Nel's New Day

November 14, 2022

News Avoiding the Election, Mostly

Great news for Arizona and democracy! Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, endorsed by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), lost her election to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Bad news for Arizona: after the losses of her and two other major DDT candidates, Mark Finchem for secretary of state and Blake Masters for U.S. senator, election liars may try to burn the state down. DDT wants an entire new election for the state because Democrats won some of the races, and some of the losers refuse to concede, saying that they will ensure that they win. With a little over 100,000 ballots still to be counted, Kris Mayes is only 3,000 votes ahead of GOP Abe Hamadeh, another DDT election liar who can bring lawsuits for the state.

In a three-hour face-to-face meeting, President Joe Biden and Chinese President XI Jinping looked for ways to work together. Biden said there will be no “new Cold War” and believes China has no imminent plans to invade Taiwan. The leaders were in Bali for the G20 summit, and the meeting came after months of quiet negotiations. Biden asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken to follow up on the discussion in Beijing as part of a long process to thaw a tense relationship. Biden kept DDT’s tariffs and restricted selling semiconductors and chip-making equipment to China.

For the first time, Xi warned against nuclear weapons in Russia’s war when he met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a clear signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin. A Chinese senior official said on the condition of anonymity:

“I think there is undeniably a discomfort in Beijing about what we’ve seen in terms of reckless rhetoric and activity on the part of Russia. I think it is also undeniable that China is probably both surprised and a little bit embarrassed by the conduct of Russian military operations.”

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was absent for part of the summit after he was taken to the hospital for a heart problem. He said he is fine. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), possibly the biggest liar in the Senate, feels that Biden is compromised by China. No evidence, just a “feeling.”

The House January 6 investigative committee may subpoena the phone records of Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward according to a Supreme Court ruling. She had claimed the request for her phone records violated the First Amendment. The committee requested call records, phone numbers, text messages, and IP addresses communicating with Ward’s number between November 2020 to January 2021 when she was connected to the scam of an Arizona alternate electors’ slate to overturn Joe Biden’s victory.      

Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented from the decision without explanation. Thomas’ wife, Ginni Thomas, had taken part of the attempted coup by writing 29 Arizona lawmakers, urging them to choose “a clean slate of electors” instead of the state electors pledged to Biden in support of the popular vote. Ward and her husband were “fake electors” from Arizona, lying about the 2020 presidential election in their state. Both the state district court and the 9th Circuit Court disagreed with Ward’s arguments, one of the three-judge panel a DDT appointee.

Ginni Thomas is working on another coup, this one to get rid of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for congressional leaders. She joined almost 60 far-right politicians, some of them like Thomas investigated by the House January 6 investigative committee, in signing a letter to delay the choice of GOP leadership in the 118th Congress.  The American Independent’s senior political reporter Emily C. Singer called it a “who’s who of insurrection supporting Republicans.”

A DDT-supported federal judge in the U.S. District Court for D.C. dismissed a year-old lawsuit by Mark Meadows, DDT’s former chief of staff, to block the House investigative committee to subpoena him. He will likely appear and run the clock out to the end of the 117th Congress, but the ruling is a precedent for many other suits in the same court. Meadows was on the telephone when DDT tried to persuade Georgia election officials to “find” sufficient votes for his victory and with DDT on January 6, 2021 when insurrections illegally entered the Capitol.

A federal judge blocked attempts by Rudy Giuliani to dismiss a lawsuit brought by two Georgia election workers, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. Giuliani’s accusation of election fraud by the mother/daughter pair caused serious threats and harassment against them; Freeman even had to leave her home for months. Giuliani had falsified a video for his lies.

The Senate returns next week, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), also elected for that position in the 118th Congress, scheduled a Wednesday vote on the bill to codify the right to same-gender and interracial marriage. Democratic leader Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) said she thinks the bill has the 60 votes to overcome a filibuster and has reached an agreement on “commonsense” changes to protect religious freedom with Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ, and Thom Tillis (R-NC). In July, almost 50 House Republicans joined Democrats to pass the bill.  

When Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) politely protested Elon Musk’s allowing Twitter impersonation of him—and many others—Musk responded by saying Marky’s own account “sounds like a parody.” Marky tweeted back:

“One of your companies is under an FTC consent decree. Auto safety watchdog NHTSA is investigating another for killing people. And you’re spending your time picking fights online. Fix your companies. Or Congress will.”

A fake tweet from Eli Lilly about free insulin in a supposedly verified account brought outrage after Lilly’s “apology” that it was false, including from a parody imitating Lilly:

“We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account about the cost of diabetic care. Humalog is now $400. We can do this whenever we want and there’s nothing you can do about it. Suck it. Our official Twitter account is @LiIlyPadCo.”

About 37.3 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and 8.4 million need insulin to survive. To manufacture, a vial costs under $10, but Lilly’s list price is $274.70, the generic at $82.41. Most people on insulin require 2-3 vials a month so at least 1.3 million people risk their lives by rationing their insulin. The Inflation Reduction Act caps insulin out-of-pocket costs at $35 per month for Medicare participants, but Republicans blocked all other price caps.  

In the midst of ballot-counting, the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel released the newly declassified summary of a joint interview with George W. Bush and his VP Dick Cheney regarding the September 11 attacks. Members of the 9/11 Commission, did not record the event on April 29, 2004, and the released summary document is the only official record, a “memorandum for the record.”

Bush evidenced no sense about the death and destruction set free by his global war; the interview was at the same time as a massive insurgency in Iraq against a U.S. occupation which would kill thousands of U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Seeing the first plane hit the World Trade Center, he thought what a terrible pilot. When his chief of staff Andy Card told him the U.S. was under attack, he stayed in the classroom where he had been reading My Pet Goat to children. He tried to “collect his thoughts” and decided he should “project calm and strength.”

Communications equipment kept failing, including the secure phone line between Bush and Cheney. Bush couldn’t find Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and complained about not having “good television” on Air Force One. Cheney was responsible for authorizing the military to shoot down civilian aircraft. Bush also claimed he didn’t know anything about Saudi nationals receiving permission to leave the country after 9/11.

Bush said he got no “actionable intelligence” About Osama Bin Laden and preparation for hijackings or other attacks in the U.S. and claimed CIA Director George Tenet said “the threat was overseas.” Cheney criticized congressional oversight of covert operations, especially by the CIA, because it weakened the agency. To make the U.S. less vulnerable to attack, Bush said, “We had to kill them before they kill us.” Working with Putin was important to use U.S. military and intelligence of bases in central Asia.

Inflation dropped to an annual rate of 7.7 percent in October, down a half percent. The biggest inflationary contributors were shelter, gasoline, and food, the first two items raising historic profits for companies. Buyers will find less inflation in used cars prices, household supplies, clothing and accessories, household gas, and some food items.

Biden gave all veterans and Gold Star families lifetime passes to national parks.

New drugs could restore a woman’s period using the same medication as used in medical abortion, misoprostol or in combination with mifepristone. The process might not be classified as abortion because the woman doesn’t know whether she is pregnant. Misoprostol is also used for gastric ulcers in nonpregnant people but have become more difficult to obtain because of its connection to abortions. The courts, however, have described abortion as related to “knowledge of a confirmed pregnancy” or “intent to end a confirmed pregnancy.” Menstrual regulation doesn’t rely on a confirmed pregnancy, and no states ban or restrict this regulation with an unknown pregnancy status.

October 19, 2022

Debates from High-profile GOP Candidates:

Debates from High-profile GOP Candidates:

In Utah, Sen. Mike Lee, being overtaken by unaffiliated Evan McMullin, desperately campaigned for a return to the U.S. Senate with nasty responses to McMullin level and factual presentation about Lee’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election in favor of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). McMullin said:

“Senator Lee, you sought to find a weakness in our system. You advised the White House, find an alternative slate of electors for Trump to overturn the will of the people. That’s what you said [about states sending alternative slates to vote for DDT] …

“You said the president should listen to legal quack Sydney Powell, ‘Please make time for her, let her in,’ you told the White House chief of staff. You told the president that you were working overtime—14 hours a day, I think you said—to unravel this for him, to keep a president who had been voted out of office according to the will of the people in power despite the will of the people. Senator Lee, it is a betrayal of the American republic. You were there to stand up for our constitution, but when the barbarians were at the gate you were happy to let them in.”

Lee answered, “I disagree with everything my opponent just said, including the words ‘but,’ ‘and,’ and ‘the.’”

Lee begged for Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-UT) endorsement on Fox’s Tucker Carlson show, a program that regularly roasts Romney. Pundits with short memories slam Romney for no endorsement, but Lee refused to endorse Romney in 2018 and gained his first Senate term in 2010 by destroying popular GOP senator, Bob Bennett, for not being sufficient right-wing. Again desperate, Lee wrote an op-ed glorifying himself in third person “he.”  

A.B. Stoddard has an excellent piece on Lee’s need for power so great that he faithfully follows DDT after rejecting him in the beginning. 

In Ohio, J.D. Vance, another DDT endorsement, faced off with Tim Ryan for the U.S. Senate in a close battle rife with anger and lies. Ryan pointed out Vance’s praise for Alex Jones as an example of Vance’s extremism. Vance denied he said that “Alex Jones is a far more reputable source of information than Rachel Maddow,” but a screen shot of his tweet proves Ryan was right. A believer in the GOP “replacement theory” that Democrats were trying to replace all white people with minorities, Vance tried to hide behind his biracial child. His wife is Indian American. He frequently connects President Joe Biden’s southern border policies with increased fentanyl trafficking in his state, accusing Biden of trying “to kill a bunch of MAGA voters in the middle of the heartland.”

