean you have to be happy about it. And in the United States, there’s plenty you can do and say so. You can protest. You can organize. You can get ready for the next election to try to make sure your side has a better chance the next time the people settle their differences at the ballot box. But you can’t turn violent.”

Presenting DDT’s attempted coup as ongoing like Cheney did when she described DDT’s attempts at witness tampering.

The hearings are making a difference. Without them, DDT’s popularity would increase as people lack information and forget. Instead, the 57 percent of people say DDT has, at least, a good amount of blame for the January 6 insurrection, up from 53 percent six months ago. Half the people think DDT should be charged with crimes based on the evidence presented in the hearings. At least 58 percent of people in the U.S. are paying either a lot of attention (25 percent) or some attention (33 percent) to the hearings.

The drip, drip, drip accumulation about a corrosive DDT provided by the hearings is eroding support for him, shown in polling, focus groups, and fundraising. Part of DDT’s problem is that he won’t stop litigating the 2020 election, which some describe as “Trump fatigue.”

And new evidence will be back in September hearings!

 

July 10, 2022

News: Week of July 3, 2022

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) thinks the problem with the job market is that too many people have too much money. He said that “a whole lot of people [are] sitting on the sidelines because … they’re flush.” He just wants them to run out of money. And he’s talking about working-class people, not the wealthy. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has complained that Democrats created labor shortages through “Socialist policies that pay people more money to stay home than go to work.” (Republicans don’t understand the definition of “Socialism,” defined as common or public ownership of resources.)

Last month the U.S. added 372,000 jobs, and unemployment stayed at 3.6 percent for the fourth straight month, matching an almost-50-year low.  Wages and benefits increased 4.8 percent in the year prior to March 2022, up from 2.8 percent annual increase the year before. A survey shows that 69 percent of workers are satisfied with their wages and 80 percent with recent raises.

The American Rescue Plan, which Republicans brag about although they didn’t vote for it, helped fuel the economic recovery, but Republicans didn’t want to give money to anyone except the wealthy. The GOP is still complaining about the program as if it were still in effect today, but it expired at least ten months ago. Unlike McConnell’s claim, the government isn’t paying people “not to work.”

McConnell is also blocking a bill allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices which would save the country $287 billion over the next decade. He was rewarded for his prevention of the bill reaching the floor: within under four months, the pharmaceutical industry gave him $50,000 in contributions. The bill has an 88-percent favorability rating. Democrats are still trying to pass the reform, and in exchange, McConnell threatens to block a bipartisan bill to make the U.S. more competitive with china and ease the shortage of semiconductor chips.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is working on a reconciliation bill bypassing the 60 votes necessary with a filibuster and requiring only a simple majority. Within the possible bill are prescription drug price cuts, tax hikes on the wealthy and corporations, and energy and climate provisions. Congress returns on July 11 to continue with the bill. Schumer hopes to get both this bill and the China competition bill completed by August. The China bill would pay for creating new technologies to help the U.S. stay ahead of its competitor through domestic semiconductor manufacturing.

Democrats hope to put the chips funding and other parts of the China bill into the budget, but regulatory and foreign policy aspects of the China bill might not be allowed into the budget. Delays in the bill would cause economic consequences: Intel Corp said the timing and size of its new Ohio facility depends on the funding. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) is working with Schumer on the bipartisan legislation, and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), usually an obstructionist, may support the bill. 

McConnell, along with the six Supremes, is helping to lead world toward greater climate warming. Conservatives refuse to believe their involvement in the problem, but the Midwest’s heat wave in May started the temperatures of 10 to 20 degrees above normal this summer in the U.S. Last year, Canada and the Pacific Northwest suffered from extreme heat waves. Higher temperatures equal faster snowmelt that, with rainfall, causes disastrous floods in Montana and Wyoming. The U.S. also faces horrific wildfires, many of them in the West including Yosemite National Park in California and Alaska.

High gas prices, partly caused by the industry’s price-gouging and Russia’s war in Ukraine, are benefiting the climate. June gas sales dropped about 5 percent from pre-pandemic levels and 2.6 percent from a year ago, causing people to drive six percent few miles than in June 2019, a one percent drop in U.S. carbon emissions. Some people have switched from gas-guzzling monster vehicles to smaller ones for necessary driving. Others walk more or take public transportation, and carpooling is another way they cut back. On the July 4th weekend, drivers shortened their trips.

Still traveling the country, DDT told an Anchorage (AK) crowd that Musk is a “bullsh*t artist” because Musk had never voted for DDT although he told him he did. In a speech, Musk said he couldn’t remember if he ever “voted for a Republican” but plans to do so in the future. DDT is campaigning for Sarah Palin, candidate for the state’s one U.S. representative. Formerly comparing Musk to inventor Thomas Edison, DDT called Musk “one of our greatest geniuses.”  Musk’s mistake may have been support for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2024 presidential election.

DDT is ostensibly campaigning for Sarah Palin, candidate for the state’s one U.S. representative, but he’s really trying to destroy the re-election chances for Sen. Lisa Murkowski who voted to convict DDT at his second impeachment trial. Palin used the event for a self-pitying rant about the media attacking her children and praise DDT’ testicles, massive according to Palin. She also advocated shooting when people at the opposition by invoking her father’s words: “Don’t retreat, reload.”

War on Fox occurred after Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) called pro-choice supporters the “genocide squad” and accused “leftists” of supporting abortions even for “babies who are already born.” These statements and other inflammatory lies were made to guest host Gregg Jarrett on The Sean Hannity Show. Another Jarrett panelist, Alan Dershowitz, condemned Boebert’s statements after he addressed her ire at protesters outside a Morton’s restaurant where Justice Brett Kavanaugh was having dinner. He said Boebert’s accusations about pro-choice supporters are “even more disgraceful than anything that happened to the justice.”  

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has decided, by majority 4-3 vote, that drop boxes for ballots are undemocratic and ruled against their use in the state. The four judges decided that because there was no law about drop boxes they must be illegal. Primaries are in one month. Spring 2021 elections in Wisconsin used 570 drop boxes. In her majority opinion, Justice Rebecca Bradley compared the use of drop boxes to systems by tyrants Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Kim Jong-il, Cuba’s Raul Castro, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Two months ago, Bradley joined the majority in heavily gerrymandering the state districts.

Frantic about losing his re-election this fall, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) lambasted the Democrats with a radio ad stating, “The latest mass murder in America didn’t involve guns.” He blamed President Joe Biden’s immigration policies for human traffickers causing the deaths of 53 people, including five children, in an abandoned truck trailer in San Antonio (TX). “Human, sex, and drug trafficking are out of control because of Democrat governance.” The ad was due out on July 6, two days after the “latest mass murder” that killed seven people and injured another 30 in Highland Park (IL) two days earlier. His campaign had to pull the false ad. Johnson has received about $1.2 million from pro-gun groups since his first campaign in 2010.

