Nel's New Day

November 24, 2022

Thanksgiving Gratitude for Government Actions

Every year on Thanksgiving, many people express gratitude for what happens in their lives. For me, this means my fabulous partner of over 53 years and our joy in working together. We’re grateful for the friends who contribute to our lives through their love, humor, acceptance, and help whenever we need it. We take delight in our loving standard poodle and our delightful cat. Our home is exactly what we want, and we feel safe in the small town where we live.

Beyond that—because I’m a politics junkie—I have much more to list in my gratefulness because they demonstrate that others share with me my desire for human rights and democracy.

Elections:

After a long 15 days, Alaska has declared the winners of its ranked choice votes. Rep. Mary Peltola (D-AK) returns for a full House term after she won her special election last summer, both elections defeating former VP candidate Sarah Palin. She cares about people, not herself. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) will also return to Washington after Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) tried to destroy her for her impeachment vote against him. DDT endorsed opponents of both these winners.

Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) will be Los Angeles’ first female mayor despite her wealthy opponent outspending her by $91 million.

Two extremely close races flipped the Pennsylvania state House to Democrats for the first time in a decade. The Dems flipped a total of 12 seats in the chamber.

The GOP will likely have 222 members of the House for the 118th Congress, outnumbering Democrats by five. Democrats are suing to overturn districting maps in six states they couldn’t do before 2022 elections: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio, and Texas.

Georgia will determine whether Democrats have 50 or 51 Senators in the election on December 6.  Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) leads opponent Herschel 51 percent to 47 percent and has an 11-point lead among women voters plus 12 percent of those with a four-year or more college degree.

The week after DDT announced his 2024 presidential campaign, 57 percent thought it was a bad idea. Only 27 percent approved in the Quinnipiac University poll. Among independents, the disapproval was 58 percent to 32 percent. Forty-four percent don’t want Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to run for president, compared to 37 percent supporting him.

Courts:

The Supreme Court, typically supporting DDT, turned him down in his request to block House Democrats from seeing his tax records. Sought for 42 months, the decision listed no dissenting votes, and the records should be immediately turned over to the House committee.

The Supreme Court rejected appeals from a Virginia public school district and the University of Toledo in Ohio to stop sexual harassment lawsuits by female students using the law prohibiting sex discrimination at schools receiving federal funds.

A federal judge continued to send Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ beloved Stop WOKE Act into the trash pile, starting when he blocked provisions related to regulating private speech. In August, he wrote:

“Normally, the First Amendment bars the state from burdening speech, while private actors may burden speech freely. But in Florida, the First Amendment apparently bars private actors from burdening speech, while the state may burden speech freely.”

DeSantis’ law targeted concepts about race and history that Republicans dislike. In banning any information about critical race theory, DeSantis tried to regulate private businesses’ training sessions with their own private-sector employees. 

The November ruling stopped what the judge called a “positively dystopian” policy restricting how lessons on race and gender can be taught in colleges and universities. DeSantis wants to control what scholars can say in higher education. He quoted George Orwell’s novel 1984:

“’It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen,’ and the powers in charge of Florida’s public university system have declared the State has unfettered authority to muzzle its professors in the name of ‘freedom.”

The judge added:

“The law officially bans professors from expressing disfavored viewpoints in university classrooms while permitting unfettered expression of the opposite viewpoints. Defendants argue that, under this Act, professors enjoy ‘academic freedom’ so long as they express only those viewpoints of which the State approves. This is positively dystopian.”

DeSantis will certainly appeal, but this ruling is a start. Other lawsuits are fighting the suppression of education in K-12.

With no comment, the Georgia Supreme Court rejected the GOP request to remove a day of early voting for the U.S. Senate runoff between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Herschel Walker. The GOP knows that it needs to block voting to win, causing the Republicans already passing a large number of voter restrictions including cutting the runoff calendar in half with a ban on Saturday voting after a holiday. Georgia’s runoff early voting now runs from November 27 to December 2.

A three-judge 11th Circuit Court panel, two DDT-appointed judges and one from George W. Bush, appear ready to support the DOJ by rescinding the special master appointment in the Mar-a-Lago documents case made by DDT’s pet judge Aileen Cannon. One of the DDT judges told DDT’s lawyer that sweeping up personal items in a court-authorized search was not unusual. The DOJ has also asked for the return of 13,000 documents to investigators examining if DDT illegally retained highly sensitive documents of national defense information after he left the White House and possibly obstructed justice in their retrieval.  

A judge asked DDT’s lawyer that if he can’t establish the seizure is unlawful, “what are we doing here?” Another judge pointed out that a special master has no relationship to unlawful seizure.

A complaint has been filed against a Greenville (MS) municipal judge who signs no-knock search warrants allowing police to go into a home unannounced and then keeps them instead of turning them over to the clerk. Violating the state’s criminal procedure rules, his process hides warrants from the public and The public has no access to the warrants and prevents people from defending themselves when they are charged with crimes.

Congress:

The Senate unanimously passed legislature to make funding for survivors of gender-based violence more inclusive of the neediest communities. This amendment to the Violence against Women Act increased funding for domestic violence and sexual assault services specifically helping Native Hawaiian survivors who were inadvertently excluded from the funding. Roughly two-thirds of sex-trafficking victims in Hawaii are Native Hawaiian.

Another unanimous Senate vote passed the Safe Connections Act to help survivors of domestic violence and other crimes cut ties with their abusers and separate from shared wireless service plans, useful to monitor, stalk, or control victims. Abused victims and dependents in their care won’t have penalties or other requirements to separate from shared plans, and the FCC must make rules to keep calls or texts on hotlines from appearing on call logs.

Almost 200 years ago, the U.S. agreed to seat a member of the Cherokee Nation in the House as a non-voting delegate. A House vote could make that happen. The House has six non-voting delegates, including from the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, who can introduce legislation and sit on committees but cannot vote on the House floor.

President Joe Biden:

Facing opposition from conservative states to his student loan forgiveness of $20,000 per person, Biden will extend the payment pause on federal student loans until 60 days after the relief plan is permitted.

The price of crude oil has dropped from almost $120 in March to $77.50, plunging over one-third of its cost from this year’s highest point. Shipping prices are lower, and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) drove investment in U.S. battery equipment manufacturing, taking the industry from China.  

Jason Easley and Sarah Jones wrote about gratitude for Biden:

“After four years of feeling like the country was careening out of control, President Joe Biden assumed office and immediately restored stability and normalcy to the country…. Biden got the pandemic under control, oversaw record-setting job growth, and made a huge downpayment on rebuilding America’s infrastructure and helping the planet. Biden has gotten Congress to function in a bipartisan way and has lived up to his promise to try to help people and make their lives better.

“Things have not been perfect. Inflation remains a stubborn and persistent problem. The Senate filibuster has stopped Biden from achieving goals like voting rights reform, an assault weapons ban, and the codification of Roe.”

Easley and Jones described Biden’s leadership:

“You may not appreciate it at the moment, but you’ll know when it is not there.

“The reason why so many Americans will be able to enjoy their Thanksgiving holiday is that a steady hand is again steering the national ship from the Oval Office.

“The feeling that there has been a dark cloud hovering over the nation has passed.”

Footnote for Biden: For many years, Fox network attacked “liberals” for their “War on Christmas.” Evidently that particular war has ended. Fox’s latest complaint is that Biden is “too pro-Christmas,” led by Laura Ingraham on her prime-time show. (The official lighting of the National Christmas Tree isn’t until November 30.) 

And then there’s the scandal about Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito leaking information to evangelical Christians before his announcements of two cases about reproductive rights. But that’s a longer story!

November 21, 2022

DDT Unpopular, Facing Serious Legal Problems

Sad to say, the media cannot avoid covering Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) with his corruption and lust for the limelight. The last two melded together in his announcement for another run at the presidency in two years during a party at Mar-a-Lago on November 15. Security had to keep people from leaving his speech.

DDT had thought the grand success of GOP elections a week before would give him a triumphant lead-in to his campaign, but it miserably fizzled. Republicans lost the Senate—again—and the GOP has a majority of one in the House while five races are still undecided. Furious with his many losses, DDT attacked House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), convinced weak Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) he could be Speaker and manage all the crazies turned loose, and failed to destroy Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for winning because of his gerrymandering House districts.

The crazies are the only ones left to support DDT; reasonable parts of the right wing have turned against him. National Review’s Dan McLaughlin tweeted, “This is delusional, mental-breakdown stuff.” Fox News contributor Joe Concha called it “unhinged, sophomoric stuff that is completely unprovoked.” From the conservative Wall Street Journal came “Trump Is the Republican Party’s Biggest Loser.” Featuring DDT in its Humpty Dumpty cover visual, the New York Post defined him as “perhaps the most profound vote-repellant in modern American history.”

