Nel's New Day

August 23, 2022

DDT Keeps Monopolizing the News

More news about classified documents at Mar-a-Lago: John Solomon, conservative writer and a designated liaison to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) appointed by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), released a May 10 letter from NARA that the agency and federal investigators “had grown increasingly alarmed about potential damage to national security caused by the warehousing of these documents at Mar-a-Lago, as well as by Trump’s resistance to sharing them with the FBI.” NARA had discovered over 700 pages of classified material, including “special access program materials” which are some of the most highly classified secrets in government, in the 15 boxes recovered from Mar-a-Lago last January.

A major question is why “Team Trump” would release this damaging information that makes DDT look even worse by confirming the large haul of highly classified national security materials illegally taken to DDT’s club. Lawyers have made no mention of DDT’s having declassified the documents, as he claims. Politico’s Kyle Cheney tweeted:

“Trump has been on notice since at least May of the FBI’s efforts to access this material. So his motion to seek a special master following the execution of the search warrant is months—not just weeks— late.”

The letter from National Archivist Debra Wall to DDT’s attorney, Evan Corcoran, also stated that DDT had no executive privilege; only the current executive branch of the government and president can grant this way for DDT to escape. Solomon posted the letter on his website, hoping to cause trouble for Biden. 

A fictional excuse for DDT taking top secret classified documents home with him after permanently leaving the White House is that he gave an order to declassify all the documents. Sycophant Kash Patrel, acting chief of staff to Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller after DDT lost his 2020 election, has been pushing the myth, citing DDT’s tweet from October 6 2020:

“I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions!”

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows rejected Patel’s claim in a sworn statement when a judge demanded clarification about the tweet. It was in direct opposition to the White House’s position to not classify the Russia records. Meadows conceded that the tweet was not an order to declassify or release any records. Meadows wrote:

“The president indicated to me that his statements on Twitter were not self-executing declassification orders, and do not require the declassification or release of any particular documents.”

Patel refused to give up on his false assertion and said that he witnessed DDT declassify “whole sets of documents” in December 2020 and January 2021 while he was “on his way out.” Previously, however, Patel said DDT “failed to generate the paperwork to change the classification markings.”

According to protocol, declassification doesn’t happen in secret. Former Obama administration Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson called such a concept “laughable” because “part and parcel of any act of declassification is communicating that act to all others who possess the same information.” In July 2020, the 2nd Circuit Court stated that “declassification, even by the President, must follow established procedures,” according to The New York Times. There is no evidence that DDT even tried to have a “standing order” to declassify everything taken to his home, as he claimed. John Bolton, DDT’s former national security adviser, called the statement “almost certainly a lie.”

DDT’s possession of classified documents opened an investigation to his violation of the Espionage Act, possible obstruction, and removing and destroying official documents.

Thanks to the lies spread from GOP legislative leaders among DDT’s base, The IRS is facing threats to its 600 facilities, comparable to those in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing of a federal building that killed 168 people and injured more than 500. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) isn’t spending its annual extra $8 million for the next decade to hire 87,000 new IRS agents, and it isn’t taxing people making under $400,000 a year. No matter. Lies are what the GOP campaigns thrive on, even if they kill people.

Fomenting the fear and hatred, House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA) spread these lies from the House floor about the IRS on August 9:

“They have 80,000 employees. You know what the IRS also has? 4,600 guns. 5 million rounds of ammunition. Why? Democrats want to double its already massive size. With this new power, the IRS will snoop around in your bank account, your Venmo, your small business. Then the government will shake you down for every last cent. In light of [the FBI’s search of Trump’s residence], let me ask: Do you really trust this administration’s IRS to be fair, to not abuse their power?”

McCarthy wasn’t the only person to put these lies into the House record: he was followed by Andrew Clyde (R-GA). Sen. Rick Scott wrote an open letter last week to job seekers discouraging them from applying for IRS jobs. His ire was focused on a posting for an IRS criminal investigator to serve search warrants and make arrests with the insinuation that all the IRS’s new hires will “need to be ready to audit and investigate your fellow hardworking Americans, your neighbors and friends, you need to be ready and, to use the IRS’s words, willing, to kill them.” Fewer than 3,000 of the IRS’ 78,000 employees work in criminal investigations and carry firearms.

Far-right extremist Proud Boys, supported by many Republicans, posted that the new IRS hires had to be “willing to use deadly force.” Other online memes from the white supremacist supporters compared IRS employees to Nazi SS officers and called for a “tea party” to tar and feather tax collectors. Twitter has permanently banned Luis Miguel, a GOP House candidate for Florida’s state legislature primary, for his tweet, “Under my plan, all Floridians will be able to shoot FBI, IRS, ATF, and all other federal troops ON SIGHT. Let freedom ring.” Facebook and Instagram allowed him to continue posting after that statement was removed. Miguel lost the primary to the GOP incumbent, Bobby Payne.

Last week, a three-judge panel from the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that former AG Bill Barr failed to be honest about having a deliberate process after the release of the Mueller report into Russian interference on the part of DDT’s 2016 presidential election. The DOJ must now make public the internal memo prepared by senior lawyers in 2019 about whether ties between DDT’s campaign and Russia consisted of crimes usually charged by prosecutors. A judge said that Barr’s DOJ claim that the memo was part of his decision about prosecuting DDT is inaccurate and that the memo was more like a “thought experiment.” Barr decided DDT would not be charged with a crime before the memo was written.

A federal judge ruled that Arkansas violated the Voting Rights Act with a six-voter limit for those who help people cast ballots in person. He wrote that Congress gave voter their choice of whom they wanted to assist them at the polls other than their employer or union representative.

Justice has finally been served in the planned kidnapping of a public official, namely Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. A jury found two men, part of the far-right anti-government Wolverine Watchmen, guilty of conspiring to kidnap Whitmer in 2020 after a hung jury earlier this year. They were also convicted of conspiring to obtain a weapon of mass destruction in a plan to blow up a bridge as part of the kidnapping. 

 The men also went on “reconnaissance missions” to Whitmer’s vacation home, where they planned to carry out the kidnapping, and collected high-powered guns. Angry about Whitmer’s orders to stop COVID, they were also part of the hundreds of armed men who entered the state Capitol building. Two other men pled guilty and testified for the prosecution, and another two were acquitted in the trial deadlocked on the convicted men.

For years, Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg had pled the Fifth Amendment, invoking his right against self-incrimination. No longer. Now that he has taken a plea deal, he can’t avoid answering questions about DDT’s business dealings. If he tries to back out of the deal, the 75-year-old man faces a 15-year prison term. He can provide valuable information about DDT’s business and person misconduct without cooperating in a criminal probe against DDT.

Rasmussen has long been known as having a conservative bent, but new discoveries about their polling, lowering the average using several polls, show that anti-Biden authors are paying Rasmussen for surveys about Biden as advertising for their books. The company has a history of this problem: President Obama typically received approval numbers about five points lower on Rasmussen than other polls. Part of the problem may be their phrasing of statements to sway the answers for negative responses to Democrats and their actions. For example, August used this one last August:

“It’s always better to cut taxes than to increase government spending because taxpayers, not bureaucrats, are the best judges of how to spend their money.”

Daily Kos blogger Steve Singiser sarcastically asked why Rasmussen didn’t add “how tax cuts regrow hair, whiten teeth, and ensure that your favorite team will win the Super Bowl this year.”

