Nel's New Day

February 12, 2022

Updates: DDT, Protests, RNC, Abbott

The story of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) and his theft of gifts and federal documents may never end. This article is for people who want to claim DDT’s innocence. And other updates from stories earlier this week:  

Canadian Truck Convoy Protest:  

A judge gave permission to clear a primary crossing from Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit (MI), and Canadian police cleared the vehicles. Other protesters still prevented access from going south on the crossing with about 180 remaining late Saturday, February 12. That crossing is the busiest between the two countries, carrying about 25 percent of the trade.

Demonstrators blocked the Ambassador Bridge for the past five days claiming they objected to a vaccination mandate to cross the border. Protests began on January 29.  Lack of parts forced Ford to temporarily stop work at an Ohio assembly plant in Ohio, and General Motors and Toyota announced production cuts, costing up to $700 million. This crossing is one of at least three closed to commerce by truckers, the others into Montana and North Dakota.  

The Toronto-Dominion has frozen two protester group’s personal bank accounts  of $1.1 million deposited by different crowdfunding sites, now blocked, one of them by the Canadian Superior Court of Justice. Much of the money came from the United States. 

The protesting truckers are not representative of Canadian truckers or population. The Canadian Trucking Alliance disavowed the participants, saying that most of them “have no connection with the trucking industry.” Over 84 percent of the Canadian population is vaccinated, compared to 64 percent of people in the U.S., and two-thirds of Canadians oppose the protest. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing 1.4 million people in the U.S. Canada, and Puerto Rico, also opposes the blockade at the border, stating it “continues to hurt workers and negatively impact our economy. The livelihood of working Americans and Canadians in the automotive, agricultural, and manufacturing sectors is threatened by this blockade.”

France and Belgium are banning road blockades, but reports in the U.S. indicate demonstrations affecting Super Bowl on Sunday and the State of the Union address next month. Paris police fired tear gas at demonstrators on the Champs Elysees avenue after a convoy of protesters against COVID restrictions moved into the French capital.

The Fox network leads the U.S. media charge in supporting the protest following the show hosts’ objections to vaccination despite their employer’s requirement they have them.  The network has spent over ten airtime hours for the story with over an hour each for Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, and at least 14 protest participants have been hosted on Fox. In the past month, Fox News has mentioned the truckers or Ottawa 2.5 times as often as CNN and five times as often as MSNBC. The network praises protesters just as they did the insurrectionists on January 6, 2021, calling them “freedom fighters” and more.

Participation in the convoy protest comes from a coordination between anti-vax and anti-government organizations, many of them QAnon conspiracy theorists. Popular among the protesters are the Confederate and neo-Nazi flags as well as QAnon logos. Fake accounts on social media connected to content mills in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Romania, and other countries have pushed popularity with the right wing, including lawmakers Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) as well as DDT. Right-wingers convinced Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) that the truckers had overturned the Canadian government, and Joe Rogan, in trouble on Spotify for his lies and racism, claimed there were “like 50,000 trucks” protesting instead of the highest estimate thus far of 18,000. Other lies were the resignation of “50 percent of the Ottawa police force” in support and Canada blocking hotels from renting to convoy protesters.

Teamsters General Jim Hoffa explained the support is to disrupt the supply chain causing economic stabilization and weakened government in power. It follows the CIA’s destabilizing Chile’s government run by democratically elected Salvador Allende with a truckers’ strike in 1972. Allende was soon overthrown by right-wing dictator General Augusto Pinochet. 

RNC Censure Resolution: 

Most GOP congressional members have completely separated themselves from the RNC after their voice vote to censure Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), members of the January 6 investigative committee. On Bulwark, Willliam Saletan compiled the dizzying spin of cultish Republicans as they excuse their censure of Cheney and Kinzinger for taking ethical action and called the January 6 insurrection, a “legitimate political discourse.”

  • They voted to impeach DDT—the second time.
  • They are taking part in a plot to sabotage the GOP. Cheney voted for DDT 93 percent of the time and Kinzinger 90 percent.
  • Republicans say: We’re not on the committee; it’s their business.
  • Nikki Haley doesn’t want “Republicans going against Republicans.”
  • Republicans aren’t responsible for the RNC, and Chris Christie, who wanted to be the RNC chair, says the resolution is irrelevant.
  • According to Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Cheney is on her own with Wyoming voters.
  • Cheney and Kinzinger are losers because Cheney was removed from House TOP leadership and will probably lose her primary. Kinzinger isn’t running for re-election.
  • The January 6 investigation is illegitimate because it’s an attack on DDT, his family, friends, and “all the people he fought for,” claimed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).
  • The investigation is illegitimate because it’s partisan after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “rejected [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy’s appointees.” She only refused two, one of them who might be subpoenaed and both who suggested they will sabotage the committee. McCarthy pulled all of his nominees.
  • The investigation is illegitimate because it goes beyond the events of January 6 that led up to the attack: coercion of state officials, recruitment of fake electors, threats to seize voting machines, etc. The GOP wanted to know everything about the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic outpost killing four people but nothing about what led to January 6.
  • The investigation is illegitimate because it goes beyond security failures.
  • Nobody cares about January 6.
  • DDT is right to question the election, from Republicans who pander to the cult leader.

A self-appointed House “committee,” including DDT supporters Jordan, Banks, Rodney Davis (IL), Kelly Armstrong (ND), and Troy Nehls (TX), is investigating the Capitol Police to blame them for the January 6 attack. A bipartisan Senate report has found that intelligence agencies didn’t sufficiently warn law enforcement before the riot; senior officials in charge of the Capital Police didn’t receive a January 5, 2021, FBI memo warning of a brewing “war” in Washington. Lacking subpoena power, the shadow House group relies on voluntary interviews.  

After the RNC censure resolution, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) repeated his assertion that January 6 was a “violent insurrection” intended to “prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election.” DDT reacted:

“Mitch McConnell does not speak for the Republican Party, and does not represent the views of the vast majority of its voters. He did nothing to fight for his constituents and stop the most fraudulent election in American history.”

McConnell’s popularity is 25 percent, but the number of conservatives who identify as “supporters of Trump” versus “supporters of the Republican Party” shrank to 36 percent from 46 percent. Conservative Sen. Kevin Kramer (ND) accused the RNC of getting “caught up in its own bubble” with “a complete lack of understanding or awareness of the people they’re supposed to be representing.”

According to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, 68 percent of registered voters think the January 6 insurrectionists should not be pardoned as DDT suggested he might do: 81 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of unaffiliated, and 54 percent of Republicans. Only 20 percent of registered voters want them pardoned despite DDT’s offer to do it at his Texas rally.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

The problems Abbott has after indefinitely assigning 6,500 National Guard members to the Mexico border worsened after the sixth soldier died from an accidental shooting by a fellow soldier. The 19-year-old was handing a personal weapon to another soldier in the backseat of a parked vehicle, and the gun’s discharge hit him in the back. He died at the scene. All six deaths were from personal weapons, four of them suicides since October when they were hastily mobilized. A ruse for arresting asylum seekers at the border is for law enforcement to order them to a particular location and then charging them with trespassing.

A progressive Lincoln Project ad lambasted Abbott for failing Texas a year ago when millions of Texas faced freezing temperatures without heat or electricity. Several people died in their homes from the cold. Abbott faces primary challenges on March 1 from other Republicans. The ad points out the millions in campaign cash Abbott received from “big power and energy companies.”

A federal judge temporarily blocked Texas counties from criminally charging public officials for encouraging the use of mail ballots for the March 1 primary election. The new state voting law includes this provision in trying to prevent mail-in ballots used by over one million Texas voters in the 2020 election. The new law also permits heavy restrictions on who can mail their ballots and violates their privacy by demanding they include their driver’s license or partial Social Security number on the envelope. Thousands of mail ballots have been flagged for possible rejection, including 40 percent of those received in Harris County with about 2.5 million registered voters.

