Nel's New Day

February 14, 2021

Biden’s Work Leads to Popularity

Republicans are still wreaking havoc from Saturday’s acquittal of Deposed Dictator Trump (DDT): instead of declaring any victory, they are damning the seven GOP senators who voted to convict DDT for inciting violence in his unrelenting attempt to overturn the election—and democracy. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) explained best the reason for votes for conviction—“he is guilty.” His op-ed in the Baton Rouge newspaper covers the facts that DDT’s cult followers refuse to recognize.

For those who question the Democrats’ wisdom in not calling witnesses after the Senate voted in favor it, another reason has emerged. Republican senators threatened to filibuster every Biden nominee, every piece of legislation, in short everything Democrats brought to the Senate. Attempting to get 60 votes for everything with only 50 Democrats in the Senate was not worth the risk. As Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), lead prosecutor for the trial, said:  

‘We could have had 500 witnesses and it would have not have overcome the kinds of arguments being made by Mitch McConnell and other Republicans who were hanging their hats on the claim that it was somehow unconstitutional.”

DDT issued a statement about his victory and insinuated he could return in some fashion. President Joe Biden set the tone for the future of the United States. He stated the impeachment trial showed the charge against DDT is not in dispute and quoted House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who voted to acquit but still believes DDT is guilty of a “disgraceful dereliction of duty” and “practically and morally responsible for provoking” violence at the U.S. Capitol, directly killing five people:  

“This sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile. That it must always be defended. That we must be ever vigilant … Each of us has a duty and responsibility as Americans, and especially as leaders, to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.”

Contrasting DDT’s life in the White House with family events of the Bidens, this video shows a casual-looking Biden couple wandering the White House lawn with their two dogs looking at the Valentines that Dr. Biden had arranged to honor the day.

Conservative pundits accused Biden of avoiding the impeachment trial by working, ignoring his busy schedule which was so different from DDT’s obsession with watching television and being admired. These are a few of his accomplishments in the past week while the media focused on impeachment.

Biden reinstated the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, greatly changed and unstaffed during the previous administration. Melissa Rodgers, First Amendment lawyer and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, will head up the agency with goals including help for disadvantaged communities, advancement of global humanitarian work, and protection for “church-state separation and freedom for people of all faiths and none.”

Before the impeachment trial, nominees for secretaries of the Education Department and the Labor Department were passed out of committee with the customary few naysayers.

Biden will rescind the ability of states to mandate work requirements for Medicaid coverage. Because of DDT’s request for these rules, some states require residents work for 20 or more hours a week in jobs, job search, community service, or taking classes. Judges have already struck down some of these requirements.

Protections under the Fair Housing Act now cover LGBTQ people, allowing the government to investigate discrimination complaints based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This executive order follows an earlier one prohibiting the same discrimination in employment. Last summer, then HUD Secretary Ben Carson stripped protections for transgender people to go to federally funded homeless shelters, a policy set to go into effect in two months until Biden reversed it.

Biden said his climate-change executive order combined with “Buy American” would help create one million new jobs in the automobile industry.

The 9th Circuit Court revoked an earlier general permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ authorizing most of commercial shellfish aquaculture in Washington’s Puget Sound seriously harming the environment.  

The government has finalized deals for another 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by summer, half from Pfizer and half from Moderna, bringing the total to 300 million. 

Biden told Congress he terminated DDT’s national emergency order diverting billions of military appropriations DDT used to build part of the southern wall. DDT issued the order because Congress refused to allocate the money. Part of Biden’s direction was to divert no more taxpayer dollars to construct a border wall and review “all resources appropriated or redirected to that end.”

The president also plans to ask Congress to eliminate $40 billion in taxpayer subsidies for the oil industry. Last year, progressive lawmakers in both chambers introduced legislation to end federal subsidies and loopholes.  

Biden has “indefinitely” shelved DDT’s deal for Oracle and Walmart buying much of the Chinese-owned video app TikTok. DDT had claimed “national security” but was really upset because the young people on the app had first ordered unused tickets for his Tulsa (OK) rally and then advertised the Georgia senatorial runoff election for younger voters in favor of the Democrats.

The DOJ notified the Supreme Court it does not regard the Affordable Care Act to be unconstitutional and considers it legal as the high court considers a challenge to the law by Texas and other GOP states. California and other Democratic states are defending the law. Although the Supreme Court earlier upheld the individual mandate in the law, some justices have been replaced by DDT’s appointments.

After the February 1 military coup in Myanmar, aka Burma, Biden announced sanctions on the leaders who deposed and detained its elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and others until it relinquishes power and releases prisoners. Biden will also freeze U.S. assets of up to $1 billion benefiting the Burmese government. Like the attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, the coup was intended to destroy the nation’s democracy.

While the House works on the stimulus bill, Biden is working on a $2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package to create jobs and rebuild transportation networks, both growing the economy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In an opening meeting, four members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, two from each party, joined both Biden and VP Kamala Harris in the White House. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg participated by video while he is quarantining after exposure to COVID-19. They agreed new infrastructure must be built in both urban and rural areas. More meetings with congressional members are planned. Biden pointed out China is advancing high-speed-rail projects. Sen. Shelley Capito (R-WV) called the meeting productive. Biden has said he doesn’t support increasing the gas tax, but it has had no changes for 24 years while inflation and better gas mileage has taken its purchasing power. The current federal surface transportation expires in Fall 2021.

With Ron Bloom the new chair of the postal service board, the leadership has changed although the former RNC chair, Mike Duncan, remains as a Governor. Bloom plans to “revitalize” the USPS and restore its functionality, badly needed since DDT’s choice of the Postmaster General Louis DeJoy was intended to destroy the agency before the election. Working on the automobile industry bailout over a decade ago, Bloom was a senior adviser to the Treasury Secretary. Getting rid of DeJoy may be difficult, especially because he wants to stay, because the conservative majority of the board hired DeJoy. Biden could fill the three openings on the board, but Congress would need to confirm them.

DeJoy apologized to the board for problems with delivery and promised to do better, but his vision for the future includes even deeper service cuts, more expensive postage and services, and lower delivery commitments. Already one-time delivery of non-first class mail last month dropped to 38 percent, half of the same month in the previous year. Without DeJoy, the USPS could come back, especially if Congress passes its legislation rescinding the law requiring the agency to pre-fund 75 years’ worth of retiree benefits—something no other government agency requires. This mandate is responsible for putting the USPS billions of dollars in debt giving DeJoy and the GOP leverage for their changes. Democrats have also been pushing an expansion into postal banking to both provide more revenue and give over 7 million unbanked Americans with options for checking and savings accounts, bill payments, small loans, and low-fee ATMs instead of usurious payday lenders and check-cashing businesses.

Since the election, the favorability of the GOP has seriously dropped, completely because of changes from Republicans. For the first time in eight years, the Democrats are more favorable than Republicans by double digits. In 25 states, the only ones making voter registration available, 140,000 registered voters have dropped the GOP in the first month after the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Only 20 percent of voters think the GOP idea about the stimulus bill being “too much” is right, whereas 79 percent believe the COVID-19 relief package is either “about right” or too small.

And many Republicans, such as state GOPs and several congressional members, continue to sabotage anything Biden does.

November 4, 2020

Election Day Filled with Intimidation, Finishes with DDT’s Demented Speech

November 3, 2020 was Election Day, and a tired and weak-sounding Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) went on state-controlled Fox television to whine. After talking about how “mean” his ex-friends are to him, he said “by far the most difficult country to deal with is the U.S.,” much worse than Russia or North Korea.

