Nel's New Day

October 24, 2022

SCOTUS Justice Favors Graham, Other Rulings

British Prime Minister Update: Since yesterday, Penny Mordaunt has dropped out of the race, leaving Rishi Sunak the leader for Britain’s third leader in under two months.

The Supreme Court is not hearing arguments for a couple of week, but justices are making decisions. Justice Clarence Thomas just saved Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) from the horrors of testifying to the Fulton County (GA) grand jury, at least temporarily. The jury is investigating the attempts of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and his allies—including Graham—to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Thomas’ edict reverses a unanimous decision from a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court, two of them DDT appointees; Graham claims that sitting senators are exempt from any questions about the events.

The jury is seeking information about Graham’s phone calls after the election to Georgia Secretary of State and his staff when he talked about absentee ballots and voter fraud. Graham has been dodging the subpoena for his testimony for several months, claiming that his calls to Georgia were part of his job. A district judge ruled that Graham couldn’t be asked about the election certification, but other topics such as the reason for raising the issues and his communication with DDT were acceptable for questioning. Thomas was able to temporarily block the subpoena because he is assigned to the 11th Circuit Court covering Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. A justice can unilaterally act on a stay or submit it to the court for a vote.

Once again, Thomas has proved his conflicts of interest. His wife was part of the plot to overturn the presidential election, the subject of Graham’s subpoena, and Thomas made the decree regarding without support of any other justices. Although the Supreme Court justices have no code of ethics, a justice is legally required to recuse themself for a conflict of interest.

Thomas’ refusal to save DDT in the Mar-a-Lago document fiasco was a flip from his protection of Graham. DDT had delivered a request to the conservative justice, asking the Supreme Court to permit his special master to review 100 classified documents seized from DDT’s club instead of turning them over to the FBI. The 11th Circuit Court overturned the order from DDT’s pet judge Aileen Cannon to give the materials to the special master. Last January, all the justices except Thomas refused to block the disclosure of presidential records from the National Archives to the House January 6 investigating committee.

The Supreme Court vacated the 3rd Circuit Court ruling that Pennsylvania could count undated mail-in ballots. The law requires the voter to put the date on the envelope. The former decision can no longer be used as a precedent in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to permit counting of ballots with such errors. The high court did not deal with permission for voters to go to the Board of Elections to “cure” ballots by adding the date, signing a security envelope, or other provisions.

In November, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Ohio will be using gerrymandered congressional districts that courts have rejected, districts that may be proved illegal at trial. The rationale is supposedly that changing voting rules cannot be changed close to an election after a 2006 Supreme Court case, Purcell v. Gonzalez.

In an extension of the redistricting conflict, Louisiana Republicans want to redefine a Black voter to exclude anyone who identify with another race—a “pure” view of racial identity. In Ardoin v. Robinson, Republican officials argued that Blacks are limited to only those who check just the Black box or both Black and White and do not identify as Latino. Alabama had already dropped the idea before taking their lawsuit to the Supreme Court. GOP success would almost entirely eliminate the use of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act to challenge district maps. The topic hasn’t been up for a debate since the 2003 ruling overturning Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and was considered settled.

The Supreme Court refused to hear a case from Rhode Island in which a Catholic group and two women attempted to overturn a lower court’s ruling. The plaintiffs want the state’s abortion-rights law declared unconstitutional because it doesn’t give 14th Amendment legal standing for fetuses. A 2019 Georgia law grants fetal personhood to embryos at six weeks of pregnancy; pregnant women can claim them dependents on tax returns.

SCOTUS permitted the execution last Thursday of a severely mentally ill man in Oklahoma who killed his nine-month-old daughter two decades ago. Benjamin Cole is the second execution of 25 planned executions through 2024, one a month. Although the state has a history of painfully botched lethal injections, that process was used. A 1986 Supreme Court ruling found the execution of the severely mentally ill to be unconstitutional; Oklahoma state law blocks executions of people who are insane. Cole lives in a largely “catatonic” state, not understand legal proceedings, and uses a wheelchair.

The conservative Supremes are preferential toward executions. Recently, they kept Andre Lee Thomas, a 21-year-old Black man, on death row despite his ineffectual defense, racial bias, and a mentally ill defendant. Thomas was declared incompetent to stand trial for 47 days until a psychiatrist stated he suffered from a drug-induced psychosis. Later, the defense attorney said not challenging the letter was a mistake. An all-white jury, four of whom openly opposed interracial relationships, convicted him.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett also declined a request to halt the federal judge’s ruling permitting President Joe Biden’s student loan relief plan to continue. The lower federal court in Wisconsin determined that the plaintiff, the Brown County Taxpayers Association, lacked standing. The judge said that merely paying taxes is not sufficient to challenge federal actions. In St. Louis, another federal judge dismissed a challenge to the program from six GOP-led states, again on the basis that the states lacked standing.

An appeal from the St. Louis case to the 8th Circuit Court brought the program to a temporary halt, however, until the court rules on an emergency request by the six GOP states to block the policy. Briefs regarding the case are due to the 8th Circuit Court by October 24 and 25. The White House asked borrowers to continue to apply, adding to the at least 22 million who have already done so. The process of review applications and preparing them for transmission to loan servicers can take place during the hiatus. Only one of the 11 active judges on the 11th Circuit Court was appointed by a Democratic president, Barack Obama. Of the remaining ten, DDT appointed four, George W. Bush 5, and George H.W. Bush one.  

In a case on October 12, 2022, Helix Energy Solutions Group argued that employee Michael Hewitt, paid by the day, didn’t deserve overtime because he made over $200,00 a year. Exempt from overtime are executives, administrators, and other professional categories. A lower court agreed with Helix, and the 5th Circuit moved to the Hewitt’s side. The six conservative Supremes seemed to oppose the remaining justices in another continued attempt to overturn agency “power.”

On the same day, arguments in Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith debated whether Andy Warhol legally used Lynn Goldsmith’s 1981 copyrighted photograph of Prince for his 1984 screenprints. When Vanity Fair’s image of Warhol’s Orange Prince on a 2017 special issue, Goldsmith wasn’t credited or paid. The Warhol Foundation received $10,000 for its use. In 2021, the 2nd Circuit Court ruled in favor of Goldsmith, overturning a New York federal judge’s ruling in 2019 that Warhol’s series was fair use. The question before the Supreme Court is whether changing the source material’s meaning creates fair use.

On Fridays, the Supreme Court justices determine which petitions for appeal they will accept, usually rejecting 98 percent of them which leaves lower courts’ decisions intact. At least four justices must agree whether to take the case, and the conservative majority wants to go big, aggressively moving the county in a far-right direction as shown by last year’s overturning Roe v. Wade. The remaining three progressive justices don’t even have the numbers to determine what cases will be heard; they can only dissent. Chief Justice John Roberts prefers small incremental rightward movement, but he’s no longer in charge.

Republicans still slam Democrats for “activist judges,” but the GOP is now responsible for the radical changes to the right. Expectations for the term are to eliminate affirmative action, continue narrowing the Voting Rights Act, and permit discrimination based on “free speech” and “religious freedom.”

The decisions evidence a strong MAGA movement at the current Supreme Court because of its emphasis on white grievances. According to the conservative Supremes, the 14th Amendment to protect minority rights forbids a more equal society and allows them to chip away at the Voting Rights Act. The argument is always “racism is over.” Five more cases are already scheduled for the upcoming docket that can elevate white supremacy, one of them already heard on October 4.

Ruth Marcus wrote, “Never before in the court’s history has the ideological alignment of the justices tilted so heavily to one extreme.”

November 29, 2021

November, Three Trials about Racism

Thanksgiving is over. Memories of the fights at the table are fading although Republicans are still manufacturing outrage from about VP Kamala Harris’ spending $500 of her own money in Paris on kitchen ware while remaining silent about taxpayers forced to pay $765,000 for golf cart rentals by now-Deposed Donald Trump (DDT). Rentals from DDT’s personally-owned resorts.

MyPillow guy, Mike Lindell, brought out fewer than 20 people at his protest against Fox outside its Manhattan headquarters because they haven’t uniformly spread the lie about election fraud. The Daily Beast was the only outlet present at the non-event, where even Lindell didn’t appear and thus failed in his promise to reveal names of plaintiffs in his non-existent filing to the Supreme Court. Lindell said he was crossing the U.S. to persuade state AGs to co-sign his election-fraud complaint. He followed the impotent protest with his “Thanks-a-thon,” the 96-hour marathon on his personal YouTube chаnnel which he claimed would reveal election fraud detail. It didn’t. Instead, he complained about AGs not following his lead and the Salem conservative Christian network, declaring he was pulling his ads. He still heavily advertises on Fox.

Three court trials, all dealing with racism, were part of the Thanksgiving conversation. Although the first decision was delivered the week before the holiday, the exoneration of Kyle Rittenhouse in the killing of two men and wounding of another one with the successful claim of self-defense increased the nation’s polarization between different ideologies. The wounded and murdered men were all white, but the protest in Kenosha (WI) concerned a police officer shooting an unarmed Black man in the back seven times, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down and sustaining serious internal organ damage. The defense attorney even referenced this shooting in her closing statement

“Ladies and gentlemen, other people in this community have shot somebody seven times — and it’s been found to be OK. My client did it four times.”

Although Rittenhouse’s friendly judge and his $2 million for defense caused many people to expect him to get away with murder, the “self-defense” was laughable: he brought an AR-15, obtained illegally when he had barely shot before, across state lines and sought out people to shoot while falsely claiming to be a paramedic.