[Note: Something has happened at Rasmussen recently. It’s latest poll for Biden averaging several sources was 47 percent, six points over the average of 42 percent of likely and/or registered voters. 

And tomorrow–primary results from Florida, New York, and New York. 

August 17, 2022

Primaries – August 16, 2022

Yesterday’s primaries in two states featuring three women—Liz Cheney, Lisa Murkowski, and Sarah Pain—hit the media, one with a decision within hours and the other not decided for several days.

Alaska:

State election officials hope to have some results on August 23 and 26 with final numbers at the end of the month. The reason is the new ranked-voting system passed through ballot initiative last year and used for the first time this year.

For primaries, the top four candidates move on to the general election. In the election to replace the late Rep. Don Young, Alaska’s only U.S. representative, winning Democrat Mary Peltola and two GOP opponents Sarah Palin and Nick Begich, move to the November general election along with the undeclared fourth person in the contest. If one of the four candidates don’t get at least 50 percent, votes are redistributed until one person gets the majority. Palin hates the system, perhaps because the intention was to elect politicians with a wider rather than a narrower appeal. Maine was the first state to employ this ranked voting.

Peltola and Palin were winners in the special election to replace Young until 2023, and a ranked system is employed because neither of them received 50 percent of the vote. For voters who picked Begich, their second-choice votes are assigned to that pick. In an attempt to rig the system, Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) told Palin voters “to pick only one” candidate, but that system would lessen the possibility of a Republican winning the seat by losing any power to rank a second choice. If enough voters pick only one candidate or select Peltola for their second choice, she could go to Washington for four months this fall.

Palin’s former in-laws won’t be voting for her, and they threw a big pre-Election Night party for opponent Nick Begich. As far back as her vice-president candidacy, they questioned Palin’s ability. Faye Palin said about Sarah Palin, “I’m not sure what she brings to the ticket other than she’s a woman and a conservative.” Sarah and Todd Palin were divorced in 2020 at Todd’s choice.

Lisa Murkowski, DDT’s target for losing the election, came in first of 19 candidates for U.S. Senate but didn’t rise to 50 percent of the vote. She is the only senator to vote to convict DDT in his second impeachment trial. Murkowski will compete against DDT-endorsed Kelly Tshibaka, who moved to Alaska to run for the position, and two others, not yet identified. The four candidates will follow the same one as Palin and her three candidates in the November election. Tshibaka is only four points behind Murkowski, but she may lose some of that lead because Election Day votes counted first would be more favorable to her. Murkowski’s top Democratic opponent also received only six percent of the vote indicating that she may be the choice for Democrats.

Carpetbagger Tshibaka, who returned to the state for the election and was investigated when she applied for a residential fishing permit after eight months residency. This permit requires one year living in the state. She also kept her Maryland voting registration when she applied to vote in Alaska. Murkowski has such a strong presence that she won her 2010 campaign as an independent after losing the GOP primary. At the end of December 2010, she was certified the winner over Joe Miller with 101,091 votes to his 90,839 even after he filed a lawsuit against her write-ins and won some of his conditions before the state Supreme Court.  

Mike Dunleavy will go to the general election for the gubernatorial seat and follow the same ranked-vote process with three others. DDT gave Dunleavy “Complete and Total Endorsement”—”subject to his non-endorsement of Senator Lisa Murkowski…  In other words, if Mike endorses her, which is his prerogative, my endorsement of him is null and void, and of no further force or effect.” Dunleavy didn’t “non-endorse” Murkowski, but he did say DDT “has nothing to worry about which seemed to satisfy DDT.

Wyoming:

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) lost her election to DDT-endorsed Harriet Hageman, as predicted, by over 37 points after she supported the constitution instead of DDT. He declared the primary the most important in the nation, and his attacks against her were so severe that she couldn’t campaign in open venues. Threats of violence by DDT’s supporters forced her to have invite-only house parties and not provide advance notice about her travel in the state.

DDT was so desperate to elect her opponent that he and Republicans used an obscure shell company to fund Cheney’s primary challenger, violating the “straw donor” ban in the Federal Election Campaign Act forbidding contributions using another’s name. One donation was for $50,000.

In an early July debate with her opponents, Cheney, the vice-chair of the House January 6 investigative committee, challenged Hageman to prove her statement that the 2020 presidential election was rigged and that DDT won the election. To win the election, Hageman reversed her position from 2016 when she called DDT a “racist and xenophobe” and said this about Liz Cheney:

“I know Liz Cheney is a proven, courageous, constitutional conservative, someone who has the education, the background, and the experience to fight effectively for Wyoming on a national stage.”

In accepting the Profile of Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, Cheney said, “Everyone has a duty to set aside partisan battles and stand together to preserve our great republic.” She posted the transcript and video of her remarks on her congressional site. Kennedy’s grandson presented Cheney with the award while his mother, Ambassador Caroline Kennedy watched.

Chuck Gray, a DDT-endorsed election conspiracy theorist stating that President Joe Biden was not elected in 2020, won the GOP race for secretary of state in charge of elections. Democrats had no candidates so he has been de facto elected.

The Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans opposing DDT, may agree with him about the importance of Cheney’s loss: the organization declared her loss is the death of the GOP:

“Tonight, the nation marks the end of the Republican Party. What remains shares the name and branding of the traditional GOP, but is in fact an authoritarian nationalist cult dedicated only to Donald Trump… Liz Cheney stood up to the lawless, reckless attack on our nation led by Donald Trump, and millions of Americans saw leadership that transcended ideological boundaries… She remains an essential leader of the pro-democracy forces in the United States today and we encourage her to continue to engage in the fight to save our Republic and protect our democracy.”

The Lincoln Project describes itself as a pro-democracy organization dedicated to the preservation, protection, and defense of democracy.

Updates:

DDT is endorsing candidates without consulting them. It appears he is selecting those most likely to be elected because of polling or no opponents in the primaries.

During her campaign, newly-elected DA Coty Wamp in Tennessee’s Hamilton County said she might prosecute librarians and teachers who have LGBTQ books in libraries because the content “is called contributing to the delinquency of a minor.” Now she says she never made that claim. The far-right group Moms for Liberty is disappointed.

The Senate GOP Campaign Arm pulled $13.5 million in targeted advertising from Arizona (Blake Masters), Nevada (Adam Laxalt), Pennsylvania (Mehmet Oz), and Wisconsin (Ron Johnson) since August 1. All of them are losing in the polls. Chris Hartline, NRSC communications director, said the money had been transferred into independent expenditures to coordinate with campaigns but didn’t give the amount. States have limited coordinated amounts; in Arizona no more than $622,000.  Masters received $15 million from billionaire Peter Thiel but has only $1.6 million remaining, compared to the $24.8 million that his Democratic opponent, Mark Kelly, has. 

Blake Masters, Arizona’s GOP U.S. Senate candidate, tried to separate himself from the white supremacists, but Andrew Torba, founder of the far-right social media platform Gab, said “it’s a flat-out lie” that Masters doesn’t know who Torba is. The response was to Masters’ rejection of Torba’s endorsement in the Arizona Mirror where the candidate stated, “I’ve never heard of the guy … because he’s a nobody and nobody cares about him except the media.” DDT had endorsed Masters. Torba wrote back that Masters is “already become a typical politician before he is even elected!”