A third Wisconsin judge has ordered Michael Gableman not to delete his probe’s records from the state’s 2020 presidential election. Turning up no new information despite years of work, Gableman has done “bizarre” and “amateurish” work, according to bipartisan election administration experts. Last month, Gableman said he had deleted records despite requests for them. The judge had found him in contempt last month and ordered him to pay $2,000 per day until he complied with the order to submit the records. Gableman and two earlier reviewers of the ballots are each paid at least $11,000 a month despite doing “almost no substantive work.” The review has cost about $1 million thus far.

The DOJ is suing Arizona to block its law blocking the law, set to take effect in January, requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Arizona’s proof of citizenship law, and this new law violates the National Voter Registration Act, according to DOJ. State law already requires Arizona voters in state elections to provide proof of citizenship, but this law extends the requirement to federal election. Registering to vote in federal elections require attesting under penalty of perjury but doesn’t require proof until this new law. County records or election officials who don’t attempt to verify citizenship status and registers voters without documentation can be charged with a felony. Federal statutes do not require this documentation. Arizona already requires attestation of citizenship on the ballot; lying is a crime.

Last Friday, DDT’s former White House counsel Pat Cipollone testified for several hours. House investigative committee member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said Cipollone did not contradict testimony from previous witnesses and he committee members “did learn a few things, which we will be rolling out in the hearings to come.” Cassidy Hutchinson had testified at length about Cipollone’s knowledge of DDT’s seditious plans.

A second hearing by the House January 6 investigative committee possibly scheduled this week on July 14 at during prime time will examine the 187-minute time period when Donald Trump failed to act while his mob of supporters stormed the Capitol. The first one in the week on July 12 at 10:00 am EST focuses on the plotting and planning of the insurrection on January 6 by white nationalist groups including the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and the Three Percenters.

May 15, 2022

Republicans: The Cult of Death

David Barnhart, a pastor in Alabama, wrote the following about the anti-abortion, so-called “right-to-life” movement banning abortions:

“’The unborn’ are a convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you; they are morally uncomplicated, unlike the incarcerated, addicted, or the chronically poor; they don’t resent your condescension or complain that you are not politically correct; unlike widows, they don’t ask you to question patriarchy; unlike orphans, they don’t need money, education, or childcare; unlike aliens, they don’t bring all that racial, cultural, and religious baggage that you dislike; they allow you to feel good about yourself without any work at creating or maintaining relationships; and when they are born, you can forget about them, because they cease to be unborn. You can love the unborn and advocate for them without substantially challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus, but actually dislike people who breathe. Prisoners? Immigrants? The sick? The poor? Widows? Orphans? All the groups that are specifically mentioned in the Bible? They all get thrown under the bus for the unborn.”

The anti-abortion movement—actually the anti-choice movement because they don’t want to give rights to people—calls itself the “right to life,” but it’s actually only rights for the human zygote, embryo, or fetus. Conservatives’ respect for life by conservatives disappears at the instant a fetus emerges from the uterus. From then on, they embrace death:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants to starve migrant babies held in custody for crossing the southern border because selfish baby formula manufacturers have caused a shortage.

New state anti-abortion laws block treatment for ectopic pregnancies in the fallopian tube, cervix, abdominal cavity, ovary or scar from a cesarean section instead of in the uterus. They never result in a birth and are guaranteed to kill the pregnant woman without surgery. A Louisiana bill would permit the charge of murder for anyone who miscarries or needs surgery for ectopic pregnancies. An Ohio bill would mandate doctors to “reimplant” an ectopic pregnancy, medically impossible. An Oklahoma state senator disagreed with permitting surgeries for these pregnancies. Texas law does not define exceptions for medical emergencies, and a doctor denied a woman treatment for her ectopic pregnancy before she was rejected at an emergency room. At least one pharmacy refused to fill prescriptions for this condition. Ignorant legislators create these bills which are then supported by more ignorant people. If laws allow ectopic pregnancies, the confusion may keep women from seeking help. In some states, medical students receive limited education about abortion which means they also don’t know how to care for patients who have had miscarriages. The women who die don’t have the “right to life.”

The Supreme Court supporting “right to fetuses” opposed life for Clarence Dixon, a schizophrenic executed in Arizona last week. His lawyers said he didn’t understand why he was being put to death and suffered for over 25 minutes during the procedure. Age 66 and blind, Dixon is the first execution since Joseph Wood was given 15 doses of a two-drug combination over two hours, repeated gasping until he died. Witnesses reported that prison had trouble finding a vein for the lethal injection, and Dixon was in pain for 25 minutes until they injected him in the groin. An AP journalist said, “They did have to wipe up a fair amount of blood.” Arizona also has a gas chamber which uses hydrogen cyanide, the same gas used at Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Arizona can still kill another 112 people on death row. Supreme Court decisions determined justices shouldn’t meddle in state lethal injections so Arizona can handle the situation any way it wants.  

Republicans virtuously permit people with COVID to infect and kill others with the ridiculous claim of needing freedom from wearing masks. Studies have shown over and over that social distancing, vaccinations, and masks will block the transmission of the disease killing people in a little over two years. Even those who refuse all these precautions have learned how their loved ones have died the hard way, and many of them have admitted this fact. 

In another way to kill people, Republicans block any kind of sex education for young people so that they can protect themselves. Without that knowledge, girls employ myths to avoid pregnancy, myths that don’t work. Their solution is sometimes self-induced abortions, killing the young girls.

In 2008, before President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, over 26,000 people died because they lacked health insurance. Since it passed in 2010, the Republicans have tried non-stop to block health insurance for the poor. Even ten years after the law passed, 45,000 people are still dying each year from lack of health insurance. Even if they don’t die, 25 percent of people in the U.S delay health care for serious illnesses.

GOP hatred for LGBTQ people also promote violent deaths by those with anti-LGBTQ fear and loathing with the attitude that they are following God’s will.   

The deaths of at least ten people in a Buffalo story also shows how cavalier conservatives are permitting mass shootings through the freedom to buy guns. An 18-year-old who had previously threatened a school shooting and posted a “manifesto” on the website murdered people peacefully shopping because they were black. The GOP party line will be that he was a “lone wolf” although the persuasion to stop white people from being “replaced” by minorities has come for the far-right media, especially Fox’s Tucker Carlson, and GOP leaders. This mass shooting was #198 in the first 19 weeks of 2022.

Deliberate income inequality in which Republicans ensure that the wealthy and big business collect the vast majority of assets while people in poverty die from lack of resources.

The conservative anti-science aggression is also causing hunger and starvation by refusing to recognize climate change. Republicans also permit toxic chemicals and other pollution to kill people—if they are poor—to benefit big business.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), possibly the biggest liar in the Senate, said the loss of abortion rights won’t bother most voters although it “might be a little messy for some people.” He blithely commented that women can just drive across state lines for the procedure. No worry about lack of resources, distances from blocks of states banning choice, laws blocking getting an abortion in another state, prosecution for getting an abortion at all. Republicans want to have it both ways—get rid of all abortions while persuading the 70 percent of pro-choice voters that he’s not really against women having reproductive rights. The GOP just wants the discussion to disappear before the 2022 election.

