Nel's New Day

November 20, 2020

GOP Definition of Election Fraud: DDT Lost

President-elect Joe Biden:

From Max Moran: 277 policies Biden can enact on his first day.

With the shortening of transition time, Republicans are losing valuable time to smear Cabinet recommendations and the Democrats’ upcoming presidential actions. Instead, the conservative media is filled with conservative stories ad infinitum about the non-existent election fraud and stories of sobbing supporters claiming they will die for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) or organizing militias to kill anyone who opposes DDT. The GOP is also becoming more split than before the election as some conservatives start to grudgingly reject QAnon conspiracy theories and accept DDT as a loser. GOP lawmakers, conservative lawyers, and right wing media figures admit DDT’s legal team should either back up their claims with evidence or quit.

Tucker Carlson criticized DDT’s lawyer Sidney Powell when she got “angry” because he asked her for proof of election fraud. He reported she told him to stop contacting her for evidence. A QAnon member, Powell shared the lie at yesterday’s press conference about how communist countries installed an algorithm to flip voting machines from DDT to Biden. Like other conspiracy theories, the claim hasn’t been presented in court.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) tweeted:

“Having failed to make even a plausible case of widespread fraud or conspiracy before any court of law, the President has now resorted to overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election. It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President.”

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) ridiculed DDT’s legal team for allegations of “grand fraud” without going to court with them. He referenced the legal penalties “for lying to judges.” Even loyal conservative Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said, “This is a time for evidence in court.”

After twice endorsing DDT, the editorial board at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, owned by DDT’s billionaire donor Sheldon Adelson, wrote DDT is doing a “disservice to his more rabid supporters by insisting that he would have won the Nov. 3 election absent voter fraud.” GOP strategist Karl Rove, influential in the George W. Bush administration, wrote at the Wall Street Journal that “this election won’t be overturned.” The editorial board at the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post editorial board told DDT to “stop the stolen election rhetoric” and to “get Rudy Giuliani off TV.” At the conservative National Review, Andrew McCarthy, cataloging DDT’s legal setbacks, asserted the effort is doomed.

Attorney Jonathan Turley, DDT defender through the impeachment trial, commented DDT’s lawyers not filing their “sweeping claims” in court is “breathtaking.

House Democrats wrote Emily Murphy to appear before the Oversight and Appropriations committees on Monday to explain why she has not begun the transition period. The administration followed this law for every other president-elect in modern times except for George W. Bush during the dispute about fewer than 2,000 votes in Florida. Although the Supreme Court stopped the vote and determined Bush the person to be inaugurated, a final vote showed Al Gore won the state and the election by over 600 votes. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) tweeted Murphy with the letter demanding her presence in the House:  

“We have been incredibly patient, @GSAEmily, but we can wait no longer. Your refusal to follow the law is active and existential threat to our democratic norms and institutions. You owe us, and the American people, an explanation. We are demanding you provide one. By Monday.”

In his heartless sabotage of Biden’s economy, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wants to not only refuse people $455 billion from the CARES Act but to also destabilize financial markets by terminating five of nine lending programs. The Federal Reserve objected to recklessly withdrawing emergency programs allowing them flexibility just as COVID-19 is skyrocketing. In his private life, Mnuchin was known for “widow foreclosures,” one of them for $0.27 on a 90-year-old woman.   


DDT briefly appeared from hiding today today to claim “I won.”

After top GOP Michigan leaders visited with DDT in the White House, they reported:

They had “not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome.” [They think they may still find some “information”?]

“We will follow the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan’s electors, just as we have said throughout this election.” [What do they see as “the law” and “normal”? And as they have “said,” in a state where two Republicans are denying certification for Biden because of their impression of election fraud—i.e., Biden won.”]

“Allegations of fraudulent behavior should be taken serious, thoroughly investigated, and if proven, prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” [What do the Republicans see as “proven”?]

Republicans are good at twisting claims. For example, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) said last week he would “step in” if DDT didn’t begin the transition to Biden; this week, he said he didn’t mean he’d really do anything. He just had the ability.

DDT is working through GOP legislators in the swing states, now considering those from Pennsylvania. Too late for Georgia: they certified the vote for the Electoral College today.