And then there’s the unraveling Russia-Ukraine problem. Too much news these days!

April 24, 2021

 Troubles for Trump—and His Minions

(more…)

January 16, 2021

DDT: Weeks 207 & 208 – ‘The Big Lies’

Only the legacy of insurrection and sedition left by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) rises above his cruelty and inhumanity. He started his white supremacist campaign on June 16, 2015 when he declared people from Mexico are “rapists” who are “bringing drugs, and he finished it as a cult leader of a white supremacist terror cell attacking the U.S. Capitol.

The DOJ inspector general’s report about DDT’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy for immigrants proves DDT’s incessant cruelty. Interviews and email reviews define DDT’s involvement in the policy of separating separate children from their families with no hope of reunification. Too little too late, former Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein expressed regret, “I wish we all had done better.”

The report’s findings match the 21-month House Judiciary Committee’s investigation accusing DDT’s administration of “reckless incompetence and intentional cruelty.” Last November, 666 children, 20 percent under the age of five, were still not reunited with their families. Children reunified suffered trauma described by doctors as “torture” and “state-sanctioned child abuse” after U.S. officials had told the children they would never see their families again. Only public outrage over such revelations as a breastfeeding baby torn from the mother and a man’s suicide after separation from his wife and child forced the government to slightly modify its policy. The government continued its human rights violation with the removal of reproductive organs from immigrant women in concentration facilities until recently.  

In another cruel act, DDT and his HHS Secretary Alex Azar lied about releasing the “reserve” vaccines to increase the number of people receiving vaccinations.  DDT had claimed he was saving the doses for booster shots, but Azar finally admitted the government started sending out the reserves in December with the final shipment last week. Three years after DDT was inaugurated, he falsely accused President Obama of leaving “a bare cupboard” with no PPP supplies. Yet the “bare cupboard” with no vaccine is exactly what DDT leaves Joe Biden’s administration. Millions of people—teachers, healthcare workers, elders, etc.—expected to receive the vaccinations as soon as this month. Instead, everyone will watch DDT fly away on Air Force One the morning of January 20 for the last time and wonder when they will be vaccinated.

Biden’s transition team has been blocked from access to information or personnel about the production and distribution of the vaccine. Team members were also not briefed on new policies such as offering the vaccine to anyone with high-risk medical conditions, guaranteed to fail because of DDT’s vaccine shortage. Another policy to be put into effect after Biden became president was designed to penalize slower-moving states. Biden has promised to not punish any states. The new administration is developing a real plan for vaccinating the nation while dropping DDT’s name “Operation Warp Speed” for the vaccine.

Azar submitted his resignation letter dated January 12. He blamed DDT’s “actions and rhetoric” for tarnishing the administration’s legacy and touted his own accomplishments, including the COVID-19 vaccine. He omitted his lies to the people exacerbating its disaster with over 400,000 deaths, instead claiming that he saved millions of lives. He also didn’t mention his most recent lie to the states about having reserves for vaccinations or address the 20 million vaccinations he promised by the end of December. The total of doses delivered is currently 10.6 million.

January 15 would have been the 92nd birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr, and DDT is using this anniversary by executing people. The execution on King’s birthday, DDT’s 13th since last summer when AG Bill Barr thought killing people is a good idea, is the third in three days. The first woman to be executed in the U.S. since 1953 was killed January 13; she was seriously mentally ill. Another man, intellectually disabled, was killed January 14. Courts had objected to their executions. The DOJ complained that the U.S. would suffer more harm from the inconvenience of rescheduling private contractors than prisoners would be harmed by their deaths.

The most recent man executed was convicted in Maryland which outlawed the death penalty. Because the Federal Death Penalty Act bans executions for people from states banning the killing of prisoners, DOJ moved the case to Indiana, which does permit executions. Lawyers objected, and the legality of DOJ’s move to Indiana has a hearing on January 27—12 days after DOJ killed him. DOJ also lied about his killing three women: his co-defendant, who actually did the killing, is in prison for life without parole.

Michael Pack, CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, wants to continue propagandizing government-funded broadcasts from Voice of America (VOA) and other networks such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty during the Biden administration. He serves as chair of the networks’ boards and packed them with conservative activists and DDT loyalists. The boards have agreed to binding contractual agreements which supposedly cannot be removed for another two years except “for cause.”

Because of internal objections and objections, the new presidents, appointed by Pack this month, have not yet signed the contracts. The European network reaches over 40 million people in 27 languages across 23 countries, including Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and Ukraine; Radio Free Asia audiences are in China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and North Korea. Some VOA journalists signed a letter demanding Pack and his deputy resign for their use of VOA in a “propaganda event” for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the “sudden and unexplained” reassignments of the chief news editor and White House correspondent. Pompeo told the journalists at the event “to cease critical coverage of the United States.” A VOA journalist who tried to ask Pompeo questions after his speech was taken off the White House beat, and the new chief news editor told her she doesn’t “know how to behave!”

As a lame duck, DDT suffers continued financial losses:

Three banks—Signature, Professional, and Deutsche—stopped doing business with DDT. Signature, where DDT has a $5.3 million loan, closed his personal accounts; Professional in Florida had loaned DDT’s company $11.2 million to buy his sister’s home near Mar-a-Lago; and Deutsche, which holds $400 million in loans for DDT, will no longer lend to him.

Real estate giant Cushman & Wakefield will not work with DDT, including office leasing at Trump Tower and 40 Wall Street as well as retail leasing in Chicago. DDT has lost the real estate broker to sell his hotel in D.C.

Four Trump-branded hotels closed, and his company’s plans for new hotel chains disappeared. Biden is now DDT’s new “landlord” at the D.C. hotel because the government holds the lease.

Decorated chef David Burke left DDT’s D.C. hotel’s BLT Prime restaurant.

DDT’s worldwide 19 golf courses won’t be holding international events—the 2022 PGA at Bedminister (NJ) and the British Open at Turnberry (Scotland). His tax returns show a $315.6 million loss over two decades. Turnberry, Trump International Scotland, and Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland together lost $63.6 million, and Trump National Doral (Miami, FL) lost $162.3 up to 2018.

Shopiify will not host TrumpStore.com.

New York City is considering canceling all contracts with DDT’s company, including operating the Central Park skating rink.

DDT is facing state-level investigations into his financial practices in New York, probably blocking his former business of money laundering and tax fraud. The unconstitutional emoluments will be gone.

And Lehigh University, Robert Gordon University, and Wagner College rescinded and revoked honorary degrees given DDT. He keeps only two honorary degrees from Liberty University.

At least, DDT doesn’t need to look for a new job; his staffers aren’t as lucky. With their negative branding, they are having difficulty. One PR recruiter who took only six of over a dozen staffers as clients couldn’t get interviews for any of them. One recruiter talked about the applicants “narcissistic attitudes, thinking any company” would want to hire them. For the first few couple of months after the election, staffers couldn’t even openly look for a job, afraid that the personnel director would carry through with his threat to fire them.

PR firm Burson Cohn and Wolfe (BCW), with executives from both Clinton and W. Bush administrations, stated it has “no current plans to hire from this administration.” In an op-ed, Forbes wrote it will assume any company or firm hiring current or former press secretaries is always telling lies. Former DDT officials such as Mick Mulvaney and John Bolton want jobs as a television commentator or an academic, but Fox has only so much room and the lying goes for academia. One media executive said:

“We’re not taking people who have no credibility. Very few of them have real value beyond Fox News, [One America News], and Newsmax.”

