Nel's New Day

November 7, 2020

DDT Golfs, Rants; Biden Goes to Work

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Today, the media announced Joe Biden as president-elect, and Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) played golf. Thus far, Biden reached 290 Electoral College votes with the extra 20 from Pennsylvania; Georgia leans toward Biden, and North Carolina toward DDT. Loser DDT scheduled few official activities since he spent unknown millions of taxpayer dollars campaigning throughout the country after he wasted his $1.1 billion of campaign donations.

Tonight VP-elect Kamala Harris set the tone for Biden’s presidency by saying “You chose hope, unity, science, and yes, truth.” Biden’s following speech gave the same uplifting messages with encouraging emphases on unity, family, recovery from COVID-19, a good economy, and diversity. Instead of DDT’s promises to support only his supporters and hatefully retaliate against everyone else, Biden said he would be a president for everyone.

With only 74 days left to damage the United States, DDT started by firing people for insufficient “loyalty,” starting with Bonnie Glick, Senate-confirmed deputy administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development to cripple the $31 billion agency during the pandemic and presidential transition. Her replacement for acting deputy is John Barsa, on his last legal day as USAID acting administrator. Mark Green, who quit in April, was never permanently replaced for Barsa’s former job of Assistant Administrator for Latin America. Others are Neil Chatterjee, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration. He also intends to dump Defense Secretary Mark Esper, CIA Secretary Gina Haspel, and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

The White House polished off its losing week in the 2020 general election with another outbreak of COVID-19 of at least five aides, including Mark Meadows, DDT’s chief of staff, and Nick Trainer, election numbers cruncher. No one knows when Meadows tested positive because he told people not to tell anyone about it. He was with DDT on Air Force One for the 13-state campaign swing last Sunday and Monday and mingled with the 150 aides, family members, donors, and allies at the White House when DDT appeared in the dead of night to falsely declare he had won the election. Meadows told DDT he could win if he lied about voter fraud. Also arguing against mask-wearing and social distancing, Meadows said, “We’re not going to control the pandemic” on CNN’s State of the Union.

Satisfied with his reelection, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has gone back to nefarious methods of keeping DDT in the Oval Office. With no evidence, Graham said the “allegations of wrongdoing” in Pennsylvania “are earth shattering.” The plot is convincing Republican state legislators to name representatives to the Electoral College who will vote for DDT instead of permitting these people to be chosen by the voters in the states. Far-right radio host sent out this call:

“REMINDER TO THE REPUBLICAN STATE LEGISLATURES, YOU HAVE THE FINAL SAY OVER THE CHOOSING OF ELECTORS, NOT ANY BOARD OF ELECTIONS, SECRETARY OF STATE, GOVERNOR, OR EVEN COURT. YOU HAVE THE FINAL SAY—ARTICLE II OF THE FED CONSTITUTION. SO, GET READY TO DO YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY.”

According to legal authorities Lawrence Lessig and Jason Harrow, the Supreme Court has already ruled against this plan. The spokesperson for Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman reported declared the legislature will not be overriding the popular vote.

Steve Bannon, once DDT’s chief adviser and now indicted for defrauding “build the wall” donors, has lost his prominent lawyer after Bannon called for the beheading of Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray. Bannon said he wants to put their “heads on pikes … at the two corners of the White House.” Twitter has also permanently banned him for posting a video of his statements, and YouTube removed his remarks.

The White House is going in three directions: (1) Aides are raging as they try to control DDT’s constant declaration of winning in the face of loss; (2) Meadows denies the possibility DDT can lose—and he’s sick; and (3) Other aides are out looking for jobs in an hostile environment.

The Fox network has supposedly told its “talent” to “stay away” from referring to Biden as the president-elect. Instead, they should talk about all DDT’s lawsuits contesting election results. The memo supposedly said the “votes must be certified” before Biden becomes “President-Elect” although the network used the term for DDT the day after the election. Fox denied the accusation, but CNN isn’t backing down. DDT and his aides “erupted at the news” after Fox called Arizona for Biden, but Rupert Murdoch refused to back down after he received a call to change the reporting. Over 500,000 Australians signed the petition to parliament complaining about Murdoch controlling 70 percent of newspaper circulation.

Yesterday, DDT tweeted a demand for the U.S. Supreme Court to discard 648,301 votes in Philadelphia with the allegation poll watchers could not monitor the counting. Some of his lying claims—including Republicans losing “zero races” in the House.They already lost 212 races with more pending. 

In Georgia, a man counting votes was forced into hiding after a video of him supposedly throwing away a ballot was on Facebook. The discarded item was actually a set of instructions. Another false Facebook post states ballots will be disqualified in Halton City if the poll worker writes on it. Texas law requires the poll worker to sign a ballot for authentication. And the lies go on.

On the Sunday before Election Day, DDT scrapped HealthCare.gov, the website access point for the Affordable Care Act, in Georgia. Residents must get their ACA health insurance through brokers or private websites also selling noncompliant coverage. CMS Administer Seema Verma lied about the website having “fewer options and skyrocketing premiums”; Georgia’s current uninsured rate dropped five points since the inception of ACA in 2013, and over 430,000 Georgians get health insurance through HealthCare.gov, mostly with premium subsidies. The state’s uninsured rate would be lower if the GOP had expanded Medicare for 240,000 people. Analysis shows the 25 percent of Georgia’s ACA employees, 50,000 people, who re-enroll in the same plan year after year will be forced to find new insurance. Georgia mandates work hours for health insurance in a recession with high unemployment and requires more money from state taxes while state budgets are severely strained.

The next day, DDT announced the 1776 Commission mandating “patriotic education at Federal sites,” places which already teach U.S. history. His executive order, however, wants his version of history to avoid the country’s racism. It also reiterates his establishment of the “National Garden of American Heroes,” including Audie Murphy which represent his version of heroes. To DDT, history is all about monuments. DDT’s order duplicates his attacks on critical race theory and the New York Times’ 1619 Project addressing slavery and contributions of Blacks. The project’s financial support comes from the under-funded Department of Education.

A president can revoke or change executive orders at any time. President-Elect Joe Biden is reviewing all DDT’s orders and planning to reverse some of them—the withdrawals from the Paris Climate agreement and the World Health Organization, repeal of almost all travel from some Muslim-majority countries, and reinstatement of the DACA program, for example. Biden’s top advisers He has hundreds of transition officials preparing to work in federal agencies. On Monday, he plans to establish a coronavirus task force co-chaired by former surgeon general Vivek H. Murthy and David Kessler, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner. Executive orders may become important to Biden if Mitch McConnell (R-KY) remains in charge of the Senate; as he did with President Obama, McConnell plans to block anything Biden wants to do, even confirming Cabinet members.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) summarized Biden’s initial agenda:

“Get us out of this pandemic that’s been made far worse by Trump’s bungled mishandling of it, rebuild our economy in a way that’s more sustainable and more inclusive, and deal with division and inequality.”

Biden’s first step is for DDT’s appointee as head of the General Services Administration, Emily Murphy, to rule election results are final. Biden will take legal action if the decision is delayed. DDT still claims he won the election because of “illegal ballots.” Murphy plans to continue limiting access to government resources for the transition team as long as possible. DDT is now complaining about the bad transition when he moved to the Oval Office, but he threw away all the resources the Obama administration gave him.

Early in DDT’s term, people wrote letters about his sacrifice to take only $400,000 a year salary and give up his business. He never gave up his business, and Forbes estimates he made $1.9 billion from 2017 to 2019. And paid only $750 tax for each of two years. Details here.

Three days after Trump supporters claim COVID-19 ends on November 4: November 5 – November 5: 118,204 new cases and 1,125 deaths; November 6 – 132,540 new cases and 1,248 deaths;  November 7 – 124,232 new cases and 1,031 deaths.

September 14, 2020

Jamil Smith: ‘The No Lives Matter President’

From The Rolling Stone:

“Trump’s damning admissions on the Woodward tapes betray not merely his duty and the country, but even his promises to white America to keep them safe.”

Oregon governor Kate Brown, until Friday, could not get President Donald Trump on the phone. She noted this the day before, when she also revealed her state has never seen this amount of uncontained wildfire. The skies have turned into a literal hellscape and more than one million acres have burned to date, double what the state normally sees in a year. Right now, about half a million Oregonians are facing evacuation orders. At least five people there have died, and dozens more are missing. And yet, the White House hadn’t returned a governor’s call for aid.

Trump finally spoke with Brown that night, she said Friday. By her account, he said that “you have all of our support, please let us know what you need, and God bless Oregon.” But she already had been making it clear: the day before, Brown told reporters the state needed the Department of Defense to send an active battalion trained in firefighting. It needed National Guard assistance from other states. The emergency declaration didn’t even come until the middle of this week, and the fires have been burning, uncontained, since August. [Ed. Note: Trump’s Defense Department sent six large firefighter Chinook helicopters and 60 trained firefighters to Afghanistan in May to move cargo. They are still there.]