In the debate, Vance followed the DDT party line, dismissing the House investigation into the insurrection. The attack on Ryan’s voting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) came from Ryan’s statements in the first debate about DDT’s remark regarding Vance’s “kissing my ass” to get his support. Ryan said Vance should move back to San Francisco if he wants to run against Pelosi. 

Vance has joined the crazy QAnon conspiracy theory of kitty litter boxes in schools for “furries, ”the evidence-free belief about students pretending to be cats, and said he wants the school to tell him if his child “identifies as a chipmunk.” Despite multiple claims from losing GOP candidates, only one school districts keeps kitty litter in classrooms: a Colorado school keeps it in “go-to” buckets for children’s use during school shootings.

In another evidence-free claim, Vance said that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “don’t say gay” law is to ban “sexually explicit material that propagandizes and encourages children to take different identities and to engage in sexually explicit acts.” The law highly restricts any discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity.  

More about Vance.  

In Georgia, DDT-endorsed Herschel Walker for U.S. Senate survived one debate telling his lies, including holding up a child’s “Junior Ranger Badge” for law enforcement in violation of debate rules he had signed. He skipped the debate at the Atlanta Press Club. His opponent, Sen. Raphael Warnock, used the extra time to describe Walker’s domestic violence and lies. A former state senator and GOP chair said people took “comfort” about Walker’s “ability to stand up … and look like he’s fundamentally in charge of … himself.”

Immediately after the announcement of the first abortion, a prayer circle hosted by First Baptist Church Pastor Anthony George called for Walker’s divinely anointment. About pointing a gun at his wife’s head and threatening to kill her, he claims to be redeemed. In far-right Christian evangelical lexicon, Walker paid to have his own child murdered, but they abandoned  the teachings of Jesus to control the U.S. Senate. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) called Warnock, a pastor, an “abomination.” 

A third candidate, Libertarian Chase Oliver, participated in the debate. A gay man, Oliver attacked Walker’s anti-LGBTQ stance. If no one receives at least 50 percent of the vote on November 8, a run-off on December 6 between the top two will determine the winner. Republicans moved up the timing since the last Senate election as well as eliminating any new voter registrations between Midterms and the run-off, trying to avoid their problems in 2021 when they lost two Senate seats.

In the past two weeks, Walker admitted he lied about not knowing the ex-girlfriend, mother of one of his illegitimate children, and paying her; denied he urged her to get another abortion two years after the first one; and uses his book, published two years before the ex-girlfriend’s first abortion, to excuse himself because he was saved “by the grace of god.” Walker claimed abortion kills babies but there “was nothing to be ashamed of” if the claims are true.

Perhaps trying to divert the media from the abortions’ stories, Walker claimed his grandmother was “full-blood Cherokee” and his mother “part Native American, a big part.” Walker’s mother said she couldn’t confirm his claims,” and the Cherokee Nation, which keeps excellent records, has no evidence of Walker’s claim. When Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) claimed to have Native American ancestry, she was ridiculed for years; Walker’s lie was barely a blip on the radar.

Walker is the classic deadbeat dad who he claims to hate. He’s a typical poorly-parented adolescent who lies to get out of trouble, tells really bad, pointless jokes like the one on bulls and cows, threatens to beat up or kill people, and runs away from all his responsibilities. DDT didn’t even go to Georgia to support his own candidate. Instead, surrogates Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Rick Scott (R-FL) were sent, and Cotton was forced to laugh at transgender servicemembers along with Walker. Although Walker never served in the military, he claimed to do “lots of things in the military,” and his son is gay. Cotton also lied when he claimed to be “a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Georgia’s Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said he couldn’t vote for Walker but can’t vote for Warnock. He described himself and “hundreds of thousands of other Republicans here in Georgia … confused. We don’t really have anywhere to go right now.” Mistaking Duncan for a TV pundit, Walker disparaged his statements. Polls are all over the place in Georgia from a two-percent lead for Walker to a 12-percent lead for Warnock. Early voting started last Monday with big crowds.

Joe Scarborough called Walker “the perfect lab experiment on just how low Republican voters are willing to go.” According to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, DDT “wants to show that nothing matters.” The more DDT and MAGAs abolish the rules, the less the rules count.

More about Walker.

Also in Georgia, a debate between Gov. Brian Kemp and Democrat opponent Stacey Abrams in the gubernatorial election drew much less notice, likely because of no buffoon for the policy-based event. and the hour-long event was policy-based. Four years ago, Kemp was able to purge voter rolls and otherwise control the election while he was Secretary of State; this year, he commands the field as an incumbent who has not destroyed the state and can still control some campaign financing to benefit himself.

Abrams presented a list of Georgia’s problems—spiking crime, rising home prices, and Chinese government’s purchase of the state’s farmland. Kemp attacked her on a position of “defund the police,” touting his endorsements, but she pointed out that endorsements are typically related to long-entrenched power in the state. His answer to any question was that Georgia reopened the state’s businesses and schools earlier than any other state in 2020, including those about racial disparities, local economy, expanding Medicaid, and budget surplus.

Kemp also signed a law permitting anyone in Georgia to carry a firearm without a license after the mass shootings in 2021. He claimed he wouldn’t seek any further restrictions in laws or contraception although he secretly expressed an openness to these changes. Georgia already blocks abortions after six weeks before many women are unaware of a pregnancy. Caught on audio, he claimed he was just humoring his audience. He does want a law stopping “divisive concepts” and a “parent’s bill of rights”—meaning white nationalist curriculum and only conservative parents’ “rights.”

In a Wisconsin debate, an audience laughed at Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) when he whined about being “set up” by the FBI to explain why he had to be warned that the Kremlin tried to make him a “Russian asset.” He claimed that the FBI used “a corrupt briefing and then leaked that to smear me.” Johnson blamed the laughter on college students who might have sneaked into the debate because they are “taught leftist propaganda” and called the January 6 insurrection “peaceful” by “people … that truly respect law enforcement [who] would never do anything to break the law.”  

Johnson is paying a law firm connected to a January 6 probe into overturning the 2020 election. The campaign listed expenses as “recount,” indicating he may be getting ready for a loss in three weeks. Johnson also received donations from a DDT attorney accused in the state’s fake elector effort. Asked the usual question to say something positive about his opponent, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Johnson said he wanted to know why “he turned against America.” Johnson was booed.

Other Johnson policies: retirees should go back to work, Social Security and Medicare will disappear if they aren’t voted in every year, and he doesn’t know if he will accept defeat. Johnson is also open to the conspiracy theory that COVID vaccines cause AIDS and wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Plus more.

September 13, 2022

News – September 13, 2022

Once again, Republicans reinforced their message that they can’t be trusted. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) dropped a bombshell today when he announced for the sixth time that the GOP would pass a national law preventing abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy if Republicans took the Congress in 2022. (The bill actually states “at 15 weeks”—a week less, important when time is of the essence.) When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, the majority assured women that the abortion ban was only state-wide, that they could go to states permitting abortions for the procedure.  

Nationwide, 60 percent in polling support abortions in all or most cases, up from 55 percent in March, according to the Wall Street Journal. Graham said that he chose 15 weeks because “unborn child” (a fetus) the fetus can then feel pain. Studies show that the sensation of pain doesn’t occur until after 24 weeks. Advocates of the bill refer to 15-week abortions as “late-term,” a term used for pregnancies after at least 21 to 24 weeks. Asked about Graham’s proposal, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said most GOP senators prefer abortion to be under state law rather than a national restriction.

On May 3, Graham said that each state deciding the legality of abortion “and on what terms … is the most constitutionally sound way of dealing with this issue.” On August 7, 2022, Graham said, “I’ve been consistent. I think states should decide…the issue of abortion.” Yet he proposed a national abortion restriction less than two months before an election largely focused on the loss of women’s rights.

Graham’s press conference announcing his proposed federal anti-abortion bill covered the other big news of the day, the Dow Jones dropping over 1,200 points because of the 0.1 percent August inflation increase. Food and gas continued to drop in prices, but some tech stocks lost up to ten percent. The biggest increase in prices for August was in medical services, a problem that the Inflation Reduction Act is intended to address. Rising rents were also responsible for the inflation increase.  

Another commentary on the filing by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) to keep government-owned classified documents in the National Archives instead of in DDT’s unlocked desk drawers while he is gone for months: DDT’s attorneys compared those documents to tapes found in “the Clinton sock drawer,” when describing personal tapes from Bill Clinton’s interviews with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch as part of a memoir about Clinton’s views on the issues of the day. Branch made follow-up tapes of his impressions, and the resulting book, The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President, came out in 2009. A 2012 ruling from a case filed by the conservative Judicial Watch demanding they have access to the recordings established the difference between a private record and a Presidential Records Act document in post-presidency. According to the ruling by U.S. district judge Amy Jackson, the Presidential Records Act identifies Clinton’s tapes as personal records, “purely private or nonpublic,” not official presidential materials such as the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago.  

House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney has asked that the National Archives review DDT administration’s presidential records in a search for “presidential records … outside the agency’s custody and control. She sent this request after the archives staff told the committee that “the agency is not certain whether all presidential records are in its custody.” Maloney also asked the archives “seek a personal certification from Donald Trump that he has surrendered all presidential records that he illegally removed from the White House after leaving office.”

Kenneth Starr has died at the age of 76, after complications from surgery. Widely accused of political bias, the GOP investigator spent most of Bill Clinton’s two terms pursuing the president for investment questions, which never resulted in any evidence, and then followed by impeachment after Clinton’s affair with an intern. Starr’s appointment as Baylor University president in 2010 ended six years later after a sexual assault scandal in which women alleged campus leaders bungled or ignored their complaints. A review noted that administrators, under Starr, possibly accommodated a “hostile environment against the alleged victims. In 2020, Starr took part in DDT’s defense for his second impeachment. Over 20 years earlier during Clinton’s impeachment, DDT called Starr “a total wacko” and “totally off his rocker.”