DDT Lawsuits:

DDT’s legal team used data from Minnesota as (false) evidence of election fraud in Michigan. Lawyers are also using affidavits as evidence, for example one from a Texas resident working in cybersecurity claiming susceptible tallying machines in Michigan. The same claim reported votes switched from DDT to Biden in “Antium County, Michigan.” No county of this name exists in the U.S., let alone Michigan. Any mistaken voting tallies in “Antrium County” were already corrected. All 83 Michigan counties have certified their results, and the state canvassing board meets Monday, November 23, to determine its certification.

A judge dismissed an Arizona case, the last pending one in the state, based on two voters stating their votes were not correctly counted. The five-member Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, four of five Republicans, voted unanimously to certify the election results.  

Nevada expects to certify its statewide results on Tuesday, November 24, the day before a Carson City judge is scheduled to hear DDT’s request to overturn or annul all Nevada’s votes.  

DDT’s new attempts at litigation in Pennsylvania include a demand that certification of votes be blocked and 1.5 million mail-in ballots in seven counties, the ones he lost, be examined. No one has reported widespread fraud or irregularities in those counties so he wants certification blocked until someone finds evidence. Monday, November 23, is the state deadline to certify votes for the Electoral College. Berks County, which DDT won by eight points, said it won’t do it until the next day. DDT’s goal is to have GOP legislators pick the representatives to vote for DDT in the electoral college meeting on December 14. (Deadlines for state certification of votes.) 


Among those recently posting positive: DDT’s son, Donald Trump Jr; Rudy Giuliani’s son, Andrew Giuliani; and at least three more White House aides. Yesterday Andrew, special assistant to DDT, attended his father’s superspreader two-hour press conference in a tightly-packed room at the RNC. His father didn’t look well. Last night on Fox network’s Sean Hannity show, Giuliani said someone should “cut the head off” Democrat leaders and made a throat-slitting motion. He had added a German company to the list of conspiracy figures to elect Biden.

Yesterday, Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) DHS committee hearing didn’t get much traction against Rudy Giuliani’s meltdown about election fraud, but the event, stacked with hydroxychloroquine advocates, lasted two hours. Johnson is still pushing for approval of DDT’s favorite drug to be given as a cure for COVID-19 although it has been discredited for that purpose. Ashish Jha, the one authority who was invited by a Democrat, called the hearing “a testament to how politicized science has become.” He tweeted:  

“I shared evidence of studies that have failed to find benefit of HCQ. Three other witnesses shared personal experiences. And suggested my testimony was reckless because it would deny people access to lifesaving HCQ. I found myself defending evidence, doctors, and scientists.”

Commenting on the hearing, another doctor said that people may be debating in the future if aspirin is a Republican or a Democratic drug. Fortunately for rational Wisconsinites, Johnson has promised not to run for reelection in two years.

From DDT:


Forty-two years ago this week, over 900 people died in Guyana after their cult leader, Jim Jones, encouraged them to kill themselves by drinking a poison-laced liquid similar to Kool-Aid. Yulanda Williams, a survivor who became a police officer, compared DDT’s rhetoric to that of Jones. She said:

“When we say Jonestown is the most tragic incident of a massacre of people, I say don’t forget about the commander in chief who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.” 

She is not alone in her beliefs.

“The American people know how to protect their health. We’ve dealt with COVID for many months,” press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Fox News.  On November 20, 2020, the total number of new cases rose above 200,000, the total was over 12 million, and the number of deaths came to almost 2,000 for the day.

October 3, 2020

DDT: Week 193 – His Worst Week, Thus Far

After his disastrous debate on Tuesday, many people thought the week couldn’t get worse for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). That was until last night when he was airlifted from the White House to Walter Reed hospital. Today, a little more is known about DDT’s health problems after he announced his diagnosis with COVID-19 less than 36 hours earlier. This morning, Sean Conley, the White House doctor, gave a cheery report about DDT although he waffled when a reporter repeatedly asked if DDT had been on oxygen in the hospital. Indicating DDT may have been positive longer than his early Friday morning announcement, Conley referred to “72 hours into the diagnosis” and then tried to back down on the timeline. He also refused to say when DDT was first diagnosed. Pulmonologist Brian Garibaldi told reporters DDT had received an experimental antibody treatment 48 hours earlier

DDT’s chief of staff Mark Meadows gave a different report about DDT’s condition:

“The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning, and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”

Meadows also reported that DDT’s oxygen “dropped rapidly” before he was taken to the hospital. Furious because of Meadows’ report, DDT released a video and photographs of himself working in the hospital.