House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) agrees with Johnson that voters for congressional members don’t really care. And Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that “angry leftists … don’t even know that overturning Roe means.” They haven’t noticed that 26 percent of respondents to a Monmouth University poll rated their top concern, only one percent below the economic policy. That’s far above the nine percent of them rating abortion policy as the top concern a year ago. McConnell also tries to persuade people that getting an abortion won’t be any problem because it’s up to the states. People who have seen their rights disintegrate won’t believe that either.

In Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft of the ruling that overturns Roe, he bases part of his opinion on the “great” and “eminent” legal authority, Sir Matthew Hale. The English judge and lawyer who died in 1676 at the age of 67, he presided over a witchcraft trial in which he sentenced two “witches” to death.  His “History of the Pleas of the Crown,” published posthumously in 1736, stated that authorities should distrust women who claimed to have been raped, a position still popular in the second half of the 20th century and used even in the 21st century. He wrote the marital rape exemption protecting a man from prosecution if he raped his wife because marriage means the woman has put her body under her husband’s permanent dominion “which she cannot retract.” In the U.S., no state could prosecute a man for raping his wife—even brutally—until 1970. At the current time, 21 states are still more lenient toward marital rape than rape outside the marriage. Men will cling to a legal system in which men complete control their wives.  

His claim about the “deep roots” of history ignores common law in the first decades of the United States that did not regulate abortion before “quickening”—the first feeling of fetal movement occurring as late as 25 weeks into pregnancy. Alito ignored Hale’s description declaring abortion as a crime “if a woman be quick or great with child.” And he uses as his justification the man who sentences women to death as witches, knows women are liars, and believes women own their wives’ bodies.

Blocking abortion will lead to preventing other human rights such as contraception, same-gender relationships and marriage, biracial marriage, transgenderism, etc. All these rights will be blocked by Republican legislators and their activist partisan judges in a huge government overreach eliminating freedom and liberty for half the people in the country. The GOP has claimed they objected to this practice with Democrats but are now allowing only Christian evangelical laws.  

May 14, 2022

Ukraine Makes Progress against Russia

The U.S. Pentagon has newly captured Russian war plans and documents showing that its president, Vladimir Putin, “is in a corner, not just in Ukraine where his army is failing, but also in facing an existential threat from Europe, now even more united because of his missteps.” It appears “Odesa [Ukraine’s third largest city] is safe from Putin’s army and from coastal landings.” Also abandoned is advancement on Mykolaiv, and Ukraine has slowed Russia’s offensive efforts on the west bank of the Dnieper. Russian reinforcements have little fighting spirit while Ukraine displays high morale and excellent command.

Russia recognizes the possibility of Ukrainian victory both on the battlefield and in its change into a western Army as an expansion of NATO. Ukrainians may have won the “battle of Kharkiv,” blocking Russian troops from encircling and seizing the country’s second largest city. Russians attacking from Popasna in the north have made no progress and lack fresh combat power to offset huge losses. Russians plan to withdraw and return its forces home.

Ukrainians destroyed a Russian tank battalion trying to cross the Donets River on a pontoon bridge with possibly 1,500 Russians dead and up to 70 vehicles either burned or fallen into the water. The surviving 30 vehicles and Russian troops are stranded on the other side of the river in the third Ukrainian attack in three days.

Sean Spoonts, editor-in-chief of the military news outlet SOFREP, estimates Russia will run out of forces and equipment within 90 days. He added that figure could be optimistic. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also believes Putin doesn’t want a direct conflict with NATO.

Putin has appeared ill for several months, and a KGB defector to Britain, Boris Karpichkov, said he suffers from Parkinson’s disease, a stroke, and possibly dementia. At an April 22 meeting, he clung to a small table for over 13 minutes, perhaps to conceal tremors or vertigo. The press recently reported an authenticated audio recording from an oligarch close to the Kremlin describing Putin as “very ill with blood cancer.” The change of his facial appearance from gaunt to puffy is “compatible with steroid use,” according to Ashley Grossman. He explained that steroids are typically prescribed for various kinds of lymphoma or myeloma, cancer of the plasma cells, which “can cause widespread bone disease and definitely affect the spinal column and back.” A Russian coup to replace Putin may be underway.

Even Putin’s allies and state media admit his army is an embarrassment. State Duma member Semyon Bagdasarov called him a pariah fighting a war of aggression:

“Everyone is ashamed to talk about this topic … It’s a crying shame!”

On May 6, analyst Konstantin Sivkov said on Russian State TV show, “The Evening with Vladimir Solovyov” that “current economic market system is unfit to meet the needs of our Armed Forces and of the entire country under these conditions.” He pushed for “military socialism,” putting “all strategic resources—including land and factories—under the direct control of the government to better fund the war.”

Without martial law, Putin cannot force soldiers into his Ukrainian war. Troops refusing to fight can be dismissed but not prosecuted and are looking for advice to stay out of the battle. Using volunteers or conscripts will only increase losses with untrained troops.

On Russia’s 60 Minutes, retired Colonel Mikhail Khodaryonok said that even “mass mobilization in Russia wouldn’t help alter the course of Putin’s stalled invasion of Ukraine.” Fighter aviation would take until New Year’s, and ships require two years. Even tanks can’t be built in fewer than 90 days. Khodaryonok added that nothing would be “equipped with modern weaponry because we don’t have modern weapons and equipment in our reserves … Sending people armed with weapons of yesteryear into a war of the 21st century to fight against global standard NATO weapons would not be the right thing to do.”

U.S.-led sanctions make Russia struggle to find parts for military equipment production. Technology exports from the U.S. have fallen by almost 70 percent. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo reported that some equipment is “filled with semiconductors that they took out of dishwashers and refrigerators.”

According to an intercepted telephone call between two Russians, the authorities in Ukraine’s occupied city of Donetsk are throwing thousands of their dead soldiers in a secret dump and then charging family and friends money to find them. The caller reluctantly explained that a soldier has been found after missing for a month after the dead man’s “sister went to Donetsk, and there, basically, roughly speaking, is a dump”:

“They just toss them there. And then later it’s easier to make as if they disappeared without a trace. It’s easier for them to pretend they are just missing, and that’s it…. There’s nowhere left to place them. It’s a dump. I’m telling you in plain Russian—a dump. It’s as tall as a person. [The site is] fenced off, sealed, they don’t let anyone in.”

Local authorities let the woman find her brother after she paid “good money” and then “they rearranged it until she found [the body.]” Al Jazeera released footage of refrigerated train cars holding unclaimed bodies of Russian troops killed in Ukraine. Putin won’t take the bodies back to Russia to hide the horrific death toll. Russians admit the deaths of only 1,300 military members in its “special military operation”; Ukraine’s estimates Russian death toll at about 26,000.

