Nel's New Day

September 1, 2021

GOP Fights Privacy, Liberty

Vigilante law is alive and well now in Texas, thanks for the GOP majority on the state legislator and the GOP Gov. Greg Abbott. The political party claiming “it’s my body” about mandates on vaccines and privacy and who shouts “small government” now permits anyone, even a priest or pastor, who has the slightest connection to a woman having an abortion after six weeks—even listening to her talk about the possibility—can be sued by anyone in the world. Texas knows that its new law would be overturned as unconstitutional if it were enforced by government officials so the state turned the work over to the general public. And the lawsuit can be in any Texas jurisdiction.

Defendants must pay each winner of civil lawsuits against them $10,000 and legal costs for any case against them. The anti-abortion Texas Right to Life established a website for people to anonymously report rumors of illegal abortions and allow volunteers to launch cases as plaintiffs. Anyone can sue, even if they don’t have firsthand knowledge of the abortion in the lawsuit they can file up to four years after the supposed violation of the law.

Abortions after six weeks are legal in cases of medical emergencies but not for rape or incest. Legal defenses prevent abortion providers from arguing the law is unconstitutional. Plaintiffs have nothing to lose by filing lawsuits because they have no charges. The result will be endlessly streaming allegations.

The law went into effect at 12:01 am September 1 after the Supreme Court, known for many immediate emergency actions to keep people infecting others in churches, briefly ignored an emergency appeal. Later in the day, five conservative justices—three of them belonging to Deposed Donald Trump (DDT)—refused to block the law during a legal battle. A U.S. district court judge had set a hearing for September 6 to consider blocking the law, but the 5th Circuit Court called it off. Chief Justice John Roberts, joining the three progressives, called the Texas law “not only unusual but unprecedented.”

In a “shadow docket” decision with no briefs or arguments, the Supreme Court has also recently ended a national ban on evictions to help people in the pandemic and set immigration policy by ordering the current administration to reinstate DDT’s policy forcing asylum seekers to stay outside the U.S. borders.

The Texas law prevents abortions after cardiac activity in the fetus, as early as six weeks after conception and before women know they are pregnant. This statute doesn’t help prevent unplanned abortions, support children and pregnant women, or provide any resources to families. It simply drives desperate women to obtain dangerous, illegal abortions.

Even before this law went into effect, Texas required useless sonograms, explanations by abortion providers about the image, and a state-mandated booklet with falsehoods about fetal development and adoption. The patient must then wait another 24 hours before the procedure because the males who introduced, voted for, and signed the law believe women are too emotional to make appropriate decisions. The new law banning abortion after six weeks will also force women to leave the state for their medical help, making it available only to those wealthy enough to arrange the travel.

Throughout the U.S., GOP-led state legislatures have enacted restrictive laws, many of them blocked. In the fall, the Supreme Court will consider Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks in an attempt to overturn Roe. As indicated on the map, many states passed “trigger bills” to immediately outlaw all abortions in their jurisdictions if Roe is overturned.  

The new law may have greater ranging impacts than just blocking abortions. The 1973 Roe v. Wade, stating women have the right to have abortions, upholds personal decisions with the ruling that the state does not uphold a specific ideology. If the Texas law is not overturned, it sets a precedent for state-level regulation of these personal and private decisions. Ending an unwanted pregnancy does not cause others any physical, financial, and social harm as refusal to wear a mask can.

Roe v. Wade is an example of individual and/or family decisions permitted by the government; i.e., disability rights, opportunity to send children to religiously affiliated schools or homeschool them, and contraceptive use. The anti-vax and anti-mask movement will not benefit if the government can take over their privacy. The abortion-right Supreme Court decision protects privacy and liberty under the 14th Amendment’ Due Process Clause, interpreted as privacy as a part of liberty. It also mandates the ideology that only one theory of the beginning of life can be legal in the United States although religions and individuals differ in this belief. 

Jewish law purports a fetus is not alive and abortion is health care, both psychological and physical.  Presbyterians, who admit they don’t know when life begins, ask followers to make their own decision, and pro-choice Unitarians believe in the value of both life and the quality of life. During most of its history, the Catholic Church declared “quickening,” the first time the pregnant woman feels a fetal movement at about 18 weeks, as the beginning of life. Overturning abortion removes the right to plan a family, and the Texas law could lead to reversing the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut, upholding the right of married couples to obtain contraceptives.

The purpose of the Texas law is to save a fetus. This philosophy could lead to the law mandating the saving of other lives, possibly those who need an organ transplant. The government might allow people to sue if they heard about a person who refused to donate a kidney or a sliver of a liver to save another person’s life.

Texas Republicans also passed a draconian anti-voting bill this past week. Satirist Andy Borowitz combined both anti-freedom laws in one column, “New Law Requires Texans to Have Counselling Before Being Allowed to Vote”:

Governor Greg Abbott has signed into law a bill requiring all Texans to submit to counselling before being allowed to vote.

The law mandates a counselling session and a twenty-four-hour waiting period before a voter is permitted to cast a ballot, Abbott explained.

“Many people who think that voting is something they have to do haven’t gotten all of the information available to them,” he said. “There are many alternatives to voting, including not voting.”

“Sometimes, a person is upset with their situation and thinks that voting is the only answer,” the Governor said. “A counsellor can sit with them, pray with them, and help them make the right choice.”

Answering critics who claim that the twenty-four-hour waiting period is designed to keep voters from casting their ballots in a timely fashion, Abbott said, “All we’re trying to do is make sure that voting is the right decision for them. Every day, I hear from people who voted for me who say that they’ll regret that decision for the rest of their lives.”

A third Texas GOP law permits people to carry guns without either permits or training. Law officials are concerned the statute will increase crime rates and endanger police. Among Texas voters, 59 percent oppose the new law.

After violating privacy and liberty in a Texas law, other Republicans are threatening big business if they don’t do what the GOP wants. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has threatened any of the 35 tech and telecom firms complying with a request to preserve information related to the January 6 attack on the Capitol. He said:

“If these companies comply with the Democrat order to turn over private information, they are in violation of federal law and subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States. If companies still choose to violate federal law, a Republican majority will not forget and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law.”

He didn’t explain which law would be violated if they keep the information. Rep. Eric Swalwell called for a DOJ investigation into McCarthy’s threats, describing them “a clear obstruction of justice.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) created the January 6 investigation committee after McCarthy and other Republicans blocked an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the attack and attempt to overturn the election. Requested information includes “metadata, subscriber information, technical usage information, and content of communications for the listed individuals.” The committee also asked for preservation of information about people “involved in organizing, funding, or speaking” at January’s “Stop the Steal” rallies and those “potentially involved with discussions of plans to challenge, delay, or interfere” with the electoral certification process.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) amplified McCarthy’s message by declaring companies will be “shut down” if they give the Republicans’ data to the January 6 commission. Both Greene and McCarthy may appear in the data. Promising to close down private businesses for preserving these records, Republicans on conservative media called the request an authoritarian overreach. Promises to punish businesses for something GOP lawmakers don’t like moves the party toward big government and its own authoritarianism by eliminating liberty for private companies and individuals.

Admiration for the Taliban is growing among DDT’s supporters as they plan use the group’s ability to take over Afghanistan as a model for the GOP extremists to take over the United States.

And so the GOP’s big government opposes liberty and freedom.

August 29, 2021

Afghanistan: Three More Days

With the deadline to complete withdrawal on August 31, the evacuation brought about 112,000 people in its first two weeks. The 5,400 evacuated U.S. citizens leaves about 350 U.S. citizens still trying to leave the country as of yesterday although some of them may have gotten out. Another 280 wish to stay or haven’t told the State Department their intentions. The U.S. has begun its withdrawal from the airport in Kabul but will continue its operation there “up until the end,” according to Army Maj. Gen. William Taylor. The U.S. destroyed Eagle Base, the last CIA outpost outside the airport, to keep equipment and information from the Taliban.

The U.S. occupied Afghanistan for almost 20 years, compared to the 14 years of the Vietnam conflict. The evacuation from that conflict, 7,500 people, brought out only 1,500 U.S. citizens. Thursday, a suicide bomber from ISIS-K, a terrorist group and enemy of the Taliban, killed 13 U.S. service members, wounded 15 others, and killed approximately 170 others. After the bombing, evacuations continued. President Joe Biden had previously warned the public of attack threats and said there may be more before the evaluation deadline on August 31. 

U.S. military troops conducted an unstaffed airstrike against an ISIS-K planner and may have killed two “high-profile ISIS targets.” Another was wounded. Biden said this airstrike will not be the last and promised to “hunt down” this group that took credit for the attack outside the airport entrance. by one suicide bomber. The Taliban said it arrested two ISIS-K members but didn’t give details.

On the same day of the attack killing almost 200 people, US Marine Corps Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller posted a video on his Facebook page criticizing the handling of the situation. He has been relieved of command. With no solutions, Republicans—politicians, media pundits, letter-writers, etc.—have criticized Biden for the withdrawal. Last week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said Afghanistan should have no troops; a few days earlier he wanted to keep a military presence and Bagram Air Base. With no evidence, McCarthy claimed the U.S. could have “maintained it safely” with no casualties. McCarthy also lied when he blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for trying to defund the attempt to get more U.S. citizens out of Afghanistan.

The hawks who started the war and those who continued it returned to cable TV, complaining about the withdrawal before the U.S. “won” the war. Karl Rove, George W. Bush’s aide called the withdrawal Biden’s “stain.” John Bolton, who wants regime change around the world, called DDT and Biden “Tweedledee and Tweedledum” in their approaches. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), daughter of Afghanistan architect former VP Dick Cheney, said “the catastrophe … did not have to happen.” Neither she nor her ABC interviewer mentioned her father or his part in the “catastrophe.”