Rep. Lee Zeldin, New York’s GOP gubernatorial candidate, may face a criminal investigation for a “dubious petitioning effort” to add third parties to the August 23 primary ballot who would siphon votes away from Democratic incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul. Signed Independence Party petitions were dropped at the GOP party headquarters—and bound in volumes—before submission to the state Board of Elections on the May 31 deadline.” According to the Times Union, almost 20 percent of the 52,000 signatures required to put “upstart third parties” on the ballot were “xeroxed copies of other, original signatures within those same records interspersed in a manner leading some election experts to conclude their inclusion may have been intentional, possibly to inflate the number of signatures to surpass the daunting new threshold of 45,000 valid signatures for upstart state parties to gain ballot access.” Over 12,800 signatures were invalid, including over 11,000 photocopied ones. The total was 6,000 short of an Independence Party ballot line to sway certain close elections for GOP candidates.” Another example of Republican “election integrity.”

December 22, 2021

Fallout of Lord Manchin’s Anti-BBB Continues

The man who controls the fate of democracy and economy in the United States deserves another column. Sen. Joe Manchin (R-WY) has arrogantly stalled for months and used his personal needs to change the Build Back Better (BBB) act. He also preened about demanding bipartisanship for federal voting act to remove some of the state’s oppression before voting with all the Republicans and only one other Democrat to remove President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for large private businesses’ employees. Now his feelings are hurt.

During all these months, his colleagues and the people in the White House treated him with courtesy while changing and changing the parameters of BBB depending on which way Manchin’s hot air blew. Democrats finally got fed up after he said “no!” to the bill to help the nation’s people and its economy on the Fox network with no heads up to Democratic leadership and only 30 minutes warning to the White House. He pompously said, “They know the real reason what happened. They won’t tell you and I’m not going to.” He further claimed that it’s the “staff [who] put some things out that were absolutely inexcusable.”

A week ago, a conversation about Manchin’s opposition to the child tax credit was supposedly leaked. When a reporter asked about his position, Manchin called the question “bullshit.” In the midst of his whining this week, Manchin said he knew from the beginning, five months ago, that the negotiations would fail but he kept all the Democrats, including Biden, dangling at the end of his line.

Manchin also said that no one would make any concessions, despite the reduction of the bill by one half to $175 billion a year for ten years. For Manchin, Democrats shrank problems such as paid leave from 12 to four weeks and eliminated such major policies as Biden’s biggest idea to cut emissions, the Clean Electricity Performance Program. Manchin still opposes any paid leave: he claims people in West Virginia use it only to go deer hunting.

Manchin complained about a child tax credit being an “entitlement” and accused his constituents of using all the money for drugs. Parents receiving this tax credit since this spring’s American Rescue Plan have mostly used the money in these ways:    

  • 43 percent – pay down debts.
  • 20 percent – saved it.
  • 37 percent – bought food, clothing, housing, and child care.

Following Manchin’s skewed rationale, people should not receive wages. He also thinks it’s okay for people to have highly inflated stock increases—like he does—but any welfare should be highly restricted. West Virginians have noted the inequality between them and their senators; he bought a yacht for his Washington, D.C. home and drives a Maserati, costing three times the state’s annual median income. Will Bunch has this description of Lord Manchin.

A flotilla of activists to demand that he support the Build Back Better Act.

Last fall, protesters from West Virginia kayaked around Manchin’s yacht to beg for jobs, lower drug prices, climate protection, and other provisions in BBB. He assured them that the rich would pay their “fair share” and that the bill would be a success.

The latest protest to Manchin’s actions came from Josh Sword, president of the West Virginia AFL-CIO, who stated that BBB also helps the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund benefits for the state’s coal miners. Other BBB provisions are protecting collective bargaining and workers’ organizing, creating home care workers jobs, expanding senior and disabled care, and investing $4 billion in coal communities “to attract manufacturing companies that will provide good-paying, union jobs.”

The United Mine Workers also want BBB because the bill calls for alternative energy manufacturing in “coal-producing areas of the country.” Fossil fuel jobs will certainly keep declining, and BBB will give displaced workers a greater chance for replacement jobs. Since 2012, 45,000 coal mining jobs have been lost, many of them under DDT. Although Manchin has supported tax credits for equipment manufacturing in alternative energy industries, he now objects to BBB’s climate provisions such as subsidies for fossil fuel companies’ transition.

Manchin said he opposes BBB because of his made-up threats, but these are the real threats without BBB:

  • Child poverty increased by 40 percent, destroying parents’ ability to provide food, shelter, sustenance, and upward mobility necessary for the future of the United States. U.S. child poverty will continue to be the highest in the developed world, resulting in lack of health for children into their adulthood.
  • Lack of universal pre-kindergarten, making young people less likely to graduate from high school and attend college as well as making them more likely to be arrested, need welfare, and be unemployed as adults. Pre-K participants pay more taxes because they make higher wages.
  • No extended healthcare subsidies decreasing life expectancy. Infant and maternal mortality rates will continue to be far behind other developed countries.
  • Lack of childcare keeping 20 million women out of the workforce.
  • Continued high drug prices producing illness for people who cannot afford inflated costs for such medications as insulin controlling diabetes. As President Joe Biden pointed out, drug companies are selling a formula costing from $.10 to $10 to make at $560 to $650 a month, perhaps even $1,000.
  • Increased climate warming with ensuing biodiversity extinction, more erratic—and lethal—weather patterns, and rising seas.
  • A delay to the future costing higher interest rates.

Manchin depicts West Virginians as independent, undeserving of “entitlements,” but 32 percent of its residents’ personal income, higher than any other state in the nation, comes from the government—retirement, disability, medical, welfare, veterans, unemployment, education, and training.

Goldman Sachs responded to Manchin’s “No!” by predicting that his killing the BBB would shrink the GDP from three to two percent because failure to pass the bill had “negative growth implications.” The bill’s vision is pre-1981—good jobs for households and a focus on children, families, and communities.

Manchin’s requirement for any benefits is limited by absolute proof that they are needed, work requirements. The result is inaccessibility for people who need them, for example, work requirements for grandparents who care for their grandchildren to receive child tax payments. The myth that anyone looking for a job can get one is particularly false in states like West Virginia. His ideas also spend much of the money from recipients by paying for wasteful administration.

His eligibility limits to a small group of “deserving” people, according to Manchin’s standards, also are politically vulnerable. Wilbur Cohen, “father” of Social Security and Medicare, stated, “A program that is only for the poor—one that has nothing in it for the middle income and the upper income—is, in the long run, a program the American public won’t support… Programs for the poor make poor programs.”

Twp of the wealthiest men in history, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, believed in Social Darwinism—some people are inherently worthier than others because of “better” genes. They viewed themselves the fittest and the poor unworthy, lazy people who they had to push to improve their lives. Their perspective is representative of conservative, anti-government philosophy with a paranoia that people receiving government benefits may take advantage of their “betters.” Their solution is to make life so horrible for people in poverty that they will go to work. This was the thinking that opposed Social Security in 1935, despite the “benefit” is paid back from taxes that people on Social Security have paid. Opponents called it socialism. Others call it “entitlements” and refer to “makers” and “takers.”

As Franklin D. Roosevelt said in 1938, government has always benefits the wealthy the most:

“The first to turn to Government, the first to receive protection from Government, were not the poor and the lowly—those who had no resources other than their daily earnings—but the rich and the strong. Beginning in the nineteenth century, the United States passed protective laws designed, in the main, to give security to property owners, to industrialists, to merchants and to bankers….Because it has become increasingly difficult for individuals to build their own security single-handed, Government must now step in and help them lay the foundation stones, just as Government in the past has helped lay the foundation of business and industry.”

