Nel's New Day

July 12, 2020

Week 181 – DDT’s Troubles Grow

“I think I made a mistake. I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not.” Those were the last words of a person in their 30s who died in San Antonio (TX) after attending a “COVID party” where people intentionally expose themselves to coronavirus to see if it’s real.  

Other people are beginning to realize the failure of the strategy in ignoring the virus. In the three states suffering most from the COVID-19 surge, 60 percent believe their economies opened too early and efforts to contain virus going poorly—69 percent in Arizona, 65 percent in Florida, and 62 percent in Texas. In Florida, 68 percent of the people consider it because of DDT’s pressure, 70 percent in Arizona, and 61 percent in Texas.

Florida now has the record for the greatest number of COVID-19 cases on one day—15,300 cases—even worse than New York’s worst day. The number of cases is almost one-fourth of all cases in the U.S.  

The Supreme Court ruling about the U.S. illegally taking land in Oklahoma from Native Americans may give victories to other tribes. In an earlier case, the same court ruled the U.S. illegally took land in the Black Hills in 1873. Mt. Rushmore carvings from 1927 to 1941 on Native American sacred grounds were deemed an illegal act. After the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty guaranteed the Black Hills as part of a permanent “Great Sioux Reservation” to the Sioux tribe, which included the Black Hills, Lakota men, only ten percent of “adult male Indians,” agreed to cede the Black Hills to the U.S. government in 1873 in exchange for food. White people have already started looking for gold in the area and destroyed the Native American bison herds. “No treaty for the cessation of any portion or part of the reservation” could be sold or traded with agreement from 75 percent of the “adult male Indians.” The SCOTUS majority opinion in United States v. Sioux Nation stated:

“A more ripe and rank case of dishonorable dealing will never, in all probability, be found in our history.”

A group of protesters, concerned about the spread of COVID-19 from a speech planned by Dictator Donald Trump (DD), blocked the road to protect the reservation from the virus. South Dakota National Guard shot close-range shells at their feet and sprayed then with pepper spray. Fifteen protesters who remained were arrested. Part of DDT’s speech concerned “a merciless campaign to wipe out our history.”

A federal court gave the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes a victory by ordering the Dakota Access Pipeline to stop its operations by August 5. According to the judge, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to assess the environmental risks from the pipeline designed to run under the large reservoir Lake Oahe, despoiling sacred land and contaminating the water supply. If the government completes an assessment, the pipeline could go back to court again. Until then, the pipeline must be drained.

The controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, stretching 1,661 miles from Canada through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, was also excluded from the Supreme Court permission for a fast-track permitting process. The lengthy environmental review process required for the Keystone could delay the pipeline until after the November election. In another victory for environmentalists, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy cancelled the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

The 10th Circuit Court sent a case filed by three Colorado municipalities back to state courts instead of federal courts. Boulder County, San Miguel County, and the City of Boulder are suing ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy in 2018 because of the corporations’ contribution to the climate crisis. The 9th Circuit Court also sent cases by three counties and five cities back to state courts.

A U.S. court ruled Yellowstone grizzly bears remain federally protected and not be hunted for sport.

A UK judge ruled adoption agencies can discriminate on the basis of religion but not against gay and lesbian parents. The case involved an agency working only with evangelical Christians.

The Scottish Parliament unanimously voted to immediately stop exporting rubber bullets, tear gas, and riot gear to the United States for police violence. Having sold about $7.53 billion of munitions to the U.S. in the past decade, UK licensing prevents the sale of this material if there is a “clear risk that items might be used for internal repression.” UK Parliament is considering a similar ban because “the brutality now aimed towards protesters and reporters across the country is unacceptable.”

AG Bill Barr is firing attorneys general who can investigate DDT and charge him for crimes, but Barr has no control over Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance who works for New York, not the U.S. After the Supreme Court ruled Vance had the right to subpoena DDT’s financial records, analysts assumed nothing would be done in the courts until after the election. Yet courts could fast-track the process.   