Ukraine will try a 21-year-old Russian soldier for war crimes, accusing him of killing an unarmed 62-year-old village resident in the northeastern region of Sumy. The man was pushing a bicycle along the road before he was shot in the head and “died on the spot a few dozen meters from his home.” The soldier said he was told his unit would have military exercises in Russia about 200 miles from Ukraine and was later captured in Ukraine when his column tried to take wounded soldiers back to Russia. Ukraine have opened over 5,000 cases connected to war crimes and crimes of aggression and filed charges against ten Russian soldiers in absentia for war crimes in Bucha after discovery of torture and mutilation.

Lithuania is the first country to declare Russia a terrorist country because of genocide. The UN reported accelerating numbers of Russian human trafficking, rape, and other sexual violence in Ukraine. Ukrainians forced into “filtration” camps in Russia endure strip searches, interrogations, and theft of their vital documents. Those suspected of Ukrainian sympathies are tortured and perhaps “disappeared.” On one day, May 13, 8,787 people deported from Ukraine including 1,106 children, according to Russian media.

Putin’s state TV has created more fantasies about the reasons for the invasion: “black magic” practiced by the troops, and President Volodymyr Zelensky’s non-existent drug use. These add to the falsehood of Ukraine’s prevalence of neo-Nazis.

The Finnish Parliament’s defense committee recommended NATO membership, and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin agree in an historical shift of security policy for the traditionally nonaligned Nordic country. NATO will likely pave the way to the year-long process. Russia threatens with “to retaliatory steps.” Neighboring Sweden is also expected to follow Finland’s lead. The expansions would double NATO’s land border with Russia, increasing the military alliance’s frontier to the far north and around the Baltic Sea.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may not block Finland and Sweden from NATO, but the Turkish authoritarian leader isn’t happy about the addition because “Scandinavian countries are guesthouses for terrorist organizations.” All 30 NATO members must approve any additions. Erdoğan is actually upset about Scandinavian support for Kurdish militants who he calls terrorists and because he approved Greece before it took “an attitude against Turkey.”

The U.S. has delivered the first of 11 helicopters as part of its “lend-lease” agreement. The Mi-17 transport aircraft, once earmarked for Afghanistan, are primarily used for personnel transport but can be armed with rockets and cannons for use in close air support situations.

The food shortage in the world has become worse after India, the world’s second-largest wheat producer with about ten percent of the world’s reserves, banned its exports with a few exceptions. Both Ukraine and Ukraine are major suppliers of wheat, but Black Sea fighting and blockades interrupted transport of any existing supplies. China’s drought caused poor harvests there, and the U.S. harvest is hurting from its heat wave and rising temperatures. Large port cities such as Odesa are storing about 25 million tons of staple grains such as corn, wheat, maize, and barley. Destined for the international market, the badly need food is stranded, and Russia has not reacted to pleas for lifting the blockade.

Not to be outdone by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who took a delegation of Democrats to meet in Ukraine with Zelensky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took his own three-Republican delegation for the same purpose. The trip was soon after one of McConnell’s GOP caucus, the other Kentucky senator Rand Paul, blocked the House bill to provide $40 billion in aid to the beleaguered nation. In 2019, Joe Scarborough labeled McConnell “Moscow Mitch.” The then-Senate Majority Leader blocked two bills to stop foreign influence in U.S. elections the day after special counsel Robert Mueller testified that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

According to Fox’s biggest voice, Tucker Carlson, U.S. aid to Ukraine is revenge for Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 presidential election. Ukrainians “are merely unfortunate pawns,” according to Carlson, and “we arm Ukraine so that we can punish Russia … for stealing Hillary Clinton’s coronation.” He asserted that the U.S. doesn’t want to save lives or protect Ukraine—just create regime change in Russia as “payback.”

Nick Cohen wrote about Carlson’s—and his employer Rupert Murdoch’s—support of Russian atrocities:

“Murdoch is boosting Russian morale and, conversely, undermining Ukrainian resolve by supplying a dictatorship with foreign validation. Do not underestimate its importance. Russians who suspect their TV anchors are state-sponsored bootlickers are more likely to believe foreign commentators who assure them that the lies they are hearing are true.”

Maria Alyokhina, lead singer for Russian feminist arts collective and punk rock band Pussy Riot, escaped from Russia after three years of house arrest for criticizing Putin. The group plans a 19-show European tour to raise money for Ukrainian war victims. Alyokhina took that step after Russia announced she would have to serve 21 days in a penal colony. She said that Russia, not Ukraine, needs de-Nazification.

April 22, 2022

Republicans’ Lies Catching Up with them

Thursday’s news will guarantee placement of the book This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future at the top of bestseller lists when it comes out on May 3. Authors Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin promise tapes to prove the contents of the book, and the first one came out today, showing the lies House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told about a telephone call to DDT following January 6, 2021.

McCarthy denied he ever made the call, but he is heard on the audio tape of the telephone call to say, “I’ve had it with this guy” and that DDT’s remarks before the attack were “not right by any shape or any form.” In a separate call on January 10, McCarthy told his colleagues he would recommend that DDT resign immediately. “What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it,” McCarthy said.

In a speech after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, McCarthy had called DDT’s actions “atrocious and totally wrong” in his acknowledgment that DDT “incit(ed] people” to attack the Capitol to block the Electoral College certification of the presidential win for Joe Biden. Before the end of January, McCarthy groveled to his leader and posed with DDT for a photo-op at Mar-a-Lago.

More dish in the book describes then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recommending action against Trump while privately talking with his colleagues. They concluded that impeachment would solve their problems. “The Democrats are going to take care of the son of a bitch for us” through impeachment, McConnell said and claimed that enough GOP senators would go with the Democrats. He even hinted that he would go along with them. “If this isn’t impeachable, I don’t know what is,” McConnell said.

Immediately after the insurrection, McConnell clearly blamed DDT for the violence when he said the insurrectionists “did this because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth—because he was angry he’d lost an election.” McConnell was lying about voting for the impeachment, and he delayed the impeachment process to make the trial finish after DDT left the White House. That gave Republicans the excuse to vote against conviction. Now McConnell maintains he’ll vote for DT if he runs in 2024.

In private, McCarthy and McConnell also talked about wanting to ban GOP lawmakers from Twitter in opposition to McCarthy’s public complaints about Republican congressional members being barred.

McCarthy has a history of lying about his statements after they have been leaked. A month before DDT was selected as the GOP presidential candidate in 2020, McCarthy, speaking with other GOP leaders, said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was paying DDT. The tape shows then House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-WI) shutting him down and swearing the Republicans to secrecy. A short time before McCarthy’s revelation, he and Ryan had met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladi­mir Groysman, who told them about Russia’s policy of paying populist politicians to undermine Eastern European democracies. When people laughed at McCarthy’s statement, he said, “Swear to God.” Ryan ordered, “No leaks… This is how we know we’re a real family here.” McCarthy first denied it happened but when faced with the tape said it was a joke.