Election Day 2020 decides whether people want the U.S. to be a complete dictatorship or a democracy. On this date four years ago, the United States still hoped to elect Hillary Clinton although then-FBI Director James Comey dropped her polling with his email-release “October surprise.” Four years later, the majority of people in the U.S. hope for an end to the petty, selfish, “me-first” toddler behavior from the Oval Office. 

My home state of Oregon, which knows how to conduct complete vote-by-mail, settled the vote within a few minutes after the deadline for ballots to be received. I lost some of my preferred candidates, but Shemia Fagan won the Secretary of State, second to the governor and in charge of electoral issues. Her opposition destroyed her business’s documents after financially defrauding the state, and I wondered if she would do the same with ballots of the opposite party. 

Throughout Election Day, GOP and Democratic groups avidly watched the counting of ballots. The GOP leader, Mike Roman, began his reputation in 1993 by persuading a judge to throw out hundreds of mail-in ballots to seat his candidate, Bruce Marks, in the Pennsylvania State Senate after the Democratic candidate received more votes. As DDT railed against vote-by-mail, he focused only on that state, ignoring the other 80+ percent of states also using the same method. Roman ran GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch’s political network intelligence unit. With volunteers from DDT’s “Army for Trump” website, Roman collected 50,000 supporters plus paid full-time staff in only 11 battleground states. Marks made his legal career representing wealthy Ukrainian and Russian clients.

GOP intimidation continued throughout the day. Robocalls in heavily Democratic Flint (MI) told people to wait until Wednesday—the day after Election Day—to vote because the lines will be shorter. This message is like last year’s scam when robocalls told people that Republicans should vote on Tuesday (Election Day) and Democrats on Wednesday (the day after Election Day). Once again Republicans figure they can’t win if they don’t cheat. Residents in Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, and North Carolina received threatening robocalls telling them to “stay safe and stay home,” and other robocalls in Michigan also told people about “ballot sensor issues.”  

Again, DDT’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany violated the Hatch Act, like many of DDT’s “loyalists,” by politicking for her boss on Fox network. She told the hosts of Fox & Friend that “Democrat [sic] cities” will “send The Left out to attack you” if “you don’t choose The Left’s chosen candidate.” McEnany argued “the left should not be given federal power” and then called for “democracy,” which DDT hates. She made her comments after DDT repeatedly praised a group of his supporters, who he called “patriots,” for attempting to run Biden supporters off an interstate in Texas.

Earlier, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) dropped any pretense of appearing ethical when he introduced DDT at a Florida rally. About the violence from DDT supporters in Texas, he said, “We love what they did.” He continued, “We do that in Florida every day. Fox News host Jeanine Pirro described the violence as “ordinary Americans just taking this election into their own hands.”

Georgia, where Gov. Brian Kemp seemingly rigged the computers in the past, had to resort to paper ballots after the computers broke—again. A poll worker said the scanners were locked and election workers couldn’t get into the machines. The county said it wouldn’t extend voting hours without a court order. The problem was finally diagnosed as faulty loading of information, and the court did extend voting hours to 11:00 pm. The state also delayed delivery of voting equipment to Democratic areas such as Fulton County, the center of Atlanta. Two years ago, Georgia didn’t provide power cords for voting machines and locked up 2,000 voting machines so they weren’t available to areas with high Democratic turnout.

Through social media, Trump supporters openly planned to drive their caravans of vehicles at polling sites, potentially causing problems with election security and violent confrontations despite laws in some states against campaigning on or near polls. Referring to slowly driving around the parking lot of a voting center in Maryland, one organizer said, “There’s nobody that can stop us.” At least 18 of the event organizers reportedly support conspiracy-ridden QAnon. Targeting racially diverse areas, one group of Trump supporters yelled racial slurs at children in Marin City (CA) and another provoked an alteration with residents in Fort Worth (TX). A caravan blocked access to a Temecula (CA) voting center, and a Louisville (KY) Trump supporter directed traffic with a gun at a high school. That’s McEnany’s “democracy.

DDT’s new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, failed to follow a court order to search for and deliver ballots, blocking at least 300,000 of them from arriving at election offices.

Sunday night, DDT told a Michigan audience his son Barron recovered from COVID-19 in 12 seconds. He said that proves children should immediately go back to school. Last week, over 61,000 children contacted coronavirus, 11 percent of all the COVID-19 cases. Some people thought he might have been sedated because of his incomprehensible comments:

“They said, ‘Sir, Barron … just tested positive.’ I said , ‘Tested positive for what?’ “For Corona.’ See, I like the China virus. Or I like the plague from China, but a lot of people use it like it sounds like an island in Italy. I said it’s not Corona. But, ‘Just tested positive for Corona.’ I said, ‘Wow, I don’t like that. That’s not good.’ Barron, you know he’s strong, very tall, he’s only 14-years-old, but he’s very tall. … And he’s a good boy, but he just tested positive. And I said, ‘Wow.’ Then about 12 minutes later I see the doctor. ‘Doctor, how’s Barron doing?’ “Oh, it’s okay, he’s fine now. Took him about 12 seconds to get rid of it.’ Because they’re young and they have a strong immune system. He got better like so fast. You know what I say? Let the kids go to school.”

Allan Nairn wrote, “The Republicans are working harder to stop votes from being cast and counted than they are to stop the spread of the deadly virus Covid-19.” On Election Day, 94,463 people in the U.S. were newly infected, and 1,199 more people died from COVID-19.

From the glorious blog of Margaret and Helen comes this advice—too late for Election Day but still worth pondering:

“It’s unimaginable. Forty percent of Americans are ok with hating the other 60% of their fellow Americans because Trump told them to be afraid. Forty percent of Americans are fine having a President who has 26 credible accusations of sexual assault and bragged about it on video. Forty percent of Americans watched an adult make fun of a disabled person and 4 years later they want more of that. Forty percent of Americans gladly gave up their confederate flags and white hoods and replaced them with a Trump flag and a red MAGA hat. Forty percent of Americans can kiss my ass.

“We are supposed to be better than this. We are supposed to be Americans first and political foes second. Under any other Presidency we would all be wearing masks because Americans have always taken care of Americans in times of crisis. We have our flaws, but we’ve always come together when we had to. But under this guy, under Trump, we couldn’t’ even come together to fight a global pandemic. Wearing a mask is just too much to ask. Grandparents have lived long enough evidently because wearing a mask to protect them was just too much of an inconvenience. You have asthma. Heart disease. Cancer. An unknown health risk. Screw all of you because that mask is uncomfortable.

“Is this who you want to be America? Is this as good as it gets? This idiot? This thin, orange skinned, balding sex offender? Margaret and I hope not. We both married and have now buried veterans who fought for this country. In their honor and in their memory, we implore you. Vote. Him.Out.”

In the ultimate intimidation, DDT came out with his family at 2:20 am EST to address 150 maskless political guests in the White House, telling them that he already won the election, calling wins in states where a large number of ballots have not been counted. He wants “all voting to stop,” perhaps meaning “counting” because “voting” stopped hours ago. Except in Arizona where he hoped to win. At the time of his speech, DDT was behind in both the number of electoral college votes (221-213) and the popular vote (65,876,111-64,300,836), leaving 104 electoral college votes in play. After DDT’s speech, Joe Biden picked up another 11 Electoral College votes by winning Arizona. DDT incoherently said, “What happens to the election? It’s off. They’ll take us to court.” He followed that by saying he’s going to the Supreme Court, presumably to block any more counting of ballots. Let the games begin—or continue.

