Nel's New Day

March 26, 2022

March 26 – Catching Up on the News

During the past week, the media largely focused on the song-and-dance smear campaign of Supreme Court justice nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson and the ongoing flattening of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his determination to eradicate all the nation’s civilians. But a few other things occurred.

After a week, Clarence Thomas is out of the hospital after suffering a mysterious illness. While there, he dissented in a Supreme Court ruling of 8-1 for new guidelines that permit a Texas death row inmate’s spiritual adviser to pray aloud and “lay hands” on him during his execution. Now no longer sequestered, he faces continuing ethics questions about his wife, Ginni Thomas, who exchanged 29 texts with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that pushed him to overturn the 2020 presidential election. She argued for continued dispute of the election results, declared that Joe Biden did not win the election, and lobbied for legal strategies to accomplish these ends. Thomas has already defended Dictator Donald Trump (DDT); i.e., having been the only Supreme Court justice against releasing DDT’s records to the House January 6 investigation committee.

In her texts, Ginni Thomas pushed the conspiracy theory that 12 battleground states used DDT’s water-marked ballots to trick Democrats. She encouraged Meadows to watch a video by Steve Pieczenik whose ideas are too far out for Alex Jones. His history of lying includes claims of having worked throughout the national security bureaucracy in classified positions and arresting Pope Francis. Like Jones, he tried to persuade people that the massacre of 20 young children at Sandy Hood Elementary School was faked and said the same thing about Pearl Harbor, the 9/11 attack, and the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting that killed 60 people. Ginni Thomas agrees with Pieczenik lies and told Meadows that military “white hats,” the QAnon term for DDT supporters in the federal government, had been deployed to key states.

“I think we should be careful destroying our institutions because they don’t give us what we want when we want it.” These were Clarence Thomas’ words in a speech last September; his wife should have heeded them. Republican congressional members are solidly on the Ginni Thomas’ side while incensed about Jackson’s ethical behavior. She also pressured congressional members to overthrow the election. Soon after the 2020 election, she wrote to an aide of Jim Banks (R-IN), the incoming Republican Study Committee chair, stating she would have nothing to do with his group until his members go “out in the streets.” The RSC is only less conservative than the tea-party Freedom Caucus.

Voter fraud by Meadows’ wife, Debra Meadows, has emerged.  In October 26, 2020, she two false voter forms, one for voter registration and the other an application for a mail-in ballot. On both forms, his wife certified that she resided at a place for at least 30 days where she didn’t live. Both forms had this notice: “fraudulently or falsely completing this form” is a Class I felony.  She also dropped off her husband’s absentee ballot. Three months earlier, Mark Meadows had protested in an interview about how mail-in ballots and ballot “harvesting,” having someone else drop off a ballot, results in voter fraud. He also “fraudulently or falsely” completed the same forms. And he had the ballot with the wrong address sent to their Alexandria condo. The state Bureau of Investigation is looking into Mark Meadows but declined to say whether their probe would cover his wife actions.

North Carolina should take the Meadows’ case seriously. In 2016, a resident Latisha Bratcher Jones, on probation for a felony after serving time in prison, completed an application to vote because she thought she was eligible. She was indicted for making a false affidavit about being on probation and giving her residence in a different county than the one where she voted. State officials concluded she unintentionally voted illegally, but a prosecutor brought felony charges that could have sent her to prison for 19 months. Eventually she pled guilty to a misdemeanor about living in a different county.

Corruption and conspiracy theories are okay with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), but he apparently draws the line at conviction. At the House GOP retreat, he said that Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) should resign if he is convicted of a felony. Fortenberry was convicted of three felonies, all lying to federal authorities about an illegal $30,000 donation from a foreign billionaire from Nigeria. Conviction is a low bar; he kept House members in their committee seats after their insurrection attempts to overthrow the United States government. 

Instead of using loopholes to get out of trouble, Fortenberry just used lies and excuses. When his campaign violation was discovered, he claimed he didn’t lie and even made a video while he and his wife sat with their dog in an antique pickup out in the Nebraska countryside. Later he used an excuse about “a bad cell phone connection” causing a misunderstanding. Then the accusation was a “failed memory test.” Another Fortenberry excuse was that the FBI were trying to trap him when agents planned to “feed” him information to “set up” future charges. He asked for a second interview and then lied again. Fortenberry claimed that the lead prosecutor had political reasons to attack him. Failing with those tactics, his attorneys explained Fortenberry was confused—because of his age. He was 60.

Fortenberry has resigned from the House of Representatives as of March 31. Nebraska prevents a gubernatorial appointment; replacing Fortenberry requires a special election.

The feud between DDT and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), candidate for U.S. Senate, continues. DDT changed his endorsement of Brooks to the primary opponent, and Brooks went on the road telling everyone that DDT incessantly begged for his help in overturning the election, even after the January 6 insurrection. Brooks said DDT told him to rescind the 2020 election, immediately remove Joe Biden from the White House, put DDT back into the White House, and hold a new special election to get him elected. DDT called Brooks, who gave a speech on January 6 calling for protesters to take action at the Capitol, “woke” because he told people to put the election behind them.

The 12th missile fired this year by North Korea, the biggest thus far, was first unveiled in October 2020. It flew 71 minutes before landing near Japan’s territorial waters; its height suggests the range could be 9,320 with a normal trajectory, putting the U.S. within striking distance. In 2017, North Korean missiles also demonstrated the possibility of reaching the U.S.

U.S. customs officials stopped Paul Manafort, DDT’s former campaign manager, from getting on a plane to Dubai with a revoked passport. Over the past decade, Manafort had submitted ten passport applications and had three active U.S. passports, each with a different identification number. Convicted of lying to investigators after pleading guilty to tax and bank fraud, he served two years in prison of his 7.5-year sentence before being released during the COVID pandemic. DDT pardoned Manafort a month before DDT left the White House.  

The truck convoy in Washington, D.C. is still trying to create havoc, but the cracks are starting to show. Their goal is to slow traffic, but they claim they have to pee in their pants because they keep getting slowed down. One of their threats is to make “citizen’s arrests” of the drivers, the DC police officers, and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. Some of the truckers claim that just driving around the Beltway is a “waste” although their leader Brian Base came back to camp after a few days at home and told them they are succeeding. The rain seems to be an excuse for their not going out on the road. He also said that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), after his media appearance a while back, hasn’t been in touch.   

Last Thursday, convoy member Brandon Jackson, 28, was arrested “on handgun violations” and “charged with ‘illegal possession of a loaded handgun on person.’” A vehicle was blocking the roadway in front of the Hagerstown Speedway where the convoy is camping, and the arrest came during a heated argument between Jackson and another trucker about the convoy’s plans and the possibility of corruption.  Earlier that week, two men, one of them Jackson’s friends, had argued during the morning meeting earlier in the week about who could to speak on the microphone. Jackson accused the organizer of planting a spy among the convoy members.

Two people also said they were attacked by members of the convoy in two separate incidents, one on March 16 and the other March 20. One was on a motorcycle, a trucker tried to knock him over by opening his vehicle’s door.  A group of truckers surrounded the man and pushed him off his motorcycle. A video of truckers assaulting the motorcyclist.

Jobless claims fell by 28,000 to 187,000 for the week ending March 19. The four-week average for claims also fell to levels not seen in five decades. Employers added 678,000 jobs in February, the largest monthly total since July. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.8%, from 4% in January. In total, 1,350,000 Americans were collecting jobless aid the week that ended March 12, another five-decade low.

And that’s the tip of the iceberg—lots more later.

January 13, 2022

January 13: All in a Day’s News

Predictions were accurate: the Supreme Court voted against OSHA vaccination mandates in the private sector by 6-3. Anyone who following the high court doesn’t need the names of justices on each side. According to the majority argument, COVID isn’t a workplace issue, just like crime, clean drinking water, and pollution aren’t. The dissent called the majority decision “perverse,” that it read federal law as “constraining OSHA from addressing one of the gravest workplace hazards in the agency’s history.” It asked who should determine protection for workers:

“An agency with expertise in workplace health and safety, acting as Congress and the President authorized? Or a court, lacking any knowledge of how to safeguard workplaces, and insulated from responsibility for any damage it causes?”

The Supreme Court finds a problem with COVID in their workplace: it has been closed to the public for almost all two years. Everyone on the bench except Neil Gorsuch wears a mask because of contagion. A majority of justices must have seen the danger, too, because two of those blocking vaccination mandates in the private sector, John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh, approved them for all healthcare workers.

The six justices opposing the vaccination mandate applied a faulty rationale. To them, COVID is a danger in the workplace but not a workplace danger by their using the term “occupational” instead of “workplace.” Yet they admitted “COVID–19 can and does spread at home, in schools, during sporting events, and everywhere else that people gather.” Yet both schools and sporting events are “workplaces.” To many people, the workplace is the greatest danger to their health. Over a year ago, meat processing plans showed this danger of the workplace, beginning with huge COVID outbreaks in South Dakota that moved to other states such as Nebraska. Workers in many states have no protections from mandated mask wearing, social distancing, and other health precautions, making lack of vaccinations an occupational hazard. The ruling did state that some places could have what was considered an occupational hazard but feared that the mandate was only a public health requirement.

Right-wingers protecting insurrectionists on January 6, including people writing to my local newspaper, use the excuse that no person just wandering through the Capitol on that day (their description) has been charged with sedition. That changed. Stewart Rhodes, founder of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers, and ten other alleged insurrectionists have now been charged with seditious conspiracy, the use of violence to hinder the execution of federal law.

