Nel's New Day

August 2, 2022

Veterans, Pro-choice Win; Pelosi, Biden Take Heat; ERIC Wins in Missouri

Facing tremendous backlash, Republicans in the Senate caved to vote for legislation expanding healthcare for veterans fighting diseases related to toxic exposure, including from burn pits that burned hazardous materials. After blocking the PACT Act with 42 votes last week, senators voted 86-11 for the bill with the support of 49 Democrats and 37 Republicans. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) missed the vote because of a recent hip-replacement.

Over 3.5 million veterans will benefit from easier access to health and disability benefits. An amendment by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) failed 7-90 that would have eliminated all funding except to Israel for the U.S. Agency for International Development during the next 10 years. Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s (R-TN) amendment would have privatized VA health services for these veterans through private practice, but Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) disagreed with her argument that the VA lacks the resources. Her amendment fell short of the 60-vote filibuster by 48-47.

The 11 Republicans against expanded health care for veterans also voted “no” on the bill in June: Mike Crapo (ID), James Lankford (OK), Mike Lee (UT), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Rand Paul (KY), James Risch (ID), Mitt Romney (UT), Richard Shelby (AL), Thom Tillis (NC), Pat Toomey (PA), and Tommy Tuberville (AL). Paul spoke objected to the PACT Act because too many veterans would receive care; he wanted stricter guidelines. Blackburn said she voted against the bill to retaliate against Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Democrats running for election. Her odd opposition was to “make certain that [veterans] have access to the care that they need,” which is what the bill does. In Tennessee, 7.4 percent of veterans live in poverty, and the unemployment rate is 4.7 percent. The state ranks among the top ten with the least access to healthcare; 11.4 percent of residents lack health insurance.

Kansas held the first election about reproductive rights after the Supreme Court eliminated reproductive rights in Roe v. Wade and overwhelmingly rejected legislative suppression of abortion by 58.8 to 41.2 percent with 95 percent of the votes in. This vote to protect reproductive rights came despite confusion in the text of the initiative: voting “yes” on the ballot issue meant the state legislature could take away abortion rights; voting “no” will protect women under the Kansas constitution that permits abortions through the 22nd week of pregnancy.

To make things worse, text messages sent to voters lied about the effect of voting yes, legal in Kansas that does not prevent disinformation in political messages for constitutional ballot measures. Texts were created by a PAC led by Tim Huelskamp, hard-line former GOP congressman from Kansas, and sent from phone numbers leased from Alliance Forge in Sparks (NV) by Twilo, a San Francisco-based communications company. Huelskamp’s PAC sent the message with no reference to himself or Alliance Forge.

Legislators may also have tried to suppress the vote by putting it on the primary, hoping for a lack of turnout, perhaps 36 percent of voters participating. Instead about 50 percent of the people turned out with returned advance mail ballots 46 percent GOP, 39 percent Democrat, and 15 percent unaffiliated. Republicans outnumber Republicans outnumber Democrats 2-1 in the state. 

The vote was created as a special election at the same time as primaries in which only party-affiliated votes can participate. Legislators may have hoped that unaffiliated voters—29 percent of the electorate—may not have known they could vote on the issue, and lawmakers passed tighter restrictions to create difficulties for registering new voters.

Since the announcement of erasing Roe, over a dozen GOP-led states moved to ban or further restrict abortion. Kansas legislators claim that a new amendment won’t mean a total ban on abortion, but they previously said they are ready for an all-out ban in the January legislative session. Amendment 2, as the initiative is known, does not ban abortion, but it allows the highly conservative legislature to do so.

Anti-abortion activists complained that Kansas had 13 percent more abortions over the past two years, but much of the increase came from closures of clinics in Oklahoma and Texas. The past year saw a 60 percent increase of out-of-state patients in Trust Women, a Wichita abortion clinic during the past year.

In non-election news, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) went to Taiwan and met with President Tsai Ing-wen and other lawmakers despite GOP anger that she didn’t follow China’s directions to not go the country that the Chinese won’t recognize. China’s opposition comes from its Communist Party ideology, objecting to support for pro-independence groups and refusing to see Taiwan as a sovereign nation. Pelosi is the first House Speaker to go to Taiwan since Newt Gingrinch (R-GA) went there in 1997.

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) was the first U.S. president to talk to the Taiwanese president since 1979, the year that the U.S. established relations with China, when he talked with Tsai on December 2, 2016, soon after his election. At that time, Republicans were highly supportive of relations with Taiwan. Reince Priebus, DDT’s chief of staff, visited Taiwan in 2011 and 2015 with a GOP delegation, and Taiwan Foreign Minister David Lee called Priebus a friend of Taiwan. Longtime former president of the Heritage Foundation, Edward J. Feulner, had extensive ties with Taiwan. The RNC platform in July 2016 reaffirmed support for Ronald Reagan’s 1982 six key assurances to Taiwan.

During her visit, Pelosi will meet with the chair of Taiwan’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), to discuss the new U.S. law, CHIPS and Science Act, which provides $52 billion of subsidies for U.S. chip factories. TSMC is building a chip factory in Arizona with potential plans for additional factories at the same site.

President Joe Biden orchestrated the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Republicans either criticize him or describe it as a nothing-burger.

Fox’s Tucker Carlson led the crowd by saying, “Feel safer? Of course you don’t.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) claimed Biden’s departure from Afghanistan caused the “possible re-emergence of Al Qaeda.” McCarthy wants a briefing about terrorist threats to America, probably foreign ones and not the serious problems of domestic terrorism.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said, “Joe’s victory is ridiculous”—after she left the Saudi Arabian LIV golf tour at DDT’s resort in Bedminster (NJ). As with all Biden’s accomplishments, she calls it a distraction from the rising inflation rate.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) blamed Biden for making Afghanistan a “safe haven” for terrorism by withdrawing troops and lambasted him for “a proxy war with Russia that’s just killing more people.” Graham claimed no one was worried about an al Qaeda-attack because of the “Democrats big tax hike coming soon”—meaning the one on businesses making over $1 billion.

Except for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) who posted this on his website:

“This is an important accomplishment. All Americans will breathe easier today knowing Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al-Qaeda, has been eliminated. This strike should be a message to terrorists near and far: if you conspire to kill Americans, we will find and kill you.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) called Fox host Harris Faulkner a liar when she claimed that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will tax people making under $400,000 a year, something Biden said he wouldn’t do. After repeating telling Faulkner she was wrong with her accusation, Manchin pointed out savings of $288 billion for Medicare and from lower gas prices. Faulkner lost her cool when Manchin asked her, “Are you scared that we’re going to do something good that will help our country?” 

August 2 saw primaries in five states on August 2: Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington. Tennessee primaries are on Thursday, August 4. Most results won’t be in until tomorrow—or even several more days—because of the lag in counting votes and waiting for mail-in ballots. Tennessee primaries are on Thursday, August 4.

DDT did win one of his endorsements, ERIC, his pick for the Missouri GOP candidate for the U.S. senate. DDT gave no last name for his endorsement, hedging his bets between Eric Schmitt and Eric Greitens for U.S. Senate. In fact, a third ERIC ran for U.S. Senator, comedian Eric McElroy who had no visible campaign.

The winner, Eric Schmitt, might be slightly better than Eric Greitens who resigned from the state’s governor’s seat after accusations of his violence against a mistress and was recently charged by his ex-wife of domestic abuse against herself and their young son. Greitens said enemies recognize “our campaign is a threat to business as usual,” but Schmitt got at least twice as many votes as he did. The state’s GOP U.S. senator Josh Hawley, master of masculinity who ran away on January 6, backed the second in the race, Rep. Vicky Hartzler, who was condemned by DDT. Schmitt runs against Trudy Busch Valentine, an heir to the Anheuser-Busch fortune.

Schmitt used his position as attorney general in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election by filing an amicus brief to AG Ken Paxton’s (R-TX) lawsuit before the Supreme Court to eliminate legal electoral voters. Head of the only agency opposing the release of an innocent man, Schmitt twice delayed hearings to release Kevin Strickland, imprisoned for 42 years. The state gave Strickland no money for 42-year imprisonment, but donors collected $1.6 million for him.

More about the primaries tomorrow!

May 7, 2022

New This Week outside the Anti-Abortion Draft Leak

Washington Post has a piece today called “what happened this week besides Roe v. Wade.” My thought exactly, because Republicans want you to skip over all the other news. Here are some of the other happenings.

Former federal official in a variety of capacities while he was sycophant for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) Mike Pompeo held a press conference and expressed national security concerns regarding “Dr. Oz,” DDT’s pick for the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate seat. Mehmet Oz, a Turkish citizenship, has “close ties to the Turkish government and military,” according to Pompeo. Oz also voted in the 2018 Turkish election. Supporting the hedge fund billionaire opposing Oz for the GOP candidate in the general election, Pompeo stated that if Oz were elected, he would have much less scrutiny for a security clearance as a senator than a civilian applying for a clearance. DDT had a Friday evening rally in Pennsylvania for Oz.

DDT went to Pennsylvania for Friday evening rally to tout Oz, and it did not go well for DDT’s endorsement. In the pouring rain, the MAGA crowd consistently booed DDT’s choice for U.S. senator and groaned when DDT’s stumping began, groans building when DDT begged them to “secure a massive victory” for Oz. Jeers from the audience greeted Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) who tried to persuade them to pick Oz. They weren’t even impressed with DDT’s reason for picking Oz, that he was “in the bedrooms” of women across America. DDT called Oz’s opponent, David McCormick, a “liberal Wall Street Republican,” who had been appointed to Under Secretary of the U.S. Treasury for International Affairs by George W. Bush in 2007. McCormick spent over $6 million on his campaign, twice that of Oz.