September 13 is the last day in 2022 for primaries in the U.S. determining candidates in Delaware, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. (Commentary on winners—and losers—tomorrow.) The count in Sweden’s Sunday vote still hasn’t determined whether the extremists in the far-right Democratic party will take over the nation. But one vote has been determined: Twitter shareholders accepted Elon Musk’s purchase of the company.

At the same time, Musk is working hard to get out of the $44 billion takeover, and Twitter’s stock opened on Tuesday at under $41 per share, almost 25 percent under the deal price. Musk has sent three letters to Twitter in his effort to void the agreement, the last time just days ago citing the $7.75 million severance payment the company made to whistleblower and former head of security Peter Zatko. The contract for the purchase supposedly promised no severance payments outside “past practice.” This letter followed another with Musk’s accusations of Twitter’s misrepresenting the number of spam and fake bot accounts on its platform. Twitter sued, but Zatko, a renowned hacker, testified to the Senate about alleged security and privacy vulnerabilities. The Musk-Twitter trial is scheduled for October 17.

In early August, Musk sold almost $7 billion of his Tesla shares in preparation for a forced purchase of Twitter. Openly criticizing government spending, Musk has taken $7 billion in government contacts with billions more in tax breaks, loans, and other subsidies, making the difference between profit and loss. Last summer, studies showed that Tesla vehicles running on Autopilot software had 273 crashes for the previous year, almost 70 percent of the 392 crashes reported in that time. His 18-year-old trans daughter has also filed legal documents to drop her last name of Musk and cut off any association with her father. Musk has seven children, sharing five with his ex-wife Justine Wilson and the others with ex-girlfriend Grimes.

Sample MAGA views from the third National Conservatism conference in Miami on September 11-13:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said tech companies “cannot be viewed as private entities” because “we know without a shadow of a doubt they are doing the regime’s bidding when it comes to censorship.”

A breakout session called for mandatory military service for anyone making over $250,000 a year.

Not one MAGA hat was seen at the meeting, and DDT was at his golf club in Virginia at that time after a mystery flight into Washington, D.C. Yet most 2024 presidential GOP wannabees, mostly governors and congressional members, were present: Mike Pence, Larry Hogan, Chris Christie, Nikki Haley, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Mike Pompeo, and Liz Cheney.

After a judicial order to pay $49.3 million in his first defamation trial because of conspiracy theories regarding the Sandy Hook massacre, Alex Jones heads into the second trial by plaintiffs Jones claimed were “crisis actors” who lied about the children’s deaths. Parents’ and others’ cyberstalking and threatening harassment came from his encouragement for his audience to “investigate.” Plaintiffs have also asked the court to remove its current management after it filed bankruptcy in August which Jones said would keep Infowars on the air and keep him from “paying any judgements as he appeals.” Jones also uses the court decision to advertise his supplements and forthcoming book.

Jones’ ex-wife, Kelly Jones, also plans to subpoena her ex-husbands phone records, inadvertently given to the plaintiff’s attorney. Given custody of their three children in 2017 after she filed for divorce in 2013, she maintains their father forced the children to lie about her in court and has been non-compliant about court orders. Phone records also show that Jones has been secretly surveilling both Kelly Jones and his current wife, Erika Wulff Jones, through what could be called a “spy ring.” He also had one of his security team follow his wife.

According to his financial records, highly conservative China-hater Ron Johnson, running for a third senatorial term from Wisconsin, made $57 million in the last decade from a company closely aligned with China. He purportedly sold his shares in the company but still receives up to $1 million annually from rent and royalties as owners of its building. His campaign ads have bragged about the jobs he created as a manufacturer, and his company sued the U.S. government for softer trade relations with Beijing. Johnson threatens to start an investigation into President Joe Biden’s alleged relationships with Chinese businesses. 

Ronny Jackson was first known for being DDT’s White House doctor who said DDT could live to be 200 years old. Jackson left because of drinking on the job and inappropriate interactions with subordinates, including sexual and denigrating statements, to be elected U.S. House representative from Texas. Now he’s so excited about royalty that he wants DDT to be crowned the U.S. “MAGA King.” Maybe he didn’t know that Biden’s reference to DDT as “the great MAGA king” was a joke.  

September 12, 2022

Ukraine’s Progress, DDT Stalls

The 9/11 post about Ukrainian’s counteroffensive to the Russian invasion showed hope that continues. Disguised as locals, abandoned Russian troops fled Zaliznychne, 37 miles east of Kharkiv, on stolen bicycles and cars or any other way they could, leaving their weapons behind. Soldiers pled for rescue with unit commanders, but they were told “you’ve on your own.”

Investigators came from Kharkiv to collect civilian bodies shot by Russians, some lying exposed for months. One investigator repeated vomited over a guardrail as officers picked up the remains of bodies rotting on the floor of a gravel elevator at an asphalt plant which Russians used as a sniper tower.

The day after Russia reported leaving the Balakliya and Izyum area, its Defense Ministry briefing showed forces retreating behind the Oskil River on the eastern edge of the Kaharkiv region. By Sunday, Ukraine reported taking back over 1,100 square miles of territory while advancing to the east, south, and north, penetrating Russian lines up to 42 miles in some places. The report added that Ukrainians “captured more territory in the past five days than Russian forces have captured in all their operations since April.” Later Zelensky added that Ukraine had taken back 3,600 square miles and over 40 settlements since the beginning of September.

Russia still holds about one-fifth of Ukraine and continues heavy shelling in several regions, but Ukrainian soldiers hope this weekend is a turning point. Ukraine’s Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said the nation could not negotiate a peace deal permitting Russian an occupying presence anywhere in Ukraine, even in those such as Crimea and the eastern regions controlled by Russia or Russian-backed separatists for eight years. At the Yalta European Strategy summit in Kyiv on Saturday, Reznikov said, “The point of no return has passed.” Later he told Russia that Ukraine was “not refusing the talks” when Russia planned another round of sham referendums to annex occupied territories, but added that the longer the delay, “the more difficult it will be to negotiate.”

Chechen republic leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who sent his own fighters to Ukraine, said he would have to contact Moscow leadership for an explanation without immediate changes in Russia’s actions in the invasion. Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky didn’t give details about his plans but said they “won’t be standing still.”

Refusing to acknowledge a rout, Russia claimed they were regrouping its troops for deployment. Even Russian social media users scoffed at this weak excuse, calling the pull-out “shameful.” Hawkish Russian war bloggers have turned against Putin, calling the war a “catastrophe.” On state television, a former Duma member blamed unnamed “people who convinced President Putin that the special operation would be effective and swift, that we won’t be hitting the civilian population . . . that the Ukrainians will surrender and run away and ask to join Russia.” He clearly favored peace negotiations to end the “war” instead of using Putin’s term “special operation.” On Saturday, Putin had time to open a new Ferris wheel in Moscow, the largest in Europe. People were stuck as high as 460 feet over the ground, and the wheel closed for “calibration.”  

According to Ukrainian officials, the Russian military has stopped sending new units into Ukraine:

“The current situation in the theatre of operations and distrust of the higher command forced a large number of volunteers to categorically refuse the prospect of service in combat conditions.”

Ukrainians have no place for all their Russian prisoners of war they have captured.

 Energoatom, operator of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, is shutting down the last working reactor at the Russian-controlled plant which had powered the crucial cooling system. It will be cooled and transferred to a safer state after Russians continued its shelling of the area. Shelling can still disconnect the grid, forcing the plant to use emergency diesel generators to avoid a nuclear meltdown, but only ten days of diesel fuel remains. 

Sunday, Russian missile strikes against power stations and other infrastructure left tens of thousands of people with no electricity and running water for several hours. The Kharkiv called the power outage “revenge by the Russian aggressor for the successes of our army at the front, in particular, in the Kharkiv region.” The outages were not related to the reactor shutdowns at the Zaporizhzhia plant.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/09/12/trump-classified-special-master/    A new filing by Deposed Donald Trump’s (DDT) legal team argues that the documents marked classified aren’t really classified. Like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the attorneys claimed the situation was a “document storage dispute.” The filing is in response to the DOJ’s request that the over 100 classified documents, including military and nuclear secrets of a foreign government, be exempted from the examination. Yet DDT’s lawyers wouldn’t lie under oath to declare that DDT had declassified the documents. They just claim that prosecutors are overstating any national-security concerns and said the government was not being fair.  

While DDT’s Judge Aileen Cannon tries to protect him, the DOJ issued about 40 subpoenas to obtain more information on DDT and his associates regarding the 2020 election and January 6 insurrection. Several of the subjects are still close to DDT including former White House social media director Dan Scavino. Last week, the DOJ seized phones from top advisers Boris Epshteyn and Roman who helped submit fake electoral votes from swing states won by President Joe Biden in 2020. Some of the subpoenas are related to DDT’s fraudulent donation scheme from his Save America PAC falsely claiming the money would to go the non-existent court cases to put DDT back into the White House. At least one subpoena asked for information about members of the executive and legislative branches taking part in blocking the presidential election election. Several congressional members have already been identified

DDT’s filing based its entire legal argument on a reading of the Presidential Records Act (PRA) (1978) which states that the National Archives “shall” become the custodian of presidential records. DDT’s team claims that he doesn’t have to return the classified documents because the law does not state “must.” After the Supreme Court ruled in Gutierrez de Martinez v. Lamagno (1995) that “shall” could mean “may,” much to the surprise of the entire legal world which had defined “shall” as “must,” Congress passed the Plain Writing Act in 2010, requiring the word “must” for mandatory. Originalists, however, must accept the word “shall” as “must” because the PRA was passed 17 years before the Supreme Court ruling.  

