Nel's New Day

August 26, 2017

DDT: Thirty-One – The King of Mean

Today, August 26, 2017, commemorates Women’s Equality Day, the anniversary of the 19th Amendment (1920) awarding the women the right to vote. As this analysis shows, last year’s proclamation from President Obama was about ways to make life better for women in the United States. This year’s statement from Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) discussed women in relationship to men and focused on women in the economy. To keep the rights that the current administration is taking from women—and men—people need to evaluate candidates’ histories and political positions instead of believing the lies delivered on the campaign trail.   

The “Friday dump” refers to news released during the last day of the work week with the hopes that no one will notice. In yesterday’s case, the news was also consumed with the landfall of Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 disaster that displaced 16 million people—five percent of the nation’s population—with either the hurricane or ensuing tropical storm. Unfortunately for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), at least three big stories still made the headlines.

During his campaign, DDT said that he was far more protective of LGBT people than his opponent, Hillary Clinton. This past week, he signed an order to prevent transgender people from joining the military and to stop payment for sex reassignment surgeries for military members. Transgender service members are in limbo because Defense Secretary Jim Mattis can tell any transgender military members that they cannot stay in the service.

In a support of white supremacy,  DDT pardoned the Arizona county sheriff who violated a federal judge’s order ordering him to stop illegally detaining people solely based on Latino appearance. DDT’s endorsement of Joe Arpaio endorses the former sheriff’s discrimination and favors a political supporter who supporter DDT’s racist conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in the United States. Martin Redish, a constitutional law expert, gave his perspective before the pardon was a fait accompli:

“Should the president indicate that he does not think Mr. Arpaio should be punished for [violating constitutional rights in defiance of a court order], he would signal that governmental agents who violate judicial injunctions are likely to be pardoned, even though their behavior violated constitutional rights, when their illegal actions are consistent with presidential policies….

“If the president signals to government agents that there exists the likelihood of a pardon when they violate a judicial injunction that blocks his policies, he can all too easily circumvent the only effective means of enforcing constitutional restrictions on his behavior. Indeed, the president could even secretly promise a pardon to agents if they undertake illegal activity he desires.”

Arizona’s GOP senior senator, John McCain, said DDT’s pardon “undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law” because Arpaio “was guilty of criminal contempt” and “has shown no remorse for his actions.” A more muted statement from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) was still critical. The pardon meets none of DOJ’s guidelines: five years past prison release or conviction if no prison time, expression of remorse, and an application to the Office of Pardon Attorney. DDT’s pardon for Arpaio’s horrific actions demonstrates open white nationalist rule in the U.S.

Last spring, DDT asked AG Jeff Sessions to drop the case against Arpaio, but Sessions said he couldn’t interfere in the federal case. DDT then decided to pardon Arpaio if he were convicted.

Nazi sympathizer Sebastian Gorka has left the White House. He claims that he resigned, but a White House official indicated his departure was not voluntary. Gorka’s wife, Katharine, is still national security adviser and working to eliminate a $400,000 DHS grant to Life after Hate founded by former white supremacists who renounced racist ideology and help help others transition out of hate groups and re-assimilate into society. Gorka’s aim is to put all funding toward fighting “radical Islamic terrorism.” DHS also revoked funding from the Muslim Public Affairs Council, an American Muslim advocacy organization for an approved $393,800 grant to create community resource centers throughout the country. Like her husband, Katharine Gorka pushes conspiracy theories about the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrating the government and media.

Also gone from the White House is Andy Hemming, the director of rapid response. Hemming didn’t explain, but the WH said it was a “mutual decision.” He was responsible for circulating positive news articles about DDT, usually from the conservative media, to reporters. He’s the third member of the communications department, after Anthony Scaramucci and Michael Short, to leave within a month.

The last intelligence head to accuse Russia of meddling in the presidential election may lose control over cyber issues after DDT decided to separate the U.S. Cyber Command from the NSA. DDT is considered another general to lead the cyber agency National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers refused to deny DDT’s campaign collusion with Russia.

Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin has already been fired “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command” after four Navy accidents since last January, two of them with sailors missing or dead in two separate collisions. Addressing the ten missing sailors in the recent collision between a Navy destroyer and an oil tanker, DDT said, “That’s too bad.”  Sen. Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) said about DDT’s statement:

“There’s some attribute of his character that makes him seemingly incapable of introspection and a broad understanding of what the country really needs.”

In his continued pursuit of alienating congressional Republicans, DDT blamed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan for the “mess” surrounding the debt ceiling. Thursday’s tweets:

“I requested that Mitch M & Paul R tie the Debt Ceiling legislation into the popular V.A. Bill (which just passed) for easy approval. They…

“…didn’t do it so now we have a big deal with Dems holding them up (as usual) on Debt Ceiling approval. Could have been so easy-now a mess!”