 

 

October 31, 2020

DDT: Week 197 – Violence, Fraud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data for this interactive map is here. 

 

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

Ignore COVID: DDT’s final campaign message.

October 18, 2020

DDT: Week 195 – Nearing Election Day, Mounting Tensions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 23, 2020

Whither the Vote

Filed under: Elections — trp2011 @ 12:30 AM
Tags: , , , , ,

Today celebrates two days. Fall Equinox is the halfway date between the longest and the shortest days of the year; the fourth Thursday in September is National Voter Registration Day in 2012. This year, voter registration is reportedly down, perhaps because of COVID-19 but also from all the red states’ roadblocks. Stephen Colbert, host of A Late Show, has provided an informative website for all voters in the U.S. So popular it crashed within minutes of its debut, the website is now on target and available here.  

At no time in recent history has voting been a larger topic in both the courts and the media. For months, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) ranted about the dangers of fraudulent voting by mail although he used this system in the midst of his rants. When he claimed that Democrats had the advantage with this system, Republicans panicked because many older people want to avoid disease and long lines by mailing in or dropping off their ballots. DDT even told people they would contract COVID-19 by putting their ballots into drop boxes. DDT’s attack on mail-in voting led to 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans requesting absentee ballots in Florida.

When DDT’s disinformation failed to convince people their ballots wouldn’t be counted with mail-in voting, he sued the process and encouraged his GOP followers to do the same. This year has seen an unprecedented number of suits related to elections and voting—over 300 in 44 states.  In 1993, Oregon debuted its statewide vote-by-mail with a 39 percent turnout. Eleven years later, the general election in Oregon, using the same system, more than doubled the turnout at 86 percent. The next three stayed over 80 percent. Yet of the listed 300 lawsuits, only four were in Oregon, three concerning problems with initiatives and one protesting the policy of no gatherings. In Texas, where voting is highly restricted, the last general election turnout was 46.45 percent.

In stressing, with no evidence, the unreliability of the postal service delivery, DDT may encourage courts to extend deadlines for returning ballots. In Wisconsin, a federal judge ruled that absentee ballots can be returned up to six days after the election if postmarked by Election Day. DDT lost similar cases in Michigan and Pennsylvania where courts also extended the deadline to receive ballots. Pennsylvania expanded use of drop boxes, and officials told counties they couldn’t reject a ballot based on an election official believing the signatures on the ballot and in the voter’s file don’t match. Almost 1.9 million people applied for absentee ballots. All three are swing states.

In another victory for Wisconsin Democrats, the state Supreme Court kept the Green Party’s candidate off the ballot. The ruling allows ballots to be mailed on time. The majority on the court, including one conservative, determined that the Green Party candidate waited too long to sue. Over one million absentee ballots were mailed last Thursday.

In Nevada, a federal judge dismissed the DDT campaign lawsuit against the state’s new law in which each eligible voter will receive a ballot on the basis of no standing. DDT’s campaign has 30 days in which to appeal, Election Day is 42 days from today. 

Five days ago, a judge in the Michigan Court of Appeals overturned a law opposing third-party collection of absentee ballots (called ballot harvesting) in the weekend before Election Day and permits ballots to be counted up to two weeks after Election Day if they are postmarked the day before Election Day. DDT vigorously objected to the harvesting although someone else took his primary ballot to Florida. The judge pointed out that the case showed only “rare” cases of “voter fraud and threats to election integrity associated with absent voter ballots.” Yesterday, DDT told people in Michigan to vote early by mail after opposing it for months. Michigan is another swing state.

In still another swing state, an Ohio judge blocked the GOP secretary of state’s decision to limit ballot drop boxes to one per county. Voting begins in two weeks, but the state and the Ohio GOP appealed the ruling. The GOP also accused the judge of colluding with Democrats for his ruling, and a Ohio Supreme Court justice, also a Republican, called the attack on the judge “disgraceful, deceitful.” She wrote:

“The Republican Party’s statement should be seen for what it is: part of a continuing string of attacks against any decision that doesn’t favor a political end, regardless of party, even if that decision may be legally correct and indeed legally required.”

As DDT tried to destroy vote-by-mail, he concentrated on the USPS and appointed Louis DeJoy as postmaster general. DeJoy dismantled equipment, working schedules, even mail boxes on the street. 

In a big change, a federal judge in Washington state in a lawsuit by 13 states issued a temporary injunction against DeJoy’s changes. DeJoy had promised Congress he had improved mail service, but delivery declined in 30 of the 67 USPS districts from August 29 to September 4. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian stated DeJoy and Trump are “involved in a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” and “this attack on the Postal Service is likely to irreparably harm the states’ ability to administer the 2020 general election.” In the 13-page preliminary injunction, Bastian wrote, “At the heart of DeJoy’s and the Postal Service’s actions is voter disenfranchisement” and cited DDT’s threats about withholding funds and “the actual impact of the changes on primary elections that resulted in uncounted ballots.” He continued that it wasn’t a stretch of the imagination to conclude that the changes were “an intentional effort on the part of the current administration to disrupt and challenge the legitimacy of upcoming local, state and federal elections.”

All election mail must be treated with first-class delivery standards, andBastian’s order included banning DeJoy’s “trucks leave on time” policy which Bastian called a “Leave Mail Behind” policy:

“Plaintiffs have made an extensive showing of irreparable harm that is caused and will be caused by the Postal Service’s ‘Leave Mail Behind’ policy and the Postal Service’s refusal to ensure that election mail will be treated as First Class mail to ensure timely delivery.”

Investigations have proved the drastic reduction of on-time mail delivery—up to 85 million more late deliveries in one week. Every USPS district in the country saw a drop in on-time performance with the worst delays in some key November battleground areas: northern Ohio (20.4 percent), the Ohio Valley (15.8 percent), Detroit (19.1 percent), and central Pennsylvania (17.9 percent). Bastian also blocked the removal of sorting machines, noting 72 percent of the machines were taken from counties supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016. He wrote:

“DeJoy’s actions fly in the face of Congress’s intent to insulate the management of the Postal Service from partisan politics and political influence and acknowledgement that free and fair elections depend on a reliable mail service.”

DeJoy apologized to almost half the secretaries of state in the U.S. about the false information on a postcard sent to people and said he would work with in the future. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who sued DeJoy for the misleading postcards, said “actions speak louder than words.“ DeJoy’s excuse for his changes was to save money, but his salary and those new positions filled with four people from his former company come to about $1 million. He added two senior executive advisers, an executive administrator, and a chief of staff.

American Oversight is suing the USPS because it also refused a Freedom of Information request to see DeJoy’s calendar. He also won’t show it to congressional members. Austin Evers, the organization’s director, asked, “Who has Postmaster General DeJoy been meeting with and why is he trying so hard to keep it a secret?”

Yesterday, a federal judge in New York also ruled against DeJoy’s changes and mandated the USPS treat election mail as a priority. He also ordered USPS permit overtime and extra deliveries as needed by election mail. The USPS must file weekly public reports to the court about its performance. If the two sides who went to court don’t agree on a plan by Friday, the judge will impose his own order.

Looking into DeJoy’s past shows a multitude of unethical, if not downright, criminal behavior. He has a variety of conflicts of interest and promised his employees he will repay them with bonuses for their donations to the RNC to make him look better. He cheated his brother with deceptive financial practices in the family trucking company which may have included theft of mail. The case was settled with a secrecy settlement. An audit found USPS noncompetitive contracts with DeJoy’s former company cost up to $53 million more than if competitively bid and “did not fully meet Postal Service requirements.”