Rittenhouse’s far-right supporters, including congressional QAnon believers, have tried to make him into a hero. The nuttiest of representatives—Madison Cawthorn (NC), Matt Gaetz (FL), Paul Gosar (AZ)—have fought over which one of them gets him as an intern, and Lauren Boebert (CO) said she will challenge Cawthorn to a “sprint” to get Rittenhouse as an intern; Cawthorn is wheelchair-bound. Gaetz also wants to pass a national “stand your ground” law, something that the three wounded and dead men were doing. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA) introduced a bill to give him a Congressional Gold Medal. It’s an uphill road for her. She needs co-sponsors from two-thirds of both House and Senate and presidential authorization.

DDT, who called Rittenhouse a “nice young man,” brought him to Mar-a-Lago for a photo shoot in front of a photograph of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.

After showing his favoritism for Rittenhouse, the judge in the case treated the defendant like a pet, allowing him to select the final dozen jurors from a raffle drum that held the names of the original 18 who heard the case. In Wisconsin, the judge typically selects the numbers of remaining jurors, but he gave Rittenhouse that piece of theater. The judge rescinded MSNBC’s journalism privileges because a freelancer supposedly followed a juror van, but he approved of Fox’s Tucker Carlson filming the event for a documentary. The longest serving circuit judge in the state, the 75-year-old judge has been elected unopposed for seven six-year terms. His next election would be in 2026.  

A sweet-looking 18-year-old Rittenhouse cried on the stand, and the judge yelled, “Don’t get brazen with me!” at the prosecutor. The judge ordered the prosecutor to find an expert testifying that using the zoom on an image doesn’t distort it—“within minutes.” When a juror said he didn’t think he could be impartial, the judge stopped him from talking. In the Rittenhouse acquittal, citizen vigilantism won.

Almost 800 miles south of Kenosha, three White men ages 65, 35, and 32—also vigilantes—were convicted the day before Thanksgiving of chasing down 25-year-old Ahmand Arbery while he was jogging and murdering him. The jury, composed of nine White women, two White men, and one Black man, deliberated over 11 hours in two days after eight days of testimony with 23 witnesses. The verdicts. Travis McMichael, who fired the fatal shots, guilty of all charges – malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony. Gregory McMichael, Travis’ father who rode armed in the bed of his son’s pickup, guilty of all charges except malice murder. Neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan Jr, who made the video that helped seal the verdicts, guilty of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony. He was cleared of the other charges.

The sentencing date for the men has not been made public. Prosecutors plan to seek sentences of life in prison with no parole. Gregory McMichael’s attorney said she was “floored with a capital F” and will appeal as will the attorney for his son. Another defense attorney maintained the McMichaels thought their actions were “the right thing to do” and is disappointed and saddened. The McMichaels, also indicted on federal hate crime charges, will go on trial in February—two years after the murder—for interference of rights and attempted kidnapping as well as a charge of using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Black, unarmed, and on foot, Arbery tried to elude the three armed white men in the vehicles pursuing him. They claimed they believed he had committed a crime. They said they conducted a citizen’s arrest and acted in self-defense, but the video shows no indication of that happening. After national notice of the murder over two months later, Bryan gave the video to a radio station. Supported by a district attorney, he thought it would exonerate the three men. Under oath, Travis admitted he had lied to the police when he said Arbery grabbed his shotgun and told Arbery he was making a citizen’s arrest. The law allowing citizen’s arrest in Georgia, now repealed, went into effect before the Civil War when slave patrollers used them to capture runaway slaves. Travis was the only one of the three to testify.

The trial was notable for two major racial highlights. The defense attorney complained about Al Sharpton sitting with Arbery’s family and said he didn’t want any more “black pastors” in the courtroom. Another defense attorney criticized the jury because it didn’t have enough “Bubbas,” meaning White men over 40 years old who were born in the South and had no four-year college degrees.

Attention to the murder was stalled for over two months because assistants in the office of Brunswick (GA) district attorney, Jackie Johnson, told police that the three men should not be arrested. The assistants did indicate a conflict of interest: Gregory McMichaels worked in the DA’s office for over 30 years and called her shortly after the shooting. Johnson then immediately contacted George Barnhill, DA for Georgia’s Waycross Judicial Circuit, who watched Bryan’s video and stated that the three men could chase and kill Arbery in self-defense. Johnson recused herself, and Georgia’s AG Christopher Carr appointed Barnhill to prosecute the case. After five weeks, Barnhill finally admitted a conflict of interest but repeated his “self-defense” ruling in a letter to the Glynn police department. Another DA was appointed to prosecute the case.

Because a local journalist, Larry Hobbs, stayed on the story, the outrage against the Glynn police department, already being investigated for corruption, went national 61 days after the murder. A week later, Bryan went public with the video, believing it would exonerate him. State officers arrested the three men, and the case was moved to Atlanta, 270 miles from the killing in Brunswick.

A grand jury indicted Jackson for violating her oath of office and obstructing police, using her position to discourage the arrest of the McMichaels. The indictment also states Jackson favored Gregory McMichaels. 

Charlottesville (VA) hosted a third trial about racism in November, this one a civil lawsuit against five white nationalist organizations and 12 individual defendants responsible for the murder and other violence in August 2017 in the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally. The defendants are to pay over $25 million in damages to the nine plaintiffs suffering physical or emotional injuries, including over $12 million for the death of Heather Heyer, deliberately run down by a self-declared neo-Nazi. He is already sentenced to life in prison for his murder conviction. 

The verdicts in these three trials raise questions. Would Kyle Rittenhouse be acquitted without a $2-million defense and a sympathetic judge? Would Ahmaud Arbery’s three killers be convicted without the video that one of the three men made public because of advice from Georgia’s elected officials? Or without an intrepid journalist pursuing the story? And would the white supremacists in the Charlottesville lost if they had competent defense instead of their own egotistical and racist testimony?

September 12, 2021

Thoughts about 9/11 on Its 20th Anniversary

Yesterday saw no foreign attacks on the 20th anniversary of “9/11,” the date when 19 hijackers, including 15 men from Saudi Arabia, used airplanes to attack the United States, including at New York City’s World Trade Center. Following the death of approximately 3,000 people in the attacks, George W. Bush, appointed to president by five Supreme Court justices after a voting debacle in Florida, started two preemptive wars, one almost immediately in Afghanistan and the second 17 months later in Iraq. Almost 20 years later, the media has been consumed with President Joe Biden ending the Afghanistan conflict and air-lifting over 123,000 people out of the country. For 20 years, the power of 9/11 has loomed over the United States with no need to identify the year. 

After 20 years, the U.S. administration has admitted that domestic terrorism is a far bigger threat to the U.S. than international terrorism: QAnon conspiracy theories and white supremacy, promoted by conservative media such as the Fox network, proliferate throughout the nation with violent attacks. For years, conservatives were convinced that terror came only from outside the country as they ignored the growth of global anti-government extremism, and Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) protected QAnon believers and white supremacists because they were his voting base.

After a number of mass shootings, the Department of Homeland Security finally admitted the threats of domestic violent extremism, especially white supremacy, at the end of DDT’s term, and the conservatives’ attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 confirmed their position. Cynthia Miller-Idriss, an expert in the field of polarization and extremism, explains the greater danger of domestic violent extremism: combined of “coherent ideologies,” it lacks the hierarchical organization of jihadi extremism. Run by online youth satire with a “countercultural, edgy resistance,” it uses faux-patriotic language of freedom, constitutional defense, and revolutionary action to grow the illegal militia movement. Participants are people dissatisfied with traditional authority, such as COVID lockdown and mask mandates, and are willing to violently oppose anything they don’t like. They spread disinformation from history, such as Holocaust denial, and from scientific theory, such as racism, through conspiracy theories.

Domestic terrorism moved from fringe to mainstream. People need training “to recognize and resist propaganda, disinformation, and the persuasive tactics of extremist rhetoric” as well as addressing social and political issues driving extremists’ grievances. “The widespread availability of weapons and a lack of effective gun control,” according to Miller-Idriss, has increased the domestic terrorism.

Twenty years ago conservatives hated the Taliban; now they want to emulate the Taliban in taking over the U.S. Domestic dissidents plan a rally on September 18 to celebrate the hundreds of criminals who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6 to overturn the presidential election. The economy isn’t to blame: many of those involved in the movement have expensive cars and homes—like the St. Louis couple who pointed AR-15 rifles at peaceful protesters walking on the sidewalk in front of their McMansion home. As conservative David Frum, who wrote speeches of fear for George W. Bush’s victorious campaign, observed:  

“If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.”

William Rivers Pitt points out that these former conservatives have even deserted the conservative beliefs. To them, people like John McCain, Mitt Romney, John Boehner, and Bush are left-leaning; now those who call themselves conservatives threaten election and school board officials with physical harm and death if they don’t do exactly what “conservatives” want them to do. “We will find you!” has become the far-right meme screamed at their elected officials. And Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), once a close friend of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), claims the U.S. will return to the Middle East and attack Afghanistan.

About the changes since 9/11/2001, Jonathan Last wrote this for the conservative Bulwark website:

“We have a minority-rule dynamic that did not exist 20 years ago. We have one political party that is explicitly anti-democratic in that its macro-strategy is no longer winning more votes, but winning by restricting voting and playing games with vote-counting and apportionment. We have some significant chunk of that political party which is nakedly authoritarian. And we have just lived through our government’s first failure at a peaceful transfer of power since the Civil War—a crisis that was serious enough to alarm senior military leaders that a coup might be in process.”

The events of 9/11 caused people in the U.S. to bond with W. Bush and other Republicans coming out on top in their battle against foreigners. Then the GOP stood for national security. Now the party represents what people call “freedom” and individualism, ignoring the common good and public safety while letting hundreds of thousands of people die from politicized anger about a small piece of cloth. Gone is any concern with vigilance and protection while danger from disease is ridiculed as non-existent. DDT hid any threat, silenced people attempting to warn the public, opposed testing, and mocked masks. His political attacks on anyone trying to warn people about COVID’s danger polarized the entire country.