Rhodes was arrested for his attempt to use violence in blocking Biden from being sworn in as president that began immediately after Biden’s win in the election. According to the indictment:

“Rhodes and certain co-conspirators … planned to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power by January 20, 2021, which included multiple ways to deploy force. They coordinated travel across the country to enter Washington, D.C., equipped themselves with a variety of weapons, donned combat and tactical gear, and were prepared to answer Rhodes’ call to take up arms at Rhodes’ direction.”

One of ten Rhodes’ arrested associates, 63-year-old Edward Vallejo of Phoenix (AZ), is a new defendant. On the night of January 6, Vallejo wrote, “We got food for 30 days.” “We have only [begun] to fight!” The 48-page, 17-count indictment against the Oath Keepers uses defendants’ own words for the charges of planning for and participating in obstructing Congress, beginning immediately after Biden’s election. Rhodes wrote Oath Keepers leaders:

“We aren’t getting through this without a civil war. Too late for that. Prepare your mind, body, spirit.”

Rhodes’ plan to action issued five days later, “WHAT WE THE PEOPLE MUST DO,” recommended the group follow Servia’s anti-government uprising. Other suggested tactics came from the North Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam War. On New Year’s Eve, Rhodes wrote, “There is no standard political or legal way out of this.” Yet he claimed after the riot that Oath Keepers in the Capitol were “off mission.” Two Oath Keepers pled guilty to an earlier indictment charging 19 members with conspiracy and aiding and abetting the obstruction of Congress. Defendants have also admitted they put guns in a nearby hotel for a “quick reaction force,” but Rhodes said that was “only if the president calls us up.” Like many other defendants from January 6, Rhodes complained that DDT had abandoned him.

In its latest investigation, the House January 6 committee subpoenaed Twitter, Reddit, and parent companies of Facebook and YouTube, accusing them of failing to provide the committee with complete information about how their social media platforms spread lies promoting the insurrection. Subpoenas earlier this week are for people connected to Donald Trump Jr.—his two close advisers Andrew Surabian and Arthur Schwartz—and DDT’s speechwriter for his January 6 speech, Ross Worthington.  The investigatory committee chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (R-MS), said the panel wanted to know about people connected to the rally including Jr.’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, DDT’s spokesperson Taylor Budowich, DDT’s adviser Katrina Pierson, Publix heiress and donor to the rally Julie Fancelli, and GOP fundraiser Caroline Wren.

The committee is also consulting with legal council regarding subpoenas for congressional members. Thus far, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Scott Perry (R-PA) have refused to cooperate with the investigation. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), a committee member, accused McCarthy of hiding the truth. She said:

“I wish that he were a brave and honorable man. He’s clearly trying to cover up what happened. He has an obligation to come forward and we’ll get to the truth.”

Sean Hannity is trying to be on both sides of the street, telling the January 6 committee that he’s a journalist with all the First Amendment rights but then lying to his audience. His latest classic performance was a chat—not really an interview—with Paul Manafort, DDT’s campaign manager who DDT pardoned less than a month before Biden’s inauguration. Hannity lied about the Russia probe into the campaign and the reasons for Manafort’s charges and convictions. Philip Bump fills in the truth that almost no Fox watcher will ever read.

On a lighter note, satirist Andy “not-the-news” Borowitz wrote that Sean Hannity said he couldn’t swear “to tell the truth” because it would violate his Fox contract. Hannity explained he must “answer to a higher power: Rupert Murdoch.” He added, “If I am seen [telling the truth] even once, it could destroy my brand.”

GOP denialism in losing elections is running rampant. Last Tuesday, Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick won the special congressional election to replace Alcee Hastings who died last April. The loser, GOP Jason Mariner who received under 20 percent of the vote to Cherfilus-McCormick’s 79 percent majority, said about his defeat that “it does not mean we lost.” He has filed a lawsuit and said, “[W]e’ll have some stuff coming out that we’ve recently discovered.” Last November, the GOP loser for Washington governor by 545,000 votes refused to concede, crying voter fraud. After a Maryland GOP congressional candidate lost by over 40 points, she claimed the race was “stolen” from her. Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) has been the model for the biggest bunch of crybaby sore losers that the U.S. has ever seen. Former Nevada AG Adam Laxalt, GOP Senate candidate, is beginning early to declare foul for his loss—months before ballots are cast for the 2022 election. In addition, former Sen. Dean Heller, gubernatorial candidate, has promised he will get DDT elected in 2024 by changing state laws.

Republicans have railed against Chinese companies, and Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) is no different. Within the past month, however, he and his wife bought at least $300,000 in shares from the China-based company Alibaba. Last July, he said he had sold off some shares in the company after he found it was in his portfolio while he was campaigning and failed to file disclosures about it.

Republicans are working on their platform ahead of time. The main plank at this time is revenge or retaliation, but another one is lack of communication. The RNC plans a rule change requiring all GOP candidates to guarantee they will refuse participation in any election debates sponsored by the nonpartisan, nonprofit commission hosting them for almost 40 years. Republicans are upset because moderators have fact-checked candidates. DDT complained that the commission favored Democrats.

The media has loved the story about the 57-year-old man whose life was saved with a transplant of a pig heart. The man was convicted in 1988 of paralyzing a man by stabbing him seven times and served six yeas of his ten-year sentence. The stabbed man lived for 19 years in a wheelchair before having a stroke in 2005. Two years later he died one week before his 41st birthday. The man rewarded with a life-saving procedure had been refused at several other hospitals because he failed to follow doctors’ orders, attend follow-up visits, and consistently take his prescribed medications.

June 10, 2021

How Low Does DDT Sink? Revelations from the Past

Since Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) has left the White House, revelations of his actions keep appearing from under rocks, illustrating the slime that he spread throughout his administration. Today was the knowledge that DDT’s Department of Justice took records of metadata and other account records from Apple and another internet provider about at least a dozen House Intelligence Committee members, their aides, and their family members, including at least one minor child. The DOJ also had a gag order on Apple expiring this year to prevent it from revealing the subpoenas for this information. A major figure in this attack is Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who was the leading Democrat on the committee during DDT’s first impeachment trial in 2017 and 2018.

The DOJ investigation started when former AG Jeff Sessions and his prosecutors searched for media sources about ties between DDT and Russia. No information could be found so the search almost disappeared until DDT’s new AG, Bill Barr, resumed the investigations by moving Osmar Benvenuto, a New Jersey prosecutor with little relevant DOJ experience, to the Schiff-related case and several others. Congressional officials cannot remember any case in which lawmaker records have been seized outside corruption investigations, and members of the DOJ saw the department’s actions as politically motivated.

For the last half of 2020, Barr secretly fought CNN to get two months’ of 2017 email logs from CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. The DOJ also put a gag order on CNN general counsel David Viglante to keep him from sharing any information beyond CNN’s president, top attorneys at CNN’s parent organization, and attorneys at an outside law firm. According to CNN, the complete secrecy, the court proceeding, and the unwillingness to negotiate subpoenas for reporters’ records are highly unusual. During the past three months, DOJ officials disclosed subpoenas for reporters’ email logs as well as phone records for reporters at The Washington Post and The New York Times in the last year of DDT’s term. 

Since this revelation, President Joe Biden claimed it was “simply, simply wrong” to seize reporters’ records, and the DOJ stated it will no longer try to secretly obtain these records during investigations into leaks. The DOJ’s ruling out “compulsory legal process” may eliminate attempts to force journalists to give up their sources identities, but this policy works only in probing leaks, only to “members of the news media,” and only when they are “doing their jobs.” It also did not define members of the media. Media advocates are also concerned that the policy will revert with a new administration.

The DOJ also withdrew its subpoena to USA Today for the identities of readers of its story about a suspect in a child pornography case who fatally shot two FBI agents in February. The FBI was demanding IP addresses and mobile phone identification information for everyone who clicked on the internet article during the 35 minutes after the shooting.

The decision to no longer secretly demand journalists’ records leaves questions about the handling of DDT’s DOJ investigations about stories written early in DDT’s term. One was whether then FBI Director James Comey shared information with reporters about a document influencing his closing an investigation into Hillary Clinton. The Post also wrote about Sessions’ contact with Russian officials, and CNN reported on U.S. proposals in North Korea. DDT’s administration avoided telling reporters within the appropriate timeline about their records being sought, leaving the Biden administration to notify reporters. Biden’s DOJ continued to keep from notifying the NYT’s lawyer about seizing reporter records for almost two months after Biden’s inauguration and past DOJ Merrick Garland’s swearing in on March 11.

A new audio among DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, and Andriy Yermak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, reveals Giuliani’s pressuring Ukraine to investigate evidence-free conspiracy theories about Biden in July 2019 before DDT’s call with Zelensky, leading to DDT’s first impeachment. During the 40-minute phone call, Giuliani incessantly told Yermak that Zelensky should publicly announce his probes into lies about Biden’s possible corruption in Ukraine and Ukraine’s interference in 2016 to hurt DDT. Like DDT’s subsequent call, the audio of the call proves the falsehood of DDT’s constant claim about “no quid pro quo” with Zelensky securing U.S. government support for doing DDT’s political favors. An ongoing investigation into Giuliani concerns violation of lobbying laws through coordination with ex-officials giving him dirt on Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

The tape of the telephone call also means trouble for Volker, showing he didn’t tell the truth under oath in his televised testimony during DDT’s first impeachment trial when he said he didn’t know about DDT’s attempts to pressure Ukraine into an evidence-free investigation of Joe Biden. The House Intelligence Committee has put Volker under scrutiny for his previous false statements. In his October 3, 2019 deposition, Volker said, “Vice President Biden was never a topic of discussion.” In November 2019, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) used Volker’s words about “no quid pro quo” to successfully exonerate DDT during his impeachment trial.