According to a new memoir by Geoffrey Berman, fired because he wouldn’t voluntarily resign as the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, former AG Bill Barr is a liar, a bully, and a thug. And stupid.

In Holding the Line: Inside the Nation’s Preeminent US Attorney’s Office and Its Battle with the Trump Justice Department, to be published this week, Berman gave a firsthand account of how Barr tried to orchestrate the prosecution of DDT’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen and the Halkbank investigation about Turkish bankers and government officials helping Iran circumvent the Iran nuclear deal. Berman had been Barr’s adversary during the presidency of George H.W. Bush when Barr protected Bush from legal problems by suggesting that the president pardon the conspirators of the Iran-Contra scandal along with more sleazy actions.

To protect DDT, Barr took “point person” for the Halkbank investigation that was run out of New York. At one meeting, Barr raised his voice when he asked Berman, “Who do you think you are to interfere?” Berman had refused to give people in the case a non-prosecution agreement without disclosing the move and said it would be a “fraud on the court.”

Barr used the same words over the appointment of Audrey Strauss as Berman’s deputy. Berman let himself be fired rather than resign so that she could take over Berman’s position instead of Barr appointing his own person. Another contentious issue between the two men was Berman’s refusal to sign a letter attacking former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, criticizing the mayor’s COVID restrictions to religious services.

Berman’s refusal led Barr ask him for a meeting where Barr said he wanted to “make a change in the southern district.” Berman turned him down and didn’t know if he could be removed by anyone other than judges who appointed him on an interim basis or by a Senate confirmation of a successor. Barr offered Berman more money by leading the DOJ civil division before he threatened to fire Berman before he asked Berman if he wanted to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, “not [Barr’s] to offer.”

Barr said he’d talk to Berman again but issued the press release saying Berman was “stepping down.” Berman followed up with his own press release, stating he hadn’t resigned, and showed up for work the next day. Barr released a letter stating that DDT had fired Berman.

Oddly enough, Barr has made many anti-DDT comments both on television and in interviews with the House January 6 investigative committee—that the 2020 election was legal, DDT has no right to the classified documents, the DOJ has enough information to indict DDT, etc. Yet Barr’s reputation  will follow him.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), running for another six-year term, accused Democrats of having “infilitrated” life in the U.S. by going to church, attending college, and having jobs. He said “this entire election is … fighting for freedom.” (I know: it doesn’t make sense!) 

August 10, 2022

Primaries – August 9, 2022

Primary season continues in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

Connecticut:

Dominic Rapini, former chair of an election-denier group, took the GOP nomination for secretary of state. He promised his first act would be to eliminate the state position of elections misinformation officer hired to monitor the internet and defend against foreign and domestic interference in elections.

Leora Levy, endorsed last week by DDT, defeated the more moderate former state House leader, Themis Klarides, as GOP candidate for U.S. senator. Levy vaguely referenced “election integrity,” indicating her position as an election denier. She goes up against Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Minnesota:

Scott Jensen, a physician and former Minnesota state senator, won the GOP gubernatorial candidacy. He falsely claimed that COVID deaths were inflated because elderly people dying of COVID would have died in a few years anyway and criticized Democratic Gov. Tim Walz’s vaccine mandates. Jenson faces Walz in November.

Kim Crockett, election denier, is the GOP candidate for secretary of state, a position that determines election rules. She believes that allowing people with disabilities and non-English speakers leads to fraud. Although she doesn’t unilaterally certify election results, she can delay the process and cast doubt on it. Crockett also calls on voter ID because of two cases of voter fraud since 1979. At the GOP convention, she played an anti-Semitic video showing her November Jewish opponent, Steve Simon, as a puppet of billionaire George Soros and made racist and xenophobic comments about Minnesota’s large Somali refugee population.

Naturalized Somalian refugee Rep. Ilhan Omar won against a less-progressive candidate by 2 percent and 2,500 votes, to return in November. With a similar challenge in 2020, she took the general election by an almost 20-point margin.

Brad Finstad won a special election for the only GOP House seat. Democrats lost the rurals election, but it’s good news: the loss was by only four points instead of DDT’s 10-point victory in 2020.

Vermont:

State Senate President Becca Balint may become the first female to be sent to Congress after becoming Democratic candidate for the state’s lone House seat. Vermont is the only state never to send a woman senator to Washington after GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith was elected four years ago in Mississippi. If Balint wins, she replaces Rep. Peter Welch (D), who was elected as candidate to replace retiring Pat Leahy who has served since 1975.

Wisconsin:

Tim Michaels, election denier and DDT-endorsed, defeated former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, endorsed  by former VP Mike Pence as well as other presidential wannabes Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Nikki Haley, for the GOP gubernatorial candidate. Also beating the state’s political machine and endorsement by former Gov. Scott Walker, Michaels faces Gov. Tony Evers in November. Kleefisch called the election “rigged” but said the voter certification couldn’t be overturned. DDT endorsed Michaels after seeing a 2019 photo of Kleefisch’s daughter going to the high school prom with the son of conservative state Supreme Court justice Brian Hagedorn who opposed DDT’s attempts to steal the 2020 election.

House Speaker Robin Vos won, despite DDT’s efforts to unseat him because he wouldn’t give Wsconsin’s election to DDT. Adam Steen, who lost by 260 votess.

Eric Toney won the GOP candidacy for the state’s attorney general, beating Karen Mueller who planned to decertify the 2020 election and prosecute doctors for homicide if they did use the anti-parasite drug ivermectin for a false COVID cure.

Derrick Van Orden, recently endorsed by DDT because he was uncontested for the Third Congressional District was present at the January 6 insurrection. He also exposed the genitals of a hospital genitals to two women and wrote that the lieutenant’s swollen testicles were a “ball sack huge as a cantaloupe.”

GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, who promised not to run a third term, has won the Republican candidacy opposing the state’s Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes in the general election. Two weeks ago, the top three Democrats dropped out of the race to endorse Barnes. Perhaps the biggest liar in the Senate, Johnson has a “colorful” background:

  • Lying about cutting taxes for most people when he voted to cut taxes for the wealthy and big businesses.
  • Describing anti-abortion as “a little messy for some people,” false saying that “it’s not going to be that big of a change” because Wisconsin can drive to Illinois. Wisconsin’s 1849 law bans all abortions except to protect the mother’s life.
  • Eliminating Social Security and Medicare as federal entitlement programs and instead require annual congressional approval as discretionary spending.
  • Saying that the January 6, 2022 riot at the Capitol was not an armed insurrection despite five deaths, 140 injuries, and the discovery of at least a dozen guns and thousands of guns of ammunition without searching the hundreds of people present. Not to mention the attacks with fire extinguisher, lacrosse stick, pepper spray, brass knuckles, pipe, pocket knives, a “stinger whip,” a flagpole, stun gun walking stick, etc.  
  • Wishing to repeal the Affordable Care Act if the GOP takes over Congress.
  • Claiming the COVID vaccine may deliberately give people AIDS.
  • Dodging the question about raising the age to buy an AR-15 by ranting about Hunter Biden.
  • Seeking a third term because “people are literally coming up to me with tears in their eyes or streaming down their cheeks saying, ‘You gotta run.’”

“Loyalist” Johnson also trashed DDT and said that the Joe Biden legitimately won the election while an undercover reporter made a video of him. Johnson also faces an ethics charge for giving a former chief of staff Anthony Blando and his wife $280,000 in cash gifts over the maximum salary Blando should receive. Guidelines establish compensation for congressional aides and block cash gifts from senators.

The New York Times called Johnson “the Republican Party’s foremost amplifier of conspiracy theories and disinformation.” Steve Benen calls him “a far-right caricature who’s increasingly seen as more of a partisan clown than a serious policymaker.” The editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote he’s “unfit” for office and “the most irresponsible representative of Wisconsin citizens since the infamous Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy in the 1950s.”

According to an AP survey of both GOP and Democratic state election officials, the 2020 expanded use of drop boxes for mail-in ballots led to no widespread problems—no fraud, vandalism, or theft affecting the results. Yet the conservative majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that drop boxes can no longer be used in elections. Conspiracy theories were exacerbated by the falsehoods of the film 2,000 Mules using a seriously flawed analysis of cellphone location data and ballot drop box surveillance.

Arizona Assistant Secretary of State Allie Bones said the “safe and secure” drop boxes might be more secure than Postal Service mailboxes. Bipartisan teams collect ballots from the drop boxes and take them directly to secure election facilities. Republicans were blocked them from banning drop boxes in the state. In the survey, 15 states stated drop boxes were used before 2020, and 22 states have no limits on the number used for the upcoming November election. GOP-led Florida and North Dakota and Democratic-led New York did not respond; Montana and Virginia did not answer questions regarding the 2020 election. Five states have placed new restrictions on drop boxes; Georgia has reduced the number to one per 100,000 registered voters.

Updates:

Correction for Washington primary on August 2: GOP Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler didn’t survive her impeachment vote against DDT. With late ballots being counted, DDT-endorsed Joe Kent, election denier, beat her out of the top two places in the all-party primary. He faces Democratic Marie Gluesenkamp Perez in November for the House seat after he rallied for jailed January 6 insurrectionists who he called “political prisoners.” 

Virginia:

A week ago, prospects for Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger looked problematic for her congressional reelection; the passage of new laws changed that. Redistricting changed her voters, but it contains veterans benefiting from expanded health care and retirees on fixed incomes saving money from the Inflation Reduction Act. Other voters resent unavailability of post-miscarriage care with the Supreme Court overturn of abortion rights which Spanberger’s opponent Yesli Vega, strongly supports. Vega has made comments similar to those of former Missouri candidate Todd Atkin who lost after saying that women can’t get pregnant from rape. Spanberger said that Vega wants “more government control and more government intrusion.”