Going beyond endorsing his own candidates, DDT is making robocalls for them.  In incoherent rambling, he pushed the election of Rep. Jody Hice in Georgia’s GOP Secretary of State primary. The rambling 1.5 minute schtick immediately with his talking about himself before repeating “stolen” election conspiracies and lambasting Hice’s opponent, incumbent Brad Raffensperger—the guy who wouldn’t hand over almost 11,000 to DDT. A new falsehood he espoused was accusing Raffensperger of “perhaps in collusion with Stacey Abrams, I don’t know if that’s possible, but perhaps.”

President Joe Biden received good economic news today with an additional 428,000 jobs in April after his first shrinking economy during the first 2022 quarter since he was inaugurated. Expectations were much higher than the predicted 400,000 jobs, and unemployment stayed at 3.6 percent. Economists’ reasons were supply chain issues and business purchases of less inventory. This number sets a record 12 straight monthly gains above 400,000 for the first time since statistics started in 1939. In four months of 2022, the economy created over two million jobs, almost one-third the number of DDT’s first three years before the pandemic. The U.S. economy has gained back about 95 percent of its pandemic job losses.

More leaked tapes immediately after January 6, 2021 from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) recorded him saying that the 25th Amendment, a constitutional way to remove a president from office by the vice president and cabinet, “takes too long.” A majority would have to agree DDT was unfit for office.

The war in Ukraine caused by Russia’s invasion is dragging on much longer than expected with greater involvement from Western nations. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), three steps from the presidency, became the highest ranking U.S. official to meet in Ukraine with its president Volodymyr Zelensky. First lady Dr. Jill Biden is currently in Romania.

Business owners need more workers so Biden is extending the time that immigrant workers can stay in the U.S. Work permits, usually for two years before the renewal requirement, can use the existing permits for almost 18 months after expiration.

Uncomfortable with the attempt to defend Samuel Alito’s leaked decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Republicans are concentrating on damning LGBTQ people. Sen. Roger Marshall’s (R-KS) letter to the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board has been signed by four other GOP senators—Mike Braun (IN), Kevin Cramer (ND), Steve Daines (MT), and Mike Lee (UT). The letter demands that all programming with LGBTQ characters be labeled with “sexually-related content” for “mature” audiences only. The letter describes the use of these characters as “modeling behavior,” a term also used for “grooming.” There was no indication whether the demand extends to new programs. 

Rep. Jeff Van Drew introduced a bill requiring written consent from over 50 percent of parents at least 30 days prior to any discussions of LGBTQ people in schools. My Child, My Choice Act (MCMCA) claims schools are “compromising the safety of our young children.” Any school violating the act would lose federal funding, the only control the federal government has over education. States determine whether to provide an education or not and, if deciding to provide one, determine at what level of quality. The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees every citizen equal protection under the law.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has a new case for the Supreme Court: overturning the 40-year-old decision requiring states to pay for children’s public education, regardless of citizenship status. Plyler v. Doe (1982) struck down a Texas law refusing to educate some children based on their immigration status. Abbott claims that the state cannot afford to educated undocumented children. In Texas, each student costs $6,160, less than half of the national average in 2018 of $12,600. Last month, Abbott spent $9 billion in ten days to make an anti-immigration statement by blocking traffic at the southern border. He isn’t finished with the expenditure; he took another $500,000 from state Health and Human Services Commission and the Department of Public Safety to continue funding his “inspection” program. The 1982 decision was based on the 14th Amendment equal protection grounds. Abbott demands the federal government, but Texas already receives $1.20 per person from the government for each $1 the person pays.

Abbott’s stunt on the southern border is already making him a loser. Mexico’s trade railway from Mazatlán to Winnipeg, with a connection in Texas, will be rerouted through New Mexico losing international trade for Texas. The ten-day inspection showed up with zero migrants or drugs, but Abbott is having another search because he didn’t like critical remarks from Mexico’s president after massive commercial delays. Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard called Abbott’s policy extortion.

Texas leads in many ways, one is persecuting trans youth. Abbott requires that parents who permit their children to be transgender should be investigated by Children’s Services with possible child abuse. With over 300 anti-trans bills introduced in 28 states already in 2022, at least eight states passed laws blocking sports for trans youth and other laws charging doctors with felonies if they providing health care for trans youth. In other states, governors are issuing anti-trans policies. Legislation also attacks trans adults, targeting birth certificates, other legal identifying documents, and more rights.

In 19 states, Democratic legislators are trying to offer safe legal refuge for displaced trans youth and families forced from their homes because of the conservative legislation. A bill introduced in March would make California a refuge state, and Democrats are hoping to follow in West Virginia, Washington, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Michigan, Kentucky, Maine, Kansas, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, Colorado, and Connecticut.

Starting in 2017, more people ages one to 24 have been killed with guns than in car crashes, reversing the decades-long cause of death. Between 2000 and 2020, the rate of firearm-related deaths in this age group increased from 7.3 per 100,000 people to 10.28 per 100,000 while deaths from car crashes decreased from 13.62 to 8.31 per 100,000. The difference comes from the work to prevent deaths in car crashes compared to federal inability to regulate firearms safety, deaths’ tracking, and the interpretation of a government law—the Dickey Amendment—discouraging CDC funding for research in preventing gun injuries until 2018. Federal gun laws allows gun purchases without background checks and shields gunmakers from negligence claims, including when guns fall into the hands of children with deadly results.

Sarah Palin, running for the sole U.S. House position in Alaska against 50 opponents, may know something about her bad chances of winning that others don’t: she’s already claiming voter fraud happened in the election that hasn’t occurred, the one on June 11. For those who haven’t kept up with Palin, she lost the 2008 election when former Arizona Sen. John McCain picked her as his Republican running mate. Less than a year after she lost that election she resigned as Alaska’s governor. Maybe she noticed last October that 56 percent Alaskans view her negatively. Locals say she doesn’t spend any time in the state. Palin told Fox News’ Mark Lewin that she will lose because of mail-in ballots and the Dominion Voting Services tabulation.

Much has been said about GOP candidates, but this one hits a new low—hopefully! In Boone County (IN), Andrew Wilhoite, in jail awaiting his trial for killing his wife, has secured his position on November’s ballot for the Clinton Township Board. Three Republicans ran for three primary seats, and Wilhoite got 60 votes. His wife, who recently completed chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer, filed for divorce because Wilhoite had an affair. Her body was found in a creek near their home, and Wilhoite said he hit her with a flowerpot. His trial begins in August. At least, felony convictions prevent people from candidacy and holding office.

And lots more news other than the anti-abortion ruling leak. Maybe tomorrow?

September 15, 2021

Judicial Partisan Hacks, Gavin Newsom’s Win, ‘Peril’

Yesterday, I finished my blog post with a column from Eugene Robinson about the claim from Justice Amy Coney Barrett that the Supreme Court justices are not “partisan hacks.” (Note that she appeared with Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) at the White House as soon as she was confirmed.) Former conservative Republican Jennifer Rubin has more to say about Barrett’s protests. As Rubin wrote: 

“The declaration [that ‘this court is not composed of a bunch of partisan hacks’] might be a tad more credible if she had not chosen to appear in an overtly political setting. University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck tells me: ‘I’m hard-pressed to imagine a worse place to give a speech about the court not being partisan than . . . at an event in which she was introduced by Senator [Mitch] McConnell. It’s either remarkably tone-deaf or it’s deliberate. Neither is encouraging.’”

Rubin explains Barrett was selected by “a president who pledged to see Roe v. Wade overturned, and was picked from a list of judges vetted by antiabortion advocates.” She gave evidence of Barrett’s “extreme antiabortion advocacy” during confirmation hearings, and her defense of “judicial philosophies” doesn’t hold water if it is consistently favorable to the extremists in a specific political party. In defending the far-right decisions of her court in the dark of night, Barrett ‘fails to grapple with the fact that the court’s decision-making has skewed sharply to the right based solely on a change in personnel, as evidenced by the profoundly flawed decision issued last term gutting a key provision of the Voting Rights Act,’ according to constitutional scholar Joshua Matz.

As Rubin points out, conservative justices “tutored in Federalist Society buzzwords such as ‘judicial restraint’ (except for example, when rewriting the Voting Rights Act) … have latched onto a brand of jurisprudence in which the only ‘legitimate’ method of interpretation is time-traveling to the 18th century, often neatly bypassing the post-Civil War amendments that federalized rights.” They have elevated rights such as religions freedom and gun ownership while “diminishing others (e.g., those guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.” Rubin compares the accordion-like expansion of executive power for GOP presidents and contractions for Democratic presidents. I think that fits the description of “partisan hacks.”

Approval for the Supreme Court has dropped to an all-time low at 37 percent, dropping from 52 percent a year ago before she joined the court. Fifty percent expressed disapproval, up from 37 percent a year ago.

While recently confirmed justices move the U.S. to the far-right, California confirmed its state’s democracy in yesterday’s recall election for Gov. Gavin Newsom that cost taxpayers over $300 million. With 74 percent of the vote counted, Newsom beat the recall by almost 64 percent—two percent higher than when he won his position in 2018. QAnon conspiracy theorist and major opponent Larry Elder, the Trumpiest of 46 candidates, would have removed mask and vaccine mandates, minimum wage, and abortion access, according to his campaigning which was also marked by racism and sexism.