After GOP interference in the 2020 election failed to elect DDT, his last chief of staff Mark Meadows sent multiple emails to DOJ demanding investigation into conspiracy theories about election fraud, hoping he could nullify Joe Biden’s win. The most bizarre may have been the use of military technology and satellites by Italians to tamper with U.S. voting machines that then switched DDT’s votes to those for Biden. Even DDT’s newest AG, Jeffrey Rosen, wouldn’t look into the theories. Rosen also refused to arrange a meeting between the FBI and the man posting videos online about Italygate.

Previously, Meadows had pressured officials in Georgia to find 11,000 votes for DDT which would allow him to win the state for the Electoral College. His search into non-existent anomalies with signature matches in Georgia’s Democratic Fulton County has been resumed since a court case permitted plaintiffs to look into the theory. Meadows also sent Rosen false allegations of election problems in New Mexico. DDT had pushed Rosen to support the lawsuits searching for election fraud and appoint a special investigator to probe Dominion voting machines used in many states. Rosen’s refusal led DDT to consider the appointment of a more cooperative acting AG. Longstanding guidelines prevent almost all White House personnel, including the chief of staff, from contact with the DOJ about investigations or other enforcement actions.

Rosen is currently talking with the Senate oversight panel about telling investigators regarding pressure on the DOJ to investigate election fraud and the DOJ response to the January 6 insurrection. He is also negotiating with the DOJ about what he can legally tell Congress and the inspector general.

A judge has unsealed files listing the “principal lies” DDT’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort told special investigator Robert Mueller’s team before the release of the report. Manafort was convicted on eight counts, including false tax returns and bank fraud, before DDT pardoned him. The first lie showed that Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates “periodically” gave Russian intelligence operative Konstantin Kilimnik DDT’s campaign internal polling data although Gates suspected Kilimnik was a Russian “spy.” Manafort also lied about how he made plans with Kilimnik to control part of eastern Ukraine. Other lies included his lack of communication with “anyone” in DDT’s administration “on any subject matter.”

Weeks after the presidential victory for Biden was certified in Pennsylvania with a majority of over 80,000 votes, GOP state senators started secretly calling GOP-leaning counties to ask if they would permit a voluntary ballot audit. Behind this effort were not only the GOP lawmakers but also private fund-raising campaigns. Only one of three counties acquiesced, Fulton County where DDT won by 86 percent. On December 31, 2020, Wake TSI, “contracted” to a nonprofit group by pro-DDT lawyer Sidney Powell who was filing a series of lawsuits challenging DDT’s election loss, spent an afternoon recounting 1,000 mail-in ballots and taking data from county voting machines. Its draft report originally stated the election had been “well run” and “conducted in a diligent and effective manner,” but a revised version gave a caveat:

“This does not indicate that there were no issues with the election, just that they were not the fault of the County Election Commission or County Election Director.”

DDT allies used this revised report to claim voting machines are vulnerable to hacking and fraud. Wake TSI was hired to do a hand recount of Maricopa County (AZ) ballots but abruptly ended its involvement after a few weeks. Like Maricopa County, Fulton County, population under 15,000, may have to replace all its voting machines because of turning them over to an uncertified company.

DDT’s Commerce Department used a security unit as a rogue counterintelligence operation to collect information on hundreds of citizens and foreign visitors suspected of criticizing the 2020 U.S. census or having ties to China.

Biden has also withdrawn a subpoena attempting to force Twitter to disclose Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) anonymous social media critic. The DOJ also put a gag order on Twitter about the subpoena. Twitter executives believed the DOJ abused their power and violated the First Amendment to support DDT’s ally. A Virginia judge dismissed Nunes’ $250 million suit against Twitter for parody accounts pretending to be his mother and a cow.

And there are sure to be more revelations.

April 15, 2021

Biden’s Foreign Policy, Domestic Terrorism

While Republicans complain about President Joe Biden’s inaction and lack of lying bombast exhibited by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), Biden is quietly strengthening U.S. foreign policy.

Today Biden sanctioned 40 Russian groups and individuals for the Russian major cyber espionage operation, operations to elect DDT in the past two presidential elections, the massive Russian buildup on the Ukrainian border, and Russia’s ongoing occupation and “severe human rights abuses” in Crimea. He blocked U.S. financial institutions from purchasing bonds from Russia’s Central Bank, National Wealth Fund, and Ministry of Finance after June 14 and from lending money to these institutions. Biden also expelled ten people from Washington’s Russian diplomatic mission and considers sanctions on Russia’s sovereign debt. He now proposes a summit where the U.S. and Russia can discuss these problems.

Republicans yell and whine about election fraud, but reports show DDT’s 2016 campaign manager in frequent, covert contact with a Chinese intelligence officer, once his business associate. Paul Manafort passed internal polling data to the operative who asked him to support a proposal to allow Chinese success in the South China Sea territorial disputes. Biden sanctioned the operative Konstantin Kilimnik, identified as a “Russian and Ukrainian political consultant and known Russian Intelligence Services agent implementing influence operations on their behalf.” Manafort promoted the lie, still pushed by GOP congressional members, that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election on DDT’s behalf. The FBI has a reward of $250,000 for Kilimnik’s arrest. DDT pardoned Manafort and freed him from prison. 

Kilimnik’s information from Manafort went through a secret pipeline, perhaps used throughout DDT’s four-year term, directly to Russian intelligence to defeat Hillary Clinton. A Senate Intelligence Committee report, endorsed by Republicans, marked him a “grave counterintelligence threat.” Secretary of State Antony echoed the Senate report by repeating the U.S. intelligence report that Russia “presents one of the most serious intelligence threats to the United States.”

This week, Biden also gave September 11, 2021, as the deadline for removing the last 2,500 U.S. military members from Afghanistan. He selected the 20th anniversary of the foreign terrorist attack on U.S. soil killing 3,000 people which led George W. Bush to start the “military mission” in the Middle East costing U.S. taxpayers almost $7 trillion. Biden said he will not pass the war to a fifth president and is following DDT’s agreement with the Taliban to withdraw troops.

Today Secretary of State Antony Blinken followed Biden’s announcement with a surprise visit to Afghan leaders in Kabul and repeated the U.S. commitment to helping their government. He emphasized counter-terrorism cooperation and “protecting the rights of women and girls,” according to a department announcement.

Biden has also sent an unofficial delegation to Taiwan as “an important signal about the U.S. commitment to Taiwan and its democracy,” according to an official. Last week, the USS John S. McCain went through the Taiwan Strait, and the carrier Theodore Roosevelt went to the South China Sea for “routine operations.” China typically protests the U.S. being in those international waters, especially with its support for Taiwan.

Biden plans to meet Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, hoping for a joint statement supporting Taiwan and discussing China’s treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang and influence over Hong Kong. Japan and the U.S. have not had a joint statement about Taiwan for over 50 years. The meeting prefaces one in May with Biden and South Korea’s President Moon Jae about managing China’s rising power and that of North Korea with the help of the Quad—Australia, India, Japan, and North Korea.

A U.S. negotiating team in Vienna led by Robert Malley is working with Iran representatives to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement. Initially, they are working on the over 700 sanctions imposed by DDT to permanently destroy the deal. In efforts to scuttle any deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed pleasure when opposing Israelis reportedly bombed an Iranian nuclear facility. If Biden succeeds in redeeming the agreement, he plans to “expand and strengthen” the pact by covering Iran’s militant activities and missile program to obtain support from congressional opposition. Iran may hold off until after their elections in June.

Today, Inspector General Michael Bolton testified before the House Administration Committee about the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and argued for a campus security overhaul. He said a deputy assistant chief of police told officers not to use any weapons including stingballs and 40mm launchers, weapons that could have helped them protect the Capitol. Thus far, one task force and over one-half dozen congressional committees have started investigations into why law enforcement failed to prevent the insurrection when hundreds of DDT’s supporters invaded and vandalized the Capitol building to stop the certification of Biden as the legal president.

Bolton, who may have the most complete examination of problems permitting the Capitol Police to be overrun by “deficiencies,” will continue the probe for several more months. He has already provided Congress with two interim reports about the lack of security clearances, personnel, equipment, and training to respond to these attacks. Calling for a “cultural change,” Bolton said law enforcement at the Capitol must move from the “traditional posture of a police department” to “a protection agency” focusing on preventing events like the January 6 riot. Preparation of a supplemental spending package for reforms of campus security will also use an evaluation from retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré requested by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R-CA), in addition to Bolton’s recommendation to invest funding in training. That activity would include gathering, analyzing, and assessing intelligence for responses to future threats.

Following TheDonald.win before the Capitol attack would have made the high danger of violence on January 6 obvious. Participants covered ways to bring guns into D.C., quantity of ammunition, legal weapons such as stun guns and small knives, methods of attacking police officers with flagpoles and other objects, the best type of zip ties to use on congressional members certifying Biden’s election, and discussions of building the most effective gallows for use on disloyal congressional members according to the attackers. “Camarokirk” preferred a guillotine because it’s “more scary.” A dissenter brought up the problem of how “to get that big blade into town,” and the gallows the insurrectionists actually built, intended for VP Mike Pence, cost only $200. Many of the violent ideas on the website came to fruition on January 6 with right-wing domestic terrorists disrupting the presidential vote certification.

