Nel's New Day

February 27, 2021

Biden, Democratic Congress Moving Rapidly Forward

The year 2021 marks the 20th year of the U.S. preemptive war in the Middle East, starting with George W. Bush’s attack on Afghanistan. President Joe Biden delivered the latest bombings, seven against two Iran-backed militias smuggling weapons in Syria. The airstrikes hit buildings on a border crossing with Iraq. Iranian state television reported 17 fatalities, but Biden had no exact number. Biden said he intended to “send a message” about the militias’ aggressive actions in Iraq against the U.S. including last week’s rocket attack. Experts have differed on the appropriateness of Biden’s actions, but Biden hopes to keep the path open for renewing an anti-nuclear agreement in Iran.

Years after U.S. intelligence prepared a report on the 2018 torturing and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and journalist, in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey, the new Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines has declassified and released the document. According to the report, available here:

“Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi… The Crown Prince has absolute control of the Kingdom’s security and intelligence organizations, making it highly unlikely that Saudi officials would have carried out an operation of this nature without the Crown Prince’s authorization.”

Although Congress mandated the information be made public, former Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) had covered up for MBS because of his friendship with Saudi Arabia and took no action about the vicious assault.

On the day before the report’s release, Biden called the 85-year-old Saudi king, instead of his son MBS, the crown prince and heir apparent, who has been giving orders. Biden may have had trouble reaching the king: sources say, “MBS has controlled his father’s switchboard.” The conversation skipped the report, but Biden “affirmed the importance the United States places on universal human rights and the rule of law” and discussed working on “mutual issues of concern.” Biden has eliminated U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

The U.S. does not plan to charge MBS of any crimes, but Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the “Khashoggi Ban,” restricting visas for people acting on behalf of foreign governments directly engaged in “serious, extraterritorial counter-dissident activities, including those that suppress, harass, surveil, threaten, or harm journalists, activists, or other persons perceived to be dissidents for their work.” The ban can also cover family members and will be applied immediately to 76 Saudis “believed to have been engaged in threatening dissidents overseas, including but not limited to the Khashoggi killing.” The Treasury Department also sanctioned a former Saudi intelligence official, Ahmed Hassan Mohammed al Asiri, and the crown prince’s personal protective detail, the Rapid Intervention Force (aka the “Tiger Squad”). Blinken echoed Biden’s earlier statement that the U.S. wishes to “recalibrate” the relationship with Saudi Arabia “to be more in line with our interests and our values.”

The Treasury Department also replaced sanctions on Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler for corruption in Africa after DDT rolled them with no explanation or announcement during his last few days in the White House. Gertler is a close friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Biden also plans sanctions and other punishments for Russia for the SolarWinds cyber-espionage campaign, interfering in elections, and the Kremlin’s use of a banned chemical weapon against anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny before jailing him.

On Thursday, three Republicans supported the Democratic representatives in a 224-206 vote to expand federal protections for LGBTQ people by prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The Equality Act amends the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1968 Fair Housing Act to include specific protections for LGBTQ people. The Republicans voting for the bill are John Katko (NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), and Tom Reed (NY); the other Republican support discrimination in the name of religious freedom. The legislation passed the House almost two years ago, but then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) ignored it. McConnell has become the minority leader, and the Democrats will likely address the House bill.

Early Saturday morning, the House passed Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan by 219-212 with opposition from all Republicans and two Democrats, Kurt Schrader (OR) and Jared Golden (ME).  Although the Senate parliamentarian refuses to allow the hourly $15 minimum wage in the reconciliation bill permitting a 50-50 vote in the chamber without a filibuster, the House included it in their bill.

As usual with a Democratic president, Republicans are arguing for austerity after driving up the national debt with massive tax cuts for the wealthy and big business. Another false argument is that only a small portion of the $1.9 trillion goes to combating the virus, “actually used to put shots in people’s arms,” according to Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO). He ignores the funding for stimulus checks, school openings, unemployment payments, assistance for small businesses, and other types of expenditures the GOP legislators willingly passed while DDT was in the White House.

Biden insisted on changes in the bill’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans after they went to big businesses in the first bill instead of the mandated small business. He wants to guarantee loans to businesses with under 20 employees and restricts applications from these businesses for 14 days so that lenders can prioritize those businesses. Other changes open up loans to people with non-fraud felony convictions and to non-citizen business owners. In the last round, a large number of loans were flagged for potential fraud. A new mandate tackling “waste, fraud, and abuse across all federal programs” requires approval of PPP loans “contingent on passing [Small Business Association] fraud checks, Treasury’s Do Not Pay database, and public records.”

A proposed bill for a special commission probing the January 6 attack on the Capitol, such as the one which investigated the 9/11 attacks, is struggling because of GOP opposition. Objections started when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wanted a majority of Democrats on the commission. If Republicans approached the situation with a lack of bias, the equality might have worked. Yet Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) believes not only that DDT had nothing to do with the insurrection but also that it was a friendly group of people who were coming into the Capitol until the Capitol Police provoked them. Earlier, he had falsely asserted the seditionists were all on the left side, that all of them were not DDT’s supporters. Some GOP legislators, such as Steve Scalise (LA), second in House minority command, still maintain Biden is in the White House illegally and should be removed.

In addition, almost 150 GOP legislators of the 261 Republicans in Congress voted to overturn the legal votes from the electoral college after the far-right attack on the Capitol to stop the vote—almost 40 percent of the number of Republicans in Congress. All those Republicans have a conflict of interest to be on a commission to investigate the insurrection and would likely sabotage its investigation and reporting.

On the Senate side, Republican Mitch McConnell insists the commission also investigate all Black Lives Matter protests. If not that, then it should concentrate only on Capitol security failures, avoiding any white supremacy terrorism issues. The approaches would be like telling the 9/11 Commission to focus only on planes hitting the World Trade towers without reviewing radical Islamist terrorism or focus on all international violence. The mandate of the 9/11 Commission was to examine “the facts and circumstances relating to the 9/11 terrorist attack . . . including those relating to intelligence agencies; law enforcement agencies; diplomacy; immigration, nonimmigrant visas, and border control; the flow of assets to terrorist organizations; commercial aviation; the role of congressional oversight and resource allocation; and other areas determined relevant by the Commission for its inquiry.”

After DDT’s administration ignored reunification of families who they separated at the southern border, Biden appointed a task force to find the parents of 611 children. In less than a month, 105 children have been returned to their families, and the group is working to reunify the others.

Biden revoked the following presidential orders and memoranda signed by DDT:

  • Cutting funding from cities DDT declared as “anarchist” havens.
  • Mandating all new federal buildings be designed in classical aesthetic.
  • Limiting the ability of federal agency employees to make regulatory decisions.
  • Calling for agency heads to review welfare programs and strengthen work requirements for some recipients.

After a month in the White House, Biden has an overall job approval rating of 56 percent with 54 percent for his handling the economy and 56 percent for foreign affairs. His best rating is 67 percent approval in handling the coronavirus. That rating might go up with the FDA approval of a third vaccine, the one-shot vaccination from Johnson & Johnson. In DDT’s last six weeks, people received 12 million vaccinations. Biden promised 100 million in the first 100 days: in his first five weeks, people have gotten 58 million, 1.6 million a day and rising.

On February 26, 2021, the number of daily U.S. infections is down (80,625), but the daily number of deaths is averaging above 2,000—the most recent number 2,216. Total U.S. infections – 29,136,912; deaths – 523,082.      

February 5, 2021

Biden, Democrats Forge Ahead

The National Defense Authorization Act went into effect last December with a little-known provision, that federal agents must identify themselves to protesters. Until this law, unidentified federal agents could emulate banana republicans by snatching people off the streets. Assaulted and kidnapped people didn’t know until the law whether they were attacked by federal employees or illegitimate, armed vigilantes. Now agents must have visible name labels and insignia marking their government agency, unlike their anonymity in cities across the U.S. during last summer’s protests when they could attack journalists and peaceful protesters with impunity.

This law was one of the few bright lights between the election and the inauguration of President Joe Biden. Now, the new normal has returned to leading—meetings to inform and support people, qualified appointees with experience for their positions, daily civil informative press conferences, and no tweeted insults or slurs—except from the Republicans upset about the Democratic Congress and executive branch.

Instead of nothing happening in the Senate with Mitch McConnell (R-CA) in charge, the Democratic senators charge ahead. After a 15-hour overnight session, the Senate voted about 5:30 am on Friday to move Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package forward so that it could be debated and presented for a final vote. VP Kamala Harris  cast the deciding vote in 51 to 50. Democrats voted for some of the GOP amendments before all Republicans voted against addressing the final bill without a filibuster. The bill passed the House in the afternoon, and Senate can move forward with debate to a simple majority vote. Republicans followed their usual pattern when voting for bills while Democrats have the majority: insist on their changes and then vote against it en masse.

Last week, ten GOP senators met with Biden with their version of a bill for only one-third the amount Biden requested. Again, the Republicans followed their usual pattern: ignore “austerity” with a Republican president, but bring back cuts after a Democratic becomes president. Under Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), Republicans gave an extra $2 trillion to the wealthy and big businesses with the 2017 tax cuts, passed two stimulus bills worth over $3 trillion, and jacked up expenditures for the military while trying to pull out of the Middle East. Republicans in the administration also guaranteed that a large percentage of the two stimulus bills would go to their friends, donors, and big business. In the first stimulus bill, Republicans buried a tax break giving 80 percent of the benefits to 43,000 millionaires at a loss of $250 billion for the government.