Oregon was founded just before the Civil War as a segregationist’s promised land. It didn’t allow black people to live there until 1926. It still has a lot of white people. They make up nearly 87 percent of the state. Granted, they live in a state that tends to vote Democratic. But their being white, one might think, would have interested Trump and made Brown’s plea unnecessary.  This president of late has made it crystal clear that his primary, if not sole, desire is to paint himself as the man to keep white people safe.

He’ll guard federal employees from the scourge of terms like “white privilege” and “critical race theory,” and will keep children from learning about the country’s fraught history with racism by reading the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, published last summer. The white suburbanites, he’ll protect from the supposed hordes of poor, black people who are threatening to further diversify their neighborhoods.

When those neighborhoods are on fire, though, where is this supposed “defender of white America,” as a New York Times report labeled him last week? We know that both he and his son can stick up for the young terrorist who killed two in Kenosha, Wisconsin. But what about doing something about racist terrorism, which provably endangers people of all backgrounds? And where was this concern for white people when the nation needed to know what he knew about the novel coronavirus back in February, when that knowledge could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives?

As we mark the 19th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks this week, we are faced with new evidence and allegations that underscore why the president is himself a national security threat. First, he is indifferent to actual threats of terrorism. Whistleblower Brian Murphy came forward this week to claim that to protect the president’s ego and his political interests, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli ordered officials to both “cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference” and to downplay the nation’s top domestic terror threat, white-supremacist violence, in favor of prosecuting leftists.

Trump’s audiotaped interviews with journalist Bob Woodward further revealed a president with an utter disregard for both the truth and human life. They’ll try, but it may be tough for the “All Lives Matter” crowd to justify their president saying, out loud and on the record, that he was deliberately lying to the American public about the lethality of Covid-19.

The disease has killed more [almost 200,000] people to date, and yes, the toll has been disproportionately heavy on black, Latina, and indigenous communities. Trump made it clear to Woodward that he couldn’t give a damn about us, scoffing when the author asked him whether they as white men of privilege have a duty to “understand the anger and pain” of black Americans. But Covid-19 has also killed tens of thousands of white people, which is something, theoretically, Trump would care about. Nearly all of them have died in the time since he told journalist Bob Woodward on February 7th that “you just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed.” Trump also confessed that Covid-19 was “more deadly than even your strenuous flu” and that “this is deadly stuff,” noting that the death rates could be as high as 5% of the American population. But he later compared it to the flu several times in the days, weeks, and months afterwards, even as he would tell Woodward privately that “playing down” the crisis was done to project strength.

Trump repeated that defense to ABC’s Jon Karl at the White House, who bluntly asked the president why he’d lied to the public and why he should be believed at all going forward. In an alarming display of toxic bravado, Trump said that “I want to show a level of confidence, and I want to show strength as a leader.” Without recognizing that faith without works is dead, Trump added that “I want to show that our country is going to be fine one way or the other whether we lose one person.”

The presidency’s real draw for Trump is clear: the ability to use the government to service his personal desires and transform his ethnic hatreds into policy. He has been immensely successful, in many respects, in institutionalizing white power within the courts and through his legislation and rhetoric. His stupidity and incompetence can cloud our ability to recognize his evil.

Trump has governed with malevolence from the very start, issuing unnecessary travel bans and locking up immigrant children. But with regards to the pandemic and the threat of domestic terrorism, Trump also has been utterly cavalier with virtually every American life but his own. What we now know, because it’s on tape, is that he consciously allowed his misbegotten notions of masculinity and fortitude to place millions of Americans in danger. Moreover, not only did he falsely profess Covid-19 would go away and promote dangerous miracle cures, Trump purposefully undermined the people who were trying to make it go away. And that is not merely unforgivable, in an ideal world, it would be prosecutable.

It may have taken learning that he has a kind of Munchausen’s Syndrome by proxy, and has allowed the nation to get sick, for many to understand how evil he is. The Woodward tapes show that he obscures his malice with stupidity and incompetence, and too many fall for it. I don’t have much hope for a national moment of clarity, even after this. Asking Americans to vote altruistically is a sucker’s bet. If the pandemic has taught us anything, catering to their self-interest is essential. I can only pray, perhaps quixotically, that others who feel less threatened by his willful negligence now understand how he endangers them, as well.

That, however, is the dilemma of elevating a president on a platform of misogyny and white supremacy. Both of those social maladies are watered by violence and death, and never in our nation’s history has that violence and death touched merely those marginalized people whom it is meant to target. Bigotry kills us all, and as this administration began discouraging safe practices shown to stem the coronavirus pandemic, its danger should have been evident to every sick and bereaved white person in America.

Trump should resign the presidency today. He won’t, and we’ll just have to wait until the November election for the chance to fire him. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be demanding it. The offenses revealed by Woodward’s tapes are that egregious. Iif the whistleblower’s complaint is accurate, that is only further justification.

Moreover, his quotes to Woodward about the coronavirus only belie his promises to make life safer for white people in America, underscoring that whatever security he provides them is false. Frankly, for the sake of the republic, we can only hope that this week’s revelations scare white people in ways that he never intended.

I say that because the time for winning hearts and minds is over. This is a frightening America Trump has constructed. It is past time that those Americans who do not regularly feel threatened in it come to share our dread. When compared to the reality that we face — threatened by climate change, by domestic terrorism, and by a pandemic that Trump lets spread with abandon — will enough white people vote to preserve themselves, or instead their feelings of safety and superiority? The election will likely turn on that question.

August 29, 2020

The 2020 GOP Platform According to DDT

The “virtual” GOP convention last week was not only bizarre event but also set the 2020 GOP platform designated as anything Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) wants. A few samples from the political platform from the Grand Old Party for the next four years. 

Support for racism and sexism: On the week when others honored the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech and celebrated the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, Abby Johnson delivered her support for racial profiling and allowing only the male head of the household to vote. If the wife disagrees with her husband about the vote, Johnson declared, “In a Godly household, the husband would get the final say.”

Support of violent unrest throughout the nation: DDT’s counselor Kellyanne Conway, leaving the White House because of family conflicts (husband George is a 100-percent anti-DDTer), exulted about the number of votes DDT will get from “chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence” (largely created by the radical right). If the violence isn’t serious enough, DDT sends in his personal militia to make it worse.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rejection of information—security, scientific, etc.: Massive numbers of lies and misleading statements from all speakers reinforced this part of the platform. “We are focusing on the science, the facts, and the data,” DDT said to a large group ignoring social distancing and mask wearing. The plank ignores the massive number of coronavirus cases to achieve a feeling of “normal”—the pandemic is over. (House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Debbie Meadows, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows support this behavior, waiting for DDT’s speech.) 

Misrepresentation of information: In a video on the first night of the RNC riots and crime in “Biden’s America,” the most striking one of four segments showed protests in Barcelona, Spain, taken from Shutterstock, a source of stock images and videos.

Elimination of public education: A heavy emphasis on “school choice” omitted the issue of children not allowed into private schools avoiding testing requirements and other regulations because they can eliminate “less desirable” students such as the LGBTQ, differently abled, and those less motivated. Republicans use private schools and privately run charter schools to funnel public education funding into religion and for-profit businesses.

Promise of non-functioning government: McCarthy summarized this plank by saying that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are wrong when they think that the election is about the government.

Recognition of DDT’s first term failures: VP Mike Pence distilled the essence of this position when he said, “Make America great again, again.” Gone for DDT is “Keep America Great”: Biden purchased that domain where he posts DDT’s broken promises.

Removal of institutions: The DOJ now works only for the man in the Oval Office, the State Department is trying to make the world Christian, the EPA is taking away all environmental protections, the Department of the Interior turns public land over to private interests, and DDT obsesses about erasing mail delivery. His sole goal is to win the election, either through getting rid of Democratic votes on mail-in ballots or delegitimizing the November election to stay in the White House if he loses. DDT refuses to say whether he’ll leave the White House if he loses the election. Joint Chief of Staffs Mark Milley said the U.S. armed forces will not be involved in a dispute about the vote, but Defense Secretary Mark Esper hasn’t answered a question from congressional members whether he will refuse to follow unlawful orders regarding the election results. 

Disdain for “law and order” so pervasive that a few convention examples will have to suffice: DDT used acting DHS director Chad Wolf, probably illegally in his position, to perform the naturalization of five people who were not informed they would be used to promote DDT’s agenda. Their naturalizations may not be legal because Wolf had performed them.

Subjects in a video intended to smear New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio at the RNC were not told their interviews would be used to support DDT’s campaign. Lynne Patton, DDT’s associate who oversees New York federal housing programs, persuaded four tenants to talk to her by claiming she wanted to discuss conditions in the NYC Housing Authority’s buildings. Three of the four said they didn’t support DDT. Last year Patton violated the Hatch Act, displaying a DDT campaign hat in her office and “liking” political tweets.

