Nel's New Day

October 4, 2022

News: Supreme Court, DDT Plus More

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) head to Mesa (AZ) on October 9 for another rally so supposedly campaign for his endorsed candidates Kari Lake (governor) and Blake Masters (U.S. Senate). No mention of another far-right GOP candidate Mark Finchem for Secretary of State. The day before, October 8, he’ll be at the Minden-Tahoe (NV) Airport for Adam Laxalt (U.S. Senate), Joe Lombardo (governor), and “the entire Nevada Trump ticket.” At DDT’s rally last week, people started leaving after 15 minutes, almost two hours early, from the facility not filled to capacity. 

As befits their ideology, six conservative justices appear to lean on their second day toward narrowing voting rights by permitting racial gerrymandering even after a Circuit Court three-judge panel, two of them DDT appointees, ruled the racial discrimination violated the Voter Rights Act (VRA). Justice Samuel Alito went the farthest, possibly willing to make the legal challenges against racial gerrymander even more stringent by “revisiting” Thornburg v. Gingles (1986), in which a unanimous vote blocked North Carolina from partisan racial gerrymandering.  

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson brilliantly defended the VRA, at least the small piece left after Roberts court destroyed an important part of it in Shelby County v. Holder (2013) to permit racial discrimination and opened the South to voting oppression laws.

For years, conservative justices have driven poor decisions through SCOTUS through their personal views of originalism of WWTFFD—What Would the Founding Fathers Do. Conservative justices have insisted that the Constitution is “colorblind,” allowing them to allow racial discrimination by saying it wasn’t discriminatory. Jackson refused to give in to them. In the arguments on Merrill v. Mulligan to determine the Alabama districting case, the theory emerged again from conservatives. Jackson tutored them and Alabama’s lawyer in the purpose of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments: “provide equal opportunity for formerly enslaved people, using color-conscious remedies whenever necessary to put them on the same plane as whites,” according to Mark Joseph Stern. She added that drilling down in the Constitution shows “that the Framers themselves adopted the equal protection clause, the 14th, the 15th Amendment, in a race-conscious way.”

Alabama Republicans argue that protecting Black citizens’ voting power would violate the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. Jackson may lose, but she won’t give up without a fight.

In other business, the Supremes declined to hear Costello v. Carter, challenging Pennsylvania’s court-approved congressional map after the GOP legislature deadlocked with the Democratic governor, an issue with the high court’s upcoming arguments on Moore v. Harper. Perhaps they figure a ruling to give state legislatures carte blanche would render the case moot. Tragically, the chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and strong supporter of voting rights, Max Baer, died last Friday. The governor appoints his replacement until an election in 2023, but the legislature may not confirm the current governor’s choice. If extremely far-right Doug Mastriano gets elected in five weeks, the replacement can be a disaster for all rights in the state. In Pennsylvania, the governor also appoints the Secretary of State, who manages elections.

The Supreme Court has another chance to take on a gun issue, this time from Mexico. Alejandro Celorio, the country’s lead attorney, wants to sue U.S. gun manufacturers.  Last year, a judge dismissed a $10 million lawsuit against eight companies making and selling weapons favored by drug cartels with a law giving U.S. companies immunity from liability for guns illegally used by criminals. The lawsuit asserts 70 to 90 percent of guns recovered at Mexican crime scenes are illegally trafficked from the U.S. with the eight companies making over two-thirds of those weapons.    

DDT didn’t waste time sending his appeal to overturn the ruling from the 11th Circuit Court to allow the DOJ to start examining classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago on August 8; he went directly to Justice Clarence Thomas. He wants the court to give the documents back to his special master. Thomas can refer DDT’s request to the full court, but the question is whether he will.   

Another question is whether anyone will trust DDT with classified documents after 14 of his officials reported on his four-year failure to follow guidelines for handling sensitive government documents. One adviser still seeing him regularly describes him as a “pack rat” and a “hoarder.” Some classified documents could be seen by anyone walking by him, and he didn’t always have them for official purposes.  

This week, DDT was directly connected to withholding federal documents when he asked Alex Cannon, a former DDT lawyer, to lie to the National Archives last February and tell the agency that DDT returned everything the archives wanted. Now DDT is accusing the Archives, as well as the FBI, for planting documents at Mar-a-Lago.  

There’s also DDT’s problems with his social media platform. After months of hype about Digital World, the company behind Truth Social, over three dozen disillusioned investors want a way out of the $1.3 billion to take the startup public. Last October, Digital World’s stock skyrocketed from $10 to $175 but dropped to $17.10 this week, ten percent of its high. A year later, the company faces the threat of liquidation, and backers had to pony up another $2.9 million in September to extend a deadline until December 8 for finalizing the deal. Digital World already moved from luxurious office space to a UPS store.

Bad news has piled up: a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into illegal stock trading, a lawsuit by a scorned business partner against going public, investors promising $138 million have already pulled out, and reports that the social media platform isn’t paying its bills. Truth Social’s web host, RightForge, threatens legal action with claims that it is owed $1.6 million after the social platform paid for only three months since Truth Social inception in February 2021. In response to questions about the financial viability of Digital World, DDT said, “I don’t need financing. I’m really rich!” He just doesn’t pay his bills.

Investors may be unnerved by the trend for Truth Social to run QAnon advertising explicitly referencing a coming storm and including Q in the logo. The ads follow DDT sharing posts from over 100 QAnon accounts with images of DDT wearing a Q lapel pin. This week, he promoted QAnon and its predisposition of violence by tagging its image of a burning Q on top of the U.S. flag. Recent DDT’s and Truth Social’s promotion of QAnon has occurred at the same time as an increase in QAnon-linked violence. In June, Kash Patel, former DDT official and Truth Social board member, said, “We try to incorporate [QAnon] into our overall messaging scheme to capture audiences. Analysts state the social platform’s biggest problem is its narrow audience, lacking diversity of opinion and content—an echo chamber for DDT’s followers. 

DDT has twice endorsed Jair Bolsonaro for his last Sunday’s election, but the “Trump of the Tropics” lost his election by over five points. Unfortunately, his opponent, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was short of 50 percent by 1.2 percent. The runoff is on October 30.

After VP Kamala Harris said that North Korea has a “very important relationship” with the U.S., DDGT called her a “North Korea sympathizer.” This from the man who “fell in love” with Kim Jong-Un.

Eager for more attention, DDT is suing CNN for defamation; he wants $475 million. He claimed the network used its influence to defeat him politically.

More clarity has come out about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ use of federal monies authorized for Florida use to ship 48 migrants from San Antonio (TX) to Martha’s Vineyard after lying to them about their advantages and destination. Migrants were lured onto the flight with lies from a woman calling herself “Perla.” Her last name is Huerta, and she is allegedly a “former combat medic and counterintelligence agent” discharged after two decades in the U.S. Army that included several deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. She was sent from Tampa to Texas to help execute DeSantis’ plot. Migrants suing DeSantis plan to name Huerta as a defendant in the civil suit, leaving her open to deposing her for details about Florida administration’s potential involvement in the deception. Under immigration law, the asylum seekers aren’t “unauthorized aliens” as DeSantis claims.

Possibly to put the GOP back into control of the U.S. government, OPEC may cut oil production at a Wednesday meeting, driving up the price of gas in the U.S. Since June, gas prices have dropped by one-third from $120 to $80 a barrel, easing inflation. OPEC countries want to have greater control over the world’s oil production as the U.S. became a bigger player in the oil market. OPEC also blames the dollar’s rising strength for decreasing revenues.

Another Republican violated his state’s voting laws by creating a fake ID and using it to vote in multiple elections, this one Alabama’s GOP chairman John Wahl. The state government never issued him an ID, and he wasn’t on any state list of employees. Wahl claimed State Auditor Jim Zeigler gave him permission to make the ID himself, but Secretary of State John Merrill said he told Wahl it is not a valid voter ID. Although Wahl blamed poll workers for forcing him to use the ID through harassment, he also had a driver’s license that he could have used for a legal ID when voting. And he lied about not having made the ID himself.  

September 24, 2022

Republicans Get Scarier

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) is still on the campaign trail, this time trying to ingratiate himself with people at Wilmington (NC) by saying that his beloved daughter in law, Lara, is from the state and that he owns property there. Supposedly attempting to encourage voters to support GOP candidates, he aired his same false grievances which have lots of updates from the past week—the seizing of “his” documents, New York’s “racist,” “raging maniac’ AG Letitia James, and, of course, the “stolen election” in 2020 which he said he actually won.

At last week’s rally in Ohio, DDT promoted J.D. Vance for U.S. senate by saying “JD is kissing my ass.” He also claimed he invented the term “caravans” which he defines as “murderers and rapists.” Derived from Persian in the 1590s from Old French or Medieval Latin, caravan, derived from camel, means a group of travelers through a desert in a long line or a camper with a living area.

The Hitleresque/QAnon salutes and creepy QAnon music, popular last week, returned in his new audience. His Truth Social reposts consistently repeat QAnon messages, and he posted a photo of him wearing a Q pin. “The Storm Is Coming” on the pin refers to the day that QAnon supporters execute all opponents of DDT. The number of DDT’s QAnon posts grows when he feels he’s under attack, now a constant.

The FBI has been investigating QAnon for violent crimes and attacks, and DDT’s rallies will likely incite them to build on that violence. DDT led the crowd in the QAnon gesture although private security guards ask some supporters to put their arms down.