DDT’s officials who offered no objections to DDT’s agreement are now bitterly complaining about it. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who negotiated and attended the agreement signing, said this “debacle … will certainly harm America’s credibility with its friends and allies.” Pompeo turned 5,000 Taliban fighters loose from prison, and now he complains about how they “run free and wild.” DDT’s former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who quit a year before DDT’s idea of befriending the Taliban, said about his “surrender agreement,” “The Taliban didn’t defeat us. We defeated ourselves.”

According to DDT’s deal, signed on February 29, 2020, the U.S. and NATO were to release 5,000 Taliban fighters from prison, reduce military members from 14,000 to 8,600 within 100 days, and leave five military bases. The remainder of the troops would be gone within the next nine months. A U.S. inspector general report summarized DDT’s deal:

“The Taliban views the negotiations as a necessary step to ensure the removal of U.S. and other foreign troops under the U.S.-Taliban agreement, but the Taliban likely does not perceive that it has any obligation to make substantive concessions or compromises.”

Ironically, the same Republicans who whine about how Biden has failed to get refugees out of Afghanistan then scream about not wanting any of them in the U.S. Tucker Carlson leads the pack in claiming Democrats want these “criminals” in the U.S. to vote for their party.

DDT made a campaign promise to take the U.S. out of Afghanistan and started withdrawing thousands of troops. His defense secretary Mark Esper was fired after he disagreed with DDT’s actions. Esper now says that DDT’s withdrawals at that time contributed to current problems in Afghanistan. Despite his promises, DDT lost the election, but by the time Biden was inaugurated, only 3,500 service members remained in Afghanistan. With no leverage, Biden decided to pull the rest of the troops from the country. He said his choice was to follow the deal with a short extension of time and get U.S. forces and allies out safely or replace the troops to continue the participation “in another country’s civil conflict.” The Taliban has not attacked the U.S. during Biden’s withdrawal.

Former Secretary of State and senator Hillary Clinton has paid to charter airplanes, rescuing Afghanistan’s vulnerable women and children. In contrast, wealthy mercenary Erik Prince, brother of DDT’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is charging $6,500 for flights out of Afghanistan—per person. He charges extra to get them from their homes to the airport.

Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) keeps delivering his opinions even without wide-spread social media. A few days before the anniversary of the 9/11 attack that George W. Bush used to make himself important, DDT, who declared he defeated “100%” of ISIS, said on the far-right Hugh Hewitt radio program:

“We took out the founder of ISIS, [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi, and then of course [Iranian military leader Qassem] Soleimani. Now just so you understand, Soleimani is bigger by many, many times than Osama bin Laden. The founder of ISIS is bigger by many, many times—al-Baghdadi—than Osama bin Laden. Osama bin Laden had one hit…”

DDT went on to say that bin Laden wasn’t a “monster.” Bess Levin pointed out bin Laden’s links to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings killing over 200 people and the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole killing 17 U.S. Navy sailors. The “one hit” on 9/11 immediately killed 2,996 people.

Levin also explains how a difficulty in the evacuation came from DDT’s top advisor, Stephen Miller, who slowed down processing of Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) for Afghan interpreters, embassy staff, and other top targets for Taliban assassination. With Miller, DDT refused to follow congressional mandates for time limits and a senior coordinating official for the SIVs along with DDT’s requirement of the “human resources” employer letter. Miller now says no Afghan refugees should enter the U.S. DDT’s agreement with the Taliban also has no method of enforcement, no denunciation of al-Qaeda terrorists, and no demand for the Taliban to stop attacks against Afghan security forces.

The U.S. could have left Afghanistan almost 20 years ago if George W. Bush had taken the unconditional surrender offer from the Taliban. On December 5, 2001, they said they would disband and disarm with no military force. Bush ignored their offer and attacked the Taliban throughout his two terms. Within ten days of taking office on January 20, 2001, Bush also formalized a decision to preemptively invade Iraq—months before 9/11. The goal was access to Iraqi oil and a pipeline right-of-way through Afghanistan for the Unocal Corporation.

Bush ignored another offer from the Taliban in late 2000 to assassinate or surrender Osama bin Laden after the bombing of the USS Cole. The Bush administration refused the offer four times before 9/11 and a fifth time on 9/16. George W. wanted his “war on terrorism” for the pipeline. On November 27, 2001, Bush ordered his defense department to plan the Iraqi invasion, eleven months before Congress authorized it.

The U.S. has failed in the Middle East. Oil companies from Egypt, Italy, Japan, France, Austria, the UK, Canada, Hungary, India, Norway, Russia, and China dwarf the few from the U.S. The U.S. has no oil pipeline in Afghanistan, which boils with violence. U.S. journalist Anand Gopal tells the story in his 2014 book, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes.

The editors of Commonweal wrote about the “unwinnable war”:

“For Americans, it cost thousands of lives and more than $2 trillion. But the toll for Afghans was far worse: there the war meant not only occupation by a foreign power, but also constant political instability, corruption, drone strikes, civilian deaths, starvation, and displacement… Even Afghans who despise the Taliban may care less about who rules in Kabul than whether they can travel to work, plow a field, or attend a wedding without the constant fear of being shot at or bombed. ‘Give me liberty or give me death’ is heroic, but ‘Give them liberty or give them death’ is obscene.”

In mid-August when the Taliban took over Afghanistan and the withdrawal began, almost two-thirds of people in the U.S. believed the conflict was not worth fighting. Even 57 percent of Republicans saw it as not worthwhile. Another two-thirds of respondents stated the Iraq War that coincided with Afghanistan was a mistake. As usual, however, Republicans in Congress ignore their constituents’ opinions. One of the reasons? Making money from defense contractors’ donations and businesses.

August 17, 2021

Afghanistan–20 Years of Lies, Failure

While Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) was in the White House, he arranged a peace agreement with the Taliban and arranged for 5,000 of their fighters to be released from prison with no involvement from the Afghan government. Now he watches television—as usual—and lambasts President Joe Biden who, DDT said, “ran out of Afghanistan instead of following the plan our Administration left for him.” Four months ago, DDT lauded Biden’s withdrawal plan as “wonderful” and “positive” although he wanted Biden to leave before September 11. Three weeks ago, DDT took credit for the exit at a rally in Ohio.

DDT negotiated a peace treaty with the Taliban and agreed to withdraw all U.S. troops by May 1 if the terrorist group agreed to stop attacking U.S. troops. Afghans were not included in the negotiation, and the Taliban assassinated Afghanistan leaders while not killing any U.S. soldiers until after the deal was signed. Funded by foreign investors, the Taliban took over two-thirds of Afghanistan. 

Almost 20 years ago, the 9/11 hijacking of U.S. jetliners and attacks in the U.S. by a majority of Saudi Arabians, including the Twin Towers, was blamed on al-Qaeda, and the U.S. attacked Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban and kill Osama bin Laden although Bush made little effort to catch the man blamed for the 9/11 attack. The Taliban retreated into rural Afghanistan, and George W. Bush soon declared “Mission Accomplished,” continuing the 20-year-old war in a nation with corrupt, incompetent leadership. Bin Laden and other Taliban leaders settled in Pakistan, and the U.S. refused an unconditional surrender in December 2001. Instead Bush moved toward nation-building in Afghanistan, complete with waste, fraud, and confusion. The Taliban regrouped, and the U.S. ignored Afghan traditions by centralizing the government. U.S. resources then poured into Iraq for a war based on U.S. government lies about “weapons of mass destruction.”

Despite the Osama bin Laden’s killing in 2011 and a timeline to withdraw troops in 2014, Afghan relationships with the U.S. continued to deteriorate especially after U.S. troops maltreatment of Afghans, for example, filming of U.S. Marines urinating on dead Afghans and accusations of Qurans burned at a military base. The Taliban ceased talks after a soldier allegedly shot and killed 17 Afghans, mostly women and children.

An RNC statement from its 2020 campaign, now removed, accused Biden of “a history for pushing for endless wars” and praised DDT for leading historic “peace talks” with the Taliban. DDT’s withdrawal plan, “the best path” for the U.S. was a Fox News commentary on the RNC press release that disappeared. No praise, however, for Biden’s withdrawal which followed DDT’s plan.

A month ago, former Secretary of State and presidential wannabe Mike Pompeo announced he wanted to “applaud” the withdrawal, stating, “I want the Afghans to take up the fight for themselves.” Pompeo took a personal role in DDT’s Taliban deal, directly talking twice with Abdul Ghani Baradar, Taliban cofounder and Afghanistan’s new de facto leader. Baradar, co-Taliban co-founder in the mid-1990s, was captured in 2010 but released in 2018 at DDT’s request, despite he Afghan’s opposition, so Baradar could lead DDT’s peace agreement, essential the U.S. surrender to the Taliban. In 2020, Baradar was the first Taliban leader to speak directly with a U.S. president when he talked with DDT on the phone after signing the initial agreement.

Pompeo, who tweeted this photo of himself with Baradar, now calls the withdrawal “weak American leadership”; President Joe Biden was essential following DDT’s and Pompeo’s pattern for pulling out of Afghanistan. On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace had hard questions for Pompeo, including whether he regretted “pressing the Afghan government to release 5,000 prisoners, which they did, some of whom are now back on the battlefield fighting with the Taliban.” Pompeo claims Biden should “crush those Taliban” after signing a deal with them. Asked about DDT’s administration “giving the Taliban legitimacy,” the former deal-maker attacked “corrupt” Afghan leaders who only wanted money and claimed he and DDT “never trusted the Taliban.” Now Pompeo calls the Taliban “butchers.”

Republicans cheered George W. Bush’s Afghanistan war and endorsed withdrawal during DDT’s term. In cognitive dissonance, the GOP now condemns Biden, blames his administration for Afghan conditions, supports DDT’s position, and avoids a position on the war.