DDT was referencing the veterans bill that he signed last Wednesday which shortens the appeals process time for disability claims. The absolute deadline to raise the debt ceiling is September 29; the Treasury department has been fudging bill payment for months. Congress will have 12 contentious days after they return in September to solve the debt ceiling and pass a budget as well as address the tax cuts for the wealthy that DDT wants. No one knows when DDT made the suggestion to connect the two. McConnell had said, “There is zero chance—no chance—we won’t raise the debt ceiling.” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wants a “clean” vote, but conservatives want to include Democrat-opposed spending restrictions. The Senate bill needs support from at least eight Democrats.

Another DDT target last week was Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who said that DDT “has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.” During DDT’s campaign, Corker had been considered a possible running mate, and after the inauguration, DDT’s secretary of state.  Of the eight GOP senators running for re-election in 2018, DDT has already attacked three of them—Corker, Flake, and Nevada’s Dean Heller—as well as opposing law year’s presidential candidate Ted Cruz from Texas.

The National Institutes of Health has removed the word “change” after the word “climate,” per administrative orders. Perhaps it’s DDT’s method of turning around climate change.

The Interior Department has stopped a study about health risks from mountaintop-removal coal mining that West Virginia officials had requested. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has also recommended shrinking the boundaries of some public land national monuments in a secret report to DDT. Watch for court and congressional fights. Nobody is sure what is happening because the two-page summary provides no information and his statement is only that he’s recommending size reductions for an unspecified “handful” of national monuments. Industries are sure that they will be opened up to mining, drilling, and killing the life on them.

Ronald Reagan will be inducted into the Labor Department’s Labor Hall of Honor. Reagan may have been a union leader while in Hollywood, but he fired 11,000 striking air traffic controllers and decertified their union.

DDT may cause substandard care in nursing homes by blocking their residents from suing for injuries from bad care, abuse, or neglect. He can act on this by undoing the rule preventing nursing homes from requiring agreement to resolve disputes through arbitration instead of litigation.

Watch for another “Friday dump” this next week from DDT. The deadline to continue DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is September 5, and Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is considering DACA’s elimination, thus destroying the lives of almost 800,000 people involuntarily brought into the country as children by removing their work permits. The campaigning DDT said:

“We are gonna deal with DACA with heart…I do have a big heart. We’re going to take care of everybody.”

The economy would lose $460.3 billion in GDP over ten years without the 685,000 DACA workers, and DDT’s rejection of them would annually cost states billions of dollars in GDP–$1.3 billion in Arizona and $1.5 billion Florida. DACA supporters include Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, Newt Gingrich, and three-fourths of DDT supporters.

The U.S. is facing war around the planet—the Middle East, Venezuela, and North Korea for a few countries—plus Russian control of the U.S. election process, and DDT attacks transgender people and working Latinos.

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February 16, 2017

Trump Surrounds Himself with White Supremacists

It’s the 21st century, and white supremacists are controlling the White House. After World War II, the nation was “great” because the United States had defeated Nazism during World War II. Less than a century ago, neo-Nazis are a key component in leading the country.

steve-bannonSteve Bannon, de facto president, has received a great deal of press, including posts in this blog. Readers of Breitbart.com learned about the high “black crime” and the “Muslim hordes” beating down the gates of “Western civilization.” Readers also learned that women who use contraceptives are ugly, but that’s another story.

stephen-millerSenior advisor Stephen Miller made a huge name for himself on last Sunday’s talk shows by explaining that the supreme power of and last word in U.S. government is DDT—a position of czar. College roommate of Richard Spencer, a major white supremacist leader, Miller fiercely advocates for “ethno-nationalism,” a way of claiming the superiority of whites and the belief that U.S. culture needs to force out anyone not believing in the nation’s “Judeo-Christian values.” Miller communicated this on the talk shows in his falsehood that “millions” of “illegal aliens” voted against DDT. [Above photo by Jabin Botsford]

Miller was behind DDT’s anti-Muslim rhetoric, probably writing DDT’s speech that “complained darkly that Muslim communities within the United States were sheltering terrorists.” He wrote other strident speeches, including DDT’s declaration that “nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” In Miller’s view, immigration is one of the greatest “existential issues” in the nation, according to a former Miller colleague. Mostly behind the scenes until last Sunday, Miller is equally instrumental as Steve Bannon to DDT’s agenda of exclusion and white hegemony.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 09:  U.S. President Donald Trump (C) put his hand on the shoulder of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) after introducing him before Sessions's swearing in ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House February 9, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump also signed three executive orders immediately after the swearing in ceremony. Also pictured is U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (L).  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

 (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Well-known racist, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions the Third has just been anointed Attorney General after Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his minions blocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) from reading a Coretta Scott King letter about Sessions’ racist behavior. As DDT’s lap dog, he will protect all the president’s illegal actions. Sessions is now the leading law enforcement official of the entire nation, charged with protecting civil rights for racial minorities and other vulnerable populations. We can look forward to Sessions’ protecting the Ku Klux Klan and other white populations.

gorkaSebastian Gorka, DDT’s deputy assistant and former “national security” editor for Breitbart.com, is rabidly Islamophobic and a promoter—perhaps creator—of the term “fake news” for anyone who criticizes DDT. He also strongly supported the omission of any reference to Jews in the Holocaust remembrance statement, possibly because he’s also anti-Semitic.

medalA medal he sports in photographs, the Order of Vitéz, belongs to a Hungarian group identified in the State Department as collaborator with the Nazis during World War II. [visual] The medal of the “vitézi rend,” established by virulently anti-Semitic Miklós Horthy in 1920, was used to “knight” military members and could be inherited. The medal could be inherited, in Gorka’s case most likely from his grandfather. As a Nazi Germany ally, Hungary passed anti-Semitic legislation in 1938 and sent 100,000 Jewish men to forced labor in 1941.