Conley said the team looks toward the 7- to 10-day mark of the virus’s course which can bring a second phase of symptoms, but the public doesn’t know when that will be. The obfuscation, combined with the administration being well known for lying, indicates future concealment of DDT’s health condition.

DDT didn’t even have a test for COVID-19 before Tuesday’s debate as the candidates agreed. At the very least, he might have tested negative and still been able to infect others; in the worst scenario, he knew he had contracted the disease and hid it. In the latter case, he would have deliberately exposed his opponent, Joe Biden, all Biden’s guests at the debate, moderator Chris Wallace, and anyone else working the event.

More Republicans are reporting positive tests for the virus. Chris Christie, who also attended the “super-spreader” event where DDT nominated Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court, now tests positive. The 58-year-old also prepped DDT for his rude, angry performance against Joe Biden at the first—and perhaps only—debate. Also testing positive is the third GOP senator in just a few days, Ron Johnson, 65, has become well known for using false Russian propaganda in a committee report intended to damage Biden’s election responses.

With several GOP senators forced to isolate from COVID-19 and others who should quarantine themselves because of exposure to the virus, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recessed the Senate until October 19. He maintains, however, that the Judiciary Committee can meet on a virtual basis to move Barrett to the floor for confirmation. If they do not, McConnell can put the vote on the floor without committee acceptance. Two questions are whether McConnell can carry through with his promise to meet for a vote and whether he will have enough GOP senators out of isolation and/or quarantine to confirm her.

Because Barrett tested positive for coronavirus last summer and now tests negative, it might be assumed she can no longer infect anyone with COVID-19. Coronavirus, however, is highly unpredictable. Senators who met with her in the past week might have some concerns about whether they become infected. On the House side, several representatives traveled with DDT last week before returning to the floor for several votes. Since DDT’s diagnosis, both congressional chambers have had an outbreak of testing.  

Friday, after the announcement of DDT’s and Melania Trump’s positive diagnosis for the virus, HHS Secretary Alex Azar testified the Trump family cannot be expected to follow recommended public health recommendations because “the protective aspect around them is a different situation than the rest of us” and they live in a “protective bubble.” When asked to wear masks at the debate, DDT’s family refused despite it being the rule of the debate and the venue. Azar then claimed the virus spread is a matter of “individual responsibility” and avoided a question from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) about DDT packing his recent rallies where he refused to acknowledge the virus severity. Azar said people should wash their hands, wear a mask, watch distancing, and “evaluate [their] individual circumstances.”

Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany looked like a fool after she called the Supreme Court nominee a “Rhodes scholar.” Corrected, she responded, “My bad.” Barrett attended Rhodes College, a Tennessee liberal arts school with approximately 2,000 students; a Rhodes Scholar wins a prestigious scholarship award to attend the University of Oxford in England. Jessica Valenti tweeted, “I’ve been to Rhode Island so I, too, am a Rhodes Scholar.” Other “Rhodes Scholars” wrote about their connections to “roads,” a book report on pro-wrestler Dusty Rhodes, and poet Robert Frost for “The Road Not Taken.”

Over 1,500 Rhodes College alumni signed a letter protesting Barrett’s nomination because “both her record and the process that has produced her nomination are diametrically opposed to the values of truth, loyalty, and service that we learned at Rhodes.” The letter asked the Senate to reject her nomination.

As DDT receives care in the hospital, his EPA is making others sick with new guidelines putting more lead, arsenic, and mercury into the air. With this rollback of a 25-year-old policy, industrial plants and refineries can increase deadly pollution such as carcinogens by no longer using maximum achievable control technology (MACT) during their operations. For decades, plants installed the technology to reduce pollution 95 to 98 percent, but EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former employee of the fossil fuel industry, said rolling back requirements would provide “meaningful incentives for investment that prevents hazardous air pollution.” Translation: permitting corporations to release two to ten times more pollutants will make them want to make restrictions. Another lawsuit in sight.