Biden’s administration succeeded in expanding the New START agreement with Russia requiring limits on nuclear weapons in both Russia and the U.S. until 2026. The U.S. will also get a better view of Russia’s nuclear capabilities. Russia has been in compliance with the deal since it went into force in 2011. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said his department is working on another agreement with Russia to regulate smaller arms, “battlefield” or “tactical” nuclear weapons, falling outside the New START accord, and an agreement with China. Failing to extend the agreement, DDT had told Russia that it must include the two proposed ideas before he would sign it. DDT abandoned the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 2019 and the Open Skies Treaty allowing mutual reconnaissance flights in 2020.

Blinken also called on Russia to release opposition leader Alexei Navalny, sentenced for almost three years to a penal colony. Russians poisoned Navalny, who recovered and then insisted on returning to the country. Sergey Maximishin, a senior doctor at the Russian hospital where Navalny was treated after the poisoning, “suddenly” died at the age of 55. The hospital did not list a cause of death although the regional health ministry said “preliminary data” indicated a heart attack.

In an interview with CBS News, Biden said DDT should not receive intelligence briefings because he was “unfit to be president” and had “erratic behavior unrelated to the insurrection.” Biden confirmed former opinions about DDT being “an existential threat,” “dangerous,” and “reckless.” According to Biden:

“I just think that there is no need for [DDT] to have the intelligence briefings. What value is giving him an intelligence briefing? What impact does he have at all, other than the fact he might slip and say something?”

Seventeen days into his presidency, Biden has taken 48 actions—executive orders, presidential declamations, and memoranda. Over one-third related to health policy, including several executive actions about the pandemic response. Nine actions concern immigration, revoking DDT’s directives, and another two are environmental reforms, one of them revoking or revising 15 of DDT’s energy and environmental actions and reinstating two of President Obama’s revoked actions. Other directives cover gender and racial equality, the economy, trade, national security, and ethics in government. The listing is available here.

One controversial order reverses the gag rule on international family planning organizations. Called the “Mexico City Policy,” the policy allowing groups receiving public funds to tell patients about abortion has ping-ponged between presidents since Ronald Reagan adopted it. GOP presidents enforce it; Democratic presidents remove it. DDT went even farther by issuing a domestic gag rule. Taxpayer support for abortion is already prohibited, but DDT blocked organizations receiving federal funds from saying the word “abortion.” Biden told the HHS to “consider whether to suspend, revise, or rescind” the so-called domestic gag rule. He told officials to be undoing the regulatory process is required to undo the domestic gag rule.

According to an analysis of studies, the Mexico City Policy eliminating information about abortion increases abortion rates in sub-Saharan Africa. High exposure to it raised the rates by 40 percent along with a 14-percent decline in use of modern contraceptives and a 12-percent increase in pregnancies. Access to and use of contraception is vital to preventing unintended pregnancies and thus reducing abortion, including unsafe abortion.

Under acting AG Monty Wilkinson, the DOJ rescinded two memos about voter fraud investigation. Under DDT, former AG Bill Barr had permitted the department to interfere in states’ vote certification. Barr’s order allowed prosecutors to interview witnesses with no permission from District Election Officers. A second Barr order allowed a reduction of coronavirus-related expansions of voting access, including greater early or absentee voting.

The DOJ dropped a discrimination case against Yale University that claimed the school weren’t fair to White and Asian applicants. DDT supported the case in opposition to attempting greater racial diversity by factoring in applicants’ race and country of origin for admissions, long reinforced by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court removed arguments for two immigration cases in February per a request from Biden’s acting solicitor general Elizabeth B. Prelogar. She asked for a delay in cases concerned a funding dispute about the southern border wall and DDT’s policy mandating asylum seekers to wait in Mexico because wall construction has been halted, and the asylum program is being reviewed. The immigration case has its third name in two weeks, Mayorkas (Pekoske, Wolf) v. Innovation Law Lab, because Alejandro Mayorkas was confirmed as the new DHS secretary by a 56-43 vote—the first confirmed DHS secretary for almost two years.   

In addition to confirming the first Latino and immigrant for a DHS secretary, the Senate also confirmed its first gay Cabinet member after Pete Buttigieg became Secretary of Transportation with an 86-13 vote. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) did not vote in either Buttigieg’s and Mayorkas’ confirmations. The map (left) shows the “no votes” for Buttigieg—yellow for one senator, red indicating both senators. All 13 senators who declared he didn’t have enough experience voted to install Ben Carson for HUD and Betsy DeVos for Education departments as well as supporting all DDT’s inexperienced judges.

To get low-income families online, Jessica Rosenworcel, new acting chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is moving the FCC into expansion of a broadband services discount program to cover remote schooling. Comcast has voluntarily doubled its internet speeds for people on government assistance. E-Rate offers schools and libraries discounts on equipment and services for internet access. COVID-19, however has closed these facilities, forcing many students to use access from nearby fast-food restaurants. Former FCC Chair Ajit Pai had refused the expansion.

Biden will choose Timothy Lenderking, former State Department official focused on the Middle East area, as his envoy to Yemen in an indication the U.S. will try to end the conflict starving millions of people. The United States will no longer support military operations in Yemen although the U.S. will continue the fight against al-Qaeda in Yemen. The Saudi-led coalition including the U.S. indiscriminately bombed Yemeni civilians and targeted the already partially-destroyed infrastructure.

Robert Malley, who helped negotiate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, is special envoy for Iran. The appointee earlier warned DDT his maximum pressure on Iran from the military and sanctions which devastated the economy accomplished very little.

Wisconsin Republicans have overturned the state’s mask requirement, and Iowa requires neither masks nor social distancing. On February 5, 2021, the number of deaths from COVID-19 reached 470,705. If the average of deaths continues at this rate, the U.S. will be at 500,000 deaths from the virus by the middle of February without counting excess deaths. Wisconsin’s removal of the mask mandate also lost the state $50 million a month for food stamps. The governor reissued the mask mandate, and the state legislature is working on a law to get the federal funding back.

December 24, 2020

DDT, GOP Leave Coal in Stockings

Today is the day before Christmas, and all the GOP members of Congress should be “nestled all snug in their beds; While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.” After all, all except one senator happily voted not to impeach/convict Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). The House Republicans unanimously voted against impeachment on December 18, 2019, and all 53 GOP senators exonerated him of abuse of power on February 2, 2020. Sen. Mitt Romney (UT) was the only Republican senator to vote in favor of convicting DDT for obstruction of Congress. Justifying their votes for not convicting DDT of these crimes, GOP senators proudly said he had “learned his lesson.”

Two days after the Senate vote, DDT fired witnesses Ambassador Gordon Sondland and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who had testified in the impeachment inquiry, along with Vindman’s twin brother Yevgeny, who had nothing to do with the impeachment. That retaliation began the downward spiral of DDT’s vicious behavior. By now, some of those supporters may have learned their lesson—that DDT will make life hell for anyone opposes him and anyone connected to his opposition.

Republicans are finally losing their temper openly after they faithfully followed White House orders on the stimulus/spending bill, and he—again—betrayed them. Never matter that 126 House members faithfully followed DDT down the rabbit hole by joining a seditious lawsuit in the Supreme Court to overturn a legal election for president, furthering polarizing a badly-divided, formerly democratic country. Angry messages from congressional members inundating White House aides claim, correctly, that DDT abandoned them after the White House told them it supported the bill and asked for their votes. DDT has repeatedly told they can’t trust him: one of his favorite statements, “You knew I was a snake when you took me in.”

House Democrats now support DDT, and the bill, by unanimously voting in favor of increasing the stimulus checks to $2,000, but House Republicans procedurally stymied the vote. One can imagine DDT grimly chortling on his Florida golf course about his latest chaos. Democrats support people while the GOP wants money and power. Republicans gave DDT everything he could have wanted to get their conservative judicial activists, including support for overturning the election in his favor and protection in concealing his finances. In return, they found coal in their stockings. Santa didn’t like Republicans this year, and DDT blocked them from “Merry Christmas!” Apparently, enabling and sycophantism didn’t pay off in 2020.

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) was so disgusted with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) rejected the amendment that she banged the gavel, saying “Merry Christmas!” in a less than positive way. The House is adjourned until Monday afternoon for a floor vote on DDT’s request for $2,000 checks. Dingell’s statement after the adjournment:

“It is Christmas Eve, but it is not a silent night. All is not calm. For too many, nothing is bright. And for too many, they are not sleeping peacefully. I gave a town hall last night that had people crying, people terrified of what is going to happen… I’ve been talking to people who are scared they’re going to be kicked out from their homes during the Christmas holiday, and still might be if we don’t sign this bill.”

McCarthy tried to make Pelosi the scapegoat by attacking her in a letter for trying to “use the American people as leverage to make coronavirus relief contingent on government funding.” He also framed himself as protector of people in the U.S.:

“The top priority must be our families, communities, and small businesses as we get through this pandemic and restore our country.”

Yet he refuses DDT’s call for more direct payment which Pelosi supports and accused Democrats of “selective hearing” for not cutting the $2 billion in foreign aid DDT opposes. McCarthy plans a bill to cut that funding while not providing anything for people in the U.S. It’s “austerity” time for Republicans with President-elect Joe Biden in the White House.  

On CNN Sunday, Romney mourned the loss of the Republican party, how the GOP he knew even eight years ago when he ran for president is gone:

“I represent a very small slice of the Republican Party today. We were a party concerned about balancing the budget. We believed in trade with other nations. We were happy to play a leadership role on the world stage, because we felt that made us safer and more prosperous. And we believed that character was essential in the leaders that we chose. We have strayed from that. I don’t see us returning to that for a long time.”