DDT encouraged the violence as shown by this tweet on December 19: 

 “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

Website users traded maps, travel information, money, hotel recommendations, and organizations of cross-country caravans. Also available on the website were diagrams of the tunnel systems below the Capitol complex and ways of creating a “wall of death” by pushing the mob forward, forcing police to give up their positions.

A recent report shows that DDT, who told his conservative terrorist Proud Boys to “stand by” in his first presidential debate with Biden, is completely wrong in his obsession about the “left-wing problem” of domestic terrorism. Asked at the debate about white supremacists and fringe militia groups, he saw them as political allies and then pushed the far-left menace as being the danger. According to information from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the new highs of domestic terrorism events are chiefly driven by white-supremacist, anti-Muslim, and anti-government extremists on the far right. The surge is the worst since the 1990s. The WaPo reported:

“Since 2015, right-wing extremists have been involved in 267 plots or attacks and 91 fatalities, the data shows. At the same time, attacks and plots ascribed to far-left views accounted for 66 incidents leading to 19 deaths…. More than a quarter of right-wing incidents and just under half of the deaths in those incidents were caused by people who showed support for white supremacy or claimed to belong to groups espousing that ideology, the analysis shows.”

The most common targets in these far-right events are mosques, synagogues, Black churches, abortion clinics, and government buildings, which have been “threatened, burned, bombed and hit with gunfire over the past six years.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) announced his panel would do a “significant dive” into domestic anti-government extremists, including radicalized groups’ possible connections to foreign allies. Earlier, Biden officials announced an overhaul of the government treatment of domestic terrorism with a “comprehensive threat assessment” by intelligence agencies. Former DHS officials from both parties agreed DDT’s failure to focus on “the rise of domestic threats” was among the agency’s problems. According to the NBC News report, these officials agreed:

“[I]t was the four years of inadequately monitoring and communicating the rising threat of right-wing domestic extremists that ultimately led to DHS’ failure to prevent [the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol].”

The New York Times reported that DDT’s administration “diverted” federal law enforcement and domestic security agencies, pressuring officials to “uncover a left-wing extremist criminal conspiracy that never materialized,” even as “the threat from the far right was building ominously.” It added that the FBI, “in particular, had increasingly expressed concern about the threat from white supremacists, long the top domestic terrorism threat, and well-organized far-right extremist groups that had allied themselves with the president.” DDT did not find these issues at all concerning. 

Time to “Build Back Better.”

August 20, 2020

GOP Senators Prove No Russia ‘Hoax’

The second night of the 2020 Democratic convention, culminating in Joe Biden’s nomination, continued Michelle Obama’s theme of incompetence displayed by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), the thin-skinned man’s huge weakness. Last night’s speakers continued with complaints about DDT’s lack of preparation, interest, and general ability—usually described as “out of his depth. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) ridiculed DDT for hiding “in a bunker” while his militia tear-gassed people in Lafayette Square. Former Secretary of State John Kerry continued with the “love letters” DDT writes to foreign dictator while he alienates U.S. allies.  Former president Bill Clinton gave possibly the shortest speech of his career. During the five minutes, he said:

“If you want a president who defines the job as spending hours a day watching TV and zapping people on social media, he’s your man. Denying, distracting and demeaning works great if you’re trying to entertain or inflame. But in a real crisis, it collapses like a house of cards.”

DDT’s tweets tonight demonstrated growing rage as convention participants continued talking about his incompetence. The latest Biden-Trump polling lead of Biden by 12 points (53 percent to 41 percent), one from WaPo-ABC, didn’t help his mood.

Tomorrow night, with the theme of “America’s Promise,” culminates with Joe Biden’s acceptance speech. DDT will have to work hard to compete with the Democratic event even with the huge stage he’s having built on the White House south lawn for next week’s GOP convention. He’ll also miss the attention for the convention with the media having more time for his sabotage of voting through the destruction of the postal service and the damning results of the Senate Intelligence Committee report about DDT’s collusion with Russia to help him get elected in 2016.

The bipartisan report released Tuesday by the GOP-controlled committee also provided new details about links between DDT’s campaign and Russia. Because the Senate is controlled by DDT’s minion Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Russia has GOP’s permission to continue its interference this year, again on behalf of DDT and other Republicans.

Revelations in the report’s fifth volume, almost 1,000-page report, came from over three years of research. In the appendix, Republicans stated “no collusion”; Democrats stated “members of the Trump campaign cooperated with Russian efforts to get Trump elected.” Support for this position came from the secret communication of Paul Manafort, DDT’s campaign chair, “with a Russian intelligence officer with whom he discussed campaign strategy and repeatedly shared internal campaign polling data. … This is what collusion looks like.”

Manafort was basically acting as a Russian agent while he chaired DDT’s campaign. The report describes Manafort’s actions as a “grave counterintelligence threat.” During the campaign, Manafort gave Russian intelligence official, Konstantin Kilimnik, political intelligence including internal polling data for Russian oligarchs to understand DDT’s campaign strategy about where it focused resources and who it tried to win over. 

Franklin Foer declared in The Atlantic, Russiagate Was Not a Hoax.” The report is not a definitive answer to the question of collusion because the White House blocked witnesses and documents while others lied to investigators. Foer wrote:

“Manafort and Kilimnik talked almost daily during the campaign. They communicated through encrypted technologies set to automatically erase their correspondence; they spoke using code words and shared access to an email account…. The significant revelation of the document is that Kilimnik was likely a participant in the Kremlin scheme to hack and leak Clinton campaign emails.”

Although the report denigrates the dossier of Christopher Steele, a private investigator, it “found that the Ritz Carlton in Moscow [where DDT stayed] is a high counterintelligence risk environment. The committee assesses that the hotel likely has at least one permanent Russian intelligence officer on staff, government surveillance of guests’ rooms, and the regular presence of a large number of prostitutes, likely with at least the tacit approval of Russian authorities.”

Once again, Republicans uses the Mueller Report, which failed to accuse people with DDT’s campaign of engaging in collusion with Russian intelligence officials in interference operations. Robert Mueller, however, always maintained the focus of the report was not intended to determine the existence of criminal activity.

The report’s discoveries show that Russia has worked to collect compromising material for leverage in influencing U.S. foreign legacy as far back as Russian bank Alexander Torshin’s attempts to meeting with then Alaska governor Sarah Palin in 2009. Later Torshin worked with Maria Butina to use the NRA as a vehicle to meet influential Republicans. DDT’s campaign didn’t notify national security officials when Butina told campaign members she wanted a communications back channel between Russia and the U.S.

The investigation into Carter Page, described as “slippery,” was “justified,” according to the report. An IG had had concerns about Page being wiretapped under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Because of Page’s evasiveness, the committee found the FBI justified in its counterintelligence concerns about him.

Also important was the report’s debunking DDT’s conspiracy theory about Russians not being responsible for hacking the Democratic server. DDT did collude with WikiLeaks to have the Russian-hacked DNC emails released 30 minutes after the “pussy” Access Hollywood tape went public in a conversation with Roger Stone. According to the report, the FBI should have raised alarms above the DNC.  

“Trump and senior campaign officials sought to obtain advance information about WikiLeaks’s planned releases through Roger Stone. At their direction, Stone took action to gain inside knowledge for the campaign and shared his purported knowledge directly with Trump and senior campaign officials on multiple occasions.”

One of DDT’s lies under oath was his claim about not recalling talking about the Wikileaks release with Roger Stone or anyone else. The report determined DDT had discussed Stone’s access to the hacked material from the DNC server with campaign members “on multiple occasions” and offers new proof of Michael Flynn lying about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. AG Bill Barr has been trying to get a plea agreement for Flynn.

In 2019, the committee also made criminal referrals of Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Erik Prince, and Sam Clovis to federal prosecutors for lying to the committee. It also found DDT had lied to Robert Mueller in his written answers, and Republicans failed to hold him accountable. The promise of pardons encouraged obstruction of justice by witnesses such as Manafort.

The report also debunks a favorite Fox/QAnon conspiracy theory about a murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich participating in the hacking of its server’s documents. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had promoted the falsehood in 2016, but the lack of information for the theory caused the committee to call Assange’s comments “disinformation” and a “conspiracy theory.” Promoted by the lies of Sean Hannity, Fox turned a family tragedy into a years-long scandal in its attempt to exonerate DDT from the Russian connection.

A new poll published by the Pew Research Center on Tuesday found that 75 percent of people in the U.S. now expect Russian or other foreign interference in the November election, and fewer people (47 percent compared with 55 percent two years ago) are confident the administration will make “serious efforts” to protect the election from hacking and other external threats.

Today, after a QAnon candidate defeated the fifth GOP House incumbent in a primary, a GOP website wrote that Republicans are embracing craziness not despite their craziness but because of it. Making his moral compass transparent, DDT, who praised the win, said that he didn’t know anything around the QAnon but he supports them because “they like me very much.” He continued by saying, “I have heard that [QAnon] is gaining in popularity.”  

DDT is talking about a cult the FBI declared as a potential violent domestic threat. The group started out with a simple conspiracy theory about DDT fighting a Satanic “deep state” of global elites involved in pedophilia, sex trafficking, and the harvesting of a life-extending chemical from the blood of abused children. QAnon members have now moved on to conspiracy theories about a large number of issues such as 5G cellular networks spreading COVID-19. A reporter asked DDT Wednesday if he believed the theory he “is secretly saving the world from this satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals.” DDT answered:

“Well, I haven’t heard that, but is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing? If I can help save the world from problems, I’m willing to do it. I’m willing to put myself out there.”