In a ploy for reelection this year, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) promised to reject Barrett because the process is too close to the election. Her past record shows she’ll cave in again as she broke promises to not vote for tax cuts for the wealthy until McConnell offered something he didn’t provide and not vote for Brett Kavanaugh as SCOTUS justice until he said he wasn’t anti-abortion. His past and current record shows he opposes abortion. Last February, Collins’ super PAC took $150,000 from a group connected to the defense contractor Navatek that Collins helped receive million in contracts. This week, Martin Kao, Navatek’s owner and Collins’ major donor, was arrested for bank fraud and money laundering. He’s also suspected of lying on two applications to get money from the CARES Act PPP for small businesses and may have transferred $2 million of the PPE loans to his personal account. He told the bank he had connections with “multiple unnamed U.S. senators” to get the loans who advised him on the application process and emailed the bank that a U.S. senator and member of the House would be “stepping in, if our application was getting stalled.”

Chad Wolf is chugging his way toward confirmation after illegally serving as acting DHS secretary for almost 11 months. Senate Republicans passed him out of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee after he lied under oath, this time claiming he didn’t create the family separation program. Internal memos show he did. The consulting firm of Wolf’s wife got millions of dollars from DHS contracts during Wolf’s agency leadership, but Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI said Wolf “has done a pretty good job based on all the things he has to deal with as secretary.” That includes Wolf’s refusal to follow the Supreme Court’s DACA ruling. While Wolf lied and Republicans approved, a federal judge blocked his policy of asylum fees because Wolf probably doesn’t legally serve in the position.

Yesterday, I wrote about Fox network firing Kim Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr’s girlfriend, on a sexual harassment complaint from her female assistant. DDT had used Guilfoyle’s speech on the first night of his nomination convention to bring back women voters. In a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, Biden leads DDT in this demographic by thirty percentage points. Jane Mayer’s complete article contains more details

The events of the past week have made media coverage of DDT’s tax fraud largely disappear, but Republicans are starting a probe. House Ways and Means Committee minority leader Kevin Brady (R-TX) plans to investigate the New York Times for criminal activity in obtaining the information. In Just Security, Daniel Shaviro discusses the “grave national security concern” from DDT’s “impending financial liability to unknown lenders, and of pervasive conflicts of interest as president.”

The man inaugurated as president of the United States is in the hospital with a serious case of COVID-19, the numbers of infections are rising throughout the United States, and states have decided to open up businesses and relax other guidelines for a disease that caused 7.6 million infections and almost 215,000 deaths from coronavirus in seven months. No one said the nation’s leaders are “smart.”

March 16, 2020

Congress, Russia, Saudi, Corruption

Last Friday night, the House passed a covid-19 bill by a large bipartisan majority. Unfortunately, it needed a “technical fix,” which requires a unanimous vote if the House isn’t called back into session. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) delayed the vote because he didn’t want a “rushed process,” according to Bloomberg reporter Laura Litvan. He also said that he didn’t know if it can be solved soon. The fix addressed virus-related sick leave for small firms. Gohmert finally withdrew his opposition after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin gave DDT’s stamp of approval. Because of virus concerns, the House has postponed a return to Washington for an indefinite time.

The Senate recessed for the weekend and is stalling before considering the emergency bill until after it considers the surveillance bill that the House passed last week. (That one’s a doozy: it includes the provision that AG Bill Barr must approve in writing any investigation of an elected official and/or a candidate.) Even after the Senate addresses the covid-19 bill, there will be vitriolic discussions. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) told Fox & Friends that the bill may not pass the Senate because senators don’t want sick leave for people home with the virus. He wants tax rebates which could take far more time to be reimbursed than paid sick leave.

The Senate couldn’t meet over the weekend because Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had to go home with Justice Brett Kavanaugh to celebrate the new 37-year-old federal judge, considered the most unqualified judge that McConnell has ever pushed through confirmation. It’s called campaigning for the fall election.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) [right] also complained about the paid sick leave because it might hurt businesses although the bill covers the cost with a tax credit. Without sick leave, most of these people with covid-19 will go to work and spread the disease. Johnson said it might be better for the Senate to “pass nothing at all.”