Wealthy companies still receive the bulk of subsidies, a type of socialism and welfare, and the Republicans gave big business and the richest people most of the tax cuts in its 2017 law.

To give Manchin a tiny bit of credit, he met on a conference call with the Democratic senatorial caucus Tuesday evening after Republicans again begged him to switch parties. Even as the majority Senate party, the GOP would still need his votes—an iffy thing with Manchin’s record of refusing to vote in favor of any bills except for blocking vaccine mandates.

At the Democratic meeting, Manchin said he still has “concerns,” but he talked. And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) left open the possibility of an agreement although he still plans to bring BBB on a motion-to-proceed vote in the new year. Conservative billionaires and companies are still giving him massive donations to scuttle BBB, but Manchin may still be looking for a different kind of attention—such as saving the country. He already has the money.  And Christmas is coming.

November 12, 2021

Legal Issues Face GOP Despite Its Violence

In an update for Veterans Day, almost 4,500 current and former U.S. military service members, along with their families, are to be sworn in as citizens through over 90 ceremonies this week. President Joe Biden also plans to bring back deported veterans and family members to the U.S. Of the almost 900,000 immigrants serving in the military in the present and past, over 190,000 were active members in 2017.

This news, however, was eclipsed by the announcement that a grand jury has indicted Steve Bannon, an architect behind the nefarious actions of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), for criminal contempt in refusing to comply to a subpoena from the House January 6 Committee.  Bannon faces two charges, one for refusing to appear before Congress and one for refusing to submit documents to Congress. This is Bannon’s second indictment in the past year. DDT pardoned him for the last one, defrauding donors by taking about $1 million from an internet funding request for the wall at the southern border.

Although Bannon has not been connected to the White House for several years, he claimed “executive privilege” for his refusal. Even DDT’s claims of this privilege may not be valid. Bannon has still broken the law because he didn’t appear in front of Congress to give this excuse. Each of the two counts carries between 30 days and one year in jail with a fine of $100 to $1,000.

AG Merrick Garland’s indictment clarified that Bannon has no such privilege when he described Bannon as a “private citizen,” employed “approximately seven months in 2017, more than three years before the events of January 6, 2021,” and didn’t work for in any “federal government position” since his departure from the White House. No executive privilege. DDT’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows may face the same indictment as Bannon after he refused to comply with a subpoena.

This week, the public learned that the U.S. leader on January 6, DDT, has supported his followers in chanting “Hang Mike Pence” on that day while they attacked the U.S. Capitol and put the mock-up of a noose outside on federal land. In a taped interview with Jonathan Karl of ABC News, DDT calmly said he thought Pence, hiding on a loading dock in a parking area on that day, was “well-protected.”

Asked about the protesters’ chants calling for Pence’s violent death, DDT said, “Well, the people were very angry.” He added that Pence should have tried to overturn the election—and the country—because of “common sense” that Pence lie about a win for the man who received far fewer popular and electoral votes to keep him in the White House.

As DDT watched rioters break into the Capitol on television news, he tweeted:

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”

DDT’s supporters see him as a warrior with a gun as shown by the shirts and posters they sell outside his rallies. His head is depicted on the body of a muscle-bound male carrying a gun or riding a velocirapotor firing a gun.

Meadows goes so far as to suggest that DDT is still president. In August—2021 after Biden’s inauguration as president—Meadows called DDT “a president who is fully engaged, highly focused, and remaining on task.” He added about DDT and his team, “We met with several of our cabinet members tonight.” Meadows also has a history of possibly illegal activity while in the White House, including visiting Georgia after the 2020 election to get more votes for DDT.  

DDT hasn’t stop playing the leader of the free world. This week he issued a statement about appointing Ric Grenell his “Envoy Ambassador” who visited the Kosovo-Serbia border to highlight this important agreement” that DDT had supposedly brokered. An “Envoy Ambassador” doesn’t exist, former inhabitants of the White House don’t have international diplomatic teams, and DDT accused officials from the Obama administration of being criminals when they met with foreign officials. He wanted the DOJ to prosecute them. A strong supporter of authoritarian governments, Grenell has openly pushed the lie about a “stolen” election since November 2020.

Since the 2016 election of DDT, the problem of violence among Republicans has geometrically increased after his insistence that non-supporters be beaten up at his campaign rallies. For the past few years, more and more officials, from local ones such as election officials and school board members, through state Democratic leaders to congressional members, even Republicans if they don’t vote the straight GOP party line of opposing Biden. New representatives such as Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Madison Cawthorn (R-SC), and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) have used threats for what they perceive as political gain. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) went so far as to release an animated video in which he kills Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and threatens President Biden with a sword. Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) makes no comment about their violent threats while making his own threats of stripping all GOP congressional members who voted in favor of the extremely popular infrastructure bill.

Republicans who don’t follow the party line are afraid if they don’t go with the mob. Last December, the GOP leader of the Pennsylvania state Senate said she was afraid she’s “get my house bombed.”

In Kenosha (WI) the prosecution has rested in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. When he was 17, he stole an AR-15, crossed state lines, and deliberately joined militia at a largely peaceful protest against a white police officer who shot a Black man in the back seven times and left him paralyzed. Rittenhouse, who cried on the stand, called his killing two men and wounding another an act of “self-defense.” The judge, a DDT supporter, refused to permit the term of “victims” for the dead and wounded people, instead calling them arsonists, looters, and rioters.  

The violence has evolved from Republican lawmakers convincing the “white working class” that all of them, including DDT, are victims. With 70 percent of DDT’s supporters lacking a college degree, they want to control others with more education and are afraid of lost status. Their solution is racism, superiority to anyone who isn’t white. The “America First” excludes non-whites, 40 percent of U.S. residents. By taking the vote from minorities and the poor, whites can take over the law-making process. Claims of a “stolen election” is on this path.

Vaccines have contributed to the politics of victimization as people refusing to be vaccinated associate themselves with true victims such as persecuted Jewish people forced to wear yellow stars. The feeling of victimization results in following leaders who encourage these aggrieved feelings and swear revenge toward those they perceive as “oppressors”; i.e., all Democrats. According to these “victims,” violence can recreate their perception of the moral order. All DDT’s 30,000 lies and his Twitter attacks demonstrated grievances against himself and his supporters but never any solutions.

Watching DDT initially succeed with this strategy, farthest-right Republicans in high offices used this pattern of creating egocentric victims who never take personal responsibility and who always believe they deserve more than they get because they get no breaks and must settle for less that they should have. Solutions don’t help because they need the feeling of being victims.  

Reasonable people have become so accustomed to lies and corruption among GOP leadership that two stories have drawn attention:

After Gosar faced the possibility of censure by House members for his promotion of violence against leading Democrats including the U.S. president, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said House GOP leadership had “lost their moral compass” because they said nothing about the video Gosar’s staff created and he tweeted. She called Gosar an “avowed white nationalist and accused McCarthy of having a “lack of strength.” She also talked about the threats, including death threats, received by 13 GOP members who voted for last week’s infrastructure bill, threats pushed by other GOP members such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). Gosar’s answer to cricitism was the “gross mischaracterization” of the video” which he called “truly a symbolic portrayal of a fight over immigration policy.”

Despite the gory scenes of killing and other violence, Gosar’s digital director, declared that “the left doesn’t get meme culture. They have no joy. They are not the future… Nor was violence glorified.” dismissed the criticism in a statement Monday night.