Biden announced the U.S. military would be withdrawing from Afghanistan five weeks ago; today the Taliban took over the country’s capital, Kabul, after taking over almost every major city in Afghanistan. President Ashraf Ghani fled to Tajikistan. The U.S. increased the number of service members from 2,500 to over 5,000 in an effort to evacuate U.S. citizens and Afghan allies. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen blocked the Taliban from accessing Afghan’s billions of dollars in U.S. bank accounts.

In Afghanistan, 2,448 U.S. military members and personnel have been killed and another 20,722 wounded out of than 775,000 deployed military members. Evaluation of the mission’s cost varies between $1 trillion and $4 trillion with multiple trillions of dollars in the companion war in Iraq. By July 2021, 73 percent of people in the U.S. supported withdrawal. The U.S. began withdrawal, and the Afghan military disappeared, leaving the country to the Taliban.

An Afghanistan veteran, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), opposed the withdrawal but tweeted:

“Do not let my party preten[d] to be outraged by this. Both the [Republicans] and [Democrats] failed here. Time for Americans to put their country over their party.”

Rep. Lauren Boebert, GOP QAnon believer from Colorado’s Grand Junction area, tweeted, “The Taliban are the only people building back better.” Tucker Carlson accused the Taliban takeover of its reaction to U.S. “radical gender politics.”  In part of his rant, Carlson complained:   

“Thanks to American-imposed gender quotas, dozens of women ultimately were installed as representatives in Afghan’s parliament. [T]he whole thing was a sham, as always.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) suggested Biden is “paying the Taliban … with weapons, vehicles, Blackhawk helicopters because the Afghan army is handing them over as fast as possible.” She’s right about the Afghans turning over these weapons to the Taliban, but not about that being Biden’s intention. Told that the Afghan was not protecting the country, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), with no evidence, said, “What a bunch of crap!”

While Republicans damn Democrats for not saving Afghan refugees, they bitterly oppose any refugees being brought to the U.S., claiming that the Democrats only want the votes of these “criminals.”

U.S. allies don’t agree with the GOP’s smearing Biden to score points for the next election. The UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace said DDT’s “rushed” deal with the Taliban omitting any involvement from the Afghan government or the international community set up the disaster. Wallace said, “The die was cast when the deal was done by Donald Trump.” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg blames Afghan leaders for the government’s collapse because of the refusal to stand up to the Taliban. He follows Biden’s assessment that “what [the U.S.] could not provide [the Afghan forces] was the will to fight for their future.” About 800 NATO civilian personnel are still in Afghanistan for air traffic control and provision of fuel and communication.

Most pundits prefer to write about “who lost Afghanistan,” but Katrina vanden Heuvel addresses how the U.S. got into the seemingly never-ending war. After a few months of defeating al-Qaeda and finding Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush shifted his focus to nation-building to build his importance. Never mind the ignorance of people attempting this effort. Corruption included incompetence, lack of motivation, theft, and drug trade from both U.S. and Afghan military leaders. Every year, inspector generals reported the “war” as a failure. Commanders exaggerated the positive numbers and erased bad ones. Craig Whitlock reported on “explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public” and the distortion of statistics “to make it appear the United States was winning the war when that was not the case.”

Afghans took bribes to move to the Taliban as soon as the U.S. left gone. After DDT’s deal with the Taliban, Taliban leaders offered money for U.S.-provided weapons and a future of surrenders.  Susannah George writes about the steps leading up to Taliban fighters walking into Kabul, the capital, with no resistance.

Despite the trillions of dollars lost by taxpayers and the ever-ending pain of anyone involved in Afghanistan, stockholders greatly benefited from the 20-year failure. An investment of $10,000 in stock with the U.S. top five defense contractors on September 18, 2001, if consistently reinvested, would now be worth $97,295. These stocks outperformed the stock marked by 58 percent during the past two decades. These contractors are Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics. All but Boeing got their money from the U.S. government. 

George W. Bush, who gave the Taliban over $5 million in May 2021, started the 20-year war, and supported torture, gets to view the events in Afghanistan “with deep sadness” and wish Biden, who got stuck with the buck, would move more quickly to evacuate people. DDT, who bragged in June about setting the withdrawal, now calls on Biden to “resign in disgrace.” And Afghanistan diverts the media from climate warming, voting suppression, COVID, and other disasters directly affecting the United States.

January 26, 2021

Biden: An Amazing Week

In his first 100 days, Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) signed 32 executive orders—fewer than President Joe Biden signed in his first week. Both of them overturned the previous person’s rulings, but Biden did his signings with much less fanfare. DDT always insisted on a large media gathering while he held up his signature each time. He also chose to make policy by himself instead of working with Congress to enshrine his wishes into law.

Within his first week, Biden reversed DDT’s orders to destroy the environment, immigration, and LGBTQ rights. Other documents initiated the management of COVID-19 response, began a movement toward racial equality, undid regulatory restrictions on federal agencies, reinstated ethics pledge for government appointees, terminated building of the wall, paused federal student loan payments, expanded food assistance programs, helped veterans with debt, and provided other federal aid in the midst of the pandemic. A recent order bolsters his “Buy American” agenda and “close loopholes that allow companies to offshore production and jobs while still qualifying for domestic preferences.” Another called for evaluation of DDT’s housing policies and ordered private prison contracts to not be renewed. Biden also emphasized a commitment of Native American tribal sovereignty and denounced anti-Asian discrimination and xenophobia.

Biden revoked DDT’s ban on federal agencies, contractors, and other recipients of federal funding from conducting diversity training exploring racism and privilege. DDT had deemed these trainings harmful to White workers. The Department of Labor had suspended the order’s enforcement after a federal court in California granted a preliminary injunction against it after Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit, but departments including State, DOJ, EPA, and Veterans Affairs had already suspended diversity and inclusion training. The lawsuit will continue in order to ensure organizations suffer no adverse consequences from diversity practices they might have pursued while the order was in effect.

The president also plans to reopen federal marketplaces for the Affordable Care Act for a few months and lower DDT’s barriers to joining Medicaid. DDT had put much greater restrictions on participating in the ACA and dropped all advertising about it.

Biden will also review DDT’s February 2020 “peace” deal with the Taliban to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan. According to National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne, Biden wants to ensure the Taliban is “living up to its commitments to cut ties with terrorist groups, to reduce violence in Afghanistan, and to engage in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government and other stakeholders.” Despite the agreement, Afghanistan has seen surging violence, and the country thinks “the Taliban did not live up to its commitments.”

Domestic terrorism is another threat that Biden is tackling. After DDT spent four years praising these people, considered the most serious threat to the U.S. by a survey of law enforcement, Biden announced a major initiative overhauling the federal approach by ordering intelligence agencies to conduct a “comprehensive threat assessment” in cooperation with the FBI and the DHS. Press Secretary said the National Security Council wants “fact-based analysis” for policy to counter the domestic terrorism.

One Biden order started the process of amending or reversing over 100 of DDT’s almost 200 anti-environment decisions by stopping them while they are under review.  A major policy is DDT’s alteration of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when DDT eliminated environmental impact reports for many projects and shortened the time for evaluations’ reviews as well as restrictions on public input. A major DDT focus was expanding use and extraction of coal, oil and natural gas. He dropped a provision permitting state and tribal government to reject federal permit decisions on fossil fuel projects. In his last days, DDT destroyed protections by the Endangered Species Act.

Biden plans to put a moratorium on new federal oil and gas leasing although about 10,000 approved applications are still not in use, meaning companies can proceed with them.

The new president also plans to revoke DDT’s order changing career employees into political appointees. Affecting tens of thousands of career employees, DDT’s order would have removed all rights from career employees and allow him to fire them at will with no justification. DDT’s orders also removed paid time for fulfilling certain union responsibilities and gave agencies the ability to decide on their own penalties for perceived poor performance or misconduct.

Other changes are replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, something DDT delayed for several years into the future, and using an American Sign Language interpreter at all press conferences. DDT had refused to have an ASL interpreter. Biden is also replacing White House Dr. Sean Conley, who admitted lying to the public about DDT’s COVID-19 treatment and condition. Dr. Kevin O’Connor, Conley’s replacement, has treated Biden since 2009.

A federal judge in Texas appointed by DDT blocked Biden’s 100-day deportation “pause” for 14 days. Texas AG Ken Paxton, Paxton, under investigation for alleged state securities fraud, bribery, etc., cheered at his “victory.”

In one victory, however, the DOJ rescinded he DHS “zero tolerance” policy, causing family separations among asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants crossing the border. Acting AG Monty Wilkinson ordered federal prosecutors to return to return to the previous policy of acting on merits of each case. DDT’s policy required every adult illegally crossing the border be prosecuted.

While all except five GOP senators think that DDT should be put on trial for his crimes, confirmations for Biden’s appointments are still gradually moving forward. One reason for the decision to put a Republican elected as president above the law may be fear. Instead of starting a third party to re-elect him, DDT plans to control the GOP and promises vengeance against any Republican who isn’t his loyalist. DDT has already threatened non-loyalists with primary challengers. According to rumors, Ivanka Trump may primary Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in 2022.Most GOP senators are weaseling out of convicting DDT by calling the impeachment “unconstitutional.” In Florida, DDT has established “The Office of the Former President” for political action. 

After confirming Avril Haines for Intelligence Director, it is leisurely confirming more Biden appointments. It confirmed the first Black secretary of the Defense Department, Lloyd Austin, by 93-2 with only Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Mike Lee (R-UT) as holdouts. Biden has ordered a 90-day commission to pursue solutions to sexual assault in the military. Janet Yellen was confirmed, 84 to 15, as the first female secretary of the Treasury Department and faces the worst economy in decades. Antony Blinken, Biden’s pick for secretary of state, won Senate confirmation by 78-22.