Last week, Johnson pulled a vote on a subpoena from the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that he hoped would find damaging information about Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, in Ukraine. A bipartisan group persuaded him about the Ukrainian’s unreliability as a source for the committee’s investigation. The vote, however, is only postponed. Johnson said he will issue a subpoena to a lobbying firm for the Ukrainian energy company paying Hunter Biden as a board member. Committee staff members have worked on investigations helping DDT in his reelection campaign. U.S. intelligence agencies maintain that Andrii Telizhenko, Johnson’s source, has spread disinformation about Ukraine’s involvement in the 2016 election to minimize actual Russian interference. Telizhenko, a friend of Rudy Giuliani, has appeared on the ultra-conservative One America News Network.

While DDT struggles with rapidly increasing numbers of covid-19 cases and deaths in the U.S., Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continues his path to keep power in his country. He detained four senior princes, possible heirs to the throne, in Riyadh, including MBS’s uncle Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz and cousin Mohammed bin Nayef. They were charged with treason which carries the death penalty. MBS had replaced Nayef as crown prince in 2017 and has run the kingdom since then. Prince Ahmed returned to Saudi from Britain after assurances that he would be safe. MBS consolidated his power in 2017 by arresting hundreds of princes, government ministers, and business people and detaining them in Riyadh.

Saudi is struggling with dropping oil prices and MBS’ decision to block pilgrims from Mecca because of the virus outbreak. Aramco’s profits dropped 21 percent last year to $88.2 billion, and it is lowering capital spending for 2020. The world has also not forgotten MBS’ murder of U.S. resident and journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. MBS is now repeating his 2017 actions by arresting hundreds more government officials, including military and security officers, for bribery and exploiting public office. The purge also added 16 more princes, two members of the council which decides the throne’s succession, and two judges.

In late February, MSP Patrick Harvie of the Scottish Parliament asked his colleagues to investigate DDT’s deals in which he acquired his Scotland properties, including the two multi-million dollar golf courses. Harvie said that DDT or people he’s tied with could be connected to serious crime and is seeking an “unexplained wealth order” from a Scottish court. The order is for “suspected foreign officials who have potentially laundered stolen money through the UK.” If the subject “cannot show a legitimate source for their riches,” the government can seize properties.

History will remember that Utah’s Mitt Romney was the only GOP senator who voted to impeach DDT. Payoffs for other GOP senators who claimed they voted against impeachment because DDT had “learned his lesson”:

  • Lamar Alexander (TN) – $9 million for high-speed broadband infrastructure projects;
  • Susan Collins (ME) – $9.5 million for affordable housing units;
  • Cory Gardner (CO) – $20 million for airport upgrades;
  • Lisa Murkowski (AK) – $20 million Port Infrastructure Development Program grant for Phase One costs at the Port of Alaska.

Collins, up for a difficult reelection this year, voted to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh despite his anti-abortion stand and for the tax cut benefiting the wealthy and big business even if she said she didn’t like it. She’s at the bottom of the Senate popularity contest and may lower her rating with the latest find. In 2009, she refused to include pandemic flu funding in an economic stimulus bill during the Great Recession. Democrats warned that the $870 million from the $787 billion would keep them from fighting an infectious disease outbreak, but she promised to withdraw her vote for the bill if that money was included. She said the funds “do not boost our economy” and persuaded two other Republicans to follow her example.

Eric Prince, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ brother and heir to $1 billion, advises DDT and almost persuaded him to let Prince set up a private military service for the U.S.. Congress accused Prince of lying under oath and referred criminal charges to the DOJ, a useless action since Bill Barr became AG. In the past, Prince moved to the UAE to keep from federal prosecution and claims that he is untouchable. Now the FBI is investigating Prince for trying to modify two U.S. crop-dusting planes into attack aircraft, a violation of arms trafficking regulations. He used the planes as part of the private services he suggested selling or using in Africa and Azerbaijan. The FBI investigation includes his lying to Congress and an armed aviation proposal to the UAE along with heightened scrutiny of Barr.

Prince has recruited U.S. and British spies to work with the right-wing group Project Veritas, known for doctored videos in false stings, to infiltrate at least one Democratic congressional campaign for Abigail Spanberger and organizations “considered hostile” to DDT. Ex MI6 officer Richard Seddon ran a 2017 operation to copy files and record conversations in an office of the teachers’ union AFT. In late 2015 or early 2016, Prince arranged for James O’Keefe and his Project Veritas to receive training in intelligence and elicitation techniques from a retired military intelligence operative named Euripides Rubio Jr. Rubio soon quit, saying that the Veritas group couldn’t learn.