A lead group of GOP politicians trying to oust DDT are the 2024 wannabe presidential candidates.

DeSantis has bragged about all the members he sent to the Congress (not mentioning it’s because of his gerrymandering); he’s edging out DDT in the polls.

Two-term New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that Republicans “keep losing and losing and losing and that “the reason we’re losing is because Donald Trump has put himself before everybody else.” He continued by saying DDT’s refusal to leave his 2022 defeat is “not what this party stands for” and that “it’s not what it should stand for in the future, and we’ve got to stop it now.”

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said that “candidate quality matters. I got a great policy for the Republican Party: Let’s stop supporting crazy, unelectable candidates in our primaries and start getting behind winners that can close the deal in November.”

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and DDT’s choice to replace McConnell for Minority Leader, complained that “the current strategy of most Republicans in Washington is to only be against the crazy Democrats—and they’re crazy—and never outline any plan what we are for and what we will do. That is a mistake.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who was against DDT until he was for DDT accused Republicans of spending far too much time preaching to the choir when they talk to the same 2.6 million people watching Fox network every night.” He also complained, “Republicans in the Senate don’t fight” and told GOP senators to “pick two or three or four things that matter and say, ‘We believe in it.’”

Mike Pompeo, CIA director and secretary of State under Trump who is considering a presidential run, agreed that he’s “tired of losing.”

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem called for new leadership.

Outgoing Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, one of the most reasonable governors in his party, argued the GOP is “desperately in need of a course correction” and DDT’s overselling of bad candidates caused significant damage. Like others, he ridiculed DDT’s earlier claim that people will get tired of winning after his election. 

Only one GOP senator, Tommy Tuberville (AL) says he will support DDT; no others openly spoke up for him.

Lindsey Graham (SC), supposedly DDT’s good friend, only said DDT will be “hard to beat.”

Sen. Mitt Romney (UT) said no one raised a hand in a private GOP senators’ meeting when asked if they want DDT to announce he’s running for president. A second senator agreed.

Kevin Cramer (ND) likes Mike Pompeo for a candidate.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) refused to commit, saying that DDT as a candidate is a “theoretical.”

Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) identified DeSantis as the de facto leader of the Republican Party. 

Wealthy donors also bailed on DDT. Hedge fund manager Ken Griffin also plans to support DeSantis, calling DDT a “three-time loser.” Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of private equity giant Blackstone, plans to support DDT’s challenger because “America does better when its leaders are rooted in today and tomorrow, not today and yesterday.”

Political committees controlled by or closely affiliated with Trump have a total of nearly $112 million in the bank, but only $13.5 million can legally be used for DDT’s campaign. Most of the money was raised by a PAC and committees not officially part of DDT’s presidential campaign. To dodge restrictions, DDT’s PAC transferred $20 million to a new super PAC, MAGA, run by DDT aides although super PACs are legally bound to be independent of candidates. A complaint has been filed for violation of federal law in this transfer.

Before his grand candidacy announcement, DDT called GOP elected officials and demanded they endorse him. He said “those who waited too long” were “not gonna like” their fate when he wins. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was the only congressional member to attend. Even daughter Ivanka wasn’t available despite DDT begging her to come. 

DeSantis also violated state-level fundraising records for this year’s gubernatorial election with about $90 million remaining. Moving that money to a super PAC for his candidacy would also violate federal law.

New special counsel Jack Smith, appointed by DOJ AG Merrick Garland, will investigate DDT, including his likely criminality in Georgia attempting to pressure officials into overturn the state’s vote for Joe Biden in 2020 and DDT’s mishandling of sensitive government documents at Mar-a-Lago. Both these cases have a number of charges. Smith will also focus on “whether any person or entity unlawfully interfered with the transfer of power” on January 6, 2021.

One of the classified documents DDT squirreled away at Mar-a-Lago proves he tweeted a classified image when he sent the detailed photo of the Iranian launch pad where officials failed to launch a purported satellite. The image was photographed by an important U.S. intelligence asset, a classified spacecraft called USA 224 believed to be a multibillion-dollar KH-11 reconnaissance satellite. The image has now been declassified, but DDT lied by saying he declassified the image and had the authority to do so. DDT frequently mishandled national secrets, as shown by a TOP 10 list, and proved himself to be reckless and irresponsible with sensitive information, his accusation against Hillary Clinton regarding her emails during the 2016 campaign and since then.

The prosecution has rested in the Trump Organization tax avoidance fraud trial. Longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg testified for the prosecution to keep his prison sentence shorter. The criminal case implicated DDT and his children, Don Jr. and Eric, because they all signed checks to avoid taxes. DDT authorized the scheme to reduce Weisselberg’s taxable income—and the IRS taxes owned by the company. He is still being paid $640,000 a year, including a $200,000 increase from Eric and Jr. in 2017 after they discovered his tax fraud, plus a $500,000 bonus. 

Alvin Bragg, Manhattan DA, is jump-starting its criminal investigation into DDT regarding his hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels who said she had an affair with DDT. As in all other cases, DDT claims innocence.

Ivanka failed to escape having a court-appointed monitor watch over her financial activity so that she wouldn’t shift assets before legal actions against the Trump Organization. She remains a defendant in the case regarding the shell company haven, Trump Organization II, set up in Delaware on the same day that a $250 million lawsuit against DDT and his businesses.

DDT’s former chief of staff John Kelly refused to use government agencies to investigate or harass individuals DDT identified as enemies such as former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former CIA Director John Brennan, two FBI employees Trump targeted for their involvement in the probe of Russian election manipulation, etc. After Kelly left, Comey was a target of extensive IRS audits, two of 5,000 audits out of 153 million returns filed, a 0.0033 percent chance. McCabe was one of 8,000 audits the next year when 154 million people filed, a 0.0052 percent chance. The “random” claim doesn’t wash.

The Department of Homeland Security ensnared hundreds, if not thousands, of U.S. protesters, in a scam before the 2020 election to push DDT’s false claims about the “terrorist organization” he accused Democrats of supporting. The report, released by Sen. Ron Wyden (R-OR), showed orders given to “senior leadership” requiring them to broadly apply the label “violent antifa anarchists inspired” to Portland protesters unless they had intel showing “something different.” DHS’s acting chief intelligence officer ordered all violence in Portland (OR) to falsely be the work of “Antifa,” and the media went along. The project cost $1.5 billion.

DDT had a grand plan for winning the 2024 presidential election. He would install election deniers in swing states as secretaries of state, and they would declare the election for him even if the majority of people in the state didn’t vote for DDT. After they won the election on November 8, he would declare his presidency after all his candidates won the 2022 midterms. His candidates suffered a rout, and the plan failed. Only four election denying secretaries of state—Alabama, Indiana, South Dakota, and Wyoming—defeated ethical opponents in the red states.

November 12, 2022

Dems Take Senate; Snowflake GOP Whines

Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) has been become the 50th senator, making the Walker/Warnock election in Georgia on December 6 a non-factor in possible losses of GOP bills and votes. Her election follows Sen. Mark Kelly’s (D-AZ) earlier win. His opponent, Black Masters, blames House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his loss because Masters wanted more funding. Masters already received $15 million from gay billionaire Peter Thiel.

As can be expected, GOP sour grapes prevailed. After DDT accused the voting system in Clark County (NV), the state’s most populous county, of being corrupt, county officials fought back to refute his lies. As in 2020, DDT and his allies are attacking any states with Democratic winners of election fraud if their votes weren’t counted by midnight of Election Day—even if the law permitted states to accept ballots several days after Election Day as 18 states do. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) echoed DDT on a Republican conference call hosted by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), chair of the Senate fundraising committee by falsely claiming that there was no “mathematical way” Adam Laxalt could lose to Cortez Masto.

National media finally declared Tina Kotek Oregon’s governor-elect, and her GOP candidate finally managed to concede. Nevada’s GOP candidate Joe Lombardo beat his opponent, but the GOP election denier candidate for secretary of state, Jim Marchant, lost. He had said he would certify the 2024 election for Deposed Donald Trump (DDT. In Arizona, Kari Lake trails Katie Hobbs for governor by 34,000 votes after the last drop from a GOP area of Maricopa County failed to give her a big boost. Another 190,000 ballots with possibly Democratic emphasis are waiting in the wings.