DDT lost his election, but GOP leaders in Congress such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) accuse public health measure as “government control,” a GOP bugaboo. The GOP movement against public health has been far more effective than the 9/11 attack—3,000 deaths then compared to at least 677,000 deaths from COVID in 18 months and the equivalent to 9/11 every two days. The GOP proves it is no longer a party of national security.

Six years before 9/11, people watched domestic terrorism by government-hating extremists when two white U.S. citizens blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City, killing at least 168 people. While the FBI devoted only 20 percent of its counterterrorism agents to domestic terrorism, these homegrown extremists killed more people in the U.S. with more attacks than international terrorists. Yet the terrorist statute doesn’t cover these terrorists with no one of the hundreds of people arrested is charged with terrorism. Even white supremacist Dylann Roof, who killed nine Black people at a Bible study didn’t receive a terrorism charge. Laws since the Oklahoma City bombing target international terrorists but not neo-Nazi groups or other domestic extremists. Social media platforms communicate domestic terrorism, and GOP governors are passing laws to allow posts to incite this violence in the name of protecting conservatism.  

DDT, criticized for spending the day calling a boxing match on 9/11, tried to redeem his self-esteem by repeating lies about 9/11. He “helped” after the attacks and “brought a “big crew” while he was “down there” near the World Trade Center, a claim with no evidence, and he lied about donating to support 9/11 victims. He did make a new claim, that he heard “creaks,” probably the “United States Steel Building … 50 stories tall” and said, “That building is going to come down.” DDT actually got a $150,000 grant for his property near the site, claiming it was “reimbursement” for helping to shelter people at the building. Paperwork shows he really claimed “rent loss,” “cleanup,” and “repairs.”

Striking a pugilistic tone, DDT avoided the Ground Zero official ceremony but briefly appeared In front of first responders at the 17th Precinct station house. He ignored his denigration of the police at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and said: 

“I’ll say it loud. You know, you’re not supposed to say that. We love the blue.”

Others honoring first responders yesterday in their remarks included Biden, VP Kamala Harris, W. Bush, and President Obama.

DDT’s live pay-per-view commentary for the Saturday night boxing match between 58-year-old Evander Holyfield and 44-year-old former UFC lightweight champion Vitor Belfort didn’t take long: Holyfield lost to Belfort’s TKO in the first round. After that event, DDT moved on to speak at the “Rally of Hope,” presented by Unification Church, a cult group often called the “Moonies” with deep ties to the GOP, where he praised the founders for “peace all other the world.” DDT also took credit for improving the security situation in the Korean peninsula and instigating “a policy of unprecedented strength” for the U.S. Jim Stewartson, founder of the anti-disinformation organization The Think Project, wrote on Twitter that the event was “deeply harmful and deceptive.” Former cult members described the group’s indoctrination process. Worshipping while carrying AR-15 rifles, the group has a 40-acre “safe haven” in Texas for “patriots.” 

The FBI released its first document about 9/11 in fewer than ten days after Biden’s executive order to make some files public. The heavily redacted report from April 2016 was about the supporting role from the Saudi Arabian government for the hijackers. Information came from November 2015 interviews. In 2004, the 9/11 Commission Report described little evidence about the link between Saudi Arabia government and the hijackers, but the FBI launched an investigation, Operation Encore, in 2006 for a decade. Watch for the release of more of these documents.

August 14, 2021

Diversity of Census, Cult of DDT

No matter how hard Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) tried to keep racial and ethnic minorities from responding to the census, the final result reflects an increasing diversity. The two most important reasons for the census every ten years are voting districts and federal funding of $675 billion to state and local governments. DDT tried to block minorities being counted through questions about undocumented immigrants and delays in the process. Despite the lies DDT’s Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross told during his testimony before Congress, according to the Supreme Court, and the problems created by the pandemic, census takers proceeded to go door to door where people had not submitted their census forms.   

Results about the 2020 census released on Thursday, August 12:

The United States is more diverse and more multiracial than ever before with the percentage of White people shrinking for the first time in census-taking history. People of color represented 43 percent of the U.S. population, up from 34 percent in 2010, with non-Hispanic Whites dropping to 57 percent. The share of Hispanic, Latino, or multiracial grew the most.

The total population grew from about 308.7 million in 2010 to 331.4 million, a 7.35 percent increase. It is the slowest population growth since 1930-1940, dominated by the Great Depression.

The number of adults grew from 237 million in 2010 to 261 million in 2020, an increase in the share of the adult population from 76 percent to 78 percent. With the decrease of those under 18-years-old, Whites now make up only 47 percent of that age group, down from 53 percent in 2010.

In every state, the percentage of Whites dropped, and large cities are becoming majority people of color. Population growth in metro areas during the past decade grew 8.7 percent since 2010. Over half of the nation’s 3,183 counties lost population in the last decade with counties under 50,000 residents most likely to lose.

Washington was the most changed state, its non-Hispanic White population dropping 8.7 percent since 2010, but Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Nevada also had declines over 8 percent. The White states of New Hampshire, Vermont, and West Virginia dropped below 90 percent White; only Maine stayed over 90 percent non-Hispanic White.

Non-Hispanic Whites are now the minority in seven states and territories — California, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Maryland, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. In California, that percentage dropped to 34.7 percent, meaning the non-Hispanic White population in the state is almost down to one-third.

The shifting population means 13 states would gain or lost seats in the House of Representatives, thus needing to redraw boundaries. Changes:

  • States gaining seats: Texas (2), North Carolina, Florida, Oregon, Montana, and Colorado.
  • States losing seats: New York, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, Michigan, and West Virginia.

Niall Stanage, editor of the conservative Hill, writes about how the census may “fan the flames of nativism” (aka white supremacy) in U.S. politics, “a fire that … has burned brightly since former President Trump began his 2016 campaign with a speech maligning many immigrants.” According to Stanage, the census may support the far-right argument “that white Americans are under siege, their culture under threat from the rising numbers of immigrants and people of color.” Conservatives spread the myth that a majority non-white population will “take revenge on white people.”

The changing racial makeup of the U.S. may contribute to conservatives’ fascination with Hungary’s authoritarian rule under Viktor Orbán. Immigration, however, may not be responsible for the shrinking number of Whites. One demographer attributed the change to the opioid epidemic and the lower birthrates among millennials since George W. Bush’s Great Recession. Other reasons may come from economic hopelessness and affluence.

You can find changing demographics for where you live on this interactive map.

Meanwhile, news about the cult of DDT continues, with a rally on September 16 demanding “justice” for the January 6 insurrectionists facing prison time. Multiple people, including law enforcement, died, and another 140 police officers were wounded. Leader of the debacle is DDT’s campaign data person Matt Braynard who extolls the “American heroes” perpetrating the violent treasonous attempt to overturn the election of President Joe Biden. Braynard had raised over $700,000 in his search for “voter fraud” and was paid for helping Rudy Giuliani spread false claims about the election. 

One definition of a cult is that members cannot police their own. While sexual-assaulter DDT has escaped any charges for his crimes, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned after the report about his sexual attacks. He denied them, but Democrats, his own party, have forced him out. On the other hand, Republicans chose to exonerate DDT during his impeachment trials—twice—despite his obvious guilt. Yet DDT, a possible sex-offender, called on “loser” Cuomo to resign while Republicans ignore claims of sexual impropriety of a number of GOP officials such as Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) as well as the Republican Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Damon Linker writes:

“The GOP has adopted an ethos of merciless bellicosity. Fighting is what counts and what gets rewarded. Sacrificing for the sake of principle is denigrated and dismissed. To resign is to give up power voluntarily. It’s therefore a choice reserved only for suckers and chumps.

“Add in the cult of personality that has accompanied this shift in moral orientation and we’re left with a party overwhelmingly predisposed to forgive transgressions of the most charismatic and politically potent members of the team. Not even overwhelming evidence of treasonous acts, and certainly not accusations of sexual misconduct and violence, is sufficient to get large numbers of Republican voters to turn on their own.

“That makes the GOP America’s party of political shamelessness. One wonders if Andrew Cuomo sometimes wishes he were a Republican.” 

Judges also continue to reject the GOP myth of a “stolen election.”  A federal judge denied appeals from DDT’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani, pro-DDT attorney Sidney Powell, and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell to dismiss Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuits against them. Lawsuits for $1.3 billion each fight the claims that Dominion rigged the 2020 presidential election for Biden. Dominion is also suing Newsmax, One America News Network (OAN), and former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, the first two for airing false reports about Dominion switching votes from DDT to Biden and Byrne for his “stolen” election conspiracy theories. Each lawsuit is for over $1.6 billion.

Part of Dominion’s lawsuit against OAN concerns a segment from “expert mathematician” Ed Solomon who claims he discovered evidence of an algorithm-rigged result within precinct-level reporting. His prediction of this occurrence was “an exponent so large there’s not enough stars in the universe—there’s not enough atoms in the universe to explain the number.” An odd response for a mathematician, but Solomon is a convicted drug dealer serving two years in prison who had a job installing swing sets when he was interviewed. His math expertise comes from a few math classes at Stony Brook University between 2008 and 2015 with no degree. Actual experts found that different precincts can logically have the same vote shares at different times in different parts of the county.

The source of Solomon’s purported information is not known although he said he used “data from the NYT feed from PA on November fourth” and the link to the “original data sets” is dead. After Dominion demanded retractions to Solomon’s statements, OAN removed the video and story at its website but left it on the network’s video platform, Rumble Page, with the title “Smoking Gun.” Solomon has since posted YouTube videos of his election analysis, including one almost 12 hours long about the fraudulent Maricopa County (AZ) ballot count.