After Biden had his first call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the White House, for the first time in four years, is releasing information about the conversation. Topics of the call:

  • Concern about the Russian SolarWinds hacking campaign breaching DOJ email accounts.
  • Reports of Russian bounties on U.S. troops.
  • Russian interference in the 2020 presidential election.
  • Concerns about the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
  • The Kremlin’s recent treatment of peaceful protesters demonstrating in support of Navalny.
  • Support for Ukrainian sovereignty.
  • A goal of extending a nuclear arms treaty for five years with Russia.

According to the White House press release:

“President Biden made clear that the United States will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies. The two presidents agreed to maintain transparent and consistent communication going forward.”

Biden’s first approval rating since his inauguration shows 63 percent support from registered voters. He received 61 percent support for the economy, stimulating jobs and fighting terrorism, 60 percent for foreign affairs, and 57 percent for immigration. The highest ratings came from administering the government, 65 percent, and handling the pandemic, 69 percent. https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/13/trump-approval-rating-poll-458602  DDT’s last approval rating was 34 percent, the lowest of his four years. Disapproval was at 63 percent for DDT, the same as Biden’s approval rating.

Up ten percent from a week ago, 50 percent of people have confidence in the government’s information about COVID-19. False information, however, comes from pro-DDT areas. Studies of “excess deaths” show the number of deaths from COVID-19 is 31 percent higher than currently reported, with most of these “excess deaths” in areas leaning toward DDT, especially rural areas. According to an analysis, “25 percent of counties with the most Trump voters in 2020 [have] 163 excess deaths for every 100 Covid-19 deaths.”

One reason for high disparities is that deaths might be counted as COVID-19 related only if people are tested for the virus, and DDT’s poor testing infrastructure led to ignorance. The highest correlations were between high excess deaths and elected non-medical coroners, especially when rural coroners must pay for post-mortem testing from their own budgets. These officials also suffer from pressure by families’ beliefs about how their relatives die. People claim they don’t have COVID-19 when they are dying from the disease, and officials in pro-DDT areas lie about the cause of death.

As of January 26, 2021, world cases have topped 100 million and deaths are over two million. Today another 148,265 infections in the U.S. top the total over 26 million in a year, and the 4,045 deaths in the U.S. bring the total to 435,452—with another 135,000 “excess deaths.”

November 17, 2020

Biden Works, DDT Obstructs

Sixty-four days before Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) leaves the Oval Office: he fired the man in charge of protecting the nation’s electric grid, two Republicans briefly held up the certification of 863,000 votes in Michigan, DDT’s personal lawyer may have destroyed all validity of DDT’s lawsuits regarding fake election fraud, Emily Murphy still won’t permit the next U.S. president’s transition, and a witness heard a senator violate the law in asking Georgia to throw away valid ballots. And more.

President-elect Biden:

Biden continues to build his team with these nine members. Without a transition, he’s moving in two directions: showing how DDT’s refusal to permit transition hurts people in the U.S. and how roadblocks are stopping him for addresses the nation’s crises. Picks thus far. 

Even if Biden doesn’t investigate DDT, he could get DDT’s tax returns. Biden may prefer not to do this, but a refusal could cause Democrats to lose face after a long battle and court cases for over a year. In August, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R-CA) said DDT’s records would be released if Biden won, and she doesn’t back down. DDT is the only inaugurated man who hasn’t made his tax returns public since Richard Nixon. DDT will likely file a new suit to prevent their disclosure.

Biden can count on Republicans to not follow through. Last week, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) promised to personally “step in” and intervene by Friday if Biden weren’t permitted classified information. This week, he said, “I’m not in a hurry, necessarily, to get Joe Biden these briefings.” He said he meant he could take care of it if he wanted to. After the election, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said DDT’s lawyers had to give evidence to support claims of election fraud; two days later Blunt said DDT “may not have been defeated at all.”

Republicans agree they don’t like DDT’s decision to drop service members in Afghanistan down to 2,500 before he left the Oval Office. Followed by other GOP senators, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), DDT’s top loyalist, lambasted the idea as hurting national security. Undermining democracy is fine, but moving troops back to the U.S. is too much for them. The Pentagon wasn’t happy about the idea of bringing troops home with no justification so DDT just fired his appointees and got new ones who would follow any of his poorly thought-out orders. 

Reasons for opposing DDT’s plans, some of them from the military:

  • DDT is not meeting the conditions of withdrawal in the U.S.-Taliban agreement
  • Taliban fighters can take control of Afghanistan and make it a base for terrorists.
  • Rapid withdrawal hurts our allies.
  • Afghanistan, like Saigon before, will fall quickly, compromising operations against terrorists.

DDT:

DDT’s Fire:

After Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), protected the elections in the U.S. and ran a website debunking false rumors, DDT terminated him with a tweet. Krebs said “59 election security experts all agree, ‘in every case of which we are aware, these claims [of manipulated election systems] either have been unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent.’” CISA works with state and local officials running U.S. elections, private companies supplying voting equipment addressing cybersecurity and other threats, the monitoring of balloting and tabulation, and industry and utilities to protect the nation’s industrial base and power grid from threats. Firing Krebs leaves the nation’s power grid wide open to the possibility of hacking.

DDT’s Recounts:

Graham said he only talked to Raffensperger about election procedures, but Gabriel Sterling, voting system manager, reported Graham asking if Raffensperger could throw out all the ballots if a percentage of signatures don’t match. Asked why he called Raffensperger, Graham said he also talked about election procedures with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and someone in Nevada. Neither Nevada nor Arizona secretaries of state heard from Graham. His interference in a state election could be a felony.

Today, two GOP-appointed board members refused to certify the votes of Michigan’s Wayne County, home to Detroit and the state most populous county, before reversing their position after a huge public backlash. The two had no reason to block the certification except to eliminate enough ballots to hand the state to DDT. Biden won the county by over 37 percent.

Georgia’s hand recount, scheduled to be completed by tomorrow night, won’t replace the official tally with Biden leading by about 14,000 votes, according to Georgia’s election officials who obtained legal advice. Any serious county discrepancies, such as the discovery of 2,600 uncounted ballots in Floyd County, will result in redoing machine counts for a new total becoming part of the official count. The new Floyd County count puts DDT’s state loss at 13,378. Sterling said the hand count is to verify which candidate won, not to establish a perfect vote count. Thus far, the manual count closely matches the original counts. Candidates have the right to a recount if they lose by less than 0.5 percent; another recount would rescan ballots through computers.

DDT has until tomorrow to decide whether to pay almost $8 million for a recount in Wisconsin, almost four times the cost for Green Party candidate Jill Stein in 2016. Additional charges come from the coronavirus, a shorter time frame, and increased security needs. Biden is ahead in the state by over 20,000 votes. An audit of Milwaukee County gave Biden a 17-vote increase. December 1 is Wisconsin’s deadline for certifying the vote. DDT may not have money for the recount because donations are primarily going to his PAC or the RNC.

DDT’s Lawsuits:

DDT’s campaign asked a Carson City court to declare DDT the winner of Nevada’s six presidential electors or annul the election, removing the state’s electoral votes. All lawsuits in Nevada to block or delay vote counting in Democratic-leaning Clark County have been rejected for little or no evidence of wrongdoing and fraud. Former Senate candidate Sharron Angle sued to replace the November 3 election with a completely new one. GOP state Senate candidate April Becker also sued Clark County and its registrar of voters for a new election in her race.

DDT’s legal team met today’s 5:00 pm deadline in Michigan to file proper paperwork to keep its case from being dismissed. This lawsuit is to stop the state’s certification of results until review of the election process. DDT’s team had not added three additional defendants—Detroit and Michigan’s NAACP and DNC.

Over a week ago after the media called the election for Biden/Harris, Pennsylvania attorney Marc Scaringi said on his radio show, “The litigation will not work.” His law firm’s website described Biden as the president-elect because he “successfully claimed the role of the 46th president of the United States.” That post has been deleted. After five DDT lawyers withdrew, Scaringi joined the DDT legal team to block Pennsylvania from certifying its election results. The judge has refused Scaringi’s request to delay today’s hearing; the judge won’t decide until Friday.

Lead attorney in the In Pennsylvania case, DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani perplexed the judge with wild unsubstantiated allegations about “widespread nationwide voter fraud” before admitting he isn’t alleging fraud. The attorney for the state questioned whether Giuliani understands basic legal procedures. Giuliani also had to admit the complaint had been narrowed by dropping claims about poll watchers lacking access after he had declared the opposite the night before. Although not appearing in federal court since 1992, he maintained he hadn’t tried a case in “four or five years.”

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s ruling, DDT’s only win, that a legal violation in Philadelphia not giving observers access to observe the vote count didn’t exist. State law “requires only that an authorized representative ‘be permitted to remain in the room in which the absentee ballots and mail-in ballots are pre-canvassed,’” according to the opinion signed by five justices.

Put in charge of DDT’s “election fraud” litigation, Giuliani is causing chaotic infighting among the campaign’s legal team and campaign officials. He and newly-assigned lawyer Jenna Ellis are attempting a campaign “coup” by wresting power. They claim DDT gave them full control over the legal strategy. Ellis, who refers to herself as “President-elect Jenna Ellis” on Twitter, told campaign staffers they report to her and ordered any remaining campaign staff they follow orders only from people named “Rudy or Jenna.” All other directives are to be ignored. Last Saturday, senior adviser Jason Miller and Ellis ended up in a “screaming match” in front of other staffers and threatened to call DDT to settle the question of who is in charge. Miller also called Ellis “crazy.”