In the other unique event, the losing candidate for the New Jersey governor, Jack Ciattarelli, conceded to the winner, Democrat incumbent Phil Murphy. It took ten days but he admitted the election was fair and square—and that he lost. DDT hasn’t made that admission after a year although his opponent, President Joe Biden, received seven million more popular votes and 74 more electoral votes than DDT—306-232. Murphy is the first New Jersey governor to win a second term since 1977. And he won fair and square, just like Joe Biden.

October 18, 2021

Racist Problems Caused by Legislature

Southlake (TX), population 32,376, has a Black percentage of 1.7 percent and a household median income over $240,000; most students attend schools in the Carroll ISD. The idyllic community became the focus of an NBC documentary, Southlake: Racial Reckoning in a Texas Suburb, after a video of students shouting racial slurs led to students sharing accounts of racism and discrimination. A school board attempt to address the problem caused a culture war about the non-existent teaching of GOP-invented issue of “critical race theory (CRT)” when the vast majority of White conservatives decided to wipe out any mention of racism with the help of new Texas legislation. 

A new superintendent in the school district of 8,400 students developed a plan to work on the problems of racism, but wealthy conservative parents elected school board members to quash support for anyone except white students. Again, Southlake stories went viral. First, the school board voted 3-2 to reprimand a fourth-grade teacher, named the school’s teacher of the year, for having the book This Book Is Anti-Racist in her classroom. Parents of one child who donated $1,000 to elect the school board members complained the book was against their “morals and faith.” In over 5,000 reviews, the book had received an average of 4.35 stars out of five.

The reprimand came from the demand that any classroom libraries had to “give deference to both sides” of historical topics. In a “training” of book content, a top district administrator mandated the new requirement for classroom libraries, even books about the Holocaust when German Nazis killed over 6 million people, primarily Jews, in concentration camps during the 1940s. A secret recording of the training also went viral.  

Despite the recording, the school district claimed that the media was wrong about these statements: Carroll ISD claimed that “our district has not and will not mandate books be removed, nor will we mandate that classroom libraries be unavailable.” Written materials from the district ordered teachers to have mandatory training about new rules and directions for getting rid of books that don’t meet the “deference” rule. Teachers are to discard books that present singular, dominant narratives “in such a way that it … may be considered offensive.” The purpose is to avoid any lessons that make students (presumably White) feel “discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress” because of their race. According to the school district reprimand, one parent can cause the elimination of instruction or teaching materials. One teacher asked:

“How am I supposed to know what 44 sets of parents find offensive? We’ve been told: ‘The parents are our clients. We have to do what they want.’ And this is what they want.”

For their libraries, teachers have used yellow caution tapes or black sheet of paper with a sign reading, “You can’t read any of the books on my shelves.” 

Among the books that teachers are afraid to keep in the classroom:

  • Separate Is Never Equal: a picture book by Duncan Tonatiuh about a Mexican American family’s fight to end segregation in California in the 1940s.
  • A Good Kind of Trouble: Lisa Moore Ramée book about a girl involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • The Hate U Give: ” Angie Thomas’ book depicted radicalized reactions to a policy shooting.
  • All books by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison.

Censorship attempts by White parents in other places also want to eliminate any non-White books:

  • Franklin (TN): Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington (Frances E. Ruffin), The Story of Ruby Bridges (Robert Cole) about the 6-year-old Black girl who integrated a Louisiana public school in 1960, and several others.
  • York County (PA): After the school district voted to censor books recommended by the district’s diversity committee, national protest including that from Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter Berniece King caused the district to reverse their censorship.
  • Katy Independent School District (TX): award-winning graphic novels about the lives of young Black men by Jerry Craft.

Earlier this year the Carroll ISD had told teachers they could not use Scholastic News, a current events magazine for youth from one of the largest and most reputable publishers in the United States, after parents said its articles had a liberal bias. A teacher in the district described the driving forces behind determining “both sides” are fear, ignorance, and racism. The person said teachers are not “asked to have opposing views on colonization. We’re not being asked to have opposing views on Christopher Columbus Day or Thanksgiving.” Educators’ lives are at risk, according to the teacher, who reported threats against teachers who speak out “to destroy their lives, to come for their license, to go after their families.”

Southlake’s problems are not going away. During tonight’s school board meeting with over 50 speakers, a former student described the anti-Semitic bullying he experienced in the Carroll ISD that made him consider suicide. Teachers said they felt unsupported and under attack. A Jewish parent, descendent of Holocaust survivors, said his family is thinking about moving from Southlake. Some parents condemned the advice for “opposing” perspectives on the Holocaust but defended the district administrator who gave these orders.

Another Texas law goes into effect in December about social studies curriculum restrictions to the state’s “understanding of the fundamental moral, political, and intellectual foundations of the American experiment in self-government; the history, qualities, traditions, and features of civic engagement in the United States; the structure, function, and processes of government institutions at the federal, state, and local levels.” This curriculum can come only from the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the Federalist Papers, Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, the first Lincoln-Douglas debate, writings of the founding fathers of the United States, the history and importance of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the 13th, 14th, and 19th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Missing are the 15th Amendment, guaranteeing voting by Blacks, and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Requirements cut from the state standards include “the history of Native Americans,” “[founding] mothers and other founding persons,” and topics such as slaves by George Washington (Ona Judge) and Sally Hemmings (Thomas Jefferson). Frederick Douglass’s writings, the Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 and 1850, the Indian Removal Act of 1830 forcing indigenous Americans off their southeastern lands, and Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists defending the separation of church and state have disappeared as have “historical documents related to the civic accomplishments of marginalized populations” about the Chicano movement, women’s suffrage and equal rights, the civil rights movement, indigenous rights, and the U.S. labor movement. White supremacy, eugenics, the Ku Klux Klan, and the importance of the civil rights movement are gone.

If teachers voluntarily address controversial issues and current events, they must address all perspectives and not “choose sides.” Teaching about “courage” can use “George Washington crossing the Delaware, or William Barret Travis defending the Alamo,” according to a member of the state board of education. The bill specifically removes a requirement to teach about slavery and how it is morally wrong, women’s suffrage, equal rights, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick stated:

“Parents want their students to learn how to think critically, not be indoctrinated by the ridiculous leftist narrative that America and our Constitution are rooted in racism.”

Schools in other states are also permissive about racism. In Rome (GA), Black students were singled out for punishment when a diverse group of students—Black, Latinx, and White—at Coosa High School protested the school’s failure to discipline White students using racial slurs against Black students and waving a Confederate flag at them. All students were warned against the protest where they only had flyers, but only Black students were suspended. A White student pointed out she escaped any punishment “because I’m white.” Public school students have a constitutional right to protest.

A Dallas Morning News editorial “blame[s] legislative meddling” for the Southlake chaos—and probably the racist laws in other Republican states which are described as protecting students from the non-existent CRT education.

“If any American community embodies the national frenzy about how we teach race in schools, it’s Southlake. The acrimony over Carroll ISD’s diversity plan to tackle racism reshaped the school board, drew unflattering headlines, and inspired a podcast by NBC News…

“What happened in Southlake this month is the unfortunate outcome of a new and misguided state law against critical race theory that passed earlier this year. While the law doesn’t define the term or even mention it, it was crafted by legislators in the context of a national panic about how our country confronts racism…

“There should be no moral confusion in our schools about the evils of the Holocaust, of slavery, of white supremacy… There have been more than enough incidents to make it clear why many students and families feel less than welcome in Southlake, so it should be equally clear why the community needs honest and civil discussions about a diversity and inclusion plan.