As DDT declares his support for QAnon, the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, driven by DDT’s strategy to be reelected, increase. The questionable number of cases on August 19 because of DDT’s possibly hiding the total is at least 5,700,931; the deaths are 176,337 with another 1,263 in the past 24 hours.

June 22, 2019

DDT: Week 126, Threat Balloons Backfire, More Lies

This blog refers to the man inaugurated in 2016 and limited by the U.S. Constitution to two four-year terms as “dictator.” A video from Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) shows his interest in being “president for life”—up until the year 10,000.

In his interview with Chuck Todd about the proposed preemptive strike on Iran, to be shown on Sunday, DDT claimed no planes in the air and no final approval. Planes were most likely in the air, however, because the operation required them to go from distant bases hours away from Iran. Unless there was an operation. DDT did declare that his on Iran would be “obliteration like you’ve never seen before.” People in the U.S. could be the ones obliterated. Even Fox network figured out that he is lying: Shep Smith and Chris Wallace both questioned DDT’s statements

Increasingly disenchanted with Fox, DDT also accusing them of “fake news” because of Fox polls showing Biden leading over DDT in several battleground states and disputing the Fox report that DDT spend 30 hours with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos—which he did. Fox’s Sean Hannity, who reportedly has nightly telephone pillow talk with DDT, is not as popular with DDT as shown by DDT’s comment that Hannity is motivated more by ratings than by patriotism. DDT also mocks Hannity’s fawning behind closed doors as dull and unchallenging. DDT may no longer need Hannity Since Paul Manafort is in prison for 7.5 years, DDT may not need Hannity who apparently illegally passed information between Manafort and DDT while Manafort waited in jail for his trial. A judge unsealed hundreds of emails between Hannity and Manafort, some of the time when Manafort was under a gag order not to communicate with anyone except lawyers.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told DDT not to go through with his misbegotten war plans when DDT briefed her, joined in the White House by other congressional leaders Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY). About the 3:00 pm meeting, Pelosi said, “Democratic leaders emphasized that hostilities must not be initiated without the approval of Congress.” DDT supposedly called off the strike at 7:00 pm, about two hours before the scheduled finale. Perhaps DDT obeyed Russia’s president Vladimir Putin who said that a U.S. attack on Iran would be a “catastrophe.” Bully and television performer, DDT loves drama and sends up threat balloons to find a reaction; hopefully the backlash was too much for him.

In another failed threat balloon, DDT defended his plan to deport “millions” tomorrow before tweeting that he was delaying the deportation “for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans” can agree on an (unidentified) resolution for “Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border.” There won’t be a resolution because Republicans don’t want one. Pelosi tweeted, “Families belong together.” DDT disagrees although he lies about his position and blames the non-existent “sanctuary cities.” Houston police chief Art Acevedo in Houston, nowhere near giving sanctuary, tweeted his approval of blocking deportations:

“Rhetoric that causes fear & panic & pushes folks further into the dark places all at risk.”

Even acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan, who supervises ICE, knows that separating children from their parents is becoming political suicide. That’s the reason that GOP senators are crying “humanitarian” on a bill designed to get more money to separate families and cage children. The bill escaped a committee, but questions have been raised since publicity about the neglect and abuse of children on the southern border. Democrats need to be careful; DDT considers a wall “humanitarian aid.” DDT is good for human smuggling across the southern border. Every time he mentions his wall, more migrants head toward the United States. While DDT pushes billions for a southern border wall because of the illegal drug trade, $1.2 billion worth of cocaine was shipped into a Philadelphia port out of Chile, Panama, and the Bahamas—one of the biggest drug seizures in U.S. history. Although this shipment was discovered, Joaquín Guzman (“El Chapo”) has talked extensively about smuggling drugs through ports of entry.

The Senate is running short on time. Within 40 “working” days, the U.S. is ripe for a shutdown because of no bills for raising the debt ceiling and passing appropriations bills. GOP congressional leaders have a bipartisan deadlock with DDT on budgeting because acting chief of staff and budget director Mick Mulvaney’s agenda disagrees with DDT’s desires. The actions of Mulvaney, formerly a South Carolina GOP representative, are particularly galling to Republicans. During a White House meeting last Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin suggested a one-year stopgap measure that keeps funding at its current levels with a one-year debt limit suspension, unpopular with Democrats. Schumer pointed out that McConnell blocked moving 2020 spending bills under “regular order” to please DDT. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said:

“Mulvaney does not want a deal, and I think that’s the biggest point.”

The group didn’t discuss offsets to pay for the GOP tax cuts for the wealthy and big business, a serious problem because Republicans will want to take money for the bottom 80 percent.

In an interview with Time, DDT lied when he said he never separated children from their parents. He falsely claimed, several times, that President Obama separated families and he (DDT) “ended separation.” A court ruled against DDT’s family separation, but he continued the practice after the court’s decision. DDT repeated his lies to José Díaz-Balart, anchor of “Noticias Telemundo,” in his first interview on a Spanish-language network. The rare occasions when President Obama separated children was for threats to children or adults detained for criminal convictions or felonies such as carrying drugs. In April 2018, the DOJ under former AG Jeff Sessions ordered every illegal entry case to be prosecuted, separating children from parents even if parents only committed a misdemeanor by crossing the border. Children were put in cages and sometimes didn’t recognize their parents after lengthy separations. 

In the Time interview reporters, DDT threatened a journalist with prison after he tried to take a picture of a letter that DDT claimed was “written by Kim Jong Un. It was delivered to me yesterday. By hand.” DDT went off the record for a few minutes, and a reporter later brought up the issue about DDT trying to “limit Mueller’s Russia probe to only future election meddling” and dictating a letter to Corey Lewandowski, “telling him to tell” former attorney general Jeff Sessions “to limit the investigation.” DDT told the journalist that “you can go to prison instead, because, if you use, if you use the photograph you took of the letter that I gave you—” Asked if he was threatening prison for the journalist, DDT went off on a rant, including how Time should make him “man of the year.” They did, just three years ago.

Some of DDT aides think they are above the law, just as DDT does. Kellyanne Conway indicated that the Hatch Act, that prevents all federal employees except DDT and the vice president from campaigning for candidate, doesn’t apply to her. DDT’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is also being investigated about his possible violation of the law preventing federal employees from political activities after the media reported that he is working with DDT’s campaign officials to work on fundraising strategies. Kushner is supposedly “the campaign’s key liaison in the West Wing” and has “multiple daily conversations” with campaign manager, Brad Parscale. In 2016, Kushner’s companies were also flagged for suspicious activity in Deutsche Bank money-laundering reviews. Ivanka Trump’s tweet with DDT’s campaign slogan “Make America Great” and her claim that “the best is yet to come” on her government Twitter account may also violate  the Hatch Act:

“Four years ago today, I introduced my father @realDonaldTrump when he launched a Campaign that would forever change America. Because of his courage, Americans are safer and more prosperous…and the best is yet to come!”

Last week when DDT kicked off his 2020 campaign in Orlando, a place surrounded by swamp, the city’s newspaper Orlando Sentinel, traditionally endorsing Republicans, made its 2020 endorsement: not DDT.

“After 2½ years we’ve seen enough. Enough of the chaos, the division, the schoolyard insults, the self-aggrandizement, the corruption, and especially the lies. So many lies—from white lies to whoppers—told out of ignorance, laziness, recklessness, expediency or opportunity. The nation must endure another 1½ years of Trump. But it needn’t suffer another four beyond that. We can do better. We have to do better.”

The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial wasn’t much more supportive, asking why DDT should be re-elected if he didn’t do anything in his first term. About DDT’s Orlando speech:

“The most striking fact of his speech was how backward looking it was. Every incumbent needs to remind voters of his record, Mr. Trump more than most because the media are so hostile. [The people who aren’t core supporters] want to know why they should take a risk on Mr. Trump and his volatile character for another term.

“On immigration, however, the President missed a chance to strike a deal trading more border security (including his wall) for legalizing Dreamers. On trade, Mr. Trump has disrupted global rules but has put nothing new and stable in their place. Asking voters to believe he’ll do better on these issues in a second term isn’t likely to turn many swing voters his way.”

DDT’s staunch supporter, The Washington Examiner, retracted a story repeating DDT’s lies that a New York Times “fed information” to the FBI about Jared Kushner. The complete story is here.

DDT’s lies and chaos have lost him some right-wing media.

March 16, 2019

DDT: Week 112 – U.S. Become a ‘Banana Republic’

Once again, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has given the people of the United States a bad week. He began with a cruel budget for most of the people in the U.S. while he waited days to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8, the same model responsible for killing 157 people on an Ethiopian airline and another 189 people in Indonesia’s Java Sea. Then he promised violence if Democrats continue investigations into his financial and political affairs and moved on to be called the “symbol of renewed white supremacy and common purpose” by the terrorist who killed 49 people and wounded dozens of others in two New Zealand mosques. Despite the defection of 12 GOP senators who voted against his national emergency wall building order, DDT vetoed the bill.

Under DDT, the U.S. has a new policy on human rights. In the introduction to “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018,” State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo wrote:

“The policy of this administration is to engage with other governments, regardless of their record, if doing so will further U.S. interests.”

This official document clarifies any doubt about whether DDT bases his policies on making money. The report ignores women’s rights and refers to the Palestinian land of the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights as “Israeli-controlled” instead of Israeli-occupied.  As a continuation of his opposition to human rights, Pompeo and DDT are revoking or denying visas for all International Criminal Court (ICC) personnel who try to investigate or prosecute U.S. officials or key allies, including Israelis, for potential war crimes tied to U.S. war in Afghanistan.