After supporting DDT for keeping congressionally-approved weapons from going to Ukraine, McCarthy now blames Biden for not sending weapons to Ukraine early enough. Putin likely felt more comfortable for invading Ukraine as he works to put Republicans back into power, and McCarthy is helping him. In response to McCarthy’s complaints, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said:

“We sent a record amount of security assistance to Ukraine during President Biden’s first year in office—more than any other president in history. That’s in direct contrast with our predecessor who withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid from Ukraine, including Javelins, which Mr. McCarthy, who was critical of us in this moment, defended at the time as, quote, ‘the rightful thing to do’ because he claimed people believed there was corruption in the Zelensky administration. So, I don’t know if that’s a question for us as much as a question for him—what has changed in that period of time?”

Since Biden’s inauguration, the U.S. provided over $3.2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, including $2.6 billion since the start of the war. Another $800 million package was announced this week. Knowing the Russian threat, the U.S. military drew from its weapons stocks to supply Ukraine in the fall of 2021 and approved another $200 million in aid in December. McCarthy hopes blaming Biden will give the House a GOP majority in 2023 as well as getting him the position of House Speaker. Biden has been walking a fine line to provide aid to Ukraine with starting World War III.

Mike Lee also struggles with evidence of his lies. On January 6, 2021, after the insurrectionists were driven out of the U.S. Capitol, Lee declared to all the congressional members present that they shouldn’t question the votes presented by the electoral college. He said, “Our job is to open and then count — open, then count. That’s it.” Those comments were in contrast to the his texts for almost two months when he tried to overturn the election. He was part of the conspiracy to keep DDT in the White House. He claimed he refused the plot, but the texts show the great efforts he made to go around the constitution. All he wanted in the investigations was to “make this legitimate,” not to get any real evidence. In the days before January 6, Lee frantically called states to get alternative slates of electors for DDT, part of the conspiracy.

Lee is in so deep in trouble with the publication of his texts that he’s hiding from the media and refuses to answer any questions. This weekend is Utah’s GOP nominating convention where the state’s congressional members are expected to be present. As conservative Jennifer Rubin wrote:

“If Lee had acted ethically and in accordance with his oath, he should have no compunction about taking questions. Instead, the [Salt Lake City] Tribune reports, “Approached by a Salt Lake Tribune reporter at the Summit County Republican Party Convention in Kamas, Lee staffers blocked access to the senator.’ (Lee’s behavior is unacceptable, but so is that of aides, who are employed and paid by taxpayers. They are not Lee’s private security force.)”

Featuring another congressional liar, a court hearing in which Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) must defend her role of the insurrection on January 6 under oath in a hearing that begins tomorrow, April 22, at 6:30 EST. She allegedly helped plan and support the attack and argued for violence to keep DDT in the White House. The hearing will be broadcast on YouTube and Facebook.

The question is whether Greene should be removed from the ballot according to Article 3 of the constitution’s 14th Amendment:

“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

While on a lower court, Justice Neil Gorsuch agreed with the majority ruling to keep candidates off the ballot who fail to meet constitutional requirements. Originally written to keep former Confederate soldiers from taking power in the government after the Civil War, it was largely ignored until the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Greene called January 6 “our 1776 moment” and said:

“You can’t allow it to just transfer power ‘peacefully’ like Joe Biden wants and allow him to become our president because he did not win this election. He’s guilty of treason. It’s a crime punishable by death is what treason is. Nancy Pelosi is guilty of treason.”

In a meltdown, Greene said about the use of the constitution in the hearing:

“They are literally, ah, using, uh, uh, like a loophole in our, in our laws and they’re challenging my candidacy.”

The hearing doesn’t stop Greene’s re-election campaign, but it prevents a federal court from granting lawyers the ability to avoid a court hearing by asking Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to instead make a decision. A DDT-appointed judge had turned down citizens’ requests to have hearings on Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) on the grounds of the 1872 Amnesty Act to protect Confederates, but Judge Amy Totenberg ruled that the act did not apply to future insurrectionists. She explained that “shall have engaged” in Article 3 is the future perfect tense and the Amnesty Act uses only the past tense.

Even if Greene isn’t dropped from the ballot, the process means that candidates involved in the insurrection can be questioned under oath in open court. Those opposing the use of the 14th Amendment in disqualifying insurrectionists for candidacy claim that it’s wrong because it’s never been used before. Never before, have people physically attacked the U.S. Capitol to block a presidential election with some congressional members calling for violence.

April 11, 2022

Happenings from the Past Few Days – 4/11/22

During the past several weeks, the media had a lot to say about into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, Ginni Thomas, after the discovery of her texts with former chief of staff Mark Meadows for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) strategizing the overturn of Joe Biden’s legal win in the 2020 presidential election. These weren’t the only conflicts of interest from his wife’s involvement in corporate and far-right political activities—or Thomas’ personal activities. Conservatives claimed Ginni Thomas has First Amendment rights and that spouses could do anything they want, that her lobbying has nothing to do with Thomas’ decision on the court.

The latest story, however, concerns the justice himself; this photo shows him supporting Herschel Walker, DDT’s candidate for Georgia’s U.S. senator. Walker will likely use it for his campaign. Although personal ethics have kept justices out of political campaigning until now, the Supreme Court has no mandate for judicial ethics, unlike for every other judicial position in the U.S. Republicans accused Ketanji Brown Jackson, confirmed as the first Black female justice about her prejudice for affirmative action although no white person has been accused of bias.  decisions. She plans to recuse herself because of her relationship with Harvard, but Thomas will almost surely not recuse himself from any cases involving Walker’s election. [Visual – Thomas Walker]

In a harbinger of future GOP control, a woman was jailed for homocide in southeastern Texas for a “self-induced” abortion. The Texas vigilante law against abortion is civil, not criminal, and state law specifically exempts people from criminal homicide charges for having abortions. For now. The DA’s office got an indictment from a grand jury with a $500,000 bail, but the backlash against the DA’s action forced him to release her. The hospital staff reported her miscarriage after she told them she tried to induce her abortion.

Fed up with Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) rejection of democracy when he joined Republicans to block the right to vote, the “Coal Baron Blockade” gathered at the Grant Town Power plant. Police started arresting protesters where Manchin earns $500,000 a year from the use of coal waste from Enersystems, owned by Manchin’s son. Manchin also refused to vote for the Democratic Build Back Better Act because it promotes renewable sources and extends the Child Tax Credit, paid family leave, and other anti-poverty measures. West Virginia is the second poorest state in the U.S., up from the third poorest since Manchin went into leadership. In 2006, Manchin, then governor, oversaw the increase of electricity from Grant Town from $27.25 per megawatt to $34.25, giving West Virginians some of the highest electricity rate increases in the nation because of coal.  