Over 80 years ago, Congress passed the Hatch Act, restricting political campaign activities by federal employees except for the president and vice president. This summary was given employees in the Interior Department: 

“The Hatch Act generally prohibits Federal employees from engaging in political activities while on duty, in a Government room or building, while wearing an official uniform, or while using a Government vehicle. Under the Hatch Act, “political activity” is defined as any activity directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group.”

During DDT’s first three years, the Office of Special Counsel issued 134 warning letters to federal employees, disciplined an additional 46 federal workers, told 31 more to withdraw from political races or leave their government jobs to pursue them, and cited at least nine high-level DDT appointees for abusing their government roles to further the DDT’s reelection or disparage his rivals. Former administrations have banned Cabinet members from political activities, but three of them participated in DDT’s political show. Congress is investigating State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo’s speech from Jerusalem for violations. 

The six senators who spoke are primarily vulnerable in this year’s election or running for president in 2024. Seven representatives also spoke as well as four other congressional candidates, one of them a QAnon supporter. A major theme of DDT’s speech, however, was to portray himself as an outsider, to “turn the page” away from “the failed political class.” Half the keynote speeches were assigned to DDT and his family members. Two speakers were given full pardons, Jon Ponder at the event and Alice Johnson the day after.

RNC speakers included six White House aides as well as senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump. Other ways DDT violated the Hatch Act are the use of the National Park Service (NPS) for his campaign fireworks on the National Mall and a video from the Interior Department lavishly praising DDT for new legislation. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said that “nobody outside of the Beltway really cares” about the Hatch Act—which is a U.S. law. It seems the Hatch Act works only for people who criticize DDT.

DDT’s conclusion to his acceptance speech:

“On November 3, we will make America safer. We will make America stronger. We will make America prouder. And we will make America greater than ever before. I am very proud to be the nominee of the Republican Party.”

If he’s the current president, why doesn’t he start now?

Satirist Alexandra Petri described DDT’s message:

“If you think things are bad now under Donald Trump, vote for Donald Trump, who will fix things…

“Any bad things happening now were sent by Joe Biden, from the future. Do not be fooled by the fact that they are happening in the present, when Donald Trump is president…

“Joe Biden has controlled all of government for the past 47 years but, confusingly, he has never gotten through any of the radical policies he really wanted—[for example to] get rid of hamburgers and make cows illegal…

“Joe Biden wants to defund the police, which is why he is advocating not defunding the police.

“Most of all, Joe Biden wants to destroy America’s greatness. (Greatness is what we have right now, under Donald Trump, but also don’t have yet, but will definitely have in the future.) Joe Biden will never create jobs, the way Donald Trump has, by first presiding over the loss of millions of them.

“Under Donald Trump, America has never been safer. It has also never been more dangerous. We must elect Donald Trump to make us safe again, which he has already made us, never more than we are now, although we also aren’t, and won’t be, unless we elect him!

“…Donald Trump is a crusader against nepotism, corruption and the abuse of power for personal gain, wherever it may lurk… He despises people who profit from public office, and the times when he has urged people to stay at Trump properties were just because he gives and gives without thinking of himself…

“In conclusion, Donald Trump has accomplished more than any other president, ever, in his single term, including some accomplishments that did not even happen during his term, like his landmark achievement, the Veterans Choice Bill, passed in 2014 under President Barack Obama. There is no pandemic to speak of, or to put on a mask for; if there ever was one, it was someone else’s fault… Donald Trump does not look at America and see thousands of people needlessly dying and millions losing their jobs — this is what Joe Biden sees. Donald Trump sees greatness!”

So that’s the GOP platform: incessant lying, racism, sexism, and breaking laws. From the beginning of the RNC on Monday night to the end of the event on Thursday night, more people died from COVID-19 in the U.S. than on 9/11. In the past 24 hours, the U.S. has gained another 42,843 COVID-19 cases for a total of 6,139,078. Another 954 deaths bring the total to 186,855. The number seems down, but that usually happens on weekends. 

 

August 25, 2020

DDT’s Claims False But He’s the GOP Agenda

After Day One of the GOP convention, party lawmakers and strategists asked for more vision and less doom, but the RNC has no values in its platform. It’s sole agenda is Dictator Donald Trump (DDT)—whatever he wants—“the Party’s strong support for President Donald Trump and his Administration.” His campaign page does list 50 points divided into ten categories beginning with new jobs and businesses while cutting taxes and giving more money to large companies. It finishes with hiring more police, being more punitive on immigration, and creating more military strength both here on Earth and in space. Nothing about anti-abortion, religious freedom, or the U.S. Constitution—nothing that DDT used to woo the evangelicals.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) concluded last night’s convention by falsely claiming “our side is working on policy”—unlike the Democrats. The GOP non-platform of 2020 using only catch phrases and no debating or writing proves Scott wrong. Annie Lowrey wrote in The Atlantic, the GOP is “the party of no content,” which has grown “remarkably quiet on how they would govern” and “moved into a queasy post-policy space.” Follow Scott’s claim with questions, What policies? And where are they?”

The four-night production speaks only to DDT’s base. Former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), who lost his district in 2018, said that parties only “about the cult of personality don’t so well in the long term.” After his narrow loss to a Democrat in 2018, the two-term Curbelo said DDT wasn’t the future for “a small government, free enterprise party.”

The GOP has the advantage of spinning off the Democrats’ convention. Speakers last night stressed what a lovely person DDT is: kind, compassionate, empathetic, just downright sweet. Certainly not racist, despite references to “Chinese virus,” and much better than his opponent, Joe Biden. Other rosy views included how well DDT did in handling COVID-19—with no numbers of deaths or infections—and his humanitarian treatment in criminal justice. These perspectives, as well as the sunny view of the economy, erased the past seven months. [A round-up of commentary from the Daily Kos.]

Tonight, Eric Trump who professed his love for his father, touted peace in the Middle East, (eradicating any notice of Palestinians), and cited his father’s love for law and order, (ignoring the many arrests of his associates and Eric’s subpoena to appear in a fraud investigation regarding the Trump Organization). If Eric wants to claim the Fifth Amendment, he must appear in court and give that response to every question.

Also discordant was the naturalization ceremony for five people in the White House while DDT is blocking all other naturalizations throughout the U.S. because they must appear in person. For purely partisan purposes, DDT used the White House to present people as props from places he called “sh*thole countries.” 

Another speaker allowed to speak, Abby John, praised the police of being “smart” if they racially-profile her biracial son, saying, “Statistically, my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons.” 

The speech drawing the biggest controversy was the one from Pompeo who bragged about giving a possibly illegal, and definitely unethical, partisan speech from Jerusalem, where he is on official business. U.S. policy is that the U.S. speaks with one voice overseas and not for one political party. According to updated memos, approved by Pompeo, give this instruction:

“Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees may not even attend a political party convention or convention-related event.”

Pompeo is not exempted, and restrictions are more strict for U.S. diplomats overseas. Last month, he sent the directive to all people on diplomatic and consular posts. State Department employees expressed disappointment in Pompeo, but many were not surprised because of his past partisan activities. Left-learning pro-Israel organizations expressed opposition to Pompeo’s choice of backdrop for his speech because of the partisan U.S.-Israel relationship. Yet he needs DDT’s support for a 2024 presidential run.

My favorite message from many of the speakers is that people in the United States need to think for themselves—as long as they think the way that these same speakers tell them to do.

One of the speakers for the second night of the Republican National Convention was scrubbed from the program for her QAnon tweet telling her 40,000+ followers to investigate an evidence-free Jewish plot to enslave the world. On the same night that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke from Israel, Mary Ann Mendoza, a DDT campaign advisory board member, was supposedly going to speak about her son’s 2014 death caused by a drunk driver illegally in the U.S. The anti-Semitic tweet related lying smears about Jewish banking forces determined to enslave non-Jews and promote world wars as well as Nazi hoaxes. Her tweet described Hillary Clinton as a “Satanic High Priestess” and the smell of sulfur in Barack Obama’s Washington home, relating him to the devil and Hell. Former Utah GOP legislator Sheryl Allen has called for the RNC to remove House candidate Burgess Owens, another Qanon believer, from speaking tomorrow night.

In a disastrous press conference, DDT rolled out  his convention the day before with a “breakthrough” for his new COVID-19 miracle cure. He pushed an emergency use authorization (EUA) of the convalescent plasma transfusion treatment with antibodies with the claim of 35 percent mortality reduction. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said “we dream” of this statistic, and FDA commissioner Steven Hahn glowed about “a 35 percent improvement in survival,” even defending it to a reporter who questioned whether he was over-selling the treatment.

The truth emerged about the “breakthrough” being only hype from incomplete data by a subgroup of hospitalized patients. A scientist from the Mayo Clinic study didn’t know the source of DDT’s figure he attributed to the study. It wasn’t in any material. Dr. Walid Gellad, leader of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh, added, “For the first time ever, I feel like official people in communications and people at the F.D.A. grossly misrepresented data about a therapy.”