Michigan:

Election denier Matthew DePerno, DDT-endorsed GOP nominee for attorney general to head up the state’s law, is being criminally investigated for leading a team obtaining unauthorized access to voting equipment regarding DDT’s false election-fraud claims. The breach in Richfield Township is one of four investigated by the current attorney general in Michigan among 17 nation-wide unauthorized accesses identified by Reuters. Unauthorized access to voting equipment is a felony. 

Pennsylvania:  

GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, present on the restricted Capitol grounds during the January 6 insurrection, refused to answer questions from the House January 6 investigative committee after complying with its subpoena. The New Yorker called him “a leader of the Stop the Steal campaign, and claims that he spoke to Donald Trump at least fifteen times between the 2020 election and the insurrection at the Capitol, on January 6.  Embodying Christian nationalism, the U.S. as a white Christian nation, Mastriano vowed to decertify any election he personally considers fraudulent through his personally appointed secretary of state.  

Tennessee:

GOP Amy Weirich, the Memphis DA who tried to imprison a Black woman for mistakenly trying to register to vote after a felony conviction, lost her race to Democrat Steve Mulroy.

Next primaries: Hawaii, August 13; Alaska and Wyoming (think Rep. Liz Cheney), August 16.

 

July 10, 2022

News: Week of July 3, 2022

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) thinks the problem with the job market is that too many people have too much money. He said that “a whole lot of people [are] sitting on the sidelines because … they’re flush.” He just wants them to run out of money. And he’s talking about working-class people, not the wealthy. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has complained that Democrats created labor shortages through “Socialist policies that pay people more money to stay home than go to work.” (Republicans don’t understand the definition of “Socialism,” defined as common or public ownership of resources.)

Last month the U.S. added 372,000 jobs, and unemployment stayed at 3.6 percent for the fourth straight month, matching an almost-50-year low.  Wages and benefits increased 4.8 percent in the year prior to March 2022, up from 2.8 percent annual increase the year before. A survey shows that 69 percent of workers are satisfied with their wages and 80 percent with recent raises.

The American Rescue Plan, which Republicans brag about although they didn’t vote for it, helped fuel the economic recovery, but Republicans didn’t want to give money to anyone except the wealthy. The GOP is still complaining about the program as if it were still in effect today, but it expired at least ten months ago. Unlike McConnell’s claim, the government isn’t paying people “not to work.”

McConnell is also blocking a bill allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices which would save the country $287 billion over the next decade. He was rewarded for his prevention of the bill reaching the floor: within under four months, the pharmaceutical industry gave him $50,000 in contributions. The bill has an 88-percent favorability rating. Democrats are still trying to pass the reform, and in exchange, McConnell threatens to block a bipartisan bill to make the U.S. more competitive with china and ease the shortage of semiconductor chips.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is working on a reconciliation bill bypassing the 60 votes necessary with a filibuster and requiring only a simple majority. Within the possible bill are prescription drug price cuts, tax hikes on the wealthy and corporations, and energy and climate provisions. Congress returns on July 11 to continue with the bill. Schumer hopes to get both this bill and the China competition bill completed by August. The China bill would pay for creating new technologies to help the U.S. stay ahead of its competitor through domestic semiconductor manufacturing.

Democrats hope to put the chips funding and other parts of the China bill into the budget, but regulatory and foreign policy aspects of the China bill might not be allowed into the budget. Delays in the bill would cause economic consequences: Intel Corp said the timing and size of its new Ohio facility depends on the funding. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) is working with Schumer on the bipartisan legislation, and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), usually an obstructionist, may support the bill. 

McConnell, along with the six Supremes, is helping to lead world toward greater climate warming. Conservatives refuse to believe their involvement in the problem, but the Midwest’s heat wave in May started the temperatures of 10 to 20 degrees above normal this summer in the U.S. Last year, Canada and the Pacific Northwest suffered from extreme heat waves. Higher temperatures equal faster snowmelt that, with rainfall, causes disastrous floods in Montana and Wyoming. The U.S. also faces horrific wildfires, many of them in the West including Yosemite National Park in California and Alaska.

High gas prices, partly caused by the industry’s price-gouging and Russia’s war in Ukraine, are benefiting the climate. June gas sales dropped about 5 percent from pre-pandemic levels and 2.6 percent from a year ago, causing people to drive six percent few miles than in June 2019, a one percent drop in U.S. carbon emissions. Some people have switched from gas-guzzling monster vehicles to smaller ones for necessary driving. Others walk more or take public transportation, and carpooling is another way they cut back. On the July 4th weekend, drivers shortened their trips.

Still traveling the country, DDT told an Anchorage (AK) crowd that Musk is a “bullsh*t artist” because Musk had never voted for DDT although he told him he did. In a speech, Musk said he couldn’t remember if he ever “voted for a Republican” but plans to do so in the future. DDT is campaigning for Sarah Palin, candidate for the state’s one U.S. representative. Formerly comparing Musk to inventor Thomas Edison, DDT called Musk “one of our greatest geniuses.”  Musk’s mistake may have been support for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2024 presidential election.

DDT is ostensibly campaigning for Sarah Palin, candidate for the state’s one U.S. representative, but he’s really trying to destroy the re-election chances for Sen. Lisa Murkowski who voted to convict DDT at his second impeachment trial. Palin used the event for a self-pitying rant about the media attacking her children and praise DDT’ testicles, massive according to Palin. She also advocated shooting when people at the opposition by invoking her father’s words: “Don’t retreat, reload.”

War on Fox occurred after Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) called pro-choice supporters the “genocide squad” and accused “leftists” of supporting abortions even for “babies who are already born.” These statements and other inflammatory lies were made to guest host Gregg Jarrett on The Sean Hannity Show. Another Jarrett panelist, Alan Dershowitz, condemned Boebert’s statements after he addressed her ire at protesters outside a Morton’s restaurant where Justice Brett Kavanaugh was having dinner. He said Boebert’s accusations about pro-choice supporters are “even more disgraceful than anything that happened to the justice.”  

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has decided, by majority 4-3 vote, that drop boxes for ballots are undemocratic and ruled against their use in the state. The four judges decided that because there was no law about drop boxes they must be illegal. Primaries are in one month. Spring 2021 elections in Wisconsin used 570 drop boxes. In her majority opinion, Justice Rebecca Bradley compared the use of drop boxes to systems by tyrants Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Kim Jong-il, Cuba’s Raul Castro, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Two months ago, Bradley joined the majority in heavily gerrymandering the state districts.

Frantic about losing his re-election this fall, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) lambasted the Democrats with a radio ad stating, “The latest mass murder in America didn’t involve guns.” He blamed President Joe Biden’s immigration policies for human traffickers causing the deaths of 53 people, including five children, in an abandoned truck trailer in San Antonio (TX). “Human, sex, and drug trafficking are out of control because of Democrat governance.” The ad was due out on July 6, two days after the “latest mass murder” that killed seven people and injured another 30 in Highland Park (IL) two days earlier. His campaign had to pull the false ad. Johnson has received about $1.2 million from pro-gun groups since his first campaign in 2010.

A third Wisconsin judge has ordered Michael Gableman not to delete his probe’s records from the state’s 2020 presidential election. Turning up no new information despite years of work, Gableman has done “bizarre” and “amateurish” work, according to bipartisan election administration experts. Last month, Gableman said he had deleted records despite requests for them. The judge had found him in contempt last month and ordered him to pay $2,000 per day until he complied with the order to submit the records. Gableman and two earlier reviewers of the ballots are each paid at least $11,000 a month despite doing “almost no substantive work.” The review has cost about $1 million thus far.

The DOJ is suing Arizona to block its law blocking the law, set to take effect in January, requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Arizona’s proof of citizenship law, and this new law violates the National Voter Registration Act, according to DOJ. State law already requires Arizona voters in state elections to provide proof of citizenship, but this law extends the requirement to federal election. Registering to vote in federal elections require attesting under penalty of perjury but doesn’t require proof until this new law. County records or election officials who don’t attempt to verify citizenship status and registers voters without documentation can be charged with a felony. Federal statutes do not require this documentation. Arizona already requires attestation of citizenship on the ballot; lying is a crime.

Last Friday, DDT’s former White House counsel Pat Cipollone testified for several hours. House investigative committee member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said Cipollone did not contradict testimony from previous witnesses and he committee members “did learn a few things, which we will be rolling out in the hearings to come.” Cassidy Hutchinson had testified at length about Cipollone’s knowledge of DDT’s seditious plans.

A second hearing by the House January 6 investigative committee possibly scheduled this week on July 14 at during prime time will examine the 187-minute time period when Donald Trump failed to act while his mob of supporters stormed the Capitol. The first one in the week on July 12 at 10:00 am EST focuses on the plotting and planning of the insurrection on January 6 by white nationalist groups including the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and the Three Percenters.

July 6, 2022

House Committee Announces Seventh January 6 Hearing

The hearings from the House January 6 investigative committee return next week, the seventh one on Tuesday, July 12, 10:00 am EST (meaning 7:00 am on the West Coast!) Fortunately, some of the cable channels rerun the event although Fox network may not even show it the first time because their ratings went down for the sixth hearing. The network has trained the audience to watch only angry garbage.