Lake has cried voter fraud because the vote wasn’t completed within a few hours of the end of voting. She called Arizona “a banana republic,” and Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts told Lake to “grow up”:

“Kari Lake was vowing to call the Arizona Legislature into a special session because she didn’t get a balloon drop on election night. Do you need a timeout? That’s what I used to ask my toddler sons when they’d throw themselves onto the floor, kicking and screaming, because they didn’t get their way.”

Lake even promises she would “call the Arizona Legislature into a special session because she didn’t get a balloon drop on election night,” according to Roberts. MSNBC reporter Vaughn Hilliard said Lake alleges fraud but refuses to name what it is or or report anyone to authorities.  

The best satire, close to fact, came from the New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz. It begins:

“The United States of America has become the envy of the world after a ten-billion-dollar expenditure on political advertising changed virtually nothing. People around the globe marvelled at a democracy so robust it could withstand an outlay of cash greater than the gross domestic product of nations such as Tajikistan, Montenegro, and Somalia…

“’When you imagine what you could do with ten billion dollars, you immediately think of building new roads or schools,’ a citizen of Montenegro said. ‘But America’s roads and schools must be in excellent shape, if they can afford to spend ten billion dollars on elections instead.’

“’Ten billion dollars could pay for a lot of solar panels, wind farms, and other measures to mitigate climate change,’ a resident of Somalia said. ‘Thank heavens Americans realized that political advertising is the thing that makes them No. 1 in the world and decided to spend it on that.’”

The Republicans are traumatized by their loss, and DDT faces unprecedented attacks from many in the GOP. Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal called him the GOP’s “biggest lower” and former House Speaker Paul Ryan begged Republicans to move forward in a non-DDT direction. “Trump is a loser,” right-wing pundit Eli Lake on Daily Beast wrote on Twitter. “He’s an albatross, a boat anchor on the party. For three straight elections, he has been a liability for Republicans.” Commentary magazine’s John Podhoretz called DDT a “pathological loser narcissist who has now been humiliated by the American electorate in three separate national contests.” Even DDT’s former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said, “Between being Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis tonight, you want to be Ron DeSantis. Trump is not doing very well.”

Even conservative tabloid New York Post ridiculed DDT. 

While DDT’s inner circle tried to talk him out of declaring a candidacy within the next couple of months or longer, he unleashed his venom on heir apparent Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had a really good night. His gerrymandering of districts in opposition to both Republicans and Democrats in legislature created a number of GOP congressional winners, maybe responsible for the U.S. House win if it happens.

DDT called DeSantis an “average” governor with “great public relations.” In a statement, DDT asserted:

“Ron came to me in desperate shape in 2017—he was politically dead, losing in a landslide. Ron had low approval, bad polls, and no money, but he said that if I would Endorse him, he could win. … When I Endorsed him, it was as though, to use a bad term, a nuclear weapon went off.”

DDT went even farther when he  claimed he “sent in the FBI and U.S. Attorneys” to stop “ballot theft … just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win” for DeSantis’ 2018 election. In the same Truth Social post, DDT wrote, “I also fixed his campaign.” A legal expert called the action “fraud.” DeSantis’ defeated opponent, Andrew Gillum is already using DDT’s statements in a court filing

NBC News senior reporter Ben Collins tweeted:

“Am I losing my mind? Is this not a gigantic deal? He’s either casually admitting to using federal agents to interfere in a state election or lying about it for some equally inexplicable reason, right? Am I reading this wrong or is this a five-alarmer for the DOJ?”

DDT followed his attacks on DeSantis with rants and slurs against Virginia’s Gov. Glenn Youngkin, another possible presidential candidate in 2024. In a racist comment, DDT said that “Young kin … sounds Chinese” before he took credit for Youngkin’s win. During the election, the governor had tried to separate himself from DDT.

In more tantrums, DDT blames Fox’s Sean Hannity, his former BFF, and casino mogul Steve Wynn for the Election Day losses of his hand-picked candidates. Trying to cover for his failures, DDT insisted he “did a great job” in the midterms and concluded, “Remember, I am a ‘Stable Genius.’” He sticks to his declaration on Election night, “I should get all the credit. If they lose, I should not be blamed at all.” Like all the other whining Republicans, is melting like snowflakes.

The U.S. House is still not a done deal for the GOP. A projection gives Republican a one-person lead over the Democrats, but 19 elections still haven’t been called for the chamber. No matter which way it goes, the GOP is in for a “Bloodbath!” the term Donald Trump Jr. tweeted about Election Day. Republicans have two major issues: what to do about “loser” DDT and who should have the GOP leadership in Congress.    

Republicans are blaming McConnell for not worshipping DDT and for not approving some of his candidates. Conservative senators pushing for Ron Johnson’s (WI) leadership are asking colleagues to postpone votes for GOP leadership elections next week, but the vote is still on schedule. No matter who wins, that person will be Minority Leader.  

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), desperately trying to become the party leader in the House is catering to the collection of crazies who have been elected. As of yesterday, at least 150 election deniers were elected to the House with a few other undecided races such as the queen loonie Lauren Boebert from Colorado. A newbie is gay election-denier George Santos from Long Island who attended DDT’s January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally and said he wrote a “nice check” to help cover the legal fees of some of the rioters. To Santos, abortion is comparable to slavery. McCarthy will do anything to get votes for House Speaker; he already promised Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) banned from committee membership for the past two years, that she can have any committee position she wants.

The far-right House members are campaigning to block McCarthy from leadership. A strategy from the Freedom Caucus is to create an easier process to call for a vote ousting a sitting speaker. The conservatives also wants more representation on selecting committee assignments and aims to delay the legislative by taking more time to review even non-controversial bills. Other demands are launching investigations and impeachments of President Joe Biden and his Cabinet members.

A huge problem of selecting any GOP House leadership is the slim majority, even if Republicans take the House. McCarthy is also in DDT’s pocket, making serious problems for anyone else running for president in 2024.

Inflation was a concern for 31 percent of voters, but democracy was far above at 44 percent. Abortion was also not far behind inflation at 27 percent. Voters over 65 years old preferred Republicans over Democrats by 55 percent to 43 percent, meaning 55 percent of them voted against keeping their benefits. Maybe they think that saving a few dollars on gas will make up for these losses. Pew Research exit polls shows a lengthy selection of other descriptors about how people voted this month—a great read for political junkies.

October 25, 2022

Week’s News – October 25, 2022

Liz Truss is out as British prime minister, and Rishi Sunak is in. Fewer than 200 votes conservative MPs made him leader of 67 million people. Gone on the first day is 40 percent of Truss’ 30-person cabinet. The longevity of the anti-immigration, anti-low-income class positions from the wealthy immigrant raises the question of which fruit or vegetable will appear next to his photograph. Sunak was largely responsible for ousting former PM Boris Johnson but had to wait almost two months until Truss came, served, and left before he could take over. The deal was cemented when Sunak met with King Charles III. Almost exactly 75 years after India gained independence from British rule, a British-Indian now rules the United Kingdom.

Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis might have been better off if he had refused to debate his Democratic opponent, former Florida GOP Gov. Charlie Crist. After DeSantis refused to answer Crist’s question about whether he would serve the entire four-year term, the wannabe 2024 presidential candidate lost the October 24 debate, 63 percent to 37 percent from 65,000 respondents, to Crist, according to the informal online poll by local NBC affiliate WFLA. Crist also slammed the misuse of taxpayer funds in DeSantis’ “horrible political stunt” of flying 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, now being investigated by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

During the debate, DeSantis struggled with defending his policies after Crist called him “the most anti-business governor I’ve ever seen.” Crist pointed out the governor’s attacks on the cruise industry for requiring vaccines, on Disney for expressing its point of view about the “don’t say gay” bill, and on the DeSantis order to not invest funds in “woke” corporations which blocked pension fund managers from using environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings when determining investments.

In the land of book banning, anti-LGBTQ parents recruited by Gov. Ron DeSantis are training Florida school librarians in what books to censor. Bipartisan school boards submissions are rejected despite the applicants’ qualifications in favor of members from Moms for Liberty (M4L). Michelle Beavers wants statewide bans on titles, calling them a “felony.” M4L has offered bounties for people turning in teachers who discuss “divisive topics,” attacked the Trevor Project for trying to prevent LGBTQ suicide, tried to ban a book about seahorses for being too sexy, and said that two girls briefly kissing at a school function is “lewd” and “traumatic.” Another “trainer,” Jennifer Pippin, was nominated by the founder of Florida Citizens Alliance that provides lists of “objectionable” school texts accusing them of promoting Islam, socialism, sex, LGBTQ identity, evolutionary science, climate change, and gun control.