With polling highly favorable for Newsom before Election Day, Republicans, Elder, and DDT began their evidence-free hue and cry about a rigged election. Reality had no part in their claims: in California, the GOP has 24 percent of registered voters, about half the 46.5 percent of registered Democrats. And the question is how many Republicans would have turned out on Election Day if they believe the system is rigged.   

Transgender candidate Caitlyn Jenner added to the lack of reality among Republicans. With one percent of the total, about 56,000 votes, she snarked, “You kind of get the government you deserve.” In California, that’s right. During her campaign, Jenner complained about seeing homeless people on her way to her private airplane hangar, lied about not voting last year, insulted other trans people and opposed trans rights, didn’t show up to some media appearances, and flew to Australia to appear in a reality show.

Senior editor at the LA Times, David Lauter, ran his piece with the title “Trump Still Wins Elections—for Democrats.” Other governor candidates are using the same anti-DDT techniques as Newsom, Terry McAuliffe opposing wealthy private-equity executive Glenn Youngkin in Virginia and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy opposing businessman and former state lawmaker Jack Ciatarelli. Although 63 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents want DDT to lead the party, only 49 percent think he should be a presidential candidate in 2024. Supporting DDT means losing centrist voters, and criticizing DDT means losing his base.

Vaccination may be the prime issue this coming year: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is lying about vaccines changing human RNA, and DDT himself was booed for suggesting people getting vaccinated, important to keep GOP voters alive. The number of daily deaths is dropping to a daily average of 1,000 in the U.S., but the vast majority of deaths are in the unvaccinated, a majority of them Republicans.

A new book from Robert Costa and Bob Woodward, Peril,  may be part of disillusioning more unaffiliated voters about DDT. One huge story from the two authors is about Joint Chiefs of Staff chair Mark Milley, who was so concerned about DDT’s stability after the loss of the presidential election that Milley called his counterpart in China Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, to tell him the US. would not strike and worked to protect the military from DDT’s unpredictable actions. Questions about that report may appear during Milley’s hearing before the Senate Armed Forces Committee on September 28.

Philip Bump described the problem about DDT’s exerting every power he could find to fight the terror of being viewed as a loser. Part of DDT’s self-perceived power was trying to convince VP Mike Pence that he could stop the electoral vote counting to overturn the voters’ will. DDT told Pence if he didn’t follow this request, “I don’t want to be your friend anymore.” Pence even called former VP Dan Quayle to find out how he could follow DDT’s orders, but Quayle told him he couldn’t do it. To think that Quayle, often known as a joke, saved democracy!

Failing to bully Pence, DDT became “all but manic, screaming at officials and constructing his own alternate reality about endless election conspiracies,” according to the book’s account. Milley told senior military officials not to take orders from anyone unless he was involved. 

Based on over 200 interviews with participants and witnesses for DDT’s last days in the White House, Peril includes a transcript of a telephone call between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Milley about the possible danger of nuclear war because DDT controlled the weapons. About DDT, Pelosi said, “He’s been crazy for a long time.” Milley told Pelosi he agreed with her “on everything.” That’s when Milley told his top service chiefs to watch everything “all the time.” Addressing the problem of Milley possibly overstepping his authority, the authors wrote:

“Milley was overseeing the mobilization of America’s national security state without the knowledge of the American people or the rest of the world … and believed his actions were ‘a good faith precaution to ensure there was no historic rupture in the international order, no accidental war with China or others, and no use of nuclear weapons.’”

Milley had good reason for his fear. Immediately after the 2020 election, DDT secretly drew up a memo drafted by two of his loyalists to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by January 15, 2021, while he was still in the White House. No one on the national security team knew about the memo, and it was nullified. Yet Milley had no idea what else DDT would do in secret. The book I Alone Can Fix It (Phil Rucker and Carol Leonnig) reported that Gina Haspel, CIA director when DDT refused to concede the election, worried he would attack Iran in a right-wing coup because he was “acting out like a six-year-old with a tantrum.”

Although DDT was ready to concede the election on November 4, phone calls to loyalists such as Rudy Giuliani convinced him he could follow through with the conspiracy theory of election fraud, ignoring its lies and damages to democracy. Former adviser Steve Bannon persuaded DDT to return to the White House for January 6 and “fucking bury [Biden].”

Tucker Carlson may have gone over the edge with his conspiracy theories on Fox network. Anti-vaxxer and hip-hop star Nicki Minaj claimed the testicles of her cousin’s friend became swollen after being vaccinated; Carlson said on his show that he wants to see the man’s balls. In response, author Kurt Eichenwald explained that the two primary causes of this condition, called hydrocele, “are injury or STD (chlamydia or gonorrhea)… He needs an MD, stat.” Carlson started out by thinking the cousin’s testicles were swollen, and his show ran this chyron: “NICKI MINAJ: COUSIN’S TESTICLES BECAME SWOLLEN.” Despite looking like a fool, Carlson is still pursuing the case, asking the man to tell Carlson his story.

At least Carlson admitted he lies on his show when he “feels cornered or something”—which seems most of the time. He made his confession during an interview with conservative media host Dave Rubin after Rubin asked how CNN employees such as Chris Cuomo and Brian Stelter “live with themselves” after they constantly tell lies that the internet exposes. Yet Carlson tried to distinguish between his lies and those from the CNN anchors, saying he lies “to protect the system because I really believe in the system.”

September 8, 2021

Just One Day – September 8, 2021

When Joe Biden was elected president, I expected the news to quiet down just a little. No such luck. Here’s a pot pourri of the last 24 hours.

The debt ceiling raise is due in less than a month, and Republicans are refusing to increase it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has an answer for them. “”We’re paying the Trump credit card,” she said, referring to the $7 trillion of national debt during his four years.  Of that amount, $2 trillion came from the GOP tax cut for the wealthy and big business. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Pelosi that the U.S. would run out of money to pay bills in October if the ceiling is not raised.

A crowd cheered as the 12-ton statue of Robert E. Lee was taken down in Richmond (VA). The event has been delayed while the decision was stalled for a year by court debate. Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) decried its removal, claiming about the leader of the Confederate army who lost the U.S. Civil War:

“If only we had Robert E. Lee to command our troops in Afghanistan, that disaster would have ended in a complete and total victory many years ago. What an embarrassment we are suffering because we don’t have the genius of a Robert E. Lee!”

The fence designed to protect the U.S. Capitol and the people within is going back up after its removal just six months after the domestic terrorism there on January 6. Conservative rhetoric for a planned September 18 rally there has grown more violent as those attending the “Justice for J6” rally support the insurrectionists arrested since the attempt to overturn the presidential election. Discussions are centering around retaliation against the Black police officer who shot a white woman, Ashli Babbitt, who broke into the Capitol on January 6.

Eleven DDT appointments made at the end of DDT’s term including such luminaries as Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway have been asked to resign before they are dismissed. These 11 are on the advisory boards of the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, and West Point. The Pentagon has already removed hundreds of appointees from other boards. Russell Vought, Trump’s former director of the Office of Management and Budget, has already refused to resign from the Naval Academy board; others claim they also won’t, including Conway. The resignation requests were for lack of qualifications; for example, Douglas Macgregor on the West Point board disparaged immigrants, refugees, and minorities.

Almost immediately after the Texas’ governor signed its new anti-voting law, the state faced multiple lawsuits—four in federal courts and another in state court. Charges include discrimination against people of color, violation of First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the U.S. Constitution.

While signing the most restrictive voting bill in the nation, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott explained why pregnancies illegal after six weeks didn’t exempt those from rape and incest in the state’s law that went into effect on September 1. Abbott plans to “eliminate all rapists.” His claims have a few problems. Why did he wait until an unconstitutional anti-choice law to “eliminate” all these rapists? And if they are rapists, that means they may have already impregnated women through rape. Thirteen-years-old when she was raped, the law’s name sake Lavinia Masters said the police asked her if she had let her boyfriend into the house and kept it from her mother.

Texas still has 6,000 unprocessed rape kits. The 15th most dangerous state for rape and sexual assault, Texas has over 16,000 rapes annually, and more may not  be reported. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network report that 80 percent of the time victims know their attackers. They aren’t out “on the streets,” the way Abbott claims.  

Across the Texas border, Mexico has been forced by its Supreme Court to legalize abortion. Then high court judges declared unconstitutional the law in the northern Coahuila state sentencing women underling illegal abortions or people who help them to three years in prison. The 11th judge was absent. The decision is binding for the entire country. Four other Latin American countries permit abortions under almost all circumstances in early pregnancies.

Businesses are fighting back against the law. Texas-based dating platforms Match and Bumble set up relief funds to help people hurt by the law, and ride-hailing platforms Uber and Lyft said they would cover all legal costs for any of their drivers who get sued for driving a customer to an abortion clinic. Epik, where the Texas March for Life whistleblower went after GoDaddy dropped it, immediately shut down the website. Other corporations are waiting to see how the wind blows in their industry before they make any comments.

A new burden for women seeking to terminate pregnancies probably violates Roe v. Wade, but the governor issuing the executive order is another presidential wannabe. South Dakota’s Kristi Noem’s order mandates abortion medication must be picked up in person at the office of a physician licensed in South Dakota only after an in-person examination. The FDA permits sending abortion-inducing medications through the mail. Noem’s order also demands data on the number of chemical abortions performed and any complications as well as information to indicate if the woman was “coerced or sex trafficked and forced to take the pills.” The state Department of Health must “develop an abortion clinic license specific to the pharmaceutical nature of medical abortion in keeping with South Dakota’s existing surgical abortion clinic licensing requirements.” She claims the purpose is “safety above politics by basing public policy on science and data rather than political talking points.”