Recent polls:

  • 76 percent: Voters rating DDT’s conduct since the election as fair or poor, up eight points from November and now 62 percent “poor.”
  • 84 percent: support for another stimulus package, including 56 percent from Republicans.
  • 56 percent: support for Congress to disqualify DDT from future offices.
  • 66 percent: belief DDT acted irresponsibly since election.
  • 71 percent: DDT’s responsibility for the Capitol attack from “a great deal” to “good amount.”
  • 54 percent: in favor of charging DDT for crime of inciting a riot.
  • 69 percent: viewing white supremacists as a serious problem.

Last week, DDT fired Byung Pak, his appointed Georgia U.S. Attorney, after DDT insisted Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger “find” another 11,780 votes to swing the state for DDT. Furious because Pak wouldn’t help him change the votes, DDT replaced him with Bobby Christine who brought assistants involved in monitoring election fraud. Christine dismissed two DDT election fraud cases on his first day.

Four more days until the inauguration.  

December 29, 2020

Biden Waits, DDT Sabotages

Ignoring security for the United States, the lame-duck administration of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and the GOP continues its roadblocks against the new Biden/Harris administration, depriving people in the U.S. of safety, including members of the military.

Vital information about budgets, U.S. military forces, troop withdrawal, and the Russian cyber espionage is being withheld from the transition team of President-elect Joe Biden. The result, the most contentious presidential transition in decades, means danger for U.S. interests in both domestic and foreign issues. DDT frequently talked about his conversation with President Obama about sensitive national security matters but refuses to meet with Biden and anyone from Biden’s transition team for the same purpose.

A senior Pentagon official admitted the Defense Department is deliberately keeping budgetary data from Biden, who said he needed “a clear picture” to “deter our enemies.” Although saying that the Pentagon had been “completely transparent … on fiscal 2021 budget” and “topline information on the fiscal 2022-2026 program,” a spokesperson said the Office of Management and Budget hasn’t authorized the release of the full details of the FY22-26 program.” Answers to follow-up questions from the transition team demand a lengthy process. Biden also said the Defense Department refused to brief the transition team on last week’s huge cyberattack on government agencies and private U.S. companies. The department also continues to “deny and delay” meetings with transition members.

DDT’s officials admit they don’t want to give Biden any help in dealing with DDT’s priorities, such as building a wall on the southern U.S. border. Biden has vowed to stop the building of the wall upon his inauguration as DDT has charged ahead to damage and degrade the land with little planning. McAllen (TX) has more illegal crossings than other regions but almost no construction because ranchers and other landowners oppose the wall impacting their property. DDT brags about the miles of wall he has built, but only 40 of the 440 miles is new barrier. The remainder replaces or upgrades existing fences and bollards. No one know if DDT’s fence blocks migrants, but they are destroying natural habitats and species, some of them endangered. Biden’s plan to stop wall construction saves the nation $2.6 billion after about $700 million winds up current construction contracts. The funding can be returned to building projects on U.S. military bases.

At least a dozen existing construction contracts in Texas are on land the government doesn’t own, costing the government $1.6 million while contractors wait around. In this area, the administration planned 110 miles but finished only 15 miles. The Army Corps of Engineers won’t award contracts until it has the land, but high-level decision can override the agency. After the government awards the contract on land it doesn’t own, it goes to court to demand the land because it’s being penalized for not beginning construction. The court must give permission before building begins. In Texas, 70 condemnation cases have been filed since September; 53 are in one county where the government filed 25 lawsuits since Election Day. Much of the property has been in the families for generations. One owner came into the U.S. over 40 years ago as an undocumented immigrant on the same property he bought 30 years ago after he became a legal U.S. resident. His ranch would be behind the wall on the Mexican side.

After the inauguration, Biden faces other crises such as the slowing global economy, dangerous climate change, and accelerating racial problems, especially with DDT’s increasing promotion of domestic terrorism by white supremacists. DDT has played down the cyber attack, refusing to admit it could be by Russians because his entire focus has been on the mythical election fraud and developing strategies to overturn the nation’s majority win for Biden.

In opposition to the upcoming administration, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia completed regulations allowing federal contractors to discriminate against racial and religious minorities, women, and LGBTQ people by calling the rules “religious liberty.” The new regulations affect about 4 million employees and follow Scalia’s refusal to protect employers from infection and death in the COVID-19 crisis. By removing language from statutes and court decisions, Scalia classifies almost all contractors as “religious, permits them to discriminate based on the employers’ belief in “religious tenets,” and removes the ability to identify lawbreaking. The contractors can select employees based on their religion, also breaking the law.

Throughout his past three years, DDT also wants to consider mandating agencies to delineate policy goals and show progress in the achievement for budgeting purposes to restrict Biden from his own budget processes. Circular A-11, a thousand-page document, must be used to justify funding requests. It would, however, remove strategic planning and performance measures from budget guidelines as required in a 1933 congressional law. The same order mandating Circular A-11 also permits a new classification of federal employees who aren’t permitted civil service protections. Federal employee unions are suing to stop the new class of workers.

Other DDT infiltration of Biden’s administration is filling multi-year positions left empty for years with DDT’s loyalists. 

DDT also continues his plan to overturn the election. Following DDT’s strategy, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) is suing VP Mike Pence, demanding he not count electoral votes from states DDT wants to exclude. The Constitution does not permit Gohmert’s demand, but Gohmert and his Arizona cohort Kelli “Chem Trail” Ward got the idea from a meeting with Pence and DDT last week to plot keeping DDT in the Oval Office. The case was filed with DDT-appointed Judge Jeremy Kernodle in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The text of the Twelfth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

“The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted.”

Steve Benen wrote about the party that ran on following the U.S. Constitution and appointing “textual originalists” to the Supreme Court bench:

“In 2020, an elected member of Congress not only believes a vice president should have the unilateral power to decide the outcome of a presidential election, that same lawmaker expects the federal judiciary to make it happen. We are now watching people who call themselves conservatives argue that vice presidents should have unilateral power to decide presidential elections.”

DDT becomes increasingly angry with judges, especially Supreme Court justices, who refuse to overturn the election in his favor. Yesterday, he called the three he appointed “totally incompetent and weak” as well as chicken-hearted. A look at the rulings against DDT’s evidence-free election fraud claims.

With under ten percent of the promised 20 million vaccinations before the end of the year just two days before the deadline, Biden has been warned about delays for mass distribution, already experienced, worsening after his inauguration. One concern is whether DDT’s team has provided unrealistic expectations and no organization after Biden is inaugurated. DDT failed to order additional doses beyond the original one million earlier this year; a new order of 100 million doses for 50 more million people won’t be available until July 31, 2021. 

Biden is delivering difficult news either ignored or denied by DDT. Unable to take charge for another three weeks, Biden passes along the same news as many governors and medical experts about “this dark winter of the pandemic.” Last week, he said, “Our darkest days in the battle against COVID are ahead of us, not behind us.” Tuesday, he described the months ahead as “a very tough period for our nation” and asked people to make sacrifices to destroy the virus. Biden said, “It’s going to take all the grit and determination we have as Americans to get it done.” Yet he has a plan to give 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days

Almost 70 percent of people in the U.S. support a mask-wearing mandate on federal property, and 72 percent want masks required in public places. Two-thirds of the respondents believe masks should be required with anyone outside the household. The poll shows a majority for both Democrats and Republicans.

Two GOP leaders, Massachusetts GOP leader Tom Mountain and Rep.-elect Luke Letlow (R-LA), suffered from their lack of masks. Mountain now recognized his mistake of attending a White House Hanukkah Party where the 100+ mingled closely, mostly without masks. He spent days in the hospital, close to needing a ventilator, and still suffers after over two weeks. His wife, who wisely didn’t attend the party, still contracted coronavirus along with Mountain’s son, daughter-in-law, and mother-in-law. Letlow, 41, died after testing positive for COVID-19 eleven days ago. Married, he had two young children.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 400,000 deaths in the U.S. before Biden’s inauguration in three weeks. Past deaths in the U.S.: 100,000, May; 200,000, four months later; 300,000 in three months. Weekly deaths are expected to rise through January 16, 2021. By tomorrow, the number of infections will go above 20 million and deaths about 350,000. December 29, 2020: new cases in U.S. – 194,460; new deaths – 3,398.