The Kanye West scandal has eaten up so much of the media that I’ll join the fray. The white supremacist, anti-Semite Black rapper has gone over the edge so far that Adidas, which “Ye” claimed would never drop him, dropped him. Along with talent agency CAA, record label Def Jam, CAA, Balenciago, and who knows how many more companies. Adidas provides a large share of West’s wealth. Products related to West are removed from stores because, as Gap state, “antisemitism, racism and hate in any form are inexcusable and not tolerated in accordance with our values.” Adidas agreed:

“Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”

Jeremy Zimmer, CEO and co-founder of talent agency UTA, asked staff to “please support the boycott of Kanye West,” and the Endeavor talent agency’s CEO Ari Emanuel said companies that make money from West like Spotify and Apple should drop him. Twitter and Instagram restricted him for his posts, and bank JPMorgan Chase earlier severed ties. George Floyd’s family said they intent to sue West for $250 million for his podcast lie that Floyd was killed by fentanyl.

The evidence-free battle about furries continues! A North Carolina school board is more worried about children wearing furry costumes to school than the shortage of teachers and considered a proposal to ban any furry clothing including gloves and collars. The superintendent of Iredell-Statesville Schools said he spends hours responding to emails and social media about the false  rumor of kitty litter boxes and furry outfits, but a school board member ignored him. The entire rumor started from GOP politicians who oppose trans students, and at least one of the rumor-mongers, a losing candidate for Nebraska governor, had to admit his claims were false. “Christian” hate pastors are spreading the same lies.

Social Security Inspector General Gail Ennis, appointed by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), continues to persecute whistleblowers although DDT has left the White House. In 2019, senior Social Security officials Joscelyn Funnié and Deborah Shaw, who exposed hundreds of thousands of dollars against 100 disabled and poor elderly people without due process or federal regulations, were put on paid leave. Eventually reinstated, they were shunned in assignments, shut out of meetings, and denied any chance of advancement.

Funnié was fired 11 months later, only returning to work as a “special adviser,” in late 2021 after an investigation was opened. During the first six weeks after her return, her only assignment was to read two books on resilience and spirituality. She was then assigned a job requiring auditing and another designing a logo, both skills she lacks, and her supervisor requires his permission before she speaks with colleague. She wrote that Ennis and her staff “pretend I don’t exist.”

In early 2020, Shaw returned to work but was demoted without staff and faced the 45-day unpaid suspension that Ennis mandated. A judge ruled that she is the victim of “whistleblower reprisal” by Ennis’s office with “motive to retaliate” against her. He ordered Shaw receive back pay, return to her supervisory role, and remove potential for a suspension. Ennis’ appeal put the ruling on hold except for the return of her former rank. Ennis’ counsel, coordinator of the Social Security’s whistleblower protection program who retaliated against Shaw, is her supervisory, controlling all her work actions. Shaw is prevented from her former responsibilities in anti-fraud, reprimanded for helping colleagues asking for advice on a fraud case, and assigned to write a legal opinion on the soundness of starting a book club to improve morale on Ennis’s staff. Ennis’s office is last in 432 federal departments in the most recent survey of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government.

A California county judge has ruled that another bakery may discriminate against same-gender couples in refusing to make a wedding cake because of her “beliefs about that the Bible teaches marriage.” The baker wants the community to “grow together.” The Bible doesn’t mention same-sex marriage, and Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. The seven verses in the Bible typically used to condemn homosexuality refer to male ritual sex, rape, and molestation. The good book does approve of polygamy, husbands taking concubines, and treatment of women as property to be traded or sold.

A second DDT-appointed judge has upheld Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law in schools for the second time, despite proof of largely increased bullying since the law went into effect. She declared that bullying is “a fact of life,” opposing the precedent of school’s’ constitutional obligation to “protect students from targeted bullying and harassment based on who they are.”

California-based Fox network is in worse shape for the $4.3 billion defamation lawsuits from Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic about Fox “reporters” lying about their equipment helping to elect Joe Biden as president. The falsehood has been completely discredited, and bigger problems came from the discovery that Viet Dinh became Fox’s top legal officer in September 2018 but wasn’t licensed to practice law in California until June 2022 despite efforts to clear up the problem.   

Dinh claimed California’s state bar lost his application and COVID delayed his application, but the bar rejected these claims. He was paid $12 million last year, partly to operate the business. Plaintiffs could ask for some of Dinh’s communications not related to his legal responsibilities. The case is not going well: motions failed to dismiss both cases and the replacement of Fox’s outside team. Fox’s retention of internal emails has dropped to 13 months as of July 1, 2022, another reflection of the company’s legal worries. One discovery was an email from Fox News president Suzanne Scott indicating she knew the network aired airing false claims, leaving her taking the blame if necessary. Thus far, Fox maintains it only repeats allegations from others.

In an Australian court, court CEO Lachlan Murdoch is the plaintiff in a libel case against a local publication, Crikey, publishing a column concluding that “the Murdochs and their slew of poisonous Fox News commentators are the unindicted co-conspirators of this continuing crisis.” Last week, a judge ruled that Murdoch must explain his person view of who won the 2020 election and Fox clips could be played in court—against the wishes of Murdoch’s lawyers.

Republicans are still trying to define a woman. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), facing a difficult re-election, said women are “the lesser vessel,” needing “masculinity in our lives to balance that … weakness.” Herschel Walker, GOP candidate for Georgia’s U.S. senator, has another definition:

“If you can’t have, you can’t produce, uhhhh, a child, you’re a man.”

In the U.S. approximately 18 percent of females between the ages of ten and 49 can “produce, uhhh, a child.” That leaves the remaining 82 percent of the population men. At least according to Walker.

October 17, 2022

Week’s News – October 9-16, 2022

Breaking news since yesterday’s post on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: 

  • Russia hit a key energy facility near Kyiv, seriously damaging it and seizing the property. 
  • President Vladimir Putin said that of his 29 targets for this weekend, seven weren’t damaged but would be taken out gradually.
  • Police and military officers are grabbing men off Moscow streets, even those disabled, as well as in apartment building lobbies, and throughout places of business including cafes and restaurants. Not fitting Putin’s announced criteria Putin, they will be forced into the Russian army.
  • Iran publicly denies contributing weapons to Russia but has secretly agreed to send more weapons shipments, including more “kamikaze” drones and surface-to-surface missiles, for Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Iran has one of the largest and most diverse arsenals of short- and medium-range missiles in the Middle East although they tend to have reliability problems. Among other attacks today, Russia used these drones on Kyiv.
  • A religious argument may have been why two men from Tajikistan killed 11 other volunteers at a Russian military training. Tajikistan, home to the killers, is Islam; Russian is largely Christian.

After Florida areas were hard hit by Hurricane Ian, Gov. Ron DeSantis eased his own voting restrictions such as extending time for voter registration and early voting days, adding drop boxes for ballots, and allowing voters to submit mail-in ballots from addresses not in voting records—but only in Republican areas. He gave no help to regions with a majority of Democratic voters and claimed he’s using advice from supervisors of elections and written requests from the GOP counties.

Bexar County (TX) Sheriff Javier Salazar certified that the 49 migrants who Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flew from San Antonio to Martha’s Vineyard with Florida money provided by the federal government are victims of a crime. As such, they can get a special visa allowing them to stay in the U.S. otherwise not available to them.

According to a federal judge, DDT-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy harmed mail delivery with his changes in 2020 and placed orders to stop him from doing it again. A lawsuit charged DeJoy with higher rates of mail not being delivered on time impacting states’ abilities to stop the spread of COVID and a reliable alternative to in-person voting. DeJoy’s demands removed postal boxes, cut back on the number of mail sorting machines, and hindered the extra postal trips that would have cost overtime as DDT objected to mail-in ballots. These changes were made without consulting the overseeing regulator agency.

The ruling came out the day before backlash to Deloy’s hiking postcard and stamp prices as part of his proposed 10-year plan to change mail operations. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has not approved the price increases. People ask why the postal service is the only government agency that needs to make a profit, DeJoy’s voiced reason for slashing jobs, closing postal facilities, and raising prices.

Elon Musk thought he could escape problems by offering to go through with his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, but federal authorities are investigating his conduct in the takeover. Attorneys for Musk revealed a “privilege log” of withheld documents, and an October 6 court filing requests an order to share the materials. The FTC is monitoring whether Musk failed to comply with the antitrust reporting requirement related to investor’s intentions of a passive or active shareholder. A trial will be scheduled in November if the deal doesn’t meet the October 28 deadline.