Ellis has frequently given DDT questionable information about election fraud such as the false claim about Dominion Voting Systems deleting DDT votes. She also appeared on television without asking for approval from campaign officials. Yesterday, several lawyers representing DDT in a Pennsylvania lawsuit quit. That case can determine the litigation’s fate. DDT joined Giuliani and Miller in falsely claiming the campaign had not dropped an important part of the federal lawsuit in removing observers not being permitted to watch a count of 680,000 ballots in Pennsylvania. The revised case now affects only dozens of votes. Legal expert Richard Pildes refuted the GOP claims.

Tomorrow will be the fifth day with nothing official on DDT’s schedule. The only work he’s done for months has been to keep a job, and he only wants to stay out of prison and make money—and play golf.                   

COVID-19 in U.S. on November 17, 2020: 157,261 new cases; 1,615 deaths.

October 18, 2020

DDT: Week 195 – Nearing Election Day, Mounting Tensions

Two weeks ago, the news about Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) meant deciphering his doctor’s lies about his illness from COVID-19. It was a more peaceful time, compared with DDT traveling the country, endangering lives by spreading coronavirus and encouraging violence. He claims his campaign rallies don’t increase the number of virus cases, but research has a different picture, starting with the Tulsa (OK) audience of only 6,000. By September, epidemiologists estimated directly related 228 cases and nine deaths, including former presidential candidate Herman Cain.

Patterns of outbreaks 14 days after DDT’s rallies occurred in half the 14 cities and townships studied. DDT calls these self-promotional events “protests” to avoid state laws, but actual grassroots protests have no virus surges because most people take precautions. Only two states control COVID-19 as DDT tells people coronavirus isn’t dangerous. The top third states demonstrating the highest number of cases per capita are Republican.

DDT’s most recent “expert,” Scott Atlas, pushes DDT’s position of no masks, no social distancing, and “herd immunity,” promoting everyone getting sick, an attitude obvious at the rallies. His claims of stopping “pandemic fatigue” works against national security. If people can’t even wear masks and maintain social distancing for a few months without going to pieces in opposition to protecting public health, how could they possibly survive attacks from hostile governments if they had to help protect the United States?

Ten days after a credible kidnapping plot of Michigan’s Gov. Gretchen Whitmer by at least 14 people, the subject, DDT still rallies people to “lock her up” and “open up the state.” His claims are baseless; Michigan is already open. Threats of domestic terrorism against Whitmer, her family, and other officials accelerate every time DDT has a rally. DDT’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, claimed DDT’s call for violence were done in a “fun light atmosphere,” and DDT’s campaign adviser Jason Miller stated DDT stands by his attacks on Whitmer.

According to the FBI, some of the men charged in the Whitmer plot also considered “taking” Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, referring to DDT’s rhetoric, said he had faced threats from foreign forces but never from his own commander in chief. Earlier this year, DDT called on his supporters to “liberate” both Michigan and Virginia.

Barry County’s (MI) Sheriff Dar Leaf tried to protect two of the men charged in the kidnapping plot by saying that they were probably just making a citizen’s arrest. He had joined the two indicted men in a protest against pandemic shutdowns and refused to enforce the state’s former stay-at-home order. About the militia planning the kidnapping, Leaf said, “They have more of a legal standing in this country than the agencies that arrested them.” Despite the Second Amendment terminology of “well-regulated militia,” the Supreme Court ruled in both 1886 and 2008 that paramilitary organizations can be banned and are not allowed to act as legal militia in any state. Sheriffs sometimes give preferential treatment to militia members in exchange for their votes. The two men who blew up the Oklahoma City federal building and killed 168 people in 1995 had ties to the Michigan Militia.

Because of DDT’s violent orders for poll watchers, Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson issued banned open carrying of guns on Election Day within 100 feet of polling places, clerks’ offices, and absent voter counting boards to ward off voter intimidation. Benson is working with AG Dana Nessel and Michigan State Police Director Col. Joe Gasper for voters’ protection. Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy said he will not enforce the state ban, including at schools or churches for polling locations.

DDT is headed to California, hoping to pick up its 55 electoral college votes with a campaign message of “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE!!!” DDT’s polling is 31 percent in the state, but he’s trying a bribe of disaster relief after first refusing it to the state for its horrific wildfires. His reversal came almost immediately after FEMA justified the refusal with the statement the fires lacked “severity and magnitude to exceed” state and local capabilities. A president has the final say over releasing government funds from FEMA. In August, former DDT official Miles Taylor said, “[DDT] told us to stop giving money to people whose houses had burned down from a wildfire because he was so rageful that people in the state of California didn’t support him and that politically it wasn’t a base for him.” Larger fires in the state over the past four years destroyed GOP-voting areas, and many of the fires are on federal land with DDT responsible for their maintenance. Gov. Gavin Newsom stated the COVID-19 recession drove California from a $5.6 billion surplus to a $54.3 deficit.

In another bribe, this one to North Carolina where DDT polls down by two to four points, he signed disaster relief for Hurricane Isaias, a Category One storm with localized damage to the coast almost three months ago. Puerto Rico and the Northeast suffered far more from the hurricane. DDT visited the state the day after he gave them the money. GOP incumbent Thom Tillis is down four points from opponent Cal Cunningham, three points more after texts about Cunningham’s extramarital affair were publicized.

Twenty years ago, Gov. Jeb Bush promised to give Florida to his brother, George W., and he did. DDT threatened Ron DeSantis in the same state:

“You know, if we don’t win it, I’m blaming the governor. I’ll fire him somehow.”

DDT also said in a speech about Puerto Ricans, “You better vote for me.” Puerto Rico has no vote in the Electoral College.

The Transportation Department is using DDT’s fake “anarchist jurisdictions” to block funding from a coronavirus safety grant program, starting with New York City, Portland (OR), and Seattle. The grants are to help rail and bus passengers have a safer environment.

DDT counts on his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani for an “October surprise” to take votes from Joe Biden. For years, FBI intelligence has reported to DDT about Russian fabricated smears against Biden funneled through Giuliani. His latest evidence-free story is about non-authenticated private emails attacking Biden’s son Hunter Biden which Giuliani gave to the New York Post, owned by creator of the Fox network Rupert Murdoch. The blind owner of a computer store, an avid DDT-supporter, said someone called Hunter Biden dropped off his laptop for repair, and the blind man copied the files and sent them to Giuliani’s former lawyer Robert Costello. No one ever saw Hunter Biden, and no one ever picked up the laptop. Most reporters refused to put their names on the story; the only byline comes from a former associate producer of The Sean Hannity Show. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), another conduit for Russia’s false propaganda, latched onto the two-year-old Russian campaigning for DDT, according to FBI intelligence.

Republican leaders are flocking to Joe Biden in the upcoming election, but DDT got a big endorsement—the Taliban. A senior member of the Middle East terrorist group with Al-Qaeda ties said, “We hope he will win the election.” DDT’s election means terrorist groups can take complete control of Afghanistan after troops leave. DDT also wants all troops out of Somalia no matter how many Al-Qaeda take over the county and, in a gift to the Kremlin, plans to pull 12,000 troops out of Germany.

DDT said the election is being rigged; here’s how the GOP is doing it. Charlie Kirk, lead speaker at DDT’s convention, talked to conservatives hosted by the Council for National Policy (CNP) about the advantage of liberal college students kept from voting because campuses are closed from COVID-19 shutdown. “It’s a great thing,” he said. Although DDT publicly opposes “ballot harvesting” in which people take others’ ballots to be dropped off, Ralph Reed, chairman of the nonprofit Faith & Freedom Coalition, bragged about harvesting ballots in churches. Tom Fitton, president of the non-profit Conservative organization the Judicial Watch, asked the audience for ways to suppress votes and “stop ballots from going out.”

With no evidence, DDT claimed California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to win the state with “a pure Sleepy Joe Democrat firm to count and ‘harvest’ votes.” His comment may be tied to the state hiring a consulting firm to encourage mail-in voting during the pandemic. Republicans in the state, however, are breaking the law by putting out ballot drop boxes labeled as “Official.” California demanded the boxes be taken down, and the two sides compromised after almost a week. The word “official” will be removed, the drop boxes will be attended to whenever the public has access to them, and ballots will be secured and then delivered to elections officials within the required 72-hour frame. Republicans are targeting churches and gun shops for the boxes’ locations.

After DDT claimed mail-in voting is fraudulent, postal service employees have been found throwing away mail, some of it ballots. The first, one of two in Pennsylvania, was caught with eight bags of mail in front of his house waiting for garbage pickup the following day. Neighbors reported the situation is a common weekly occurrence. Hired a few months ago, he follows the QAnon philosophy DDT praised at last week’s town hall. Another USPS employee in Democratic-majority Jeffersontown (KY) discarded mail containing 112 ballots in a dumpster. 

Today, I dropped off my ballot off in the legal drop box. I live in a state successfully conducting mail-in voting for 25 years. Too bad so many other states are run by Republicans.

July 2, 2020

Could Russia Be DDT’s Waterloo?

When the world learned that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) ignored information about Russians putting bounties on the heads of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, he hoped the firestorm would disappear in a few days. Instead, it has been on the media as much as the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. for the past five days and seems to be getting worse. Each one of those days has brought out more information.

Tonight, the New York Times reported about Rahmatullah Azizi, the chief go-between who took money from the Russians to give it to Taliban-connected fighters. About six months ago, security agencies arrested dozens of his relatives and associates, but Azizi had sneaked back to Russia, leaving about a half million dollars in one of his homes in Kabul. The dead body of a U.S. military member is worth $100,000.

Azizi’s role has been confirmed in a dozen interviews with U.S. and Afghan officials, neighbors and friends, and business associates of the other middlemen. He began as a drug smuggler in his 20s, moving his product into Iran. When he returned to Afghanistan, U.S.-led coalition forces gave him contracts to build roads in Kunduz before he moved on to a connection with Russia. One of his friends said he went from “not even having a blanket” to having security escorts and owning several expensive houses and cars. Other evidence against Azizi came from large financial transfers from Russia’s GRU to Taliban-connected militants.