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, paid almost $3 billion for 9.2 percent of Twitter’s private stock shares and went on its board. He planned to stop Twitter from blocking white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and Deposed Donald Trump (DDT). The company said that his appointment was “contingent on a background check and formal acceptance”; Musk said he won’t be joining the board. Musk no longer has the board restriction of owning no more than 14.9 percent of the shares and can now publicly share all his comments about Twitter. Over the weekend, Musk tweeted removing the “w” from Twitter and questioned whether Twitter is “dying” because some of its most-followed accounts don’t often tweet. He criticized Twitter for not permitting free speech.

Six months after DDT’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, left the White House, Saudi Arabia sank $2 billion into Kushner’s new private equity firm, Affinity Partners. The screening panel for investments opposed the loan based on its risk, but Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman mandated the loan within a few days. The money could be either payback for Kushner’s past favors while he was in the White House or hope for future ones if DDT wins another presidential term. Or both. Kushner led the defense of his good friend MBS after he approved the 2018 murder and dismemberment of U.S. journalist Jamal Khashoggi and orchestrated $110 billion in weapons sales to Saudi. In addition, Kushner had access to sensitive information after DDT overrode the denial of his security clearance from concern about his foreign connections. Kushner’s few investors are foreign. 

Kushner got twice as much—with more generous terms—than former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin for his new fund. Munchin also did favors for Saudi Arabians. He chaired a committee vetting merger deals with foreign companies and “shaped” the new fund to permit foreign government investments.

Two years ago, DDT’s inaugural committee was investigated for selling access to foreign governments, money that could be moved on to DDT. He made at least $200 million from foreign deals while he was in the White House and had 3,403 conflicts of interest during the time, according to the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). 

Saudis may be disappointed about DDT’s chance as a 2024 candidate. Although becoming president might keep him out of prison, he turns 78 several months before the election, and his health doesn’t look good. Recognizing that, at least nine leading Republicans have PACs collecting a war chest for possible presidential campaigns. Until candidates declare themselves, they don’t need to divulge any funding. Pence’s Advancing American Freedom spent $787,000 in the past year. Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-SC) group collected $650,000, far less than the $9.3 million gathered in 2020 by Nikki Haley’s Stand for America. One-third of that sum was spent on fundraising in 2021. Democrats with non-profit groups include Joe Biden, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, but they are more quiet than the GOP ones.

Texts to Meadows from DDT’s older son, Donald Trump Jr., two days after the 2020 election—before it was called for Biden—show he was a leader in trying to keep his father in the White House. Jr. asked Meadows to communicate his stragegies to “everyone that needs to see it.” His message:

 “It’s very simple … We have multiple paths[.] We control them all.”

Jr.’s texts laid out the same ones that DDT’s team pursued to spread lies about election fraud and pressure state and local officials: lawsuits in swing states (which were rejected) and “having a handful of Republican state houses put forward slates of fake ‘Trump electors.’” If those failed, Jr. wanted lawmakers to reject electoral results and vote in DDT. The texts may implicate DDT’s former trade adviser Peter Navarro as well as Meadows in corrupt obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the US.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), vice-chair of the House January 6 investigation committee, said it was “absolutely clear” that DDT and several people around him knew their actions were “unlawful” but “did it anyway.” She called it “a massive and well-organized and well-planned effort that used multiple tools to try to overturn an election.”

QAnon people have become fixated on sex-trafficking and education about racism but don’t mind kidnapping plots for elected officials—if they are Democrats. A Michigan jury acquitted two men charged with their plan to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer; the other two weren’t convicted because of a hung jury. State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky, a Democrat, said that one of the acquitted men had threatened to kill her. The defense attorney used the excuse of dirty FBI tactics and “rough talk.” Talk about killing the governor, blowing up a bridge, and other violence wasn’t shocking, according to the men’s attorney. At the time of the threats and plots, DDT had supported violence in Michigan, but the rationale for acquittal was the men’s weakness, that they were easily influenced.

Facing competition from Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) and DDT’s former VP Mike Pence for a platform, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) came out with—something. It wants continued immediate expulsion of noncitizens, even refugees, a talking point after Biden lifted the COVID excuse to not permit these people into the U.S.

As for the remainder of the platform, McConnell said it “will be focused on … crime, education, beefing up the defense of our country.” Missing from his “platform” are the economy (which is good), abortion (because anti-abortion is getting unpopular), taxes (which infuriated people after Scott’s desire for “skinning” poor people), and inflation (which McConnell can’t figure out a solutions).

In her article “Cancel Your Disney Vacation and Go to Dollywood Instead,” Joy Pullmann, managing editor of the conservative Federalist and research fellow at the Heartland Institute, gives the usual conservative damning comments about Disney because they objected to Florida’s “don’t say gay” law. Instead she advocates for Dolly Parton’s playground in Tennessee because Disney’s support for LGBTQ rights “works to undermine sexual wholeness. Pullmann also has a “fact-checking” column; she missed some of this information:

  • Dolly supports marriage equality.
  • Many in the LGBTQ community consider her a gay icon.
  • She advocated for trans people in the midst of North Carolina’s bathroom bill and called it bad legislation.
  • She frequently dedicates her hit “Jolene” to drag queens who dress like her at concerts.  
  • She contributed an Oscar-nominated hit song to Transamerica.

Thus far Pullmann doesn’t seem to have made any comments about the hilarity her article ensued.

April 7, 2022

Jackson Confirmed as Supreme Court Justice

While the media helps the right-wingers destroy President Joe Biden, jobless claims fell to 166,000 last week, the lowest level since 1968. Revised numbers from the previous week were down 31,000 to 171,000. Corrections in numbers attract much less attention than when the original total as crunched by a Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) appointee.

The best news for over half the United States on April 7, 2022 is the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson as a U.S. Supreme Court justice. The vote of 53-47 was comprised of 50 Democrats and three Republicans—Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Mitt Romney (UT). The media blared the announcement of “the first Black woman” on SCOTUS but largely ignored that her high levels of qualification and honor set her above all three of the GOP confirmed appointments by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT).

In his “not the real news” column, however, satirist Andy Borowitz wrote that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “warned” that the Senate has set a dangerous precedent, “the confirmation of a qualified nominee.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may be able to block any future “qualified” appointments. Asked if he would move a Biden nomination to the Senate floor if the GOP took over the chamber next year, McConnell refused to answer. He did state that DDT could commit no crime that would keep him from voting for DDT as president.

Most of the drama of in the Judicial Committee hearings and the floor discussions was missing during the vote. Remaining, however, was the passive-aggressive behavior of Republicans. Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) stayed in the closet, appearing only in the doorway to make a thumbs down motion. He was joined in the cloak room by Sen. Jim Hohofe (OK) and much later by Sen. Rand Paul (KY) who held up the vote 25 minutes while he supposedly guided a tour throughout the building. All three of them kept off their ties so that they couldn’t go into the actual Senate chamber.