Tesla’s stock prices have badly suffered from Musk’s erratic behavior since he decided to control Twitter. Its latest price drop brought the current value to $204.99 last Friday, almost exactly half the value almost a year ago on November 4–$409.97–$640 billion vanished. Columnist Wolf Richter reports that Tesla shares are “still ridiculously overvalued… Tesla is not a car company, it’s a religion.”

In Alex Jones’ latest civil trial, a Connecticut jury ordered him to pay almost $1 billion in compensatory and punitive damages to 15 plaintiffs, relatives of eight victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting victims. A request had been only $550 million. The judge already ruled that Jones was guilty of defamation, infliction of emotional distress, and invasion of privacy. Jurors will determine how much money he owed each of the plaintiffs.

After the verdict, Jones cheered and begged for donations on his program. He told his audience, “They want to scare us away from questioning Uvalde or Parkland. We’re not going away. We’re not going to stop.”

Major U.S. health insurance companies have made up to $25 billion in profits by fraudulently billing the federal government for nonexistent healthcare changes through the 64 million people using a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, almost half the people eligible for Medicare. Companies—including UnitedHealth, Humana, CVS Health, Kaiser Permanente, and Cigna—falsely report patient ailments, and most of them have been accused of fraud in court. Of the top ten companies, only Centene has not been accused of any fraud. Three companies were accused of paying doctors or nurses more for recording additional diagnoses.

Journalist Natalie Shure explained the scam:

“Privatized Medicare plans cherry-pick healthier enrollees, fudge medical records to make them look as sick as possible, coax doctors into tacking on extra sham diagnoses to bill for, and pay themselves a profit on top of it.”

Shure added that the companies also refuse to provide additional treatment for these allegedly sick patients subscribing to MA. Almost 80 percent of U.S. House members, many of them taking donations from insurance companies, signed onto a letter “to protect the [MA] program from policies that would undermine” its stability. Critics have stated that the MA program is designed to completely privatize Medicare, allowing private insurance companies to extend the fraud for additional billions of dollars. The MA program costs more money per patient than those enrolled in Medicare.

GOP governors tried to look virtuous for their conservative constituents by not pardoning people for simple possession of cannabis, but they made big bucks after the private prison industry ponied up big campaign donations. Major recipients are Greg Abbott (TX), Bill Lee (TN), and Asa Hutchinson (AR). Private prison corporations even report that their profits need harsh drug laws. Florida Republicans also get a large share of private prison industry donations. Thus far, however, Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Nancy Mace (R-SC) praised Biden for his pardoning people federal convicted of simple Cannabis possession.

Conservatives are so delighted about the revelation that the president of moderate Brookings Institution secretly lobbied for Qatar’s government that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wants to join Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in proposing a bill requiring think tanks to disclose donors paying for lobbying. The measure likely won’t pass become right-wing think tanks would block it because they would suffer more than others. Center-left groups such as Brookings already share much of its donation sources, but the Heritage Foundation, for example, claims under two percent of its income is from corporations. The Cato Institute is far more libertarian than Heritage, and the Claremont Institute has a strong MAGA bent.

The proposed law would not have affected John Allen at Brookings because his lobbying for Qatar was finished before he took over Brookings and would be covered by the Foreign Agent Registration Act. Grassley said, “Congress, the executive branch, and the American people deserve to know who’s influencing research and public policy in our country.” He may have to change his mind if conservatives attack the bill. At the age of 89, Grassley is only three points ahead of his opponent, the tightest election he has faced since he started running for office in 1958, 64 years ago.

About 200 same-gender Chinese couples have been married in Utah, thanks to a legal loophole from a combination of two state laws. The state doesn’t have residency or citizenship requirements for marriage licenses, and Utah County permits international marriages online. China does not recognize the marriages, but the couples have an essence of a legal union.

Ben Sasse wants to move from the Senate to heading up the University of Florida because he doesn’t like conflict. Students and faculty, however, are already protesting his arrival because of his LGBTQ discrimination and urging the school’s board of trustees to reject him. He tried to claim that marriage equality is the “law of the land,” reminiscent of the lies that Supreme Court justices used to get confirmed. Sasse’s employment will be formally considered on November 1.  

How crazy are DDT’s supporters? Denis Molla burned down his own camper two years ago so that he could blame the antifa. Now the 30-year-old Minnesota man is sorry because he faces up to four years in prison. He pled guilty to wire fraud after trying to cheat an insurance agency and GoFundMe donors of over $300,000. His lawyer said Molla is “a wonderful husband and father.” (Right: Image of Molla’s handiwork; check for Molla’s anti-left graffiti on his garage door.)  

After Kingsview Asset Management CIO Scott Martin claimed on the Fox Business Neil Cavuto show that he spent $28 for a Taco Bell lunch, his host was stunned—and so were the humorous Twitter responses. Kingsview might want to reconsider keeping Martin as the “chief information officer.”

October 10, 2022

Indigenous Peoples Day/Columbus Day – 2022

On the second Monday of October, the U.S. and many states celebrate Christopher Columbus Day, repeating the myth that the Italian “discovered” America in 1492. Children have been taught this false story for over a century, and banks and the post office have been closed on that day since it  was declared a national holiday in 1934. As usual, most people ignore the history: a sailor on Columbus’ ship, Rodrigo Bernajo, was the first European to sight the Bahamas archipelago and then the island named Hispaniola, now divided into Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Columbus took credit for the sighting and claimed the island for the King and Queen of Spain although it was already populated. He called the people on the island “Indians” because he thought he had reached the Indies. Instead of going to what is now the U.S., he headed south to Central and South America. In another journey, he thought Cuba was Japan. Dying in 1506, he had made conditions at Hispaniola so bad that Spanish authorities sent a new governor and arrested him, returning him to Spain and stripping him of his titles. His model of conquering Native Americans began centuries of Europe colonizing the American continents and exploiting of native American populations.

A year ago, President Joe Biden signed the first presidential proclamation of Indigenous Peoples Day, an event beginning in 1977 to honor Native American history and culture. The second Monday of October has been a national holiday for close to a century, but this will be only the second year that Indigenous Peoples Day has nationally held that designation. Starting in 1989 with South Dakota calling the second Monday in October Native American Day, over 13 states and the District of Columbia changed the name of this day to Indigenous Peoples Day, and at least 130 local governments officially recognize this day instead of Columbus Day.

Almost 500 years before Columbus’ first voyage, Leif Eriksson may have been the first European to land on North American land when he and his sailors searched for a new world. The single-sail Viking boat left Norway, either going off course on his way back to Greenland or deliberately searching for North America after hearing about it from Icelandic trader Bjarni Herjolfsson who saw land from afar.

Eriksson may have landed on Baffin Island, east of the Prince of Wales province, before going to the northern tip of Newfoundland. He called the area Vinland because the wild grapes were suitable for wine. In the spring, Eriksson returned home to Greenland to stay, but other Vikings traveled to Vinland for at least the next decade. In 1960, archeologists found Viking artifacts dating back to AD 1000 and the remains of a Norse village on the northernmost tip of Newfoundland at L’Anse aux Meadows. Leif Eriksson got his own day in 1964 when President Lyndon Johnson signed a proclamation honoring him, his crew, and the country’s Nordic-American heritage. The date was chosen because of the 1825 arrival in New York of the ship Restauration, carrying the first organized band of Norwegian immigrants to the United States.

Greenland brings back the story of then Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) trying to buy the island from Denmark in 2018 and the background for his attempt. A new book by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021, describes how Estée Lauder heir Ronald S. Lauder, longtime friend of realtor DDT, offered to negotiate a trade of Puerto Rico for Greenland. Or the U.S. could buy Greenland outright by taking federal money from Puerto Rico because DDT found it “dirty” after visiting after Hurricane Maria in 1917. Denmark refused, and DDT created a rift with the country with his demands. 

Aides supposedly used ideas like this to keep him from far more bizarre and reckless paths. Still, the aides tried to keep the delusional Greenland story from leaking out, and DDT’s second chief of staff, John Kelly, bought a best-selling book written by psychiatrists about DDT’s mental health. He told others it was a helpful guide for the pathological liar whose inflated ego came from a deeply insecure person.

Kelly’s stories about DDT’s ignorance regarding history and inability to absorb information were humorous, but DDT’s flawed judgment shook Kelly. He decided DDT’s problem was not that he didn’t know right from wrong but that “he always does the wrong thing.” When DDT refused to lower the flag after Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) death, Kelly told him,

“If you don’t support John McCain’s funeral, when you die, the public will come to your grave and piss on it.”