Following DDT’s lies about a stolen presidential election, U.S. election workers and officials have made over 100 threats of death or violence, according to Reuters’ documentation. All 102 threats were explicit enough to put a reasonable person in fear of bodily harm or death, the legal threshold for prosecution. Law enforcement has not provided protection for these people: only a handful of arrests have been made despite hundreds of incidents of intimidation and harassment of election workers and officials nationwide. Of 26 election officials interviewed regarding the 102 threats, including eight secretaries of state, only one, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, knew of anyone charged for the intimidation. That case was one of only four nationwide documented with an arrest that could be found.

Georgia has made no arrests for threats against the state’s GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his family, despite threats of physical harm. The state AG didn’t find them criminal, but the FBI has stepped up its investigation into threats against Georgia election officials after Reuters’ reporting. Georgia prosecutors are also investigating DDT for tampering with the election. They are looking at DDT’s phone calls to state election officials, asking them to “find votes” for him and overturn the state’s selection of Biden. Investigators are also working with federal officials probing the January 6 insurrection to share documents. DDT needed to roll over Georgia’s vote to persuade other states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan to overturn their results. Georgia may indict DDT for his actions.

The high court in Australia has ruled that media companies are liable for defamatory comments left on their social media pages by public members. Several other decisions from lower courts found that news outlets encouraging these defamatory comments are legally their publishers and can be legally responsible for the content. The top court agreed in a 5-2 vote. In the past, Australia has been a tester for online regulation, enacting sweeping changes.

Union numbers have reached their highest level since 2015 with 10.8 percent of all wage and salaried workers members, up 0.5 percent from 2019. Men are more likely to join unions than women, and the age range 45-64 has the highest percentage. Blacks are more likely to be union members than Whites, Asians, or Hispanics. Although the private sector has only 6.3 percent workers in unions, the public sector has 34.8 percent. A problem with building union members is that large corporations such as Amazon and Walmart will do almost anything, not always legal, to keep shops from unionizing.

Next Tuesday, September 14, reveals the fate of California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom, when voters determine whether he should be recalled for not wearing a mask at a party. Down in the polls before publicity about the new anti-choice law in Texas, Newsom is now at 58 percent opposition to the recall, almost 18 percent above those who want him recalled. The same 66 percent of Latinx who voted for him when he became governor still support him. If voters do vote for recall, the governorship choice is among 46 candidates including conservative talk show host Larry Elder and reality television star transgender Caitlyn Jenner.

Republicans seem to be already expecting a loss—they’re declaring the election is rigged if Newsom wins in spite of Democrats outnumbering Republicans by 2 to 1 in California. Newsom won in 2018 by almost 62 percent of the vote. Watch for the fake audits!

July 27, 2021

January 6 Hearings First Day

The House select committee hearings began today with four police officers who described what they called an insurrection of white supremacists breaking into the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and viciously attacking them—both physically and verbally with racist slurs. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had prevented one of the worst circus performers in the House, Jim Jordan (R-OH), from being on the committee so the circus stayed outside where Republican congressional members supported the domestic terrorists who broke into the Capitol, threatening the lives of congressional members and vandalizing the venerated federal building.

Verbal testimony from four police officers trying to keep the insurrectionists from breaking into the Capitol was supplemented by phone videos and body-camera footage. Sgt. Aquilino Gonell said “nothing in my experience” in Iraq prepared him for the January 6 attack; MPD officer Michael Fanone called the House Republicans’ indifference “disgraceful”; and USCP officer Harry Dunn, called an “angry left-wing activist” by Fox’s Tucker Carlson, talked about being repeatedly called the racist n-word while in uniform.

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 27: Protestors hold an effigy of former President Donald Trump. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

In the circus outside, supposedly a press conference, GOP leadership tried to blame Pelosi for lack of security on January 6, and GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz (FL), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA) complained about the “political prisoners” arrested for storming the Capitol. Protesters shut them down. The four G’s had planned to distribute disinformation about the DOJ’s mistreatment of the insurrectionists, but they called off their press conference while Greene, known for her intimidation tactics, was speaking.

Before the hearing, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tried to pass a privileged resolution, with precedence over regular business, to condemn Pelosi and force her to reappoint his five picks to disturb the committee progress. Both GOP select committee members, Liz Cheney (WY) and Adam Kinzinger (OH), voted with the Democrats to kill the resolution in the 218-197 vote.

In another act of destruction, McCarthy had earlier removed all six GOP representatives from the special committee on economic disparity. One of the Republicans removed, Byron Donalds (FL) had written:

“While serving on this committee, my priority is to empower families, support American workers, and to strengthen and bolster our economy with pro-growth legislation.”

At today’s hearing about January 6, Cheney called for an end to the cover-up. She said:

“On January 6 and the days thereafter, almost all members of my party recognized the events that day for what they actually were. One Republican, for example, said, quote, ‘What is happening at the U.S. Capitol right now is unacceptable and un-American. Those participating in lawlessness and violence must be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.'”

She was quoting Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), now trying to discredit the investigation. Pelosi had refused to put Banks on the January 6 committee after McCarthy picked him. Another committee member, Kinzinger, called the “counter-narratives” and conspiracy theories undermining the insurrectionist violence “toxic” and “a disservice to the officers and their families.”

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), chair of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, announced his plans for “a rules change that would expel any member of the GOP conference if a House Republican accepted a committee assignment from Democrats.” Complaining about Cheney and Kinzinger accepting posts on the January 6 select committee, he tweeted that they “have effectively removed themselves from the Republican Conference. We should help them out the door by formalizing their departure.”

In a blow to Deposed Dnald Trump (DDT), the DOJ informed him that his attempts to get the DOJ to overturn the 2020 presidential election is not protected by executive privilege and officials serving in his administration may give “unrestricted testimony” to investigative committees into the January 6 insurrection. The letter from Bradley Weinsheimer, a top-ranking career official in the deputy attorney general’s office, stated DDT is trying to use the DOJ to advance his “personal political interests.”

David Corn pointed out that most behind the scenes’ witnesses for the January 6 insurrection are DDT’s sycophants. He gave a partial list of these GOPers:

Former Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC):  DDT’s White House chief of staff on January 6, he could explain whether DDT was really excited about watching the violent rioters try to stop the election certification, as CNN reported.

Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Mo Brooks (R-AL): According to Ali Alexander, an organizer of the pro-DDT “Stop the Steal” movement, he worked with the three legislators on a January 6 event putting “maximum pressure” on Congress while voting to certify Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA): A question could be about details between McCarthy’s furious, expletive-filled phone call with DDT after the beginning of the insurrection when DDT said he wouldn’t call them off.

Kimberly Guilfoyle: Alexander said he talked with the former DDT campaigner and Trump Jr’s girlfriend late on January 5 when she encouraged his efforts. What did she say and was her message from anyone else?

Caroline Wren, Guilfoyle’s deputy at the fundraising campaign Trump Victory, and Katrina Pierson, DDT’s 2016 campaign spokesperson and senior adviser to DDT’s 2020 reelection bid: They were involved in the planning of the rally near the White House before the crowd violently stormed the Capitol, and Pierson acted as liaison between the White House and the organizing conservative groups of the pre-attack gathering. How much was the White House involved in the rally and subsequent march, and how much did they know about the violent plans?

Roger Stone, DDT’s longtime adviser: He was seen with people charged in the attack and accused of conspiring to create the raid; several of those people provided security for him. Stone also raised money for “private security” and equipment for January 5 and 6 events in Washington before the raid. He has already been convicted of lying to Congress before DDT commuted his sentence.

Rudy Giuliani, DDT’s former lawyer and dirt-digger:  At the pre-riot rally, he cried out to the crowd, “Let’s have trial by combat.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump: McCarthy begged Kushner, DDT’s son-in-law and top aide, for help stopping the assault in the afternoon of January 6, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) phoned DDT’s daughter Ivanka for assistance while she was in the Oval Office

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL): He received a call from DDT during the midst of the insurrection which mistakenly went to Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT). The call was to get Tuberville’s help in overurning the Electoral College, but the senator said he can’t remember the conversation’s details.

Kellyanne Conway: DDT’s former senior adviser called an aide standing next to DDT during the attack. What was said?

Kayleigh McEnany, White House press secretary on January 6: With DDT during the attack, she supposedly pleaded with him to oppose the violence.

Former AG Bill Barr: He refused to support DDT’s lies about election fraud. What did DDT want Barr to do?

Pat Cipollone, White House counsel while DDT was trying to overturn the election results: How was DDT trying to block the democratic process? Jerry Rosen, Barr’s acting successor, and Jeffrey Clark, senior DOJ official immediately before the end of DDT’s term, should also be asked about DDT’s attempts to invalidate the Georgia election results and keep DDT in the White House.

Former VP Mike Pence: Although he didn’t talk to DDT during the attack, his chief of staff, Marc Short, communicated with DDT.

DDT: It was his riot.