“The Texas Legislature has made it harder for Southlake to find a path toward reconciliation. Our lawmakers should be joining us in these difficult conversations instead of dividing us.”

Amen. The Southlake debacle is about far more than the Holocaust, but it’s a beginning to address the rampant pro-racism laws being passed in red states.

September 8, 2021

Just One Day – September 8, 2021

When Joe Biden was elected president, I expected the news to quiet down just a little. No such luck. Here’s a pot pourri of the last 24 hours.

The debt ceiling raise is due in less than a month, and Republicans are refusing to increase it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has an answer for them. “”We’re paying the Trump credit card,” she said, referring to the $7 trillion of national debt during his four years.  Of that amount, $2 trillion came from the GOP tax cut for the wealthy and big business. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Pelosi that the U.S. would run out of money to pay bills in October if the ceiling is not raised.

A crowd cheered as the 12-ton statue of Robert E. Lee was taken down in Richmond (VA). The event has been delayed while the decision was stalled for a year by court debate. Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) decried its removal, claiming about the leader of the Confederate army who lost the U.S. Civil War:

“If only we had Robert E. Lee to command our troops in Afghanistan, that disaster would have ended in a complete and total victory many years ago. What an embarrassment we are suffering because we don’t have the genius of a Robert E. Lee!”

The fence designed to protect the U.S. Capitol and the people within is going back up after its removal just six months after the domestic terrorism there on January 6. Conservative rhetoric for a planned September 18 rally there has grown more violent as those attending the “Justice for J6” rally support the insurrectionists arrested since the attempt to overturn the presidential election. Discussions are centering around retaliation against the Black police officer who shot a white woman, Ashli Babbitt, who broke into the Capitol on January 6.

Eleven DDT appointments made at the end of DDT’s term including such luminaries as Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway have been asked to resign before they are dismissed. These 11 are on the advisory boards of the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, and West Point. The Pentagon has already removed hundreds of appointees from other boards. Russell Vought, Trump’s former director of the Office of Management and Budget, has already refused to resign from the Naval Academy board; others claim they also won’t, including Conway. The resignation requests were for lack of qualifications; for example, Douglas Macgregor on the West Point board disparaged immigrants, refugees, and minorities.

Almost immediately after the Texas’ governor signed its new anti-voting law, the state faced multiple lawsuits—four in federal courts and another in state court. Charges include discrimination against people of color, violation of First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the U.S. Constitution.

While signing the most restrictive voting bill in the nation, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott explained why pregnancies illegal after six weeks didn’t exempt those from rape and incest in the state’s law that went into effect on September 1. Abbott plans to “eliminate all rapists.” His claims have a few problems. Why did he wait until an unconstitutional anti-choice law to “eliminate” all these rapists? And if they are rapists, that means they may have already impregnated women through rape. Thirteen-years-old when she was raped, the law’s name sake Lavinia Masters said the police asked her if she had let her boyfriend into the house and kept it from her mother.

Texas still has 6,000 unprocessed rape kits. The 15th most dangerous state for rape and sexual assault, Texas has over 16,000 rapes annually, and more may not  be reported. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network report that 80 percent of the time victims know their attackers. They aren’t out “on the streets,” the way Abbott claims.  

Across the Texas border, Mexico has been forced by its Supreme Court to legalize abortion. Then high court judges declared unconstitutional the law in the northern Coahuila state sentencing women underling illegal abortions or people who help them to three years in prison. The 11th judge was absent. The decision is binding for the entire country. Four other Latin American countries permit abortions under almost all circumstances in early pregnancies.

Businesses are fighting back against the law. Texas-based dating platforms Match and Bumble set up relief funds to help people hurt by the law, and ride-hailing platforms Uber and Lyft said they would cover all legal costs for any of their drivers who get sued for driving a customer to an abortion clinic. Epik, where the Texas March for Life whistleblower went after GoDaddy dropped it, immediately shut down the website. Other corporations are waiting to see how the wind blows in their industry before they make any comments.

A new burden for women seeking to terminate pregnancies probably violates Roe v. Wade, but the governor issuing the executive order is another presidential wannabe. South Dakota’s Kristi Noem’s order mandates abortion medication must be picked up in person at the office of a physician licensed in South Dakota only after an in-person examination. The FDA permits sending abortion-inducing medications through the mail. Noem’s order also demands data on the number of chemical abortions performed and any complications as well as information to indicate if the woman was “coerced or sex trafficked and forced to take the pills.” The state Department of Health must “develop an abortion clinic license specific to the pharmaceutical nature of medical abortion in keeping with South Dakota’s existing surgical abortion clinic licensing requirements.” She claims the purpose is “safety above politics by basing public policy on science and data rather than political talking points.”

Following DDT’s lies about a stolen presidential election, U.S. election workers and officials have made over 100 threats of death or violence, according to Reuters’ documentation. All 102 threats were explicit enough to put a reasonable person in fear of bodily harm or death, the legal threshold for prosecution. Law enforcement has not provided protection for these people: only a handful of arrests have been made despite hundreds of incidents of intimidation and harassment of election workers and officials nationwide. Of 26 election officials interviewed regarding the 102 threats, including eight secretaries of state, only one, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, knew of anyone charged for the intimidation. That case was one of only four nationwide documented with an arrest that could be found.

Georgia has made no arrests for threats against the state’s GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his family, despite threats of physical harm. The state AG didn’t find them criminal, but the FBI has stepped up its investigation into threats against Georgia election officials after Reuters’ reporting. Georgia prosecutors are also investigating DDT for tampering with the election. They are looking at DDT’s phone calls to state election officials, asking them to “find votes” for him and overturn the state’s selection of Biden. Investigators are also working with federal officials probing the January 6 insurrection to share documents. DDT needed to roll over Georgia’s vote to persuade other states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan to overturn their results. Georgia may indict DDT for his actions.

The high court in Australia has ruled that media companies are liable for defamatory comments left on their social media pages by public members. Several other decisions from lower courts found that news outlets encouraging these defamatory comments are legally their publishers and can be legally responsible for the content. The top court agreed in a 5-2 vote. In the past, Australia has been a tester for online regulation, enacting sweeping changes.

Union numbers have reached their highest level since 2015 with 10.8 percent of all wage and salaried workers members, up 0.5 percent from 2019. Men are more likely to join unions than women, and the age range 45-64 has the highest percentage. Blacks are more likely to be union members than Whites, Asians, or Hispanics. Although the private sector has only 6.3 percent workers in unions, the public sector has 34.8 percent. A problem with building union members is that large corporations such as Amazon and Walmart will do almost anything, not always legal, to keep shops from unionizing.

Next Tuesday, September 14, reveals the fate of California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom, when voters determine whether he should be recalled for not wearing a mask at a party. Down in the polls before publicity about the new anti-choice law in Texas, Newsom is now at 58 percent opposition to the recall, almost 18 percent above those who want him recalled. The same 66 percent of Latinx who voted for him when he became governor still support him. If voters do vote for recall, the governorship choice is among 46 candidates including conservative talk show host Larry Elder and reality television star transgender Caitlyn Jenner.

Republicans seem to be already expecting a loss—they’re declaring the election is rigged if Newsom wins in spite of Democrats outnumbering Republicans by 2 to 1 in California. Newsom won in 2018 by almost 62 percent of the vote. Watch for the fake audits!

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.