In “normal” times, the stories in the book would be only a reflection of the past and how lucky the U.S. was to escape. At this time, however, DDT is leading the GOP by its nose and heading for a possible reelection in two years—a world disaster. And the Greenland story provided great fodder for late night show jokes while taxpayers paid for months of internal studies.

Home to almost 58,000 people, Greenland is the biggest island in the world, and 80 percent of its 811,000 square miles, three times the size of Texas, are ice-capped. The island’s residents are Danish, but they have governed by self-rule since 1979. Fishing and tourism drive the island’s economy, but it has coal, zinc, copper, iron ore, and rare minerals. Since 1943, Thule Air Base, the northernmost U.S. Air Force base, has operated on Greenland with a ballistic missile early warning system and satellite tracking system. Greenlanders have expressed horror. One Greenlander Else Mathiesen, told local media about DDT’s attempt to colonize Greenland:

“You can’t just buy an island or a people. This sounds like something from the era of slavery and colonial power.”

Before the GOP term “cancel culture” developed glitz by being called “critical race theory,” Fox network had a discussion about Indigenous Peoples Day. Host Rachel Campos-Duffy claimed, “Christopher Columbus, by the way, is the first victim of cancel culture” and added that Native Americans “were just as brutal” as Columbus and other European colonizers. Jesse Watters responded, “Yeah, they’re just going to try to send more slush funds to the reservations and make them out to be victims.” (Right: From Florida, the land of revisionist history.)

Some conservatives justify Columbus by calling him “flawed” and “complex,” but he was basically a murdering, raping, thieving thug who enslaved the people who had lived for thousands of years where he landed. Soon after he took control of Hispaniola, 95 percent of the Taino living there were dead, many of them from diseases brought by Columbus and his men.

If the New York Latin Culture organization is correct, however, the day originally had a positive purpose: the U.S. celebration was founded in the 1890s to stop white supremacist Confederate Southerners from lynching Italian Americans. The Italians migrating to the U.S. from southern Italy had mixed with Africa, only 100 miles away. They did work formerly done by Blacks and lived in and married into African communities. Violent racism led to victimization of Italian men, women, and children with lynchings, murders, rapes, maimings, burnings—any form of inhumanity imaginable. After a massacre of Italian Americans in New Orleans, Italy forced the U.S. to pay reparations to the dead Italians’ families.

The article concluded:

“America’s Italian community can choose its own icons, but why would anyone want to be represented by such a flawed character who stands for unspeakable crimes against humanity? We can do better.”

More about Christopher Columbus and his day: 2015; 2018; 2019; and 2021. 

October 1, 2022

Hurricanes – Ian, DDT

The government shutdown has been postponed until December 16 after the House passed Senate legislation by 230-201. All except ten Republicans voted for a shutdown and blocking the $18.8 billion disaster relief for Western wildfires, Kentucky floods, and Southeast hurricanes. GOP House leadership had whipped its members to vote against the continuing resolution (CR) which provides support for a block of six southeastern states with Republican governors. Two Republicans from the impacted red states among the Republican representatives voting yes; the other 43 representatives for the six states voted to provide no aid to their constituents. Voters might want to consider how their representatives voted when they cast their ballots this fall. And thank a Democrat for every dollar they receive.

Democrats also provided funding to support Mississippi’s problem with unsanitary drinking water in its state capitol after mismanagement by the GOP governor. Subsequent funding packages may also add help for devastated Florida from Hurricane Ian. The estimated property losses from Hurricane Ian will exceed $60 billion, according to an estimate from the Insurance Information Institute, which said that would make the storm the second-largest “catastrophe loss event” on record after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Hurricanes like Ian, one of the five worst hurricanes in U.S. history, will become the norm from warmer oceans and air, more water vapor in the atmosphere, and higher sea levels as storms are less likely to churn up colder water. Warmer oceans add fuel to strengthen hurricanes, increasing the average wind speeds of major hurricanes by about 18 mph for each 1.8F of ocean surface warming, a 13 percent increase. Larger storms pile up more water for bigger surges such as the unprecedented 12 to 28 feet Ian produced. With wind of 150 mph, rain as much as 20 inches, and these storm surges, Ian destroyed 90 percent of just one city, Ft. Myers, that has a population of 83,000+.

Despite announced dangers of Hurricane Ian, many people refused to evacuate, believing that it was just another storm. QAnon conspiracy theorists spread lies about the hurricane being fake news.

When Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), was governor, he rejected the concept of “man-made climate change,” overturned all previous initiatives to cut fuel emissions, cut the budget for reducing pollution, and banned agencies from using the term climate change. Three months ago, eight Florida GOP lawmakers, receiving over $1 million for fossil fuel industry donors, pushed federal regulators to stop a requirement for businesses to disclose risks from climate change. Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis has evolved on the need for disaster aid after his “no” vote on help for northeastern states while a U.S. representative in 2013, but last month, he led the drive to ban the state from considering climate risks in investments for pensions of teachers, firefighters, and other government workers. He picked up over $800,000 in donations from the fossil fuel industry.

Firmly believing in aggression, DDT launched a full-scale racist attack against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his wife, DDT’s former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. In a virulent reaction to a few Republicans—including McConnell—passing the CR, he posted a long screed on Truth Social including the statement about McConnell, “He has a DEATH WISH. Must immediately seek help and advise [sic] from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!” MAGA Republicans claim that DDT meant no violence, but Alyssa Farah Griffin, DDT’s former White House Director of Strategic Communications, slammed his statement.

The more DDT loses, the more aggressive he becomes, and his attempts to block the investigation into classified and other government document found at Mar-a-Lago are increasingly turning against him. The DOJ filed an expedited appeal to the 11th Circuit Court after DDT’s pet judge Aileen Cannon delayed the processing of documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, stating it slows efforts to determine how the classified records were transferred and whether they were improperly accessed. Cannon also denied the order from her hand-picked special master for DDT, Rayond Dearie, that lawyers support their statements under oath about FBI-planted materials at Mar-a-Lago.

According to the filing, the DOJ wants Cannon’s order for a special master be overturn because Cannon repeatedly overrules his decisions. Legal experts have wondered if the appeals court will remove Cannon from the case after its stinging rebuke in a recent decision against her.

 

Another DDT problem is infighting among his legal team between his new expensive lawyer and the former ones for the past week. Chris Kise wants to calm everyone down and have DDT willingly give up the classified documents to keep him from being indicted. DDT seems to have joined the other attorneys to keep attacking. The combative filing last week, which Cannon accepted, questioned DOJ’s motives and truthfulness, and Kise did not sign it as he has with previous filings since he was hired.

Three of DDT’s lawyers may face their own days in court with personal legal risks:

Christina Bobb told DDT allies that she is willing to allow the DOJ to interview her about her role in responding to the subpoena.

M. Evan Corcoran was told by colleagues that he should hire a criminal defense lawyer because of his response to the subpoena but keeps insisting it isn’t necessary.

Boris Epshteyn, a long-term DDT adviser, had to give his phone to the DOJ after he was subpoenaed as part of the agency’s investigation into DDT’s fake elector scheme and appeared before a Georgia grand jury probing into DDT’s attempt to overturn the state’s popular vote in favor of himself.

More details about DDT’s attorneys here.

Twenty months after DDT left the office, he and his administration have not yet turned over all its records to the National Archives which will consult with the DOJ about whether “to initiate an action for the recovery of records unlawfully removed,” according to acting archivist Debra Steidel Wall. Missing are “non-official electronic messaging accounts that were not copied or forwarded into their official electronic messaging accounts.” These include DDT’s adviser Peter Navarro’s failure to turn over official White House business he stored in private emails. Thus far, the FBI has recovered over 300 classified documents from Mar-a-Lago thus far in 2022: 184 in a set of 15 boxes in January, 38 handed over by a DDT lawyer in June, and over 100 more documents from the August 8 search after the FBI received a warrant. (Left: Documents found from the August search warrant.)   

 

DDT specializes in lies and exaggerations, and the best one recently is that the FBI took 200,000 pages. Let’s imagine how many boxes that would be. Philip Bump did the math and figured that 200,000 pages was off by a factor of 18. With the search warrant, the FBI removed 26 boxes or containers from the storage room and one box and six collections of documents from DDT’s office. He breaks down the number of each category in his article, but the items included government documents/photos, news articles/clippings, empty folders, books, and clothing/gifts. Nothing was said about digital devices so only paper was taken.

A 500-sheet ream of paper, 8.5” X 11” and two inches deep, will take up at least double the room when it’s gone through the copies. In the photos of material taken, cartons were banker’s boxes which are 10” 12” X 15”, holding about ten reams of paper—5,000 sheets or 27 boxes for 135,000 pages if the paper hadn’t been copied. But it was, and the boxes held much more than paper, using up a great deal of room. The number goes back to about 11,000 documents.