Using the election, the insurrection, the vaccines, and congressional rules, Republican legislators are moving forward in their strategy to destroy democracy in the United States. Their moves:

  • Blame the insurrection on Pelosi. And the FBI. Antifa. BLM. And Hillary.
  • Call the COVID-19 vaccine the “trump vaccine” and blame Biden and immigrants for the unvaccinated masses of the Tepublican stripe.
  • Call the COVID-19 virus the “Fauci virus” and keep attacking him.
  • Keep pushing for recounts and recounts of recounts in AZ, GA, PA, wherever.
  • Keep filibustering in the Senate every bill including the upcoming infrastructure bill.
  • Remove Republicans from positions and blame Democrats for not letting them be involved in decisions.
  • Maneuver to shut down the government over the debt ceiling.
  • Relentlessly push voter suppression and voter disfranchisement efforts.
  • Keep sucking their supporters dry with incessant demands for donations.

In one more victory for democracy, the DOJ refuses to support Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) in a lawsuit brought by Sen. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) regarding Brooks’ part in the insurrection. Brooks had claimed his part in DDT’s rally belonged to his duties when he said, “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking a**.” Apparently, the DOJ thinks planning a coup against a U.S. election is not part of a Congressperson’s official responsibilities. The General Counsel for the House of Representatives has also declined to represent Brooks.

July 26, 2021

January 6 Select Committee Begins

On January 6, 2021, tens, perhaps hundreds, of millions of people watched in horror as supporters of then-Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) attacked and vandalized the U.S. Capitol, threatening to hang VP Mike Pence and menacing congressional members and their staff. Even Republicans cowered in the building and begged DDT for help while he praised his followers and withheld assistance for several hours. The “football” with launch codes for nuclear attack was seconds away from being captured by the insurrectionists who wanted to overturn the 2020 presidential election putting Joe Biden in the White House.

 

 

 

 

Within the past six months, GOP members of Congress have attempted to create a revisionist history, first accusing progressives of the attack and then lying about the FBI being behind the danger. Losing that tactic, the Republicans now maintain that it was a loving gathering, people just wandering through the Capitol looking for the gift shop, despite hours of video to the contrary, arrests of over 550 of the 800 people filmed there, and guilty pleas from participants. Of those arrested for crimes that day, over 165 are accused of assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

The same Republicans originally terrified for their lives now fight any investigation into the events of January 6. Although six GOP senators supported an independent commission a late-May vote of 54-36, the filibuster, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) required 60 votes to even debate the bill on the floor. Patterned after the commission to investigate the 9/11 foreign attacks in the U.S., the ten-member panel would have had an equal number of each party’s members who would have subpoena powers. In the House, 35 Republicans joined all Democrats for the 252-175 vote to support the commission after Republicans made suggestions for its provisions and approved them.

Bipartisan legislation to establish an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has failed in the Senate, as Republicans staged their first filibuster since President Biden took office to block the plan. Opposing Republicans were afraid the investigation would hurt them in the 2022 election.

Republicans moved on to oppose a House select committee passed by the Democratic majority. That committee begins its investigation into the January 6 insurrection this week, but at this time with the only two Republicans who voted for the committee, Liz Cheney (WY) and Adam Kinzinger (OH).  After Pelosi rejected two of five GOP members selected for the committee by House Minority Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), he promised retribution against any Republicans supporting the committee, perhaps stripping them of committee assignments, something he refused to do to QAnon Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), despite her support of violence against Democratic members of Congress.

Of the five Republicans McCarthy selected, three voted to overturn the Electoral College vote, and all five voted against the select committee. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) could be brought before the committee because he helped organize the plans for the “protest” on January 6. He also blames Democrats for the insurrection because of their protests against DDT and police brutality. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), another choice, ridiculed any investigation and accused Pelosi of not keeping the Capitol secure from rioters.

After Pelosi’s rejection of two selections by McCarthy, he suggested he would create a GOP-only commission to investigate the Capitol riot, saying “Republicans … will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts.” His suggestion reinforces the belief that he has no interest in finding out After their initial horror at the insurrection, Republicans rapidly switched to avoidance after they recognized their political allies caused it. An alternative investigation from Republicans might hide the discovery of who was behind the attack and how badly it was handled. Banks called the select committee an effort to “malign conservatives.” Having him on the committee would be like putting hijackers on the 9/11 commission.  

Before the committee was created, McCarthy mandated changes for negotiation. The Democrats conceded to them, and McCarthy came out against the deal. Furious with Pelosi rejecting two of his choices, McCarthy then pulled all five selections. In his outrage, he called Pelosi’s action unprecedented; she responded by saying that the insurrection was unprecedented.

McCarthy might join Jordan as a witness because early in the insurrection he was heard begging DDT for help for hours with no results.  He now lies about not trying to overturn the presidential election in favor of DDT and flipped on his blaming DDT for the January 6 insurrection by saying, “I don’t believe [Trump] provoked.” 

In a prologue to the investigation, four police officers, two each from the Capitol Police and the D.C. police, will testify publicly before the committee about verbal and physical abuse during their attempts to protect the Capitol. Some of them earlier lobbied congressional members to create the independent commission.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said the committee will investigate “why we were not prepared for the president to unleash the violence against us and what that means in terms of security.” He added the panel hopes to discover “what groups and political forces came together to do this, how did they operate and why did they do this, what was the purpose of it.” Another purpose is how “to prevent this from happening again.” Last month, a Senate committee released a report about who took part in the insurrection and why law enforcement wasn’t prepared but didn’t address how DDT was responsible for the riot. 

Throughout the country, judges gave a mixed bag of reactions to arrests for insurrection from releasing them with no bail to keeping them behind bars, even a former New York Police officer who complained about the conditions in a D.C. jail. Violence promised by these GOP-called “tourists” to the Capitol presented extreme danger, for example, the Texas militiaman who parked two blocks away from the building in a truck full of guns, Molotov cocktails, and bombs. Carrying two handguns, he was seen conferring with the other insurrectionists. Some of the arrested insurrectionists told judges they did it because of DDT’s persuasion, mental illness, or “Foxitis” (news from the Fox network) and called on their GOP representatives and senators to protect them. 

By refusing the independent commission, Republicans lost their opportunity to control the investigation. The current select committee is still bipartisan thus far with seven Democrats and two Republicans. Four positions are still not filled. Republican leaders no longer want to investigate: McCarthy deliberately selected his five members as an act of sabotage for the probe after visiting DDT before making his picks. Unlike the Senate committee investigation, scheduled to finish by the end of the year, the House select committee has no end date and can have at least until the end of the 117th Congress—the end of 2022—to do its work.

Questions to be answered:

  • How much were DDT and his insiders aware in advance of the riot’s danger?
  • How much communications did the White House have with agencies before January 6?
  • How did these interactions affect the ways in which the agencies handled—and didn’t handle—the crisis?
  • What flaws contributed to the failure of the Capitol Police and intelligence to identify potential rioters as a threat?
  • How could they have prepared?
  • What was the security response to the insurrection on the House side of the building, not addressed because the office of the House sergeant-at-arms would not cooperate?
  • Will that office cooperate more with the House than with the Senate?

DDT, the self-identified man of “law and order,” has turned against the Capitol Police and celebrates Ashli Babbitt, an insurrectionist who was shot and killed while breaking into the Capitol. He called her a “wonderful, incredible woman” and invited her mother to his recent rally in Arizona.

During the first committee hearing, three of four participants of the insurrection—Reps. Mat Gaetz (R-FL), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA)—plan a protest supporting domestic terrorists

DDT’s delusion that he will be returned to the White House during the current year is likely to result in continued violence from people who DDT calls a “loving crowd” and Republicans call “tourists.” 

Republicans claim they want no investigation because people need to “heal.” They’re just avoiding any bad publicity for their campaigning.

February 2, 2021

AOC Tells Her Story about Abusive GOP

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)—frequently called AOC—was a relative unknown when she swept onto the national scene less than three years ago when she defeated a ten-term incumbent in Democratic primary election. The youngest member to serve the U.S. Congress when she was sworn in, the 29-year-old soon gained the hatred of now-Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) because of her progressive ideas.

Yesterday, 26 days after the far-right attack on the U.S. Capitol, she released a powerful video telling of her terror about being killed by the insurgents and her experience with sexual assault. It is a must watch for everyone, and her subsequent message about the sedition describes the lead up to and the events on the day itself as well as the impact on her.   

Her message:

Monday night, I hopped on IG live to talk about what happened at the Capitol. My story is one of many. It’s not the only story or the central story.

But, it’s important to share because so many of the people who helped perpetrate what happened are trying to tell us to move on and forget about what happened—saying it isn’t a big deal.

They’re asking us to move on for their own convenience. These are the same tactics used by abusers. What they are really asking is: “Can you forget about this so we can do it again?”

I’m a survivor of sexual assault, and I haven’t told many people that in my life. But when we go through trauma, whether we have neglectful parents or any kind of trauma, these episodes can compound on one another. Part of my hesitancy to tell this story until now has to do with some of my trauma. As a survivor, I struggle with the idea of being believed.

Many Republicans have done everything they can to try to rewrite history. They say we’re exaggerating or stoking tensions or even that I should apologize. Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz have had nearly a month to apologize for their role, but over and over they’ve doubled down and said they did the right thing and if they could go back, they’d do it all again. That’s why they need to resign, because they will do it again.

First, let’s dispel the idea that this insurrection happened suddenly—that there was no way for Hawley, Cruz. or Trump not to see this violence coming or anticipate their role in stoking it. Everyone knew something was going to happen.

One week before, I started to get text messages from other members of Congress saying that I needed to be careful on Wednesday. So I started thinking through a security plan with my staff.