DDT waited 11 hours to make a brief statement about the Islamophobic killings in New Zealand after eleven hours and failed to mention Muslims, but he had time to send a supportive email about anti-Muslim, racist Breitbart.com. He referred to “sacred places” and said that the U.S. will be there for New Zealand “one hundred percent” before he launched into terrorizing U.S. people about the “invasion” at the southern border of the United States, using the same inflammatory word as the New Zealand killer when he referred to non-European peoples. DDT then announced a March 28 MAGA rally which will undoubtedly spew more hate.

The New Zealand killer was able to stream his horrific acts live on Facebook for 17 minutes until he was finally shut down, and Sky New Zealand was forced to pull Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp from its channel until Sky News Australia stopped broadcasting these scenes. Facebook has more problems after its massive failure last week and streaming of mass shootings as federal prosecutors began a criminal investigation into its proposed deals on top of 150 others, many with huge companies. Deals allowed Microsoft Bing to map friends of all Facebook users without their consent and permitted Amazon to get names and contact information through their friends. The FTC, SEC, and DOJ securities fraud unit are also scrutinizing Facebook owner, Mark Zuckerberg. In addition, two top Facebook executives, the companies #3 and the head of WhatsApp, left because they disagreed with Zuckerberg about a single private platform with FB, Instagram, WhatsApp, and FB Messenger. Other long-time high-level employees started leaving.

DDT’s supporters disagree that he is the “symbol … of white supremacy,” but his statement that white nationalism isn’t a growing problem negates any idea that he might be concerned about reality. Again, he and his officials such as Kellyanne Conway attribute the Islamophobic murders to just “one crazed person,” and DDT said white supremacist actions comes from “a small group of people.” Data supported by the FBI shows that white supremacists and other far-right extremists have killed far more people in the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001, than any other category of domestic extremist. White nationalist hate groups grew 50 percent between 2017 and 2018.

Major DDT-era white supremacist terrorist attacks and plots include a white nationalist U.S. Coast Guard officer’s plot to murder hundreds of prominent Democrats, the series of mail bombs from a white supremacist to key Democrats, the slaughter of 11 people at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, an older black couple randomly killed in a Kentucky supermarket, and the murder of Heather Heyer at the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville (VA). The New Zealand killer’s 74-page “The Great Manifesto” follows the white supremacy protesters in Charlottesville. The weaker the gun laws, the more mass shootings; therefore the New Zealand killer had to go from his home in Australia to commit this carnage. New Zealand has promised to pass gun safety laws; the U.S. cries “horrible” after some mass shootings and moves on with no action.

DDT’s stall in grounding the 787 Max 8 and 9 jets caused controversy, partly because of the close relationship between the federal government and Boeing. FAA’s acting director Daniel Elwell, who postponed the grounding, worked for Boeing’s trade association, and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is a former executive for that company. Boeing gave $1 million to DDT’s inaugural committee. Political pressure from Boeing include a lobbying call to DDT the day before the crash. Dozens of other countries took action far sooner than the U.S. George Conway, husband of DDT official Kellyanne Conway, said that DDT’s inaction was a further indication of the U.S. becoming a “banana republic.”

Ethiopian officials have such little trust in the U.S. that they sent the black box to France to get more information about the crash. Boeing failed to sufficiently train pilots on the computer system of the new model by convincing the FAA that the planes were similar to older models. U.S. airlines reported that they still don’t have training flight simulators for this specific model although airlines in other countries have them available.

DDT’s 35-day government shutdown may have played a part in killing the 157 people on the Ethiopian plane. After the October disaster on the same model, Boeing began a software fix for the plane, but the shutdown delayed agreement on how extensive the technical and engineering software enhancement of sensors should be. Thousands of aviation inspectors were furloughed for almost four weeks. FAA has said that the update delay was not a problem because its experts and Boeing saw no imminent safety threat. Rachel Maddow reported on other difficulties with this plane model and others that did not result in crashes but had the same problem with automated systems pulling the nose down when the plane should be ascending after takeoff.

Last Sunday’s news shows universally ignored DDT’s scandal about his friend Li “Cindy” Yang, former owner of a massage parlor involved in a sex trafficking ring, who has sold DDT access to Chinese business executive and Chinese government officials. Yang has connections with two groups directly tied to the Chinese Communist Party. Mainstream TV failed to report on the issue although their nightly newscasts in 1998 and 199 devoted 2,528 minutes to Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky as well as more coverage of his other scandals.

In a court filing, New York’s AG Letitia James asked a judge to order DDT’s Trump Foundation to pay $2.8 million in restitution and a $5.6 million penalty for his making the so-called charity into part of his campaign. DDT has already shut down and distributed its $1.7 million to nonprofits. He would be lucky not to be indicted for these illegal activities. When DDT tells supporters on his campaign trail, “I really need you to vote for me,” his plea has more than one meaning.

Other Bits:

In addition to 12 Republican senators joining Democrats in a resolution to overturn DDT’s wall-building emergency executive order, six GOP senators voted in favor of a War Powers resolution to eliminate U.S. military support for the assault on Yemen in a coalition led by Saudi Arabia. More about that in a few days.

In another ongoing war issue, DDT is pulling U.S. diplomats from Venezuela, indicating an escalation on his attacks against the country. The New York Times has exposed U.S. government lies about the country’s president responsibility for burning trucks carrying supplies for humanitarian aid. Any official U.S. reports about the fires disappeared with the revelation that anti-Maduro protesters threw a molotov cocktail that hit one of the trucks.

Paul Manafort got off easy with the first sentencing and moderately with the second—total 7.5 years—but New York has charged him with 16 state felony charges. DDT can’t pardon state convictions.

A New York court is permitting a civil defamation suit against DDT by Summer Zervos, citing a 1997 Supreme Court ruling against Bill Clinton. Right now, the president is not above the law.

Since DDT’s inauguration, fines over $5,000 from the federal consumer agencies have dropped 37 percent. Mick Mulvaney’s Consumer Financial Protection Agency was the worst in not prosecuting crimes. “Tough on crime” doesn’t apply to consumer protection.

In a 23-minute video, Rachel Maddow reports on how DHS tracks the menses of unaccompanied minor immigrant girls under their control to keep them from having abortions. DHS, however, can’t provide numbers about separations, numbers of children in detention, illnesses, or deaths.

After a strong February, President Donald Trump’s job approval rating has dipped four percentage points, to 39%, matching his rating from December at the start of the 35-day partial government shutdown.

March 9, 2019

DDT: Week 111 – A Plague of Lost Court Cases, Investigations, Inhumanity

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has had another hard week: Jane Mayer’s article about the “Fox White House,” burgeoning investigations including a look into his giving his children high-level security clearances, and the revelation that North Korea is developing nuclear weapons after DDT took Kim Jong-Un “at his word.” The courts are also dealing DDT a few blows.

Another judge has ruled against DDT’s citizenship question on the 2020 census, ruling that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross acted in “bad faith,” broke several laws, violated the constitutional representative democracy by deliberately undercounting specific populations, and lied under oath to Congress, according to uncovered emails. The Supreme Court will hear arguments about the questions in late April before the census materials go to the printer in June.

Another federal judge expanded his ruling to reunite over 2,700 migrant children with their parents to all parents separated at the border on or after July 1, 2017, far earlier than the previous order going back to June 26, 2018. Judge Dana Sabraw was responding to the DHS report that unknown thousands of children may have been separated since summer of 2017. He will consider the next steps on March 28, 2019 and wrote, “The hallmark of a civilized society is measured by how it treats its people and those within its borders.”

In more lack of concern for human life, DDT revoked the mandate that the U.S. report the number of civilians killed in drone strikes outside war zones. Since he was inaugurated, a recorded 2,243 drone strikes, far more than the total 1,878 during President Obama’s eight years, have killed civilians. With almost no congressional oversight or media attention, DDT is also waging a secret war in Somalia, killing at least 252 people in two dozen airstrikes thus far this year. The Pentagon has deployed 500 U.S. troops, including special ops, in the country.

Demonstrating disregard toward Palestine, DDT closed the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem serving as a de facto embassy for Palestinians and sending them to the U.S. Embassy to Israel where Ambassador David Friedman, fierce critic of Palestinian leadership, further recognizes Israeli control over Palestinian land in Jerusalem and the West Bank. DDT has also cut hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to Palestinians which includes help for hospitals and peace-building programs as well as funding for the UN agency providing aid to Palestinian refugees. Last fall, he shut the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington. DDT’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, in charge of peace negotiations between Israeli and Palestine, said that the U.S. will reveal the deal, rejected by the Palestinian Authority, after April’s Israeli elections.

DDT promised Alabama “A Plus treatment” after 23 people died in a tornado.  About California, where 86 people died in just one town’s fire, DDT tweeted:

“Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!”

Embarrassing even the State Department and the Department of Defense, DDT may demand that Germany, Japan, and possibly all other allies hosting U.S. troops pay the full price of U.S. soldiers deployed in their countries—plus another 50 percent or more. U.S. keeps bases in these countries for our benefit—for example, emergency care in Germany for U.S. soldiers wounded in Iraq and other hot spots. Although Germany sometimes opposes involvement in the Middle East, one German base provides a necessary staging post for U.S. military actions in Iraq and Libya. German bases also provide headquarters for the U.S. Africa Command, and marines crisis response forces in Spain and Italy protect U.S. interests and diplomatic compounds in Africa. If DDT removes the bases, the U.S. will lose the benefits while paying more of money to support the troops.