A week ago, the “Truth Rally” for DDT on the steps of the U.S. Capitol fizzled like wet fireworks. Billed as “the biggest to date,” the event drew a few dozen DDT supporters with a few dozen counter-protesters. The supporters couldn’t figure out if rioters were proud of their January 6 insurrection, didn’t do it, and were set up. NBC reported Ben Collins concluded, “The theme is basically: There was no insurrection on January 6th, and we’d do it again.”

A week later on October 1, DDT went to Michigan where early voting started on September 29, ostensibly to support his “stop the steal” candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general. His speech, however, was the typical litany of grudges. The event was at an expo center at the community college in the Detroit suburb of Warren. It has a 4,000-seating capacity. Gone were the QAnon gestures and creepy music from the last two rallies last month, but DDT satisfied his MAGA folk by ending his speech with his MAGA slogan reminiscent of QAnon.

The mainstream media is tired of DDT; there was little information about his latest rally.

September 29, 2022

Pot-pourri – DDT, Uvalde, Etc.

Senate passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) to prevent a government shutdown by 72-25 with only one day remaining before the deadline. The CR succeeded after Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) bill for a pipeline approval was pulled from the measure. Big-oil Republicans opposed it because they are angry with Manchin for supporting the Inflation Reduction Act, and progressive Democrats didn’t want to put fossil fuels over renewable energy. The law would keep the government open for 2.5 months until December 16 before Congress needs to pass a budget. The bill provides $12.4 billion for Ukrainian aid but nothing for COVID or monkeypox assistance. If the House, where GOP leadership is pushing the measure, accepts the bill, congressional members can go home and campaign for their reelections in November.

Nine years ago, the newly-elected congressional member from Florida, Ron DeSantis, voted against a $9.7 billion aid bill for New York and New Jersey because of the disastrous storm, Sandy. He said, “The credit card mentality … puts us almost $17 trillion in debt.” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) agreed, claiming that money shouldn’t go to blue states. DeSantis formed the Freedom Caucus to block budget deals, but in October 2017, nearing his gubernatorial campaign, he flip-flopped, voting in favor of a $36.5 billion relief package for Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico.  

This week, DeSantis begged President Joe Biden for funds after Hurricane Ian hit, full federal reimbursement up front for 60 days, and told Tucker Carlson on the Fox network:  

“You know, when people are fighting for their lives, when their whole livelihood is at stake, when they’ve lost everything—if you can’t put politics aside for that, then you’re just not going to be able to.” 

DeSantis lied about the 2013 bill having non-emergency funds and blamed New York for failing to insure buildings. His request for billions of dollars began “Dear Mr. President.” The governor’s spokesman said, “We have no time for politics or pettiness,” unlike earlier when DeSantis flew 48 Texas asylum seekers from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard with no warning. DeSantis is “thankful”—for now—adding, “We all need to work together, regardless of party lines.” Biden’s approval of disaster declaration covers temporary housing, home repairs, and low-cost loans for uninsured property losses.

Floridians are suffering from flood/storm surge insurance. The National Flood Insurance Program, covering almost 1.8 million home and business owners in flood zones is over $20 million debt to the federal treasury, and DeSantis voted against bailouts after Sandy. He also opposed keeping insurance at affordable rates for most homeowners. Homeowner policies typically don’t cover flood damage, primarily insuring for wind damage.

Hurricane Ian may cause more insurance companies to declare insolvency. Since January 2020, at least a dozen insurance companies in the state have gone out of business, six of them in 2022. Almost 30 others are listed on the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s “Watch List” because of financial instability. Other large insurers such as Allstate and State Farm pulled much of their business out of Florida. The state already has the highest insurance premiums in the U.S.

State Rep. Spencer Roach, DDT supporter and author of DeSantis “Don’t Say Gay” bill in the schools, may need Biden’s help. Roach lost his house in Fort Myers.

Deposed Donald Trump’s (DDT) pet judge Aileen Cannon still puts him above the law, negating orders from her appointed “special master” Raymond Dearie who DDT demanded. Dearie told DDT’s lawyers to identify whether documents were planted or declassified, as DDT claimed. Cannon told DDT’s lawyers that they didn’t need to comply with Dearie’s orders which included lawyers state in a court filing whether they believed FBI agents lied about documents seized at Mar-a-Lago. Part of DDT’s strategy is to claim that the FBI had brought documents with them to the search and left them to make him look guilty.

Cannon also supported DDT in his stalling strategy by extending the special master review deadline to December 16, later than her original deadline of approximately Thanksgiving. Both dates are after the Midterm election. Dearie had said he would be finished by October 21. In another contradiction of the special master, Cannon blocked his authority to issue interim reports. Dearie firmly responded to her flip-flopping:

“In the original Appointing Order, the Court directed that ‘the Special Master shall submit interim reports and recommendations as appropriate. Upon receipt and resolution of any interim reports and recommendations, the Court will consider prompt adjustments to the Court’s orders as necessary.’ However, the Court later struck that language as part of its order implementing an unrelated ruling by the Eleventh Circuit. As the language quoted above as to interim reports and adjustments to prior orders is consistent with the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling and the efficient administration of the Appointing Order as amended, the undersigned respectfully recommends that the Court issue an order reinstating that language.”

Dearie made this statement after a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court, two of them appointed by DDT, reversed Cannon’s order blocking the DOJ from access to documents that were marked classified while he reviews unclassified materials.

DDT and his lawyers also lie about Biden orchestrating the probes into DDT. DOJ’s AG Merrick Garland stated:

“I think that the president made clear when he appointed me that he would not interfere with in any way any criminal investigations and he has stood by that. And there has been no White House participation whatsoever.”

This week, DDT’s lawyer Alina Habba told Newmax the FBI “planted” the evidence seized on August 8 at Mar-a-Lago and accused the administration about not “following the law.” DDT’s lawyers also refuse the special master’s order to identify which top-secret documents seized with the warrant were those that DDT insisted he “declassified”—possibly by telepathy.

Over three years ago, DDT denied that he tried to hide the USS John McCain during his visit to Japan because of his antagonism toward the noted senator who died nine months earlier. New information proves the White House Military Office told military to hide the name not put anything in writing. Emails stretched over a month before DDT’s trip in late May 2019 were largely redacted, but one directly states, “USS John McCain needs to be out of sight.” Another reference states the action of covering the ship’s name with a tarp was “NOT instructed” by the 7th Fleet. Paint scaffolding was also used to obscure the name, and the ship’s sailors wearing caps with its name were given the day off during DDT’s visit. 

Text messages sent to former chief of staff Mark Meadows released this week further revealed DDT’s attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Phil Waldron, DDT supporter and retired U.S. Army colonel, sent the texts and circulated a PowerPoint presentation to federal legislators recommending that DDT declare a national emergency over the mythical “fraud” to stay in power. Waldron also helped write a draft executive order to seize voting machines that was never formally issued. On December 23, 2020, Waldron told Meadows that Arizona was the “lead domino,” and they had to move fast. Meadows’ brief responses indicated agreement with the plans.  

Three shooting survivors’ families in Uvalde (TX) are suing the school district, gun maker and store, city officials, and law enforcement officials after the mismanaged massacre of students and teachers on May 24. The lawsuit names ten defendants, including the school district police chief Pete Arredondo who was fired several months after extreme controversy.  Many red flags surrounded the isolated and depressed teenager regarding his potential for this type of violence from fixation on cruelty. Friends often ridiculed the teenage boy for looking like a “school shooter.”

A three-person legislative panel ruled “systemic failures” and “egregiously poor decision making” among all levels of law enforcement involved, the school, the family, and the shooters but found no one responsible. Investigators questioned whether frequent lockdown practices, 50 at the school in three months before the massacre, contributed to the teenager’s success through complacency. Law enforcement sent to the school were also trained to apprehend migrants, not deal with mass shooters. Officers early on the scene thought the threat could be a “bailout,” a term for fleeing suspected migrants because the school’s alert system didn’t specify the threat.

The legislative panel reported that law enforcement prioritized their own lives over those of the children and found excessive problems with lack of security—a faulty lock on classroom doors, “poor Wi-Fi connectivity” delaying alerts of the crisis, and failure of police “to adhere to their active shooter training.” In addition, the 77-page report commented on “the void of leadership” contributing to the loss of life supplemented by lack of “incident command post.” A video showed police as they waited in the hallway for 73 minutes to enter the unlocked room. They fist bumped, texted, and sanitized their hands while hearing gun shots from inside the room. Video and details here.   