Romney plans to stay a Republican, saying he wants to work within the party instead of from outside. Member of the anti-DDT Lincoln Project Kurt Bardella, however, explained why he changed his registration from GOP to Democrat:

“I appreciate where Romney is coming from, but there comes a point where an institution is so thoroughly broken it must be rebuilt someplace else. The party’s true platform has become a toxic combination of authoritarianism and white nationalism. Rebuilding the party will require dismantling it. And helping in that cause doesn’t mean becoming an Independent or agitating for a third party…

“At the start of the Trump presidency, anti-Trumpers who identified as Republicans stayed with the team hoping that their policy positions would still form the basis of a Republican agenda. That experiment is over.

“If you were a Republican because you believed in fiscal restraint, under Trump the debt and deficit have exploded. If you were a Republican because you believed the GOP was stronger on national and homeland security, just look at what Trump said this week in cynically downplaying Russia’s cyberattack against our country. If you are a Republican because you believe in law and order, examine the records of the corrupt people Trump just gave pardons and commutations to. If you are a Republican because you are pro-life, there are 324,000 Americans dead from COVID-19 to call into question the GOP’s commitment to the sanctity of life.”

By Christmas Eve, the number of people dying from the virus in the U.S. is 327,000, and an additional 100,000 people died in the U.S. during the first nine months of 2020. The leadership of the “pro-life” party made the U.S. the deadliest year in history, topping three million deaths. The over 400,00 mortality increase over 2019 is a percentage leap not seen since the 1918 flu epidemic and World War I deaths. The number of deaths fell in 2019 with reductions in heart disease and cancer fatalities, and life expectancy crept higher for the second straight year. In 2020, the increase in deaths will force life expectancy up to three full years lower.

DDT may have spent the day on the golf course, but he took time out to tweet threats of military conflict against Iran. Last weekend, a weekend rocket attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad injured one Iraqi but no Americans. DDT wrote:

“Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over.”

Iran denied perpetrating the attack and warned DDT against “dangerous adventurism.” DDT is running out of ways to overturn a legal presidential election—court cases, appeals for state legislatures taking over electoral votes, declaration of martial law for a new election, even “requests” for VP Mike Pence to overturn the election at the congressional joint session on January 6. DDT doesn’t understand Pence merely presides over the proceedings and doesn’t make the final decision. DDT’s next ploy may be to start a war using the warped belief people will be forced to leave him in the White House in the midst of a war.

Foreign policy analysts have cautioned for weeks about DDT attacking Iran to sabotage any diplomacy and return to the nuclear deal in the Biden administration. Last month, DDT checked on ways to bomb Iran’s primary nuclear energy site, and earlier this month, the U.S. flew two B-52 bombers over the Persian Gulf to threaten Iran.

Some new House GOP representatives, including QAnn members Laurie Boebert (CO) and Marjorie Greene (GA), want to bring their guns onto the House floor. Greene wants every place in the nation to be “gun free zones,” including visitors’ galleries in congressional chambers.

The media is suspicious about the photoshopping of DDT and Melania Trump’s last Christmas portrait. His expression is identical to the one of a series taken last year with the Prince of Wales, and a photo expert compared the image to a paper cutout. Is it possible the two can’t even get close enough for a joint photo op? No doubt, Melania finds the next 27 days waiting to leave the White House as difficult as people in the U.S. do. 

December 22, 2020

DDT Creates More Chaos in Budget, Pardons

In the morning, news looks fairly calm. Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) looks petulant or demanding while he hides in the White House, no events on his calendar, and the countdown to his departure continues—four weeks! By late afternoon, the bombshells drop.

One is the granting of 15 pardons and five commutations for a variety of killers and felons, some of whom can donate to his future campaigns. A sampling of “clemency” from the self-professed “law and order” leader:

The first two men convicted in Robert Mueller’s investigation between Russia and DDT’s campaign during his 2016 campaign: Serving 14 days in prison, DDT’s foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos had pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with a London-based professor claiming Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Serving 30 days in prison, Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan pled guilty to lying about his work with Paul Manafort, DDT’s former campaign chair, in efforts related to Ukraine.

Four lawmakers convicted of insider trading and other crimes: Former Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA), using hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds for vacations, theater tickets, etc., had faced 11 months in federal prison. Former Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), caught in an insider-trading scheme while he was at a White House event, was serving 26 months in prison. Former Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), convicted of conspiring to take thousands of dollars in donations meant for charity and voter education, was two years into a ten-year sentence. Lawyer Sidney Powell, fired by DDT’s campaign, had sought clemency for Stockman. Utah state Rep. Phil Lyman was sentenced to ten days in jail for participating in a 2014 ATV demonstration protesting federal land management.

Four Blackwater private security contractors, former veterans, murdering and wounding civilians in an unprovoked  massacre: The killers worked for Erik Prince, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ brother, when they used sniper fire, machine guns, and grenade launchers on people in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square.

Two former Border Patrol agents convicted of killing a suspected drug smuggler: George W. Bush had already commuted their sentences.

Four men and women recommended by Alice Johnson, whose prison sentence for a drug conviction had been commuted: Johnson was a speaker at DDT’s summer GOP convention and soon received a full pardon.

A former healthcare mogul convicted of being central in one of the biggest Medicare fraud cases in the U.S. and paying bribes for favors: Philip Esformes was required to pay $44 million to the government after a 2019 trial in Miami sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) summarized DDT’s pardons and commutations:

“If you lie to cover up for the President, you get a pardon. If you are a corrupt politician who endorsed Trump, you get a pardon. If you murder civilians while at war, you get a pardon.It goes to show, if you elect a corrupt man as President of the United States, you get corruption—and lots of it.”

Another bombshell was DDT’s threat to veto the stimulus relief bill. Following the bill’s passage, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, DDT’s negotiator who proposed the $600 relief checks for people, lauded the measure, but relief was short lived. DDT wants to make individual checks $2,000 instead of $600 and to strike provisions he dislikes:

“I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and to send me a suitable bill, or else the next administration will have to deliver a Covid relief package. And maybe that administration will be me, and we will get it done.”

Confusing the stimulus bill with the budget, he trashed such items in the spending bill as approximately $2 billion for foreign aid, $1 billion for the Smithsonian, $154 million for the National Gallery of Art, and $40 million for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. That last amount is equivalent to 13 of DDT’s trips to Mar-a-Lago.

The bill originally passed with a veto-proof vote, but Republicans may join House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) who said he won’t vote against DDT’s veto. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took DDT’s threats in stride, saying the House would pass the increased amount for stimulus checks. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer tweeted Democrats would try to pass a separate bill on Thursday for $2,000 direct payments. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated that Democrats wanted the $2,000 payments only to face opposition by DDT’s own party members.The stimulus bill is part of the spending bill; vetoing the bill would drive the country into a shutdown next Monday without a Continuing Resolution—again.

In addition to items I gave yesterday for the $900 billion stimulus bill, $35 billion was provided for renewable energies and calls for cutting greenhouse gases. The money includes $4 billion for research and development of wind, solar, and geothermal; $1.7 billion expanding access to renewables to low-income Americans; and $2.6 billion for the Energy Department’s sustainable transportation project. The Energy Department is also required to prioritize funding for research in powering the U.S. with 100 percent “clean, renewable, or zero-emission energy sources. The EPA will begin phasing out hydrofluorocarbons, HFCs, in air conditioners by 85 percent before 2035.

Another $7 billion was assigned for high-speed internet and payment for monthly bills, almost half the money going to low-income families to help them stay online after losing their jobs. The funding also expands internet service in hard-to-read regions, upgrade infrastructure with security flaws, and map connectivity for future funding.

Another provision of the stimulus measure creates a small claims court where online content creators can take on infringers of the copyright law instead of the federal courts to receive damages. The measure streamlines court actions and saves creators money. Only one independent, Justin Amash (MI), and five Republicans voted against it:  Warren Davidson (OH), Greg Gianforte (MT), Trent Kelly (MS), Thomas Massie (KY), and Ralph Norman (SC). The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (CASE) uses “Copyright Claims Officers” to work with both parties to resolve lawsuit claims. Damages would be capped at $15,000 for each infringed work, topping out at $30,000. Infringements of creative work have been greatly simplified by the internet.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) successfully stopped the requirement for employers to pay sick leave to workers who get infected with COVID-19.

For conservatives, the spending bill provides $110 billion in tax breaks for special interest groups—liquor producers, motorsports entertainment, and electric motorcycle manufacturers. People receive about $1.5 billion in annual tax breaks, either part of the code or supposedly annual advantages renewed year after year because of lobbying. The Space Force also received $2.4 billion, and sexual-abstinence programs, proved to be useless, received $35 million. The Navy got $4 billion for weapons procurement, above the defense act giving the military $741 billion.

One positive provision granted a Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum and a National Museum of the American Latino. Earlier, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) had blocked this issue; he claims it the basis that it polarized people.

Instead of the ten percent increase in the medical expense deduction for 2021, the percentage was stayed at 7.5 percent permanently. Thus all medical expenses over 7.5 percent of the adjusted gross income can be deducted for everyone. Only seniors had benefited from the lower percentage since the Affordable Care Act was passed ten years ago until DDT’s “tax cuts” bill of 2017 brought the percentage for everyone back to 7.5 percent on an annual basis.