DDT seemed to have trouble reading his teleprompter. At one point, he declared, “We have to keep our country gay.” After a few stutters, he finished by saying “our country [isn’t] great anymore.” Twitter had a great time with his statement, and LGBTQ-friendly groups were already selling merchandise with “Make America Gay Again.”

The flight chartered by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to take 48 legal asylum seekers from San Antonio (TX) to Martha’s Vineyard grows more and more shady. The Vertol Systems Company gave large donations to the governor’s allies and has been legally represented by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and his former partner, Larry Keefe, now Florida’s “public safety czar” in charge of immigration policy. Keefe represented Vertol in dozens of lawsuits between 2010 and 2017.

Developer Jay Odom, responsible for packaging Vertol’s donations to candidates, was convicted and imprisoned in 2013 by an illegal campaign finance scheme for GOP Mike Huckabee’s failed 2008 presidential campaign and later arrested for a scheme with Florida’s House Speaker Ray Sansom in 2009 to build the speaker an airport hangar. In 2019, Vertol contributed $10,000 to Florida’s GOP controlled by DeSantis.

Vertol’s primary business is training pilots for the military and providing helicopters across the globe, not chartering planes. A week before the transport, the company flew its private jet from Florida to San Antonio. DeSantis’ administration refused to reveal the $12 million contract for its part in the “unauthorized alien” program, but the state budget specifies that “unauthorized aliens” are to be flown directly from Florida, not Texas. The migrants on the chartered flight were also not “unauthorized” in the U.S.

A judge in Florida ordered a lawsuit be continued regarding DeSantis’ August 4 removal of elected state attorney in Hillsborough County, Andrew Warren, who said he would not prosecute people for abortions or transgender youth gender transition treatment. Warren claims DeSantis violated his First Amendment rights for political reasons after DeSantis cited Warren’s “woke agenda” for his decision. The judicial ruling could define DeSantis’ ability to purge elected officials who disagree with him. He removed four school board members in Broward County defying his COVID mask mandates but operates selectively with no action against “constitutional” sheriffs who won’t enforce gun laws.

After revealing the GOP “Commitment to America” and then hiding it, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) led over two dozen House Republicans for its big reveal to show what the GOP, if given the congressional majority, will do to people. The party of so-called law and order will protect wealthy people from paying taxes by defunding the IRS. In a return to the past, they will investigate the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, orchestrated by DDT during his term, and continue the search for COVID’s origins, specifically investigating Dr. Anthony Fauci who plans to retire.

Law and order Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who refused to block sexual assault of his athletes at Ohio State University, will look into the “weaponization of the DOJ against American people.” The business activities of Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son, will be a prime focus. Transgender people will be on the firing line, and freedom means parents who agree with conservatives—not the other parents—will be in control of banning books and determining curriculum. Republicans will throw money at law enforcement without any assistance for their needs.

“Longer, healthier lives for Americans” likely destroys healthcare in the popular Affordable Care Act and defends cures from charlatans such as ivermectin. The GOP’s aim to “save and strengthen Social Security and Medicare” means to privatize, reduce, and then eliminate it. In the House, 158 Republicans already signed on to a budget cutting Medicare and Social Security. “Restore the people’s voices” in voting lists restrictions—means just “some people’s voice.”

Missing from their plans before Midterms are controversial terms such as abortion, election denialism, and Trump. Hoping to be elected House Speaker, McCarthy obtained DDT’s approval for the “Commitment” and praised QAnon member Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), probably to get her vote. Yet she wasn’t allowed to answer questions from the audience of 150 local business owners, parents, and local activists.

The presentation included a video, to “celebrate the rich heritage of the American story and the vibrancy of the American Dream,” using footage of a drilling rig in Russia’s Volgograd region. The work of Serg Grbanoff, filmmaker based in Russia, appears in other parts of the video: his clip of a happy boy in a field with a toy airplane over the words “Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” comes from the same Russian area. The attack on Democrats, blamed by the video on Democrats, uses footage from a European grocery story with a Slovak word. The man featured in a Shutterstock contributor, DedovStock, is in Ukraine and the Carpathian Mountains of eastern Europe.

The “Commitment” and its rollout continues the new GOP’s refusal to govern. Republicans hate government and don’t want to put in any effort such as negotiation, compromise, or participation in hearings—the boring stuff. Even in state legislatures, bills are largely written by businesses looking to further their nests. The GOP either has no solutions for problems or knows that their ideas will be unpopular. Being vague and ambiguous, like “protect the lives of unborn children” or “curb wasteful government spending” being their sole “commitments,” is its only way to quell dissension. Republicans state that Democrats have no plan to solve inflation, but Republicans have not come up with them, only the outcomes with no path to them. After all, the GOP has been promising an answer to healthcare for over a decade.

The “Commitment” calls for a safe nation, free future, strong economy, and accountable government—all Democratic aims. Like Biden, the document wants to fight inflation and lower the cost of living, bring down gas prices, make the U.S. energy independent, strengthen the supply chair, and end U.S. dependence on China. Part of the Democratic platform, they have made progress despite Republicans consistent no votes. Legislation, absent almost all GOP votes, caps costs of some prescription medications for seniors, something Republicans promised to overturn the minute they have a majority. 

To combat high gas prices, Biden released reserves, steadily lowering the cost of gas by at least 25 percent during the same two-plus months. A barrel of oil has also dropped over $50 to under $80. Thus far, Biden has avoided a train strike and expanded the number of truck drivers, and the new climate law starts to make the U.S. energy independent. The CHIPS and Science Act reduces dependence on China although almost two-thirds of GOP senators and 187 GOP House members voted against it.

To refresh yourself about how the “Commitment” distorts language, read George Orwell’s 1984. Then House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) shut down the government for 28 days with his 1994 Contract with America. Republicans are now promising to do the same thing next week by refusing to vote for a budget, due September 30.

The MAGA “make America great again” doesn’t give a time limit for how far back Republicans want to “return,” but an Arizona judge has reinstated an 1864 anti-abortion law passed 48 years before the territory became a state. The only exception is if the pregnant person’s life is at risk; those with health risks or impregnated by rape or incest will have forced birth. That’s what electing Republicans will do for people.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) wants to erase not only trans people but apparently women as a gender. In a fundraiser he protested teaching children that “more than one gender” exists. He claims doing so is “against nature, science, and common sense.” Some people aren’t sure which biological sex he plans to eliminate, but it’s unlikely he’s talking about men.

August 10, 2022

GOP Problems – DDT, Flooding, Biden’s Improvement

Democrats are turning the insult of “Let’s go, Brandon” toward President Joe Biden into a campaign cry of “Dark Brandon,” complete with a visual showing him as a superhero, mocking Republicans. The vulgar slur from conservatives started in October 2021 and continued to sell political products. According to the Daily Beast:  

“In Dark Brandon lore, Biden only seemed to be incompetent; underneath the images of stumbling senility is a cold, calculating, sinister Machiavelli.”

Don Caldwell, the general manager of the meme-tracking website Know Your Meme, said:

“It’s revealed that he’s pulling the strings behind the scenes and that everything’s going to plan. Sometimes it’s that he’s appearing to be senile and he’s actually completely with it.”

Conservatives tried to maintain that the eagle behind Biden in one image represents Nazis, but that message hasn’t taken off. And the eagle is the national bird of the United States.

The greater the frustration, the more the fury—and opposition. And the need to hide …

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) is losing his refusal to turn over his IRS returns to the House Ways and Means Committee. After DDT appealed a lower court opinion, the three-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court ruled that the IRS give them to the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) first made the request in 2019. DDT’s next stop is the U.S. Supreme Court.

The party of “lock her up” is in a rage about the search warrant on DDT’s Mar-a-Lago home. Six years ago, DDT asked Russia to find former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “missing emails” when he campaigned against her for the 2016 election. Within a few months, the crowds started chanting “lock her up” and never stopped.

In November 2016, former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said, “Look, there’s a tradition in American politics that after you win an election, you sort of put things behind you … to unite the nation.” Four years later, he sang a different song. Six years ago, Republicans at least pretended to want politicians to disqualify themselves from positions of authority when there was a suspicion of their putting documents at risk. Six years later, Republicans are furious, or silent, about the DOJ and FBI’s audacity in trying to retrieve classified documents, known to be at Mar-a-Lago.

GOP comments in the past day have surpassed the usual irony of criticizing Democrats for actions they themselves perform. Republicans’ new chant, “Defund the FBI” comes from the party campaigning on law and order who were enraged about individuals who wanted to “defund the police.” People with those chants wanted to transfer some law enforcement funds to mental health professionals to stop the police practice of killing unarmed people in the streets.

Sleeping through the past six years, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) claimed that the U.S. had never before used political power to persecute opponents. 

The GOP anger also revealed the truth. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) tweeted about the search warrant, “If they can do it to a former President, imagine what they can do to you.” Rep. Elise Stefanik echoed Jordan’s comment. The anger comes from the DOJ position that no one is above the law, not even someone who was elected to the U.S. presidency. Responses to Jordan agreed the position that DDT is not above the law.

“The fact that the law applies to the president, and not just the rest of us, is a feature of democracy, not a bug.” – The Atlantic’s Yair Rosenberg

“Thank you, House Judiciary GOP, for summarizing succinctly the principle of ‘the rule of law’: the law applies to everyone, even a former President.” – Julia Loffe, Puck News

“When I try to overthrow the government, invalidate a free and fair election, illegally steal classified documents, and engage in lavish corruption as President, I’ll expect them.” – Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson

“Yes, if you break the law and steal top secret documents from the White House and commit some of the most heinous crimes in American history, this too can happen to you,” the organization tweeted. “That’s a GREAT precedent! That’s called justice.” – Government watchdog organization Medias Touch

“In which the GOP members of the Judiciary committee take a brave stand against the 4th Amendment. Motherfuckers, do you think any of us thought the FBI *couldn’t* search our homes if they had sufficient probable cause to convince a judge to sign a warrant?” – Reference to how the warrant was likely obtained from a tweet

“If I stole classified documents from the White House (allegedly), I certainly hope they’d do it to me. Please explain why they shouldn’t, a-holes.” – Bob Cessa  

Instead of legislating, the GOP focuses on planning retaliation with multiple congressional committees to put Democrats who oppose DDT in prison.