In addition, the study, lacking a placebo group, was not a randomized clinical trial,  Duncan Young, a professor of intensive care medicine at the University of Oxford, UK described problems with the EUA:

“We will not know if it works, as the EUA essentially causes clinicians to give the treatment rather than entering patients in clinical trials. There may also be a rationing problem as it may be in short supply.”

Hahn said the criticisms are “entirely justified”; DDT and Azar are keeping mum.

Lawmakers have written Hahn about concerns of politicization. The day before Hahn’s erroneous comments, DDT tweeted an evidence-free accusation of the FDA being part of the “deep state” and creating difficulties in testing “vaccines and therapeutics … hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd.”  The letter cited the announcement as the latest example of politicizing science since the pandemic, i.e., the hydroxychloroquine debacle, criticism of Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the White House coronavirus task force sidelining the CDC. Hahn also refused to answer a question about DDT’s evidence-free claim about 99 percent of virus cases being “totally harmless.”

The letter requests information about future vaccine reviews and FDA’s safeguards against political pressure by September 4.

Although the White House denies the information, DDT is considering a EUA to avoid regulatory procedures for vaccines so he can get a vaccine out by Election Day. U.S. health agencies require a trial of 30,000 people; an experimental virus vaccine is being tested in the UK on 10,000 people. HHS stated the FDA won’t issue an EUA before the election, hoping the vaccine will be developed by early 2021. We’ll see: DDT said Sunday, “You’ll be hearing about [vaccines] very soon.” Russia and China bypassed large clinical trials, but only 24 percent of Russian doctors said they would take the vaccine.

Yesterday was another disaster for DDT with the testimony of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy before the House Oversight Committee. Although he felt that DDT’s war against mail-in ballots was “not helpful,” he thinks his only job with the USPS is making the trucks run on time. According to DeJoy, he isn’t responsible for removing the sorting machines, cutting overtime, and slowing down delivery. He doesn’t know who is, and he doesn’t care. And he won’t change them. He doesn’t know how much anything costs in the postal service except for a first-class stamp. He lied about delayed deliveries before he took over, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said she will subpoena his calendar for information about his secret meetings after he said he’d check with counsel to see if he has to submit a public record to Congress. To a question from Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) about his Senate testimony, he said he couldn’t remember what he told them—a problem for a person who lies.

According to internal USPS not available to members of the Senate when DeJoy lied to them, steep declines began when DeJoy started and not in April or May with the pandemic.  He took over in early June; priority mail was delivered over 90 percent of the time in early July but dropped to under 80 percent within a month. Marketing mail experienced an 8.42 percent decline and periodical deliveries, 9.57 percent. DeJoy did not share these documents with Congress. DeJoy said anyone who blamed him for the changes in USPS is lying. Walter Einenkel describes questioning by 30-year postal employee, Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI).  answer—democracy and rights.

For the first time in two days of hate-filled monologues, Melania Trump expressed sympathy for the families and friends of the 182,404 people (or more) who have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. All the hugging, kissing, and closeness of people at the convention may add to the 5,955,728 people in the U.S. known to contract the disease. That figure will top six million before the convention ends.

July 21, 2020

DDT’s Agenda of ‘Things,’ Concern about New Campaign Strategy

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) now uses the White House as his campaign grounds. Last week, he presented his second-term agenda when he explained he was planning “things.”  “Things are coming back,” he said. “Things related to trade.”

“Exciting things … things that nobody has even contemplated, thought about, thought possible, and things that we’re gonna get done, we have gotten done, we started in most cases… We have, uh, we’re taking on immigration, we’re taking on education, we’re taking on so many aspects of things …”

DDT’s campaign for 2016 had hundreds of rallies, but COVID-19 took these away. He had ten in January and February before disease stopped them, and his comeback in Tulsa (OK) was a bust. After this disaster, campaign manager Brad Parscale was replaced by Bill Stepien, named in the 2013 “Bridgegate” scandal several lanes of the George Washington Bridge for then Gov. Chris Christie to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich. Christie fired Stepian because of the scandal.

DDT has kept both Eric Trump’s wife and Donald Trump Jr’s girlfriend on the campaign, paying each a $180,000 annual salary and also rakes in campaign money: $380,000 for two days rental/catering at Mar-a-Lago, $37,000 a month rent to New York’s Trump Tower although the headquarters is in Rosslyn—part of the $4 million campaign donor money given to DDT’s businesses. DDT is not happy about GOP’s audit of campaign spending starting with Parscale’s lavish spending.

DDT moved the RNC convention to Jacksonville (FL) at the beginning of the state’s virus surge. A majority of people living there don’t want the convention, and the GOP sheriff of the county says he can’t find security for the convention because of a lack of clear plans, adequate funding, and enough law enforcement officers. The GOP won’t pay enough for the security after stiffing other cities for DDT’s security expenses.

Part of DDT’s campaigning four years ago was the spread of disinformation through social media. Now Facebook is restricting political advertising and marking disinformation as such. DDT is already prevented from lying on Twitter without markers. DDT is using Facebook, however, for his “tele-rallies,” phone calls to different states, so he can still tell his lies.

Through inaction, GOP senators have permitted Russia to provide election support for DDT, and his campaign is openly appearing on Russia-funded TV network RT where U.S. intelligence agencies report a role in undermining U.S. democracy. Top DDT campaign adviser Jenna Ellis defended DDT’s handling of the pandemic and battered U.S. media—even Fox—as “propagandist activist media.” She now plays the part that Michael Flynn did for DDT in 2016 when RT paid him $34,000 for delivering a speech.

A current DDT campaign strategy tells voters to forget DDT’s six months of failing at managing the pandemic and the economy. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) said Republicans will win “because people remember how good their lives were in February.” Tillis is also up for re-election this year.

DDT is developing new strategies with Joe Biden double digits ahead of him. Four years ago, Latinx, whether undocumented or legal U.S. residents, were the enemy; this year, every Democrat and independent voicing disapproval of him is the target of his fury. He used this strategy at his July 3 campaign speech at Mt. Rushmore when he lied about peaceful protesters for social justice being “angry mobs” pursuing “far-left fascism” with no mention of the white supremacists’ murders and other violence or black victims of police brutality. His warnings of “violent mayhem” in cities run by “liberal Democrats” then morphed to sending violent federal agents to push energize protesters in Portland (OR) as local officials had started to calm the crowds.

Four years ago, DDT ran on a platform of “law and order,” and he may be trying the same tactic this year through fear and intimidation. His dropping polls in suburbs may be a cause for accusing peaceful protesters in downtown Portland of being violent thugs running wild on the city streets. Brutality by DDT’s federal agents have backfired: the protesters are growing more and more mainstream with the “Wall of Moms” protecting protesters and the PDXDadPod bringing leaf blowers to return the tear gas to the agents. One woman who performed naked in front of the feds caused the unidentified people in camo and heavy riot gear to melt away. [Both Dave Killen and Donovan Farley photographed “Naked Athena”; images went as far as Russia’s state television network.] 

Losing some of his core supporters, white supremacists, DDT also moved into a heavily racist campaign. A non-stop push to save the Confederacy, honoring its flag, generals—anything to do with the memory of the treasonous warriors against the United States. “Cancel culture” is the new term when people refuse to celebrate Confederate “heroes,” remove their statues, and rename government buildings. Repetition of the term, cancel culture, is DDT’s way to retain a power structure dominated by his base, white males.

DDT’s constant attacks on Biden’s record as senator and vice-president is in keeping with the new campaign strategy: Biden is already the president, and DDT is challenging him because DDT hasn’t accomplished anything during his first term. For example, DDT blames Biden for crime although DDT has supposedly been in control for almost four years.

Kellyanne Conway said DDT’s approval rating went down when his coronavirus press briefings (aka White House campaign speeches) disappeared so summer brought them back. Last March, he took these from VP Mike Pence because he saw how the daily performances increased Pence’s popularity. They disappeared after his speech about people swallowing disinfectant to clean the virus out of their bodies. Today, DDT spoke information-free for almost 30 minutes and answered a few questions. No one else appeared; Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert, said he wasn’t invited. DDT said Dr. Deborah Birx was in the “next room.” The speech was an almost exact repeat of lies from campaign briefings four months ago:

Claim: The U.S. has “done much better than most.” No it hasn’t. Daily new cases have gone from 10,000-20,000 in the U.S. to 65,000-70,000—perhaps only ten percent of the real number of infections. Today, the U.S. surpassed 4 million infections and about 145,000 deaths, about five days away from 150,000. Tenth from the top in cases per million, the U.S. has more than any other major country.  

Claim: The U.S. has conducted “over 50 million tests.” Far more people are infected than tested, i.e., one-fourth of Arizona tests are positive.