For years, both U.S. and Afghan officials have believed that Russia was undermining the U.S. in Afghanistan and aiding the Taliban through covert operations. Only recently, however, did the U.S. confirm that the Russians were paying bounties on members of U.S. military out of its overseas assassination arm of the Russian military intelligence, Unit 29155 called GRU that helped DDT get elected.  A couple of their activities since DDT moved into the White House are the hacking of Democratic Party email accounts in 2016 and the nerve agent attack in Salisbury (England) in 2018.

Intelligence reports that the Russia has tired of prolonged U.S. presence and switched allegiance to the Taliban but tried to look as if it supported the U.S. until Afghanistan picked its power source. U.S. discovery of the bounty money in 2019 was at the same time as negotiations with the Taliban to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

Today’s reporting also reveals that the bounty information was in the written February 27, 2020, President’s Daily Brief (PDB), much to the frustration of White House officials who insisted that DDT was never told. The officials shifted to insistence that the information was uncertain, but intelligence agencies don’t put anything into daily briefings until it has been thoroughly vetted. DDT has changed his own story almost daily in the past five days, perhaps settling on never having heard of it while going back to his favorite word, “hoax.”  

The day before DDT ignored the PDB about Russia paying the Taliban to kill U.S. troops, he had a press briefing to assure the people of the United States that COVID-19 would disappear within the week. [Four months and four days later, the U.S. has 2,779,953 confirmed cases and 130,798 deaths from the disease. The number of new cases hit a high of 51,097 yesterday.] VP Mike Pence, assigned at the virus press briefing to solve the problem, spent February 27, 2020 at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and met with Trumper media, including Sean Hannity and Eric Bollins (Sinclair TV host).

DDT’s schedule for February 27, 2020, lists a 45-minute meeting with lead actors of a low-budget conservative play about what he calls the Deep State. Phelim McAleer, the playwright of FBI Lovebirds: Undercovers slamming fired FBI agent Peter Strzok and fired FBI lawyer Lisa Page who had discussed DDT’s campaign in 2016, said that the meeting last three times as long as scheduled. “He loves it, he loves the play,” McAleer said about the play’s concept. A video of the play was presented to CPAC the next day.

The other responsibility on DDT’s schedule for February 27, 2020, was meeting with his vlogger fans Diamond & Silk (left) along with about 20 other Black supporter including Candace Owens, Isaiah Washington, and Alveda King. They all gave him lavish praise and huddled around him for a prayer. He bragged about his criminal reform which benefits white-collar criminals and called the 25 confirmed COVID-19 cases a “miracle” from the U.S. “incredible achievement” in defeating the disease. He wanted credit for his handling and said, “If we were doing a bad job, we should also be criticized. But we have done an incredible job.” [FYI: He’s doing a bad job and keeps lying about his accomplishments or ignores the pandemic.]

Otherwise, he was rattled by the plummeting of the stock market from the COVID-19 crisis and the slow movement of the peace agreement with the Taliban. An intelligence briefing was scheduled for 2:30 pm, his preferred time so he can tweet in the morning, and a reception for African American History Month was at the White House that evening. He added a few people to his new coronavirus task force throughout the day and muddied up the leadership. Two days after DDT’s PDB included info on Russia’s paying the Taliban to kill U.S. troops, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed an agreement with the Taliban to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan.  

Six months ago, former Republican Max Boot wrote a piece explaining how DDT acts as a Russian asset:

  • His long financial history with Russia.
  • Russian interference to help elect DDT president.
  • DDT’s encouragement for Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails on July 27, 2016.
  • His attempt to cover up the 101 contacts between his campaign and Russia-connected operatives.
  • The number of DDT’s campaigners—Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and Michael Flynn—close to Russia.
  • Manafort’s admission he offered his Russian-connected business partner with polling data, useful for Russians using social media to interfere in the presidential campaign on DDT’s part.
  • Roger Stone’s advance knowledge about Russians hacking Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails.
  • DDT’s firing FBI Director James Comey to stop the investigation of the “Russia thing” and bragged about it to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister in the Oval Office while revealing top-secret information to them.
  • DDT’s firing AG Jeff Sessions because he did end the special counsel investigation after Comey was fired.
  • DDT’s constant refusal to acknowledge Russia interfered in the U.S. election or mobilize an effort to stop future interference because he accepts Vladimir Putin’s denial in doing it.
  • DDT’s attacks on and undermining of the DOJ, the FBI, the European, and NATO to support Russia.
  • His support of populist, pro-Russian leaders in Europe; i.e., Viktor Orban (Hungary) and Marine Le Pen (France).
  • DDT’s praise and worship of Putin, “a strong leader,” while denigrating almost everyone else from celebrities to leaders of allied nations.
  • DDT’s hiding his conversation with Putin, even taking notes from his interpreter and telling her not to tell anyone about the meeting.
  • DDT’s defense of Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan.
  • His repetition of pro-Russian talking points.
  • His pulling U.S. troops out of Syria, presenting the country to Russia and Putin’s ally Iran.
  • DDT’s refusal to respond to the Russian attack on Ukrainian ships in international waters to encourage greater Russian aggression.
  • DDT’s sowing chaos in the U.S. government with a partial government shutdown and multiple “acting” appointments in key posts to meet the Russian goal of undermining the United States.

Former national security adviser Susan Rice added to the ways DDT supports Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Russia has escalated its aggression toward the U.S. in the past few weeks—new cyberattacks on U.S. employees working from home, Russian jets testing U.S. air defenses off the Alaska coast, etc. Yet DDT’s administration has no strategy for deterring Russia behavior. Pompeo is still claiming Crimea will never be Russian territory although Russia annexed that part of Ukraine six years ago. In his new book, however, John Bolton wrote DDT “repeatedly objected to criticizing Russia and pressed us not to be so critical of Russia publicly.” DDT’s only strategy with Russia is to be “friends.”

For once, Republican lawmakers have not come out en masse to support DDT’s denial. Maybe some of them found a sale on spines. But Republicans still refuse to support a bill requiring presidential campaigns to report offers of foreign election help. One excuse—not reason—might be the ignorance of Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee: GOP members refuse to attend.

Military veterans have been loyal to DDT for almost four years despite his selling them out, over and over. Allowing Russians to pay the Taliban to kill U.S. troops may be a bridge too far for them. The fractures started with DDT’s threats to militarize states in the midst of protests become wide fissures after the public learned that DDT’s administration has ignored widespread assassinations of their comrades in active duty under the leadership of their commander in chief. The loss of their votes in November will hurt him as much as his loss of white suburban women.

June 30, 2020

Bittersweet News from SCOTUS, Bad for DDT

Before the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the sometimes “moderate” justice kept women’s rights on life support. His resignation left Chief Justice John Roberts in that position, one he fulfilled today in the 5-4 decision that struck down a Louisiana law created to strike down all except one clinic in the state that performs abortions. The gist of the law was the state mandate requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, almost identical to a case about Texas law SCOTUS overturned just four years ago. In that decision, a 5-4 court determined the unconstitutional law served no benefits to patients but significantly burdened their access to abortion.

Brett Kavanagh, who promised Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) he is pro-Roe v. Wade to get Kennedy’s position, showed he is no Kennedy: he and Justice Neil Gorsuch joined ideologues Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas against women’ reproductive rights. Roberts voted against the majority four years in his desire to keep the Texas law, and he wrote his own opinion to prove he’s still a conservative—just wanted to preserve stare decisis, deference to precedent, and not overturn a former SCOTUS ruling. Because Roberts is the swing vote for this case, opposition to abortions will be the key to future cases, permitting restriction just short of their illegality. He sets a high hurdle to keeping right: benefit is irrelevant, and decision is based on a substantial obstacle.   

Slate’s court reporter Mark Joseph Stern questions the extent of the victory of constitutional rights for pro-choice. In his analysis of the high court’s opinion, Stern maintains Roberts “marks a retreat” from the earlier case declaring the Texas law unconstitutional. Under the new ruling, a woman could be forced to wait a week for an abortion and visit the clinic hundreds of miles away three times to see anti-abortion documentaries—no medical benefit to the patient while imposing burdens. Yet the court could determine this requirement doesn’t meet the level of “a substantial obstacle.” Next year, Roberts could find a way to overturn Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) which prevents laws banning abortion before viability. As Stern wrote, “A chill wind still blows.”

Roberts is not wedded to precedence. He voted with the majority in Citizens United (2010) to overturn long-held principles of campaign finance and in Janus (2018) used the same rationale of free speech to overturn a unanimous 1977 decision allowing public sector labor unions to collect fees against the wishes of employees.

A chill wind also blows for Collins, whose vote is a major reason Kavanaugh is casting far-right votes on SCOTUS. He already voted to deport Dreamers and allow employers to fire LGBTQ people on the basis of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Collins said she believed Kavanaugh when he promised not to overturn Roe v. Wade and guaranteed he would respect precedence, “essential to maintaining public confidence. And she’s up for reelection in under five months.

While people cheered for today’s pro-choice rights decision, most of them ignored a disastrous decision in Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, allowing a president to fire the director of the supposedly independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau without cause. Again Roberts was the swing vote, this time a conservative 5-4 vote putting other independent agencies at risk. The opinion didn’t go as far as to declaring the entire agency unconstitutional which the plaintiff under CFPB investigation had requested. The law creating the agency specified the presidentially-nominated director, who must be Senate-confirmed, could be fired only “for cause,” specifying “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.” Other agencies with the “for cause” firing limitation include the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission. They may suffer the same fate in loss of independence.