The National Association of Immigration Judges is suing the DOJ for blocking them from speaking about their work and other immigration issues. Part of the lawsuit is Barr’s “case completion quotas and other performance benchmarks.”

In other losses for DDT:

DDT’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump recorded a robocall this year telling people to use mail-in ballots—which are safe and secure—to support GOP Mike Garcia, running for the position of Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) who resigned. Garcia won. Lara Trump’s brother-in-law Donald Trump Jr also recorded a robocall supporting vote-by-mail.

NASA renamed its Washington, D.C. headquarters for Mary W. Jackson, the first Black female NASA engineer made famous in the book and movie Hidden Figures. She began her career during a time of segregation in 1951 and became a human “computer” before the machines filled rooms and had less power and storage than a smart watch. In 2017, the new computer center at Langley was named for Katherine Johnson, Jackson’s Black colleague.

After the 2019 college admissions scandal ending with 53 people charged in cheating the system by paying people to take standardized tests and paying to get into schools,  the University of Pennsylvania stated it would revoke the degrees of graduates who falsified admission applications, cheated on exams, or tampered with records. In her book about DDT, his niece, Mary Trump, claims DDT paid someone to take the SATs for him, and DDT’s degree comes from Penn’s Wharton School.

The next White House book is about Melania Trump. Melanie and Me, a memoir from Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, former friend and senior adviser to Melania Trump, hits the bookstores on September 1. Wolkoff lasted a year until the public learned that DDT’s inaugural committee paid her firm $26 million for her help with the inauguration. The next year, Wolkoff said she “had been thrown under the bus”; the book has been described as “largely negative,” “explosive,” and “heavily trashes the first lady.”

After Mississippi removed the Confederate emblem from the state flag, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) described the law as long overdue and NASCAR’s banning of the Confederate flag as “absolutely the right thing to do.” He added, “It’s a symbol that more and more represents a day in the past that we don’t want to celebrate.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) warned DDT that Congress would likely override his veto of changing Confederate names on military bases. A Pentagon official also said Defense Department leadership considers a ban on Confederate flags on all bases following other ban by the Marine Corps and Navy. 

While the Democrats are moving forward with their virtual convention in August, the fate of the GOP convention is in question. Not only are several prominent Republicans not attending the meeting in Jacksonville (FL), including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), but the virus crisis may cause the event to be called off. Houston already called off the Texas convention, causing the GOP party to sue the city, with the highest number of coronavirus cases in a hot-spot state. A district court judge rejected the request so the GOP went to the state Supreme Court, arguing Houston permitted social justice protesters to congregate. A June 24 study found no evidence the protests increased COVID-19 cases.  State GOP leaders, including the governor and lieutenant governor, don’t plan to attend in person, and the Supreme Court has only virtual meetings.

The judge in charge of Michael Flynn’s case is appealing a three-judge panel decision to drop the conviction for Flynn’s lying under oath to the entire DC Circuit Court.  

The Commerce Department caved in, and its inspector general released a report about NOAA hurting public trust by defending DDT’s lies about Hurricane Dorian heading into Alabama—even changing a NOAA map with his Sharpie pen. 

The boycott against Goya Foods is growing after its CEO Robert Unanue doubled down on his effusive praise of DDT, calling him an “incredible builder” with the U.S., saying the people are “blessed” to have him in the Oval Office, and comparing DDT to Unanue’s immigrant grandfather from Spain. Fox is touting its own “buy-cott,” meaning lots of White people will have lots of Latinx food.

World COVID-19 cases have hit 13 million with 571,674 deaths, almost one-fourth–137,782–in the U.S. On July 12, the U.S. has 3,413,999 infections as the new ones in the past 24 hours “dropping” to 58,349.

 

February 10, 2017

DDT: Week Three – Part 1

Dictator Donald Trump’s (DDT) third week was rougher than the first two. His declaring moral equivalence between the United States and Russia called out condemnation from both conservatives and progressives. General Barry McCaffrey, now retired, said his statement was “the most anti-American statement ever made by the president of the United States.”