DDT is still meeting with people to orchestrate the overturn of President-elect Joe Biden’s win, the latest one with a dozen House GOP members. They spent over three hours planning strategy for January 6. DDT has been lobbying Sen.-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), to be sworn in on January 3, to join the representatives for protest to electoral votes by populations of swing states. For success, the Democratic-controlled House would have to vote to take the legitimate election win from Democrats Joe Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris. The process can still be messy, perhaps going into January 7. Republicans feasted on pigs in a blanket at the White House.

Deteriorating from his election loss, DDT has turned on more allies, starting with VP Mike Pence, who will run the January 6 joint congressional session to announce the electoral votes. He is also attacking Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and McConnell for not fighting for his overturning the election and won’t ask state legislatures to reverse the electoral votes for him instead of the people’s choice. DDT bases his paranoia on an anti-DDT Lincoln Project TV ad stating Pence will be responsible for certifying Biden’s victory and run against him for president. 

DDT also attacked Sen. John Thune (R-SD), declaring his “political career [is] over!” There was no explanation for DDT’s anger, but Thune disagreed with DDT fighting Biden’s win in the January 6 joint congressional session. Even televangelist Pat Robertson no longer supports DDT. He called on DDT to concede and said he lives in an “alternative reality.”

Officials have finally found a case of voter fraud so frantically sought for by DDT’s supporters. Bruce Bartman, 70, pretended to be his dead mother to vote in Delaware County (PA). The vote was for DDT. Bartman was charged with unlawful voting and perjury. A database has found 193 convicted cases of voter fraud between 1000 and 2020, when 250 million votes were cast.

No Government Shutdown, Little Funding

The threat of the holiday 2020 government shutdown has been averted if Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) signs the $2.3 trillion budget bill. Included in the bill is $900 billion for coronavirus relief. Congress already passed the $741 billion defense bill which DDT has not yet signed and promised to veto. He has until Wednesday before it goes into law unless he vetoes it in that time.

The House passed the budget by 359-53, the Senate by 92-6. The White House said DDT will sign the measure. The six GOP senators voting against the bill: Marsha Blackburn (TN), Rand Paul (KY), Rick Scott (FL), Ron Johnson (WI), Mike Lee (UT), and Ted Cruz (TX).  

DDT has signed a one-week Continuing Resolution to give time for the budget’s paperwork preparation.   

Last May, the House passed a $3 billion stimulus bill; it passed another one for $2.2 trillion in October. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to go above $1.1 trillion but finally settled on $900 billion in his attempt to get two GOP incumbent senators re-elected in Georgia on January 5. Arguments about the contents of the bill included the inclusion of stimulus checks, extended unemployment, and assistance for state and local governments—all opposed by Republicans. The GOP wanted no liability for lack of safety from COVID-19 and the elimination of any programs to use money from the Treasury Department rainy-day fund to save the country from financial crisis. Republicans lost both of these as well as financial help for states. The 5,593-page measure probably has lots of mystery items because lawmakers had only a few hours to consider it. A few openers:

  • $1.375 billion for 56 miles of DDT’s border wall;
  • $5 million for a database to track police misconduct;
  • $153 million for programs to better community relations with police;
  • 3 percent pay raise for military;
  • 1 percent pay raise for the civilian federal workforce.

Critics have pointed out that the “stimulus” bill is quite skimpy, especially the direct aid: 

  • $166 billion: the federal unemployment insurance supplement of $300 a week, extended for 11 weeks;
  • $120 billion: direct aid checks of $600 a person making under $75,000;
  • $284 billion: forgivable loans for businesses paying for rent and workers;
  • $15 billion: live venues, movie theaters, and other entertainment;
  • [several billion]: other Small Business Administration programs;
  • $82 billion: colleges and schools with $54 billion going to public schools;
  • $69 billion: vaccines ($22 billion – testing and tracing, $20 billion – vaccine procurement, $9 billion – vaccine distribution);
  • $45 billion: transportation, including $15 billion for the airline industry;
  • $25 billion: rental assistance and an extension of the moratorium on evictions;
  • $20 billion: Economic Injury Disaster Loans;
  • $13 billion: food-assistance programs, increasing the maximum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit by 15 percent;
  • $10 billion: childcare assistance.

States and cities have a full year to use funding from last March’s Cares Act bill. In another measure, health providers must work with insurers for a fair price in case of unexpectedly out-of-network care to avoid massive bills. Republicans get a tax break on “three-martini lunch” because Democrats wanted expanded tax credits for low income families and the working poor. DDT lobbied for that benefit. Lawmakers claim this bill is only a starter for help, but McConnell will almost surely not allow another one. The GOP firmly believes in austerity when a Democrat is president.

Oregon hit national news when about 300 heavily armed white supremacists, including Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer, broke into the state capitol during a one-day special legislative session. The far-right protesters attacked police with spray chemical agents, broke glass in the doors, and tore tarps from vandalized marble reliefs on the front steps. Streets around the capitol were closed, and residents were told to avoid the area. DDT has gone silent about any protesters, including the Antifa, because of the white supremacists’ unprovoked attacks on people. [Left: a protester at the Oregon capitol.]

Arizona’s GOP Chair Kelli Ward wants DDT to “cross the Rubicon,” the illegal action Julius Caesar took to change the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire through civil war and require people to swear fealty to him and not their country.

Caught up in a conspiracy theory, air-conditioner installer David Lopez-Zuniga was going to work in a small cargo truck filled with parts last October when a SUV deliberately struck his truck and forced him to the edge of the highway. Feigning an injury, Mark Aguirre, a former Houston police officer who believed the truck had 750,000 fraudulent ballots, ordered Lopez Zuniga to the ground and pointed a gun at his head. Aguirre claimed “Hispanic children” were used to sign ballots because their fingerprints weren’t in any databases. Steven Hotze, head of a conservative nonprofit, hired Aguirre as one of 20 investigators looking into Texas ballot fraud—conspiracy theories fed by DDT and his court cases. Aguirre was fired from the Houston police force in 2003 for ordering the arrest of 300 people in a retail store parking lot, some of them shopping. He claimed drag racing, and the city paid almost $1 million to settle multiple lawsuits. Aguirre refused to say why he picked Lopez-Zuniga and called the charges a “political prosecution.”  

AG Bill Barr has until Wednesday in office, and he opposes special investigators for both Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, and election fraud. He also thinks DDT is wrong with his rejection that Russia is behind the current cyber espionage; he said the hacking “certainly appears” to be from the Kremlin. On Monday, DDT told a tea party conference he won in a landslide and wants the Justice Department to back him in overturning the election. Barr also said there is no reason for seizing voting machines, something Sidney Powell talked about with DDT Sunday at the White House. DDT’s campaign had fired Powell because of her history of false claims. 

Boeing’s 737 MAX is back in the air after being grounded for 21 months ago, but a bipartisan Senate report describes how the company and the FAA manipulated its recertification tests after the two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019. Boeing “inappropriately coached” FAA test pilots for the airplane’s desirable outcome with some tests on simulators not equipped to recreate the same conditions as the crashes. The FAA also retaliated against whistleblowers, blocking the investigation, didn’t hold senior managers accountable, and permitted Southwest Airlines to operate dozens of falsely certified planes.

The post office is again failing to deliver packages on time. This time the reason is heavy e-commerce and COVID-19 infections/exposures among almost 20,000 employees. DDT’s Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s sabotage of USPS delivery, especially of ballots, worsened the situation by trashing sorting machines and cutting back on overtime. Georgia’s election, with a deadline on January 5, has a request for 1.3 million mail-in ballots.

Last August, Russians poisoned Vladimir Putin’s opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Almost dying, Navalny tricked the Russian assigned to tail Navalny into explaining the method of poisoning: the lethal nerve agent Novichok was planted inside the crotch of his underpants. Konstantin Kudryavtsev believed he was being debriefed by a senior official from Russia’s National Security Council and talked about traveling to Siberia to clean up the evidence. Navalny probably lived because his flight was diverted to Omsk where he was treated within minutes of landing. When Kudryavtsev got the clothing, he applied solutions to destroy any evidence of poison, according to directions from Stanislav Makshakov, the official in charge of the toxin team.

Russia’s four-year ban from international sports competition may be cut in half, but the country will still miss the next two Olympics and the World Cup. No flag, no anthem, no presence at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics, 2022 Winter Games (Beijing), and other competitions such as the FIFA World Cup, the Youth Olympic Games, Paralympics, and other world championships. Russian athletes can compete but not under the Russian flag. The court ruling for Russian doping also requires Russian government representatives, including Putin, cannot attend a major international event for the next two years. Russia must pay $1.27 million to the World Anti-Doping Agency for covering the costs of its investigation and turn over data from its Moscow laboratory.

With the addition of a Moderna vaccine, the CDC is planning more vaccinations with the next tier going to essential workers and people 75 and over. The first group was comprised of healthcare workers and people in nursing homes along with “older” members of Congress. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), 49, joined the “older” group to get vaccinated, becoming one of the 32,000 Floridians in a state with a population of 21,480,000, mostly people over 65 and an enormous nursing home population.

Grifters are making money off the grifter in the White House. Reggie Skyrock and Ashley Weiss selling bus tickets to Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2021, for $40—no refunds. Yes, you read that right. It’s posted on Event Brite. And the announcement was still there a few hours even after The Bulwark outed them.  