DDT’s appointees are becoming increasingly disturbed about DDT’s orders to them coming from his “gut.” Last December, DDT said he was pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, and his Defense Secretary, James Mattis, quit. Two months later, he said he would leave 2,000 there—and then 4,000. Now he’s “100 percent” behind keeping troops in Syria. Even national security adviser is disturbed about the North Korea buildup fiasco, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo finds himself consistently forced to lie for DDT. As Michael Cohen said in his testimony to the House Oversight Committee, “The more people that follow Mr. Trump as I did blindly are going to suffer the same consequences that I’m suffering.”

In his testimony, Cohen said that DDT’s run for president was “to make his brand great, not to make our country great.” DDT proved Cohen right when he tweeted an advertisement for his Scottish golf course, incidentally violating two clauses of the U.S. Constitution. He may also be in deeper hot water if anyone investigates the financing for the golf course like Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) plans.

Tens of thousands of dollars poured into DDT’s inauguration fund from shell companies hiding foreign contributors, at least one of them ineligible for political donations because of U.S. election law. The daughter for a contributor received a White House internship, and a Washington lobbyist has already admitted that he funneled $50,000 to the inauguration from a Ukrainian oligarch. Another $25,000 was traced to an Israeli businessman. Things are so bad for DDT that Forbes thinks his Trump Organization could be charged as a “RICO enterprise.” And Michael Cohen is suing DDT for almost $2 million in unpaid back legal fees from 2018.

Since Democrats said that they would not have a debate on Fox, DDT said he would block other networks from hosting debates. DDT’s Mar-a-Lago buddies call him “king,” perhaps making him think he has the ability to tell the media what to do.

After giving trillions of dollars to the wealthy and big business, DDT plans to become the king of fiscal responsibility. On the first of March, the U.S. national debt hit $22 trillion, requiring another vote to raise the debt ceiling following months of using “extraordinary measures” to pay the country’s bills. March 11 is the deadline for the White House to release DDT’s broad budget priorities. The man who bragged “I’ve made a fortune by using debt” will make deep spending cuts in the safety net which won’t pass the House and increase military spending. DDT may cause another shutdown.

Corporation tax rates were cut 40 percent for 2018 while over 11 million taxpayers lost $323 billion in tax deductions. Republicans who passed the tax cuts, who said that the added revenue would make up for any deficits, are calling the $1 trillion addition to the U.S. debt a “threat to national security.” Five GOP senators and 50 GOP representatives are co-sponsoring legislation for a resolution stating “that deficits are unsustainable, irresponsible, and dangerous” and that Congress is committed to “addressing the fiscal crisis faced by the United States.”

The U.S. budget gap climbed to $310.3 billion from October to January, up from $175.7 the same time during previous year, while tax revenues were lower after the tax “reform”—corporate payments down 23 percent and income taxes down three percent. Individuals still paid the same amount as last year, however, because prices of good increased at least $25 billion from the tariff costs. Between the tariff and IRS withholding, individuals paid $839, and business paid $73 billion. The surplus in January dropped from $49.2 billion in January 2018 to $8.7 billion in January 2019.

DDT has found a flaw in his tax scam cut that offends his wealthy friends: because it restricts deductions of state and local taxes—including property tax—to $10,000 and the mortgage interest deduction to $750,000, people are leaving New York City and causing a decline in home prices. The reeling real estate market may cause a recession there. Republicans refuse to change that provision. Some of these frustrated tax payers may have formerly been doors to Republicans.

When DDT expressed belief in the innocence of New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft, charged with soliciting prostitutes at a Florida spa, he forgot to mention that he watched the Superbowl at Mar-a-Lago with the spa chain’s founder, Li “Cindy” Yang, whose family still owns the spas. A visitor to the White House, Yang is quite a GOP supporter having posed for photos with Rep. Matt Gaetz, Gov. Ron DeSantis, GOP Chair Ronna McDaniel, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. DDT signed a photo with Yang. [visual Yang] Other photos show Yang with Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) and Fox contributor Dan Bongino, who had a meltdown about its release.

The big media buzz this week was the light sentence that Paul Manafort received from the first judge. DDT worked hard to spin the ruling into his favor, claiming that the judge said, “No collusion!” The judge, however, declared that Manafort wasn’t on trial for or convicted of “anything to do with Russian colluding in the presidential election.” The second sentence with a maximum of ten years will be delivered this coming week.

December 14, 2018

DDT: Week 99 – Advent Surprises

In Advent’s 22 to 28 days leading up to Christmas, one custom is the calendar which has pockets or drawers, each concealing a gift that delight children. This Advent is bringing political surprises for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), but the “gifts” won’t delight him.

Thinking that he could control the Democrats in the coming year, DDT met with Democratic leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA) last Tuesday. Pelosi and Schumer expected a closed meeting, but DDT invited the press so that they could hear him say that he would be “proud” to shut down the federal government if he didn’t get money for his “wall.” Later in a closed-door meeting, Pelosi told the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee that the wall is “like a manhood thing for him.” DDT said that the money for his new wall would come from his new NAFTA, which means he plans to use non-existent money gained from his new trade agreement for a $25 billion wall.

Some events from the past week that should terrify DDT:

Russian agent  Maria Butina is pleading guilty and giving testimony about her conspiracy to infiltrate the NRA to help Russia. Although Vladimir claims that he and his spies know nothing about her, Natasha Bertrand of The Atlantic tweeted:

“Is that why the Russian gov has conducted 6 consular visits to Butina, passed 4 diplomatic notes to State about her case, and had Lavrov personally speak to Pompeo twice about her prosecution? (The official Kremlin Twitter account changed its avatar to a picture of her, too.)”

In possible illegal “coordination” (maybe collusion?), DDT’s presidential campaign and the NRA used the same people and parent company in strategically making ad buys. The law permits the NRA to spend as much money for advertising, but any expenditures sharing information with a campaign is limited to $5,000 as in-kind donations. The NRA spent $30 million.

DDT’s former fixer Michael Cohen received a sentence of three years for failure to report his multimillion-dollar payoff for orchestrating secret hush payments to women who claim affairs with DDT and an additional concurrent two months sentence and $50,000 fine for lying to Congress about his dealings with a Trump Tower in Moscow. DDT has thus far failed in his attempts to distance himself from his former fixer, the man who DDT called “my attorney. The slightest chink in the GOP indifference to DDT’s criminal activity came from Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) when he expressed “concern” about the possibility that DDT might have implicated himself in a crime, if, according to Cassidy, “this so-called hush money is a crime.”

After almost a day of silence, DDT insisted that the hush-money payoffs were “not campaign finance” despite the admission of the National Enquirer’s owner AMI that it paid off one of the women “in concert with” DDT’s campaign to “suppress the woman’s story so as to prevent it from influencing the election.” DDT also claimed that, although Cohen pled guilty to these violations of campaign-finance law, they “are not a crime.”

After DDT’s election, he appointed Kushner to replace Cohen as his contact with David Pecker, National Enquirer publisher and chief executive of AMI. Kushner and Pecker talked frequently after DDT’s inauguration on a variety of subjects from relationships with Saudis to dirt on Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. Pecker’s pro-DDT coverage drastically diminished after the raids on Cohen’s office, leading to Pecker becoming an unindicted co-conspirator. AMI’s admission that its pre-election hush-money scheme was specifically connected to DDT’s campaign.

DDT claimed that he would pick only the “best people.” One of them was Michael Flynn, DDT’s former national security adviser who is now waiting his sentence for lying to the FBI. Flynn’s defense is that nobody told him the consequences of lying to the FBI. Special investigator Robert Mueller responded to this feeble excuse: Flynn lied multiple times before, during, and after the FBI interview—sticking to his lies even when given a chance to tell the truth—and he was told about the interview topic.

The Mueller team wrote:

“A sitting National Security Advisor, former head of an intelligence agency, retired Lieutenant General, and 33-year veteran of the armed forces knows he should not lie to federal agents. He does not need to be warned it is a crime to lie to federal agents to know the importance of telling them the truth. The defendant undoubtedly was aware, in light of his ‘many years’ working with the FBI, that lying to the FBI carries serious consequences.”

Soon after DDT’s inauguration, DDT’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort urged him to vigorously attack the FBI. Communications regarding Manafort’s lying showed that DDT’s undermining the FBI would damage its investigation into the Russian election collusion, as shown in some communications that are the subject of Manafort’s lying. Manafort specifically identified former FBI Director James Comey for damage to the FBI credibility and advised a senior administration official to attack DOJ, the FBI, and Obama officials for seeking FISA warrants to eavesdrop on himself and Carter Page, again to delay the investigation. A hearing on allegations about Manafort’s lying is on January 25.

Beyond investigations into DDT’s campaign, transition team operations, business, and foundation operations, prosecutors are delving into expenditures of his inaugural committee and his super PAC. Foreigners—primarily from Middle Eastern nations—likely contributed donations to both these funds in exchange for influence on U.S. policy, a violation of U.S. law The probe into inaugural donations involves federal prosecutors in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Despite the claim that donors to the inaugural committee were “fully vetted and disclosed” to the FEC, the audit has not been made public, and a GOP lobbyist pleaded guilty to arranging for foreigners to pay $50,000 for inaugural tickets through a U.S. purchaser.

Ivanka Trump has been found to funnel huge sums from the inaugural donations into the Trump Organization while she was executive vice president. Internal emails and receipts show that she negotiated hotel prices for venue rentals. Overcharging for event spaces violates tax law, and the IRS can issue steep fines if a person with “substantial influence” over a nonprofit group overcharges for their outside business. Rick Gates, then deputy to the inaugural chair who is guilty of lying to the FBI and conspiracy against the U.S., asked vendors to take payments directly from vendors and sign confidentiality agreements about their payments. With a third of the staff, a quarter of the events, and revenue of twice as much as George W. Bush’s second inauguration, the records for DDT’s inauguration show at least $40 million missing from the funds.