The focus of this hearing will “reveal its findings about the connections between former President Donald J. Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election and the domestic violent extremist groups that helped to organize the siege on Congress.” Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) are expected to lead the hearing “to chart the rise of the right-wing domestic violent extremist groups that attacked the Capitol and how Mr. Trump amassed and inspired the mob.” The DOJ has charged the Stewart Rhodes, leader of the Oath Keepers; ten other Oath Keepers; and and Enrique Tarrio, head of the Proud Boys, with seditious conspiracy.

Sarah Matthews, press secretary in the White House while Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) was there, has agreed to publicly testify after being subpoenaed. She resigned on the night of January 6 after being “deeply disturbed by what I saw” and stated that “our nation needs a peaceful transfer of power.” Matthews also defended Cassidy Hutchinson after people downplayed Cassidy Hutchinson for her testimony to the House committee and her access in the West Wing and added that, to answer the accusation of Hutchinson’s testimony of being “hearsay,” the “the January 6 committee would welcome any of those involved to deny these allegations under oath.”

Hutchinson’s testimony was watched by over 13 million people; the hearing, announced only one day before, was the second-most watched one since the first one in the evening by 20 million watchers. On June 28, Fox, largely ignoring the hearing or misrepresenting it, averaged 1.7 million viewers.

Mick Mulvaney, one of DDT’s chiefs of staff after DDT appointed him to other administrative positions, called on Republicans to pay attention to the committee activities:

“When Republicans start testifying under oath that other Republicans lost the 2020 election and then broke the law to try to change that, Republicans should pay attention. Everyone should.”

Mulvaney said that Republicans arguing that the committee’s hearings are “a made-for-TV show trial” and that “there is no cross-examination of witnesses … are correct… But they still should be paying attention.” He called former AG Bill Barr, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, and Meadows’ former aide Cassidy Hutchinson “eminently credible.” Barr called DDT “detached from reality,” and Bowers disagreed that DDT had told the House Speaker the election was rigged. CBS co-president Neeraj Khemlani hired Mulvaney for as a paid contributor the network because Khemlani expects Republicans to take over Congress in the fall.

After the last hearing on June 28, DDT’s rants on his Truth Social indicates Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and the testimony by Hutchinson hit a nerve—or several of them—by describing the elements of DDT’s sedition. He ended this rant on the Fourth of July by wishing people a “Happy Fourth of July!!!”

“Warmongering and despicable human being Liz Cheney, who is hated by the great people of Wyoming (down 35!), keeps saying, over and over again, that HER Fake Unselect Committee may recommend CRIMINAL CHARGES against a President of the United States who got more votes than any sitting President in history. Even the Dems didn’t know what she was talking about! Why doesn’t she press charges instead against those that cheated on the Election, or those that didn’t properly protect the Capitol?”

Cheney has not ruled out the possibility of criminal referrals against DDT. In return, DDT has increased his statements he might make a presidential run for 2024, making Republicans very nervous, in an attempt to avoid criminal charges.

In the first dozen hours of hearings, testimony has shown the central part DDT played to stay in the White House, plotting to overthrow the legitimate presidential election for Joe Biden. Other revelations:

  • DDT rejected his aides’ advice when he announced victory for the presidency before all the ballots were counted and states projected a win for Biden.
  • Many of DDT’s followers, including his own daughter Ivanka, refused to believe in voter fraud.
  • DDT’s personal lawyer and strongest supporter Rudy Giuliani admitted “lack of evidence.”
  • DDT’s legal architect of rejecting electoral votes, his campaign attorney John Eastman, also admitted that his theory to overturn the election was illegal.
  • DDT’s team tried to pick outsiders such as DOJ lawyer Jeffrey Clark to carry out their plan because the government mainstays wouldn’t follow DDT’s orders.
  • DDT knew the crowd had weapons on January 6 but told White House officials to let them through the metal detectors anyway and used his speech to encourage them to march on the Capitol.
  • White House lawyers worried about legal problems from DDT’s speech and his march plans, aware that they would appear to incite a riot, obstruct justice, and defraud the electoral count.
  • DDT thought his VP Mike Pence “deserved” the violence that the crowd threatened.
  • Several lawmakers and DDT associates who asked for pardons in connection with January 6 knew they might be breaking the law.
  • Witnesses, including Cassidy Hutchinson, were sent intimidating messages trying to testify their testimony.

The discovery that DDT’s Save America PAC is paying or promising to pay for several witnesses’ legal fees has raised concerns. Until a month before the June 28 hearing, Hutchinson’s lawyer was supposed by the group; she changed lawyers before her testimony. DDT accused the new lawyer of persuading Hutchinson to lie under oath. Subpoenaed witnesses with lawyers paid by DDT’s organization commonly refuse to answer questions. DDT’s former lawyer Michael Cohen said about DDT and the intimidating messages:

“He behaves like a mob boss, and these messages are fashioned in that style. Giving an order without giving the order. No fingerprints attached.”

During her testimony, Hutchinson brought up White House counsel Pat Cipollone 18 times as a witness to events. The House committee has subpoenaed Cipollone, and he will testify before the committee on Friday, July 8. The question is whether he will answer any of the questions. He did agree to voluntarily cooperate with the probe last April but didn’t full answer some of the questions. 

Tony Ornato, DDT supporter and deputy chief of staff for operations, denied he said DDT lunged for the steering wheel to direct the car to the Capitol, but multiple Secret Service sources verified Hutchinson’s testimony. Also verified were Hutchinson’s accounts of DDT’s frequent dish throwing. One of the intimidating messages to Hutchinson came from her former boss, Mark Meadows, who refuses to obey a subpoena. Mark Meadows denied he asked for a pardon but didn’t say it under oath.

After information about the attempt by Ginni Thomas, Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, to overturn Biden’s election, she offered to testify before the House committee. Her lawyer, however, sent an eight-page document denying her presence. He wrote that he didn’t “understand the need to speak with Mrs. Thomas.” About the strategy Thomas sent to Meadows, the lawyer said, “She was simply texting with a friend.”  

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who has been removed from all House committees because of her QAnon theories affecting her behavior, tweeted she will create her own 1/6 committee because the existing ones won’t permit “rebuttal witnesses.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) also got a lot of media coverage for his shifting explanations when asked about his giving Pence a list of fake electors voting for DDT on January 6 in an attempt to give him false votes to the electoral college. First, he said he didn’t know anything about his staff member trying to give fake slate from Wisconsin and Michigan to Pence’s staff member, who wouldn’t take them. A day later he claimed a Pennsylvania congressman brought the slate to his office—a claim immediately disputed by the congressman who said he hadn’t seen Johnson for almost a decade. Caught in that lie, Johnson said the whole thing didn’t even matter. Johnson is so bad at lying that when he told a reporter he couldn’t answer questions because he was on his cellphone, a video picked up the phone ringing.

The senator is running for another six-year term in 2022. The primary is on August 9. Johnson had promised a year ago he wouldn’t run for a third term but now is spreading a fake story about people crying if he didn’t run again. Some Republicans are “crying” because he is running again. Luckily for Johnson, he’s running unopposed—in the primary.

June 21, 2022

January 6, 2021 Hearing – June 21, 2022

The fourth hearing from the House January 6 investigative committee began at 1:00 pm EST on June 21, 2021, but before those bombshells started dropping, the Supreme Court came out with a major ruling. Six justices violated the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment by requiring Maine to give taxpayer funding to religious schools for tuition. In a dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the ruling, in connection with other recent court rulings to put religion above rights, dismantled “the wall of separation between church and state that the Framers fought to build.” She added the majority was “embracing arguments from prior separate writings and ignoring decades of precedent affording governments flexibility in navigating the tension between the Religion Clauses.” She continued:

“As a result, in just a few years, the Court has upended constitutional doctrine, shifting from a rule that permits States to decline to fund religious organizations to one that requires States in many circumstances to subsidize religious indoctrination with taxpayer dollars.”

Background information about the Supreme Court case, Carson v. Makin

The June 21 hearing from the House January 6 investigative committee, the fourth one since June 6, focused on the pressure by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) on state officials to prove election and voting fraud for the purpose of gaining voters and creating a slate of “alternative electors” who would illegally send DDT back to the White House for another four years. The hearing outlined DDT’s unrelenting campaign directed at state and local officials–many of them Republicans–that created physical danger for anyone to refused to overturn the 2020 presidential election. In his drive to get the illegal votes to win, DDT stirred up his followers who spread menace and violent threats but was indifferent to the high level of violence perpetrated on those who opposed his push to return to the White House, as described by the hearing’s witnesses.

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) testified DDT’s supporters invaded a state legislative building mobbed his home with videos, calling the highly-religious conservative a pedophile and pervert. Bowers said that his gravely-ill daughter was disturbed; in fact, her illness was terminal, and she died weeks after the invasion of Bowers’ neighborhood. He also testified that Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) called him on the morning of January 6, 2021 asking him to overturn the presidential election. Bowers’ testimony began with refuting a message DDT sent immediately before the hearing in which DDT falsely declared Bowers had told him in November 2022 that he knew the election was rigged.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperg described how DDT’s supporters broke into his daughter-in-law’s home where she lived with her two children. She is a widow after Raffensperger’s son died of cancer in 2018. Raffensperger also testified to the violence threats he and his family received as well as the “disgusting”, “sexualized” texts to his wife. 

COO of Georgia’s Secretary of State office Gabriel Sterling said he “lost it” after he learning about the death threats with a noose sent to a young first-generation U.S. citizen working for Dominion Systems that accused him of “treason.”