QAnon followers are delighted with the search warrant; they believe the search at Mar-a-Lago was part of the “plan” that favors DDT. The conspiracy posts told believers to “trust Ray,” interpreting that as FBI Director Christopher Wray. The theory is that “Biden set out to completely destroy the trust and confidence of our country,” and the “raid [has] done just that.” They think DDT will now expose the secret cabal of cannibalistic pedophiles, known to QAnon as Democrats.

Details are slim about the background for the search. DDT issued a 340-word rant but didn’t claim to be innocent. The one person who doesn’t seems to be attacked yet is the magistrate judge who signed the warrant, perhaps because DDT appointed him to the position in 2018.

Texas officials, including Gov. Greg Abbott, joined the hue and cry about the unfairness of the search. The bipartisan Mothers against Greg Abbott trying to oust him from office had an answer for the man behind the state’s draconian anti-abortion law, tweeting, “Try being a woman in Texas.”

The FBI search came from concern that DDT had not produced all the government documents covered by the Presidential Records Act he took from the White House, perhaps ones from the January 2021 insurrection, when he gave up 15 boxes of them in February. Therefore, the FBI removed another twelve boxes from the search. Last February, FBI officials spoke to DDT’s representatives, his appointed loyalists including former chief of staff Mark Meadows and whose job was to keep his records from Congress. In June, the FBI padlocked the storage area where the documents were stored, but DDT had added another padlock which had to be broken.

While Republicans focus on the search of DDT’s home, they ignore the ongoing tragedies in Kentucky from the flooding. Thus far 37 people have died in the disaster, and an 18-year-old boy died after helping flood victims for three days.  Cause of death was not established, but he had no prior health conditions. Rain is due to return with additional flooding. Heavy rains are predicted on August 9 and 10 in central and eastern Kentucky with more flash flooding that will block cleanup.  

The area most hard-hit is also has a large number of low-income families. Only 17,250 Kentucky property owners have federal flood insurance, the vast source of U.S. flood policies, and just 2,485 property owners in the ten counties with recent significant flood damage have this FEMA coverage. That’s 2.3 percent of households in the area. Flood insurance costs about $1,000 a year, and the media household income in Knott County is $32,500, half the national median of $65,000. FEMA maps may have vastly underestimated eastern Kentucky’s flood risk, citing 8.6 million properties in flood Zones instead of 14.6 million properties in reality. Maps are especially inaccurate in eastern Kentucky, three times the number in seven of the ten flooded counties identified by FEMA.

A major cause of the flooding comes from strip mining and the condition of the mines because the areas have been heavily logged and strip-mined for coal during the past decades. First the trees go, then the soil, and finally hundreds of feet of rock are blasted away from the tops and/or sides of mountains to reach underground seams of coal. The result is no water retention, resulting in flash floods. More runoff comes from loggings, gas wells, gas well roads, and power lines along with the climate change. With drainage around valley fills, the ponds and ditches break and more easily carry rocks and trigger dangerous debris flows.

Kentucky also permitted financially unstable or bankrupt mining companies to fall far behind on reclamation requirements, and even fully reclaimed surface mines are significantly likely to have experienced landslides. Yet the anti-regulation Kentucky will probably not even bother to do any studies.

Everything seems to be going wrong for Republicans, which can be a major reason for their anger. They are even discouraged about taking over the Senate next year. Biden has had more successes in less than two years than previous presidents for several decades—major legislation including delaying climate changes and gun reform, the killing of the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, a booming economy with more manufacturing, and more. Maybe the U.S. is turning around.

February 12, 2022

Updates: DDT, Protests, RNC, Abbott

The story of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) and his theft of gifts and federal documents may never end. This article is for people who want to claim DDT’s innocence. And other updates from stories earlier this week:  

Canadian Truck Convoy Protest:  

A judge gave permission to clear a primary crossing from Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit (MI), and Canadian police cleared the vehicles. Other protesters still prevented access from going south on the crossing with about 180 remaining late Saturday, February 12. That crossing is the busiest between the two countries, carrying about 25 percent of the trade.

Demonstrators blocked the Ambassador Bridge for the past five days claiming they objected to a vaccination mandate to cross the border. Protests began on January 29.  Lack of parts forced Ford to temporarily stop work at an Ohio assembly plant in Ohio, and General Motors and Toyota announced production cuts, costing up to $700 million. This crossing is one of at least three closed to commerce by truckers, the others into Montana and North Dakota.  

The Toronto-Dominion has frozen two protester group’s personal bank accounts  of $1.1 million deposited by different crowdfunding sites, now blocked, one of them by the Canadian Superior Court of Justice. Much of the money came from the United States. 

The protesting truckers are not representative of Canadian truckers or population. The Canadian Trucking Alliance disavowed the participants, saying that most of them “have no connection with the trucking industry.” Over 84 percent of the Canadian population is vaccinated, compared to 64 percent of people in the U.S., and two-thirds of Canadians oppose the protest. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing 1.4 million people in the U.S. Canada, and Puerto Rico, also opposes the blockade at the border, stating it “continues to hurt workers and negatively impact our economy. The livelihood of working Americans and Canadians in the automotive, agricultural, and manufacturing sectors is threatened by this blockade.”

France and Belgium are banning road blockades, but reports in the U.S. indicate demonstrations affecting Super Bowl on Sunday and the State of the Union address next month. Paris police fired tear gas at demonstrators on the Champs Elysees avenue after a convoy of protesters against COVID restrictions moved into the French capital.

The Fox network leads the U.S. media charge in supporting the protest following the show hosts’ objections to vaccination despite their employer’s requirement they have them.  The network has spent over ten airtime hours for the story with over an hour each for Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, and at least 14 protest participants have been hosted on Fox. In the past month, Fox News has mentioned the truckers or Ottawa 2.5 times as often as CNN and five times as often as MSNBC. The network praises protesters just as they did the insurrectionists on January 6, 2021, calling them “freedom fighters” and more.

Participation in the convoy protest comes from a coordination between anti-vax and anti-government organizations, many of them QAnon conspiracy theorists. Popular among the protesters are the Confederate and neo-Nazi flags as well as QAnon logos. Fake accounts on social media connected to content mills in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Romania, and other countries have pushed popularity with the right wing, including lawmakers Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) as well as DDT. Right-wingers convinced Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) that the truckers had overturned the Canadian government, and Joe Rogan, in trouble on Spotify for his lies and racism, claimed there were “like 50,000 trucks” protesting instead of the highest estimate thus far of 18,000. Other lies were the resignation of “50 percent of the Ottawa police force” in support and Canada blocking hotels from renting to convoy protesters.

Teamsters General Jim Hoffa explained the support is to disrupt the supply chain causing economic stabilization and weakened government in power. It follows the CIA’s destabilizing Chile’s government run by democratically elected Salvador Allende with a truckers’ strike in 1972. Allende was soon overthrown by right-wing dictator General Augusto Pinochet. 

RNC Censure Resolution: 

Most GOP congressional members have completely separated themselves from the RNC after their voice vote to censure Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), members of the January 6 investigative committee. On Bulwark, Willliam Saletan compiled the dizzying spin of cultish Republicans as they excuse their censure of Cheney and Kinzinger for taking ethical action and called the January 6 insurrection, a “legitimate political discourse.”

  • They voted to impeach DDT—the second time.
  • They are taking part in a plot to sabotage the GOP. Cheney voted for DDT 93 percent of the time and Kinzinger 90 percent.
  • Republicans say: We’re not on the committee; it’s their business.
  • Nikki Haley doesn’t want “Republicans going against Republicans.”
  • Republicans aren’t responsible for the RNC, and Chris Christie, who wanted to be the RNC chair, says the resolution is irrelevant.
  • According to Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Cheney is on her own with Wyoming voters.
  • Cheney and Kinzinger are losers because Cheney was removed from House TOP leadership and will probably lose her primary. Kinzinger isn’t running for re-election.
  • The January 6 investigation is illegitimate because it’s an attack on DDT, his family, friends, and “all the people he fought for,” claimed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).
  • The investigation is illegitimate because it’s partisan after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “rejected [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy’s appointees.” She only refused two, one of them who might be subpoenaed and both who suggested they will sabotage the committee. McCarthy pulled all of his nominees.
  • The investigation is illegitimate because it goes beyond the events of January 6 that led up to the attack: coercion of state officials, recruitment of fake electors, threats to seize voting machines, etc. The GOP wanted to know everything about the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic outpost killing four people but nothing about what led to January 6.
  • The investigation is illegitimate because it goes beyond security failures.
  • Nobody cares about January 6.
  • DDT is right to question the election, from Republicans who pander to the cult leader.

A self-appointed House “committee,” including DDT supporters Jordan, Banks, Rodney Davis (IL), Kelly Armstrong (ND), and Troy Nehls (TX), is investigating the Capitol Police to blame them for the January 6 attack. A bipartisan Senate report has found that intelligence agencies didn’t sufficiently warn law enforcement before the riot; senior officials in charge of the Capital Police didn’t receive a January 5, 2021, FBI memo warning of a brewing “war” in Washington. Lacking subpoena power, the shadow House group relies on voluntary interviews.  