After the vote, all the remaining Republicans in the chamber walked out, leaving Democrats, reporters, and lone GOP senator, Mitt Romney (UT) standing and clapping in an ovation. They were joined several cheering House members. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) then closed the session for “lack of a quorum.” The senators then all left for a two-week hiatus from Washington, some in exultation and others to sulk.

No justice has been approved for almost 12 years since President Obama appointed Elena Kagan. McConnell blocked Obama’s 2016 appointment, Merrick Garland, for almost a year until DDT was elected.

Most Republicans refusing to vote for her cited her “judicial philosophy” of activism and her sentencing in favor of pedophilia. Some congressional members even used the word “pedophile” for those from both parties who voted to confirm. Objectors were particularly offended by Jackson’s position as a public defender 15 years ago for two and a half years, insinuating that this, alone, shapes her position on all decisions. Marshall, replaced by Clarence Thomas 30 years ago, was the last justice with extensive criminal defense experience. Jackson clerked for a federal judge for two years and was a federal judge for eight years before moving to a circuit court for another year.

In an article for the conservative National Review, conservative author Charles Cooke lambasted Cruz’s declaration that he could never vote for a public defender.

“If we are to have a legal system that allows people, institutions, and governments to defend themselves against charges of illegal conduct—and we should have that system—then we are going to have lawyers who defend their clients to the best of their ability. It doesn’t matter whether the defendant is popular, whether the institution is sympathetic, or whether the law is a good one—none of that is the point. The point is that an adversarial legal system requires advocates who will relentlessly press their case, and, in so doing, force the other side to prove its brief to a high standard.

 “There is nothing wrong with people who are willing to become solicitor generals and defend laws they dislike, or with people willing to become corporate lawyers and defend companies they disdain, or with people who are willing to become public defenders and defend clients they suspect are guilty—and to suggest otherwise betrays an unthinking and opportunistic illiberalism.”

As Texas solicitor general, Cruz defended a Texas law prohibiting sex toys although he thought the law was “stupid.” He said he was doing his job, but he thought Jackson was wrong to do her own job. Cooke pointed out Cruz’s hypocrisy:

“For some reason, Ted Cruz seems to believe that the very act of becoming a public defender indelibly marks a person as being intrinsically favorable toward accused criminals, but that Ted Cruz’s having chosen to be a lawyer for the government for half a decade did not indelibly mark him as a statist. Funny, that.”

Republicans’ objection to Jackson’s sentence record for possession of child pornography is a pack of lies. Her record is shared by 70 percent of federal judges, several of them confirmed by the current screaming senators. Her signature on a 2012 report about sentences being too harsh was one of every member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, including a federal judge approved by the same vicious Republicans. One of the loudest senators against her, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), voted against her without objection although her record has not changed since then.

Accompanying the lies was a huge load of hypocrisy. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) called Jackson a threat to children, but he was “soft on crime” while prosecuting sex crimes as Missouri’s AG from 2017 to 2019. In one case, a county sheriff admitted to sexually abusing a woman. The sentence called for two years in prison, but Hawley released the sheriff, who had a “violent” history with the victim, on probation with no trial. While on probation, the sheriff illegally used a firearm and failed to complete his sex offender counseling. A member of Hawley’s Human Trafficking Task Force said he leveraged publicity with a focus on offenders rather than protecting survivors. Hawley also rejected a lawyer’s request for an investigation of sexual abuse by priests.  National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy said Hawley’s arguments during the hearings are “meritless to the point of demagoguery.”

Republicans support DDT, a friend of sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein, and they refused to convict him for crimes during both impeachment trials. They stayed quiet after the discovery that former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) sexually abused boys when he was a coach. Republicans supported pedophile Roy Moore in his campaign for senator from Alabama. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) suffered no repercussions from colleagues about concealing his athlete’s sexual abuse when he coached wrestling. Florida’s GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz faces no Republican rejection, despite evidence of his sex-trafficking. The state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, delayed releasing records connected to former state official Halsey Beshears, part of the federal probe into sex trafficking.

Republicans run candidates accused of domestic abuse like Sean Parnell (Pennsylvania) and Eric Greitens (Missouri). Facing alleged child and spousal abuse, Parnell dropped out, but Greitens returned to run for Senate after he resigned from governor. He allegedly forced a woman “to perform oral sex, undressing, kissing and touching her without her consent, and threatening to release a nude photo of her if she told anyone about their encounter.” Now his ex-wife reported having photos and other evidence proving how Greitens physically abused both her and their children.  In Georgia, DDT’s presumptive GOP Senate nominee, Hershel Walker, admitted to his violent behavior toward his ex-wife.

Republicans’ seeming concern for protecting children is relatively new.  During confirmation hearings for Justice Samuel Alito, only then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL) brought up Alito’s support for an illegal strip search of a ten-year-old girl by police officers during a drug raid and his statement that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply to minors during a Supreme Court confirmation hearing. Sessions defended Alito and downplayed any trauma from the strip search.

DDT federal judge Trevor McFadden found a January 6 insurrectionist “innocent” with the excuse that police invited him into the Capitol while others were breaking windows and vandalizing the place. The acquitted man had watched McFadden’s earlier trials to see what he should say to get off. Then the McFadden gave a Texas woman her gun back while she was on probation for illegally entering the Capitol on January 6, 2021. He cited the Second Amendment as her right to defend herself. The woman’s Facebook page showed her attacking the police and claiming she was “proud” of her actions, planning to being “proud everything that I’m a part of at the next one.” Last year, the judge permitted her to take a trip out of the country just weeks after the insurrection.

Never mind Jackson’s impeccable qualifications for Supreme Court Justice, that she doesn’t let her religion guide her decisions as Amy Coney Barrett said she would, and has never been accused of any sexual abuse as Brett Kavanaugh credibly was. Or that she’s in no danger of benefitting both politically and financially from decisions like Clarence Thomas and his wife Ginni. To the Republicans, she isn’t a conservative activist justice.

I’ll have more to say about the GOP treatment of Jackson, but for tonight, we’ll rejoice.

April 3, 2022

GOP Plans, Revenge; Cawthorn Sliding to Bottom

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) consistently refuses to indicate any plans if Republicans control Congress after the 2022 midterms, but his party members, eager for attention, keep going against his wishes. One of these approaches from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is investigating anything that Democrats have done whether it’s illegal or not. Dr. Anthony Fauci is at the top of Paul’s list; he said, “We’ll go after everyone one of his records … piece-by-piece.”