December 27, 2020

Week 205: DDT Belatedly Signs Bill, Other Catch-Ups

When I heard that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) had signed the stimulus bill to keep millions of people temporarily out of poverty, all I could think was “what a piece of garbage.” He didn’t demand $2,000 checks because he cared about people. If he was sincere, he would have told sycophant Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to do it. Instead, he waited until Mnuchin and Congress to finish the bill before he had his tantrums. Mnuchin declared the approved bill “fabulous,” but DDT wanted attention. He got it by ruining his beloved “Christmas” (remember when he said Joe Biden would take away Christmas?!) for tens of millions of people who suffer from his mismanagement of the pandemic. If DDT had led the United States into health last March, hundreds of thousands of people in the nation wouldn’t have died, and hundreds of millions of others wouldn’t be living a life of deprivation and insecurity.

Stalling on the signing for several days, DDT still created more permanent misery. Twelve million people will get unemployment benefits for another 11 weeks, but those in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs for gig workers won’t get a payment for the final week of the year because DDT signed it Sunday instead of Saturday. In addition, the $300 federal enhancement may last only 10 weeks instead of 11. DDT pompously said he’d sign the bill but wanted Senate to increase stimulus checks to $2,000 with no congressional commitment. Republicans in the House have consistently turned down that amount. Info about the stimulus relief bill. 

Follow-up on DDT’s and AG Bill Barr’s executions from internal documents

  • Public explanations for the picks of executed prisoners misstated key facts from the cases.
  • One of the claims falsified the executed man “murdered … an 8-year-old girl.” He refused to kill her so the co-defendant, who received a life sentence instead of the death penalty, murdered the girl.  
  • The claim about the execution being for “the victims and families” was a lie: family members objected to one of the executions.
  • The claim that the first ten executions were of the oldest inmates sentenced to death is false.
  • The Justice Department didn’t review the prisoners’ physical or mental health before the execution: one had an IQ between 70 and 75, and the other suffered from schizophrenia, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Executions were done in the middle of the night.
  • One prisoner was strapped to the gurney with an IV to kill him while lawyers worked to remove a court order.
  • Another prisoner was executed during a pending appeal.
  • Executioners bought drugs from a secret pharmacy failing a quality test, drugs officials knew might not face a court scrutiny.
  • An “expert” witness hired to testify the drug is humane is not a physician or licensed care provider; he is a professor of chemistry and pharmacology at Vanderbilt University. The second witness is a retired California anesthesiologist.
  • An execution took 28 minutes for the man to die while he gasped for breath.
  • The government hired private executioners and paid them in cash.
  • Barr was the final authority for buying drugs and issuing public information, but he didn’t act alone.

More about DDT and Barr’s executions.  

Late last night, I posted a piece about Democratic socialism. This morning I read my partner’s Facebook page on the same subject. I was amazed because we had not talked about the subject. Hers is much better than mine—see below.   

“Democratic socialism is not socialism. Nor is it a political party. Democratic socialism protects our democracy by aiding capitalism and socialism to work together sharing in the welfare of the people.

“Government serves and protects, and privately owned business supports. Putting it bluntly, Democratic socialism is the fire department saving your house. Capitalism is the insurance company denying your claim. Democratic socialism collects taxes and returns our taxes back to us in services and protection such as building the infrastructure, Social Security, Medicare, police, fire, military, education—meaning all people collectively and equally reap the benefits. Capitalism produces the world in which we live, based upon supply and demand which, in turn, determines profit and loss for owners and stockholders in the privately owned sector.

“Both government and businesses provide the money for wages that, in turn, pay the taxes to the government and buy products from business. Working together. This was so successful during the middle part of last century that education became widely accessible, houses easy to buy, and the middle-class workers took home the greatest share of the wealth than ever before. Life was good. Too much vanilla but still good.

“Until Reagan. Again, bluntly put, under laissez-faire policies (no restrictions or limits) capitalism got greedy. Until Reagan, for every service or product capitalists provided to the government such as uniforms for the army, our government put a cap on what it would pay. Obviously limiting profits does not make any capitalist heart sing. And god knows how businesses love to raise prices any way they can.

“It was the rising oil prices that gave Reaganites a reason to attack government price limits. Along with the biggest cut in history for the rich, causing “stagflation” for the first time (rapid inflation and high unemployment), resulted in “trickle-down economy” which we now know does not work. Add destroying unions, and the removal of many price limits, especially military, in the Tax Reform Act, the stage was set for business takeover. Tragically for a stable economy, every time we got a tax cut Reagan Stagflation became the new norm.”

Thanks, Sue!

A few pieces from the past week or two. Only 23 days until Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) leaves the White House—one way or another, and the confusion is already in full swing. The White House emailed its employees to begin departing the premises on January 5, but two days later the White House Management Office emailed staff to disregard earlier message. “Updated information will be shared in the coming days.” Nothing since then.

Last Monday, more information about the cyber espionage reveals emails from Treasury Department senior officials have been hacked although Secretary Steve Mnuchin declares no classified information has been breached. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said no one knows the damage caused. Mnuchin said, “I can assure you, we are completely on top of this” but didn’t explain how no one detected the Russian presence in the system for over four months. Although Barr and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agree on Russia as the hacking source, no public declaration has been announced. The Dow Jones market went down 200 points that day, and the subject largely disappeared from the media. Background of this espionage.   

After six months, the White House coronavirus task force no longer sends weekly state reports with data and recommendations unless states request them. There was no explanation for the change. In the December 20 reports, Tennessee had the largest COVID-19 cases per capita, and Oklahoma has the highest test positivity rate. South Dakota has the most deaths per capita. Like nine other states, none of these three states has a mandate to wear masks.

Only 1.94 million shots of the Pfizer vaccine were administered as of December 26 while about 9 million doses from Pfizer and Moderna sit in U.S. hospitals and elsewhere. DDT’s promise of 20 million vaccinations before the end of the year also carried little funding. The lag may come from the process of preparing the frozen shots, finding employees for vaccinating, and guaranteeing social distancing before and after vaccinations. Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine, using an ordinary refrigerator and no need to specialized procedures to administer, may be available in February.

Two two major op-eds from the conservative Wall Street Journal in 2020 typify the misrepresentations and betrayals from DDT’s administration. In June, VP Mike Pence, head of the White House coronavirus task force, promised people that COVID-19 would have no “second wave,” that “such panic is overblown.” With fawning accolades for DDT’s fantastic leadership, he wrote about the containment of new outbreaks and “stabilized” cases. “We’ve saved lives,” he wrote. “That’s a cause for celebration, not the media’s fear mongering.” At that time, the U.S. passed 115,000 COVID-related deaths with about 750 deaths per day in the U.S. A little over six months later, the “stabilized” nation has almost tripled the number of deaths at 341,138 while the number of infections is over eight times the approximately 2,300,000 in mid-June.

A claim from Mick Mulvaney, sometimes CIA director or chief of staff or director of the Office of Management and Budget or special envoy to North Ireland under DDT, is a colossal joke. Instead of DDT being willing to “concede gracefully,” as Mulvaney promised four days after the election, DDT’s hateful claims and court cases about non-existent election fraud has infused the nation with hatred and violence for months to the extent of using martial law enforcing new elections. We’re still waiting for even “concede” almost eight weeks after the election, let alone “gracefully.”