DDT’s defense against Russian interference to elect him is to repeat that he’s tough on Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. Here are some of DDT’s favors for Russia:

  • DDT appointed his own loyalists to head up the intelligence agencies who ordered employees not to release information and who say that there’s no evidence of Russian interference.
  • DDT sent anti-tank missiles to Ukraine under conditions that make them useless against Russia.
  • DDT spread a disinformation campaign that Ukraine was responsible for the election interference, not Russia.
  • DDT protected Russia by withholding aid to Ukraine until publicity made him uncomfortable.
  • DDT still refuses to invite Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to the White House to help Zelensky negotiate with Putin.
  • DDT’s sanctions on Iran helps Russia by boosting the price of oil.
  • DDT strengthened Russia’s longtime ally, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and ended support for moderate Syrian rebels which Russia wants.
  • DDT removed U.S. forces out of northern Syria, abandoned the Kurdish U.S. allies, and allowed Russians to move into abandoned U.S. bases.
  • DDT helped Russia in Libya by giving Khalifa Hifter information for overthrowing a UN-backed government in Tripoli.
  • Sanctions on Russia were done over DDT’ objections, and DDT persuaded the GOP Senate to lift them on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
  • DDT weakened NATO through incessant criticism and portrayal of the members as deadbeats.
  • DDT always believes Putin and never criticizes him.
  • DDT’s biggest help for Russia is his spreading chaos in the U.S. and its government through polarization of the U.S. people and denigrating U.S. intelligence officers and diplomats.

As the commentator on a popular Russian TV show said:

“I look at Trump and think: ‘May God grant him good health — and another term.’ This is a great situation for Russia.”

And the Republican Party blindly backs DDT and pro-Russia policies against U.S. benefits.

April 20, 2015

Wisconsin Senator an Example of Uncaring Rich

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who used $8.8 million of his own money to get elected in 2010, was then the tenth wealthiest congressional member with almost $50 million, up from almost $20 million the previous year. By now, he’s gone down to thirtieth wealthiest in Congress but remains in about the top 5 percent within a group of very wealthy people.

One could call Johnson a “self-made” man because his wealth comes from his marriage to University of Minnesota sweetheart, Jane Curler. Her father, Howard Curler, started a company in 1958 with Robert Woods that developed innovative packaging—shrink-wrapped cheese and meat packaging, films for coffee and other products, etc. Almost 40 years ago, Curler created a business, PACUR, for son Patrick that sold its products exclusively to Dad. Son-in-law Ron Johnson joined the company in 1979.

Johnson’s wealth, and the way that he procured it, is not the problem, however. It’s his indifference to the other 95 percent of the people in the United States who haven’t found a wealthy spouse to give them the same opportunities. Recently he agreed with radio host Jay Weber in criticizing the use of “sad sack stories about who’s dying from what and why they can’t get their coverage” to promote “Obamacare.”

For the second time, Johnson has lost a lawsuit to stop congressional members and their staff from getting health insurance subsidies by arguing that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) required them to get insurance on their own. In the first judgment against Johnson, U.S. District Judge William Griesbach ruled that Johnson and his aide, Brooke Ericson, lacked standing to bring the suit because they had not been injured under an equal protection theory. Griesbach wrote, “The Constitution wisely cabins judicial authority by forbidding judges from deciding disputes unless the plaintiff is actually injured in some concrete, discernible way.” The George W. Bush-appointed judge added:

“The nation’s system of government doesn’t allow every controversy to play out in court. There is nothing in the Constitution stipulating that all wrongs must have remedies, much less that the remedy must lie in federal court. In fact, given the Constitution’s parsimonious grant of judicial authority, just the opposite is true.”

A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concurred with Griesbach after Johnson appealed the decision. “Respectfully, we do not see how Senator Johnson’s reputation could be sullied or his electability diminished by being offered, against his will, a benefit that he then decided to refuse,” Judge Joel Flaum, a Reagan appointee, wrote for the panel. The other two judges were appointed for Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton.

Johnson is frustrated because the judge failed “to address the important constitutional issues at hand” although addressing from these plaintiffs would be unconstitutional. After two failures in the courts, Johnson is reviewing the decision before deciding whether to drop the matter, ask the full appeals court to review the decision, or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) called the lawsuit “an unfortunate political stunt” that would cause top congressional staff to quit if Johnson won.