Early voting has already started in eight states, and absentee ballots were mailed out in another 23 states. (See dates). Absentee or mail-in voting is smart because people can avoid intimidation at the polls. This scene from Fairfax (VA) shows the MAGA folks demonstrating in the midst of people waiting to vote. The lines are much longer because of social distancing, beyond the 40 feet where demonstrators are not allowed. Opening up more room inside the government center gave some voters shelter, and officials escorted voters by the group—like escorts at women’s clinics past protesters.

In another danger, DDT has decided he may have his personal federal judges count the votes and the “federal court system” will call the winner hours after the polls close. Never mind that ballots will be coming in after Election Day for at least two weeks. If he doesn’t win, he plans to have his Supreme Court—with the new justice—appoint him for another four-year term. And the radical right is buying lots of ammunition to support DDT’s rigging the election. It’s the DDT way—bully everyone into submission. Happy National Voter Registration Day!

August 23, 2020

Week 187: DDT Faces More Crises

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has had a hard few days this week with the backlash to his post office sabotage and the successful Democratic convention. He’s had other vexing problems too.

In the courts:

A federal judge in New York denied DDT’s request to stop a grand jury subpoena for his tax returns from taking effect after dismissed DDT’s attempt for a grand jury subpoena requesting eight years of DDT’s financial documents. DDT wanted time to appeal to the federal appeals court which agreed to a September 1 hearing while refusing an emergency stay on the subpoena. Jay Sekulow, DDT’s personal lawyer, said he will go to the Supreme Court for a stay.

A court ordered DDT to pay Stormy Daniels’s legal fees of $43,000, tied to the 2016 payoff agreement.

“It is not only a sin to kill a mockingbird, it is also a crime.” A federal judge referenced Harper Lee’s classic novel to uphold the 102-year Migratory Bird Treaty Act and block DDT’s order to permit people and corporations to unintentionally kill scores of birds. Oil companies have paid the majority of fines for the act’s violation; i.e., BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill killed an estimated one million birds.

Despite the Supreme Court declaring people are covered “on the basis of sex” for nondiscrimination laws, DDT had declared trans people are covered by the Affordable Care Act on the basis of “biological birth.” A federal judge blocked doctors’ permission from DDT to discriminate against trans people on the day it was to go into effect, stating the administration acted “arbitrarily and capriciously.” He added a major decision by the Supreme Court could benefit from “pause and reflect” on its impact. “Since HHS has been unwilling to take that path voluntarily, the Court now imposes it.”

At least 21 states plan lawsuits this week against the new postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, to block service changes intended to block mail-in ballots. DeJoy’s promises to keep delivery rolling has not affected the intent from attorneys general who said they want binding action to reverse DeJoy’s actions.

Salmon and steelhead in Oregon’s Willamette River won their case when a judge found the Army Corps of Engineers violated the Endangered Species Act by failing to ensure their survival and recovery for over a decade. Dams on four key tributaries of the Willamette River block between 40 and 90 percent of spawning habitat because small fish can’t surmount the heights to swim downstream and adults can get upstream. Parties will provide a briefing schedule within 14 days for determining a remedy.

A county circuit judge determines the title for the new GOP redistricting plan, attempting to overturn the two-year-old voters’ Clean Missouri ballot measure, “misleading, unfair, and insufficient” because it doesn’t state it would eliminate a law passed by voters. An amendment in the new law creating a nonpartisan state demographer replacing two partisan legislative commissions to map out new legislative districts.

In the federal government:

The HHS are changed direction in collecting data about COVID-19: hospitals will again report information to the CDC instead of DDT’s secret private information service.

The House Ethics Committee unanimously admonished Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a speaker at the RNC convention, for his attempt to intimidate Michael Cohen shortly before his testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Later, Gaetz apologized. A Florida Bar review panel also told Gaetz he was “unprofessional, reckless, insensitive, and demonstrated poor judgment” in his tweet at Cohen. Last month, apparently in violation of House rules, it was revealed that Gaetz may have violated House rules when he paid $28,000 to a speechwriter who worked for Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller and was reportedly fired by the White House after he attended a white nationalist conference.

In the states:

The Kentucky Board of Elections has agreed voters will benefit from early voting for six days a week, absentee ballots, and drop boxes. They can also sign a document explaining why they couldn’t get an ID because of COVID-19—closed county clerk’s office or fear of contracting the virus—and cast their ballots. Kentucky was the only state this year to make voting more restrictive by requiring IDs, despite the closure of state offices. With New York moving to no-excuse absentee voting for this fall, only ix six states don’t permit all voters to vote by mail: IN, MS, SC, TN, TX, WV.

After six years, Michigan is paying $600 million to Flint victims of lead-contaminated drinking water. Eighty percent goes to residents younger than 18 years when they were exposed with almost half that amount to children younger than six—between 18,000 and 20,000 children and adolescents. The other 20 percent goes for issues such as property damage, loss of revenue, and diseases like Legionnaires.

DDT’s grand plan to have Kanye West siphon off Biden’s votes is failing. West missed the deadline for the Wisconsin ballot, and was rejected by Ohio’s secretary of state because the signature and information on West’s nominating petition and statement of candidacy did not match the documents used for petitions signed by voters. 

Jared Kushner has been talking almost daily with West, and his involvement in West’s campaign could be a violation of federal law for Kushner. If Kushner asked West to spend money on West’s candidacy to siphon votes from Biden, he is soliciting in-king contributions from West to DDT in excess of the $2,000 contribution limit. Every dollar West spends on his campaign with Kushner’s encourage is in-kind. Even worse, Kushner is taking advantage of West’s mental instability.

And in other areas:

Top businesses stated they are unlikely to defer employees’ payroll taxes, and 30 industry groups called DDT’s executive action “unworkable.”

DDT appealed to the Commission on Presidential debates to hold the presidential debates sooner: Joe Biden refused. A letter from Rudy Giuliani to the commission claimed Biden might not appear at debates after the first one.

The most delicious irony this week was the arrest of former DDT campaign manager and adviser Steve Bannon by the postal service for fraud and money laundering with a GoFundMe site for DDT’s wall. It brings together both DDT’s scandals—the USPS and the border wall perhaps the most visible investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), functioning for over 100 years to protect employees, the public, and infrastructure “from fraud and other illegal activity.” Prosecutors for the case are led by Audrey Strauss, Southern District of New York’s acting AG who DDT’s fixer AG Bill tried to fire when he got rid of her boss, Geoffrey Berman. Brian Kolfage coordinated the con to rip off thousands of DDT’s wall-loving base and took over $350,000 for luxuries and tax payments. Bannon skimmed over $1 million from the donations. 

As always, DDT tried to separate himself from the project, but his son had described the project as “private enterprise at its finest.” DDT’s associate Kris Kobach said DDT had given the project his “blessing.” DDT added, “You can tell the media that.” Another of the “We Build the Wall” team who DDT can’t remember is Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater and sister of Education Secretary Betsy Devos along with other shady characters.

DDT claims to be the “law and order” president; Bannon is his third campaign manager to be arrested. Cory Landowski’s assault charge was dropped, and Paul Manafort is in prison. Three other campaign workers have been charged, as have close friend Roger Stone and fixer Michael Cohen as have four men close to the campaign along with 24 Russians and two companies. Charges include money laundering, false tax returns, conspiracy against the U.S., obstruction of justice, lying under oath, bank fraud, tax evasion, identity theft, and more. https://abcnews.go.com/US/prosecutors-reinstate-indictment-trump-campaign-chairman-paul-manafort/story?id=72499540    The Manhattan District Attorney’s office also wants to reindict Manafort for a yearlong residential mortgage fraud.