After the RNC censure resolution, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) repeated his assertion that January 6 was a “violent insurrection” intended to “prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election.” DDT reacted:

“Mitch McConnell does not speak for the Republican Party, and does not represent the views of the vast majority of its voters. He did nothing to fight for his constituents and stop the most fraudulent election in American history.”

McConnell’s popularity is 25 percent, but the number of conservatives who identify as “supporters of Trump” versus “supporters of the Republican Party” shrank to 36 percent from 46 percent. Conservative Sen. Kevin Kramer (ND) accused the RNC of getting “caught up in its own bubble” with “a complete lack of understanding or awareness of the people they’re supposed to be representing.”

According to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, 68 percent of registered voters think the January 6 insurrectionists should not be pardoned as DDT suggested he might do: 81 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of unaffiliated, and 54 percent of Republicans. Only 20 percent of registered voters want them pardoned despite DDT’s offer to do it at his Texas rally.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

The problems Abbott has after indefinitely assigning 6,500 National Guard members to the Mexico border worsened after the sixth soldier died from an accidental shooting by a fellow soldier. The 19-year-old was handing a personal weapon to another soldier in the backseat of a parked vehicle, and the gun’s discharge hit him in the back. He died at the scene. All six deaths were from personal weapons, four of them suicides since October when they were hastily mobilized. A ruse for arresting asylum seekers at the border is for law enforcement to order them to a particular location and then charging them with trespassing.

A progressive Lincoln Project ad lambasted Abbott for failing Texas a year ago when millions of Texas faced freezing temperatures without heat or electricity. Several people died in their homes from the cold. Abbott faces primary challenges on March 1 from other Republicans. The ad points out the millions in campaign cash Abbott received from “big power and energy companies.”

A federal judge temporarily blocked Texas counties from criminally charging public officials for encouraging the use of mail ballots for the March 1 primary election. The new state voting law includes this provision in trying to prevent mail-in ballots used by over one million Texas voters in the 2020 election. The new law also permits heavy restrictions on who can mail their ballots and violates their privacy by demanding they include their driver’s license or partial Social Security number on the envelope. Thousands of mail ballots have been flagged for possible rejection, including 40 percent of those received in Harris County with about 2.5 million registered voters.

And then there’s the unraveling Russia-Ukraine problem. Too much news these days!

January 8, 2022

Progress Post-January 6?

Yesterday’s blog post railed against the ignorance of the Fox network. It seems that at least one of the Supreme Court justices is using that ignorance to support his opposition to any mandates for COVID vaccinations. Neil Goruch said during the arguments—on the record—that the flu kills “hundreds, thousands of people every year.” His message is that COVID isn’t really a big deal. CDC reports that influenza kills between 12,000 and 52,000 annually. By the time, Gorsuch made that statement, COVID had officially killed over 850,000 people, 385,000 in 2020 and the remainder in 2021. This figure doesn’t count the deaths that coroners refused to acknowledge as being from COVID or didn’t pay for testing to determine the cause of the people who died. The Economist’s Supreme Court reporter Steven Mazie wrote that Goursuch actually laughed when the U.S. Solicitor General called the coronavirus pandemic “terrible.” The day before Gorsuch made that statement, 870,702 people became infected, and 2,056 people died of COVID–in the U.S. He was also the only justice present who didn’t wear a mask. 

The time of the January 6 anniversary, however, may show some optimism.

Headlines repeat that December added “only” 199,000 jobs, but the they skipped a couple of important—and positive—facts. First the unemployment dropped to a  new unemployment low of 3.9 percent from the 4.2 percent of November, almost to the 50-year-old of 3.5 percent of February 2020. The two jobs reports for October and November, a total of 766,000, were also revised upward by 141,000 jobs. The person in charge of figuring the initial number of new jobs is an appointment by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) has consistently lowballed the numbers for headlines, perhaps to make President Joe Biden look bad, before quietly correcting them later. Biden’s first year averaged 537,000 new jobs per month, making it one of he best years for the labor market in U.S. history. Manufacturing also continues to grow.

Since Biden was inaugurated, an additional four million people have health insurance, and families who have coverage through the Affordable Care Act are saving an average of $2,400 in annual premiums. Eighty percent of ACA consumers are paying $10 a month for good coverage. Under DDT, the number of uninsured increased by seven million. [visual – health insurance Trump]

Justice has been accomplished in the killing of a young Black jogger in Georgia by three White men who chased him in pickups before fatally shooting the unarmed man. Three of them have been sentenced to life in prison, two of them without parole. All three wee convicted of felony murder or committing felonies causing Ahmaud Arbery’s death, and one of them was also convicted of malice murder, intent to kill. They were also convicted of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony.

Originally seen as a citizens’ arrest, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery might have gone unpunished if not for the dogged research of a local journalist. The first DA to handle the case faces allegations of bias and instruction against arrest, rare charges. The three convicted killers also face hate-crime charges in a trial to begin next month. The federal indictment includes interference with Arbery’s rights and attempted kidnapping, alleging the defendants used “force and threats of force to intimidate and interfere with Arbery’s right to use a public street because of his race.”

Cyber Ninjas, the Florida private company paid $5.6 million by Arizona’s state GOP Senate to count ballots for Maricopa County, faces sanctions of $50,000 a day until it turns over records that the Arizona Republic has requested. On January 6, a court found the firm in contempt of court because the Ninjas had continually refused to follow court orders. Cyber Ninjas has terminated its employees and plans to shut down.

Maricopa GOP officials has issued a 93-page report debunking all frivolous claims of voter fraud and a four-hour livestreamed rebuttal of 76 out of 77 accusations as mistaken, misleading, or completely false. The one claim not rejected involved 50 votes that may have been double-counted. GOP Senate President Karen Fann said Maricopa County finally admitted it had “erred.” The company’s examination of ballots revealed a few more votes for Biden and a few less for DDT. Doug Logan, the Ninjas’ chief executive, began his so-called audit with the false assertion that Arizona’s voting machines were rigged. Of the county’s 2.1 million votes, the ballot count found only 37 possible ballots among the 53,304 labeled suspect; the 37 were referred to the state attorney general.

Devin Nunes is no longer a member of the House of Representatives as he moves to become CEO of DDT’s new tech company, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG). The new minority leader of the House Intelligence Committee, Ohio’s Mike Turner, plans to move away from the past partisanship by being more independent of DDT. In 2019, Turner had signed a letter to oust Rep. Adam Schiff but no longer wishes to do so. Instead, Turner wants “to work across the aisle and to try to advance what’s important to our country.” 

Having been a dairy farmer, Nunes has no experience as either an executive or in the technology industry. TMTG plans to merge with Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), a type of shell business raising money from investors to acquire a private start-up with strong growth prospects, being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Also being investigated by SEC is Arc Capital, the Chinese firm helping DDT take TMTG public. Federal securities regulators allege the firm misrepresents shell companies with no products and few products as ambitious, growing enterprises. Their office locations are usually PO boxes.

Founded in 2015, Arc helped create DWAC that raised over $1.2 billion to complete its merger with TMTG. If the deal is approved by shareholders and regulators, it can make DDT a great deal of month by turning TMTG into a public company overnight. DDT’s name pushed DWAC’s shares to five times the listing price despite no information about the business. Little information about TMTG has been released. A securities lawyer said it’s “a shell company basically merging with another shell company.” In 2017, the SEC topped three Arc-backed companies from publicly selling shares and suspended trading in a fourth Arc-financed business. Mexican entrepreneur Abraham Cinta, Arc’s founder, said U.S. securities regulators are looser in registering companies than those in China and Hong Kong, making it easier to take unproven companies public.  

DDT’s company will present “Truth Social” as a competitor to Twitter and partner with Rumble, a video-sharing site spreading anti-vaxxer and QAnon conspiracy theories for its video and streaming services. The Canadian tech company launched in 2013 saw its popularity skyrocket last year after support by DDT and others such as Dan Bongino. Financial backing comes from Silicon Valley’s Peter Thiel and Senate candidate JD Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy. Rumble’s channels are run by QAnon influencers banned by YouTube and Facebook.

Other DDT ventures have been investigated, including his charitable foundation, shut down by New York’s AG, and Trump University, closed with a $25 million settlement to former students. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is also checking into DWAC’s share trading.

 According to Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), former Trump White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has provided names in connection with the January 6 insurrection not previously known and “identified some minds of inquiry that had never occurred to me.” Grisham also said she and over a dozen other former DDT officials are meeting next week in an effort to “stop” DDT from destroying democracy and getting re-elected.

According to other reports, DDT laughed at members of Congress when they were relating the trauma of January 6, sometimes accusing them of faking their emotion for attention, and calling some of the police officers at the Capitol that day “pussies.” Grisham said DDT “was in the dining room [on January 6] gleefully watching on his TV as he often did. ‘Look at all of the people fighting for me.’ Hitting rewind, watching it again.”

Republican lawmakers said nothing happened to the Capitol on January 6 because they went back the next day and it looked fine. They ignored the hard work of maintenance people who cleaned the insurrectionists fecal matter off the walls, picked up the debris from destroyed objects, repaired the broken windows and doors, and more. And they weren’t the only ones. Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) not only posted a Twitter thread about his thoughts when he returned to the House chamber after the destruction but also knelt to pick up the glass and other debris. It wasn’t for a photo op, and many reporters passing him didn’t realize the man in the blue suit was a member of Congress. The photographer, AP’s Andrew Harnick, didn’t know Kim’s identity until Reps. Dean Phillips (D-MN) and Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) told him.