December 18, 2020

DDT Abandons U.S.: Cyber Espionage, Virus Vaccine

The hacking intrusion into U.S. federal agencies has expanded to the Energy Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration, added to breaches at the State, Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security departments along with the National Institutes of Health. Other areas are electrical grid and telecommunications companies. Tracking shows the entry through a think tank’s email service by Russians although Russia denies doing it. The thousands of affected private companies, some in sensitive industries, had uploaded software patches with malware by Russia’s foreign intelligence service, SVR, which collected and deployed authentic system credentials. Purging hacks and restoring security in deeply penetrated networks can take months. The Defense Department’s IT nerve center, DISA, may also be compromised although the network shows “no evidence of compromise.”

President-elect Joe Biden said he is working to learn about the breaches and will work with allies to put costs on the responsible parties.

Microsoft, a customer of the problematic SolarWinds infecting thousands of private and public entities, has identified 40 infiltrated companies, government agencies, and think tanks—almost half of them private technology firms and many in the security industry. President Brad Smith said “that number should rise substantially.” SolarWinds may not be the only source of infection; foreign spies may use other infected software for access.

(Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images)

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has remained silent about the hacking, and heads of most agencies connected to the event—Defense, State, Justice, national intelligence director, and CIA—were not present at his Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. No formal intelligence briefing has been scheduled at the White House since early October. The government did not admit the ongoing cyber espionage until Wednesday night. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said it was “stunning” to have no response from DDT. In 2017, DDT had announced a possible joint Cyber Security unit with Russia. Under DDT, Cabinet meetings have focused on his personal bragging, criticisms, and solicitations of praise from participants as a showcase for the press. Since he was inaugurated, DDT has had 25 Cabinet meetings, an average of one every eight weeks. The one on Wednesday may be his last one.

In the conservative Bulwark, Jonathan Last wrote:

“In 45 tweets this week (so far) the president has not said a single word about the record deaths from COVID. Or economic stimulus. Or the Russian hack. Not. One. Word. Instead, it is an endless litany of complaints, self-aggrandizement, and conspiracy theorizing.

“We have never seen a dereliction of duty at this scale from an American president. With citizens dying by the thousands every single day and the federal government being raided by the intelligence services belonging to his good friend, he pouts and rages and tweets and tries to overturn a free and fair election in order to break our democratic republic.

“There is no precedent for this. No historical analog to help us understand the scale of destruction and the level of irresponsibility, stupidity, and derangement.

“At least not in American history.”

Dutch prosecutors claim a security researcher hacked DDT’s Twitter account that uses the “password maga2020!” The White House and Twitter deny the possibility of the October event. DDT has admitted at least one breach of his personal Twitter account. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin may feel secure about attacking the U.S. cyber infrastructure because DDT never fights back against him; DDT even fired the three top officials of the agency to protect the U.S. against cyber espionage.

While DDT ponders a permanent residence in the White House, VP Mike Pence, who has no home outside public housing, plans to skip town for a while after he performs his duty of replacing DDT and himself on January 6. The purported trip includes Poland, Bahrain, and Israel—a favorite spot for evangelicals.

About the COVID-19 vaccine, there’s good and bad news. The good news is that a second vaccine, one from Moderna, has passed a panel almost unanimously with only one abstention. FDA will most likely give it emergency authorization in the next few days. The second vaccine has advantages over the first one because it can be stored at a higher temperature for a longer period of time.

The bad news comes from the lack of vaccine shipments because the government hasn’t given any directions. States have been notified of drastic cuts in numbers of dosages for next week, not from production issues but from lack of shipment instructions. Again, DDT seems unable to negotiate the vaccine doses to be distributed across the nation. For example, Illinois’ allotment is cut in half, and Florida’s shipments are “on hold” after its allocation disappeared in the federal online tracking system used to coordinate vaccine distribution. Washington is receiving 40 percent less than the state had been told. Pfizer cannot understand why the administration doesn’t immediately distribute all the vaccine being produced. The number of doses had already been dropped by at least 75 percent before the latest glitch. Although vials with the vaccine may contain more than the promised five doses, the companion kits shipped by the government lack spare syringes for the excess. 

In another CDC problem, its text message program to track side effects of the vaccine uses only English. The v-safe program to follow up with people given the vaccine will have a Spanish version “fairly shortly,” but CDC has no timeline for a translation or for simplified Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. Fact sheets for the first set of healthcare workers are still only in English. Non-English speakers are traditionally underserved by the health care system, and the lack of language-appropriate materials makes the situation worse.

Biden had said the government lacked specific distribution plans. HHS Secretary disagreed, saying, “That’s just nonsense.” Biden was correct.

Almost all states plan to immediately use the vaccine, but Tennessee plans to store (hoard?) 5,000 doses of Moderna, 5 percent of its allotment, “in case of spoilage” despite a federal backup supply for that purpose. State health officials maintain they want to be more equitable by waiting for larger number of doses to ensure no one is favored. Tennessee ranks second in the nation for new cases per capita and has no mask mandate.

DDT tweeted, “get your vaccine everyone,” but the quantity of vaccine is currently sufficient for under ten percent of the population. There is also no public information program. People are already being vaccinated, but DDT’s administration is still developing its $250 million campaign to persuade people to take part. HHS’ Michael Caputo plan went off the rails after he investigated if the participating celebrities supported DDT with contractors investigating confirmed or suspected political leanings. Caputo went on medical leave for three months with no replacement.

A PR campaign may be difficult because of DDT’s attitude about the coronavirus. A Houston critical care doctor at the United Memorial Medical Center reported that over half the nurses in his unit refuse to take the vaccine for political reasons.

HHS science adviser Paul Alexander, who has no science expertise, wrote his supervisor Michael Caputo on July 4, “We want them infected.” He wanted to expose all young people and middle-aged adults with no conditions to COVID-19 to develop the mythical “herd immunity.” Alexander repeated his appeal later in July to others, including FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and eight other senior officials. A few days later, Alexander recommended leaving colleges open to infect students and sent his “herd immunity” request to CDC Director Robert Redfield, probably with DDT’s approval.

Senior DDT officials, including HHS Secretary Alex Azar, and DDT’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany frequently denied DDT supported herd immunity while he spoke positively about it since Dr. Scott Atlas edged Dr. Anthony Fauci off the White House coronavirus task force. Alexander was forced out of the HHS. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), the coronavirus subcommittee chair, said the documents “show a pernicious pattern of political interference by Administration officials.” He added:

“As the virus spread through the country, these officials callously wrote, ‘who cares’ and ‘we want them infected. They privately admitted they ‘always knew’ the President’s policies would cause a ‘rise’ in cases, and they plotted to blame the spread of the virus on career scientists.”

Alexander’s July 3 email to HHS top communications officials:

“So the bottom line is if it is more infectiouness [sic] now, the issue is who caresIf it is causing more cases in young, my word is who cares…as long as we make sensible decisions, and protect the elderely [sic] and nursing homes…”

Kyle McGowan, DDT’s former CDC chief of staff who left last summer, talked about how DDT watered down CDC’s agency and delayed the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports. He said it will “take years to undo” the damage from DDT’s administration. In addition to Alexander’s demand to get rid of evidence, the anti-science White House suffocated CDC’s voice, meddled in its messages, and siphoned off its budget. Kellyanne Conway changed guidelines on choirs and communion in faith communities, and Ivanka Trump revised guidelines on schools. McGowan said:

“Every time that the science clashed with the messaging, messaging won.”

Fox’s Tucker Carlson declared the U.S. had no Thanksgiving surge in COVID-19 cases after people ignored guidelines with travel, large gatherings, no masks, and lack of social distancing. Check out the growing daily numbers, Mr. Carlson: December 17, 2020 – 231,269 infections and 3,278 deaths. At this rate, the current total of 17,627,070 cases will hit 20 million before the end of the year, and the number of deaths of 317,929 (probably far more) will climb to 350,000 by the new year.

Thirty-three more days until Joe Biden’s inauguration.