Claim: “Our case fatality rate has continued to decline” and is lower than “almost everywhere else in the world.” This disinformation spin is not only false but ignores the U.S. mortality rate, one of the highest in the world.

Claim: “We’re closely monitoring hospital capacity” in states with surging cases. “All of the governors we’ve spoken with say they have enough bed capacity.” U.S. hospital capacity is strained in all states with surges.

Claim: “We again have tremendous amounts of supplies, we’re in very good shape, and we can move them quickly.” Internal documents shows he federal government lacks PPE supplies for medical professionals.

Claim: The Trump administration inherited “very, very empty cupboards.” During the early days of COVID-19, DDT sent the necessary supplies to other countries and failed to replace them. Plus the virus didn’t appear until three years after DDT was inaugurated.

Claim: “Governors are getting everything they want.” No they aren’t.

Claim: “We’re working very hard.” DDT has ignored the virus for months.

Claim: “I’ve always agreed with social distancing.” DDT rejected the idea until he was in great trouble with polling. He still doesn’t follow mask-wearing and social distancing as shown by video from a DC fundraiser

Claim: They “do a good job” in Texas and Florida. Surges in Florida keep rising—today 13 percent of new cases and 16 percent of deaths in the U.S.—while the governor has made no requirements for masks and social distancing. Virus-related deaths in Texas are up 33 percent over the last 10 days. 

Another strategy DDT may have dropped is hoping that people will grow number to all the COVID-19 deaths and just accept them. That idea was not proposed during his campaign speech today.

DDT polished off his campaign speech today by praising sex trafficker and procurer of underage girls for Jeffrey Epstein and his friends. About Ghislaine Maxwell, DDT said he knew her from their time together in Palm Beach (FL) and had met her “numerous times.” In the only time he has spoken kindly about a woman, he said, “I just wish her well.” There may be a presidential pardon coming her way.

July 12, 2020

DDT: Week 181 – Rotten Orders, Infecting Children

Today, I laughed at a headline in my email from the conservative Hill, News Alert: Trump Wears Mask …” With the new normal, a newsworthy item is Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), supposedly the leader of the free world, wearing a mask for the first time after five months in which he did nothing about a virulent disease killing almost 140,000 people just in the U.S. DDT said, “I’ve never been against wearing a mask.” Yet he refused to wear one in public any place until now, even if rules required the practice, and he opposed social distancing. The venue for his Tulsa (OK) speech could not post signs about social distancing, and mask-wearing was not recommended.  

DDT’s campaign tells its staff that wearing masks inside isn’t necessary; those who do are ridiculed in social pressure not to wear them. Staff members are also told not to tell colleagues if they are exposed to COVID-19.

After DDT’s long-time friend Roger Stone lied to protect DDT, the man who supposedly protects “law and order” used his presidential power to commute Stone’s sentence of 40 months for a unanimous conviction of seven felonies. DDT’s bag man AG Bill Barr had already dropped the sentence from seven to nine years in prison. Stone told DDT about WikiLeaks hacking Democratic campaign emails to help DDT win the 2016 election and then lied about doing it as well as being guilty of witness tampering and obstruction.

AG Bill Barr claims that he advised against the commutation; DDT said they never talked about it. White House officials are concerned about political backlash for the clemency grant. In an op-ed for WaPo, Robert Mueller, the special counsel who investigated Russia’s link to the 2016 election, explains what happened with Stone and wrote:

“The Russia investigation was of paramount importance. Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.”

Michael Flynn hasn’t been exonerated yet, but he took an oath on July 4 that ended with the oath of office recited by the conspiracy group QAnon to make themselves “digital soldiers,” “Where we go one, we go all!” Not familiar with the group? Its message: DDT is secretly warring with evil Democrats, the “deep state,” Hollywood celebrities, cannibals, and a hidden group of pedophiles. Last year, the FBI classified QAnon as a domestic-terror threat. Two months ago, DDT said he is considering re-hiring Flynn who is a “fine man,” and VP Mike Pence agreed.

Mary Trump’s tell-all book about DDT has covered up information about other new releases, but one to notice is Jacob Soboroff’s Separated: Inside an American Tragedy. His reporting on immigration led him to the background for taking children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border. Katie Miller, racist Stephen Miller’s wife and VP Mike Pence’s press secretary, related to Soboroff how she was sent to the border “to make me more compassionate” by seeing the separations, “but it didn’t work.” Asked if she is a white nationalist, Miller said, “No, but …,” finishing by complaining that people don’t “assimilate” and have “Little Havana.” A definition for sociopath, also called antisocial personality disorder, includes no “guilt or remorse for having harmed or mistreated others,” lack of empathy for others, and lack of remorse about harming others 

Once the country survived from DDT’s racist speeches to divide the United States for his July 4th celebration of independence, the media transferred to a focus on DDT’s insistence schools all reopen in a few weeks. Killing children with COVID-19 is all part of DDT’s plan to get reelected by his declaration the virus is gone and all is normal. It isn’t. The number of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths has shot up so far that GOP governments desperately announced some business closures and other restrictions.

DDT justified opening the schools by citing other countries such as Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden successfully opened their schools. New coronavirus cases in these countries for the past 24 hours:

  • Germany: 224
  • Denmark: 0
  • Norway: 3
  • Sweden: 0

New COVID-19 cases in the U.S. for the same period of time: 61,719

Countries successfully opening their schools without huge new virus outbreaks have waited until they dropped new infections to low levels and allocated funding to schools for this purpose. The U.S. has neither.

Instead of providing incentives for opening schools, DDT threatens removing federal funds from schools that don’t comply with his orders. Congress approved $13.5 billion in emergency aid for K-12 schools, but the loss of local funding from the economic disaster caused by COVID-19 puts schools at great shortages. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos declared that families could take the money for other education if public schools don’t open. It’s part of her strategy to move all education funding to private schools, enriching for-profit corporations and churches.

Summer camps provide an example of problems in reopening schools at the height of the pandemic. Last week, a summer camp in Missouri shut down after at least 41 youth ages 13-18 and their staffers tested positive. The number increased to 82 when the children went to their homes in ten different states. The virus problem was not unique at that camp: others across the nation have closed because both youth and staffers have contracted coronavirus.

Like DDT’s other responses to COVID-19, he has no plans for safely reopening schools, just his decision to pressure governors and other state officials to force children back to school for the fall term. Instead, he rails about everyone objected has “political reasons, not … health reasons.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC) offered guidance about opening schools during a pandemic—distancing, physical barriers, and staggered scheduling. DDT found those these ideas to be too expensive and told CDC to change its guidelines. CDC Director Robert Redfield wants to keep DDT happy and said, “Clearly, the ability of this virus to cause significant illness in children is very, very, very, very limited.” Redfield softened guidelines by claiming that they aren’t “requirements” and shouldn’t be a barrier to reopening schools.

Pence said CDC will have new guidelines this coming week because the old ones are “too tough.” He also asserted children’s need for “nutrition” was the primary reason for forcing children back to school. His “concern” is at odds with his administration’s reduction in funding for school meals and food stamps. Internal CDC documents cautioned fully reopening K-12 school and universities would be the “highest risk” for the spread of coronavirus. 

Redfield’s boss HHS Secretary Alex Azar, works even harder to please DDT. As an excuse for opening schools, he said healthcare workers “don’t get infected … because they take appropriate precautions.” Over 94,000 healthcare workers have contracted COVID-19—almost three percent of the infections in the U.S.—and at least 500 of them have died—3.6 percent of the total U.S. deaths from the virus. As a reporter commented, “If we don’t have enough PPE for the healthcare workers on the front lines, how can we possibly have enough PPE for all of the country’s teachers to take the same precautions?”

As DDT plans to infect hundreds of thousands of children in school, he plans to return to separating children from parents. A federal judge ordered scores of children to be released from ICE facilities, but her ruling doesn’t cover adults. DDT will give migrant parents the choice of giving up their children to sponsors or stay with their children where the virus is dangerous. Two ICE detention centers in Texas already have the virus, and almost 3,000 of 17,000 detained migrants in ICE facilities have tested positive for the virus along with several dozen ICE employees.

After DDT officially dropped U.S. membership in the World Health Organization, the nation’s allies repeated DDT has given the WHO leadership to China. The U.S. has now lost both input into and knowledge about world healthcare affecting the country. Even China criticized the U.S. action.

Facebook has failed a civil rights audit in refusing to address hate speech and disinformation that permits DDT to interfere in the 2020 election. Unfortunately, the report’s recommendation won’t solve the problems of Facebook’s assistance for helping DDT’s campaign through its transmission of lies.

DDT’s new executive order for the 644,000 DACA recipients brought illegally to the U.S. when they were children won’t include amnesty.