November 6, 2021

More Off-Year Election News

With 95 percent of the votes counted for New Jersey’s and Virginia’s governors, the top two contenders in each state are both separated by 2.3 percent. The only difference is that winner Phil Murphy in New Jersey is a Democrat and winner Glenn Youngkin in Virginia is a Republican. Oh yes, the other difference is that Republicans found Virginia’s vote to have “integrity” whereas New Jersey’s election of a Democrat is a “fraud.” The sour-grapes loser refuses to concede and wants people to “report any perceived or real irregularity” to the sour-grapes party’s “voter integrity hotline.” The GOP has found another campaign against democracy. As Dana Milbank wrote, “Heads I win, tails you cheated.”  

The day before these elections, Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) declared:

“I am not a believer in the integrity of Virginia’s elections; lots of bad things went on, and are going on.”

Since the GOP win in Virginia, not a peep from Republicans about “integrity” in that state’s election. Republicans try to keep Democrats from winning; when they don’t, they delegitimize the winner and discredit another “free and fair election.”

Virginia did have at least one case of attempted fraud: the 17-year-old son of the GOP winner tried twice on Election Day to vote. Minimum age for voting in Virginia is 18. In opposing education making white students “uncomfortable,” the governor-elect promised to teach children “how to think … not what to think.” He might want to teach his son, Thomas, how to look up voting laws.

Despite the GOP wins for Virginia’s governor and the state assembly, the Senate has maintained its Democratic majority, meaning a strong possibility of gridlock there. On the other hand, New Jersey has a Democratic majority in both legislative houses.

The night of Election Day, former Atlanta two-term mayor Kasim Reed was in second place for Atlanta mayor, allowing him into the runoff for finalist on November 30 against Felicia Moore. When all the votes were counted, however, he was replaced with city councilman Andre Dickens. Both the top two winners had complained about corruption scandals while Reed was in office causing him to politically disappear after his departure from office in January 2018. On his return last summer, he promised to solve Atlanta’s crime problems.

Federal campaign finance is regulated by the independent agency Federal Election Commission (FEC), but the rules are at the discretion of its six members unless federal law is specific. Foreign contributions to federal, state, and local candidates are specifically made illegal, but the group with four DDT appointees and two George W. Bush appointees are dabbling in donations for other areas. The FEC has now decided that foreign nationals can donate as much money as they wish in ballot initiatives which change and create statutes and amendments, which includes congressional redistricting. The agency has determined that these measures are not technically “elections.”

Therefore, an Australia mining giant can fund opposition to a Montana ballot measure tightening water pollution rules for the mining industry. A Russian-owned oil giant can shut down U.S. oil companies through ballot initiatives. A foreign car manufacturer can break unions through ballot measures if state legislatures haven’t already done this for them. Other foreign donations can fund pro-gun, pro-militia measures to damage U.S. security.

The vote to permit foreign donations was 4-2 with a consensus among DDT’s appointees using loophole made possible by the Supreme Court. In 2010, the majority ruling for Citizens United loosened the law and permitted foreign interests to avoid the foreign donation ban by using domestic subsidaries. In 2014, Russia’s Internet Research Agency tried to secretly influence U.S. elections through thousands of social media accounts, and Robert Mueller’s report in 2019 described Russia’s attempts to undermine the 2016 and 2018 elections.

Seven states have made foreign donations to ballot measures illegal; the other 43 states still have open season from around the world on elected decisions for ballot initiatives. Yet the Supreme Court recently ruled in United States Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc. that “foreign affiliates are foreign organizations, and foreign organizations operating abroad have no First Amendment rights.” The case came from state and local laws and ordinances to keep foreign money out of their elections. Corporations had claimed the First Amendment free speech rights that the Roberts court gave them in Citizens United. States passing these laws against foreign interference in state elections, include Washington, North Dakota, and New Hampshire.

November 2, 2021, was an important off-year election for many states but vital for hundreds of QAnon followers who traveled to Dallas (TX) where they waited for John F. Kennedy to return and decree DDT as “king of kings.” DDT would then become the 18th president of the United States because all presidents since 1871, the date when the Sovereign Citizen movement made the U.S. a corporation, is “illegal,” according to the QAnon fantasy world. Then DDT would step down to make Kennedy, born 104 years ago, president for seven days before his son, John Jr., dying in a plane crash in 1999 supposedly orchestrated by Hillary Clinton, returns to take over. Disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn would become Jr’s vice-president. Followers can find this set of lies on Whiplash347 which has 250,000 subscribers. Negative 48 on Telegram has a different point of view: Jr will become DDT’s vice-president.

The faithful of QAnon gathered in Dealey Plaza where Kennedy was assassinated almost 58 years ago. Kennedy didn’t show up, but 58-year-old Michael Brian Protzman, considered the manifestation of God on earth, was there. By building his cult, he developed over 100,000 followers on his Telegram channel, spreading ant-Semitic content and pushing suspect financial investments to desperate people. A Holocaust denier, Protzman supports the film pushing the false belief that Jews created Communism and start both world wars by provoking innocent Nazis trying to defend themselves.

Protzman said:

“There are no Jews. Period. Anywhere. Period. There is no Jewish race. And the Jewish leadership are basically the British empire, the Roman empire, it’s just the criminals.”

Protzman’s followers believe his system of numerology, gematria, the Jewish system of assigning a numerical value to a name, word, or phrase based on the letters used and making up a spiritual or mystical meaning behind the phrase. Based on English instead of Hebrew in a method developed by English occultist Aleister Crowley, Protzman’s system links Christianity, QAnon, and the Kennedys as proof for his lies. The Kennedys are descended from Jesus Christ after he married Mary Magdalene and had four children with her. The Christ bloodline has blood-type O, and the “New World Order” is using COVID PCR swabs to find these people. John F. and Jackie Kennedy are the physical second incarnation of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, their son JFK Jr. is the Archangel Michael, and DDT is the Holy Spirit.

After Kennedy failed to appear on Tuesday, many of his followers went to a Rolling Stones concert where they claimed to meet Michael Jackson.

QAnon may be front and center in Arizona’s primary this coming year: Ron Watkins, suspected of having invented the series of conspiracy theories as “Q,” has said he will be running for the U.S. Congressional District #1 from Arizona. Three other candidates have officially signed up, but the field will likely grow. The district he has chosen currently has a Democratic representative, but it has changed lines since redistrict after Arizona picked up another representative for a total of ten. Watkins moved to Arizona within the past three weeks.

The year-long lies of a “stolen” election by DDT and his minions continue to haunt the courts. In Wisconsin, a Dane County judge ordered Assembly Speaker Robin Vox to turn over secret records of his opaque review that Republicans have conducted since last summer. Documents include calendars, emails, and internal reports.

The judge also accused Vos of a “shell game” to hide records by changing the people responsible for the records. Vos waited too long to make arguments against producing them, according to the judge. With a taxpayer-funded budget of $676,000, the project is headed by former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, who began by claiming the presidential election was stolen from DDT despite courts repeatedly upholding President Joe Biden’s victory. Gableman refuses to give the names of his staff of five.

Now we’re launching into a year of primaries and lies culminating in the midterm election on November 8, 2022 for 435 House seats, 34 Senate seats, and more governors, state legislators, ballot measures, etc., etc.

August 13, 2021

GOP Promotes COVID, Commit Voter Fraud

When Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) was in the White House, he had no ventilators to send states. The “cupboards” were empty because of President Obama, he said, although the crisis began three years after DDT was inaugurated. After DDT finally obtained supplies, he sent them primarily to GOP states or places where he could guarantee over-the-edge praise for him. Six months after Joe Biden became president, he sent 200 ventilators and 100 high-flow nasal annual kits to Florida, the state with 20 percent of all U.S. new infections, over 24,000 new Florida infections of yesterday’s over 144,000 new infections just yesterday. The U.S. now has over 37 million recorded cases and at least 635,257 deaths in under 18 months.

Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis said he doesn’t know anything about any requests for help or any emergencies in his state, but Savannah Kelly, spokesperson for the state hospital association, said the “unprecedented level of patients” requires more ventilators. Florida hospitals reached a high of 13,435 hospital beds, over one-third more than the high on July 23, 2020, are used for COVID, including 3,112 intensive-care beds. 

Angry about school officials protecting children through mask mandates, DeSantis threatened to remove their salaries if they did. Press Secretary Jen Psaki said if DeSantis follows through the American Rescue Plan could provide salaries. DeSantis had issued an executive order preventing any public or private sector in the state from requiring mask wearing or social distancing. The threat to block salaries from officials of schools mandating masks didn’t last long: DeSantis admitted he has no control over their salaries. He could fine schools, but some school superintendents stated they are more concerned about public health than DeSantis’ GOP political agenda. To the governor’s threats, Alachua County School Superintendent Carlee Simon explained in a Washington Post op-ed

“As our school board chair has so aptly put it, better a loss of funding than a loss of lives.”

DeSantis has been named in two lawsuits for his ban of mask mandates in schools. One comes from a coalition of large counties accusing the governor of violating the state constitution requiring a “uniform, efficient, safe, secure and high quality system” of public schools. The suit claims defendants “cannot legally deny … basic human needs for health and safety.” The Disability Independence legal services group is representing another group of parents protesting the withholding of state funds from schools not complying with his anti-mask mandate. A news release about the case asserted “politics do not override the ability for a child to go to school without risk of serious injury of death.”