Leading up to the RNC convention, quotes from former Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, DDT’s sister:

“The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy sh-t.” (about his administration since DDT was elected)

“He has no principles. All he wants to do his appeal to his base.”

“He doesn’t read.”

“Donald is cruel.”

“He was a brat.” (about Barry doing DDT’s homework and his paying someone to take his SAT exams for him)

“You can’t trust him.” (about his six bankruptcies)

“It was all about him. Donald was the only one who didn’t speak about Dad,” (about DDT’s speech at their father’s funeral)

Get some sleep—the Republican convention starts tomorrow!

August 22, 2020

DDT’s Sabotage of USPS to Suppress Voting

Filed under: Elections,Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 8:29 PM
Tags: , , , , ,

California: Tehachapi – Crates of mail in the post office that should have been delivered the night before. Santa Clarita – Automated sorting machines disabled and padlocked so that employees couldn’t plug them in for use and first-class packages taking ten days for delivery instead of one. South Los Angeles – Gnats and rodents around containers of rotted fruit and meat with dead baby chicks inside their boxes. Sacramento – At least five high-speed mail machines removed from processing plant as well as two more in Santa Ana, six in San Diego, and seven in one Los Angeles facility—machines serving over 1,000 post offices, some of them in rural addresses. Machinery gutted, dismantled, or trashed in places where employees worked six days a week, struggling to keep up—before the loss of the equipment. Delivery delays forced them to shift most shipping business to FedEx. Cutting schedules back to five days per week caused chaos. The parking lot was filled with semi-trailers piled high with unsorted mail because inside warehouses were packed wall to wall with mail and few employees in sight.

These are a few of the problems caused by Louis DeJoy, a major GOP donor, who has become the servant of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) with the title of Postmaster General. FEC records shows how much he has donated to Republican committees and congressional candidates—especially those in tight races—meaning that they either verbally support him or stay quiet.

Ignoring the huge conflicts of interest because of the tens of millions of dollars he has in a competing company to the post office and stock options in Amazon, the government also accepted the way he may have got the job through the influence of another big GOP donor, USPS board member John Barger. DeJoy was not part of a pool of candidates vetted by a non-government firm hired to fill the job. The only qualification DeJoy seems to have is slowing down mail delivery.

According to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin participated in DeJoy’s hiring through meetings with the USPS board. In a meeting with the Congressional Progressive Caucus, former USPS board member David Williams related details about Mnuchin’s influence on mail operations and finances. It has been known how Mnuchin withheld the congressional funding for the USPS, first threatening to remove its collective bargaining and then to find confidential contracts. Williams reported on Mnuchin’s “illegal” demands of officials and demanded members receive Munchin’s “blessing” before confirmation. Describing DeJoy, Williams said, “Corruption, plain and simple.” The removal of USPS mailboxes was ordered by Mnuchin. In his interviews, DeJoy had to be coached as Barger would “finish a number of sentences where he got stuck” and “explained to the board what Mr. DeJoy meant during the presentation.”

Williams reported removing mailboxes and mail-sorting equipment will save no money despite the claim from DeJoy, Mnuchin, and DDT. Breaking down the machines costs millions. Mnuchin wants higher prices for USPS to enable FedEx and UPS to raise their prices. The USPS charter states it is an independent, apolitical organization, making Mnuchin’s or DDT’s involvement in postal service decisions a violation of its charter.

Every day adds to the new rules for the post office appearing to be creating chaos and confusion. The first noticed step was the dismantling and removal of mail-sorting machines as well as the elimination of overtime for mail delivery. What doesn’t get done one day can be done the next—or in several weeks or months—according to the directives. The most recent “efficiency” directive prohibits all workers on duty from signing mail-in ballots as witnesses while on duty, a requirement in seven states including the swing state of Wisconsin. In Alaska, a postal worker can be an “authorized official” to act as a voter’s witness.

Yesterday, DeJoy lied under oath in testimony to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Check the first paragraph above for some of his false claims:

There have been no changes to how election mail gets handled.

Limiting extra trips by postal workers to retrieve mail has no impact on delivery. DeJoy had to back down after shown a chart of drastic drop-off in delivery speeds.  

He has “no intention” of returning mail-sorting machines because they are “not needed” but “there have been significant service slowdowns.” 

He answered Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) question whether he took steps to “eliminate” or “curtail” overtime with “No.” (Agency memo: “Overtime will be eliminated.”)

He didn’t know about the removal of mailboxes and sorting machines until public uproar—but he won’t return them.

Shortly after DeJoy promised to suspend his policy changes, Kevin Couch, a director of maintenance operations at USPS, emailed postal workers “not to reconnect/reinstall machines that have been previously disconnected without approval from HQ Maintenance, no matter what direction they are getting from their plant manager.” The same day DeJoy said he was suspending his changes to slow delivery, mail-sorting machines were being dismantled in Grand Rapids (MI). The video is here. 

After the election, DeJoy intends to raise package rates, especially in rural areas; charging more for service in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico; reducing discounts for nonprofits; requiring first-class postage for ballots; and leasing space in USPS facilities to companies and government agencies. JPMorgan Chase, the biggest U.S. bank, wants ATMs in post offices, killing any public postal bank system providing revenue for the USPS and expanding services for the unbanked. Another significant change would be transporting first class mail on trucks rather than airplanes.

AARP, whose members comprise a goodly percentage of DDT’s base, called on DeJoy to not reduce service. The letter was accompanied by a petition from 111,717 members.

The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) is suing DeJoy, DDT, and Mnuchin for violation of the Hatch Act prohibiting executive officials from political activity for “interfering with or affecting the result of an election.”

President Obama’s administration ran the USPS more efficiently and cheaper than DDT: it paid less overtime because it had more employees—5,000 career employees more than under DDT for total mail-processing workforce. The doubling of USPS overtime in fewer than six months under DDT is higher than the total overtime increase during Barack Obama’s second term. DeJoy plans to create a task force.

Rural voters have become upset about DDT’s plan to destroy the post office. Sen. Jon Tester (R-MT) received 4,800 complaints in a state of about one million population. Facing a popular Democratic governor, the state’s GOP senator, Steve Daines, is vulnerable for his reelection in November. Daines refused to discuss the post office problem. Maine, where GOP Sen. Susan Collins faces an uphill reelection this year, has suffered from receiving dead chicks. Collins is responsible for the law requiring the fund of 50 years of pension for the USPS which put it in debt. Shipments of lily bulbs from South Carolina are experiencing deadly delays. Skewing conservative, a bipartisan group of likely rural voters said they were less likely to vote for a candidate who reduced the budget for USPS or privatized the agent.

Showing how far out of touch DDT is with the people of the United States, DDT and his staffers were amazed by the backlash to his destroying a 275-year-old institution. DDT should know better; he sent all of us letters at no cost to him telling us that the $1,200 we received came from him. 

Today, the House voted 257-150 for legislation to provide $25 billion to the USPS and stop DDT’s equipment destruction and operational changes disenfranchising people casting votes. DDT has promised to veto the bill, meaning that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) won’t touch the bill. And thousands of people attend protests today to “Save Our Post Office!”

Without evidence except for a few cases by Republicans, DDT said voting by mail is fraud: he voted by mail. Without evidence, DDT said “harvesting” ballots is fraud: he had a “representative” take his ballot to Florida. DDT didn’t start complaining about voter fraud from mail-in ballots until his polling numbers began to shrink. He’s using it to excuse a loss in November, sort of “See? I didn’t lose.”