Election worker Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss gave the most painful testimony of the day in describing how she and her mother Ruby Freeman are isolated, having no place to feel safe after DDT falsely accused them of fraud while counting votes on election night in Georgia. They were forced to leave their homes for safety, and DDT supporters barged into the home of Moss’ elderly grandmother, shouting they were making a “citizen’s arrest.” Using a doctored video in a hearing with Georgia state legislators, DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani compared Moss and Freeman to drug dealers, called for their homes to be searched, and urged that they be criminally charged. Earlier testimony videos from Freeman, who DDT accused 18 times of election fraud in his telephone call to Raffensperger begging for 11,800 more Georgia votes, said:

“Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you? The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American, not to target one. But he targeted me. I have lost my name and I have lost my reputation. All because a group of people starting with number 45 and his ally Rudy Giuliani decided to scapegoat me and my daughter.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) leader of the June 21 hearing summarized the consequences of DDT’s lies on Moss and Freeman:

“If the most powerful person in the world can bring the full weight of the presidency down on an ordinary citizen who is merely doing her job, with a lie as big and heavy as a mountain, who among us is safe?”

Other revelations from the hearing:

Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, testified that Trump himself called to ask for the party’s help organizing the false elector strategy.

Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to Mark Meadows, testified by video that Giuliani, Meadows, and congressional members planned after the 2020 election to organize fake electors in states that Joe Biden won.

A staffer for Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) tried to deliver certificates signed by DDT’s fake electors in Michigan and Wisconsin to VP Mike Pence and the National Archives on January 6, 2021, after Pence had already refused them, along with fake certificates from Arizona, Georgia, New Mexico, Nevada, and Pennsylvania prepared on January 4. Pence’s staffer refused the ones from Johnson. The senator denied that he tried to make the delivery, saying someone, he didn’t know who, asked him to do it.

Former DDT campaign staffer Robert Sinners who helped gather fake electors to overturn the election said he felt like a “useful idiot” after participating in the scheme and he’s now “angry.”

In one conversation when Giuliani asked Bowers to set up fake electors, DDT’s lawyer claimed, “We’ve got lots of theories—we just don’t have the evidence.” He never provided any evidence.

According to DDT’s campaign documents, his advisers knew the fake-elector plan was useless and using Pence to overturn the election was illegal.

Schiff’s introduction:  

“When state elections officials refused to stop the count, Donald Trump and his campaign tried to put pressure on them. When state executive officials refused to certify him the winner of states he lost, he applied more pressure. When state legislators refused to go back into session and appoint Trump electors, he amped up the pressure yet again. Anyone who got in the way of Donald Trump’s continued hold on power after he lost the election was the subject of a dangerous and escalating campaign of pressure.

“This pressure campaign brought angry phone calls and texts, armed protests, intimidation, and, all too often, threats of violence and death. State legislators were singled out. So too were statewide elections officials. Even local elections workers, diligently doing their jobs, were accused of being criminals, and had their lives turned upside down.

“As we will show, the president’s supporters heard the former president’s claims of fraud, and the false allegations he made against state and local officials, as a call to action.”

Schiff gave credit to the people who refused to follow DDT’s demands despite the abuse they suffered: “The system held, but barely…”

At the next hearing on June 23, documentary filmmaker Alex Holder will testify, and the committee will show footage of DDT and his aides that he submitted to the investigation committee because of a subpoena. Holder had multiple interviews with DDT, his children, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and VP Mike Pence between September 2020 until after the election. Also subpoenaed is raw footage from January 6 and “discussions of election fraud or election integrity surrounding the November 2020 presidential election.” Senior campaign officials did not approve of the film project, but DDT’s people secretly agreed to be filmed. The completed documentary, Unprecedented, will be released this summer.

The Thursday hearing, beginning at 1:00 EST, will focus on DDT’s attempts to suborn the judiciary. Rep. Bennie Thompson called then-president Trump’s “attempt to corrupt the country’s top law-enforcement body, the Justice Department, to support his attempt to overturn the election.”

The hearings are making a difference in public opinion. After the first full week of hearings, 58 percent of respondents to a survey think that DDT should be charged with a crime for his part in the insurrection, up from 52 percent in early May. The same percentage believes that DDT bears “a great deal” or a “good amount” of responsibility for the insurrection. Sixty percent believe the committee is conducting a fair and impartial investigation, according to the poll. The committee has not yet determined whether it should recommend a criminal charge to the DOJ, but a few months ago, a federal judge concluded that DDT “likely attempted to obstruct the joint session of Congress” on January 6, meaning a crime.

May 15, 2022

Republicans: The Cult of Death

David Barnhart, a pastor in Alabama, wrote the following about the anti-abortion, so-called “right-to-life” movement banning abortions:

“’The unborn’ are a convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you; they are morally uncomplicated, unlike the incarcerated, addicted, or the chronically poor; they don’t resent your condescension or complain that you are not politically correct; unlike widows, they don’t ask you to question patriarchy; unlike orphans, they don’t need money, education, or childcare; unlike aliens, they don’t bring all that racial, cultural, and religious baggage that you dislike; they allow you to feel good about yourself without any work at creating or maintaining relationships; and when they are born, you can forget about them, because they cease to be unborn. You can love the unborn and advocate for them without substantially challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus, but actually dislike people who breathe. Prisoners? Immigrants? The sick? The poor? Widows? Orphans? All the groups that are specifically mentioned in the Bible? They all get thrown under the bus for the unborn.”

The anti-abortion movement—actually the anti-choice movement because they don’t want to give rights to people—calls itself the “right to life,” but it’s actually only rights for the human zygote, embryo, or fetus. Conservatives’ respect for life by conservatives disappears at the instant a fetus emerges from the uterus. From then on, they embrace death:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants to starve migrant babies held in custody for crossing the southern border because selfish baby formula manufacturers have caused a shortage.

New state anti-abortion laws block treatment for ectopic pregnancies in the fallopian tube, cervix, abdominal cavity, ovary or scar from a cesarean section instead of in the uterus. They never result in a birth and are guaranteed to kill the pregnant woman without surgery. A Louisiana bill would permit the charge of murder for anyone who miscarries or needs surgery for ectopic pregnancies. An Ohio bill would mandate doctors to “reimplant” an ectopic pregnancy, medically impossible. An Oklahoma state senator disagreed with permitting surgeries for these pregnancies. Texas law does not define exceptions for medical emergencies, and a doctor denied a woman treatment for her ectopic pregnancy before she was rejected at an emergency room. At least one pharmacy refused to fill prescriptions for this condition. Ignorant legislators create these bills which are then supported by more ignorant people. If laws allow ectopic pregnancies, the confusion may keep women from seeking help. In some states, medical students receive limited education about abortion which means they also don’t know how to care for patients who have had miscarriages. The women who die don’t have the “right to life.”

The Supreme Court supporting “right to fetuses” opposed life for Clarence Dixon, a schizophrenic executed in Arizona last week. His lawyers said he didn’t understand why he was being put to death and suffered for over 25 minutes during the procedure. Age 66 and blind, Dixon is the first execution since Joseph Wood was given 15 doses of a two-drug combination over two hours, repeated gasping until he died. Witnesses reported that prison had trouble finding a vein for the lethal injection, and Dixon was in pain for 25 minutes until they injected him in the groin. An AP journalist said, “They did have to wipe up a fair amount of blood.” Arizona also has a gas chamber which uses hydrogen cyanide, the same gas used at Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Arizona can still kill another 112 people on death row. Supreme Court decisions determined justices shouldn’t meddle in state lethal injections so Arizona can handle the situation any way it wants.  

Republicans virtuously permit people with COVID to infect and kill others with the ridiculous claim of needing freedom from wearing masks. Studies have shown over and over that social distancing, vaccinations, and masks will block the transmission of the disease killing people in a little over two years. Even those who refuse all these precautions have learned how their loved ones have died the hard way, and many of them have admitted this fact. 

In another way to kill people, Republicans block any kind of sex education for young people so that they can protect themselves. Without that knowledge, girls employ myths to avoid pregnancy, myths that don’t work. Their solution is sometimes self-induced abortions, killing the young girls.

In 2008, before President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, over 26,000 people died because they lacked health insurance. Since it passed in 2010, the Republicans have tried non-stop to block health insurance for the poor. Even ten years after the law passed, 45,000 people are still dying each year from lack of health insurance. Even if they don’t die, 25 percent of people in the U.S delay health care for serious illnesses.

GOP hatred for LGBTQ people also promote violent deaths by those with anti-LGBTQ fear and loathing with the attitude that they are following God’s will.   

The deaths of at least ten people in a Buffalo story also shows how cavalier conservatives are permitting mass shootings through the freedom to buy guns. An 18-year-old who had previously threatened a school shooting and posted a “manifesto” on the website murdered people peacefully shopping because they were black. The GOP party line will be that he was a “lone wolf” although the persuasion to stop white people from being “replaced” by minorities has come for the far-right media, especially Fox’s Tucker Carlson, and GOP leaders. This mass shooting was #198 in the first 19 weeks of 2022.

Deliberate income inequality in which Republicans ensure that the wealthy and big business collect the vast majority of assets while people in poverty die from lack of resources.

The conservative anti-science aggression is also causing hunger and starvation by refusing to recognize climate change. Republicans also permit toxic chemicals and other pollution to kill people—if they are poor—to benefit big business.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), possibly the biggest liar in the Senate, said the loss of abortion rights won’t bother most voters although it “might be a little messy for some people.” He blithely commented that women can just drive across state lines for the procedure. No worry about lack of resources, distances from blocks of states banning choice, laws blocking getting an abortion in another state, prosecution for getting an abortion at all. Republicans want to have it both ways—get rid of all abortions while persuading the 70 percent of pro-choice voters that he’s not really against women having reproductive rights. The GOP just wants the discussion to disappear before the 2022 election.