Insurrectionists arrived in town starting on Monday. That day, as I exited the Capitol, a crowd of Trump supporters were gathered directly behind my car. All there was to protect myself and other members of Congress was a waist-high fence.

My heart was beating fast. They were yelling insults my way. I tried to lighten the mood to create enough space for me to drive away and get out of there.

Later that day, I went to the grocery store and saw all these people in MAGA hats. It felt tense. And, I guess it felt like—whether you’re from the Bronx, New York City, Queens, or wherever—you can just catch a vibe and kind of know a general sense of when things aren’t right. And things started to feel “not right” when I was in that grocery store that Monday night.

By Tuesday, 24 hours before the events on January 6th, I had already resolved that I wouldn’t go back outside except to vote. Myself and other members asked about security plans, and we were told that it was being handled by Capitol Police and couldn’t be shared.

Fast forward, Wednesday, January 6: At 12:45pm, my chief of staff called me and asked how I was feeling. In that moment, I was feeling great—Rev. Warnock and Jon Ossoff had just won. I was on cloud nine. It took a weight off my shoulders—and I hoped maybe it would take the wind out of the sails of the growing mob outside the Capitol.

Shortly after we hung up, I heard violent bangs on my office door and all the doors into our congressional office. My legislative director—G—told me to hide. I ran into the bathroom—then quickly realized I should have gone to the closet instead. When I opened the door to move, I heard that someone had already gotten into my office. It was too late. Then, they started to yell: “Where is she?” “Where is she?” “Where is she?”

This is the moment I thought everything was over. As a spiritual person, I thought: if this is the plan for me, people—you all—would be able to take it from here. I felt that things were going to be okay and that I had fulfilled my purpose.

Peeking through the hinges of the door behind which I was hiding, I saw a white man with a black beanie come into my direct office. He continued to ask, “where is she?” “where is she?” Finally, I heard G follow him and say “Boss, it’s OK to come out.”

The man in the black beanie was a Capitol Police officer—he was alone with no partner, and I never heard him identify himself as Capitol Police or anything. We weren’t sure if he was there to help us or hurt us. He was looking at me with a tremendous amount of anger and hostility.

Yelling, he told us to go to a different building where all Members would be extracted—not providing the room number or any other exact information on where in the building that extraction point was.

Still, we started running. Alone with no escort and no specific location, we could hear the rioters outside. Not knowing where to go, I ran to find the offices of members I knew in the building. After running up and down the stairs, googling frantically to find room numbers, I eventually found Rep. Katie Porter’s office and asked if we could shelter with her.

She welcomed us in, and we started searching for where we could hide. We pushed couches against the door. I found clothes and sneakers to change into in case I needed to run, jump out of a window, or blend in with a crowd. We turned off all the lights.

Shortly after we finished barricading ourselves, we received intelligence that bombs were found not far from where we were. We discussed what we’d do if the building exploded. Staffers were making decisions to put their lives on the line to save us.

When I finally learned the location of the extraction point, I didn’t feel safe going there, knowing that some Republican members were live tweeting the locations of the Speaker and others. I knew the National Guard hadn’t been called. We were in Rep. Porter’s office for hours.

After the building was secure, I walked over to Rep. Pressley’s office where she and her staffers made sure I was fed. We were at Ayanna’s office until 4:00 am as Congress finally proceeded with voting to certify the electoral college. There are more details to share at some point, but not today.

Rep. Pressley told me that night that what I experienced was traumatizing. Hearing her say that, it forced me to pump my brakes. If you have experienced any type of trauma, just admitting and recognizing it is already a big step. The moment you admit that a thing happened to you is hugely important.

I look back on this and Ayanna really helped my healing. Telling your story is an important tool for healing, which is why I’m telling mine. Together, we have 435 stories and we need to tell them because every time a Republican gets on television and tells us to forget, these stories are reminders of what they’re trying to absolve.

What happens now should not be a partisan issue. This moment is not about a difference of political opinion. This is about basic humanity.

We knew that violence was expected on January 6. We knew the rioters depended on someone upholding the lie that the presidential election was fraudulent. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley chose to tell the lie because they thought it would be politically advantageous.

Six people have lost their lives, eyes and limbs have been lost, and many more people traumatized. Even after all of that, not even an ‘I’m sorry.’ Not even an: ‘I didn’t realize what I said would contribute to this violence and if I had known, I wouldn’t have done it.’ Instead the response has been, ‘I did the right thing and I would do it again.’

If that is their stance, these members will continue to be a danger to their colleagues. Given the same conditions, they will choose to endanger their colleagues for political gain again. That’s why we need accountability.

It’s not about revenge, it’s about creating safety. We are not safe with people who hold political power who are willing to endanger lives for political gain.

Today the U.S. House adopted rules to keep conservatives from carrying guns onto the chamber floor and intimidating others. Instituting large fines for violating these rules was necessary because gun carriers stepped around metal detectors, pushed Capitol Police officers out of the way, and asked other members to carry guns for them. Campaign funds or congressional office budget funds cannot be used to pay these fines. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “The People’s House must and will be safe, so that we can honor our responsibility to do the People’s work.” Weapons have been banned from the House floor for over 50 years, but the new conservatives think they, like DDT, are above the law.

Tonight, the remains of Brian Sicknick, killed by the January 6 mob in the U.S. Capitol, were taken to the Capitol rotunda, allowing people, including President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, to pay their respects. 

The U.S. has passed 27 million verified infections from COVID-19, and the nation had 3,672 deaths today from the disease. 

December 23, 2020

DDT Plays President for a Day

Another day, 26 more pardons and three commutations from lame duck  and “law and order” Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) category including his felon friends and a family member along with others convicted of cyber crimes, firearm possession, and mail fraud. A sampling:

DDT’s son-in-law’s father: Charles Kushner, imprisoned after pleading guilty to 18 charges of tax evasion, witness tampering, and illegal campaign donations.  In early 2019, Chris Christie, who prosecuted the case in 2005, said Kushner committed “one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes” he had prosecuted in his hiring a prostitute to lure his brother-in-law into having sex and then sending the tape to Kushner’s wife for revenge.

Advisers indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller and convicted: On home confinement after two years in prison, Paul Manafort, briefly DDT’s campaign manager, admitted his crimes, agreed to cooperate with Mueller, lied to prosecutors, and tried to interfere with witnesses in crimes of bank and tax fraud, illegal foreign lobbying, and witness tampering. Manafort may face charges in New York which cannot be pardoned by a president. Despite AG Bill Barr’s attempt to save Roger Stone, DDT’s friend was sentenced for obstruction of Congress and threatening a witness before DDT commuted his sentence earlier this year.

The wife of former Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) pardoned yesterday: Margaret Hunter pled guilty to conspiring “knowingly and willingly” to convert campaign funds for personal use.

Former Ron Paul presidential campaign aides: John Tate and Jesse Benton, involved in a plot to make hidden payments in exchange for an endorsement. Tate and Benton spent two years on probation and paid $10,000 for corrupting the 2012 Iowa caucus process after they secretly paid then-Iowa Sen. Kent Sorenson $73,000 to shift support from presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul. Sen. Rand Paul, Ron Paul’s son, asked for the clemency; DDT is counting on him to support overturning Biden’s election on January 6.

The others are listed here

DDT destroyed two appropriation bills just hours before he left for Mar-a-Lago today, perhaps until after the inauguration. Silent during negotiation of the spending bill including a stimulus relief bill, DDT permitted Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to settle the $600 checks for everyone making under $75,000 a year. The bill passed by huge majorities in both congressional chambers before DDT insisted the check amount to be $2,000. If he continues to obstruct the bill, it will not see the light of day in the 116th Congress. With ten days, minus Sundays, in which to sign it, DDT could wait out the time until January 4, the day after the 117th Congress is sworn out, and two days after all the bills disappear and need to be taken up anew.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told her GOP counterparts that Democrats are ready to pass the $2,000 checks by New Year’s Eve to save the bill, but Republicans refuse the idea. The GOP will then be responsible for critical provisions’ running out at the end of the month including unemployment programs, which pushes almost 5 million people into poverty overnight. Mnuchin had promised to start sending out the $600 checks next week because he knew nothing about DDT’s objections.

DDT’s threat has split Republicans. The House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told House Republicans the will is “tainted,“ but some of them recognize the GOP will take the blame for failure. Rep, Virginia Foxx (R-NC) said, “We will have a hell of a time getting this out of people’s head,” and Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) said DDT had thrown House Republicans under the bus.

The question is whether Republicans will stick with their congressional leadership, who negotiated the bill, or DDT, who will savage those who oppose him. Another fallout could come in January when both chambers select their leaders.

Democrats can come out ahead. One day ago, they faced criticism for accepting the faulty $900 billion relief package; now the GOP may be killing it. Georgia’s GOP Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, whose elections are in less than two weeks, may also take the fall. McConnell had counted on the relief checks to reelect the two; now their opponents are calling on them to support the $2,000 checks.

Even with the agreement to increase the amount in individual checks, DDT says he wants to turn down the spending bill because of foreign aid worth under $2 billion, but he’s only searching for reasons to throw the U.S. economy into chaos before President-elect Joe Biden takes over. To complicate matters, McCarthy and McConnell promise to unanimously get rid of the foreign aid on a unanimous basis, something Democrats may not support.