Far-right media network Newsmax was on a roll in 2020 when DDT became angry with Fox network’s failure to be sufficiently conservative, but this year its ratings dropped 50 percent. One theory for its failure is that Joe Biden moved into the White House, despite the conspiracy theories spread on Newsmax, and the other that the network is “incredibly dull and incredibly boring,” according to Media Matters expert on Newsmax, Jason Campbell.  

The possible arrest of Texas Democratic lawmakers bounces back and forth among courts. A district judge ruled they won’t be arrested for missing a special session focusing on anti-voting bills, but the state Supreme Court overturned the decision. Texas law enforcement was deputized this week to find missing Democrats and haul then off to the state Capitol. The Texas Senate chamber doors are locked, lawmakers must appear daily, and then must obtain permission slips each day to leave. Gov. Gregg Abbott wants a quorum for the GOP majority to push through punitive laws keeping minorities and low-income people from voting. Arrest merely means being forced to be present for the voting. Democrats plan to request a temporary injunction on August 20, in a quest for protection.

Yesterday’s “Reinstatement Day” came and went without DDT’s “reinstatement” in the Oval Office. But did he get out his Sharpies? In an odd coincidence, yesterday was also National Kool-Aid Day. August 13, which fell on a Friday, is the fourth failed reinstatement day after January 20 when Biden was inaugurated, March 4 when QAnon conspiracies believed was Inauguration Day, and June 23. 

April 15, 2021

Biden’s Foreign Policy, Domestic Terrorism

While Republicans complain about President Joe Biden’s inaction and lack of lying bombast exhibited by Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), Biden is quietly strengthening U.S. foreign policy.

Today Biden sanctioned 40 Russian groups and individuals for the Russian major cyber espionage operation, operations to elect DDT in the past two presidential elections, the massive Russian buildup on the Ukrainian border, and Russia’s ongoing occupation and “severe human rights abuses” in Crimea. He blocked U.S. financial institutions from purchasing bonds from Russia’s Central Bank, National Wealth Fund, and Ministry of Finance after June 14 and from lending money to these institutions. Biden also expelled ten people from Washington’s Russian diplomatic mission and considers sanctions on Russia’s sovereign debt. He now proposes a summit where the U.S. and Russia can discuss these problems.

Republicans yell and whine about election fraud, but reports show DDT’s 2016 campaign manager in frequent, covert contact with a Chinese intelligence officer, once his business associate. Paul Manafort passed internal polling data to the operative who asked him to support a proposal to allow Chinese success in the South China Sea territorial disputes. Biden sanctioned the operative Konstantin Kilimnik, identified as a “Russian and Ukrainian political consultant and known Russian Intelligence Services agent implementing influence operations on their behalf.” Manafort promoted the lie, still pushed by GOP congressional members, that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election on DDT’s behalf. The FBI has a reward of $250,000 for Kilimnik’s arrest. DDT pardoned Manafort and freed him from prison. 

Kilimnik’s information from Manafort went through a secret pipeline, perhaps used throughout DDT’s four-year term, directly to Russian intelligence to defeat Hillary Clinton. A Senate Intelligence Committee report, endorsed by Republicans, marked him a “grave counterintelligence threat.” Secretary of State Antony echoed the Senate report by repeating the U.S. intelligence report that Russia “presents one of the most serious intelligence threats to the United States.”

This week, Biden also gave September 11, 2021, as the deadline for removing the last 2,500 U.S. military members from Afghanistan. He selected the 20th anniversary of the foreign terrorist attack on U.S. soil killing 3,000 people which led George W. Bush to start the “military mission” in the Middle East costing U.S. taxpayers almost $7 trillion. Biden said he will not pass the war to a fifth president and is following DDT’s agreement with the Taliban to withdraw troops.

Today Secretary of State Antony Blinken followed Biden’s announcement with a surprise visit to Afghan leaders in Kabul and repeated the U.S. commitment to helping their government. He emphasized counter-terrorism cooperation and “protecting the rights of women and girls,” according to a department announcement.

Biden has also sent an unofficial delegation to Taiwan as “an important signal about the U.S. commitment to Taiwan and its democracy,” according to an official. Last week, the USS John S. McCain went through the Taiwan Strait, and the carrier Theodore Roosevelt went to the South China Sea for “routine operations.” China typically protests the U.S. being in those international waters, especially with its support for Taiwan.

Biden plans to meet Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, hoping for a joint statement supporting Taiwan and discussing China’s treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang and influence over Hong Kong. Japan and the U.S. have not had a joint statement about Taiwan for over 50 years. The meeting prefaces one in May with Biden and South Korea’s President Moon Jae about managing China’s rising power and that of North Korea with the help of the Quad—Australia, India, Japan, and North Korea.

A U.S. negotiating team in Vienna led by Robert Malley is working with Iran representatives to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement. Initially, they are working on the over 700 sanctions imposed by DDT to permanently destroy the deal. In efforts to scuttle any deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed pleasure when opposing Israelis reportedly bombed an Iranian nuclear facility. If Biden succeeds in redeeming the agreement, he plans to “expand and strengthen” the pact by covering Iran’s militant activities and missile program to obtain support from congressional opposition. Iran may hold off until after their elections in June.

Today, Inspector General Michael Bolton testified before the House Administration Committee about the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and argued for a campus security overhaul. He said a deputy assistant chief of police told officers not to use any weapons including stingballs and 40mm launchers, weapons that could have helped them protect the Capitol. Thus far, one task force and over one-half dozen congressional committees have started investigations into why law enforcement failed to prevent the insurrection when hundreds of DDT’s supporters invaded and vandalized the Capitol building to stop the certification of Biden as the legal president.

Bolton, who may have the most complete examination of problems permitting the Capitol Police to be overrun by “deficiencies,” will continue the probe for several more months. He has already provided Congress with two interim reports about the lack of security clearances, personnel, equipment, and training to respond to these attacks. Calling for a “cultural change,” Bolton said law enforcement at the Capitol must move from the “traditional posture of a police department” to “a protection agency” focusing on preventing events like the January 6 riot. Preparation of a supplemental spending package for reforms of campus security will also use an evaluation from retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré requested by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R-CA), in addition to Bolton’s recommendation to invest funding in training. That activity would include gathering, analyzing, and assessing intelligence for responses to future threats.

Following TheDonald.win before the Capitol attack would have made the high danger of violence on January 6 obvious. Participants covered ways to bring guns into D.C., quantity of ammunition, legal weapons such as stun guns and small knives, methods of attacking police officers with flagpoles and other objects, the best type of zip ties to use on congressional members certifying Biden’s election, and discussions of building the most effective gallows for use on disloyal congressional members according to the attackers. “Camarokirk” preferred a guillotine because it’s “more scary.” A dissenter brought up the problem of how “to get that big blade into town,” and the gallows the insurrectionists actually built, intended for VP Mike Pence, cost only $200. Many of the violent ideas on the website came to fruition on January 6 with right-wing domestic terrorists disrupting the presidential vote certification.

DDT encouraged the violence as shown by this tweet on December 19: 

 “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

Website users traded maps, travel information, money, hotel recommendations, and organizations of cross-country caravans. Also available on the website were diagrams of the tunnel systems below the Capitol complex and ways of creating a “wall of death” by pushing the mob forward, forcing police to give up their positions.

A recent report shows that DDT, who told his conservative terrorist Proud Boys to “stand by” in his first presidential debate with Biden, is completely wrong in his obsession about the “left-wing problem” of domestic terrorism. Asked at the debate about white supremacists and fringe militia groups, he saw them as political allies and then pushed the far-left menace as being the danger. According to information from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the new highs of domestic terrorism events are chiefly driven by white-supremacist, anti-Muslim, and anti-government extremists on the far right. The surge is the worst since the 1990s. The WaPo reported:

“Since 2015, right-wing extremists have been involved in 267 plots or attacks and 91 fatalities, the data shows. At the same time, attacks and plots ascribed to far-left views accounted for 66 incidents leading to 19 deaths…. More than a quarter of right-wing incidents and just under half of the deaths in those incidents were caused by people who showed support for white supremacy or claimed to belong to groups espousing that ideology, the analysis shows.”

The most common targets in these far-right events are mosques, synagogues, Black churches, abortion clinics, and government buildings, which have been “threatened, burned, bombed and hit with gunfire over the past six years.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) announced his panel would do a “significant dive” into domestic anti-government extremists, including radicalized groups’ possible connections to foreign allies. Earlier, Biden officials announced an overhaul of the government treatment of domestic terrorism with a “comprehensive threat assessment” by intelligence agencies. Former DHS officials from both parties agreed DDT’s failure to focus on “the rise of domestic threats” was among the agency’s problems. According to the NBC News report, these officials agreed:

“[I]t was the four years of inadequately monitoring and communicating the rising threat of right-wing domestic extremists that ultimately led to DHS’ failure to prevent [the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol].”

The New York Times reported that DDT’s administration “diverted” federal law enforcement and domestic security agencies, pressuring officials to “uncover a left-wing extremist criminal conspiracy that never materialized,” even as “the threat from the far right was building ominously.” It added that the FBI, “in particular, had increasingly expressed concern about the threat from white supremacists, long the top domestic terrorism threat, and well-organized far-right extremist groups that had allied themselves with the president.” DDT did not find these issues at all concerning. 

Time to “Build Back Better.”