December 13, 2020

DDT: Week 203 – Chaos to Cover Disasters

The past week celebrated huge pieces of news: the certification from 50 states for their presidential choices with Joe Biden receiving 306 votes; the Supreme Court rejection of the Texas case in its lawsuit against voting practices in four other states; and the authorization of the Pfizer vaccine, the first one for COVID-19 approved in the United States following the UK use of the vaccine beginning last Tuesday. Congress also passed the National Defense Authorization Act with a veto-proof vote and a one-week extension of the budget bill to stave off government closure for that time.  

Certification of votes: Biden’s 306 votes were the exact number of votes Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) received four years ago, and the losing lawsuit brings DDT’s losses to almost 60. In one win

The Texas loss from the Supreme Court led the state’s GOP to encourage states to secede from the U.S.:

“Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.” 

Supreme Court Rejection: Texas AG Ken Paxton led an insurrection last week against the legal certification of electoral votes with the support of 17 red state AGs and 126 House Republicans. They all lost when the justices unanimously ruled against overturning votes in four swing states to give the Oval Office to DDT. After he heard about his Supreme Court loss, DDT refused to leave his bedroom to join a White House Christmas party. Earlier, on November 14, he had refused to greet the newly elected GOP House members in the White House after Joe Biden was declared the president-elect.

The GOP keeps filing lawsuits: after a federal judge ruled against election fraud in Wisconsin, the state Supreme Court took a case asking for 221,000 ballots in two counties be thrown out with the false claim the jurisdictions didn’t follow state law. In the unlikely event Biden would lose the majority in the state that he won by 20,000 votes, he would lose only 10 electoral votes, still winning with 296 votes—26 over the necessary 270 to become president. All the 38 GOP-appointed judges who have ruled against DDT’s election fraud myth, the most recent, a federal judge in Wisconsin, was appointed by DDT like some other judges ruling against him.

After 126 members of the U.S. House supported Paxton’s case to put DDT back into the Oval Office, Rep. Brad Pascrell (D-NJ) tweeted:

“The 14th Amendment expressly forbids members of Congress from engaging in rebellion against the United States. Trying to overturn a democratic election and install a dictator seems like a pretty clear example of that.”

He declared the 126 Republicans trying to overturn the election, violating the Constitution, and attempting to “demolish democracy” should not be sworn into office on January 3, 2021. Pascrell also justified his argument on Article I, Section 5 of the 14th Amendment giving each congressional chamber final authority over membership with a two-thirds vote. Pascrell explained:

“These lawsuits seeking to obliterate public confidence in our democratic system by invalidating the clear results of the 2020 presidential election attack the text and spirit of the Constitution, which each member swears to support and defend, as well as violate the rules of our House of Representatives, which explicitly forbid members from committing unbecoming acts that reflect poorly on our chamber.”

He added that the 126 members supporting the Supreme Court case are “seeking to make Donald Trump an unelected dictator.” Pascrell argued their actions “must be repudiated in the strongest possible terms” because this time “may be without parallel since 1860. The fate of our democracy depends on us meeting that moment.”

After the top GOP House leader, Kevin McCarthy (CA), and VP Mike Pence’s brother, Greg Pence (IN), joined 124 other representatives in the attempted coup, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) accused the 126 of “subverting the Constitution” and engaging “in election subversion that imperils our democracy.” In her statement, Pelosi said:

“The 126 Republican Members that signed onto this lawsuit brought dishonor to the House. …The pandemic is raging, with nearly 300,000 having died and tens of millions having lost jobs.  Strong, unified action is needed to crush the virus, and Republicans must once and for all end their election subversion—immediately.”  

The GOP attorneys general who did not join the attempted coup explained that states should be able to govern themselves and expressed concern that a precedent of one state suing another could result in Democratic states forcing their procedures on Republican states. Opposing federalism, Ohio AG Dave Yost said the Supreme Court has no right to tell states how to appoint electors, an ideology from conservatives in the past.

Vaccine Approval:

DDT also tainted the approval of the first virus vaccine by threatening to fire the FDA leader, Stephen Hahn, if the Pfizer vaccine is not approved for emergency authorization by Friday. DDT, who called the FDA “a big, old, slow turtle,” tweeted, “Get the dam [sic] vaccines out NOW, Dr. Hahn @SteveFDA. Stop playing games and start saving lives!!!” The authorization was announced later on Friday.

Dr. Charlotte Kent, a CDC manager, has testified to congressional investigators about the order purported by CDC’s director Robert Redfield to delete an email reporting a spread of coronavirus if children gather together. Redfield claimed he instructed agency staffers to ignore the mail but didn’t order its deletion. By law, federal officials are to retain records. When Kent looked for the email from Paul Alexander and Michael Caputo, now departed from HHS, it was missing.

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): Some congressional Republicans did turn on DDT when they voted for the $741 million NDAA in sufficient numbers to overturn his threatened veto if all of them repeated their “yes” votes. DDT was upset because it didn’t contain an amendment removing protection for social media platforms. Twitter is currently marking his false tweets as “disputed” and could drop his account when he no longer has the label of a world leader. He wants a law allowing him to sue the company if is doesn’t do what he wants.

DDT also threatened to veto the NDAA if it changes the names of ten military bases honoring Confederate officers, but the bill does make that change. If he takes no action on the bill by the day before Christmas Eve, it becomes law providing Congress is still in session. An congressional adjournment would make the bill defunct. To keep President Obama from appointing people during a recess, Congress held “pro forma” sessions when one lone person, the Presiding Officer, walks into the room, calls the body to order, and immediately dismisses it without transacting any business. They could do the same to get the NDAA passed if DDT doesn’t veto it.

The Senate vote for NDAA was 84-13, the House 335-78. McCarthy voted for the bill but said he wouldn’t vote against DDT’s veto. If enough Republicans follow the Minority Leader’s example, the NDAA would not be passed during the 116th Congress for the first time in 59 years. Washington Post reporter Paul Kane wrote:

 “It’s another destruction of what it means to be a conservative in the Trump era, as support for a strong national security has been a bedrock of party orthodoxy for decades and decades.”

Budget Continuing Resolution: The government stays open until December 11 after Congress passed a “C.R.” to continue funding for most government programs at the same levels as fiscal 2020 through December 18, 2000. The deadline for the omnibus spending package of 12 appropriations bills was last October 1, but a C.R. put it forward until last Friday. It contains no COVID-19 relief, as many congressional members had hoped. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) both said they would agree to the one-week extension but not vote for the bill again without stimulus checks for people. Sanders is asking for $1,200 per person, a repeat of last March. A House vote of 343-67 vote preceded the final Senate voice vote on Friday. DDT signed the bill late Friday

DDT’s chaos is not only in an attempt to win the election. He wants to use it to hide the problems he faces:

COVID-19: The number of daily cases and deaths increased almost 30 percent from two weeks earlier.

Economy: Since corporations received billions of dollars from earlier virus stimulus bills, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocks the current bill because Democrats want $160 billion to help state and local governments and won’t shield businesses from their intentionally-caused coronavirus injuries and deaths.

Control of GOP: DDT plans to keep the power over Republicans with both the funding and the list of supporters for GOP candidates.

Electoral College votes are set to be cast on Monday. Republicans have promised to agree Joe Biden is president-elect if he receives at least 270 votes. We’ll see.