The current CFPB director, financial sector defender Kathleen Kraninger, will likely stay for the next few months because agency investigations have drastically slowed down since the occupation of the Oval Office by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). She may disappear with a Democratic president, however, a loss for Wall Street’s corruption. Between its inception in 2010 and 2016, the CFPB returned $12 billion to defrauded consumers. 

In the dissent by four justices, Elena Kagan wrote the five conservatives failed to respect the high court’s role in allowing the other two government branches, Congress and executive, the decision in structuring the executive branch. She also pointed out the vote removes “independence from political pressure.” Another part of the dissent told originalist justices the constitution has nothing about separation of powers and the president’s removal authority.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who originally envisioned the agency, was more positive, cheering about a conservative SCOTUS recognizing the constitutionality of the agency “and the law that created it.”

In addition to issuing decisions today, the Supreme Court turned down two cases. One, a challenge to AG Bill Barr’s return to the federal death penalty, opens up the possibility of executions next month for the first time since 2003. It also refused to hear a case about waivers of federal laws for border wall construction that kills wildlife and destroys the environment. Lower courts have ruled the waivers don’t violate the separation of powers.

Other big news today pointed out possible cracks in DDT’s Teflon. The discovery that intelligence told DDT about Russians paying the Taliban to kill U.S. troops has taken the U.S. by storm. The New York Times initially reported the information on Friday, and within three days, DDT’s stories keep changing. A few facts:

Intelligence knew as far back as January—when DDT was negotiating a peace agreement with the Taliban—and briefed DDT.

The bounty has been linked to deaths of U.S. military members.

In March, DDT learned about the intelligence reports but failed to respond.

In the past few months, DDT has had several friendly phone calls with Vladimir Putin, including five hidden ones in early April after the briefing.

DDT called Putin and Russia friends of the U.S., sent humanitarian aid to Russia, and pushed the other six members of the G7 summit to taken Russia back.

On Saturday, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany claimed DDT knows nothing. Little did McEnany know, her defense of DDT depicted him as ignorant, uncaring, negligent, lazy, and incompetent. And a liar like DDT. Part of her faulty defense was for his tweeting a video advocating “white power” staying up for three hours while DDT was unavailable on the golf course. (The White House claims DDT couldn’t hear the cries for “white power.”)

This timeline shows Russian support for the Taliban, U.S. clashes with Russian mercenaries, “destabilizing [Russian] activity in Afghanistan, three U.S. Marines killed by Taliban, and discovery of $500,000 in a Taliban outpost confirming U.S. intelligence suspicions about Russia paying bounties.

Since the reporting, DDT has said, in this order: (1) he never got any briefings; (2) he hadn’t been briefed because it was bogus; and (3) he was briefed but the intelligence wasn’t credible. According to respected political columnist David Ignatius, Pentagon officials were “pounding on the door” to get DDT to do something about the Russians’ damage.

People are left to decide which of the three is right: (1) DDT knew about the Russian’s paying the Taliban to kill U.S. troops and did nothing; (2) intelligence couldn’t tell DDT because they were afraid of him or what he would tell people; or (3) DDT didn’t bother to read vital national security information. Each of the three decisions shows a completely incompetent leader of the free world. In an effort to save his skin, DDT provided Republicans a briefing about the situation today but made Democrats wait until tomorrow. The briefing should have been for both parties at the same time, but DDT wants the GOP to have a one-day advance to prepare a defense for him.

Seven years ago, DDT tweeted: 

Ignorance is inexcusable; it’s the surest way to fail. No acceptable reason exists for not being well informed.”

Yesterday he tweeted:

“Nobody briefed or told me … about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians…. Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us…..”

Because DDT cares only about the election, he’s terrified about voters’ reactions. This TV ad reflects the reaction from VoteVets.

DDT’s problems with COVID-19 aren’t over either. Its new mutations make contagion easier and correlates with far greater cases in younger people. World infections topped 10 million over the weekend (today 10,412,433) with deaths over a half million (508,228). New infections in the U.S. are still soaring—44,734 for June 29—with the total up to 2,681,811 and 128,783 deaths. Federal officials such as HHS Secretary Alex Azar went on Sunday news shows to talk about the virus’s catastrophe while saying it isn’t their problem to fix. And DDT ignores the disease.

March 14, 2020

DDT: Week 164 – Beyond Covid-19

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has spent the week avoiding assistance for people and helping his friends. At Friday’s press conference, he raised crude prices by five percent by declaring that he would buy over $2.6 billion of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve that saves huge U.S. oil companies from the Saudi-Russia oil war. Yet he opposed paid sick leave in order to lose over $807 billion in revenue for Social Security and Medicare—and almost half of that revenue from businesses that employ more than 10 workers. That’s more than President Obama’s $700 billion stimulus to save the U.S. in 2009, and the government got much of that back, sometimes with interest.  

The wealthiest people will benefit if DDT succeeds in suspending payroll taxes until “after the November election.” The top 5 percent of workers making over $140,000 a year will save close to $3 billion a month if only the 1.45 percent charge for Medicare. The top 211 workers who average $95.7 million a year will each reap an additional $115,700 per month—almost $1 million for the time that this 1.45 percent is suspended, according to what DDT wants. Households in the bottom 20 percent will get about two percent of the benefit.

DDT is also back to attacking militia in Iraq after 30 rockets fired on a base killed one British service member and two U.S. service members. The Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley blamed “Shia militia groups”; DDT told DOD Secretary Mark Esper to do anything he wanted; and Esper fired back the next day. The U.S. came close to war after it killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani over two months, but DDT backed down a full war. The Iraqi military said the U.S. airstrikes killed three Iraqi soldiers, two police officers, and a civilian as well as damaging an airport. Plans to staff missile-defense batteries will require hundreds of new troops in Iraq. The day after DDT’s airstrikes, the House passed a resolution to bar DDT from starting a war with Iran without congressional approval. DDT threatens to veto the measure.

The Pentagon may be backing down on giving a $10 billion contract on a cloud computing contract to Microsoft instead of Amazon. A judge said that Jeff Bezos’ lawsuit is “likely to succeed” perhaps because DDT had told the Pentagon not to give the contract to Bezos. The Pentagon disagreed but said it wanted 120 days to look over the technical aspects.

Almost 80 attacks, including those by the U.S., occurred in Afghanistan during the first 9 days of DDT’s “peace deal” with the Taliban. But DDT is moving hundreds of troops out of the country, reducing the number from 13,000 to 8,600—the same number as when he was inaugurated. The U.S. has information that the Taliban doesn’t intend to live up to its part in the agreement. Last week, DDT said the Taliban could “possibly” overrun the Afghan government and seize power after the troop withdrawal. State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo said the deal wouldn’t go forward if the Taliban doesn’t live up to their agreement, but DDT is calling the shots.

Known for his corruption and grift, DDT has been accused of what the New York Times called the “largest tax fraud case in the history of New York City government.” Five former city employees and a former Trump organization employee testified a connection between DDT’s business to a real estate housing scam. Six people reported the bribing of tax assessors to lower DDT’s property taxes.

Almost a month ago, U.S. intelligence officials warned members of Congress that Russia is interfering in U.S. elections to help DDT. Immediately, DDT replaced high-level intelligence officials with his partisan loyalists who delivered a different message. DDT’s new intelligence leaders told lawmakers that Russia isn’t supporting any candidates in contradiction to past knowledge. New acting intelligence director Rick Grenell, head of 17 agencies, didn’t show up for the briefing because he thought he wasn’t prepared :to address sensitive subjects that tend to upset the president.” Before the briefing, Kashyap Patel, now an employee in Grenell’s office and formerly Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) aide who was moved into the White House, gave intelligence officials limits on information to congressional member about foreign influence operations in “an inappropriate politicization.” Patel wrote a memo accusing law enforcement officials of abusing their power to help Republicans in their attempt to discredit the Russia investigation.

Grenell has imposed a hiring freeze and ordered a review of his personnel and mission. Intelligence officials view his actions as a preliminary to ousting intelligence officers who politically disagree with DDT. The question is why Grenell would create a large-scale reorganization when DDT has already nominated Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) for permanent director.

South Korea reported that North Korea launched multiple weapons twice in less than a week on March 2 and 8 with Kim Jong-un inspecting a large military exercise the second time. The firing was directed northeast from the east coast with projectiles falling into the water between North Korea and Japan. Some flew as far as 124 miles. Another military exercise was on February 28.

The Senate is in charge of an investigation into whether Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao abused her position to help her husband Mitch McConnell’s Senate campaign by sending millions of federal dollars to Kentucky—and McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, controls the decision of who does the investigation. DDT replaced the retiring Transportation Inspector General with an acting IG.

DOJ must release secret grand jury evidence to congressional Democrats according to a district judge and two judges on a three-judge panel from an appeals court. The ruling can be appealed the full court and/or the Supreme Court. Judge Judith Rogers, appointed by Bill Clinton, wrote that grand jury records are court records, not DOJ records, which have been released to Congress during impeachment investigations five times. A George W. Bush appointee agreed, and DDT’s appointee dissented. The DOJ is reviewing the decision and thought that earlier decisions were wrong.

U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman wrote an article for the Harvard Law Review explaining how the Roberts [Supreme] Court is destroying democracy:

“The Roberts Court has contributed to ensuring that the political system in the United States pays little attention to ordinary Americans and responds only to the wishes of a relatively small number of powerful corporations and individuals.”

In “The Roberts Court’s Assault on Democracy,” Adelman uses examples such as gutting the Voting Rights Act, upholding strict ID laws to make voting more difficult, approved purging thousands from voting rolls, and abdicated its responsibility to end partisan gerrymandering. He continued by writing that the Roberts Court enforces enormous income inequality by giving economic and political power to corporations and wealthy people.  