March 17, 2021

GOP Votes Oppose Help for U.S. People

Wednesday, 172 House Republicans voted in favor of domestic violence and opposed a law’s renewal to protect women. The Violence against Women Act, originally passed in 1994 and periodically requiring reauthorization, faces increasing struggles as Republicans oppose funding to protect women from domestic abuse, sexual assault, and stalking. Objections this year came from ensuring accountability for non-tribal offenders on tribal lands and closure of the “boyfriend loophole,” barring stalkers from obtaining firearms. The bill includes housing vouchers to help survivors in federally-assisted housing to quickly relocate if necessary. Another provision permits people to obtain unemployment insurance if they must leave a job for their safety.

With COVID-19 forcing people to stay at home, domestic violence incidents have sharply risen within the past year, and organizations have offered more flexible texting services and housing assistance. One report shows an eight-percent rise in domestic violence, and another study shows an increase of injuries at emergency room patients from this violence.

The bill requires 60 Senate votes to pass because of the watered-down filibuster. Now, one person can announce a filibuster, and no action is taken until 60 percent of senators move it forward.  Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) has already said that barring a stalker from owning a gun to menace a domestic partner with a gun is unconstitutional.

The lack of GOP support for women came the day after a young white man killed eight people in Georgia, six of them women of Asian descent. The reason, according to the killer, was an attempt to avoid “temptation” for his “sex addiction.” The killer was having “a bad day,” explained the officer, who has posted racist COVID messages on social media. He said that the alleged killer “was pretty much fed up and had been kind of at the end of his rope.” The young man was apprehended on his way to Florida to kill more women. He said he had frequented massage parlors and killed the people, seven of them women, for “vengeance.”

Organizations studying and tracking hate groups and violence described “male supremacy terrorism,” driven by aggrieved male entitlement and a desire to preserve traditional gender roles. Three years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism began tracking male supremacist ideology, and the Anti-Defamation League published a report called “When Women are the Enemy: The Intersection of Misogyny and White Supremacy.” According to the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, the ideology’s two core beliefs are that “men are entitled to sexual access to women” and that “feminists are a malevolent force controlling society at the expense of men.” Men have used these beliefs to justify mass shootings at yoga and fitness studios frequented by women, the slaughter of 10 people in Toronto in 2018, and the 2011 shooting deaths of 77 people in Norway by Anders Breivik, who viewed feminism as a significant threat.

As right-wingers, led by former Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), used racist language to describe the global epidemic, Stop AAPI Hate reported 3,795 hate incidents including name-calling, shunning, and assault in the U.S. against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders during the past year. The number could be much higher because not all incidents are reported. Most were against women, in businesses, and on public sidewalks or streets, the report said. Other events included civil rights violations such as workplace discrimination or refusal of service and online harassment.

Last week, a 75-year-old defenseless Asian man was killed in Oakland’s (CA) Chinatown on his morning walk. A friend had warned him about the danger of being there because Asian people were being attacked. Carl Chan, the president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, said that seniors were afraid to walk on the streets because of hateful attacks after political statements about the “Chinese virus” or the “kung flu.”

The suspected Georgia killer, who has confessed, was an active member with his parents in the evangelical church Crabapple First Baptist Church in Milton (GA). Brett Cottrell, the youth and missions pastor from 2008 to 2017, talked about the killer’s participation “in everything we did.” Crabapple is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and theologically conservative with mostly white members. The group is opposed to “critical race theory, “intersectionality, and the social justice movement in Baptist circles.

In another House bill, passing by 413-12, the 12 self-professed “law and order” Republicans voted against giving the Congressional Gold Medal to the Capitol Police for their bravery on January 6 when insurrectionists stormed the building. According to the bill, the three medals would be displayed at the Capitol Police headquarters, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department headquarters, and the Smithsonian. Naysayers said they opposed the terrorist attack being called an insurrection. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) lobbied for a bill with no mention of January 6 or the Capitol attack. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) didn’t want the medal to be displayed at the Smithsonian. In February, the Senate voted to grant the Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman for putting himself in harm’s way to protect lawmakers and staff during the assault on Congress.

First, Republicans tried to block the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) by unanimously voting against it. Almost three-fourths of people approved of ARPA, including 59 percent of Republicans, so those voting no tried to take credit for it. Now both President Joe Biden, VP Kamala Harris, and their spouses, Dr. Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff, are crossing the U.S. to talk about the benefits while the IRS has already sent out 90 million relief checks of $1,400 each. Republicans and the media criticize Biden for not spending enough time talking with the media, but he has historically talked to both small and large groups of people.  

Republicans hoped voters would turn against the law; now they are concerned Biden will move forward with more approval of his agenda. The real GOP concern is the 2022 election, a little more than a year away.

The RNC struggles with refuting ARPA after supporting deficit-spending such as massive cuts for the wealthy and businesses plus giving hundreds of billions of dollars to large businesses in a bill supposedly to save people from the economic pain of COVID-19. Earlier this year, they were overwhelmed by the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol and DDT’s impeachment for inciting violence.

People like ARPA because it benefits the middle class over wealthy people, helps with vaccinations, and supports the opening of schools. The GOP can only wish people will forget ARPA’s benefits before the election; Democrats are intent on that forgetfulness not happening. When Republicans try to take credit for ARPA benefits, Democrats say, “You voted against it.” Republicans are working on publicity about the immigrants at the southern border, but the issue has no connection to the relief bill.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin benefited Biden’s bill by stashing away “well over $1 trillion” at the end of DDT’s presidential term when he assumed the former White House would pass a sizeable relief bill. Almost 100 million people got their $1,400 checks within two days of ARPA’s signing instead of waiting two weeks as they did with DDT because he wanted his name on the check.

Even the House chaplain supported U.S. people in distress from DDT’s mismanagement of the pandemic. In a prayer, Rear Adm. Margaret Grun Kibben asked God to forgive Republicans:

“For when called upon to respond to a once-in-a-century pandemic that has rocked our country, upended its economy and widened the chasm of partisan opinion, they have missed the opportunity to step above the fray and unite to attend to this national crisis…

“In failing to address the acrimony and divisions which have prevailed in this room, the servants you have called to lead this country have contributed to the spread of an even more insidious contagion of bitterness and spite.”

Her reference to the New Testament’s letter to the Colossians argued that “rather than employing the preventive measures of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience,” lawmakers have set that “armor” aside “in favor of argument, disparaging words and divisiveness.” In recalling the Gospel of Mark’s third chapter of “a house divided against itself cannot stand,” she said Congress stands “in need of healing and reconciliation.”

Kibben concluded:

“Merciful Lord, rebuild this House, that their labor will not be in vain.”

ARPA will stay in the news if Ohio GOP AG David Yost continues his lawsuit against the Biden administration. He claims the prohibition of this federal money to states and municipalities to offset new tax cuts is unconstitutional. Ohio receives $11.2 billion, but GOP Gov. Mike DeWine ordered $390 million in new spending cuts among state agencies. Leaders of 21 other red states wrote Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that the provision “would represent the greatest invasion of state sovereignty by Congress in the history of our Republic.” A White House official pointed out states aren’t blocked from tax cuts: they just need to replace the revenue without using stimulus funds.

Not all Republicans are stupid about ARPA money. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) told the state’s Gov. Ron DeSantis to refuse all the money to the state. DeSantis has already made plans for spending his $10 billion.

October 9, 2020

Debate Civil But Sexist: Highlights

Last night’s vice-presidential debate, the second most watched in history, drew 57 million watchers. Ostensibly, the debate had only two participants, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and VP Mike Pence, but the fly who dropped onto Pence’s hair for two minutes and two seconds drew great attention from both serious and comedic commentators. The Biden campaign found the fly useful, not only with the domain name “flywillvote.com” for voter registration but also in its fundraiser request, “Pitch in $5 to help this campaign fly.” The campaign brought in $12 million during the debate. Merchandising also took advantage of flygate, including a commemorative fly swatter with the slogan “truth over flies” for $10.  

Moderator Susan Page of USA Today began the debate sounding firm but, like Chris Wallace with Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) in last week’s debate, soon lost control. Ignoring the moderator, Pence frequently interrupted Harris and demanded she answer his questions when he assumed the role of moderator. Harris calmly responded by saying “Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking” although she occasionally had to repeat the phrase several times. Pence also didn’t respond to Page’s questions by saying, “I want to return to an earlier issue.” He avoided a question about white supremacy by turning to Harris and asked if she and Biden would “pack the [Supreme] Court.”

Pence’s “performance” was supposed to attract the thirty percent of women who DDT had lost in the past few months. His interruptions, patronizing manner, and controlling manner destroyed that possibility. Before the debate, commentators assumed Pence had the edge over Harris because he had been a radio host. Accustomed to radio and not TV, Pence kept his sour face throughout most of the debate. Harris appeared sincere, directly addressing the people. Her former experience as California attorney general and prosecutor gave her the experience to parry any jabs. She knew how to bring home an argument, especially after Pence said DDT had a health plan but couldn’t cite it. DDT is fighting to take health care from people in a Supreme Court case. Looking into the camera, Harris delivered these lines through Page’s interruptions: 

“If you have a pre-existing condition, heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer — they’re coming for you. If you are under 26 and on your parents’ insurance, they are coming for you.”

Pence lied and deflected his way through 90 minutes, and some media criticized Harris for not being pushier. That behavior, however, would result in negative reactions, and Harris already faced the media’s xenophobic, misogynic treatment. One-fourth of the coverage about her selection as vice-president candidate fit into those categories, including references to the “angry black woman” and DDT’s description of her as “nasty,” “mad,” and “mean.” During a New Hampshire rally, DDT insinuated that Harris rose through the ranks by having sex with men.