December 18, 2020

GOP Sabotages Stimulus Bill, Economy

The United States is on the verge of another government shutdown, almost two years after the last one created by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and his GOP minions. This one comes from the attachment of a stimulus bill to the budget which expires today, December 18. The general election slowed down any stimulus bill because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants to destroy the economy for a Democratic president. He found no value in austerity when the GOP gave trillions of dollars to the wealthy and big business in the 2017 tax cuts and earlier this year with the CARES law giving billions more to big business. The hope last fall was that DDT’s name on another set of $1,200 checks for most people in the U.S. would make him—and other Republicans—reelected in the fall. There was no bill: Republicans came out of the general election better than expected, but DDT lost, much to the denial of his supporters.

McConnell’s decision was to vastly shrink the amount of the current stimulus bill to under $1 trillion while blowing up the amount by using money from the CARES law. He blocked the stimulus bill by refusing to send any money to local and state governments, in serious shape from the pandemic, and demanding big business have no liability for endangering their workers, even when they sit around and make bets about how many of their employees will die.

To further jeopardize the stimulus bill and the economy, the GOP tacked on another demand today, ending emergency lending programs for small and medium-sized businesses authorized by the CARES Act. The CARES Act states the programs don’t expire until 2026 unless Congress changes the law.  Language from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who doesn’t plan to run for reelection in two years, blocks all money in the Treasury’s rainy day fund, even funds not from CARES, from use in similar future programs to respond to a financial crisis. Of nine programs needing to be renewed at the end of 2020, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wants to scuttle five of them. Toomey wants to prevent any future Treasury secretary of either party from ever providing assistance for both small businesses and non-federal governments.

“My goal … is always to get as right-of-center an outcome as possible,” McConnell said when questioned about a crisis, specifically a government shutdown. His one goal is to stay in power, and he’ll do anything to keep the job. He admitted the only reason he might send out smaller stimulus checks is to reelect the two Georgia incumbent senators, who McConnell says are being “hammered” by the stimulus check issue, but he wants the amount small to depress the economy.  McConnell appears to be a DDT loyalist, but his admission about Biden being president-elect shows he will dump DDT when necessary. It’s not that he wants Biden; he just wants his Republicans to not look foolish so they will get reelected.

DDT wants stimulus checks to be up to $2,000, but White House staffers talked him out of the idea. Keeping the stimulus checks low will guarantee a struggling economy when Biden takes over as president and keep McConnell semi-satisfied. Under DDT and McConnell, poverty jumped 2.4 percent in the past five months, the highest annual increase since the 1960s. The shift from 9.3 percent in June to 11.7 percent in November added 7.8 million to the poor while people with a high school education or less—DDT’s supporters—faced a 5.1 increase in unemployment. McConnell figures these people will keep voting for Republicans because they get their falsehoods from conservative media.

To avoid a weekend shutdown today, the House passed a two-day Continuing Resolution to the budget by 360-60 which passed the Senate with a voice vote. Congress has until midnight on Sunday to pass a real budget and a real stimulus bill if DDT passes the C.R

Another Christmas Grinch, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), has twice blocked the stimulus bill. Johnson said:

“I’m not heartless. I want to help people. I voted to help people.”

A favorite Johnson strategy is accusing others of lying while he tells his own falsehoods. During Johnson’s committee hearing earlier this week  focusing on conspiracy theories about evidence-free election fraud, he blew up at Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), accusing Peters of having “lied repeatedly in the press that I was spreading Russian disinformation.” In the past, Johnson did exactly that about Hunter Biden, the son of the president-elect, in a ploy to get votes for DDT. In the midst of the budget and COVID-19 crisis, Johnson devoted three hours to pushing election fraud lies with three witnesses totally lacking credibility. Peters responded:

“This is not about airing your grievances. I don’t know what rabbit hole you’re running down. This is terrible what you’re doing to this committee… Whether intended or not, this hearing gives a platform to conspiracy theories and lies. It is a destructive exercise that has no place in the United States Senate.”

Some of the falsehoods from Johnson’s witnesses were already rejected in tens of courts; others had no basis. With no evidence, Johnson kept claiming fraud had occurred although the one expert witness maintained it did not. The only reliable witness, Chris Krebs, knew the election had no widespread fraud: he was the leader of the DHS cyber security agency until DDT fired him a few days after losing because Krebs wouldn’t say he found fraud. At the hearing, Krebs talked about how the lies about election fraud were worsening the climate of threats against elections workers, causing a “chilling effect” in future elections. Peters said some threats against Krebs were so serious that they had “to make some arrangements for your security to be here today to testify in person.”

Two days after Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) supported Johnson’s view of election fraud, that the 2020 election was “stolen” from DDT, he objected to people voting in the Georgia election for two U.S. senators on January 5. He believes Republicans need to block a large voter turnout because it helps Democrats. Paul said:

“They’re mailing out a solicitation to vote by mail. This is not in the state law. I’m very, very concerned that if you solicit votes from typically non-voters, that you will affect and change the outcome. So I’m very worried that the Democrats will control all three branches of government.”

Conservatives control the third “branch of government”—the Supreme Court—because DDT controlled the executive and legislative branches during his first two years in the Oval Office. Paul announced Republicans can have a majority of the legislative branch only if a segment of eligible voters, especially Blacks, are disenfranchised. Paul may formally reject the electoral votes during the January 6 joint session of Congress.

The U.S. Army is refusing to follow Michael Flynn’s request for a declaration of martial law to force reelections in battleground states where DDT lost. On Newsmax, Flynn said:

“[DDT could] order the—within the swing states, if he wanted to—he could take military capabilities, and he could place those in states and basically re-run an election in each of those states.”

The response from Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville:

“There is no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of an American election.”

Despite Flynn’s claim that “it’s not unprecedented,” there is no record of a U.S. president declaring martial law for a new election. Flynn, a QAnon member, secretly worked with Russia after DDT’s election and before his inauguration to subvert President Obama. His business was also paid to secretly encourage the extradition back to Turkey of a longtime Turkish dissident living in Pennsylvania for 20 years. DDT gave Flynn the same pardon President Gerald Ford gave Richard Nixon, absolving Flynn of “any and all possible offenses” arising from Mueller’s investigation, any related grand jury proceedings, and all charges based on “facts and circumstances, known to, identified by, or in any manner related to the investigation of the Special Counsel.”

In the past week, Steve Schmidt, formerly John McCain’s campaign manager, shifted his voter registration to Democrat, because of DDT’s and the GOP behavior:

“It was a joke in a lot of ways, but it was a coup. It was a failed coup. And the way you get to a second coup in most countries is by having your first unsuccessful one.”

Schmidt described the Democratic Party as the only one that “stands for the ideas and ideals of American liberty.” He declared, “I’m a single-issue voter now. I believe in democracy.”

December 18: daily U.S. cases – 254,680; deaths – 2,794. Thirty-three more days to go.

December 5, 2020

DDT: Week 202 – More Losing

The day after states certified 279 Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris, making Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) officially the loser, DDT begged Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to call a special session for the state legislature to switch the electors’ votes to DDT. He also wants Kemp to order an audit of absentee ballot signatures although Kemp had told DDT he lacked that authority. Last week, DDT trashed Kemp and said he was sorry he had supported him. Five states still need to certify electoral votes—Hawaii, Colorado, and New Jersey bringing Biden to a total of 306 plus Missouri and West Virginia to give DDT his 232 votes.

After 32 days with no rally, DDT traveled to Georgia, ostensibly to persuade people to vote for the two GOP incumbent senators in January 5’s runoff. He had a few scripted lines about this race being “the most important congressional runoff probably in American history” before running true to form by making people question whether they should vote in a “rigged” election. DDT started out by stating he won the election and rambled for most of the speech, whining and lying.  

In five hours Friday, DDT lost court cases throughout the nation’s six swing states when judges, several of them conservative, either refused the cases or ruled against him. In a Douglas County (GA) machine count, GOP mandated, Biden netted another two votes.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito stalled one case until December 9, the day after the “safe harbor deadline” for certified votes to the Electoral College. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) wants the high court to nullify all his state’s votes and turn over the electoral decision to the GOP state legislature. Alito’s date most likely won’t allow a decision before the final vote on December 14. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court makes the final decision regarding violations of the state constitution, not the U.S. Supreme Court. Also the state’s General Assembly cannot call itself into session until January 5 and lacks authority to overturn the popular vote or its own slate of electors, according to the 1937 Pennsylvania Election Code requiring the popular vote selecting electors.

Forty-six days before Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) leaves the White House, he filled the Pentagon’s assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs with another totally unsuited loyalist. Scott O’Grady will oversee military relationships with NATO members and countries in the Middle East and Africa. His qualifications are claims that DDT won the election in “landslide fashion,” millions of votes were stolen from DDT, and DDT should declare martial law to take the majority of votes. O’Grady also condemned former Defense Secretary James Mattis as a “traitor” and accused Hillary Clinton and George Soros of involvement in a foreign plot against elections. Add to that his support for Sidney Powell, lawyer who can’t even file lawsuits against Biden’s election without massive misspellings and other mistakes. O’Grady joins DDT’s recent acquisitions in the Pentagon such as Michael Flynn’s foreign aide Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) former Russia naysayer aide Kash Patel.

These faithfuls have prevented President-elect Joe Biden from meeting with U.S. intelligence officials of agencies controlled by the Pentagon, including the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence, and other military-run spy services with classified budgets and global espionage platforms. Biden was cleared for these meetings two weeks ago. A Defense Department spokesperson claimed no meetings had been denied before saying the requested meetings could happen next week—over a month after the election allowed DDT’s team to contact intelligence agencies with multibillion-dollar budgets, satellite networks, and vast surveillance authorities. With the delay, the president-elect lacked information about espionage operations regarding Iran, China, Russian, and other of the nation’s adversaries from weapons proliferation to foreign interference in U.S. elections. The CIA gave not only extensive access to senior members of Biden’s transition team but also the agency’s computer system and office space in its area used for visiting VIPs.