In 1944, Hungary first put 440,000 Jews into ghettos and then deported 425,000 of them to Auschwitz-Birkenau where three-fourths of them were gassed on arrival. The others died from disease, starvation, and other brutal treatment. By the end of the Holocaust, 75 percent of Hungarian Jews were dead. The “knightly order” was banned after the war, but right-wing émigrés kept the organization alive. Anti-Semites again brag about predecessors being a “vitéz.”

michael-antonDDT has added another white supremacist to his team on the National Security Council. Michael Anton, aka Publius Decius Mus, wrote “The Flight 93 Election” for racist Trump supporters, comparing Trump’s campaign to the hijacked plane on 9/11 that passengers took back by force. As a communications aide for the National Security Council in 2001, he participated in preparing the case for invading Iraq that included the myth that Saddam Hussein wanted uranium from Africa. Like DDT, Anton has later disavowed that he supported the Iraq War. [Photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster]

Anton’s essay “Toward a Sensible, Coherent Trumpism” defended pre-world War II anti-Semitism:

“Diversity” is not ‘our strength’; it’s a source of weakness, tension and disunion. America is not a ‘nation of immigrants’; we are originally a nation of settlers, who later chose to admit immigrants, and later still not to, and who may justly open or close our doors solely at our own discretion, without deference to forced pieties.”

Even neoconservative Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, is critical, comparing Anton to the Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. Kristol wrote:

“The Bannon-Anton wing of the Trump White House has a penchant for semi-conspiratorial analyses and semi-kooky prescriptions. And for them, being responsible isn’t a virtue. Which is worrisome.”

As Heather Digby Parton wrote for Salon, DDT found his supporters among those who “see the Obama years as a conscious destruction of civil society through politically correct racial McCarthyism, confiscatory taxes, overbearing regulation, religious oppression, rampant crime and disarmament of the populace” that they learned “on Fox News, heard about from Rush Limbaugh and read about on Breitbart News for nearly a decade.”

DDT’s minions reported what was being pushed on these sources of lies, that Common Core is a disaster, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl “traitorous,”  DDT looks down from his plan and sees the nation as a “war zone” with high crime where all blacks live in violent, squalid ghettos. DDT pictures the U.S. on the edge of social and economic collapse. And these falsehoods are pushed by the white supremacists who DDT has selected to surround him.

“White nationalism” means hostility to Muslims, racial stereotypes of Hispanics, and contempt for blacks. Bannon recently wrote, “In America and Europe, working people are reasserting their right to control their own destinies.” “Working” is dogwhistle for “white” in the same way that Bannon meant Jews and other minorities when he denigrated “cosmopolitan elites.”

Neither Miller nor Bannon supported Andrew Puzder, accusing him of not being strong enough on anti-immigration. After wife-abusing Steve Bannon got rid of wife-abusing Puzder, who withdrew his nomination for Labor Department secretary, conservative Alex Acosta has appeared as a nominee for that position. Acosta’s resume includes clerking for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, confirmation to the National Labor Board, and top federal prosecutor in Miami.

acostaIt was his position on the DOJ Civil Rights Division during George W. Bush’s first term that led to his problems. Acosta’s oversaw the official with hiring authority who allowed employment of only conservative lawyers opposed to civil rights, including police abuse and voting rights violations. A report found that “Acosta took no action to alert those in his chain of command.” As a DOJ official, Acosta participated in Bush’s efforts to win Ohio by telling a judge to side with GOP attorneys when Democrats tried to reinstate the purged names of 23,000 voters. Acosta’s action caused him to lose out in his application to be the law school head at the University of Florida. A question is how Bannon and Miller will cope with Acosta’s pro-Muslim testimony in a congressional hearing.

The last two years have seen a rise in anti-Muslim hate groups in the United States with an almost three-fold increase just last year from 34 to 101. “As the radical right was energized by the candidacy of Donald Trump,” the overall number of domestic hate groups is now 917 in a “resurgence of white nationalism.” The report added that the new groups “were almost entirely focused on Trump and seemed to live off his candidacy.” The FBI reported a 67-percent surge of hate crimes against Muslims in 2015.

Today DDT again called himself  “the least racist [person you have seen in your entire life].” These are the people he chooses to “make America great again.”

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