 

December 13, 2020

DDT: Week 203 – Chaos to Cover Disasters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vaccine Approval:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 8, 2020

DDT’s Continues Losing Tactics As Deadline Nears

Today’s Transition: President-elect Joe Biden may select retired Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III as his Secretary of Defense. If confirmed, Austin would be the first Black Pentagon chief. The four-star Army general retired in 2016 as chief of U.S. Central Command, overseeing military operations in the Middle East for three years. Confirmation would require a waiver from the law mandating a service member be out of uniform for a minimum of seven years before eligibility for defense secretary. Jim Mattis received this waiver in 2017 with a large number of Democrats in opposition. Austin supervised U.S. operations withdrawal from Iraq.

Georgia’s second recount shows the “I won” Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) losing the state by 12,670 votes of approximately five million votes cast there. Voter signatures have also been checked twice, and no more audit can be done because privacy laws required the separation of ballots and signatures. Georgia law requires electoral college representatives be selected according to the statewide vote; anything else would be illegal. Gov. Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, both Republicans, made these points after DDT demanded Kemp call a special session of the legislature so that Republicans could change the electoral votes to DDT.

Brad Raffensperg, Georgia’s secretary of state, recertified the state’s votes reaffirming President-elect Joe Biden’s majority. He said that “the results remain unchanged” after three counts of “legally cast ballots.” A federal judge also tossed Sidney Powell’s lawsuit to overturn Biden’s victory. (Scroll down to the Introduction to see how disgusted the judge is with the case.) On December 8, the “safe harbor deadline,” states must resolve all election-related disputes. Any votes certified on this date cannot be questioned. Last Friday, DDT’s campaign filed another challenge in Georgia, asking the state to order a new vote after vacating the certification.

In Michigan, a federal judge denied the request for an injunction against vote certification from DDT’s electors filed the day before Thanksgiving. She wrote:

“This lawsuit seems to be less about achieving the relief Plaintiffs seek—as much of that relief is beyond the power of this Court—and more about the impact of their allegations on People’s faith in the democratic process and their trust in our government. Plaintiffs ask this Court to ignore the orderly statutory scheme established to challenge elections and to ignore the will of millions of voters.  This, the Court cannot, and will not, do.”

The Michigan sheriff who attempted to whitewash the threat to kidnap the state’s governor by calling it a “citizens’ arrest” has filed an evidence-free lawsuit alleging voter fraud. The plotters had threatened to execute the governor and other Democratic leaders throughout the United States.

Rudy Giuliani, now in the hospital with COVID-19, had a big influence on Arizona: the legislature shut down for a week because of lawmakers’ exposure to him. He spent over ten hours discussing his evidence-free election fraud theories with at least 13 current and future state legislators as well as two Arizona GOP representatives in the House, Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs. Giuliani wore no mask, flouted social distancing guidelines, and posed for photos before private meetings with GOP lawmakers and legislative leaders the next day. Representatives-elect exposed more legislators and Capitol staff by attending an orientation later in the week. DDT’s team stated Giuliani tested negative before going to Arizona, but negative tests can happen early in the disease’s incubation period of 3-14 days.

DDT’s attempt to have the Supreme Court pick him for the Oval Office comes from Rep. Mike Kelly’s (R-PA) appeal to block all Pennsylvania‘s votes. With no reason given, Justice Samuel Alito, who set the day for his response on the day after the “safe harbor deadline,” has moved the date up one day to December 8. Even if Kelly perseveres, the move affects only 20 electoral votes, leaving Biden with 16 more than he needs to be president and DDT with 18 fewer than he needs to stay in the Oval Office. With Giuliani hospitalized, DDT has appointed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as a litigator to address the Supreme Court if the case goes there. Cruz wants the high court to reject all Pennsylvania votes.

Today, in another fury, DDT called the U.S. “a third world nation.” He also—again—attacked Georgia’s GOP governor. Last week, DDT twice called the speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, asking for help in changing the electoral votes from Biden to DDT. The state legislators aren’t changing the electoral college vote but have asked their congressional representatives to challenge the state’s vote on January 6. GOP Rep. Scott Perry said he would do that.

DDT’s lawyer Jenna Ellis also acts as special counsel to the Thomas More Society, a conservative legal organization challenging election results in five states through the new Amistad Project, which employs a coordinated effort to overwhelm courts with repetitive and frivolous lawsuits. Lawyers in the Amistad group include Phil Kline, a former Kansas AG disbarred because of professional misconduct, and a Minnesota attorney wanting to restrict the number of non-Christian and non-Jewish people in the U.S. DDT’s campaign gave $2.4 million to Proactive, the company handling Amistad’s media for communication and videos.

The Thomas More Society focuses on “religious liberty” and appears in the Southern Poverty Law Centers’ “Hatewatch” for its unchristian views toward everyone except straight white Christians. The Amistad Project supports voter suppression, ironic because its name is taken from the ship where kidnapped Africans revolted before they were illegally sold as slaves in Cuba in 1839. Part of the Amistad lawsuits tried to stop county election officials from accepting federal grants for safe elections. Even AG Bill Barr rejected the group’s “voter fraud” evidence.   

As if he’s still running for office, DDT has a huge “vaccine summit” planned for the White House on Tuesday with all the movers and shakers. Pfizer and Moderna, leaders in the vaccine research at this time, won’t attend because they see it only as a PR event to give DDT credit for vaccine development. Another motive for the event may be pressuring the FDA to authorize the Pfizer vaccine, set to publicly examine data later this week. Earlier, DDT alienated Pfizer by accusing the company of deliberately withholding vaccine information until after the election. Other companies involved in distribution such as FedEx, UPS, CVS, Walgreens, and McKesson may send lower-ranking executives.

Like much of the other COVID-19 management bungling, the shortage of vaccine in the U.S. is DDT’s fault. Last summer, Pfizer offered DDT the opportunity to lock in up to 500 million doses beyond the 100 million doses for 15 percent of the population from the government’s $1.95 billion deal. DDT never made the deal, and Pfizer took it to other countries. Now DDT plans an executive order to block other nations from receiving U.S. vaccine supplies until people in this country are inoculated. He probably can’t. Britain starts mass vaccination on Tuesday, and the European Union gets 200 million doses.

Another event on Tuesday is a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing about coronavirus treatments. Chair Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) lead witness Jane Orient, purveyor of conspiracy theories, is head of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, “a group that opposes government involvement in medicine and views federal vaccine mandates as a violation of human rights.” Opposed to federally required vaccinations, she promotes the use of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine for the coronavirus. A few weeks ago, Johnson chaired another committee hearing about his suspicions that federal “bureaucrats” are blocking access to the drug, by relying on “disinformation” and “scaremongering.” He derided people opposed to its use for COVID-19 because it “hasn’t been proven effective” and opposes the effective use of mask wearing and social distancing.

Dozens of armed people surrounded the home of Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson demanding she overturn the state’s presidential election results. Their “shouting obscenities and chanting into bullhorns” began soon after Benson and her four-year-old son had finished decorating the house for the holidays. Benson, who supports free speech, said:

“There is a line crossed when gatherings are done with the primary purpose of intimidation of public officials who are carrying out the oath of office they solemnly took as elected officials.”

Rush Limbaugh, supposedly dying of lung cancer and recipient of DDT’s Medal of Freedom, cheered the prospect of violence, referring to Benson as “Michigan’s sex-cretary.” About Benson and the lack of evidence surrounding any election fraud, a demonstrator complained about her decision “to completely ignore all of the credible, credible, fraudulent evidence that has been continually pointed out.”

Today, the 89th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, led to U.S. involvement in World War II. The nation continues its upswing of COVID-19 and downslide from democracy. First Lady Melania Trump commemorated the day by announcing that her new tennis pavilion is ready for play, calling it her “legacy project.”