DDT also purged the more than a dozen members on the advisory Defense Business Board. Two former secretaries of state, Madeline Albright and Henry Kissinger, were replaced with Cory Lewandowski and David Bossie. Former DDT campaign manager Lewandowski was fired after he became violent with press members; Bossie, DDT’s deputy campaign manager in 2016 and insider on the network Newsmax hosting QAnon, currently runs DDT’s legal efforts to award electoral votes to DDT. Other removed members include retired Adm. Gary Roughead, former chief of naval operations and onetime ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, and Rudy De Leon, a former chief operating officer at the Pentagon considered by then-Defense Secretary James Mattis for a high-level policy role. 

What DDT wants from his new Defense Department leadership:

Continued removal of troops from the world: DDT’s order to take almost all the 700 special-ops military members from Somalia means no guard against terrorists. The removed troops aren’t coming home, however; they’ll go someplace else in Africa.   

Sale of $23 billion in arms and F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates: Congress may vote against the sale with a bipartisan concern the UAE may provide U.S. technology to Russia and China. Joint resolutions, up for vote next week, also point out the sale’s risks to Israel.

Leasing the Pentagon airwave spectrum to a private company: Republicans are backing Rivada Networks to create a nationwide 5G network, but career Pentagon officials stated Rivada may lack the knowledge and the plan may be illegal.

Other supposed DDT loyalists are drifting away. DDT accused both the FBI and his former fixer DOJ AG Bill Barr of election fraud to get Joe Biden elected with crazy claims of people receiving up to four ballots and dead people applying for ballots. Barr had told the public he found no widespread evidence of election fraud.

John Ratcliffe, appointed as director of intelligence to supervise 17 agencies because of his loyalist attitude, said—reluctantly—foreign governments are “amplifying” DDT’s false election fraud claims. He said  their goal is “to undermine public confidence in our democratic processes.”

Citing the Russia-connected OAN network, DDT claims the USPS, led by his loyalist Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, “is responsible for tampering with hundreds of thousands of ballots” because the agency is “a Democratic stronghold.” With 99.9 percent of ballots sent on time, DeJoy’s sabotage on the part of DDT may still have disenfranchised 25,000 to 50,000 ballots by delaying voters’ ballots. The problem might have been much worse without congressional hearings for DeJoy’s postal service and lawsuits against his slowing down the first-class mail.

While DDT pushes to stay in the White House, he only has the false claim of election fraud. Gone is his lie about “best economy in history,” especially after November added only new 245,000 jobs. Unemployment shrank from 6.9 percent to 6.7 percent because people stopped looking for work, but only the well-off bounced back.

Most of the populace is struggling. Employment rate for people making $60,000+ is up, and low-wage jobs are down by almost 20 percent. The Dow Jones went over 30,000 last month—a “sacred number,” according to DDT—while car lines at food banks stretch for miles. Of the 3.4 million leisure and hospital jobs lost in the past nine months, only 31,000—under one percent—returned last month. With surging cases of COVID-19 and little hope for a sizeable stimulus package, layoffs are on the horizon. Airlines are down 81,749 employees in nine months, and Southwest Airlines plans to furlough another 6,800 workers, about 12 percent.

Consumer spending, measured by credit and debit card data, began to fall by the end of October. Thirteen percent of households with children report food insecurity, and one-third of people have difficulty paying household expenses. And November’s job report was based on the pay period through November 12 and surveys of households through November 14—before the coronavirus surge.  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wants the stimulus bill included in the must-pass budget measure to keep the government open after December 11. A bipartisan plan for $908 billion:

  • $180 billion: unemployment benefits ($300 per week on top of existing state unemployment).
  • $288 billion: assistance for U.S. businesses.
  • $160 billion: state and local governments.
  • $82 billion: schools.
  • $45 billion: hard-hit transit agencies including airlines, airports, and Amtrak.
  • $25 billion: housing and rental assistance.
  • $10 billion: U.S. Postal Service.
  • $10 billion: childcare.

Also included is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s line in the sand, a liability shield to protect companies against coronavirus-related lawsuits.

Another line in the sand for McConnell is not bringing a new House bill to the Senate floor, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. Passed by 228 to 164 with only four Republicans and one independent joining all but six Democrats, the law would remove marijuana from the Federal Controlled Substances Act and expunge many prior convictions for its possession. The government’s five-percent sales tax on cannabis products would go toward grant programs to help people find work, re-entry services, and legal aid if they have been negatively impacted by the War on Drugs. Forty-four states have decriminalized, legalized for medical use, or fully legalized the substance. In a Gallup poll, 68 percent of adults, the highest percentage every recorded, support cannabis legislation; this year, both red and blue states voted to legislate cannabis.

December 5, 2020: DDT still refuses to discuss the huge cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. (208,790) and deaths (2,251). Numbers typically shrink on the weekend because of less reporting. Infections will go over 15 million tomorrow, and deaths will hit 300,000 within a week.

October 31, 2020

DDT: Week 197 – Violence, Fraud

Armed domestic terrorists carrying flags in support of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) ambushed and attacked a Joe Biden caravan of cars and a bus traveling from San Antonio to Austin on I-35 for a campaign event yesterday. The DDT vehicles surrounded the Biden group, and observers took video of DDT cars attacking ones in the Biden group. A watching police officer refused to help the people being attacked, saying it wasn’t his “jurisdiction” although 911 calls brought other law enforcement to help. The almost 100 vehicles in the attack came from a “Trump Train group,” supporting DDT throughout Texas. People in them yelled profanities and obscenities while blockading the Biden entourage, slowing the group to 20 mph on the interstate highway. On the Biden bus was Texas Congressional candidate and former state senator Wendy Davis. DDT’s tweeted response about the travesty was “I LOVE TEXAS!” with an image of the attack. DDT’s supporters have made threatening actions across the United States to intimidate Biden supporters, but this event escalated the violence.

Other desperate Republican attempts to rig the election in their favor are using the USPS, now led by DDT’s appointee Louis DeJoy, to delay or eliminate mail delivery. Key swing states have the worst mail delivery in the U.S. This past week, on-time rates for ballots in 17 postal districts representing 10 battleground states and 151 electoral votes was 5.9 percentage points lower than the national average; over ten percent ballots are arriving later than the postal service’s maximum three-day delivery time for first class mail. Thanks to Republicans and GOP courts, 28 states refuse to count ballots received after Election Day even if they are postmarked by that time. The Black-predominant Detroit area delivered only 72.8 percent of ballots on time last week, compared to 84.3 percent delivery in the Greater Michigan district. In most of Kentucky, about 20 percent of ballots were delivered outside the three-day promise. Last Wednesday, three-day delivery occurred in Philadelphia for 58 percent of the time; Detroit dropped to 52 percent

The national average is 95 percent, two percent below the former 97-percent on-time delivery. Over 52 million people have voted by mail instead of in person, and over 37 million mail ballots are outstanding. Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in the U.S. District Court in D.C. ordered the USPS to provide a written explanation for each district delivering less than 80 percent of ballots on time each day or less than 90 percent of ballots on time for two days in the same week. Wisconsin and Minnesota ballots are not accepted after November 3. Courts have ordered ballots legally arriving within the allotted time after Election Day in Minnesota, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania set aside, setting the scene for courts to exclude these votes from the total. Compounding problems in Minnesota is its ballot tracking system going offline for maintenance today. A video at the Miami-Dade Post Office showed piles of undelivered mail, including ballots both completed and blank, more than a week overdue.

As part of its war on democratic voting, Republicans are suing to invalidate legally cast votes; i.e., over 100,000 votes in Harris County (TX) cast at drive-through voting centers. In Nevada, the GOP lawsuit demands detailed information about workers counting ballots, including their names, party affiliations, and work schedules as well as copies of every signature on mail ballots returned to elections officials and used to authenticate ballots. The hearing is Monday.

DDT’s failures of the past week make him appear more of a failure. His campaign events spread the virus in almost every area he goes and sent people to the hospital with hypothermia (Omaha) and heat stroke (Tampa). In Tampa, at least 17 people needed medical attention, and a dozen of them were taken to the hospital. DDT rescheduled a North Carolina to Monday because of high winds. Again today, he left members of his audience in the dark and cold while waiting two hours for buses at Butler (PA) after sitting outside for four to five hours. At another performance he ridiculed faithful follower Laura Ingraham (Fox network) for wearing a mask. 

Reports released this week covered DDT going easy on a Turkish bank allegedly breaking U.S. sanctions law when the bank funneled money to Iran and helped fund the country’s nuclear weapons program. Turkey provides millions of dollars to DDT for his businesses there. Bolton had said DDT would favor foreign leaders over government regulations to get personal returns from them. To protect DDT, AG Bill Barr had fired U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman, keeping him from pursuing the case against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.  

U.S. taxpayers have also given DDT at least $2.5 million for excessive charges at DDT properties in addition to another $5.6 million paid by DDT’s campaign and fundraising committee.