In Texas, where Gov. Gregg Abbott issued the same ban as DeSantis, county judge ruled San Antonio and Bexar County can require masks in public schools and municipal buildings. The order lasts a few days until plaintiffs return to court for a longer extension.

Republicans’ “free market” beliefs disappeared with COVID laws. Florida prevents private businesses from requiring vaccinations for customers, and Texas has a new law blocking restaurants and bars from mandating at least one COVID vaccination for indoor diners. The law removes state licenses for any vaccination requirements. Republicans protect businesses from denying services to LGBTQ people but are outraged at any denial of service for public health. Steve Benen’s conclusion: “business owners who make choices Republicans don’t like should expect punishment. 

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been the most virulent perpetrator of vaccine denial. Turns out his wife, Kelley Paul, bought stock in Gilead Sciences making a drug to treat COVID-19 just as people started to die from the disease in late February 2020—and he didn’t disclose the information for 16 months after the 45-day reporting deadline in the Stock Act prohibiting insider trading for federal employees. Unfortunately for Kelley Paul, the stock in the company making remdesivir is now worth about $5 per share than the purchase, but Rand Paul, a member of the Senate health committee, has told his constituents to refuse to be vaccinated. Paul attended no briefings on COVID and was the first U.S. senator to test positive for the coronavirus. The man regularly lying about COVID said he didn’t know the form wasn’t submitted. [Rand and Kelley Paul in 2017]

Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) outrageous disinformation about COVID caused YouTube to suspend him for a week. That ban was joined by Twitter who suspended Rep. Marjorie Greene (R-GA) for a week after she lied about “failing” and ineffective vaccines. This is Greene’s third Twitter suspension; her current argument against vaccinations is that “we can’t live forever.”

Greene is also using her wealth to hire a lawyer in a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for her mask mandate. Her choice of attorney, Chris Wiest, was earlier suspended by the Ohio and Kentucky bar associations for insider trading. Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Ralph Norman (R-SC) have joined Greene in the suit for “freedom.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is fundraising off these shirts, an ideal gift for people who have died or are hospitalized from COVID. 

According to three scholars from a Swiss university, watching Fox causes people under 65 years old to refuse vaccinations:

“Watching one additional hour of Fox News per week ‘accounts for a reduction of 0.35 to 0.76 weekly full vaccinations per 100 people’ in May and June.”

This study supports research at the beginning of the pandemic, that Fox viewers are more likely to subscribe to conspiracy theories that CDC exaggerated the virus to damage DDT. Tucker Carlson has suggested the COVID vaccine killed recipients, the government considers vaccines ineffective, and untrustworthy authority figures try to force people to take questionable vaccines. Carlson was joined by Fox’s Laura Ingraham to lambast vaccine efforts as authoritarian and promote paranoia about their dangers. Fox viewers have a greater denial level than CNN and MSNBC viewers by about 10 percentage point because of Fox programming.

The Supreme Court supported an 7th Circuit Court ruling permitting Indiana University to mandate vaccinations for students and faculty members meeting in person after Justice Amy Coney Barrett requested the students’ request for emergency relief. The case was the first challenge to a vaccine mandate.

The National Education Association has also endorsed vaccine requirements for school workers with the opinion for regular COVID testing.  American Federation of Teachers take the stance of negotiating mandates with local governments and school systems. Both groups support COVID vaccines as does Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

Landlords failed to block the renewed eviction moratorium until early October when a federal judge left it in place. The extension came after the recent COVID surge and failure of the government to distribute $44 billion of the $47 billion allotted for rental payments. The judge followed a similar ruling by the Washington, D.C. circuit court.

The U.S. has settled with Dr. Rick Bright, the whistleblower who reported DDT botched the early pandemic response, compensating him “to the fullest extent allowed by the law” with “back pay and compensatory damages.” The government removed him in April 2020 as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority for his concerns about preparedness, according to Bright. He also said his ousting came became he refused to push the drug hydroxychloroquine to cure COVID.

The U.S. may have finally found a case of voting machine tampering—by a DDT-loving clerk in Grand Junction (CO). That’s Rep. Lauren Bobert’s (R-CO) district, the QAnon follower who runs a gun-promoting bar. A video depicts the conversation between an election official and a Dominion employee as the official asks about how the machine can be tampered with over the internet using the BIOS motherboard settings. During the January 6 insurrection, the clerk had made a variety of social posts about the ease of tampering with election equipment. A county clerk tweeted that someone in her office carried out a breech to prove the vulnerability of election machines.

The same DDT-loving clerk, Tina Peters, is also accused of leaking information to QAnon promoter Ron Watkins as well as filming a Dominion employee updating the election system software, according to Colorado’s Secretary of State Jena Griswold. The clerk’s office had ordered county staff to turn off surveillance cameras monitoring the voting equipment and left off until this month. In late May, Peters’ staff illegally permitted a man called Gerard Wood to join Dominion during an installation. The mystery many obtained footage of Dominion updating the machines, footage put on Watkins’ Telegram channel on August 2. Griswold was able to identify the place and time of the video from the footage from an image of passwords for accessing election equipment.

Peters could not be found in her office last week because she appeared on the stage at MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s bogus Cyber Symposium conference where Watkins shared the data stolen from Mesa County with the entire world. Forty pieces of Mesa County’s election equipment will need to replaced, at taxpayer cost, because of the broken chain of custody. The lawyer for Rep. Lauren Boebert’s campaign manager is also involved.

This day in August, Friday the 13th, is when people like MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell predicted DDT would be back in the White House on “Reinstatement Day.” It didn’t happen, but DHS officials worry about resulting violence because of DDT’s lies about election fraud.

June 27, 2021

DDT’s Life Goes Downhill

In his first rally since Joe Biden became president of the United States, Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) whined and ranted through 90 minutes of lies about being defrauded out of his re-election and his bad treatment since he lost the election on what he called his “revenge” tour. Mainstream networks avoided DDT’s rally speech although CSPAN ran it as part of his presidential campaign for 2024, and people left the rally before he was finished.

Two days after DDT delivered his lies, the Trump Organization “will be criminally charged” and “will have faced criminal charges” from an investigation by the Southern District of New York City. Charges will deal with whether taxes were paid on the company’s fringe benefits for a top executive and false valuations of properties to obtain large loans and pay small taxes.  

Prosecutors gave DDT until tomorrow afternoon to make final arguments about why DDT’s business should not face these criminal charges. The Trump Organization, controlled by a DDT-owned trust, uses a web of hundreds of individual limited liability corporations. The case against the company is moving forward because DDT’s CEO Allen Weisselberg wasn’t “cooperating.” Weisselberg went to Trump Tower while DDT was in residence. 

Since the investigation into DDT and his business, most of its longtime employees, DDT’s family members who worked there, and some of his protectors such as former lawyer Michael Cohen left. After being his fixer for decades, Cohen turned on DDT. Now DDT works at the business, mostly alone, with two assistants and a few body men. A grand jury, convened earlier this year, is to consider indictments from the investigation.

Indictments could financially destroy DDT and his family, driving DDT into bankruptcy. DDT almost may owe hundreds of millions of dollars to the IRS, and his loans of hundreds of millions of dollars to foreign banks like the Chinese are coming due soon. Even without criminal indictments of the Trump Organization, DDT’s money-making could be shut down.

Rudy Giuliani’s former lawyer, replacement for Cohen, is also in trouble: the New York Supreme Court suspended his law license, and he can not practice law at this time. He faces disbarment for making “demonstrably false and misleading statements” while pushing DDT’s multiple court cases challenging the legal 2020 election. The court called Giuliani an “immediate threat” to the public who had “directly inflamed” the tensions leading to the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. “This country is being torn apart by continued attacks on the legitimacy of the 2020 election and of our current president, Joseph R. Biden,” according to the court. 

DDT angrily attacked “the same court that would handle any appeals in any prosecution the Manhattan DA may bring against the Trump Organization or any of its principals or employees,” according to George Conway’s tweet.

Examples of Giuliani’s incompetence and dishonesty:

Told a court that voter fraud cost DDT the election before Giuliani admitted he isn’t claiming voter fraud.

Defended lies about absentee ballots by saying he sincerely believed the lies at one time.

Lied to a court about a dead boxer voting in Philadelphia.

Claimed underage Georgia residents gave President Joe Biden up to 165,000 votes when the number was zero.

Repeatedly claimed “a few hundred thousand” undocumented immigrants voted for Biden in Arizona after being told no data existed to support his statement.

Giuliani is bringing down others with him.  FBI agents searched the home of George Dickson, a marijuana entrepreneur who worked with Giuliani for financing a documentary, never completed, to present the lies about Joe and Hunter Biden’s corruption in Ukraine. Giuliani thought the film would kill Biden’s chances to be elected. Federal prosecutors are probing Giuliani’s actions for violating foreign lobbying laws when he worked with former Ukrainian government officials and Russian agents to spread lies about false allegations about Biden.

DDT has faced a few others disasters:

A Georgia Superior Court dismissed seven of nine claims in a lawsuit alleging 147,000 fraudulent ballots were cast in the Fulton County 2020 election. Two of them were argued under a different claim, but the Fulton County elections board intends to file to get those claims dismissed as well. The ballots have been legally audited three times, including one hand recount with finding no evidence of widespread fraud.

The United States AG, Merrick Garland, announced a DOJ lawsuit against Georgia for its new anti-voting laws. Garland stated Georgia’s law was intended to be discriminatory against people of color instead of doing so accidentally. The DOJ is also following anti-voting bills and laws in other states for possible more lawsuits, according to Garland. Federal prosecutors are to make voter intimidation a priority, and Georgia may end up on preclearance requirements again. As states move to strip powers from elected secretaries of state, the DOJ lawsuit plans concrete steps to protect their legal powers.