The GOP political game will certainly conduct non-stop probes into President Joe Biden, the southern border, the withdrawal of Afghanistan leaving little time for any legislation. (Maybe a bonus.) If re-elected, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) plans a thorough examination of Hunter Biden’s travels and activities. Other plans for GOP revenge include subpoenas for top Democrats, removal of them from committee assignments, elimination of big tech for cooperating with the committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. Refusal to seat any of Biden’s judges. Impeachment of Biden “whether it’s justified or not,” according to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

Part of the “revenge caucus,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) promised a “day of reckoning.” He will not only reinstate Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) but also take Democrats from their committees even if they didn’t commit the wrongs of Gosar and Greene. In an interview with Breitbart, McCarthy singled out Democratic representatives Ilhan Omar (MN), Adam Schiff (CA), and Eric Swalwell (CA). Last September, he told telecommunications and tech companies they would be “subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States” if they shared records with the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.

After the House’s referral of DDT’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows for criminal contempt, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) said:  

“Let the contempt resolutions and criminal referrals flow [as] freely and quickly as a river. Merrick Garland. Ron Klain. Hunter Biden. Chuck Dolan. Marc Elias. Andrew Weissmann. Alejandro Mayorkas. Let them come. This is the choice that is being made by the Democrats.”

Instead of attacking individuals, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) produced an elaborate 31-page plan he for a GOP platform, creating dissention with McConnell. Most of the media about the plan focuses on its tax increases for people in poverty so that they will have, wrote Scott, “skin in the game.” Scott continually denies about raising taxes, but it’s in black and white

Scott’s radical far-right demands have now been joined by one from presidential wannabe Mike Pence, DDT’s former VP in his “Freedom Agenda.” The 19-page policy platform contains three general categories with two dozen major points and a multitude of smaller points, all of them geared toward those opposed to “woke” or “wrong-think,” Pence’s language.

The section on election reform requires mandatory voter identification, “rare” and “very limited” mail-in ballots, and a ban on in-person voting earlier than ten days before the election. Other policies are school choice, controlling Big Tech, confronting China, protecting religious freedom, strengthening Israeli relationships, and ending federal funding for abortion “once and for all.” A “culture war” issue calls on GOP candidates and conservative leaders to “preserve and protect female athletic competition” by limiting sports events to athletes “who share their God-given gender.” He also wants new testing requirements for knowledge of America’s founding documents.

The “agenda” is filled with God references, beginning with a verse from Proverbs. The first item begins with “Honor the God-given worth and dignity of all people”—unless, of course, the religious disagree with how people see their “dignity.” The section, “Promote Patriotic Education,” bans the non-existent teaching of “critical race theory” and any affirmative action while encouraging parents to “monitor schools.” Yet it would “shield professionals from being fired for wrong-think” without defining “wrong-think.” No “politically favored energy sources” and no favoring energy technology with “resources from foreign countries, like minerals … to make the batteries for electric cars.” And the old DDT plan: “Eliminate at least two regulations for every new federal regulation.”

Pence is obviously running for president. He’s lying about President Joe Biden’s budget and tackled Scott by saying he doesn’t want to “increase the tax burden on the American people.” Unfortunately, Pence can’t run far enough to separate himself from DDT; he enabled the man in the Oval Office all the way, starting out with lying for DDT before Pence took his office.

At the last minute, Pence acted legally when he facilitated the counting of the electoral college votes, but a December 8, 2020 memo shows he was considering the idea of moving electoral votes in DDT’s direction. A month before the insurrection, Pence asked his counsel how much power he had in certifying the votes. Greg Jacob responded with historical legal issues, including constitutional debates about whether the 1887 law is constitutional. Jacob cited the law’s constitutionality as “muddy” and gave examples of vice presidents who could be models for Pence resolving disputes. One example Jacob gave was then-VP Richard Nixon possibly violating the Electoral Count Act when he resolved the Hawaii electors dispute in 1961. Nixon’s actions were actually in accord with the law. By January 5, 2021, however, Jacob opposed the position from DDT and John Eastman that Pence could put DDT back into the White House with his action at the electoral college voting.

A few months ago, the media was filled with articles about Republicans taking the Congress this year despite the antics of conspiracy theorists such as Greene and DDT’s endorsed candidates. The game may be changing. One big story that won’t go away features Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s claim of his invitation to orgies and where “people leading on the movement to try and remove addiction in our country … do a key bump of cocaine right in front of you.” It’s pretty sure these “people” are not Democrats because none of them wants to speak to him.

Until this story broke, McCarthy tolerated everything—even Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) with alleged sex-trafficking—except for two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinsinger (R-IL), trying to protect democracy in the United States. In a meeting, McCarthy told Cawthorn he “lost my trust” and “laid out everything I find is unbecoming,” not because of Cawthorn’s original claim but his excuse that his statements were exaggerated and incorrect.

About McCarthy’s scolding of Cawthorn, Charlie Sykes wrote:

“It wasn’t the tree-punching, his racist website, the lying about his accident and his admission to the Naval Academy; it wasn’t his incitement of the January 6 Insurrection, the allegations of sexual misconduct, his threats of violence, or his accusation that Volodymir Zelensky was a “thug.”

Apparently none of that was enough to shake McCarthy’s trust in the flamboyantly reprehensible young congressman. But now, the GOP House Leader is shocked, shocked to discover that Madison Cawthorn is a liar, a crackpot, an all-around deplorable human being.  And all it took was a few allegations about orgies and “key bumps” of cocaine…”

Sykes skipped over Cawthorn’s arrest for driving with a revoked license after two citations for speeding. And a few other lies

McCarthy’s “discussion” didn’t seem to have much effect. Cawthorn promises to keep on talking about the situation, a boon for Democrats, and blames Democrats for his problems. After McCarthy’s criticism, Cawthorn tweeted his 30-second ad showing DDT and calling himself “effective.” With the photo is DDT’s quote, “He has my complete and total endorsement.” Now Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), chair of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, wants the names of people at the parties.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) is supporting Cawthorn’s opponent in the GOP primary on May 17, 2022, saying that Cawthorn “hasn’t demonstrated much in the way of results over the last 18 months.” Other congressional members have made stronger statements. Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) said that Republicans are “flat pissed off,” and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) called Cawthorn an “embarrassment.” Meanwhile, late night hosts are milking Cawthorn’s claims for all they can.

As upset as McCarthy is with Cawthorn, however, he is still far more furious with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) for protecting democracy in the U.S. instead of the GOP.

Cawthorn already alienated Republicans in his home state because of his flip-flops about which district he chooses. He decided to move to a district hundreds of miles from where he lives to get more visibility from the Charlotte media market in a more populated areas. The North Carolina supreme court ordered the maps changed, and his newly chosen district had too many Democratic voters. He went back to his original district, where he’s running in the primary against a women he endorsed while he was gone. His sketchy expenditures, such as $1,700 to a taxidermist, have eaten up most of his campaign chest, and two of North Carolina’s most influential newspapers have criticized Cawthorn. A columnist in a newspaper within Cawthorn’s district wrote:  

“He’s a juvenile, ill-informed, belligerent man who spews untrue conspiracy theories, encourages mothers to raise ‘monsters,’ inspired the January 6 rioters on to their insurrection and barely bothers to pretend to represent his district.”

May the Republicans continue their stupidity.

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