Monday, DeJoy is scheduled to testimony under oath before the House Oversight Committee.

August 18, 2020

DDT’s ‘Chaos and Confusion’ Equals Evil

Last night, the first of four nights for the 2020 Democratic convention bracketed its events, beginning with a virtual choir of 57 young multicultural people across the nation representing each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the five populated U.S. territories, and the Cherokee Nation with a closing speech by former First Lady Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama In under 19 minutes, Obama covered a multitude of topics:  human dignity, truth, leadership, healthcare, the environment, racial justice, racism, white supremacy, empathy, raising children, selfishness, greed, military violence, the use of a Bible for a photo prop, motherhood, meekness, cruelty, family and neighbors, compassion, and grief. She expressed concern because Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) lacked the ability to be a president.

DDT criticized Obama’s pre-taped speech for putting the number of COVID-19 deaths at 20,000 fewer deaths than recorded by yesterday. He was concerned about not getting him credit for the full fatality total from his mismanagement for the pandemic. Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany falsely claimed DDT had brought the country together, and DDT called Michelle Obama “divisive.” Yet the day before the beginning of the DNC after DDT retweeted a message about Democratic cities, “Let them rot.”

Right-wing media didn’t know how to respond to Michelle Obama’s speech. Fox’s Laura Ingraham ignored it, but some Fox network news hosts were more positive. Dana Perino said Obama had “authenticity … in spades,” and Chris Wallace said:

“She really flayed, sliced and diced Donald Trump, talking about the chaos and confusion and lack of empathy, especially coming from this president and from this White House.”

Tonight’s show, with the theme “Leadership Matters,” presented 30-second vignettes highlighting the diversity of states, DC, and territories as they cast votes for Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Biden was nominated as the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate with 3,558 delegates. Sanders, the only other nominated candidate, received 1,151.

Those who doubt DDT’s creating “chaos and confusion and lack of empathy” should consider a few of his current attempts at diversion and win the election:

Accusing Kamala Harris of birtherism: DDT tries to pretend that he’s not part of the crowd falsely claiming that the Democratic vice-presidential candidate isn’t eligible because she wasn’t born in the U.S. The purpose of DDT’s accusation, mildly said with the statement that he “won’t pursue” the issue. If he did, the end result would be the same as it was with Barack Obama. DDT’s reason for pushing birtherism is not to put President Obama and Kamala Harris out of their position: obviously Harris was born in the United States because her home town is Oakland (CA). The real reason for birtherism is to attack people of color for not being white. DDT proudly talks about his mother coming from Scotland—she’s white. And he never talks about any white person of birtherism. DDT supports white “birtherism”: his properties, owned by Russians, are available to pregnant Russian women deliberately coming to the U.S. where the birth of their children gives the offspring dual citizenship. In 2017, journalists found DDT’s apartments, owned by Russians, were part of packages costing $75,000 and up, including medical care. Dual citizenship gives children born in the U.S. advantages in education, jobs, and applications for green cards to move their family here.

Giving COVID-19 data to GOP mega-donors: CDC no longer has first-hand information on COVID-19 hospital occupancy, ICU usage, contagious disease, and death to be made public. In July, DDT gave this information to Michael Zamagias who demanded changes in data and its coding while blocking the information from any source other than TeleTracking Technologies. The CDC had not information for days and never gained a complete set of data. Governors can’t find out what’s happening in their own states, and numbers now made public are probably not accurate. TeleTracking has signed the Trumpian “no disclosure agreement” and won’t give even the Congress any information.

Making more false charges against Joe Biden: Republicans in both congressional chambers openly refuse to prevent DDT from encouraging foreign interference in the November election, and AG Bill Barr’s job is to stop any prosecutions of DDT’s friends despite confessions of crimes. Both Barr and his “assistant” John Durham have circled the world, soliciting information to back up DDT’s conspiracies about Biden and Russian investigation. Barr promised to release any negative information before the 2020 election. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave Republicans 1,600 pages of damning information to swing the election to DDT—but not to the Democrats—and DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani gave Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) more “dirt” shared with GOP friends.

Creating a non-existent threat to excuse violence: The removal of DDT’s personal militia from Portland (OR) has calmed down the protests, but DDT has provided he can ratchet up racial tension and cause his own “riots” whenever and wherever he wishes. DDT has shown the fake dangers of “antifa” to his conservative world and refuses to mention problems of violence from the right wing. For example, a far-right protester fired two gunshots into a group of about Black Lives Matter demonstrators at the “Rally against Domestic Terrorism.” Several other right-wing protesters carried high-powered guns as well as Mace, paintball guns, and a 9 mm handgun.  The man firing at the demonstrators has been making violent threats about knives and guns against antifa for years. Last week, a group of leftist demonstrators in Laurelhurst Park reported pipe bombs thrown at them, and another pipe bomb was thrown at demonstrators in downtown Portland as they were dispersing. DDT hasn’t mentioned the far-right violence.

Refusing to negotiate on pandemic relief: The House gave the Senate a stimulus relief bill over two months ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused it and blamed Democrats for being the hold-up, and DDT is ignoring the crisis. McConnell threw together a bill including billions for F-35 fighter jets—that still don’t work to look as if he’s making some effort, and DDT signed useless measures to great fanfare.

Trying to steal the election by destroying the post office: Even if Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s lives up to his promise to suspend USPS sabotage until after the election, he has already done a tremendous amount of damage. Mail sorting machines—at least 671 of them—have been not only removed but also destroyed at the loss of millions of dollars. Many of these were in places considered swing districts for the election. Estimates of reduction in pieces of mail processed per hours are 394,000 in Pontiac (MI), 327,000 in Columbus (OH), and 324,000 in Philadelphia (PA). Nationwide, DeJoy’s removal of the machine reduced 21.4 million pieces of mail process per hour. DeJoy even took out plain shelves used for manual mail sorting. People in southeast Washington, DC have waited weeks for their mail, including medications and paychecks. In rural Michigan, people are waiting two weeks for their diabetes medicine [Above left: The view of DDT when a reporter asks him how removing sorting machines speeds up mail delivery.]

[Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) may also be in reelection trouble with the USPS debacle. Although she expressed “concern” about the slowdown of the delivery, she co-sponsored the 2005 legislation requiring the USPS to pre-pay the next 50 years of health and retirement benefits for all employees, unique among federal agencies, and then forced it through a lame-duck congressional session. The law forced the postal service to put $5.5 billion into a pension fund every year from 2007 and 2016 as well as prohibiting the USPS from any new money-making activities. Three-fourths of the debt is because of the pension plan, and the USPS has no way to create new revenue. Maine voters have noticed.]

Attempting to commit genocide: Worse that the above destructive actions, DDT’s mishandling of COVID-19 wasn’t entirely careless or mistaken. DDT, Kushner, and the entire coronavirus team knew hundreds of thousands of people would die without action. They did nothing because they figured only people in blue states would die and then they could blame the governors of those states. It was all a ploy to help DDT’s election. They didn’t realize the pandemic would hit red states and DDT’s base. DDT’s sabotage of coronavirus testing has led to people waiting outside in the Arizona and Texas heat for up to 13 hours. With this election strategy, at least 175,074 people have died in the U.S. of the virus. The report of fewer infections—43,999—in the U.S. during the last 24 hours is most likely lower than reality because DDT’s donor running the only place with data an conceal the daily additions. Even so, the number of infections in the U.S. is closing in on six million. DDT never followed through with any of his promises because he thought it would lose him the election. The deaths, the cases, the lack of testing and PPE—it was all premeditated.  