Three years ago, Johnson tried to convince voters of the ACA’s evils by claiming that his daughter’s heart surgery would not have been possible with ACA as the law. He claimed that he ran for the Senate to replace the “healthcare freedom” prior to the ACA. Dr. John Foker disagreed with Johnson’s story. On the other hand, the man who saved the life of Johnson’s daughter is “generally supportive” of the ACA but thinks it doesn’t go far enough. He said, “Unfortunately it was written by the insurance and drug companies, so not so great.” In addition, the surgery was performed at a government-funded medical institution and was developed under the socialized healthcare systems in Brazil and France.

After a GOP president lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and insisted on a multi-trillion-dollar war, Johnson wants to privatize medical care for veterans and run the VA at a profit. This was after he accused President Obama of not keeping enough troops in Iraq. With the Republicans in control of Congress, Johnson’s plan is moving toward fruition after Concerned Veterans for America, funded by the Koch brothers, released a report supporting privatization. Veterans would have a private insurance option, and one-fifth of future veterans might not be eligible for care under tougher enrollment standards. Real veterans’ groups oppose the plan, and this clip from the The Rachel Maddow Show discusses why privatization would be a disaster.

Health insurance isn’t the only thing that Johnson wants to take from people; he wants to force single women to marry. The new chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said that a single woman who wants to “increase her take-home pay” instead of having yet “another child out of wedlock” to increase her welfare windfall should instead “find someone to support her.” He may be projecting his personal experience on the poor.

The idea that women have more children to get more government benefits has been debunked by both Politifact and Washington Post because food stamps, health care and other government assistance don’t come close to covering all the expenses that come with having a child. Johnson also ignores the fact that almost half the children in the current generation will spend at least part of their childhood in single-parent household, most of them headed by women and most not receiving “welfare.”

A recent study shows that almost as many poor or near-poor children are in two-parent families as in single-parents ones. In addition, countries such as Iceland, France, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Britain all have higher nonmarital birth rates than does the United States, yet they all have far lower rates of child poverty. As author and activist Barbara Ehrenreich has argued, poverty is not a lack of character, it is a lack of money. The number of “traditional families” idealized by well-funded organizations and Christian ministries is rapidly shrinking although it dominates the U.S. imagination. Johnson and his fellow Republicans are contributing to the number of “poor single women” through their support of rising economic inequality, diminishing numbers of blue-collar jobs, lowered wages, and unbelievably high levels of incarceration in poor communities.

Dozens of studies with thousands of participants throughout the United States show that people’s feelings of compassion and empathy go down as their level of wealth increases. At the same time, higher levels of wealth lead to feelings of entitlement, deservingness, and self-interest, according to Paul Piff, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine. Some of these studies are described here. One reason may be that wealth provides the luxury of less dependence on others, thus desensitizing a sense of empathy.

UC-Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner has found that this deficit physically appeared through the vagus nerve which is activated by caring. Images of suffering produced a vagus nerve response in lower-class people that didn’t appear in upper-class individuals. These are the people increasingly making decisions for society as over half the members of Congress are millionaires.

Conservatives who get very riled about these studies could look at the Republicans in Congress. Ron Johnson is just an example of conservative members who take from the poor and give to the rich.

Johnson, the senator who sued to stop ACA for congressional staff and sneered at the “sad sack” stories, is the same person who is afraid of backlash against the GOP if the Supreme Court gives the GOP what they asked for in stripping health care subsidies for millions of people in the United States. The biggest election disaster for the GOP would be in the red states where conservatives can’t—or won’t—set up state-run insurance exchanges if the Supreme Court refuses to recognize the federal exchange for those who live in poverty.

Also in Wisconsin, state representatives Jesse Kremer and Steve Nuss want food stamp recipients to show ID to eliminate the non-existent waste and fraud, forcing them to identify themselves as a lower class. The elderly can forget about asking someone to get groceries for them. Kremer also wants special government-run food pantries for people with food stamps.

The best Wisconsin story from the week: Gov.Scott Walker explained that the U.S. role in the world is “what makes us arguably the greatest nation in history.” This from the party and the person who questions President Obama’s “love for his country.”


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