DDT’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act, scheduled for next year before the Supreme Court, contains a tax cut for the wealthy. The top 0.1 percent of households, those making over $3 million annually, gets $198,000 each. Those making over $1 million a year get $42,000 in tax cuts. The U.S. would lose about $30 million in revenue in 2020 if the ACA is overturned—Medicaid coverage for about 4 million people. Medicare would lose because the ACA has a 0.9 percent tax on earnings of over $250,000 for couples. Other losses in taxes will cut billions of dollars from Medicare while the top one percent gets over two-thirds of the tax cuts.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, blocked from a deserved promotion because of his testimony during the House impeachment proceedings, has resigned because of DDT’s “campaign of bullying, intimidation, and retaliation.” Ukraine expert Vindman reported what he overheard on the telephone conversation between DDT and Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky.  

The summer of 2020 is bringing unmitigated disasters: 20 percent of people at risk of eviction by the end of September, doubling of delinquency rates since March, 25 million people losing employer-provided health insurance, and a collapsing childcare system. And no solution for the rapidly rising number of COVID-19 cases—3,355,646 with 137,403 deaths on July 11.

July 5, 2020

DDT: Week 180 – Failures for the Fourth

 Yesterday, July 4, people in the U.S. celebrated independence: 244 years ago, “colonials” fought against injustice and English oppression. In his speech last Friday, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) campaigned for injustice and white supremacy and against protesters fighting for equal rights. He defended treasonous people, Confederate leaders who fought to overturn the U.S., and dishonored the land in South Dakota where he spoke to people standing closely together without face masks while ordering fireworks dangerous to the land in the extremely dry condition. 

Four years ago, DDT ran on racism, first against Latinx and then against Muslims. This year he replicates his approach, attacking the rights of Black people. His choice of Mount Rushmore for his July 3 speech also expressed his racism regarding Indigenous people. Sixty-foot-tall faces of four white presidents who persecuted Native Americans are on a sacred place to almost 60 tribes. In 1868, the Fort Laramie Treaty determined the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux Reservation, but the government signing the treaty took land away from the Native Americans after the gold discovery in the 1870s.

The Black Hills still belonged to the Sioux Nation almost 50 years later when a KKK member led the Mount Rushmore project in 1927. In 1980, the Supreme Court ruled the tribes had not received compensation for the land and had not agreed to give it up. In United States v. Sioux Nation, the majority opinion stated, “A more ripe and rank case of dishonorable dealing will never, in all probability, be found in our history.” When indigenous people protested DDT coming on their land without their permission, DDT’s supporters told them, “Go home!”  

DDT lambasted “far-left fascism” and “totalitarianism” despite his own fascist actions. His approach follows that of Richard Nixon in 1964—“law and order” and vows for states’ rights in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. DDT’s business claims have fallen far short, and he has only a strategy of “white resentment politics.” His message was the importance of Mount Rushmore’s legacies while he ignored the legacy of the Indigenous people.  

In supporting statues, DDT signed an executive order for a National Garden of Heroes, “the greatest Americans to ever live,” and listed those who must be included such as Betsy Ross (who probably didn’t create the flag), Davy Crockett, George Patton, Audie Murphy, and Antonin Scalia. DDT said about Mount Rushmore, “This monument will never be desecrated.” The four faces, only 79 years old, are cracking.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr’s girlfriend, was not present. She has been diagnosed for COVID-19 and joins people sickened at DDT’s campaign rally in Tulsa (OK) such as former presidential candidate Herman Cain, seriously ill in a hospital; up to 15 Secret Service agents who prepared for the rally; and hundreds of people in Oklahoma.

DDT’s speech this weekend is part of his new campaign strategy: he plans to run as the challenger with Joe Biden the incumbent. By doing so, he doesn’t need to search for his non-existent accomplishments since he was inaugurated; he’ll just copy his winning 2016 campaign that pictured him as an outsider.  DDT’s campaign advisor Jason Miller said the campaign will portray Biden as “part of every job-killing, failed policy decision of the past 40 years.”

More DDT failures this week:

The RNC is having trouble raising money for an alternative location in Jacksonville (FL) for DDT to graciously accept the nomination for presidential candidate. Money from Charlotte (VA) won’t be returned, and donors are not happy about shelling out more cash for a place with skyrocketing COVID-19 infections and a majority of residents polling opposing DDT in their city. After the small crowd in Tulsa (OK), DDT may cancel for fear he’ll suffer another failure.

DDT’s supporters funded a private border wall and helped the builder get $1.7 billion in federal contracts. Months after the wall’s completion, it is falling into the Rio Grande River from runoff erosion. The builder denies the problem, claiming the erosion “a normal part of new construction projects.” Submitting the lowest bid, he had his prototype rejected by both the DHS and the Army Corps of Engineers. DDT’s pressure and support from Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) put the builder of the preapproved list. He donated at least $24,000 to Cramer’s 2018 campaign.

This week, DDT, lobbied by Fox network, pardoned 1st Lt. Clint Lorance after he was convicted of second-degree murder for ordering his men to kill three Afghans on a motorcycle. During Lorance’s three-day command, he threatened a farmer, pointed a rifle at a small boy, and ordered one of his NCOs to provide a false report to the Troop TOC (Tactical Operations Center). Since they returned home in 2013, five of the platoon’s three dozen soldiers have died, and at least four others were hospitalized from suicide attempts or addiction. The survivors tell the stories of how Lorance ruined their lives.

Project Airbridge, spearheaded by DDT’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, was to get private companies to rapidly deliver PPE and other medical supplies from Asia. Interviewing corporation executives, the House Oversight Committee found that the months-old idea delivered only 7 percent of PPE supplies distributed since the pandemic’s beginning and had no direction in directing supplies to hot zones. The government also had no restrictions on prices and didn’t require reporting costs. DDT pressured private medical supply companies to buy PPE at inflated prices from Build Your Dreams (BYD), a Chinese electric car and battery company subsidized by the Chinese government. Purchases were delayed because their N95 masks couldn’t be certified until June 8.  BYD has a $1 billion contract for 150 million masks. FEMA refuses to submit any documents about the program to the House.

Last week, DDT failed to give a coherent answer to Sean Hannity’s questions about his priorities during a second term. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told Hannity he was supposed to help DDT get reelected and scolded him for asking such a hard question. This week, Sinclair’s Eric Bolling offered DDT a “retake” at the answer and asked him for his “main focus.” DDT’s response:

“Well, I didn’t hear anybody who was upset with it, but I will tell you, it’s very simple: we’re going to make America great again. We are doing things that nobody could have done.”

He moved on to bragging about first-term “accomplishments”—such as “rebuilding the military” and bringing back manufacturers—which he didn’t do or took credit for President Obama’s achievements. Third time?

DDT also had a press conference to brag about his unemployment rate. At 11.1 percent, it remains higher than during the Great Recession over a decade ago. The added 4.8 million jobs were before states started shutting down and ignored the millions of people filing for unemployment for the same period of time. The number of jobs is currently down 14.7 million, about ten percent, from the beginning of the pandemic recession, and foot traffic to businesses indicate a dip in late June. The spike in infection combined with the end of enhanced unemployment benefits will create less spending, which results in fewer jobs. Without more federal aid, states and localities will continue to lay off more people in addition to the 1.5 million who have already lost their jobs. Also the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the real unemployment rate at one percent higher—12.1 percent.  

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell painted a dark picture of the economy if COVID-19 is not contained. San Francisco Federal Reserve president Mary Daly said, “I would hesitate to call this a recovery.”

Polling shows that more and more people see DDT as a failure:

  • 60 percent disapprove of DDT’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • 65 percent think that the pandemic is getting worse.
  • 51 percent support the Black Lives Matter movement with only 32 percent in opposition.
  • 70 percent think that the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction with only 22 percent disagreeing.
  • 53 percent approve of the Affordable Care Act, and 49 percent want to see it expanded. 
  • 75 percent believe the country is “out of control,” compared to 14 percent who think it’s under control.
  • 81 percent of people ages 65 and older describe the country in a fiasco; 68 percent of those ages 30 to 44 agree.
  • 47 percent approve of DDT’s economy, 16 percent lower than January. This was to have been the lynchpin of his campaign.
  • 12 percent are satisfied with the state of the nation, down from 55 percent in April. Only 19 percent of Republican are satisfied.
  • 39 percent approve of DDT.
  • 37 percent believe DDT has the right experience to be president; 61 percent believe DDT doesn’t have the right experience.
  • 67 percent think Biden has the right experience to be president.

For the first time in over 50 years of polling, more people want more immigration to the U.S. than those who want to cut immigration—34 percent to 28 percent.

The Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index dropped 134 points to +4 for the second quarter, the lowest in almost seven years and the biggest quarterly drop in history.

According to a new study, “Europeans’ trust in Trump’s America is gone.”

On July 4, COVID-19 infections – 2,935,982; deaths – 132,318.

June 27, 2020

DDT: Week 179 – No ‘Law & Order,’ Confusion

This week, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) spent time in the latest COVID-19 hot zones of Arizona, and New Jersey told him he would be quarantined for 14 days if he went to his resort in Bedminster. At first he said he wouldn’t do it but then claimed he had to stay in Washington, D.C. over the weekend to “make sure LAW & ORDER is enforced.” DDT then went to his Sterling (VA) for his 271st round of golf since he was inaugurated.