The UK’s House of Commons Speaker said that he didn’t want DDT to speak before Parliament because of its opposition to racism and sexism and support for equality and an independent judiciary. One of three people to make the decision about DDT’s speaking in Westminster Hall, John Bercow said to applause, “An address by a foreign leader to both houses of Parliament is not an automatic right. It is an earned honor.”

Dissatisfaction with the government—now entirely Republican—is the most important issue facing the nation. DDT, in his continued war against the press, tweeted, “Any negative polls are fake news,” and deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka added that the White House will use the phrase “fake media” to attack journalists “until the media understands how wrong that [anti-Trump] attitude is.” In DDT-World, all protesters are also paid; his counselor Kellyanne Conway told GOP legislative staffers that the constituents calling their bosses don’t represent “real people.”

Other DDT disasters in the past week:

Russia & Michael Flynn: Nine intelligence officers have declared that DDT’s National Security Advisor discussed lifting sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak last December, and two of them said that Flynn promised that the problem would be reviewed just immediately after DDT’s inauguration. Until two days ago, Michael Flynn denied doing this, but yesterday his spokesman said that Flynn couldn’t remember but maybe he did. Flynn’s behavior can be considered an illegal interference between the President Obama’s White House and Russia as well as continuing the conclusion that Russia had interfered in the recent presidential election. VP Mike Pence, who swore that Flynn never discussed sanctions with Russia, is disturbed about finding out the truth, according to his aides. DDT, who cannot be separated from his television watching, said that he is unaware of the controversy.

Judicial Review of White House Muslim Ban: A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled to continue blocking DDT’s travel ban because it violated the Fifth Amendment’s due process access to courts. Some of the findings:

The ruling applies nationwide even if no federal court blocks it.

Two states have standing to sue on behalf of thousands of foreign students, employees and residents with legal visas.

Courts can receive classified information to determine its findings—in answer to DDT’s statement about how the courts don’t know how scary the world it.

The court cannot rely upon the government’s contention that the Executive Order no longer applies to lawful permanent residents….

“Moreover, in light of the Government’s shifting interpretations of the Executive Order, we cannot say that the current interpretation by White House counsel, even if authoritative and binding, will persist past the immediate stage of these proceedings.”

Before the decision, DDT tweeted nine times criticizing and threatening the judges if they didn’t rule in his favor. He hasn’t decided whether he will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. My guess is that he’ll sign more executive orders to ban Muslims, ones written again by Steve Bannon, that DDT thinks will survive a court hearing.

Lies about Terrorist Attacks: DDT accused the press of “intentionally” covering up terrorist attacks and then issued a list of 78 “underreported” global attacks since 2014 to prove the statement. The list included the San Bernardino shooting, the nightclub massacre in Orlando last summer, and the terrorist attacks in Paris, all widely reported, but skipped any terrorist acts by white supremacists and Islamophobes, including the mass killing by a white French Canadian at a Quebec mosque.

Trouble with Obamacare?: DDT suggested that he might wait until 2018 to do anything about the Affordable Care Act. Protesters are inundating town hall meetings with members of Congress who are sneaking out of meetings, calling the police for protection, locking the door so people can’t get in, or just canceling scheduled sessions. Even the representative from the reddest district in the nation is afraid to hold  town hall meetings because of protesters supporting health care. It’s just like the Tea Party from 2010 but in reverse.

Keeping the health care plan doesn’t stop DDT from hurting the people who voted for him—and others who didn’t. Proposed new rules would increase premiums for older customers 3.49 times as for the young, people applying for coverage during the year would have to prove a qualifying life change, and insurance could cut off insurance if premiums are a month late.

What Voter Fraud?: Although Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) won’t spend federal money to investigate a non-existent 3 million illegal voters in last fall’s election, DDT has assigned VP Mike Pence to head up a commission for that purpose. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by over 3 million votes.