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) boycotted a hearing on gun violence focused on victims and survivors of mass shootings in Buffalo (NY) and Uvalde. He said it exploited children and objected to children voluntarily testifying about their experiences.

Six people, two of them were students, were hospitalized after a shooting at an Oakland (CA) shooting at a charter school which might have been gang-related with weapons possibly banned in California. As of this shooting, the U.S. has had 508 mass shootings in the first nine months of 2022 with 545 dead and 2089 injured.

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.

September 22, 2022

More Fraud – September 22, 2022

Special master Raymond Dearie is back in the news on Thursday: he ordered the lawyers of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) to submit a sworn declaration if they believe the FBI planted evidence at Mar-a-Lago during the August 8 search. The declaration must include “a list of any specific items set forth in the Detailed Property Inventory that Plaintiff asserts were not seized from the Premises on August 8, 2022.” DDT recently repeated the accusation of FBI planting materials this week when talking to Sean Hannity on Fox network. Dearie set September 30 for the declaration’s deadline and asked DOJ for declarations about key facts regarding the search. His actions give an opening to hearing testimony about the search and seized materials from “witnesses with knowledge of the relevant facts.

The DOJ was also ordered to submit “copies of all seized materials” except those marked classified to DDT’s lawyers by September 29. DDT’s legal team must finish reviewing all documents for potential executive or attorney-client privilege by October 14 while regularly sending designations during the interim. Reviews and final designations from both sides are due by October 21. Dearie may also send  proceedings to Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who approved the search warrant. Retired federal judge James Orenstein, appointed by George W. Bush, has been hired to help the review with his staff from the Eastern District of New York assisting. Orenstein had served “on the prosecution team in the Oklahoma City bombings trials.” Attorney General Merrick Garland played a leading role earlier in his career in the Oklahoma City investigation. Dearie said he won’t be paid for his work because the government is paying him as a federal judge but proposed that Orenstein be paid $500 per hour covered by DDT, based on an earlier court ruling.

Some of DDT’s faithful GOP senators are abandoning him, especially his ability to declassify documents just by thinking he does. John Thune (SD) said declassification has a process which should be followed and “apply to anybody who has access to or deals with classified information.” Thom Tillis (NC) agreed, and Mike Rounds (SD) called handling of classified documents a “very serious” issue. Other senators dodged the question, like Mike Braun (IN) who claimed ignorance about the “proper methodology.”

DDT made many bizarre comments about the search for government documents at Mar-a-Lago, but one that belies belief is that the FBI thought they could find “the Hillary Clinton emails that were deleted but they are around someplace.” He repeated that to Sean Hannity on Fox this week, trying to gin up rumors by lying about “a lot of speculation” in his alternative reality.   

Past fraud has returned to haunt DDT—his 2014 rivalry with the 1980s metal rocker Jon Bon Jovi to buy the football team Buffalo Bills. In the $250 million fraud civil lawsuit filed by Letitia James in New York, DDT allegedly inflated assets’ valuation to finance a purchase attempt. DDT smeared the New Jersey resident, saying was that he was too Canadian for Buffalo because of Bon Jovi’s coalition of Toronto-based investors. In his $1 billion bid for the team, DDT needed a letter from a bank that he could get $800 million in financing. A Trump Organization executive, Jeffrey McConney, told the bank that DDT’s wealth, reportedly $800 billion, had “no material decrease” since the 2013 personal statement of financial condition, but those valuations were artificially inflated with DDT’s “deceptive strategies.” Although DDT claimed Bon Jovi planned to move the Bills to Toronto, he didn’t get the team and neither did the rocker. The winning $1.4 billion bid came from Terry Pegula, owner of the Buffalo Sabres hockey team.

Conservatives complained that the nation’s unemployment insurance program to help people during the pandemic caused people to quit work and live on the “government dole.” Yet fraudsters skimmed over $45.6 billion from the program, using dead people’s Social Security numbers and identities of prisoners ineligible for aid. That finding could be incomplete because of the focus on “high risk” areas for fraud; billions of dollars may also have been stolen. Thus far,1,000 people have been charged for these crimes, and 190,000 investigative matters have been opened. The program began in 2020 under DDT’s term in the White House.

In another program to help people during the worst of COVID, 47 defendants have been charged with stealing over $250 million from Feeding Our Future to provide free meals for needy children. Other charges involved about $1 trillion in loans and grants intended for small businesses, and GOP governors have used funding from a $350 billion program by making tax cuts and immigration crackdowns—such as Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis shipping migrants from Texas to Massachusetts.

DeSantis has dropped to a new low in cruelty. He lured migrants to a hotel in San Antonio (TX) miles from their shelter with the promise to fly them to jobs, homes, and help in Delaware, only to cancel the flight and abandon the people. An anonymous source close to DeSantis stated that the flight, supposedly scheduled to land about 20 miles from President Joe Biden’s beach home, was to “punk” media and Democratic officials and “put a spotlight on the border.” Migrants were told they could stay in the hotel for the night before the bogus flight if they didn’t talk about the travel plans or who arranged them. The next morning, they were told the flight was canceled. Their recruiters hired a bus them back to San Antonio’s Migrant Resource Center ten miles away which would provide three days of shelter and aid. Some migrants were not told about the bus, and none of them received food after the flight was canceled.

In April, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) sought federal protection for Venezuelan asylum seekers in the U.S.; five months later he accuses them of entering the U.S. “illegally.” He also doesn’t twisted the law, lying that migrants kidnapped by Florida’s governor from Texas and transported across several state lines could not sue for legal recourse. Rubio is only two points ahead of his reelection opponent, Val Deming.   

According to Rubio, health exceptions for the pregnant woman in an abortion ban are also a “massive loophole” and like vehicular manslaughter.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the man who fled the Texas cold during the energy shutdown for the Cancun warmth, is claiming “a great partisan victory!” In a video he took credit for a highway from Laredo to North Dakota that brings jobs and ”tens of billions of dollars” to his state, declaring his pride in the years of hard work for the project. Yet he voted against the bill unlike the other Texas senator, John Cornyn, among 18 Republican senators.

The GOP, party who claims to want transparency, unanimously blocked a Senate bill revealing names of donors giving over $10,000. Republicans need the dark money to get elected.

House Republicans briefly released their policy platform called “Commitment to America” on House Minority Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) website but soon dropped the public’s ability to see the document. Before its disappearance, however, multiple screenshots were taken. It criticizes the Democrats reduction of popular prescription drug costs and “fight inflation and curb the cost of living” through cuts in government spending and taxes, probably for the wealthy as in the 2017 GOP law. Its promise to “save and strengthen Social Security and Medicare” was preceded by a GOP House committee meeting to reduce coverage and cut benefits by “massively” slashing Social Security in its proposed 2023 budget. Another “commitment” is new restrictions on voter access, including mandating voter ID, loosening rules on voter roll purges, and increasing access for observers during elections.

The platform is reminiscent of Newt Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract with America.” McCarthy, however, proposed only one bill promised to get floor votes instead of Gingrich’s ten, a Parental Bill of Rights based on blocking the teaching of “critical race theory.” Deliberately vague, the agenda doesn’t deal in specifics. The one-page document, now removed from McCarthy’s website, is here

McCarthy tried the same grocery store stunt as Pennsylvania’s GOP candidate for U.S. senate, Mehmet Oz, to show the plight of people in the U.S. and failed, just like Oz. In a video with the store as backdrop, McCarthy talked for 15 seconds about financial problems before hellish images and statements about the country’s drugs, inflation, and kids falling behind because of non-existent school closures. He lied about the U.S. being in a recession, and he had no Republican solution, only GOP control of the House.

Claremont, MAGA’s most prominent think tank, is home not only to John Eastman, legal architect of DDT’s plan to overturn the 2020 presidential election, but also the “Sheriff Fellows,” MAGA sheriffs learning the fellowship’s curriculum of two sets of people in the U.S.—communities to be treated as freely and brutally as law enforcement wish and the “real Americans” who are above the law. Sheriffs are a likely target for extremism because the office is vulnerable and can enable vigilantes to exert havoc on society. They have great authority with tanks, helicopters, SWAT teams, battering rams, surveillance technology and guns to terrify community members. Claremont’s curriculum for training these sheriffs is here. Sheriffs are elected; voters should be wary.

And Thomas Barrack, DDT’s close friend, is on trial this week for secretly lobbying DDT on behalf of the United Arab Emirates for personal power and financial gain.

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