Tomorrow, the theme for the third night of the Democratic Convention is “A More Perfect Union.”

August 15, 2020

DDT: Week 186 – Climate Disasters Match Politics

With most of the focus on shenanigans from Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), the media largely ignored the derecho, the devastating storm hitting the Midwest last week. Suffering winds of over 100 miles an hour, Iowa lost 43 percent of its corn and soybean crops—almost ten million acres—and 15 tornadoes in Illinois left 800,000 without power. Four days later, roads have stayed blocked, and almost 133,000 are still without power. Heat alerts and advisories have been called in at least ten states this week, even on the Oregon coast.

The disastrous destruction of the Beirut explosion also wiped out 85 percent of grain silos in the city. The wheat supply goes through Beirut from Russia and Ukraine. A grain terminal and the largest grain elevator were also severely damaged.  

DDT continues to defend his decision to destroy the post office in his mission to be reelected, but the public has become more and more furious about his actions. After the USPS sent letters to 46 states and Washington, DC their ballots will probably be delayed, UPS released this statement to Reuters:

“State ballots must be postmarked to be considered valid, and only the USPS has lawful postmarking status. Therefore UPS, FedEx and other private parties cannot technically be involved in shipping ballots.”

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has not yet met with election officials who want to ask how the USPS plans to handle the mail-in voting. He has also not scheduled a meeting with a bipartisan group of secretaries of state, responsible for running elections, as they requested.

DDT spends a great deal of time explaining his perception of mail-in voting dangers, but he says nothing about the lack of safeguards against hacking by Russia and the U.S. in voting at the polls. A University of Michigan study reports the first major independent review of machines called ballot-marking devices, or BMDs, used by at least 18 percent of the country’s districts as default voting machines. They provide a paper record of votes for audits as a compromise between paperless voting computers and hand-marked paper ballots. Very few people verify the accuracy of their votes, however, allowing hackers to change the votes without detection. Pennsylvania is suing to block the use of the ExpressVote XL machines after that brand called the wrong winner in a county judge race last year. When using these machines in a simulated election, all 241 people had at least one of their votes changed, only 40 percent reviewed their ballots, and only seven percent told a poll worker about the problem. Even with instruction, no more people checked the results. Only one major bill from Congress sponsored by Ron Wyden (D-OR) mandated hand-marked ballots for security. And DDT never mentions the problem of cybersecurity.

DDT refused to admit that Kamala Harris is eligible to run for vice president.

As of June 30, Biden had said that DDT had not offered him any classified briefings, a traditional courtesy to a presidential candidate who wins the primary. Now, Biden takes more intelligence briefings than Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), the man sitting in the Oval Office and warned about Russia, China, and other foreign countries working to interfere in November’ election. DDT dropped from an average of 4.1 briefings a week to .07 at the present time. Despite tensions around the world, DDT allowed no briefings since July 22, 24 days ago. Biden, on the other hand, has regular briefings to be ready for his new position if he is elected in November. 

In a bipartisan letter to the DOJ, the Senate Intelligence Committee expressed concerns about DDT’s family and allies lying during the Russia investigation testimony. The letter cited Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and Hope Hicks. The committee also seeks an investigation into Steve Bannon for “potentially lying to lawmakers during its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.” The letter was sent July 19, 2019, but action has not been specified.

DDT’s vaunted trade deal with Mexico and Canada went into effect on July 1; his new ten-percent tariff on aluminum from Canada goes into effect tomorrow.  He announced the tariff on August 6 after he had dropped tariffs on metals from Canada to strike the trade deal. Most North American metal and manufacturing industries oppose the tariff during the COVID-19 economy because tariffs raise costs and kill jobs.

The Russian investigation still eats at DDT, and he’s turning on his FBI director, Christopher Wray. Asked if Wray was withholding documents about investigations of DDT’s former advisers Carter Page and Michael Flynn as well himself, DDT said, “I wish he was more forthcoming. He certainly hasn’t been.” 

 DDT’s problem with Wray continues his antagonism toward his own intelligence agencies. AG Bill Barr said he will release the report of the FBI investigation of DDT’s campaign to swing votes toward DDT, in the same kind of “October surprise” four years ago when FBI Director James Comey interfered with the election by casting doubt on presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ten days before the election.

It’s the year of five words. DDT brags about passing the cognitive test for dementia by making up and repeating five words. VP Mike Pence delivered another five words about Harris at his rally for Mormons: radical, taxes, borders, socialism, abortion. Watch for repetition of these words in the next 80 days. Pence also imitates DDT with his lying, in this case bragging about DDT’s magnificent job creation. Talking to Fox’s Sean Hannity, Pence claimed DDT had “seen us through the worst pandemic in 100 years” and “we’ve already created more jobs in the last three months than Joe Biden and Barack Obama created in their eight years in office.” He then tweeted the lie later. Yes, 9.3 million jobs were added between May and July, yet the U.S. lost 22 million jobs in March and April—still a shortage of 11.7 million jobs. During President Obama’s two terms when Joe Biden was vice president, the U.S. added over 11 million jobs. In other words, the net number of jobs lost in the past four months is about the same as created during the Obama administration. Net change of jobs since DDT’s inauguration is a minus 588,000—the worst jobs record of any president since before World War II.  Plus domestic job growth fell to an eight-year low during DDT’s third year in the Oval Office.

Pence also faces upcoming debates with Kamala Harris. His pretense of confidence was belied by his stutter. He knows he isn’t a good debater and Harris will be very different from four years ago against Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA). The first encounter between Pence and Harris is scheduled for October 7.  

UAE has become the first Gulf Arab state and the third Arab nation following Egypt and Jordan to develop diplomatic ties with Israel. The deal is intended to slow down Israeli annexation of the West Bank while encouraging tourism and trade between the two countries, but it merely approves Israel’s abuse of Palestine with killings, home demolitions, land theft, and apartheid laws. UAE’s shift from supporting Palestinian freedom to

The UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed’s change from supporting Palestinian dignity and freedom to backing Israel’s occupation pretends opposition to Islamic terrorism for his desire to stop democracy and respect for human rights. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also defends the UAE from its transfer of weapons bought from the U.S. to Al Qaeda-linked groups in Yemen. The UAE tortures prisoners in Yemen and violated a 2011 UN Security Council arms embargo in Libya. The UAE-Israel deal comes from DDT’s obsessive hostility toward Iran and props up three autocratic leaders—DDT, Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and bin Zayed at the cost of the Palestinians. The deal is based on DDT’s pretense the Palestinians don’t exist. DDT hopes the agreement will help his reelection, but, between the virus and the unemployment, voters probably won’t care.

Yesterday, the UN defeated U.S. attempts to extend a global arms embargo on Iran, a position supported only by the Dominican Republic supported the U.S. position. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s failure made the U.S. even more isolated on the world stage.

A government watchdog group reported DDT filed “fraudulent” documents to the U.S. government inflating the value of his golf clubs in Ireland and Scotland. Documents show he reported less revenue to UK and Ireland regulators than to the U.S. for the same properties. Both documents inflated the assets to get loans but deflated the value of the same assets for taxes. The American Democracy Legal Fund turned the data over to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance and the FBI.

DDT brags about the stock market as if it were the entire economy, but it’s the only thing seemingly getting better. Like a “K,” it goes up because the fed puts money into financial markets, and the remainder of the economy goes down:

  • Unemployment at 10.2 percent (highest level since the Great Depression) with closed businesses.
  • Consumer confidence fell in 41 states, 24 points below pre-pandemic average.
  • And people keep getting COVID-19 and dying from it.