Revised Executive Orders: DDT has been given a new version of his torture order that retreats his decision to open “black site” prisons with “coercive interrogation methods.” Thus far, DDT has not signed the new order. Even John Yoo, the George W. Bush DOJ torture official, expressed concern about the White House’s alarming conception of executive power.

Ridicule for Hotelier in the Oval Office: DDT’s obsession with his décor leads him to schedule as many events in the room as possible. Although suffering from a lack of concentration on intelligence details, DDT dwells on the new opulent golden drapes as he gives tours to visitors as he pages “through a book showing 17 window covering options,” according to The New York Times Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman.

DDT’s Ownership of Business: Despite his claims that he has nothing to do with his businesses, DDT still retains ownership and personally benefits from the government’s decisions, and his sons, who now supposedly operate the business, also participate in governmental decisions. DDT may no longer be president of the multiple companies, but he still financially profits from its activities. Documents show that the trust does not do away with other conflicts, such as his being executive producer of Celebrity Apprentice, which DDT cited in his speech last week, asking his audience to pray for the program’s ratings. A question also exists about the legality of his continued lease of the Washington hotel, owned by the federal government which prevents any elected official from benefiting from the property.

Attack on Nordstrom: After the retail chain decided not to carry Ivanka Trump’s fashion line, her father launched official tweets about how the corporation had treated her “so unfairly.” Former Obama White House ethics expert Norm Eisen called Trump’s tweet “outrageous” and offered to help Nordstrom sue the president. Two more retailers downgraded publicity on Ivanka’s “made in Asia” clothing line, eliciting a statement from Press Secretary Sean Spicer that the decision, based on the free market, was an attack on Ivanka.

Even “roll over and play dead” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chair of the Oversight Committee, chastised Kellyanne Conway for her blatant endorsement of Ivanka’s clothing line on Fox network. He found it “unacceptable” while ethics experts call it a definite violation of regulations banning executive branch employees from endorsing products and using their office for private gain of friends. Earlier Chaffetz had said that DDT’s attack on Nordstrom was not “a big deal” and that he was just acting like a doting father.  Thousands of people showed up at a Chaffetz town hall meeting, booing and chanting “do your job.”

Loss of Second DDT Legal Case in Two Weeks: South Carolina environmental regulators denied DDT’s request that he get state-paid pollution cleanup at his son’s company. Donald Trump, Jr. bought a company on possibly polluted land and named it Titan Atlas; when it failed, DDT bought out the debt, called the new company D B Pace, and then claimed he didn’t have to pay for the cleanup because he was a brand new owner. To qualify for state cleanup, the buyer can’t be related to the seller, and regulators stated that DDT didn’t give them enough financial information to rule in his favor. Last week, a judge ruled that DDT had to pay $6 million to members at the Trump National Jupiter Golf Course

Melania Trump’s Lawsuit against the UK Daily Mail: Four days ago, DDT’s wife announced in a defamation lawsuit that it would damage her ability to make new “licensing, branding, and endorsement” deals while she is the U.S. president’s wife. Her lawyer described this opportunity as a “once-in-a-lifetime” money making opportunity for clothing, cosmetics, fragrance, etc. She told the court she intended to pursue deals in “apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care, and fragrance.” The publication retracted information from a Slovenian magazine that she had once been a paid escort. Like her husband, Melania Trump admits that she is illegally using her position to make “millions.”

In addition to selecting a “security advisor” who sides with Russia, losing lawsuits, and finding himself involved in conflicts of interest, DDT’s popularity is dropping in Europe as well as in the United States. Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s foreign minister, listed the differences of opinion between EU and DDT, including refugees, migration, climate change, the Iran deal, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She said that putting “America First” can find Europe, vital to U.S. economy and security, to be equally self-interested. Donald Tusk, EU Council president, has put DDT on a list of threats with radical Islam.

And that’s just part of DDT’s week—more tomorrow!

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