Mueller’s investigation continues with revelations about work by DDT’s officials in the Middle East to influence politics in the United States.

While Republicans were reluctant to criticize DDT’s legal problems, a bipartisan vote in the Senate of 59-41 called for an end to military assistance to Saudi Arabia in connection with its war in Yemen that has killed 50,000 people and starved another 12 million. The Congress can order DDT to remove U.S. military members from “hostilities abroad” without the existence of a declaration of war or authorization of the use of force. Last month, the Senate passed a resolution by 58 to 41 removing the U.S. military’s refueling of Saudi coalition aircraft. House Speaker quashed a similar measure by putting an amendment in the farm bill that just passed, but the House changes party majority at the end of the year. The Senate is also considering a bill suspending weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and imposing sanctions on officials blocking humanitarian access in Yemen or who were involved in the torture and dismemberment of U.S. resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The “rule of law” has moved 180 degrees in the past two decades. During Bill Clinton’s presidency, the GOP investigated Whitewater, a land deal in which the Clintons lost $45,000 several years before Clinton went to the White House. He was impeached for a lie about Monica Lewinsky. In the 1990s, Republicans believed that the rule of law had no exceptions, that a serving president is subject to a civil lawsuit, required to answer a subpoena and testify before a grand jury. One telephone call from the White House to the Treasury Department was classified as obstruction of justice. The current occupant of the Oval Office can threaten and dismiss law enforcement officials for investigating him, intimidate prosecutors, repeatedly defame legal opponents, offer pardons for witnesses against him, lie about multimillion-dollar deals with a country that has leverage against him, and offer a bribe to the president of said country with a $50 million penthouse. Republicans respond by promising more investigations into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

No one knows if a sitting president can be indicted, but a memo from Ken Starr, hidden in the National Archives for almost 20 years, says “yes.” According to Starr, “in this country, no one, even President Clinton, is above the law.” Maybe Republican presidents are exempt, however, since the Supreme Court became an arm of the executive branch.

December 7, 2018

DDT: Week 98 – Furious Tweets Show Fear

Events during the past week, especially Robert Mueller’s investigation freight train increasing speed, have so terrified Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) that he released his longest, and most virulent, hate tweets this week—and that’s a record.

Michael Cohen, DDT’s former fixer, has revealed information about a Russian contact who would provide government connections to DDT’s business and political interests as early as 2015. He also said that DDT told him to reach out to Russia.

Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for DDT, has been discovered to lie about his contacts with Russian intelligence. Manafort sold his Florida mansion, purchased for $1.3 million and then renovated, to his wife for $10.

Vanity Fair reported that Donald Trump Jr. has gone into hiding in Canada, afraid that he would be indicted for lying to Congress and his behavior as a Trump Organization executive. Cohen has provided New York’s AG office information about the business finances. A hunting trip will help Jr. avoid the media.

Two House committees spent one of the last five days of GOP control before Democrats take over in January grilling former FBI Director James Comey in a closed session. The event appears to be a nothing-burger, with the focus on Hillary Clinton’s emails.

DDT followed yesterday’s White House reception for Hanakkah with his furious tweet calling the media “THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” a minute before a bomb threat was called into CNN NYC at the Times Warner Center and six weeks after pipe bombs were mailed to CNN and Democratic leaders.

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, DDT’s appointment formerly under consideration for AG, has been in the news when an in-depth reporting described how Acosta, then Miami’s top federal prosecutor, blocked a FBI probe for child molestation allegations again financier Jeffrey Epstein. Ten years ago, Acosta gave federal immunity to Epstein, involved with at least 40 underage girls and trafficking girls from overseas, and unnamed people involved with him. Instead, Epstein served 13 months in a private wing of the Palm Beach County jail with his own private secretary while he was on release 12 hours a day. Epstein again managed to weasel out of a trial this past week in which his victims were being allowed to testify.

DDT still supports Saudi Arabia despite their torturing and dismembering U.S. resident and WaPo journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but GOP Senate members separated themselves from DDT in his support of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salam after CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed the Senate leaders. Referring to DDT’s claim that he doesn’t see a “smoking gun” linking MBS to Khashoggi’s murder, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, “There’s not a smoking gun, there’s a smoking saw.” Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said about MBS, “He murdered him. …No question in my mind.”

Like DDT’s other grandiose claims, his promise of solving U.S. tariff problems with China after a meeting with President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit isn’t bearing fruit. Chinese media announced that DDT’s assertions such as “an incredible deal” for U.S. farmers were bogus, and White House officials in the meeting with Xi didn’t hear anything about DDT’s claims. DDT said that Xi agreed to approve a deal between San Diego chip maker Qualcomm and the Dutch firm NXP, but Qualcomm has no intention to buy NXP. China skeptic Robert Lighthizer will lead the negotiations; his position is to punish China into change with harsher tariffs.

DDT said he canceled his meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit. They still met, but Russia’s state media called DDT “clumsy,” “morose,” and “defensive” who “brought dissonance to the #G20Summit.”

In his response to the legally-mandated climate change report produced by over 300 scientists from 13 agencies and released the Friday after Thanksgiving, DDT said, “I don’t believe it.

DDT, who calls himself “Tariff Man,” appears increasingly confused. In a recent interview, he twice mixed tariffs (the fine on imported goods) with interest rates, once after he was corrected by a journalist. He also claimed that China would be paying for the tariff although consumers will be paying these costs through increased prices. His false statement that “the steel industry has been rebuilt in a period of a year” because of tariffs is a misconception because the industry is not “building plants all over the country.” In more confusion, DDT said that U.S. arms expenditures are $716; that’s the entire military budget with $10 billion for arms.

This past week, the Dow Jones stock market dropped 800 points in one day; the week’s loss was 1,150 which takes the Dow back to a year ago. Of the worst 20 daily drops in the past 20 years, three were during President Obama’s eight years in office; ten have been in 2018—five of them in the last month during the worst quarter in seven years.

Candidate DDT promised to drop, perhaps even eliminate, the nation’s trade deficit. For the month of October, the U.S. trade deficit hit $55.5 billion, a ten-year high and a $1 billion increase from September. The first ten months of 2018 almost matched the entire year of 2016—President Obama’s last year. October’s trade deficit in goods went to $76.9, the highest ever and far more than the $66.5 billion in the month before DDT was inaugurated.

The 155,000 jobs added in November shows a slowing trend for DDT and represents only three-fourths of he expected number. The 4.2 million jobs added during his first 22 months is .54 million jobs less—a 13 percent drop—than the preceding 22 months.

Warned about the future disaster from escalating federal debt, DDT said, “I won’t be here.” DDT’s spokesman, Hogan Gridley, blames Congress, because they are the ones who pass the president’s budget. The GOP congressional members largely follow DDT’s directives out of fear for his turning on them.

Supposedly traumatized by George H.W. Bush’s funeral, Congress put off a budget measure to pass a short-term continuing resolution until December 21—an odd date because they are scheduled to leave for home on December 14. A big question for the measure to keep the country from closing down is whether Democrats will give DDT $5 billion to wall off Mexico. He even upped the ante for the amount that U.S. taxpayers must pay for the wall’s construction, which he promised that Mexico will provide, to $25 billion.

Two million federal workers received a memo ordering them not to discuss any possibility of DDT impeachment and telling them that they cannot use the word “resist.” The Office of Special Counsel used the Hatch Act against political activity as justification for the order, a law that at least six DDT’s officials have violated by using their official Twitter accounts to spread campaign messages without disciplinary actions.

DDT’s bone spurs must be acting up again. He was unable to walk 250 yards, about the length of two football fields, instead requiring a stretch limo in an eight-car motorcade to go from the White House to Blair House where George W. Bush was staying.

When DDT signed the new NAFTA, the media reported that the trade agreement protected LGBTQ workers. Not true. Only federal workers are protected from discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity, as per federal law. The language has been amended with a footnote that “no additional action is required on the part of the United States, including amendments to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” An executive order from President Clinton added these protections to federal workers, but DDT undermined President Obama’s executive order by adding “religious freedom” to allow discrimination.

VP Mike Pence commemorated World AIDS Day without mentioning LGBTQ people—for the second year in a row.

According to “Apostle of Joy” Georgian Banov, DDT ordered a Christian “prophet,” disguised as a janitor, to put olive oil on every White House door to ward off demons. Another pastor, Paul Begley, claimed that Melania Trump would not move to the White House until the “demonic taint” of the Obama administration was exorcised. Evangelical leaders have also followed the “laying on of hands” to anoint DDT.

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told CBS News’ Bob Schieffer about his relationship with DDT on the job, conflicts from DDT’s insistence that Tillerson violate the law. Yet DDT was unwilling to get Congress to change the law, according to Tillerson. Tillerson added:

“It was challenging for me, coming from the disciplined, highly process-oriented Exxon Mobil Corporation, to go to work for a man who is pretty undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things, but rather just kind of says, ‘Look, this is what I believe, and you can try to convince me otherwise, but most of the time you’re not going to do that.'”

Not one to let things go, DDT called Tillerson “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell.” DDT’s praise for current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Heather Nauert as his appointment for United Nations Ambassador, temperamental Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and others show DDT’s reliance on sycophants from far-right congressional members, the Fox network, and the Federalist Society.

More about the new sycophants later.

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