On August 15, the U.S. has at least 5,529,789 cases and 172,606 deaths.

August 13, 2020

DDT Admits Election Sabotage with USPS

After 52 GOP senators exonerated the crimes of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) outlined in the impeachment charges, he has become increasingly outrageous. Today, he blatantly declared he’s sabotaging the election by blocking mail-in voting through refusing to provide congressionally-approved funding to the USPS. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has given hundreds of billions of dollars to private businesses that don’t meet the requirement for the CARES Act but held $10 billion from the post office. DDT also sneered at requests of $3.5 billion in election assistance for states and $25 billion for USPS as “ridiculous.” DDT’s statement this morning on Fox:

“Now they need that money in order to make the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots…But if they don’t get those two items that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting…”

Ever since DDT discovered that his arch-enemy Amazon ships some of their goods through the USPS, DDT has declared war on the only federal agency required to be self-supporting. Republicans want to privatize the USPS so they put roadblocks into its way to meet this goal. The lame-duck GOP Congress of 2006 passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, forcing the USPS to fund healthcare and pension liabilities for 50 years, preventing any increase in postage over the rate of inflation, and mandating six days of mail delivery a week. No other private or public entity is required to prefund health benefits. Yet revenues for the second quarter of 2020 increased by over $300 million, totaling $17.8 billion, and 2019 revenue were up $500 million from 2018. Dealings with such corporations as Amazon, Walmart, and Target has helped revenues to grow during every year since 2012.

New Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, DDT’s friend and big-time donor, has put together a series of destructive actions to make the USPS ineffective—eliminating overtime, dismantling and taking mail-sorting machines from post offices, reallocating and firing key USPS officials, implementing a hiring freeze, requesting “early retirement authority” for non-union employees, removing mailboxes, etc. Trucks were photographed in Portland and Eugene (OR) with removed mailboxes. USPS has also asserted it will not treat all election mail as First Class while increasing the cost of mailing ballots from $.20 for bulk mail to $.55 for First Class expenditures. At the same time, Ohio’s GOP Secretary of State refuses to have more than one dropbox per precinct although state law does not ban dropboxes. 

DeJoy has a vested interest in helping DDT sabotage the election through the USPS. He holds at least $30 million of shares in XPO Logistics which does business with the USPS. Although he sold large amounts of Amazon shares when he was appointed, he purchased stock options giving him the ability to buy new Amazon shares at a lower price than the current market price.

Since DeJoy began to make his changes, starting with lack of overtime, the mail delivery has gone to a crawl, and people are complaining about the poor operations of the USPS—sometimes ignoring DeJoy’s total responsibility for the debacle. The slowness of delivery turned people to private companies, thus hurting USPS revenue and raising concerns about USPS’ ability to deliver ballots.

Not counting votes is one GOP strategy to win an election; 1,913,369 ballots cast in the 2016 presidential race were not counted. The chance of having a vote uncounted in Florida was 900 percent higher for Blacks than other races. In Michigan, 50,000 challengers in 2016 challenged every vote not for DDT. Most of the 75,355 ballots never counted in Michigan were in Detroit with a population of only ten percent white. A recount funded by third candidate Jill Stein in Detroit found ballots not read because of 87 broken down machines during the morning rush. The ballots cast during that time were not run through the scanner and recorder. The number of ballots in the broken machines didn’t match the number of ballots the machines said it counted. The state’s GOP Attorney General ruled that precincts could not be recounted if the number of physical paper ballots didn’t match the scanner count from the 87 broken machines. DDT won Michigan by 10,704 votes but received all their Electoral College votes.

Another DDT strategy in winning the election through destroying mail-in voting comes from lawsuits. He sued Nevada for its new law to send mail-in ballots to all voters and Pennsylvania for using dropboxes in addition to the post office for absentee ballots. Thus far, the Republican election campaign has spent over $20 million in these and other similar lawsuits throughout a total of over a dozen states including Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida. Donors for this legal fund are supplied by coal tycoon Bob Murray, Charles Schwab, Woody Johnson (heir of Johnson & Johnson), Marvel Entertainment chair Ike Perlmutter, etc.

These lawsuits add to types of earlier voter suppression—Voter ID laws, purges, shortage of early voting and polling places, etc. In addition, DDT’s campaign is hiring thousands of people to question all absentee ballots after the election, especially in “too close to all” precincts, that can swing the entire state for DDT.

The District of Columbia and 34 states already offer absentee voting without an excuse, and eight of those states automatically receive requests for absentee voting applications. In another eight states, every registered voter automatically receives ballots in the mail. Thus 76 percent of voters in the United States can mail in their ballots without requesting permission. A map is provided here. Fifty million voters in seven red states and New York need a really good reason for absentee ballots.  

Republicans realize DDT’s sabotage of mail-in voting may hurt the GOP vote. DDT’s campaign sent at least one email in Pennsylvania asking DDT’s supporters to get absentee ballots for the primary election and promoted a DDT-branded website to help voters with the process. Discovering that older people in Florida, DDT’s base, vote by mail, DDT guaranteed them that Florida and states with Republicans governors would be safe voting absentee—or “mail in.” He also encouraged DDT people in North Carolina to get absentee ballots to vote for GOP Sen. Thom Tillis but urged them not to use “mail-in” voting.  He promised, “Absentee voting is a secure process. It’s initiated by the voter—you request it—and every voter is verified. Every vote is verified.”  In 2018, North Carolina GOP operative Leslie McCrae Dowless was charged with voting fraud for harvesting both absentee requests and the ballots themselves. The election was thrown out because of illegal voting. With only a 34 percent approval rating, North Carolina’s GOP Sen. Thom Tillis is facing a tight reelection race this November.

According to Pew Research polling, 65 percent of adults believe any voter should be able to vote early or absentee without an excuse. An additional 14 percent wanted a documented reason which would include COVID-19 should count as one of the reasons. Therefore, only 19 percent of Americans believe voters should need an excuse other than the pandemic to vote absentee.

Last Monday, DDT said Democrats pushing for greater mail-in voting creates a bigger threat to democracy than Russia does. After DDT explained he was trying to sabotage the election by not funding the USPS, Larry Kudlow, DDT’s economic adviser, summarized the disdain of DDT and his administration for democracy and the U.S. Constitution by calling voting rights “really liberal, left wish lists.” Kudlow added, “That’s not our game, and the president can’t accept that kind of deal.”

[Note: Later in the day, DDT said he’d sign a bill with funding for the elections and the post office but wouldn’t ask DeJoy to make any changes. Yet the USPS has still to get the $10 billion congressional funding from March, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is making the $10 billion subject to the USPS revealing confidential information. So DeJoy can continue dismantling an institution established in the U.S. Constitution with a 93-percent approval by the people of the United States.]

John Lewis, beaten and bleeding, went to jail for the right to vote. Follow what he says—and mail your ballot back immediately. Better yet, find a drop box. The earlier the ballot, the less time Republicans have to contest your decision for leadership in the United States. If you don’t get your ballot on time, all the county clerk and ask why. Your vote this year can determine whether the United States keeps democratic ideals or turns into an autocracy with DDT the permanent dictator—like Vladimir Putin in Russia.   

As DDT claims that COVID-19 is under control on August 13, the U.S. has 55,364 new cases in 24 hours, totalling 5,415,666, and 1,284 more deaths, bringing the total to 170,415.

 

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