Four years ago, James Comey sank Hillary Clinton’s election chances with a last minute accusation about her emails. This October, Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani tried the same schtick by trying to smear Joe Biden with infamous laptops supposedly containing salacious and damning material from Biden’s son, Hunter. On his Fox show, Tucker Carlson tried to help the scheme by saying UPS “lost” the damning laptop documents when a producer mailed them to Carlson’s home. UPS supposedly found the package, but Carlson complained about a missing flash card. Then he admitted he had copied the documents before he said they were missing. Asked about their contents, he first said he had not yet reviewed them and then said he didn’t want to be “piling on” Hunter Biden. Carlson’s story fell apart after the announcement that a fake “intelligence firm,” Typhoon Investigations, had disseminated the fake 64-page document about China. It was written by a self-identified Swiss security analyst, a fabricated identity with a profile photo created by artificial intelligence.The contents, highly promoted by the New York Post, were available on the internet a month before its article.

Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating Giuliani about potential violation of lobbying laws in dealing with Ukraine and payments from Florida businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, indicted last year for illegally funneling money to Republican political candidates. Bannon was arrested for conspiring to defraud people in the “build the wall” scheme and working with Chinese national to violate securities laws by bilking investors in a private offering. DDT has indicated he will be pardoning Bannon.

Republicans are trying to spin last quarter’s GDP figures into a positive for DDT, but that attempt appears to have fizzled. The 33-percent increase might look good, but economist Jay Shambaugh explained some “basic math”:

“If you own a stock priced at $100 and it drops 30 percent, it is now worth $70. If it gains back 30 percent, it is then worth $91 (the gain is just $21 because 30 percent of 70 is 21).”

Another economist, Dean Baker, explained “the economy would have to grow at a 53.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter to make up the ground lost in the first and second quarters.” Growth this next quarter will be minimal if not minus: the second quarter benefited from stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, and perks for businesses. With a recalcitrant GOP Senate, chances of another stimulus bill after the election are slim to none because they would do it only to help their election prospects. Projections for the 2020 GDP is a minus 3 percent to 4 percent. DDT brags about his 11 million new jobs during the last quarter, but these are only half the 22+ million lost in the previous quarter. DDT has gained absolutely zero new jobs since he was elected.

COVID-19 is a major reason people are giving for their Biden’s votes. Yesterday, the U.S. broke the 100,000 number for new cases, almost 3,000 more than India with its population over twice that of the U.S. Deaths still average almost 1,000 a day, a figure Donald Trump Jr calls “almost nothing.” Hospitalizations have also skyrocketed although accurate numbers are difficult to find since DDT’s administration twisted the data collection system by giving it to a private contractor owned by DDT’s friend. The figures are no longer publicly available for all states.

In DDT’s rabid campaigning, he claims doctors inflate the number of deaths for financial gain. Calling DDT’s lies “malicious” and “completely misguided,” the AMA released a statement about how “physicians, nurses, and frontline health care workers have risked their health, their safety and their lives to treat their patients and defeat a deadly virus. They did it because duty called and because of the sacred oath they took.” AMA President Susan R. Bailey continued by asking people to use “public health steps” based on knowledge instead of following “the dangerous wave of misinformation.”

Data for this interactive map is here. 

 

DDT has also emphasized the “positivity rate” as the gold standard, and Dean Baker’s data shows GOP-governed states have the highest COVID-19 test rates, more than states governed by Democrats. Mississippi has a 100-percent positive rate, the number of positives for the tests.  

Ignore COVID: DDT’s final campaign message.

October 7, 2020

DDT on Drugs

 (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

About tonight’s vice-presidential debate between Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and VP Mike Pence, conservative Bill Kristol declared Harris the winner with a fly coming in second. It stayed on Pence’s head for a full two minutes. [Video] More about the debate tomorrow.

Since receiving experimental drug treatment for his COVID-19, Dictator Donald Trump’s (DDT) communication has produced questions about his mental stability. In a video on Wednesday, he said he was cured by a miracle drug, the vaccine would be available before the election, promised people free experimental treatments, and claims to have directed his own treatment. (That one might have been correct.) DDT also declared his infection of COVID-19 as a “blessing from God.”

Even more common are his hundreds of tweets since his diagnosis that he later changes—or doesn’t. One subject dealt with his attempt to minimize the effects of a disease presently killing almost 220,000 people in the U.S. and infecting another 8 million. The man who returned to his “home” with a medical clinic and 24-hour doctors’ monitoring after oxygen, an airlift to a major hospital, heavy-duty experimental drugs, and a three-day stay in a four-room suite says that COVID-19 is less lethal than flu.

DDT also claimed the flu kills over 100,000 people every year, a wildly exaggerated number. The “flu” hasn’t killed this many people since 1918, another time when people also failed to take precautions. The 2020 coronavirus is far more unpredictable, mutating into even more deadly forms. In the past seven months of virus “management,” the U.S. has almost quadruple the number of flu deaths in the worst flu season and multiplied by almost ten times the lightest season. And U.S. deaths from COVID-19 haven’t stopped: they’ve grown from 195,239 on September 8 to 216,784 a month later.

About the stimulus bill, DDT tweeted:

Last Saturday: “OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS. WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE. Thank you!” He did refuse, in his words, “to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19.”

Tuesday morning: “I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business. I have asked… Mitch McConnell not to delay, but to instead focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett. Our Economy is doing very well. The Stock Market is at record levels, JOBS and unemployment… …also coming back in record numbers. We are leading the World in Economic Recovery, and THE BEST IS YET TO COME!” [A Twitter response: “the very definition of quid pro quo.”]

House Democrats already passed a “major stimulus bill,” actually two of them, and Republicans soundly rejected them. DDT has no guarantee that a stimulus bill can pass the Senate without a majority of Democrats and may not be signed except for a Democratic president. Three-fourths of registered voters—even 55 percent of Republicans—want the stimulus bill before ramming through Barrett’s confirmation. 

Hours later DDT negated the above statement by responding “True!” to Federal Reserve Jerome Powell’s statement about a low risk of “overdoing it” when he called for congressional help.

Tuesday afternoon: DDT offered to sign “a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200).” He also wanted $25 billion “for Airline Payroll Support” from “unused funds from the Cares Act.” After DDT’s first announcement, the DOW dropped several hundred points, and Federal Reserve Jerome Powell said easing up on added relief could “lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses.”

Wednesday: The stock market went up with the hope of giving money to the airline industry.

Before DDT’s first tweet on Tuesday, both parties had agreed to bring negotiators back to the table. In talking with Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) pointed out that people think “steroids have an impact on your thinking.” Donald Jr, sometimes viewed as a cocaine user, tried to bring down Pelosi, accusing her with no evidence for “substance issues.” He also wanted an intervention for DDT in the hospital because his father was acting “crazy.”  

Afraid of not being reelected, GOP House members are also concerned about DDT’s tweets about the stimulus bill.

Another irrational demand followed by a reversal benefitted the FDA. Desperate to get a vaccine put out before Election Day, DDT has refused new standards for emergency authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine for over two weeks because the pharmaceutical industry was unhappy with the stricter requirements. DDT didn’t want the higher level of safety and effectiveness because authorization wouldn’t happen until after the voting was over, but the FDA wants decisions only on scientific benchmarks. DDT said Pfizer promised him the vaccine could be ready within weeks and disagreed his health officials’ projections about a vaccine not being available until the end of the year. Referring to Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and others with whom he had conversations, “They can go faster than that by a lot.” (Pfizer claimed it never talked with DDT.) Long concerned about political interference in the vaccine authorization process, FDA Commissioner Steven Hahn and other FDA officials tried to reassure people by setting and releasing higher standards to show science, not politics, was driving the process. DDT accused them of “a political move” in overriding the FDA’s career scientists in the process. FDA guidelines would require vaccine tracking for two months before the final dose, and Election Day is fewer than four weeks.

In a surprise move later Tuesday, the FDA released its more stringent guidelines for emergency authorization without White House permission. They include the disputed two months of following participants after the final injection and submission of vaccines only after at least five severe cases of COVID-19 occur in volunteers with the placebo. Tired of waiting for DDT’s approval, FDA put the information into a briefing package for its vaccine advisory committee meeting on October 22. DDT decided to approve the guidelines.

Tuesday, DDT had plenty of time to make manic tweets to become part of current government documents. Some of the 47 tweets in fewer than two hours:

  • “the most corrupt election in American history.”
  • tells Pelosi to wear her mask in “the ‘beauty’ parlor.
  • reference to people in the U.S. as “scum.”
  • and “Con Artist.”
  • claimed “all Russian Hoax Scandal information was declassified by me long ago.” [Despite all the redactions in the Mueller report.]  
  • FDA guidelines for vaccine–”Just another political hit job!”
  • “Chris Wallace was a total JOKE. Protected Joe all night long. He’s no Mike!!!” [About the moderator who said, “You don’t have to answer this question, Mr. President.”]
  • “I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions!” [Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) tweeted to the Justice Department “Per the President’s orders, can you please provide the [House Judiciary] Committee the full unredacted Mueller Report immediately? Thank you.”]
  • Crazy Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left Democrats …”
  • “How does Biden lead in Pennsylvania Polls when he is against Fracking (JOBS!), 2nd Amendment and Religion? Fake Polls.”
  • About Joe Biden’s town hall with Lester Holt: “What a disgrace to our Country that FREE public airwaves can be used that way.”
  • “The Fake News Media …”
  • “[Bloomberg’s] Florida ads are lies. I am much better for SENIORS than Sleepy! [Except Biden does have COVID-19.]
  • “Biden and Democrats just clarified the fact that they are fully in favor of (very) LATE TERM ABORTION, right up until the time of birth, and beyond.” [Beyond birth? And they aren’t.]
  • One tweet was blocked because DDT broke New York Post policies by sharing the email for one of its columnists.