This article shows how Pence dodged, denied, and lied because he could not defend DDT. Comprehensive fact-checking skipped Pence’s accusation that Harris “tried to impeach” DDT. The vice-president should know the House did impeach DDT and Harris was part of the jury for the impeachment trial.

Pence’s lies were horrifying enough, but the worst part came at the end with Page’s question: 

“President Trump has several times refused to commit himself to a peaceful transfer of power after the election. If vice president Biden is declared the winner and President Trump refuses to accept a peaceful transfer of power, what would be your role and responsibility as vice president? What would you personally do?”

Pence’s response:

“When you talk about accepting the outcome of the election, I must tell you, Senator, your party has spent the last three and a half years trying to overturn the results of the last election.”

He followed this attack with “buzzwords” such as “spied on . . . my campaign,” “Hillary Clinton” and “no obstruction, no collusion.”

Pence’s and DDT’s failure to commit to the law in peacefully transferring power by accepting election results, combined with their reinforcement of white supremacist violence, bodes poorly for a quiet administrative shift, especially with the GOP record of voter suppression through lawsuits, voter purges, mail delivery slowdown, false fraud accusations, etc.  Pence attacked Democrats for impeaching DDT, repeated conspiracy theories about President Obama’s administration, and smeared Hillary Clinton again. He said he had “confidence” in the election only if DDT won and repeated lies about the rampant fraud of mail-in voting.

Early this morning, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) tweeted

“Democracy isn’t the objective; liberty, peace, and prospefity (sic) are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that.”

Diagnosed with COVID-19, Lee may also be on steroids.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) caused another meltdown from DDT with her planned legislation for a “Commission on Presidential Capacity” intended “to help ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership in the highest office in the Executive Branch of government.” DDT tweeted:

“Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation.”

In his own “crazy” moment, DDT is demanding that his enabler AG Bill Barr indict Joe Biden for imaginary crimes before the election.

In the vice-presidential debate with Harris, Pence denied DDT refused to criticize white supremacists in his own debate the week prior although DDT’s statements are on video tape. DDT has consistently blamed the “antifa” (people opposed to fascism) for all violence, but his own FBI director blames white supremacist extremists for much of the domestic terrorism. For example, this headline in Michigan’s Detroit News about its Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer: “Plans to kidnap Whitmer, overthrow government spoiled, officials say.” 

Earlier this year, members of the Wolverine Watchmen militia, objecting to the public health lockdown of businesses in the state, marched into the state capitol with semi-automatic rifles and closed down the legislature. After the militia’s protests at the capitol in Lansing, DDT tweeted on May 1:

“The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.”

At least two of the men at the capitol participated in the plot to kidnap Whitmer and take her to a remote location to stand “trial” for treason. Some of the militia surveilled Whitmer’s vacation home, the planned location of the crime, by taking videos and considering the demolition of a nearby bridge to slow law enforcement response. They also held field exercises, testing an explosive.

Whitmer declared DDT “complicit” in fomenting extremists:

“Just last week, the president of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups like these two Michigan militia groups. ‘Stand back and stand by,’ he told them. Stand back and stand by.

“Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry. As a call to action. When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight. When our leaders meet with, encourage, or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions and they are complicit.”

Thirteen people, all from Michigan except one, were charged for “elaborate plans’ in the kidnapping and instigating a civil war and overthrowing state governments. FBI and state police arrested several of the conspirators at a meeting where they pooled funds for explosives and exchanged gear. In a congressional hearing last July, AG Bill Barr said he didn’t know the militia  protesters in Michigan called for Whitmer “to be lynched, shot and beheaded” because “there are a lot of protests.”  

DDT attacked Whitmer Thursday because she didn’t criticize antifa.

DDT’s next scheduled debate with Joe Biden, October 15, may be canceled. Saying he doesn’t want to waste his time on a virtual debate, determined by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, DDT threatens to be a no-show and claimed he might do another campaign rally. Biden’s response to DDT’s refusal is to organize a town hall appearance for himself.

Still on steroids, DDT expressed his fear of Harris on Fox Business this morning. In an hour-long wandering monologue, DDT’s voice sounded rough, he coughed, and he worked to clear his throat. He called Harris a “monster” twice, and a Communist instead of a socialist. Her pearls, ala Jackie Kennedy and Barbara Bush, proper suit, and classy pumps belie DDT’s view as a “monster.”  [harris monster] DDT attacked FBI Director Christopher Wray, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and even loyalist AG Bill Barr. The 74-year-old, obese man with a number of health issues said, “I’m back because I am a perfect physical specimen and I’m extremely young.” And 48 more head-shaking comments from the man on drugs.

The White House still won’t release the time of DDT’s last negative virus test. Some people surmise he was already positive at “The Rose Garden Massacre” where DDT introduced his new Supreme Court nominee, five days before his announcement of the diagnosis.

At this time, DDT is also blaming Gold Star families for infecting him at his Gold Star Mother’s Day event on the day after the “massacre.” In trying to appear selfless, he said he was unable to stop them from touching him although he knew it was dangerous. The joint chiefs of staff are now in quarantine because two military figures, Coast Guard Vice Commandant Charles W. Ray Adm. Charles W. Ray and Assistant Marine Commandant Gen. Gary Thomas, have tested positive for the coronavirus, but none of the families has indicated any infections—yet.

Harris won the debate by more than 30 points and came in ahead of Pence with men by two points. In the UK Guardian, Jill Filipovic wrote:

“There was no real contest in the vice-presidential debate between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence. Harris wiped the floor with him. Pence ignored, patronized and talked over the two women in the room. Her strategy was cool competence. His was sexist entitlement.”

Pence may not have noticed the fly, but this cat did as did former Republican David Frum. Long live the fly!  

September 17, 2020

Will DDT Kill Democracy?

Today, Constitution Day, commemorates the adoption of the document guiding the U.S. for 233 years. During 190 weeks, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has consistently failed his oath “to preserve, protect and defend” the U.S. Constitution and ignored its checks and balances, electoral responsibility, and legal accountability. “Congress legislates and the president executes,” according to historian and legal scholar Edward Larson who asks for laws to prevent constitutional abuses: “bar emergency declarations from lasting more than a fixed number of days without congressional approval, and authorize either house of Congress to challenge any such declarations or executive orders in court. Further, no president should have power to reprogram funds where Congress has already considered the issue and rejected the funding”; i.e., DDT’s wall taking Defense Department appropriations. Other DDT abuses are continual acting political appointees and starting wars. The most egregious DDT abuse, however, may be his promotion of extrajudicial “law and order” through encouraging violence.

From the start of his first campaign, DDT called for violence against his opponents. His growing desperation in the current campaign, however, escalated the push for violence to an extreme level. The constitution guarantees the right to protest, yet DDT called the military to Washington, D.C. and used them to attack people in the Lafayette Park because he wanted a photo op.

According to D.C. National Guard Maj. Adam D. DeMarco, federal officials stockpiled ammunition and sought devices to deafen people and make them give them second-degree burns. AG Bill Barr and DDT settled on tear gas, stun grenades, “rubber” pellets, smoke bombs, and batons. DeMarco testified protesters were not warned, and the “heat ray” wasn’t used in war for ethics’ reasons. In the past, DDT wanted to use the device on immigrants.

Throughout the protests, DDT has raised the violence level by personally blaming only the people on the left for violence although his white supremacists, who he called “GREAT PATRIOTS,” usually caused the violence. Because the far-right has the support of police to commit violence and attack demonstrators, they have become more and more open with their attacks.

Portland (OR) law enforcement stood by while the Proud Boys and other militia members carrying guns attacked demonstrators. Police didn’t fire tear gas until the white supremacists left. Albuquerque (NM) police protectively circled armed the right-wing New Mexico Civil Guard who shielded a political candidate firing into a crowd of protesters. The police then tear-gassed the protesters and called the right-wing militia “heavily armed friendlies.” Chicago police casually chatted with white men holding bats and described them as “neighborhood people just trying to protect the neighborhood.” Police told people who called 911 they should be grateful for men with clubs menacing passersby during an anti-racist demonstration in a Philadelphia neighborhood. A Hood County (TX) constable asked the Oath Keepers to protect local businesses. Curry County promoted false rumors of an “antifa invasion” to the small towns along the Oregon coast. As in the decades after the Civil War, police are participants and sometimes leaders of the extrajudicial violence. In the 21st century, law enforcement joined vigilante militias to prevent Blacks from cross through white neighborhoods in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  

With the election fewer than seven weeks away and many polls looking better for Joe Biden than DDT, the right wing is promoting more violence to keep DDT in the White House after 2020. On 9/11, the anniversary of attacks on the U.S., conservative talk show host claimed DDT “will have to… put down the enemy” after the election with military using the Insurrection Act. Levin declared, “The enemy is antifa, the enemy is Black Lives Matter…,” ignoring the use of “antifa” for anti-fascism. To Levin, anyone protesting white supremacy in favor of social justice fits the classification of “traitors” who are “treasonous.” He wants to kill them, and he has DDT’s support.  

DDT commuted Roger Stone’s sentence after he was convicted of witness tampering and lying to Congress. In return, Stone promised to campaign for DDT; now he’s working with QAnon-friendly Alex Jones and other conspiracy theorists to rig the elections. Stone wants DDT to declare martial law, arrest public figures such as Apple’s Tim Cook and Hillary Clinton, and “seize” voter ballots from Nevada because they are “corrupted” by “illegals.” To do this, DDT should nationalize the state police and put AG Bill Barr in charge of the FBI, federal marshals, and GOP state officials on Election Day to file legal objections and “if necessary, to physically stand in the way of criminal activity.”