Here are some “law and order” acts he’s ignoring:

Last March, the U.S. intelligence agencies told DDT a Russian military intelligence unit wanted to pay Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops. DDT kept the information secret and continued to rave about how wonderful Russia.

DDT plans to move 9,500 military members from Germany to Poland because is “delinquent in their payments” to NATO.  Twenty-two GOP members of the House Armed Services Committee oppose moving the troops because it will hurt the military because U.S. bases in Germany provide a stopover for troops headed to worldwide locations. Bipartisan congressional leaders call DDT’s plan shortsighted and dangerous.

The Wall Street Journal reports Chinese nationals paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to get DDT reelected. The RNC provides these Chinese contributors insider insight into its strategy for DDT’s campaign, giving them useful information for controlling him.

Last month, DDT’s beloved human spaceflight hit a glitch after NASA’s head of the program, Doug Loverro, quit one week before a test flight sending astronauts up in a capsule from the private company SpaceX. Astronauts haven’t launched since space shuttles stopped flying in 2011, and DDT wanted people walking on the moon by 2024. Less than six months ago, DDT picked Loverro as acting head of spaceflight after NASA dumped Bill Gertenmaier last year. Loverro’s resigned after he was caught in private conversations with a senior Boeing executive about a bid for a contact worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Using inside information, Boeing tried to amend the contract but failed to win it. Concerned about a breach in ethical and procedural protocols, NASA’s inspector general investigated Loverro’s unauthorized contact with Boeing’s officials.  

Another DDT appointee may cause him headaches. Social Security Administration Commissioner Andrew Saul bought stocks in companies enriched by COVID-19, including Abbott Laboratories, UnitedHealth, thecloud workflow company ServiceNow, and Eurofins, a foreign company manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers. He hasn’t yet submitted his annual financial disclosure form, due May 15.

The stimulus $1,200 checks were sent to over one million people no longer living at a cost of $1.4 million, but IRS counsel determined they did not have the legal authority to deny payments to deceased people who had filed a return last year. The IRS is demanding states claw back checks send to prisoners although the law doesn’t prevent inmates from receiving the money.

To please DDT at the Tulsa rally, his campaign demanded removal of thousands of social distancing “Do Not Sit Here, Please!” stickers from seats despite instructions to the contrary from the BOK Center. The arena purchased 12,000 tickers for the rally for every other seat. DDT’s campaign also banned signs asking for social distancing.

Brad Parscale, former T-shirt salesman, is still hanging onto his job as DDT’s campaign manager after the Tulsa debacle, but sources question how long he’ll stay. Press secretary Kayleigh “I-will-never-lie-to-the-media” McEnany declared DDT wasn’t upset with his campaign rally non-crowd, but others in the White House say he is so furious that heads will roll. The audience of 6,200 was only ten percent of aides’ worst-case scenario of 60,000, and the “overflow” audience for a canceled speech was only 25, the number of women who have accused DDT of sexual assault. In DDT’s last presidential campaign, he replaced manager Corey Lewandowski with Paul Manafort almost exactly four years ago on June 20, 2016; Manafort lasted less than two months to be replaced by Kellyanne Conway. A White House source indicated Parscale may resign and Jared Kushner could be another “casualty.”

In addition to his salary from DDT, Parscale does other campaign work through private firms. His Facebook page claims to be a DDT campaign property and makes money from DDT’s ads, but the only link on “About” directs people to Parscale’s private consulting firm, Parscale Strategy.

Conservative voices initially slammed military leaders for criticizing DDT, claiming they should never say anything negative about the commander-in-chief. DDT’s increasing fascist actions, however, may have silenced the conservatives along with research showing white supremacists instigating violence and only 32 percent disapproval of the protests. As DDT increased his fascist actions, however, the comments changed to criticisms of protesters. Polls show only 32 percent disapproval of the protesting every night for the past month.

Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez is the most recent military leader to blast DDT and the first to call him a racist. Sanchez stated he kept quiet while DDT attacked Muslim Gold Star parent, praised white supremacists, tried to deport DACA recipients, etc., but the tipping point came with teargassing peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square for a photo-op with DDT waving an upside-down bible.

The former commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq added his voice in denigrating DDT to retirees Adm. Bill McRaven, the former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command; Navy Adm. James Stavridis; three-star Adm. Joseph Maguire, DDT’s former acting director of National Intelligence; Gen. Tony Thomas; four-star Marine Gen. John Allen; three-star Lt. Gen. Russel Honore; four-star Gen. Michael Hayden; Maj. Gen. Steven Lepper; four-star Gen. Barry McCaffrey; and four-star Gen. John Kelly, DDT’s former White House chief of staff. Three of the last four chairs of the Joint Chiefs (Mark Milley, Martin Dempsey, and Michael Mullen) have openly criticized the actions by DDT and his fixer AG Bill Barr as have the two highest-profile Defense secretaries in the past decade, James Mattis and Robert G. Gates—author of Exercise of Power about the disaster of U.S. leadership. In addition, 280 people signed an op-ed protesting DDT, including 78 Defense Department officials; over 20 retired generals; and four former Pentagon chiefs (two Democrats and two Republicans).

In another response to DDT’s photo-op, Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley apologized for walking to the church with him, regretting his compromising his commitment to separate the military from politics. “As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it.” Milley also said he was “outraged” by the “senseless, brutal killing” of George Floyd. “The protests that have ensued not only speak to his killing but also to centuries of injustice toward African Americans.”

During an interview, Sean Hannity gave DDT a chance to brag about his plans during another four-year term when he asked DDT what his #1 priority would be if he were elected. The answer:

“Well, one of the things that will be really great, you know, the word experience is still good. I always say talent is more important than experience. I’ve always said that. But the word experience is a very important word. It’s an, a very important meaning.”

More of his incoherence. The Wall Street Journal’s response to DDT’s ramblings:

“As of now Mr. Trump has no second-term agenda, or even a message beyond four more years of himself.”

During his three campaign rallies in the last week, DDT consistently used racist terms for COVID-19, and Kellyanne Conway flip-flopped to defend him. Three months ago, she found the racist comments “highly offensive,” “hurtful,” and “wrong,” citing her husband’s Filipino background. In her attack on an Asian-American reporter, she said DDT has an “incredibly important” job to keep China on the hook.

The purpose of VP Mike Pence’s last week press briefing about COVID-19 was to tell people states with surging virus cases, such as Florida and Texas that are closing businesses like bars, are “in a much better place.” Offering no new strategies to stop the spread of the virus, he claimed “all 50 states” are “opening up safely and responsibly”  and called increases among people under age 35 “very encouraging news.” His only strategy to stop the spread of the virus, Pence recommended prayer. Dr. Anthony Fauci said increased testing doesn’t explain the increases, and Deborah Birx asked everyone to wear a mask, something Pence didn’t do at the briefing.

DDT’s strategy is to continue opening businesses and “accept” what happens. On today, June 27, he wants people to accept 43,582 new cases for a total of almost 2.6 million with 128,152 deaths. Or maybe ten times that number. The Dow Jones lost a month’s gain yesterday when it dropped 730 points, about 2.8 percent.  

U.S. residents probably won’t be traveling to Europe for a while: the EU has recommended to its members to create a travel ban from the U.S. to it countries because of the massive COVID-19 infections in our nation. The EU will develop specific criteria this coming week. DDT plans new tariffs on EU products such as chocolates and olives but claims it isn’t retaliation.

June 5, 2020

DDT: Week 176 – Only Wealthy Better off

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is happy. The stock market is going up again, thanks to the many trillions of dollars  the government has made available to big corporations and wealthy people. Lockdowns started on March 18, and the nation’s richest people’s wealth increased over $565 billion while 42.6 million workers filed for unemployment. Those 42.6 million people don’t buy stocks. 

May added 2.5 million jobs, two-fifths of them part time and 1.2 million in the poorly-paid hospitality sector. Yet 21.2 million jobs were lost in March and April, and the 13.3 percent unemployment rate is the worst since World War II. The jobs were also for white people, whose unemployment rate went down from 14.2 percent to 12.4 percent: for blacks, unemployment went up from 16.7 to 16.8 percent. DDT called this “a tremendous tribute to equality.” The CBO forecasts unemployment levels above 10 percent for almost a year and doesn’t reflect self-employed people with serious losses and college graduates who had not started looking for jobs. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pointed out the increase in jobs is propped up by the stimulus money, soon disappearing.

To Yamiche Alcindor, a black woman who reports for PBS NewsHour, who asked him for specifics on a plan to address police violence against blacks, he said, “You are something.” In the above photo, DDT shushes Alcindor.

DDT did, however, put a happy spin about George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer:

“Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that is happening for our country. This is a great day for him… This is a great, great day in terms of equality.”