In another move, the DOJ has established a task force to deal with the growing threats against election workers. In a number of states—including Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin—intimidation and threats have resulted in these officials’ early retirement. Pennsylvania lost at least one-third of county election officials. Last May during the Pennsylvania municipal primary, new election directors with no experience or knowledge took control. Untrained staffers can make mistakes programming races into the right districts, and the ignorance can lead to lack of consistency. Some counties haven’t even replaced election directors who resigned.

But it’s not just high-profile officials. One-third of election officials don’t feel safe in their jobs, and one-fifth have received death threats related to their jobs. Garland said, “The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, the right from which all other rights ultimately flow.” In Georgia, new ordinances or state laws have removed or eliminated positions of members of at least ten county election boards, mostly Democrats and some people of color. Republicans have largely replaced these people.  

The DOJ also told Missouri that states cannot overturn federal laws after Republicans passed a law not to enforce federal gun laws in the state. Gov. Mike Parsons signed the bill fining any local law enforcement agency $50,000 if it enforces federal gun laws and regulations constituting “infringements” of the Second Amendment. The DOJ told Missouri the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause outweighs Parson’s measure. Missouri’s law doesn’t even refer to current federal law; GOP legislators merely passed the law in case Congress passed a law that Missouri didn’t like. Eight other states have already passed similar laws, and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) said federal legislators should not pass any laws that any states would consider “nullifying.”

Other GOP governors are trying to keep members of Congress from supporting voting rights by lying about the proposed federal bill and their own anti-voting laws:

Florida: Ron DeSantis claimed that the laws were passed “so that someone can’t dump 100,000 votes two or three days later.” It didn’t happen, and DeSantis didn’t try to identify when his claim occurred. Sen. Rick Scott had falsely claimed in his 2018 race that “they found 95,000 votes after election night.”

Georgia: Brian Kemp claimed the new restrictions on drop boxes expanded the number, but it limits the number of drop boxes per county to “either one drop box for every 100,000 registered voters or the number of advance voting locations.” Larger counties, predominantly Black, are limited to 23 or fewer drop boxes, down from 94 in the 2020 election. Drop boxes, available only during early voting hours, are located inside. My Oregon county in Oregon has seven drop boxes, one per 5,467 voters, accessible 24 hours a day.

Arizona: Doug Ducey said no one loses their right to vote with Arizona’s new law, but the state automatically removes everyone from the early voter list, determining who receives mail ballots, if they don’t vote in a two-year cycle, removing over 100,000 Arizonans.

The Arizona ballot “fraudit” or ballot count or whatever is over after two painful months, but news about it is still available. Doug Logan, head of Cyber Ninjas running the operation, has claimed to be completely unbiased, but his possible appearance in the documentary Deep Rig belies his claims. Directed by a man whose work claims aliens were behind the 9/11 attack, the current conspiracy theorist film trying to prove the 2020 presidential election was rigged againt DDT uses Logan as the voice of “Anon.” 

The star of the film, Patrick Byrne, wrote the book used for the documentary and is working to get $2.8 million funding for the Arizona fake audit. Former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, liaison for the “fraudit,” also took part in the film. The movie showed scenes of the audit floor, including close-ups of ballots with clearly visible choices, although a journalist was thrown out of the counting site for accidentally taking a photograph of this. Some GOP lawmakers, including Senate President Karen Fann, attended the premier of the film, filled with QAnon conspiracy theories and other lies about voter fraud.

June 20, 2021

Religion Moves to QAnon Beliefs

The Southern Baptist Church conference is over, and thousands of people elected the less extreme Rev. Ed Litton as president. In Slate, Molly Olmstead called the vote a move away from extremist support for Deposed Donald Trump (DDT). Before last week’s meeting, ultraconservatives had pushed DDT supporters to elect far-right Mike Stone and vote for their positions about critical race theory (against) and the church’s sexual abuse (ignore). Former Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary president Paige Patterson, accused of trying to intimidate and silence an alleged sexual assault victim, was a strong proponent of Stone.

Outgoing president J.D. Greear introduced the two-day conference by warning about the dangers of hypocrisy—even worse, he said, than the “curse of liberalism.” He cautioned against a convention mistreating and maligning “female abuse victims” and putting more energy into lambasting CRT than “lamenting the devastating consequences of years of racial bigotry and discrimination.” Two years ago, the SBC convention passed a resolution to use CRT and intersectionality if they were second to Scripture; in November, seminary presidents declared CRT “incompatible with the Baptist Faith and Message. Prominent Black pastors left the SBC.  

Prepared for a fight, convention organizers combined many resolutions into one, apologizing for the SBC’s part in perpetuating systemic racism but rejecting “any theory or worldview that finds the ultimate identity of human beings in ethnicity or in any other group dynamic” as well as “any theory or worldview that sees the primary problem of humanity as anything other than sin against God and the ultimate solution as anything other than redemption found only in Christ.” The resolution easily passed, and conservatives failed with resolutions to specifically condemn CRT or stop funding institutions promoting CRT. A final vote also amended SBC rules to expel a member church for racism.

In the other issue, the SBC has been accused of ignoring claims by victims of sexual abuse and sheltering the abusers, swiftly clearing accused pastors without a complete investigation. Recently, a report alleged the SBC failed to look into allegations of a church staffer who moved on to abuse children at other churches. A popular Bible teacher, Beth Moore, left the SBC in March, citing sex abuse allegations. She had also broken SBC rules by speaking publicly to men and women as well as opposing DDT in the convention.

Russell Moore (no relation), who pushed for reform within the conference, criticized the SBC for its poor handling of abuse allegations and left the church’s leadership. The convention passed a resolution that “any person who has committed sexual abuse is permanently disqualified from holding the office of pastor.” 

Resolutions are non-binding opinions, and SBC conservatives elected their choice as vice-president. Yet some evangelicals may separate themelves from the secular focus that elected DDT.

Peter Wehner, who worked for three GOP administrations before DDT as speechwriter, wrote about a concern about evangelicals participating in the QAnon movement as 31 percent of them have. In an interview with The Atlantic, Tennessee’s former two-term GOP governor Bill Haslam said:

“I have heard enough pastors who are saying they cannot believe the growth of the QAnon theory in their churches. Their churches had become battlegrounds over things that they never thought they would be. It’s not so much the pastors preaching that from pulpits—although I’m certain there’s some of that—but more people in the congregation who have become convinced that theories are reflective of their Christian faith.”

Wehner wrote:

“Countless people who profess to be Christians are having their moral sensibilities shaped more by Tucker Carlson’s nightly monologues than by Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

“Many of those who most loudly proclaim the ‘pre-eminence of Christ’ have turned him into a means to an end, a cruel, ugly and unforgiving end. And this, too, is not quite what Jesus had in mind.”

The SBC is not the only fundamentalist Christian religion being taken over by the QAnons, and pastors are leaving their churches because of parishioners’ radicalization. Even YouTube sermons are infusing dangerous conspiracy theories about rampant sex-trafficking and demon possession of Democrats. Consider Sen. Ted  Cruz’s (R-TX) speech to a recent fundamentalist conference about Democrats being “soulless” with “red eyes” and “no brain.” Many of the audience literally accepts his message. Christian fundamentalism continues to be ripe for takeover by White supremacists.

Last January, over 45 percent of Protestant pastors reported often hearing congregants repeating conspiracy theories about national news events. Sixty percent of White evangelical respondents believe President Joe Biden’s 2020 win was “not legitimate”—the highest of any religious group. Last February, more than 1,400 evangelical pastors and faith leaders published an open letter condemning “radicalized Christian nationalism” and the “rise of violent acts by radicalized extremists using the name of Christ,” according to the Washington Post. SBC youth pastor Jared Stacey, who left the church, said, “The church is going through the biggest information shift since the printing press.”

Since January 6, Derek Kubilus, senior pastor of Uniontown United Methodist Church (OH), has offered “healing for QAnon followers and family members from a Christian perspective” through his “Cross Over Q” podcast. He said he felt he had to do something after seeing “crosses being carried alongside QAnon banners and a noose.”

Also at Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition’s annual Road to Majority Conference where Cruz spoke, a group shouted “traitor” at former VP Mike Pence. The MAGA group claimed he had validated the presidency of Joe Biden by permitting the Electoral College to cast the votes of the people for the 2020 election.

The FBI sent Congressional members an unclassified threat assessment that QAnon may go from “digital soldiers” to “real world violence.” The “believers” already played a central role in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol with over 20 of them arrested for their participation. The FBI had already classified QAnon as a domestic-terror threat in an internal memo, but DDT accepted their members, calling them “people who love our country” and “they like me very much, which I appreciate.” The recent FBI report comes after requests by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) for a full assessment on the QAnon threat.

Steven Benen wrote about QAnon:

“The basic idea behind the madness is that Donald Trump is secretly at war with nefarious forces of evil, including Democrats, Hollywood celebrities, the “deep state,” cannibals, and an underground ring of Satanic pedophiles who are operating a child sex trafficking ring that only adherents of the conspiracy theory are aware of.

“QAnon adherents were convinced that a reckoning was imminent, in which Trump would be re-elected and his enemies would be vanquished. When President Biden took office, some followers of the crackpot theory came to realize that their bonkers ideas were not coming to fruition.”