Michael Caputo, Stone’s protégé and DDT’s friend, warned of left-wing “hit squads” being trained to kill people if DDT wins the election. He told people, “If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get.” Caputo is on a 60-day mental leave, but in HHS, he rewrote or refused to release reports written by CDC scientists so that they would match DDT’s lies. His claims lack evidence, but his statements inspire right-wingers to “buy ammunition.” 

Historian Heather Cox Richardson compared the current right wing to “southern Democratic leaders in 1860, when they knew they did not have the numbers to win the upcoming election fairly. They kept opponents from the polls, jiggered the mechanics of state elections, and warned white voters that, if Abraham Lincoln were elected, he and his dangerous radicals would destroy America. As their calls for violence escalated, they promised supporters that if it came to a fight, weak and frightened northerners would run away.”

Richardson optimistically argued against the possibility of armed conflict because the economy of the U.S. is not regionally divided and state governors have stayed quiet. She believes more in the possibility of sporadic violence from “Nazi-adjacent QAnon rumors of a Satanic cabal” and gave the example of a 17-year-old killing two people in Kenosha (WI).

Yet police-supported right-wing militias are taking over parts of Oregon. QAnon conspiracy theorists, including a former GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, are spreading rumors through social media about the “antifa” starting fires throughout the state that have burned over 1.5 million acres in a week. The current GOP candidate is also a QAnon believer. Armed people have set up checkpoints, demanding identification, threatening people, and keeping them from traveling public roads. Other right-wingers, falsely claiming to be “chapters of Antifa” have set up accounts where they claim to be setting fires. (Antifa doesn’t have “chapters.”) To push more fear, white supremacists dress up like antifa in black shirts. County sheriffs send statements that the behavior is illegal, but deputies support the illegal behavior. One Clackamas County deputy, Mark Nikolai, appeared in a video advising vigilantes how to avoid prosecution for shooting anyone they suspect of being a looter, for example putting a “knife in their hand after you shoot them.”

A sheriff sergeant was taped saying Multnomah County law enforcement is okay with “openly displaying firearms” and taking “photos of cars and even license plates” that could produce “a great resource” for police. He added, “Standing on the side of the road, parking on the side of the road, 20 deep, with signs and flashers on, that’s fantastic.” A local resident saw White’s comments as “encouragement” for vigilante action. Portland is located within Multnomah County.

DDT, the self-identified “law and order president,” told Fox’s Jeanne Pirro he believes in police shootings as retribution—the extrajudicial kind—when he talked about the police shooting death of Michael Reinoehl, a suspect in the killing of right-wing Aaron Danielson. With the Proud Boys who were attacking demonstrators in Portland with paintball guns, Danielson had been carrying a knife, according to Reinoehl. After police killed Reinoehl, witnesses stated he wasn’t holding a gun and that police in unmarked vehicles fired without announcing themselves. They said Reinoehl was walking in a parking lot, eating a gummy worm and carrying a cell phone. DDT called Reinoehl a “violent criminal” who engaged the officers in a “gunfight.” Like his praise for the 17-year-old killing demonstrators in Kenosha, DDT called their shootings “retribution.”

DDT assassinated Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and wanted to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In the town hall, he said he wants more police force, presumably to cause more violence and deaths. He killed the Kurds to please the Turkish dictator and has no concern about the Yemen civilians who are dying because of his war. He bragged to Bob Woodward for the book Rage how he protected Mohammed bin Salman after the Saudi Crown Prince tortured, killed, and dismembered the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. He proposes to massacre people in the U.S. by encouraging deaths from COVID-19.  DDT’s indifference to human life is in the news daily. And all to please his supporters.

Steven Levitsky, author of How Democracies Die, wrote about DDT’s support of white supremacist militias, “The public embrace of militias and paramilitaries is clearly recognizable authoritarian behavior.” Ruth Ben-Ghiat, author of a forthcoming book on authoritarian leaders Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, compared DDT’s behavior to Mussolini’s use to violence to destabilize violence in order to claim he is the person to stop the violence. Levitsky said:

“The only way you can avoid violence, and perhaps a constitutional crisis, is if the political leadership moves to de-escalate things and demobilize their bases. Trump is doing precisely the opposite of that.”

U.S. COVID-19 cases: 6,874,596; deaths, 202,213. DDT wants “herd mentality” [sic], meaning 215 million cases and 6.386 million deaths—in the U.S. from the virus.

December 15, 2019

‘Anti-Semitism’ Ban Doesn’t Protect Jewish People

At a White House Hanukkah reception, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) signed an executive order explicitly naming Jews as a protected class under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and cracking down on anti-Semitism by denying federal funds to any group exhibiting his definition of anti-Semitism. Title VI lists non-discrimination only for race, color, and national origin which means that Jewish people are protected as “national origin” and not religion.

The order punishes any First Amendment free speech criticism of Israel, blocks the BDS movement—Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions—which attempts to “end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians” by boycotting Israel for its illegal activities in the West Bank and Gaza, and eliminates any support for Palestinians. Curriculum that did not completely support Israel would also be banned under this order.

A hue and cry declaimed that DDT didn’t declare Judaism a “nationality,” that he just put it under “race” and “nationality.” That explanation seems to have the same meaning as “nationality”—it even uses the same word. The order raises questions such as whether Ivanka Trump, a Jewish convert, now has a new “race” or “nationality.” Most of the Jews in the U.S. describe their identity as cultural or religious—or perhaps heritage—while they are Americans. Being separate from Americans can deny them the nation’s rights. If the government determines a definition of nationality for Jewishness, this different category leaves them open to more discrimination.  

Several Jewish organizations raised objections to DDT’s order. Alissa Wise, an activist rabbi with Jewish Voice for Peace, said:

“Trump has never cared about stopping antisemitism — this executive order is about silencing Palestinians and the people who speak up with them.”

Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street, said:

“We feel it is misguided and harmful for the White House to unilaterally declare a broad range of nonviolent campus criticism of Israel to be anti-Semitic, especially at a time when the prime driver of anti-Semitism in this country is the xenophobic, white nationalist far-right.”

In its petition to reject DDT’s executive order, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights states:

“Though touted as a means of protecting Jews and of supporting Israel, this planned Executive Order only threatens First Amendment rights, which include the right to criticize the actions of any country on earth, while confirming a centuries-old antisemitic trope — that the primary loyalty of Jews is not to the state in which they live. This supposition has resulted in horrific discrimination against Jews in countless countries. Take a stand against it today.”

Emily Mayer, political director of IfNotNow, wrote:

 “Trump’s executive order is not about keeping Jews safe. After a week in which he spewed classic anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money, this is just more anti-Semitism. The order’s move to define Judaism as a ‘nationality’ promotes the classically bigoted idea that American Jews are not American. This order is a dangerous move to silence the free speech of human rights advocates and, in particular, Palestinian and Muslim college students.”

Last weekend, DDT used anti-Jewish negative stereotypes of the wealthy Jew in real estate when he said to the Israeli American Council:

“A lot of you are in the real estate business… You’re brutal killers, not nice people at all, but you have to vote for me. You have no choice. You’re not going to vote for Pocahontas, I can tell you that. You’re not gonna vote for the wealth tax.”

DDT continues his pattern of protecting anti-Semitic white supremacists, as he did after their racist protests in Charlotte (VA). Despite the nationalist protesters’ cries of “Jews will not replace us,” DDT continues to insist that they were “fine people on both sides.” 

The executive order is reminiscent of the 1870 Crémieux Decree that the French government enacted in Algeria with the white supremacist goal of giving Algerian Jews the rights and protection of French citizenship while leaving Muslim and Amazigh Algerians second-class citizens. Jewish Algerians lost their privileges when Nazis took over Europe and set up the Vichy regime in France.

By creating citizenship for Algerian Jews, the French government deflected Algerians’ anger of the violence of colonization onto this minority group. Separating the two oppressed groups, Jews and Muslims, meant that they could not successfully opposed the French colonial power. The rise of anti-Semitism drove Jews out of Algeria to France and the anti-colonial movement. By 1940, Muslims fought colonization in Algeria, and Jews faced genocide in France.

France suffers from both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, the direction that the United States is taking. White supremacist governments, including the United States, isolate religious and ethnic groups to pit them against each other to block solidarity. DDT separates Jews and Muslims to make them more ineffective in the fight against white supremacy. He strengthens his division of minority groups by ordering that Palestinian liberation work and fighting anti-Semitism are in opposition.

George W. Bush and President Obama used Title VI to oppose discrimination against people of different religions, not specifically Jewish, and did not declare them a nationality. Instead, discrimination against Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, etc. was covered by Title VI if the discrimination is based on “the group’s actual or perceived ancestry or ethnic characteristics” or “actual or perceived citizenship or residency in a country whose residents share a dominant religion or a distinct religious identity.”

DDT uses a pattern of stating that Jewish people in the United States aren’t really “Americans.” Speaking to Jewish groups, he calls Israel “your country” and Benjamin Netanyahu “your prime minister.” He uses perspectives about Israel, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and himself to define the Jewish community as “loyal” or “disloyal.” Prominent Jewish people, for example, Alexander Vindman who testified during the impeachment inquiry, suffer from questions about their patriotism and their loyalty to “America.” DDT’s executive order expands on the difference, insinuating that “Jewish” is separated from “America” and putting that idea into law. This follows DDT’s position that “Mexican Americans” aren’t really Americans.

The new executive order lumps together all anti-Israel conduct without considering whether it is anti-Jewish. The First Amendment protects anti-Semitic speech—at least until DDT was inaugurated. Although it may be repugnant, the term “I hate Jews” is as protected as “I hate carnivores.” The order bans free speech by requiring all government agencies consider the nonbinding International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism in enforcing anti-discrimination law. The criteria, developed for data-collection, are so vague and imprecise that a Palestinian rights group on campus could lose funding for a school.