June 11, 2018

Supreme Court Permits Vote Purging, Other Court Actions

Monday in June means the dribbling of decisions from major Supreme Court cases for the year. Today’s ruling in a 5-4 vote legitimizes the purging of registered voters from rolls if they miss elections. Ohio’s law may be unethical (my opinion) but not against federal law (Samuel Alito’s opinion). The National Voting Rights Act prevents the removal of voters because they fail to vote but requires states to keep accurate rolls. The court’s justification for the ruling comes from the lack of response to a postcard followed by four years of not voting. Cases still waiting for announced decisions concern DDT’s travel ban, gerrymandering, internet sales taxes, union fees, mobile phone privacy, and credit card fees.

Policies promulgated by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) are crossing the line into illegal. Despite DOJ AG Jeff Sessions’ claim that all children are removed from parents when immigrants try to cross the southern border, HHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen refused to be specific about this aim in a Senate hearing and avoided the term “deterrence” because she knows that this policy is illegal. A federal judge blocked President Obama in 2015 from locking up Central American immigrant mothers and their children without bond to stop others from crossing the border, and the 1997 Flores settlement bars locking up children in detention centers. To avoid this problem, the DOJ takes children from parents and treats them as if they came by themselves. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit and asked for a nationwide injunction to stop DDT’s family separation policy.

The DOJ lawyer claimed that they weren’t systematically separating mothers, but three days later Sessions announced that the “zero tolerance” police included mothers with their children. The judge ruled that the case against the policy can move forward because it “arbitrarily tears at the sacred bond between parent and child. Such conduct, if true, as it is assumed to be on the present motion, is brutal, offensive, and fails to comport with traditional notions of fair play and decency.”

Until the World of Trump, the DOJ defended federal law, no matter the political views of the DOJ and the sitting president. Now AG Jeff Sessions is supporting lawsuits from 20 GOP states to invalidate the provisions in the Affordable Care Act mandating that all people buy insurance and thus removing the requirement that healthcare provide for pre-existing conditions. The 17 Democratic-led states have filed a brief to argue for the retention of the ACA, and three career DOJ attorneys refuse to back DOJ support. Instability will cause higher charges for healthcare premiums in 2019. The DOJ controls the nation’s laws by deciding which ones to defend—legal decisions by caprice.

Doing away with the ACA could be a GOP ecological approach to reducing population and make Republicans an endangered species. Although a majority of die-hard Republicans oppose the ACA, 54 percent of people have a favorable view with strong support by independents. Support for the law grows each time that the GOP tries to repeal it.

Philadelphia will keep its status as a so-called sanctuary city after it won its lawsuit against the federal government. The DOJ had pulled a grant because the city would not allow ICE agents into city prisons, notify them when undocumented immigrants leave prisons, and give them information about their immigration status. The city argued that its police force is not an arm of federal agencies, and the judge wrote that the refusal was based in “reasonable, rational,” and “equitable” logic.

Arizona has agreed to allow voters to register without providing proof of citizenship at the time of registration.

The Arizona Court of Appeals upheld a Phoenix ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, citing the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop. The three-judge panel wrote: “[A]llowing a vendor who provides goods and services for marriages and weddings to refuse similar services for gay persons would result in ‘a community-wide stigma inconsistent with the history and dynamics of civil rights laws that ensure equal access to goods, services and public accommodations.’” They added that the law “regulates conduct, not speech.” The baker won his case not to sell one wedding cake to a gay couple but the opinion essentially ruled in favor of LGBTQ rights.

The 9th Circuit Court has just ruled that Maricopa County (AZ) is liable for the racist traffic stop policies of former Joe Arpaio, now a GOP candidate for U.S. Senate. After the federal district court ruling, Arpaio was found in civil contempt of court and criminal contempt for continuing his discriminatory practices after a court order not to enforce federal immigration law on a local level. DDT pardoned him on the civil contempt charges, but the cost to the county is almost $100 million. Maricopa County claimed it wasn’t liable for his actions because he was a policymaker for his own office or the entire state—not the county. The three-judge panel for the 9th Circuit Court disagreed.

DDT’s NFL problem with keeping players from kneeling during the national anthem won’t go away: Colin Kaepernick is suing the NFL for collusion against him because he was blacklisted for leading the NFL players’ protest of police brutality against blacks. Kaepernick’s lawyers plan to request subpoenas for DDT, VP Mike Pence, and White House officials in seeking the DDT administration’s involvement in making players stand during the national anthem. DDT suggested pardoning Ali when he said that he was looking at “thousands of names” of people he can pardon. A lawyer for Ali already turned down DDT, stating that there is no crime for DDT to pardon. Ron Tweel pointed out that the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the conviction in 1971 for Ali’s resisting the draft in June 1967. DDT’s comment was made after he made his appeal to black voters by pardoning Alice Marie Johnson, who has already served 21 years of a life term for nonviolent offenses, a week after he met with Kim Kardashian West. Johnson was convicted on money laundering, one of the charges against Paul Manafort. About DDT pardoning Muhammad Ali, his wife said that “the pardon should go to those who kneel.”

The number of lawsuits surrounding Stormy Daniels has increased after Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti discovered that other women were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements for extramarital affairs with DDT At least one of them was represented by Daniels’ previous lawyer, Keith Davidson. The new lawsuit claims that he “colluded” with DDT’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen to get Daniels on Sean Hannity’s Fox program to falsely deny that she had an affair with DDT. The lawsuit also alleges that DDT was aware of the two lawyers’ coordination but Daniels wasn’t. Another allegation is that Davidson broke client confidentiality by telling Cohen that Daniels was getting a new lawyer and announcing that she had an affair with DDT. Texts show that the two lawyers agreed that Daniels would have no interviews except through Davidson. DDT and Sean Hannity may be called as witnesses.

Davidson retaliated with his own lawsuit against Daniels and Avenatti with a separate one against Cohen for illegally recording phone calls with Davidson. He claimed that he only communicated with Cohen after instructed by his client.

The DOJ seized phone and email records from New York Times reporter Ali Watkins in its investigation into James Wolfe, formerly Senate Intelligence Committee’s director of security, who was indicted for lying to investigators. Watkins said that they had a personal relationship, but he was not a source for her. It is the first case of DDT seizing a reporter’s records, and Wolfe was not charged with passing classified information despite DDT’s inuendos. Leaking unclassified government information is not illegal. DOJ rules require officials to exhaust all of possibilities and negotiate with the reporter before taking legal action to get the records. There was no negotiation, and other actions before taking the records were not made clear. Watkins broke the news about DDT’s associate Carter Page meeting with a Russian spy in 2013.

The UN is demanding an immediate stop to the U.S. removal of children from families at the border because it violates their right and international law. The U.S. refuses to stop the practice and declares all entries as illegal although families requesting asylum, not an illegal entry, are also being separated. The A.C.L.U. has filed a class-action lawsuit, demanding a stop to the separation and reunification of families.

In the UN, the U.S. vetoed an Arab-backed Kuwait measure with ten votes to protect Palestinians from Israelis. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s resolution to condemn Hamas for Israeli violence in Gaza got only the U.S. vote. Israelis have killed 124 Palestinians, including journalists and medics, and wounded over a thousand more along the fence to Gaza where two million poor Palestinians, displaced by Israelis in 1948, live. No Israelis have been killed.

The Treasury Department has threatened governments and private companies if they trade with Iran. Under Secretary of the Treasury Sigal Mandelker said:

“Companies doing business in Iran face substantial risks, and those risks are even greater as we reimpose nuclear-related sanctions. We will hold those doing prohibited business in Iran to account.”

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