Chief Justice John Roberts proved Adelman’s point when he agreed with the conservative members to overturn lower court rulings regarding enforcing DDT’s executive order to keep immigrant asylum-seekers in Mexico to be robbed, raped, and killed while waiting months for hearings. The same court permitted DDT’s “wealth test” to deny residency or admission to the U.S. for immigrants.

A volunteer for a pro-DDT organization has been charged with 10 felony counts for submitting false voter registration information, and the Florida county sheriff believes that other workers may also be committing the same crime on the 119 forms. Problems were wrong registrations, changes in party affiliations without the voters’ knowledge, forged signatures, or fake personal information.

A new algorithm from the Census Bureau will badly skew populations of minority communities and rural areas while claiming to protect privacy. Mistakes up to 25 percent for population and 100 percent for specific groups can badly distort districting and funding. “Differential privacy” means that population, voting age population, race, and ethnicity are reported as enumerated only at the state level. For example, the number of girls 15 to 19 in Emporia (VA) were decreased from factual 185 to 30, raising the teen pregnancy rate from ten percent to 66 percent. It found 716 people on the Hawaiian island of Molokai when the 2010 population was 90. Native American reservations with fewer than 5,000 residents saw a decline of 34 percent with the new system. Growing Alaskan villages appeared to shrink. While some cities lost population, one had a 253 percent increase.

A blind man failed his citizenship test because he couldn’t read a sentence in English. He and his doctor had asked for a Braille version, but immigrations officials gave him a large print version instead because they didn’t have any Braille.

DDT’s weekly frivolous libel lawsuit against the media is directed at CNN after ones against the New York Times and the Washington Post. This one references an opinion piece about DDT’s claim that he’s would accept opposition research from foreign governments. Larry Noble’s conclusion to his piece:

“The Trump campaign assessed the potential risks and benefits of again seeking Russia’s help in 2020 and has decided to leave that option on the table.”

DDT’s argument is that “the “Defamatory Article has forced” his campaign for pay for “corrective advertisements.” DDT’s campaign waited nine months to push for a retraction and apology before the lawsuit.  

DDT is so furious with DDT-supporter and former AG Jeff Sessions that DDT endorsed Sessions’ opponent for the Alabama Senate primary, a former Auburn University football coach.

Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein, 67, received 23 years in prison for his sexual assaults. He compared the #MeToo movement to McCarthyism.

DDT didn’t know people died of the flu. His grandfather died of the flu epidemic in 1918.

Gallup shows that people like the Affordable Care Act more than they like DDT with a 52 percent approval of the ACA. DDT’s approval rating is barely above 42 percent. 

March 6, 2020

DDT: Week 163 – Corrupt Purge, ‘Loyalty’

In a Friday afternoon news dump, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) fired Mick Mulvaney as both acting chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget. Mulvaney is off to Northern Ireland to be special envoy, a vacant position since 2017. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), super-conservative founder of the Freedom Caucus, becomes DDT’s fourth chief of staff. DDT’s relationship with Mulvaney has been increasingly cool, turning to icy after Mulvaney told a British audience that the U.S. needed immigrants to improve its economy.

Since the GOP thought DDT had learned his lesson in the impeachment trial, he’s increased his purging and loyalty fixations. Earlier this week, he pulled Elaine McCusker’s nomination for Pentagon comptroller because she emailed concerns about budget officials delaying the congressionally-appropriated funding to Ukraine.

In an angry tweet, DDT explained his reason for firing Jeff Sessions as AG after Sessions’ attempt for U.S. senator from Alabama led to a runoff at the end of March:

“This is what happens to someone who loyally gets appointed Attorney General of the United States & then doesn’t have the wisdom or courage to stare down & end the phony Russia Witch Hunt. Recuses himself on FIRST DAY in office, and the Mueller Scam begins!”

Michael Ellis is DDT’s choice for senior director of intelligence on the National Security Council (NSC) for giving Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) bogus information about President Obama’s wiretaps on DDT during his 2016 campaign. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), later said the claim was “all created by Devin Nunes.” Ellis’ cohort in the scam, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, was appointed to national security adviser for United States AG.

DDT’s loyalty test on the application for political requirement asks an explanation of what part of Trump’s campaign message “most appealed” to them and why. In addition, applicants are asked if they have “ever appeared in the media to comment on ‘Candidate Trump, President Trump or other personnel or policies of the Trump administration.’ ” The new questionnaire requires a description of the applicants “political evolution” and a list of “thinkers, authors, books, or political leaders” who have “influenced you and led you to your current beliefs.” It asks, “What political commentator, thinker or politician best reflects your views?” and to list any political campaigns they have “ever worked on or volunteered for” and why. DDT’s name appears five times on the questionnaire.

A federal judge ruled that Ken Cuccinelli’s appointment as acting head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. If higher courts support the decision, policies made under him are void, including the one permitting asylum-seekers much less time to consult with legal counsel before their initial “credible fear” interview. DDT tried to bypass the law in appointing the right-wing immigration hard-liner by appointing Cuccinelli to a lower office and then elevating him over the “first assistant” in the agency. Cuccinelli failed the requirement of working for the agency in a senior position for at least 90 of 365 days before the vacancy.

Increasingly frustrated by the covid-19 crisis, DDT said that he wants to leave the cruise ship, where at least 21 people have tested positive for the virus, off the California coast so that his numbers of infected people and those dying of the virus will look better. He also called Washington state governor Jay Inslee a “snake” for criticizing DDT’s response to the outbreak. Inslee said DDT should stick to science and tell the truth. DDT also said that the virus could benefit the economy because people would stay in the U.S. instead of traveling out of the country.

While Republicans and DDT denigrate “Democratic socialism,” he gave farmers $28 billion—most of them wealthy—because of his trade war, and the GOP wants to give them more. Now DDT proposes deferring taxes for big businesses hurt by covid-19: cruise, airline, hotel, and other travel industries accounting for 2.9 percent of the economy in 2018. Airlines alone could lose up to $113 billion. In the U.S., DDT could benefit from his hotels in D.C., Chicago, and Las Vegas; the Mar-a-Lago Club; a vineyard in Northern Virginia; and 11 golf courses.

In 2016, DDT ran on not cutting Medicare and Social Security; in 2020, he’s running on cutting these programs. The GOP also has a bill called Lower Costs, More Cures Act. Instead of lowering prices, it allows seniors to pay in monthly installments and tells people what procedures and drugs cost with no reduction in prices. Republicans ignored the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, already passed in the House, that lowers drug and other health prices for everyone.

Mark Zuckerberg has named Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller a factchecker for Facebook; one of the articles banned as “false information” was “Trump rallies his base to treat coronavirus as a ‘hoax.’” The lie is the spin that DDT only referred to Dems’ politicization of covid-19 as a “hoax.” DDT said, “This is their new hoax” and used the speech to minimize covid-19’s threat. The Searle Freedom Trust, funder of organizations of right-wing causes such as climate disinformation, funds FB’s factchecker. After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R-CA) slammed Facebook, it removed DDT’s campaign ads that asked users to fill out an “Official 2020 Congressional District Census.” The confusing fake ad was intended to reduce census participation.

In its first 2020 weapons test, North Korea has launched two unidentified projectiles from its east coast toward the Sea of Japan.

House Republicans who saw the classified agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lied about its contents. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) tweeted that the documents “do not include in them the things that @SecPompeo said they would.” She commented that the secret documents do not have a verification with the Taliban and contains no renunciation of al-Qaeda.

Four days after the “peace” agreement, the U.S. military attacked the Taliban in a drone strike because of continued Taliban attacks on Afghans. Three days earlier, the Afghan government said it would not release the 5,000 Taliban prisoners as DDT’s agreement promised. The violence between Taliban and the Afghans started two days later, killing five Afghan policemen. Immediately before the airstrike, DDT talked to a Taliban leader who promised DDT he also wanted no violence. DDT said his relationship with the leader as “very good.”

DDT’s claims the rights to his own opinions—no matter how vicious and false—but he’s suing to deny newspapers the right to have opinions about him. He has sued two different newspaper within the last week. The first lawsuit, against the New York Times, objected to an op-ed about DDT possibly colluding with Russia in 2016. His second lawsuit, one against the Washington Post, complained about two opinion pieces from last June warning DDT could encourage election meddling in 2020. Lawyers asserted that the Post knew the material was false and published it to intentionally hurt DDT’s campaign.

At a rally in North Carolina, DDT suggested that Joe Biden is mentally unfit for the presidency and said, “They’re going to put him into a home, and other people are going to be running the country.” At the same rally, he called for the impeachment of Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg because they endorsed Joe Biden. Calling it a quid pro quo, he said, “They made a deal. Impeach them. They should be impeached.” Just a couple of his lesser lying insults.

DDT and the Republicans, positive that DDT could win against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), are now afraid enough of Joe Biden that a Senate committee has reinstated a search into Hunter Biden. After his father, Joe Biden, beat Sanders for most of the 15 Democratic primaries on Super Tuesday, all their competition dropped out except for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), who has earned one delegate out of almost 1,500.

DDT told Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) that he doesn’t want the surveillance extension, due for reupping by March 15, but AG Bill Barr disagrees, wanting the roving wire taps, lone wolf actors, and call data collection. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also wants the extension to pass; he could be caught between Barr and DDT. Paul, on the other hand, was the only Republican to vote against Barr’s confirmation.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos got a bipartisan protest when she cut funding for rural schools. Her revision for district reporting of students living in poverty caused major cuts for over 800 of the “poorest” and “most geographically isolated” schools. For 20 years, the department has used the percentage of students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch; now they must use data from the census for meeting the requirement of 20 percent of students living below the poverty line. The department said that if Congress wants the former guideline, then it needs to pass a law. Southern schools would be hit hardest with eligible schools in Oklahoma dropped by one-half. In Maine, 100 of 149 schools qualifying for the program would lose funding.

DDT went back to hugging the flag again at CPAC.

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