Waiting until the ten days allotted for addressing bills, DDT vetoed the $741 billion National Defense Authorization Act, using his latest excuse of its not protecting the U.S. from China. The NDAA has passed every year for the past six decades. In this case, Congress could override his veto in the next few days. Yet Congress needs to pass another Continuing Resolution to the budget to keep the government from shutting down on January 28. There is no guarantee, however, DDT will sign that C.R.

A classic response to DDT’s actions came from a GOP aide, calling the situation a “complete clusterf—.” No one, not even his own aides and officials, knows what DDT wants. Without a resolution, the government could have its fourth government shutdown in DDT’s four years. He is accelerating his style of grabbing attention while planning for his next re-election, this one in 2024. Newt Gingrich said he hoped DDT will sign the bill after he “sends a signal he wants to help people more.” Two years ago, DDT threatened to veto a $1.3 trillion spending bill before signing it, but he’s in much worse emotional state two years later.

With DDT’s campaign team shut down, he listens to only the White House staff who agree with his seditious agenda. He pressured over 150 GOP leaders in the battleground states he lost, trying to persuade them into overturning the popular vote. According to the report based on interviews with 22 Trump aides, local and states officials, Republicans, and elections experts:

“In total, the president talked to at least 31 Republicans, encompassing mostly local and state officials from four critical battleground states he lost—Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. The contacts included at least 12 personal phone calls to 11 individuals, and at least four White House meetings with 20 Republican state lawmakers, party leaders, and attorneys general, all people he hoped to win over to his side. Trump also spoke by phone about his efforts with numerous House Republicans and at least three current or incoming Senate Republicans.”

Anita Kumar and Gabby Orr tracked DDT’s attempts to overturn the election.

Republican attacks on November’s election are still working their way through the courts in a reversal of former GOP ideology. After virulently complaining about “judicial activism” when judges ruled in favor of human rights, the GOP uses a sledgehammer on courts to push their personal wishes, legal or not. For years, the GOP used the court in its attempt to kill the Affordable Care Act, give DDT “absolute immunity” from subpoenas, and, now, overturn a legal election. The GOP position is so wrong that at least eight DDT-appointed judges to be the most conservative in the nation have not supported his evidence-free allegations election fraud.

The Republican Party championing judicial restraint and opposition of courts’ imposing policy preferences on society now has no legitimate, consistent jurisprudential philosophy. It’s all about the results: killing the Affordable Care Act, granting DDT “absolute immunity” from subpoenas, and, worst of all, overturning a presidential election based on no evidence at all. The Federalist Society taught all DDT’s judges, who the GOP Senate faithfully confirmed, to defer to executive authority, put its conservative social agenda over precedent and law, and use “religious liberty” to violate laws. These judges believe they can actually know exactly what the people who wrote the Constitution were thinking although the same judges ignore the 14th Amendment giving due process rights instead of staying faithful to the document’s language and the government’s structure.

Fortunately, even the most conservative of judges almost universally agreed courts have no power to “grant the relief” desired by Republicans—in this case overthrowing an election. As Jennifer Rubin, a GOP columnist, wrote:

“The courts’ words might fall on deaf ears among the Trumpian right, but it should provide comfort to the rest of the country that unlike the Republicans who nominated and confirmed them, even “conservative” judges feel duty-bound to act in a judicial capacity—not as handmaidens to an authoritarian party that cares only that its side wins.”

Not all DDT’s judges understand the importance of the law. Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh attacked Democrats, and others reversed precedent because they can. But thus far, democracy survives.

Officials have finally found a case of voter fraud so frantically sought by DDT’s supporters. Bruce Bartman, 70, pretended to be his dead mother to vote in Delaware County (PA). The vote was for DDT. Bartman was charged with unlawful voting and perjury. A database has found 193 convicted cases of voter fraud between 1000 and 2020, when 250 million votes were cast. Maybe judges understand the lack of election fraud.

Today, self-identified super-Christian VP Mike Pence said to his Florida rally audience:

“[Democrats] want to make rich people poorer and poor people more comfortable.”

That’s a bad thing? Twenty-seven days until Pence moves out of public housing.

December 13, 2020

DDT: Week 203 – Chaos to Cover Disasters

The past week celebrated huge pieces of news: the certification from 50 states for their presidential choices with Joe Biden receiving 306 votes; the Supreme Court rejection of the Texas case in its lawsuit against voting practices in four other states; and the authorization of the Pfizer vaccine, the first one for COVID-19 approved in the United States following the UK use of the vaccine beginning last Tuesday. Congress also passed the National Defense Authorization Act with a veto-proof vote and a one-week extension of the budget bill to stave off government closure for that time.  

Certification of votes: Biden’s 306 votes were the exact number of votes Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) received four years ago, and the losing lawsuit brings DDT’s losses to almost 60. In one win

The Texas loss from the Supreme Court led the state’s GOP to encourage states to secede from the U.S.:

“Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.” 

Supreme Court Rejection: Texas AG Ken Paxton led an insurrection last week against the legal certification of electoral votes with the support of 17 red state AGs and 126 House Republicans. They all lost when the justices unanimously ruled against overturning votes in four swing states to give the Oval Office to DDT. After he heard about his Supreme Court loss, DDT refused to leave his bedroom to join a White House Christmas party. Earlier, on November 14, he had refused to greet the newly elected GOP House members in the White House after Joe Biden was declared the president-elect.

The GOP keeps filing lawsuits: after a federal judge ruled against election fraud in Wisconsin, the state Supreme Court took a case asking for 221,000 ballots in two counties be thrown out with the false claim the jurisdictions didn’t follow state law. In the unlikely event Biden would lose the majority in the state that he won by 20,000 votes, he would lose only 10 electoral votes, still winning with 296 votes—26 over the necessary 270 to become president. All the 38 GOP-appointed judges who have ruled against DDT’s election fraud myth, the most recent, a federal judge in Wisconsin, was appointed by DDT like some other judges ruling against him.

After 126 members of the U.S. House supported Paxton’s case to put DDT back into the Oval Office, Rep. Brad Pascrell (D-NJ) tweeted:

“The 14th Amendment expressly forbids members of Congress from engaging in rebellion against the United States. Trying to overturn a democratic election and install a dictator seems like a pretty clear example of that.”

He declared the 126 Republicans trying to overturn the election, violating the Constitution, and attempting to “demolish democracy” should not be sworn into office on January 3, 2021. Pascrell also justified his argument on Article I, Section 5 of the 14th Amendment giving each congressional chamber final authority over membership with a two-thirds vote. Pascrell explained:

“These lawsuits seeking to obliterate public confidence in our democratic system by invalidating the clear results of the 2020 presidential election attack the text and spirit of the Constitution, which each member swears to support and defend, as well as violate the rules of our House of Representatives, which explicitly forbid members from committing unbecoming acts that reflect poorly on our chamber.”

He added that the 126 members supporting the Supreme Court case are “seeking to make Donald Trump an unelected dictator.” Pascrell argued their actions “must be repudiated in the strongest possible terms” because this time “may be without parallel since 1860. The fate of our democracy depends on us meeting that moment.”

After the top GOP House leader, Kevin McCarthy (CA), and VP Mike Pence’s brother, Greg Pence (IN), joined 124 other representatives in the attempted coup, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) accused the 126 of “subverting the Constitution” and engaging “in election subversion that imperils our democracy.” In her statement, Pelosi said:

“The 126 Republican Members that signed onto this lawsuit brought dishonor to the House. …The pandemic is raging, with nearly 300,000 having died and tens of millions having lost jobs.  Strong, unified action is needed to crush the virus, and Republicans must once and for all end their election subversion—immediately.”  

The GOP attorneys general who did not join the attempted coup explained that states should be able to govern themselves and expressed concern that a precedent of one state suing another could result in Democratic states forcing their procedures on Republican states. Opposing federalism, Ohio AG Dave Yost said the Supreme Court has no right to tell states how to appoint electors, an ideology from conservatives in the past.

Vaccine Approval:

DDT also tainted the approval of the first virus vaccine by threatening to fire the FDA leader, Stephen Hahn, if the Pfizer vaccine is not approved for emergency authorization by Friday. DDT, who called the FDA “a big, old, slow turtle,” tweeted, “Get the dam [sic] vaccines out NOW, Dr. Hahn @SteveFDA. Stop playing games and start saving lives!!!” The authorization was announced later on Friday.

Dr. Charlotte Kent, a CDC manager, has testified to congressional investigators about the order purported by CDC’s director Robert Redfield to delete an email reporting a spread of coronavirus if children gather together. Redfield claimed he instructed agency staffers to ignore the mail but didn’t order its deletion. By law, federal officials are to retain records. When Kent looked for the email from Paul Alexander and Michael Caputo, now departed from HHS, it was missing.

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): Some congressional Republicans did turn on DDT when they voted for the $741 million NDAA in sufficient numbers to overturn his threatened veto if all of them repeated their “yes” votes. DDT was upset because it didn’t contain an amendment removing protection for social media platforms. Twitter is currently marking his false tweets as “disputed” and could drop his account when he no longer has the label of a world leader. He wants a law allowing him to sue the company if is doesn’t do what he wants.

DDT also threatened to veto the NDAA if it changes the names of ten military bases honoring Confederate officers, but the bill does make that change. If he takes no action on the bill by the day before Christmas Eve, it becomes law providing Congress is still in session. An congressional adjournment would make the bill defunct. To keep President Obama from appointing people during a recess, Congress held “pro forma” sessions when one lone person, the Presiding Officer, walks into the room, calls the body to order, and immediately dismisses it without transacting any business. They could do the same to get the NDAA passed if DDT doesn’t veto it.