House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) agrees with Johnson that voters for congressional members don’t really care. And Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that “angry leftists … don’t even know that overturning Roe means.” They haven’t noticed that 26 percent of respondents to a Monmouth University poll rated their top concern, only one percent below the economic policy. That’s far above the nine percent of them rating abortion policy as the top concern a year ago. McConnell also tries to persuade people that getting an abortion won’t be any problem because it’s up to the states. People who have seen their rights disintegrate won’t believe that either.

In Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft of the ruling that overturns Roe, he bases part of his opinion on the “great” and “eminent” legal authority, Sir Matthew Hale. The English judge and lawyer who died in 1676 at the age of 67, he presided over a witchcraft trial in which he sentenced two “witches” to death.  His “History of the Pleas of the Crown,” published posthumously in 1736, stated that authorities should distrust women who claimed to have been raped, a position still popular in the second half of the 20th century and used even in the 21st century. He wrote the marital rape exemption protecting a man from prosecution if he raped his wife because marriage means the woman has put her body under her husband’s permanent dominion “which she cannot retract.” In the U.S., no state could prosecute a man for raping his wife—even brutally—until 1970. At the current time, 21 states are still more lenient toward marital rape than rape outside the marriage. Men will cling to a legal system in which men complete control their wives.  

His claim about the “deep roots” of history ignores common law in the first decades of the United States that did not regulate abortion before “quickening”—the first feeling of fetal movement occurring as late as 25 weeks into pregnancy. Alito ignored Hale’s description declaring abortion as a crime “if a woman be quick or great with child.” And he uses as his justification the man who sentences women to death as witches, knows women are liars, and believes women own their wives’ bodies.

Blocking abortion will lead to preventing other human rights such as contraception, same-gender relationships and marriage, biracial marriage, transgenderism, etc. All these rights will be blocked by Republican legislators and their activist partisan judges in a huge government overreach eliminating freedom and liberty for half the people in the country. The GOP has claimed they objected to this practice with Democrats but are now allowing only Christian evangelical laws.  

December 13, 2021

COVID Deaths Increase in U.S., Disinformation Spreads

Republicans are determined to continue the cult of death in their lies about vaccination while the number of cases and deaths from COVID skyrocket. Last Friday, when a massive tornado in the Southeast consumed the media with possibly over 100 deaths, 1,574 people died of COVID, raising the total in 22 months to 817,326 people. The media ignored  the daily average of over 1,000 people dying of the disease in just the United States. The U.S. passed 50,700,000 infections since the February 2020 discovery of the virus with Friday’s infections of 136,839 infections. Deaths could be far higher than those reported. People still refuse to list COVID as the cause of death, and some states show lower numbers by listing other causes for the death. Television wants visuals: destroyed buildings are far more exciting to film and people on ventilators.

For months, the media has reported that counties heavily voting for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) have much higher rates of the virus with much lower rates of vaccinations. A new study from NPR examining 3,000 counties reinforces the continuing trend with people in DDT’s counties dying at 2.73 times greater than those supporting President Joe Biden. In October, counties with the highest percentages of voting for DDT had death rates at six times higher than the bluest tenth of the counties.

According to polling, partisanship is the one strongest predictor of people getting vaccinated. Mistrust in official information and exposure to disinformation about both COVID and vaccines are high among Republicans. Among Republicans, 94 percent believe one or more false statements about COVID, and 46 percent think four or more false statements about the disease are the truth. Only 14 percent of Democrats believe in four or more false statements. Some of these falsehoods are COVID cause infertility, contain microchips, and change DNA. Republicans also think the government inflates the number of COVID deaths.

Unvaccinated people are three times more likely to lean Republican rather than Democrat, according to Liz Hamel, vice president of public opinion and survey research at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health policy think tank tracking attitudes toward vaccination. The situation has greatly worsened in the past several months. The rate of vaccinated Republicans has stopped at 59 percent, compared to 91 percent of the Democrats. Religion also plays a part. Atheists are 90 percent vaccinated compared to 57 percent of Christian evangelicals. Since May, the vast majority of deaths, about 150,000, occurred among the unvaccinated.

Because new COVID variants cause more asymptomatic and mild cases of the virus in vaccinated people, the hospitalization rate is becoming a way to determine policy. The reported number of infected people will be increasingly inaccurate with the availability of at-home tests separate from public health information or lack of information to avoid quarantining.

A November study by the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals the danger to public health from Fox, Newsmax, and OAN to Republicans because of their disinformation. From the beginning, Fox denigrated the seriousness of COVID, ridiculed efforts to protect people such as mask wearing and social distancing, and argued against vaccinations. In exchange, Fox stars pressured people to use dangerous and ineffective treatments such as horse dewormer and bleach injections. A nickname for the crisis is the Fox News Pandemic. Viewers most likely to believe the most information are those for the Fox network (36 percent), One America News (37 percent), and Newsmax (46 percent).

COVID vaccinations don’t cause infertility, but men worried about the connection between the virus and sexual functioning should read the cautions about contracting the virus. Coronavirus infection can damage blood vessels, including those creating penile erections for a half year, even in men with mild or asymptomatic cases. Researchers think this impotence could be permanent. (A new study shows that vaping can cause the same problem in men between 20 and 65 because of nicotine and other chemicals.)

Republicans are now promoting new lies. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), declared by the New York Times as the GOP’s “foremost amplifier of conspiracy theories and disinformation,” has a new myth about curing COVID—gargling with mouthwash. According to Johnson, “Standard gargle, mouthwash, has been proven to kill the coronavirus.” Experts pointed out that most infections occur through the nose. Epidemiologist Raymond Niaura said gargling won’t hurt “if accompanied by vaccination.” In the past, Johnson has pushed hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin which got him suspended from YouTube.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), known for allowing his athletes to be sexually abused by a doctor while he was assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University, tells people that “real America” is done with COVID. As a member of the investigating panel for the crisis, he has access to evidence, research, data, and officials regarding COVID but ignores it.

Peter Navarro, DDT’s former trade adviser and member of the White House virus strategy task force, said he won’t comply with the subpoena to appear before the House COVID investigating group because DDT told him not to testify. Navarro’s adviser Stephen Hatfill is, however, cooperating with the committee. Members want to question Navarro about his warning to the president in February 2020 about being unprepared to respond the virus and Navarro’s oversight of government investments in supplies and equipment to fight the pandemic. He has already written about the White House response in his book, negating a claim of executive privilege.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who said he rejected Democratic bills because only partisan support for them, voted in favor of blocking all mandates for COVID vaccines and testing for the private sector in businesses employing over 100 people. The Senate vote of 52-48 passed the bill with one other Democrat and 50 Republicans. Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) plans another bill to block vaccine mandates for medical professionals. To go into effect, bills must also have a majority of House votes and then two-thirds of membership—in the Senate, 67 votes—to overcome a presidential veto.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) declares studies prove masks don’t work, but the only one he cites, coming from Denmark, had no statistical evidence to support Paul’s falsehood. The study was performed when the country’s businesses were closed, people with COVID were in quarantine, and social distancing was practiced. A number of other studies showed mask-wearing can cause a significant reduction in COVID. After a thorough analysis of Paul’s ideas, WaPo gave him four Pinocchios for lying. In Missouri, Gov. Mike Parson’s hid an analysis showing that mask mandates saved lives during a Delta variant spike from the public and during his cabinet meetings.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the Dr. Oz Show, wants to join the quacks in the Senate. Although he lives in New Jersey, he plans to run in Pennsylvania, diving in after DDT’s choice, Sean Parnell, suspended his candidacy after a judge used his domestic abuse to give custody of the children to Parnell’s wife. Oz promotes raspberry ketones to dissolve fat and hydroxychloroquine as a “miracle cure” for COVID, acting as DDT’s medical adviser. 

Tucker Carlson, who likely has had his COVID vaccinations because Fox network requires either the vaccine or testing, claims to be the “truth-teller” alerting his audience that the virus feminizes men. He talked about UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who supposedly told people “that getting COVID emasculated him, it changed him, it feminized him, it weakened him as a man.” Having had COVID, his far-right guest Nigel Farage didn’t want to be identified as being “feminized”; he blamed Johnson’s much younger wife for any problems.

Roger Stone, pardoned by DDT after convictions for lying, obstruction, and witness tampering, addressed anti-vaccine activists at an October conference. One idea presented was to drink one’s own urine to guarantee against COVID. Another person said the purpose of vaccines was to make people into “cyborgs” with microscopic technology designed to put “another kind of nervous system inside you.” Stone said he was open to the ideas and wanted use them to motivate conservative voters for the 2022 election.

The latest grift comes from Black Oxygen Organics (BOO) that sells dirt for $110 a small bag. People are to eat or bathe in it to get rid of toxins including heavy metals, pesticides, and parasites; it supposedly cures everything from autism to cancer to dementia—and can “detox” vaccinated people. The company’s salespersons cannot be sued because, like Tupperware and MaryKay cosmetics, it operates with people buying the product and then selling it. The source of BOO dirt is a peat bog with decayed plants sharing a border with a landfill; it has elevated levels of arsenic and lead. Four plaintiffs in Georgia are suing the Canadian company. 

Anti-vaccine people being vaccinated to save their jobs are trying to be “unvaccinated” with daily doses of niacin, butyric acid, and other supplements. Another false “detox” system is bathing in Borax mixed with sea salt, Epsom salts, and baking soda. Borax has been linked to infertility and can damage the skin and other organs.

According to research, the major motivation for spreading disinformation is hatred for political opponents. One percent of people share 75 percent of all links to fake news publishers. Republicans are more likely to share fake news than Democrats, who are more motivated by accuracy. Of the fake news sources, 30 percent publish “almost completely fabricated stories,” 5 percent have “a flawed editorial process,” and two-thirds of them refer to fake news sources. The research is here.

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