DDT used the word “great” 55 times during his ramblings. mThe White House also rearranged chairs for the press to put them closely together with no social distancing because “it looked better.” Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was right: DDT should stop talking. 

After his campaign rally, DDT headed to another one at a factory in Maine, but all the swabs made during his photo-op there will have to be thrown away. With no mask, he stopped to talk to the workers wearing white lab coats, masks, hair nets and plastic booties. Last month, almost one-third of Maine nursing homes reported they had no nasal swabs for testing, and over 60 percent of the respondents said they had fewer than eight available.  

While in Maine, DDT announced his new task force to crack down on illegally harvested fish and appointed former sexist, racist Gov. Paul LePage as its chair. During the conversation, he asked if the lobsters harvested off Maine are equivalent to those a few miles north off the Canadian coast. And he promised auto tariffs on the EU if it doesn’t lift duties on lobsters imported from the U.S. Tariffs on U.S. lobster, like many other products, came from DDT’s trade wars. DDT also opened a fragile marine conservation area off Cape Cod to commercial fishing, hours after DDT declared himself a “great environmentalist. The change harms the endangered North Atlantic right whale as well as deep-sea coral and sponge gardens thousands of years old. No evidence exists that the conservation area had hurt fishing revenues.

According to a new study, DDT removed protections from almost 35 million acres of public land, about the size of Florida. “President Trump is the only president in U.S. history to have removed more public lands than he protected,” stated the analysis. DDT already removed protections from 16.6 times the land Theodore Roosevelt protected for parks and monuments.

The U.S. Park Police stated it was wrong when he said no tear gas was used to clear protesters so DDT could cross the street.

AG Bill Barr has decided to “flood the zone” by bringing in thousands of unidentified law enforcement to Washington, D.C. Some, found out by wearing shirts and patches, showed they are from two prisons in Texas, one of which has at least five guards with COVID-19 infections. In Washington, DC., they failed to wear masks while close to each other and demonstrators. The Bureau of Prisons confirmed guards dispatched to two cities didn’t wear their uniforms “because they are serving a broader mission.” In a letter to DDT, Washington’s mayor Muriel Bowser wrote:

 “Unidentified federal personnel patrolling the streets of Washington, D.C., pose both safety and national security risks. The deployment of federal law enforcement personnel and equipment are inflaming demonstrators and adding to the grievances of those who, by and large, are peacefully protesting for change and for reforms to the racist and broken systems that are killing Black Americans.”

In the Senate, Rand Paul (R-KY) blocked the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which passed the House 410-4, because it was so broad it could include “minor bruises.” The Senate could force the bill to the floor, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the senior senator from Paul’s state up for re-election this year, doesn’t want to bother. According to the bill, “nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in Congress during the first half of the 20th century,” and “between 1890 and 1952, 7 presidents petitioned Congress to end lynching.”

Two Senate committee chairs planned to deliver subpoenas in an investigation of the origins of the Russia probe and allegations of President Obama’s wrongdoing (aka Obamagate, according to DDT). Ron Johnson (R-WI), elected two years ago and chair of Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is moving forward with 30 subpoenas determined by a party line vote. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), vulnerable in his current reelection and chair of the Judiciary Committee, said he’ll wait until next week for a vote on 50 subpoenas.  

In a series of angry tweets, DDT declared he pulled the August WeGOP conference out of Charlotte (NC) in August, but the RNC hasn’t given official notification “regarding its intent for the location of the convention.” The state is moving forward toward opening, already in Phase II, but Gov Roy Cooper—a Democrat—won’t promise the facility open to 20,000 Republicans because of social distance. GOP governors are salivating for the gig with offers in Nashville (TN), Jacksonville and Orlando (FL), Phoenix, and Georgia. Las Vegas is also interested, but Dallas has already turned it down. The RNC said DDT will not accept the Republican nomination in Charlotte. Planners are considering a rolling convention in several cities so DDT can say he had the largest convention ever.

Using the “economic emergency,” DDT signed an executive order waiving long-standing environmental laws to speed up federal approval for new mines, highways, pipelines, and other projects by limited state environmental reviews. Thus far, DDT has completed 66 rollbacks of environmental protections, and another 34 of them are in progress, most of them related to air pollution and emissions with 11 about water. Wheeler singled out a recent veto of a natural gas pipeline by New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, to block such impacts as damage to aquatic life, downstream impacts, and climate change. The rule follows DDT’s attempt to remove California’s authority to set its own vehicle emission standards under the Clean Air Act.

DDT is bored with COVID-19; he hasn’t talked to Dr. Anthony Fauci for weeks. Barr plans to solve the health crisis by suspending constitutional rights, among them asking Congress to pass laws allowing people to be indefinitely held without trial. 

The Pentagon is spending most of its $10.6 billion for shipbuilding, submarine launch equipment, missile tube and body armor.

West Point had canceled its in-person graduation this year because of COVID-19 until DDT insisted on giving a commencement address to 1,000 graduates on June 13 in order to perform this ceremony at all service academies. This past week, the Army found asymptomatic infections in 1.5 percent of them. The decision produced protests on the West Point Parents Facebook page.

Unwilling to be seen weak by going to his bunker, DDT has made the White House into a fortress with tall security fencing and concrete barriers for 1.7 miles around the white House. 

On the same day of DDT’s disastrous photo-op at a church, Ivanka Trump, possibly responsible for the tear gas clearing of the Washington, D.C. peaceful protest for her father’s photo-op, tweeted, “Less hate, more love!” for LGBTQ Pride Month. Her responses were less than positive. DDT refuses to issue a Pride proclamation, but his campaign is trying to make money for a MAGA t-shirt with rainbow-colored letters.

DDT, the great opposer of mail-in ballots who always votes by mail, seems to be homeless when it comes to voting. He gave up his home in New York City to declare residency in Florida where he can’t declare Mar-a-Lago as his residence because it’s a club. DDT’s solution was to use the White House as the address for his ballot although he says his residence is in Florida. That’s voter fraud

Barr is so desperate to please his boss he made up a story about foreign countries printing and mailing phony absentee ballots without detection but couldn’t provide evidence. In multiple states, election officials said such a scenario is virtually impossible because of security protections—unique tracking bar codes, tally marks, matching signatures, regulation envelopes, etc.

In the world of COVID-19, the U.S. has 1,965,708 cases and 111,390 deaths on June 5. The small coastal town where I live has picked up 17 new cases since the county began to open and allow tourists. The number is small, but it’s a 170-percent increase over the first three months of cases in the state. Eighteen states have reported spikes in the number of infections.

October 14, 2019

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Today eleven states, 128 state and local municipalities, and the District of Columbia recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a holiday instead of Columbus Day. In 1989, the movement to change the commemoration of the day from Christopher Columbus began in South Dakota although the federal government sticks with Columbus Day. South Dakota calls its holiday “Native American Day,” and Hawaii honors “Discovers’ Day” to pay homage to Polynesian voyagers. (This map is available in interactive format here.) 

Seventy-nine percent of college students support the acknowledgement of Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of the national holiday for Columbus that was created in 1937.

There are good reasons to drop the adulation of the racist and genocidal Columbus, who never landed on the coast of what is now the United States.

On Columbus’ first voyage in 1492 to present-day Bahamas, he enslaved the Taínos, a civilization that he called curious and friendly. His exploitation of the island’s inhabitants and the theft of their land set the tone for European conquests of the Americas. With an African slave on his voyages, he laid the foundation for slavery in America.

Governor and viceroy of the Indies, the tyrant Columbus was known for being a brutal autocrat, generally hated by the people. He cut off the nose and ears of a man stealing corn before he sold him into slavery. After a woman said that Columbus was of lowly birth, his brother Bartolomé cut out her tongue, stripped her naked, and paraded her around the colony on a mule. The two men were finally ordered back to Spain because of being power mad.

Columbus was known for his sexual abuse of women, his focus on finding gold, and his total disregard for humanity. He saw people of color as obstacles and treated them with extreme cruelty. Only a few hundred Tainos remained of the 250,000 on the Bahamas when Columbus landed 60 years earlier because he cut off their hands, gave them diseases, and destroyed their way of life.

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) announced a proclamation to celebrate Columbus Day rather than Indigenous Peoples Day.

“Today, we commemorate this great explorer, whose courage, skill, and drive for discovery are at the core of the American spirit. The bold legacy of Columbus and his crew spun a thread that weaves through the extensive history of Americans who have pushed the boundaries of exploration.”

The purpose of Columbus Day was to overcome the severe discrimination and violence against Italians who immigrated to the United States in the nineteenth century. In designating the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Bahamas, President Benjamin Harrison described the man from Genoa as a “pioneer of progress and enlightenment.”

Those who celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day honor the millions of natives who lived in the Western Hemisphere before Columbus’ reign of terror. As a nation, we deserve better than to use the name of a vicious, violent, power-hungry, racist man as a symbol of the United States.

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