The Senate vote for NDAA was 84-13, the House 335-78. McCarthy voted for the bill but said he wouldn’t vote against DDT’s veto. If enough Republicans follow the Minority Leader’s example, the NDAA would not be passed during the 116th Congress for the first time in 59 years. Washington Post reporter Paul Kane wrote:

 “It’s another destruction of what it means to be a conservative in the Trump era, as support for a strong national security has been a bedrock of party orthodoxy for decades and decades.”

Budget Continuing Resolution: The government stays open until December 11 after Congress passed a “C.R.” to continue funding for most government programs at the same levels as fiscal 2020 through December 18, 2000. The deadline for the omnibus spending package of 12 appropriations bills was last October 1, but a C.R. put it forward until last Friday. It contains no COVID-19 relief, as many congressional members had hoped. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) both said they would agree to the one-week extension but not vote for the bill again without stimulus checks for people. Sanders is asking for $1,200 per person, a repeat of last March. A House vote of 343-67 vote preceded the final Senate voice vote on Friday. DDT signed the bill late Friday

DDT’s chaos is not only in an attempt to win the election. He wants to use it to hide the problems he faces:

COVID-19: The number of daily cases and deaths increased almost 30 percent from two weeks earlier.

Economy: Since corporations received billions of dollars from earlier virus stimulus bills, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocks the current bill because Democrats want $160 billion to help state and local governments and won’t shield businesses from their intentionally-caused coronavirus injuries and deaths.

Control of GOP: DDT plans to keep the power over Republicans with both the funding and the list of supporters for GOP candidates.

Electoral College votes are set to be cast on Monday. Republicans have promised to agree Joe Biden is president-elect if he receives at least 270 votes. We’ll see.

February 4, 2020

State of the Union Speech: The Great American Comeback (GAC)

One year ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) vigorously clapped for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) at his State of the Union speech when DDT said called on Washington to “reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good.” After a year of threats and obstruction, DDT now calls for former national security adviser John Bolton to be investigated and plans to also attack Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY). Sources say that DDT “has an enemies list that is growing by the day.”

DDT’s legal team already spent the vast majority of their time attacking DDT’s self-perceived political enemies who had nothing to do with the impeachment—President Obama, former FBI director James Comey, special investigator Robert Mueller, FBI employees Strzok, Page, and Ohr—the list was extensive. Pam Bondi spent almost an hour attacking Hunter Biden for charges that Ukraine and U.S. investigation declared baseless. 

Tonight, DDT moved forward to spread vitriol, sob stories, and falsehoods in his third State of the Union speech, adding mightily to his 16,000 lies over the past three years. 

GDP Growth – Fiction: “U.S. economy “best it’s ever been. Fact: The GDP growth in the last quarter was 2.1 percent with 2.3 percent for the entire year. The average growth rate since 1947 has been 3.2 percent. Economic growth slowed. DDT in September 2016: “We think it could be 5 (%) or even 6 (%).” He was wrong.

Economic Success – Fiction: DDT takes responsibility for having “reversed the failed economic policies of the previous administration.” Fact: Economists maintain that economic growth because during President Obama’s terms.

Tax Law – Fiction: Giving money to the wealthy and big business by slashing the corporate tax by 40 percent will create a massive increase in domestic capital investment and then more jobs. Fact: A brief increase in investment in 2018 collapsed back to previous levels.

Jobs Growth – Fiction: A huge expansion of jobs under DDT. Fact: President Obama averaged 201,600 jobs per month after the George W. Bush’s loss of jobs was reversed in October 2010. For 2017 to 2019, with some of those months credited to his predecessor, DDT averaged 191,000 per month, five percent less than President Obama. DDT managed an average of 176,000 new jobs per month in 2016, a decline of almost 13 percent from his predecessor. The 6.7 million jobs created since DDT moved into the Oval Office is fewer than President Obama’s 8.2 created jobs in his last 36 months.

Manufacturing Jobs – Fiction: Blue-collar boom. Fact: Employment growth in manufacturing slowed to fewer than 50,000 jobs in 2019, the second worst in the past decade. Job growth decreased from 2.6 percent at the beginning of 2019 to 1.3 percent at the end of the year in mining, construction, and transportation. Instead of 12,000 new factories, the total of new ones is under 11,000, and over 8,000 of them employ five or fewer people.

Jobs Growth in Auto Industry – Fiction: NAFTA-New to “create nearly 100,000 new high-paying American auto jobs.” Fact: DDT’s own trade rep says 76,000 jobs in the next five years, and the nonpartisan International Trade Commission estimates 28,000 jobs.

Jobs for Minorities – DDT’s statement about “unemployment rate for African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans [reaching] the lowest levels in history” overlook the fact that these levels are now going up.

Wage Increases – Fact: Raises came from state and local increases in minimum wage law.

Farms – Fiction: Farms will benefit from DDT’s election. Fact: Farm bankruptcies increased by 20% in 2019 compared with 2018. After DDT’s trade war with China, soybean production was expanded in China. DDT compensated farm losses, mostly for wealthy farmers with a Socialist donation to them of $28 billion taxpayer money.

Oil Industry – Fiction: DDT taking credit for U.S. becoming #1 producer of oil and natural gas in the world. Fact: The U.S. became #1 in gas production in 2011 and #1 in oil production in 2014—during President Obama’s terms.

Pre-existing Conditions – Fiction: Claim of permanent protection for “patients with pre-existing conditions.” Fact: DDT has worked hard to weaken or eliminate pre-existing conditions, including his new regulations, legislation he championed, and the lawsuit to declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional that his AG Bill Barr is litigating for DDT. Information about DDT’s damage to health care

Social Security/Medicare – Fiction: Swears to eternal protection. Fact: At Davos (Switzerland) he said he will get rid of both programs, and his economic policies, such as tax cuts, takes money from these funds.

Sanctuary Cities – Fiction: “Local officials order police to release dangerous criminal aliens ….” Fact: Most cities direct police not to release any undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes unless they make bail.

Trade Deal – Fiction: The U.S. lost 25 percent of manufacturing jobs after NAFTA’s adoption. Fact: Factory employment increased immediately after NAFTA, and the trade deal was not responsible for later job losses. Some jobs were lost while other jobs were created elsewhere. China’s joining the World Trade Organization in 2001 led to greater loss in manufacturing jobs.

Drug Prices – Fiction: Drop in costs of prescription drugs last year. Fact: The Consumer Price Index for drugs doesn’t include all prescription drugs, and the Index has gone up again.  

Religion – Fiction: Claims that his administration is “defending religious liberty, that “we cherish religion.” Fact: Only Christianity is “cherished.” Muslims are persecuted and kept out of the country, and Judaism is accepted only when doing so benefits DDT. He “cherishes” white supremacists, who chant “Jews must go.” Evangelicals are placed far above other religions such as Catholicism as shown by DDT-sanctioned discrimination by adoption organizations. The bit about how “we raise our sights to the Glory of God was a bit much from the notorious “pussy-grabber.

Venezuela – Fiction: Juan Guaidó introduced as the “true legitimate president.” Fact: He is self-declared president, but countries such as Russia, China, and Iran as well as the UN recognize Nicolás Maduro’s government.

ISIS – Fiction: The claim that “the ISIS territorial caliphate has been 100 percent destroyed.” Fact: The Pentagon reported this week that the death of al-Baghdadi made little difference in ISIS’s ability “to maintain continuity of operations, global cohesion, and at least its current trajectory.”

Qassim Suleimani – Fiction: Murdered because he “directed the December assault on United States Forces in Iraq and was actively planning new attacks.” Fact: No evidence for these claims, and the killing may violate international law.

The Wall – Fiction: Built over 100 miles and will have 500 miles finished very soon. Fact: Almost all the 115 miles of new border wall are where vehicle barricades or tattered barriers existed. In Texas, the government lacks 144 or 162 private land that officials want for the wall. In his speech he skipped the lie he told in New Jersey that “the wall is ultimately and very nicely being paid for by Mexico.”

DDT’s focus on generalities made him able to avoid awkward facts about the wall. For example, a 37-mph wind blew down a 130-foot length of the wall in Mexicali, stopped only by trees on the Mexico side. People have easily scaled the wall and cut through it with a $100 saw. The wall also requires hundreds of unstaffed and manually-operated storm gates to be opened for months every summer in mitigation of flash flooding because the wall looks and acts like a sewer grate that collects debris. Open gates require forklifts to open and close the gates. operation.

Rivers and creeks reach dangerous volumes from summer storms, and the border has hundreds of drainage channels and several rivers. The Santa Cruz River begins in an Arizona valley and flows through Mexico’s mountains before returning with more water to again cross the border. The flood plain of the San Pedro River, which goes north from Mexico into Arizona, is wide as a football field and must be kept clean of any obstacles including trees. Until gates are built, the new parts of the wall leave gaps at these waterways that wildlife needs to cross the border and provides areas for smugglers and migrants to cross the border.

As always, DDT’s State of the Union speech, intended to unite the country, was strange—campaigning from the beginning with Republicans chanting “four more years” and DDT refusing to shake the hand of the House Speaker who reached out her hand to him. Pelosi, however, got the last word: she tore his speech in half. Conservatives were enraged, but stories about her action have already gone viral—along with all DDT’s lies. Yet Republicans swallowed DDT’s lies in the last election, suffered buyers’ remorse when they didn’t come true, and are now opening their mouths wide for another dose of falsehoods.

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