Because of DDT’s pressure, QAnon followers have not moved on with their lives but instead joined him in the master conspiracy theory that the election was “stolen” from him. The FBI fears that they “will begin to believe they can no longer ‘trust the plan’ referenced in QAnon posts,” leading them to extreme violence. Facts contributing to QAnon’s lasting effect, according to the FBI report, include COVID, posts on social media platforms, U.S. polarization, and support from public individuals. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is a QAnon strong advocate., a political website reporting surveys, has a detailed explanation of why people fall for conspiracy theories such as the moon landing being a hoax and vaccines being dangerous. The article presents testing for different traits such as the jumping-to-conclusions bias with little evidence, a trait more likely held by conspiracy theories. No one trait of the article predicts belief in conspiracy theories, but several of them may indicate a pattern.

A 2018 study about whether a series of coin tosses is random or predetermined examined tendencies to see patterns even if there are none. Those who see predetermination also find them in random statements—as in QAnon conspiracy beliefs making connections between unrelated events and symbols as a marker of conspiracy theories—such as a cicada landing on Biden’s neck meaning the onslaught of “the storm.” Or the connection of the Ever Given, ship caught in the Suez Canal believe by QAnon to transport trafficked children, and a March madness tweet from Mike Pompeo, a warship transit, and a 2018 Q post. [Hint: these coin tosses are random, not predetermined.]

Environmental factors can influence cognitive traits. Conspiracy theories can make people feel safer, perhaps by having a specific political candidate win or keeping a job endangered by an understanding of climate change. The theories may make them part of their tribe, “in-group” instead of “out-group.” Belief can make a person feel superior or important. The sharing of conspiracy theories builds them, and social media has been instrumental in doing this, especially when people were staying at home and on the internet during the pandemic.

About half the population endorses at least one conspiracy theory. (I won’t tell you mine!). And all brains want to take shortcuts, make assumptions, and be irrational. The extremes create danger for our lives and for our democracy.

A fascinating look at conspiracy theories through the last six centuries, their relationship to social and political upheavals, and DDT’s history of conspiracy theories.


June 15, 2021

DDT Pushes to Steal the Election

During the administration of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), revelations came out via leaks; now a flood is being legally released. He spied on journalists, congressional members and their associates—even his own White House Counsel, Don McGahn. DDT’s official policy of cruelty toward migrants at the southern border included stealing children from their parents instead of deporting the family together. DDT told the Army National Guard to protect his followers on January 6 while they gathered to attack the Capitol. DDT’s Commerce Department spied on employees and others who opposed Census changes to undercount people of color. DDT’s campaign manager Paul Manafort gave information to a known Russian spy, and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani tried to intimidate Ukrainian government officials into smearing Joe Biden while he ran for president.

Throughout his term, DDT obviously used the Department of Justice, a supposedly independent agency to protect the nation, for his personal business. Recently released documents show how his chief of staff Mark Meadows pressured the DOJ into changing the election so that DDT could stay in the White House, going so far as to demand an investigation of conspiracy theories about Italy changing votes for DDT to Joe Biden through satellites. Democrats in the House Oversight Committee have now added to the lore of DDT’s work to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

On December 14, 2020, when each state’s electors submitted the official voting results for the Electoral College, his assistant emailed then-Deputy AG Jeffrey Rosen explaining why Michigan’s votes should not be recognized by the Electoral College because of voter fraud. DOJ official Richard Donoghue emailed the document to Michigan’s AGs, and DDT’s personally-chosen AG Bill Barr announced his retirement. DDT replaced him with Rosen, and Donoghue took Rosen’s place.  

As lawsuits to overturn the election continued, DDT’s assistant emailed a draft of a legal brief for the Supreme Court to Rosen, Donoghue, and Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall to redo the presidential election in six states that DDT lost to Biden. The pressure on the DOJ continued as did the “Big Lie” that Joe Biden was not the legitimate winner of the election. Rosen and Donoghue called the far-fetched claims “Pure insanity.”

DDT’s followers attacked the Capitol on January 6 to stop the Electoral College voting, and 147 congressional Republicans voted to overturn the election. Twenty-one House Republicans who voted against honoring first responders at the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol objected to calling it an insurrection, falsely claiming the insurrectionists walked through the building in an “orderly fashion.” On the same day, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified the event was “an affront to the rule of law.” Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) voted against the bill awarding Congressional Gold Medals because it honored Capitol Police Officer Williams Evens, killed in April by a knife-wielding attacker ramming a security barricade with his car at the Capitol.

DDT has fanatically followed the latest GOP attempt to steal the election in Arizona, and a shabby building in Phoenix has become the mecca of political conservatives from throughout the nation—Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin thus far. An Arizona newspaper listed all the politicians who use their trip as part of their next campaign. For example, former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is running for the U.S. Senate. He was forced to resign his former position after allegedly blackmailing a woman with whom he was having an affair by releasing nude photographs that he took after tying her up and blindfolding her.

As Arizona temperatures rise to 120 degrees, politicians head to a crumbling structure where volunteers try to count ballots as proof of their conspiracy theory that Maricopa County’s election was rigged. The conspiracy-ridden GOP state senators hired an inexperienced conspiracy-ridden company to lead the “fraudit.” Glowing false praise about the process’s security came from “audit team” leader Randy Pullen, who failed to win his election last fall. The next planned process will recount ballots for his desired position.  

Politician expenses are being covered by the fundraising group led by One America News network host Christina Bobb, who earlier worked for DDT’s administration. OAN is also filming the “fraudit” and raising more money for the process. The fiasco costs several million dollars, most paid by dark money donations, because the state Senate allotted only $150,000 for the fake “count” and “forensic audit,” searching for bamboo in the ballot paper and other QAnon conspiracies. Maricopa County will be on the hook for over $6 million because damaged voting machines must be replaced.

Bobb lost her temper with Jen Fifield, an Arizona Republic reporter, and swore at her for asking a question. At a press gaggle, Fifeld asked DDT-supporter Vernon Jones if he would support a Democrat-led and fundraised audit. Afterwards, Fifield asked Bobb why she stayed silent. “Go talk to your peers who do this to me every f**king day. I don’t care,” Bobb snapped. In addition to raising funds for the process, Bobb has passed information to the GOP Senate president, Karen Fann, to increase the GOP work undermining Maricopa County’s election results.

Former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett was assigned to be the Senate liaison, but flaws in the process bother even this Republican. He thinks another audit, this one digital, should be used to compare results of the two “fraudits.” Toward that end, he is trying to hire another company, California’s Citizens Oversight, also with no experience in audits. CEO Doug Logan of Cyber Ninjas, the company orchestrating the first “fraudit,” has secretly criticized Bennett for the digital count, maybe because he recognizes the shortcomings of his work. Bennett said, “It’s not what evidence is presented to most people, it’s who it is presented to them by.”

After the DOJ warned the Arizona Senate against its plans to canvass voters’ homes as part of its “fraudit,” people falsely claiming to represent the county recorder’s office are knocking on doors in Yavapai County and asking how the inhabitants voted in the last election. Backers of the Senate’s audit have organized their own door-knocking. Yavapai County, population 211,000, is northwest of Maricopa County.

All the demands for “election integrity” are coming from conservatives. The definition for this “integrity” is support for the “big lie” that DDT won the election, despite Republicans as well as Democrats praising the security and accuracy of the 2020 presidential election.

The constitutionality of two Arizona laws blocking voters awaits a decision from the Supreme Court in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee. Anyone other than family member, caregiver, or postal worker collecting and delivering ballots commits a felony, and ballots will be rejected if they aren’t cast in the precinct where a voter lives. The lawsuit deals with discrimination against minority voters. In Arizona, almost 80 percent of voters used mail for casting ballots, but mail service can be sketchy in rural areas where many Latinx and Native Americans live. Only 18 percent of Native Americans in the state have access to home mail delivery. With an area bigger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined, the Tohono O’odham reservation has no home delivery and only one post office.

After Arizona’s district court and two different three-judge panels of the 9th Circuit Court ruled for the state, the full 9th Circuit Court reversed those decisions in favor of the voters. It wrote minority were more likely than non-minorities to rely on others to return their ballots. In addition, the mailing law isn’t necessary for election integrity because third-party ballot collection has not resulted in vote fraud. The court also wrote that Arizona officials frequently change polling places in urban counties with large minority populations leading to voter confusion. In 2018, two-thirds of the 3,709 out-of-precinct Arizona rejected ballots were from minority voters. Nationally, 26 states invalidated 140,000 provisional ballots as out-of-precinct in the 2018 midterm elections. In 2013, John Roberts’ Supreme Court overturned Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requiring federal approval before states with a history of discrimination, Arizona being one of them, could enact new voting laws.

AG Merrick Garland said the GOP-backed ballot reviews are “based on disinformation” and has doubled the number of staff dealing with voting rights enforcement by hiring another 300 people for the DOJ. 

According to Republican Tim Miller, QAnon activists describe the “fraudit” as the first step in “The Great Awakening,” and Arizona’s GOP chair, Kelli Ward, threatens “arrests” of anyone not complying with the audit. Bobb and Steve Bannon are leading the publicity for he debacle, and an Arizona woman quit her job as a real estate agent to detail the event on Facebook and YouTube. Both sides are predicting the fraudulent Cyber Ninjas will call Maricopa County—and Arizona—for DDT, and violence will break out—again.

According to Bennett, the ballot counting has finished all “regular” ballots, leaving only boxes with Braille, large-type, overseas military, and duplicated ballots. The fiasco, lasting almost two months, moves on, perhaps best illustrated by the lightning strike on the Washington Monument. This view is through the pillars at the Jefferson Monument. 

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