Wednesday morning between 9:30 and 11:30 am, DDT continued, tweeting and retweeting more than 50 times, repeating the same fixations on grievances. In addition, he called for California to vote for him and retweeted a smear comparing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to Nazis.

A recent national CNN poll, immediately before tonight’s debate found Biden leading DDT 57 percent to 41 percent. Other results among people in the U.S.:

48 percent approve DDT’s handling of the economy. (48 percent disapprove.)

38 percent approve how DDT handles election security. (55 percent disapprove.)

39 percent have favorable opinion of DDT. (55 have unfavorable opinion of Trump.)

52 percent have favorable opinion of Biden. (42 percent have unfavorable opinion.)

38 percent have favorable opinion of Mike Pence. (49 percent have unfavorable, and six percent have “never heard of” Mike Pence.)

47 percent have favorable opinion of Kamala Harris. (36 percent have unfavorable opinion of Harris, and nine percent have “never heard of” Kamala Harris. That was before tonight’s debate.)

58 percent who watched the first presidential debate thought Biden won it, 27 percent thought DDT did, and 13 percent said that “neither of them did well.”

Biden is better than DDT on the economy (50-48), coronavirus (59-38), health care (59-39), racial equality (62-36), Supreme Court nominations (57-41), and crime and safety (55-43).

Biden cares more about them than DDT (58-38), is better suited to unite the country than DDT (61-33), has a better plan to solve the nation’s problems than DDT (55-39), will keep them safer than DDT (55-43), and is more trustworthy than DDT (58-33).

The White House and DDT’s campaign are trying to spin DDT’s weakness and stupidity in contracting coronavirus into a noble effort. From the campaign:

“[DDT] has experience—now—fighting the coronavirus as an individual. Those firsthand experiences, Joe Biden, he doesn’t have those.”

DDT also has experience with heavy drugs and doesn’t seem to be coping well.

September 12, 2020

DDT: Week 190 – More Struggles for White House

The busy week of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) included lots of backlashes—Bob Woodward’s book Rage revealing more of DDT’s personal opinion than he would like; a continuation of his calling captured, wounded, and killed military members “losers” and “suckers”; the bad economy; his campaign woes; and people fighting back against DDT, to name a few.

But there’s more publicity about DDT:

Thursday, the day before the 9/11 anniversary, DDT told a rally audience Joe Biden would invite “terrorists” into the suburbs by allowing refugees into the U.S. On the same day, the Afghan government, under pressure by DDT, released high-value Taliban prisoners who killed U.S. troops. DDT bragged about how “very, very well” he is getting along at the Taliban.

Following the pattern of other agencies to produce fake news, HHS communications aides changed CDC reports to match DDT’s happy statements about beating COVID-19. After former DDT campaign official DHS assistant secretary for public affairs Mike Caputo took over, he and his deputies demanded pre-pub access to the weekly Morbidity and Mortality reports and altered the scientists’ statements. They also tried to delay and even stop the release of other reports. Caputo accused CDC of undermining DDT “to hurt” him. DDT’s message is the virus will “disappear” and the U.S. is “rounding the corner” although statistics show the opposite.  

DDT’s real infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has tired of being DDT’s parrot; he disagreed with DDT’s assessment and gave the figures shown by the nonpartisan Worldometer. Fauci called the numbers “disturbing.” He added, “A degree of normality … is going to be well into 2021, maybe even towards the end of 2021.” The high baseline at this time is of concern to Fauci because winter will make it worse. DDT’s resumed rallies are “absolutely” risky.

According to CDC—more reliable than DDT’s wishful thinking—adults eating at restaurants have contacted COVID-19 twice as much, and those going to bars three times more within two weeks prior to getting sick. Other activities didn’t show much of a difference, but wearing a mask cannot be effectively done while a person is eating or drinking.

The initial publicity for Woodward’s book about DDT stated 18 interviews, but Woodward said there’s a 19th interview—like waiting for a shoe to drop.

DDT’s Labor Department determined that a worker’s life is worth a little over $10 when Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Smithfield’s South Dakota meatpacking plant $13,494 for at least 1,294 infections, 43 hospitalizations, and four deaths.

“I am hard pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” DDT’s former national security adviser John Bolton wrote in his recent book. With tremendous disasters in three Democratic states on the West Coast, DDT has made no mention other than to criticize lack of forest management and the need to sweep the forest floors. His silence covers three major areas of DDT positions: hatred for Democratic states, ignorance of climate change science, and a total failure of personal empathy. He has a chance to make up the omission when he goes to California on Monday after a weekend of electioneering. His comments will be “interesting.”

Oregon is on fire, and DDT’s Defense Department sent 60 trained National Guard firefighters and six huge firefighting helicopters from Oregon to Afghanistan to move cargo. DDT’s lies about the danger of anarchists and antifa in Oregon have made the state’s fires worse. His supporters are waiting to shoot them. Portland videographer and Army veteran Gabriel Trumbly was the subject of social media along with his partner Jennifer Paulsen after the filmed the fire at Paulsen’s childhood home of Molalla, population 9,000. Social media posts claimed they were part of antifa, left-wing anti-fascists who DDT calls a “terrorist organization,” attempting to commit arson. Hundreds of comments to a post saying Trumbly and Paulsen had started a fire included “Send people out with guns!” Armed men pursued the couple. The Molalla Police Department supported the false rumor on its Facebook page by asking people to “report any suspicious activity” including “strange people.” A response, “Make them dig a grave then shoot them.” Among other sources, right-wing website the Biggs Report claimed antifa members were starting fires through the Pacific Northwest.

By now, most of the police have asserted the rumors are false, but a Clackamas County (OR) deputy continued to spread the false rumor and added that the “antifa” were attacking firefighters. The losing GOP candidate for U.S. Senator, Paul Romero, continued to tweet the lies and refused to remove them. A member of the students conservative organization Turning Point USA also passed along the lies about the arsonists. The group’s founder, Charlie Kirk, was the first speaker for DDT’s convention last month. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) struggled to explain their signs had no connection with Black Lives Matter. Facebook waited two days before it started removing the deadly false rumors.

The people threatening to kill the “antifa” may be the same people who believe God will protect them from COVID-19. They follow DDT’s approach of fear and blame—fear of losing physical and financial safety as well as “freedom” and “culture” by anyone who doesn’t look and act like the fearful. Yet, they are selective about God’s protection from a life-threatening pandemic but not the “vengeful mob” created by DDT.

In more lies from the White House, Katie Waldman, VP Mike Pence’s press secretary and racist Stephen Miller’s wife, pushed NBC reporter Julia Ainsley to falsify the report on known or suspected terrorists at the southern border. Waldman wanted the number 4,000 instead of the Customs and Border Protection report to Congress of six. Yes, six. Waldman told Ainsley she would discredit the reporter’s article because DHS has different numbers they won’t give Congress. Neither action happened, and Waldman refused comment on the record about the NBC report.

Publicly, GOP senators say they don’t pay attention to the news when asked about the revelations in Bob Woodward’s book Rage, or they believe he was trying to stop a panic. Privately, they’re upset about DDT talking to Woodward. Not about DDT’s lying—just his giving interviews proving he lies.

To fly agents to Washington last summer, DHS moved immigrant detainees from Arizona, Florida, and Texas facilities to Virginia because the government can’t charter planes to move only the agents who DDT wanted. The transfer caused infections in 399 inmates and killed a 72-year-old Canadian national. DHS also lied about the originating facilities being at capacity, and staff members in Virginia sometimes failed to wear masks and kept working after they were sick. A new GAO report stated the federal teams were part of DDT’s efforts to “dominate” racial equity demonstrations nationwide in Washington, Buffalo, New York, Houston, Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. More recently, federal agents were sent to Kenosha (WI) and Portland (OR). D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser had not asked for help with the mostly peaceful protesters. As of last week, 5,670 cases of COVID-19 have been detected within the average daily detainee population of 24,208.

DDT’s campaign attacked Biden for “meandering along” when he visited the graveyard where his first wife, infant daughter, and military veteran son are buried after he attended religious services. Neither DDT nor anyone in his campaign apologized for the insensitivity despite angry responses, and the campaign didn’t remove the email

Last week, when DDT was asked why he didn’t try to negotiate with congressional Democratic leaders for a deal to help people hurting from COVID-19, he said, “I know my customers; that’s what I do.” He then said they wouldn’t make a deal “because they think it’s good for politics … good for the economy.” He claims, “I don’t need to meet with them to be turned down.” DDT thinks everyone follows his values and thought patterns. The people he should help are “customers”; everyone’s in it for themselves; and he’s positive they won’t negotiate.

Democratic leaders already passed the CARES Act to help people, came down $1 trillion dollars to negotiate the HEROES Act, and turned down the GOP bill because there was nothing in for people—just more for DDT and big business. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’s $300 billion bill has no funding for individuals, cities and states, but it allows businesses to escape liability for irresponsibility with the virus and a tax credit for students to attend private schools.

South Carolina’s sample ballots left off Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris but included candidates for the Green, Alliance, and Libertarian parties in addition to GOP DDT.

James Spillane, a New Hampshire GOP representative, told his Facebook followers to burn and loot any houses with Black Lives Matter signs.

House Republican Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told an Axios reporter he tried to tell DDT his war on mail-in voting could cause the GOP to lose the 2020 election. Other congressional Republicans are privately concerned.

Always lower on the weekend, the 24-hour count for U.S. COVID-19 cases: 39,282 new cases (total 6,676,601); 707 new deaths (total 198,128).

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