DDT and his wife may have little chance to use her legacy. The couple plans to spend the holidays at Mar-a-Lago, and people question whether they will return to the White House before the end of his term. His only end-of-term priorities, other than suing to return to the Oval Office, appear to be decisions about who to pardon.

December 6, 2020

Biden v. DDT = Progress v. Desperation

While Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) stays in furious deep denial, President-elect Joe Biden forges ahead with his choices. His most recent appointment, California’s AG Xavier Becerra for HHS Secretary, came as a surprise: New Mexico’s Gov. Michelle Luján Grisham had hoped to be HHS Secretary and supposedly rejected the offer of Interior Secretary. Becerra had filed 100 lawsuits against DDT by last September, but he also joined Republicans for better health.

In other decisions, Biden picked others on his health team:

CDC director: Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, who will replace Robert Redfield.

U.S. surgeon general: Dr. Vivek Murthy, surgeon general for President Barack Obama. Murthy gained disfavor with Republicans because he declared gun violence is a public health problem.

COVID-19 coordinator (aka “czar”): Jeffrey D. Zients, who fixed President Obama’s problematic rollout of the ACA insurance marketplace. The job involves an increase in testing, mobilization of economic aid, and the vaccine distribution.

Focusing on Health Disparities: Marcella Nunez-Smith, an expert on healthcare inequalities.

Earlier, U.S. officials promised to distribute 300 million doses of vaccine in December, treatment for 150 million people, but the number was dropped by 90 percent because of manufacturing issues and bottlenecks in obtaining raw materials. One company had batch failures. DDT’s leader of “Operation Warp Speed,” Moncef Slaoui, had said last May he was sure “several hundred million” doses of vaccine would be ready by the end of this month. The November 9 news release about Pfizer vaccine buried the information about far fewer available doses.

The quantity of the vaccine may have been public information, but Biden reported a lack of “detail” in distributing the vaccine to the public. He said DDT’s administration shared information, but “there is no detailed plan that we’ve seen, anyway, as to how you get the vaccine out of a container, into an injection syringe, into somebody’s arm.” Biden added that the process would be extremely expensive but won’t say whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would talk to him. Sunday morning, HHS Secretary Alex Azar claimed Biden’s criticism is just “nonsense,” that they have “comprehensive plans.” Legally, he’s required to share them with Biden—if he has them.

Slaoui still has conflicts of interest from his investments in the vaccine. DDT hired Slaoui as a “contractor” so he doesn’t need to follow ethics rules. Slaoui claims he has “a personal compass in ethics.” Although he sold his Moderna stock, he still has shares in Lonza Group, a company contracting with Moderna. Other Operation Warp Speed advisers—William Erhardt, Rachel Harrigan and Carlo de Notaristefani—have potential conflicts of interests despite HHS’ claims to the contrary. All three have holdings in companies involved on coronavirus vaccines, treatments, and tests including Pfizer, Thermo Fisher Scientific, PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, Incyte Pharmaceuticals, and Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Public pressure may have pushed the Pentagon into complying with the law. A senior defense official said members of Biden’s team will receive briefings from the Pentagon intelligence agencies on Monday after continued refusal. The Defense Department is still blaming the transition team for the delay, but Kash Patel, DDT’s Pentagon chief of staff for under four weeks, is rewriting policy descriptions to make DDT look good before he shares them with Biden’s transition team. Patel also “told everybody we’re not going to cooperate with the transition team,” according to an official and will be “controlling the information flow.”  

The Pentagon has stalled for two weeks, and the GSA had stalled for the previous two weeks. Patel is blaming the recently appointed transition leader, Tom Muir, but he’s still responsible for restricting information about time-sensitive policies for Iran, Afghanistan, and North Korea. In the past, career officials were in charge of communications with presidents-elect.

The Pentagon may be providing transition information to Biden as president-elect, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch  McConnell (R-KY) is one of the 222 congressional members—88 percent—who won’t admit Biden was elected as president. Two, GOP Reps. Paul A. Gosar (AZ) and Mo Brooks (AL), actually believe DDT won. DDT expressed surprise so many Republicans thought DDT lost and demanded their names. McConnell’s pithy statement:

“The future will take care of itself.”

Asked how he will combat Biden’s executive orders, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said:

“Let’s wait until [we see] who’s sworn in, and we can discuss that.”

DeAnna Lorraine, a former GOP congressional candidate in California, tweeted a question:

“Does anyone else find it odd that no prominent Democrats have had the virus but the list of Republicans goes on and on?”

DDT’s chief lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has been added to the “list of Republicans” with the virus after spending the last month going across the country to participate in lawsuits on behalf of DDT’s fruitless attempt to stay in the Oval Office. Just last week, he was at a hearing in the Michigan House of Representatives arguing his case and in a Georgia Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. He almost never wore a mask during his journeys. His son Andrew tested positive on November 20. Rudy Giuliani, 76, is now hospitalized.

The answer to Ms. Lorraine—no, it isn’t “odd” so many Republicans test positive for COVID-19. They don’t take precautions. For example, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has invited 900 people to a party with no mask mandate.

Opening the DACA program to about 1 million undocumented immigrant teens brought to the U.S. by their parents, a federal judge ordered it completely reinstated and told DHS to publish a notice that it is accepting new applicants—immediately. DDT stopped accepting new applicants in 2017 and dropped the two-year work permits to one year last summer. The judge also mandated the return to two years because Chad Wolf’s appointment to acting director violated the qualifications for the position. Last fall, the Supreme Court ruled DHS couldn’t end DACA because the department couldn’t explain why it ended the program. DDT disobeyed the court and reduced the program. A new court may support DDT’s position because Amy Coney Barrett, assigned to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat, may vote against DACA.

The chain of command: 

  1. DHS Secretary:
  2. Deputy secretary.
  3. Under Secretary for Management.
  4. Administrator of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  5. Director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
  6. Undersecretary for science and technology.
  7. Undersecretary for intelligence and analysis.
  8. Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection.
  9. Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Because people in the first four positions had no Senate confirmations, Chris Krebs, former CISA director, should have been the acting Secretary instead of Wolf. When DDT fired Krebs last month, David Pekoske, TSA administrator is the most senior member with the top eight lacking Senate-confirmed appointments. The would make him the highest person for acting DHS Secretary.

This fiasco demonstrates a major problem for Biden after January 20: filling vacancies. Acting appointees must come from people in a Senate-confirmed position or a senior civil “officer or employee” in the same agency and can serve for only 210 days, according to the 1998 law DDT frequently ignored. If Republicans take the Senate and McConnell drags his heels, Biden could have great difficulty finding even acting personnel. In addition, most of Senate-confirmed positions are DDT’s appointments.   

Last week, a judge overruled two DDT rules curtailing the annual number of issued visas to skilled foreign workers. DDT had restricted the H-1B visa program by imposing salary requirements on employing companies and creating limits on specialty occupations. The opinion criticized the lack of transparency procedures and the false use of the pandemic for an idea he had proposed earlier. California universities sued because of inadequate notice. Up to 85,000+ H1-B annual visas for technology, engineering, and medicine applicable for three years and renewable were seriously cut back. 

Amid all the lies DDT told at his Georgia rally Saturday night, he may have tacitly admitted he lost the election. He initially said, “I won” but moved on with this comment:

“They say that if you win Florida and if you win Ohio, in history you’ve never lost an election. This has got to be a first time.”

DDT is going out the same way he came in—with a racist conspiracy theory. In 2011, he began with his “birther” position—that President Obama was born in Kenya instead of Hawaii—and continued the claim throughout his campaign until September before the 2016 election. Saturday night he referred to the South African myth about Blacks taking white farms in the country. He lied that Black Democrats were going to steal the white Georgia land and “privately owned firearms. He also said he read activist Stacey Abrams “accumulated 850,000 ballots,” again opposing mail-in voting with his toxic falsehoods.

