Nel's New Day

July 13, 2019

DDT: Week 129 – His Disillusionment, Losses

Last week, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned after his sweet plea agreement for child molester Jeffrey Epstein blew up, and Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) lost his citizenship question on the 2020 census. He also failed to convince people that he is the “environment president” and invited crazy far-right personalities to his social media summit where he talked about saving “free speech” for only the right wing. Big news for millions of people was the U.S. win in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, its fourth in the history of eight tournaments played every four years. The celebration included a parade in New York City along with keys to the city and a speech from Megan Rapinoe, captain of the winning Reign FC. “We have to be better, we have to love more and hate less. Listen more and talk less. It is our responsibility to make this world a better place,” Rapinoe told the crowd.

After the win, a member of Fox network watched the broadcast with a crowd in a Lyon (France) sports bar who broke into chants of “F**k Trump.” Although DDT didn’t directly refer to the news piece, he spent the next day lambasting Fox—loading the network with Democrats such Donna Brazille, calling them worse than CNN (until now his most hated network), and “using Fake unsourced @NYTimes.” Earlier he had invited the U.S. women’s national soccer team to the White House but now says he hasn’t “really thought about” an invitation. Fox checked DDT’s environmental lies in real time, and Shep Smith interrupted DDT’s speech to discuss the over 80 environmental rules and regulations that DDT repealed and/or rolled back. Other DDT complaints about Fox: the network “forgot the people who got them there,” and “Fox is moving more and more to the losing (wrong) side in covering the Dems.” Fox helped get DDT elected by repeating false conspiracy theories, some of them from Russia, such as the lie about Hillary Clinton’s assassins killing DNC staffer Seth Rich.

The alt-right is also becoming disillusioned with DDT. After his July 4 event, white supremacists used their online forums such as 4chan and 8chan to describe betrayal about his lack of sweeping immigration enforcement. Steve Bannon, who described his website Breitbart as “the platform for the alt-right,” is gone, and the “United the Right” rally in Charlottesville (VA) sent a white supremacist to prison for murder. Even former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke rejects DDT, referring to him as “President Donald Kushner,” and now supports Tulsi Gabbard for president.

Chubb has become the first major U.S. insurance company to no longer support coal companies by refusing to underwrite building new coal-fired power plants and not investing in companies that generate more than 30 percent of their revenues from coal mining or production. The company will also phase out existing coverage for mining and utility companies that exceed the 30 percent threshold. The climate crisis is hurting Insurance companies: global losses for extreme weather and natural disasters in 2017 and 2018 ran $219 billion.

A court has ruled that DDT cannot block Twitter followers who criticize or mock him because he conducts government business through tweets. DDT’s lawyers failed to convince the judge that his account, which makes official pronouncements, is purely personal. The unanimous ruling from a 2nd Circuit Appeals Court three-judge panel, two of them appointed by George W. Bush, confirmed a lower-court ruling.

DDT has more subpoenas to block: the House has issued over 36 subpoenas to the Trump Organization and other DDT businesses connected to its lawsuit about DDT’s violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution by profiting from foreign governments. Another dozen include DDT’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the former AG Jeff Sessions. One topic for questioning will be the hush money DDT paid women about their affairs with him.

Despite DDT’s promise to lower the cost of drugs, they keep increasing: the FDA has approved Novartis’ Zolgensma, a gene therapy drug for a form of hereditary spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), at an annual cost of $425,000. The drug is targeted for children under two years old suffering from the disease causing death or permanent breathing support. At least the cost is less than Biogren’s Spinraza, costing $750,000 the first year and then an annual $375,000. Drug companies are also charging large amounts by taking over natural substances, for example a CBD drug for childhood epilepsy $32,500 a year and an L-glutamine drug (costing $10 a bottle) for $40,000 a year. Companies can petition the removal of supplements from the market, forcing people to buy their expensive replacements. DDT withdrew his proposal to lower drug prices by stopping drugmaker rebates to insurance middlemen. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has created a new Commission on Unalienable Rights that may roll back rights for LGBTQ people and women throughout the world. The State Department already has an office for human rights, but Pompeo’s commission was created separate from that office and without its input. The commission’s chair, Mary Ann Glendon, has received awards for her anti-abortion activism, she falsely wrote that the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit was an “abortifacient” mandate, and she thinks that marriage equality discriminates against religious freedom.  

Thanks to the “all-about-me July 4 from DDDT (Deadbeat Dictator Donald Trump), Washington, DC’s security fund is broke after paying $1.7 million for the event—six times what Fourth of July events usually cost the city. DDDT, who still owes $7.3 million in security costs for his inauguration almost 30 months ago, has a reputation for telling his contractors and employers to go whistle for what he owes them. DC faces the same problem. 

Previously not charged for his illegal lobbying with Turkey, former national security adviser Michael Flynn has been listed as a co-conspirator with his former business partner Bijan Kian at Kian’s trial because the court has no faith in Flynn’s honesty. Kian is charged with Turkish national Kamil Ekim Alptekin as acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Turkey in connection with the now-defunct Flynn Intel Group’s lobbying campaign to extradite Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen from Pennsylvania. The trial begins on July 15, two days before Mueller is scheduled to testify to a House committee.

The tariff problem with China may disappear after DDT was granted preliminary approval for 38 Trump-branded Chinese businesses—hotels, spas, escort and concierge services, massage parlors, personal security services, and insurance. He suspended tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods and gave permission for Huawei to sell its products to the U.S. although he thinks that the Chinese telecom company conspired to provide forbidden financial services to Iran. Congress has not approved the unconstitutional profit-making for DDT, but judges have already exonerated him for violating the emoluments clause.  

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is trying to persuade Congress to raise the debt ceiling before the August recess, eight working days from now. He claims that the U.S. is running out of money sooner than he expected—maybe because of little revenue from the wealthy and big business?—and could default on its bills before congressional members return in September. The U.S. has not been able to borrow money since March when congressional borrowing limits went back into effect.

DDT has a new definition for free speech: “not when you see something good and then you purposefully write bad.” As Jon Chait wrote:

“[DDT’s] entire goal is to promote supportive views and suppress hostile ones. And the willingness of virtually the entire conservative movement to support or tolerate his cynical conscription of free speech to intimidate the media reveals how little it, too, cares about freedom.”

In most of the nation, the redder the zip code the more distressed the people. This map shows the level of distress for these factors: education, housing vacancy, unemployment levels, poverty rate, median income, the change in number of jobs, and business establishments. Only 20 percent of people live in the 97 percent of geographic rural areas, and almost half those people live in the South.

Negative publicity may have forced DDT to cancel the strip-club sponsored golf tournament scheduled at his Doral Miami resort, complete with DDT’s family crest on the advertising. Plans included nudity and an auction for “caddy girls.” Plummeting revenues at the Doral, 69 percent in the past two years, have caused the Trump Organization to seek county tax relief. Mar-a-Lago revenues dropped ten percent after his open support of white supremacists at Charlottesville (VA), and the Trump Tower in New York is “one of the least desirable luxury properties in Manhattan.”

Confidence in U.S. institutions is rapidly shrinking: religion is down to a little above one-third. Fewer than one fourth have faith in the criminal justice system, and confidence in Congress has dropped to 11 percent.

Democratic presidential candidates: Sen. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) is the first to leave the 2020 race, but billionaire Tom Steyer dived in, believing he could save the country with his money.

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