To ban all criticism against Israel is to stop criticism of a country.  Israel is a political entity, and DDT’s order bans any criticism of an entire country and its government. Criticism of illegal West Bank settlements is a political discussion, not “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious or racial group,” a definition of anti-Semitism. Debates about Israeli policy is not necessarily anti-Jewish.

DDT’s goal with his executive order is to stop any criticism of Israel by calling it “anti-Semitic.” Israel is a political entity, and his order bans any criticism of a country and government. Criticism of illegal West Bank settlements is a political discussion, not “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious or racial group,” the definition of anti-Semitism. Debates about Israeli policy are not anti-Semitism.

Technically, DDT’s executive order against “anti-Semitism” should oppose discrimination against a wide range of communities. Although claims have been made that “anti-Semitism” is exclusively for Jewish people, the term Semite covers people in West Asia, North and East Africa, and Malta—all racially connected by the Semitic language. Therefore, bans against anti-Semitism should stop discrimination against Muslims, Palestinians, etc. DDT’s “anti-Semitism” order is actually anti-Zionism. Both left and right Zionists want the state of Israel, but DDT’s ideology, the rightwing Zionists, combine religion and politics while opposing peace with Palestinians in order to take over all their land. The Zionists want privileges for Jews over Arabs, Palestinians, and Christians.

As a person, DDT is pro-Zionist, trying to protect the state of Israel to keep the evangelical Christians happy, but he demonstrates anti-Jewish behavior which encourages his prejudiced base to behave violently toward Jewish people in their desire to rid the U.S. of Jewish people. Anti-Jewish episodes in the U.S. increased 60 percent in the first year after DDT’s inauguration and continued into a record number of attacks, for example the killing of four people at a Jersey City kosher supermarket this past week.  

Anti-Muslim evangelical Christian leader Robert Jeffress spoke at the Hanukkah event where DDT signed his order. Jeffress maintains that “you can’t be saved being a Jew” and called Mormonism “a heresy from the pit of hell.” According to anti-Jewish Jeffress, Hell is “filled with good religious people who have rejected the truth of Christ.” DDT supports Jeffress because “I like people that talk well about me.”

DDT is not a friend of the Jewish people in the United States.

August 18, 2019

Oppose Fundamentalist Christian Opposition to Democracy

Much has been said about the connection between mass shooting and white supremacy, but people are more cautious in discussing its connection to Christianity. Activist Sandy Rios, activist for extreme conservative Christianity, claims that criticism of white supremacy is an attack on Christianity. In her radio program, she defended the Nazis for murder of white people because they selected those who didn’t qualify for the superhuman race. She added:
“When the left is talking about white supremacism, they’re talking about the roots of this country. They’re talking about Christianity. They’re talking about hard work, about capitalism and free-market values. They’re talking about everything that has made America what it is. That’s what they mean.”

The Southern Baptist Convention was founded on with the ideology that black slavery and white supremacy are the basis of the Christian faith. The white supremacist Ku Klux Klan has always been a Christian organization. Christians allowed Nazi Germany to take control and murder people because most German Christians supported the Third Reich even in the face of mounting evidence of its evil. Throughout Europe, millions of Christians still support fascist regimes just as early Christian sects were loyal to authoritarian leaders.

Centuries ago, Rome misinterpreted the Gospels to remove blame for Jesus’ crucifixion from Romans and move it to the Jews. Throughout time, the myth that Jews killed Jesus accelerated into Catholic genocide of Jews during the Holocaust. A racist, anti-democracy culture came from people who grew up in strict, pious households disparaging tolerance and free speech. Nazis despised feminism, homosexuality, and abortion while following a patriarchal lifestyle with discipline and conformity. Their elections reflected their belief that an authoritarian strongman would “make Germany great again”; religious Germans repeatedly voted for anti-democracy candidates. As Christians supported Hitler and his policies, he became stronger, and the minority weaker. Not even Hitler’s mandatory sterilizations of minorities and the mentally ill lost his Catholic leaders.

Michael Gerson writes about how Christians find their worship of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) in opposition to Jesus’ spiritual education. For example, only 25 percent of white evangelical Christians accept the responsibility to help refugees, compared to 65 percent of those not affiliated with a religion. The majority of conservative Christians promote cruelty, corruption, and hypocrisy, not the people who consider themselves non-Christians. Gerson proposes that these Christians take their talking points from Fox, talk radio, and DDT with a blasphemous worship of political idols. They side with white supremacists, making them difficult to identify as Christians.  

Christian TV host Leigh Valentine claims migrant children in DDT’s concentration camps are “God-haters,” “unclean,” “debased,” and “criminals.”

DDT-supporting West Virginia state senator Paul Hardesty reported that at least three of his constituents called to complain about DDT’s profanity—“using the Lord’s name in vain”—at a recent rally in Greenville (NC). Although many of DDT’s listeners focused on the “send her back” chanting, others were disturbed by his frequent use of “g—damn” and other profanities. Hardesty hasn’t heard back from DDT after he wrote him to “reflect on your comments and never utter those words again.” Hardesty said:

“I think this president needs to be president to all of the people and realize that kids look up to him and adults look up to him. Carrying that type of language from behind the presidential seal is offensive.”

Two pro-DDT pastors expressed dismay about his use of “bullsh—” at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in March. He bragged about going “off-script” and then littered the remainder of his speech with cursing in front of an audience with young people. Yet some evangelicals support DDT despite his multiple divorces, infidelities, and inability to discuss religion. Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. says that DDT’s language is not a deal-breaker despite its front-and-center appearance in his campaign and since his inauguration. Evangelicals who turn against DDT think racism and cruelty are no problem, but his language is offensive. All sin—sexual assault, adultery, rape, murder, corruption, lying, etc.—is forgivable except swearing.

In the 16th century, one Catholic priest, Diego de Landa, destroyed the Mayan language and culture through the forced adoption of the Intolerance Meme that declares worshipping gods other than the primary one is a sin but justifies murder, slavery, forced conversion, racism, destruction of other religions, etc. Furious because the Mayans incorporated the Catholic god into their religion, Lana started the inquisition that tortured and killed Mayans throughout the Yucatan region. By 1720, not one person alive understood the meaning of the Mayan hieroglyphs. Landa was punished by house arrest in Spain, but only for an inquisition without authorization, and then promoted to Bishop of Yucatan in Central America.

DDT is not unique among presidential candidates in his swearing: Joe Biden makes slips, and Beto O’Rourke and Tulsi Gabbard use profanity. But they haven’t been elected to the highest office in the country, and they don’t count on the religious right for votes. In 2016, 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for DDT, and 61 percent of the voting bloc approve of the country’s direction—22 percent higher than the general population in the conservative Rasmussen poll.

According to Melissa Mohr, author of a book on swearing, DDT’s swearing was initially acceptable because his blunt statements gave him a sense of authenticity and came from “a deep well of real feeling.” On the other hand, the use of profanity for shock value, according to one of the pastors, “does raise questions about the president’s respect for people of faith.”

Recent developments show Christian collectively pushing the theocratic “dominionist” ideology in government through unconstitutional state-mandated “religious liberty” policies: 

Six weeks ago, federal prosecutors decided to retry humanitarian aid volunteer Scott Warren for aiding migrants on the southern border after his first trial ended in a hung jury. Following the words of Jesus, Warren gave food, water, clothing, and shelter to people on the Arizona desert, a belief that can put him in prison.

The VA announced new “religious liberty” policies against religious minorities by putting bibles in the public POW/MIA “missing man” displays. As justification, it cited the Supreme Court decision that allowed a cross to represent 49 men from Prince George County (MD) who died in World War I.

Frederick Clarkson reported to the House about Minnesota state legislators threatening to cut the entire budget for the Minnesota Historical Society if they didn’t drop all education and changes that don’t support the Christian nationalist concentration on only their “Judeo-Christian heritage.” Their insistence came from Project Blitz that prepares a package of Christian-only bills at the state level that promote discrimination. The lectures about the myth of the U.S. founded as a “Christian nation” were privately funded, but Project Blitz still wanted to block them.

The dominance of Israel over U.S. legislators has returned with DDT’s attacks on Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), both Muslims. Tlaib also has Palestinian heritage. Christian fundamentalists support Israel, hate Palestinians, and believe that Jews are going to hell if they don’t become fundamentalist Christians. Evangelicals need to eradicate the Palestinians so that Jews can gather on their land and must convert before the beginning of the great millennium, the golden age when Christ reigns on earth. In addition, Christian nationalists want the U.S. to be a white Christian nation. Therefore, the Christian fundamentalist position on Israel is selfishly religious and racist—not political.

Evangelical worship for DDT gives a bad name to all Christians—and all religious people. When Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R-TX) told Fox and Friends that the shooting was a warning from God, Matthew Martin-Ellis wrote a piece for the Christian publication The Relevant describing Patrick’s comment as “logically indefensible.”

A group of at least 17 church leaders, united under the name Christians Against Christian Nationalism, is opposing the Christian nationalists’ attacks on other faiths and attempts to make the U.S. a fundamentalist theocracy. The coalition asserts:

“Whether we worship at a church, mosque, synagogue or temple, America has no second-class faiths. All are equal under the U.S. Constitution.

“Christian nationalism … provides cover for white supremacy and racial subjugation.

“Christian nationalism seeks to merge Christian and American identities, distorting both the Christian faith and America’s constitutional democracy. Christian nationalism demands Christianity be privileged by the state and implies that to be a good American, one must be Christian.”

These leaders warn about the threat to both Christian faith and democracy if church and state don’t remain separate. They reject the idea that being a “good American” requires being Christian and argue against the privilege of Christianity by the State.

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