The desperate hate-filled lies continue.

November 21, 2020

DDT: Week 200 – Can’t Avoid COVID-19

This past week, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) attacked Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for asking Sullivan to wear a mask while speaking. The Senate was debating the confirmation of another completely unprepared judicial candidate. On Twitter, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) called Brown a “complete ass.” Last month, two GOP senators tested positive for COVID-19, Tom Tillis (NC) and Mike Lee (UT), and this week, two more came down with the coronavirus—Chuck Grassley (IA) last Tuesday and Rick Scott (FL) yesterday. Scott spend last week traveling around Georgia while campaigning for GOP Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. (Grassley displays the GOP mask-wearing technique.)

Grassley’s announced illness came the day after Iowa’s GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds mandated mask wearing. She had ridiculed masks for months and consistently claimed she “trusts” its residents to do the right thing. Iowa now has the third highest number of cases per capita, just behind both Dakotas. Thirteen state governors refuse to issue mask mandates.

Grassley’s missed votes last Tuesday were his first since 1993 when floods in his state kept him from Washington. One vote regarded Judy Shelton. Previously, the GOP Senate considered her inappropriate for the Federal Reserve, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is pushing through all breathing nominees in case he doesn’t have a Senate majority next year.

McConnell voted “no” in order to bring Shelton’s vote back to the floor, but the Senate is running out of time. It doesn’t return from recess until November 30, giving them only 15 days in session until the end of 2020. Without a budget passed, the government shuts down on December 11. On November 30, Arizona certifies its votes, immediately flipping the GOP seat of Martha McSally to Democratic Mark Kelly. The question is how far McConnell will go to protect DDT who has only 60 days left in office.

In a delusionary state, “journalist” Geraldo Rivera wants the new vaccine named “Trump” because, he believes, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is definitely the prime architect of this operation Warp Speed.” Rivera said people can say “Yeah, I got my Trump, I’m fine.” DDT’s only “architecture” was to claim researchers would develop a vaccine before Election Day. Pfizer stated the company didn’t take money from the U.S. government and wasn’t part of Warp Speed. Now “The Trump” is smearing Pfizer because they didn’t announce the vaccine until he lost the election.

Moderna, with what may be a successful vaccine, received government funds and seems to have a more viable product with easier storage and more transparent testing data. DDT donated no personal funds to either company, but country singer Dolly Parton gave $1 million to Moderna for its research. How about “Yeah, I got my Dolly, I’m fine.”  

Another woman, this one a real journalist, may save lives too. On her MSNBC show, Rachel Maddow (right) has presented information about the dangers of COVID-19 and the importance of following CDC guidance like only small gatherings, mask-wearing, and social distancing. After she quarantined for contact with a coronavirus survivor, she started doing her show from her home office. On her first night back, she announced that the survivor was her partner of 21 years, Susan Mikula. In her explanation, Maddow said:

“My relationship with Susan is the only thing, at the end of the day, that I would kill or die for without hesitation. And Susan has been sick with COVID these past couple of weeks. At one point, we really thought that there was a possibility that it might kill her, and that’s why I’ve been away. [Susan’s] not only been positive over this time, she’s gotten sicker and sicker while I tried to care for her while still staying physically apart from her.”

She urged people to be careful, if not for themselves then for the people they love:

“What you need to know is that whoever is the most important person in your life, whoever you most love and most care for and most cherish in the world, that’s the person who you may lose.”

Twitter filled with messages from people writing they changed their holiday plans because of Maddow’s plea. This represents many of the tweets:

  “Your plea for us to think about the people whom we love brought me to my senses.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, constantly denigrated by DDT, will receive an International Emmy Founders Award for his “leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic” and “his masterful use of TV to inform and calm people around the world,” according to the International Emmys. In the early weeks of the coronavirus, while DDT ignored the virus and then blocked help for states needing it, Cuomo gave daily press conferences with information of statistics, successes, and failures.

Litigation against Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reveals how the agency detained more Iranian-Americans at the Canadian border than previously known before deliberately try to cover up its illegal and discriminatory behavior. Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan and other officers lied in a public statement about how Iranian-Americans were not refused permission to return home in the U.S. In fact, U.S. officials were ordered to single out and detail people of Iranian descent after the U.S. killed a top Iranian military official in early January of this year. Of the over 250 people sent to secondary inspection, over 80 were U.S. citizens and detained at least three to four hours—up to nine hours.

After DDT separated over 5,400 children from their parents and guardians, his racist advisor Stephen Miller pushed DOJ to refuse a 2019 settlement connecting reunified families with mental health care. The pro bono public interest firm Public Counsel reached an agreement for the government paying $8 million (fewer than three of DDT’s trips to Mar-a-Lago) for traumatized migrant families. DDT’s six-month delay left children exhibiting “fear, feelings of abandonment, and post-traumatic stress” and parents suffering “elevated levels of mental distress.” The courts’ refusal to ignore the need for mental counseling led to the government paying $14 million (an extra two Mar-a-Lago trips). Many families couldn’t receive care because DDT had deported them during negotiations.

Two independent inquiries, one criminal and one civil, into DDT’s businesses have embroiled his daughter Ivanka. DDT dropped his taxes by deducting $26 million to unidentified consultants, some of the money to Ivanka Trump at her personal consulting business while she was identified as an executive of the Trump Organization. In a meltdown, Ivanka railed against “NYC democrats … 100% motivated by politics, publicity and rage.” DDT cannot pardon himself or his family or anyone else for state convictions.

Militias throughout the states are recruiting to “take back the country,” by armed violence if they choose, with those in Michigan the most visible after threatening to kidnap and kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. According to the FBI, the group also planned to publicly execute other public officials, including Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Other plans were capturing lawmakers from the Michigan state capitol and televise their executions. Another plan was to lock them inside the capitol and burn it down. Enter neuroradiologist Scott Atlas, DDT’s coronavirus whisperer. To slow the virus spread, Whitmer put in new restrictions for three weeks. Atlas responded:

 “The only way this stops is if people rise up. You get what you accept. #FreedomMatters #StepUp.”

Complaints led him to tweet:

“Hey. I NEVER was talking at all about violence… NEVER would I endorse or incite violence. NEVER!!”

Whitmer said she won’t be bullied, but every message like this from DDT or Atlas results in “a surge of vicious attacks sent [Whitmer’s] way. Good of Atlas to say something like “I didn’t mean for you to burn the house down, but gasoline can help.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to a winery on land taken from Palestinian residents marks the first time a top American diplomat visited an illegal Israeli settlement. It also hypes Pompeo’s standing with evangelicals and other supporters of the illegal settlements. The Florida Falic family, a major investor in the winery, donated at least $5.6 million to settler groups in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem over the past decade as well as at least $1.7 million since 2000 to pro-Israel politicians in the U.S., including DDT. Over 680,000 Israelis have illegally settled on Palestinian land.

Jewish peace activists protested the visit and Pompeo’s declaration that the peaceful Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian human rights is “anti-Semitic.” Pompeo’s statements at his visit were two weeks after the Israelis bulldozed a Bedouin village in the Jordan Valley in a storm, an act called a war crime by the UN. Of the scores of homeless Palestinians, over 40 were children.

If DDT opens his 2024 presidential campaign on the day of Biden’s inauguration, he’ll need to build up his campaign team. Everyone is getting fired except those in legal. He may not need less staff at the White House: he’s not doing anything except ranting and tweeting. This morning he called into the G20 Summit but didn’t deliver any message and no one participated in the pandemic conference. He did need help playing golf later at his Virginia course. He’s scheduled to make a virtual appearance to the summit again tomorrow morning before he plays golf. Since the election, he’s had 12 days with no public events, with the few listed being brief.

COVID-19 has made many appearances yesterday in the U.S.—172,839 cases and 1,460 deaths. Several states are also not reporting their statistics.

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