Monday, September 7, 2020

Last Call For Going Postal, Con't

Yesterday we learned that as CEO of a North Carolina logistics firm, Postmaster General Louis Dejoy pressured his workers into donating to Republicans and then reimbursed them with bonuses to cover the cost, a campaign finance felony violation that also apparently included lying to Congress about the exact scheme last month. It was DeJoy's skill at fundraising that got the attention of Trump, and of course he was appointed as the ultimate American logistics firm head as Postmaster General.

Not only is the New York Times confirming the Washington Post's story from over the weekend, but we now find out that one of the major Republicans DeJoy was fundraising for was current NC GOP Sen. Thom Tillis, locked in his own reelection battle with Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major donor to President Trump and fund-raiser for the Republican Party, cultivated an environment at his former company that left employees feeling pressured to make donations to Republican candidates, and rewarded them with bonuses for doing so, according to former employees.

The arrangement was described by three former employees at New Breed Logistics, Mr. DeJoy’s former company, who said that workers would receive bonuses if they donated to candidates he supported, and that it was expected that managers would participate. A fourth employee confirmed that managers at the company were routinely solicited to make donations. The four former employees spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of professional retaliation.

The former employees did not say how explicit Mr. DeJoy was about linking the campaign contributions he was encouraging to the extra compensation, but three of them said it was widely believed that the bonuses were meant to reimburse the political donations, an allegation first reported by The Washington Post. Federal campaign finance law bars straw-donor schemes, in which an individual reimburses someone else to donate to a political campaign in order to skirt contribution limits. But it is legal to encourage employees to make donations, as Mr. DeJoy routinely did.

A review of campaign finance records shows that over a dozen management-level employees at New Breed would routinely donate to the same candidate on the same day, often writing checks for an identical amount of money. One day in October 2014, for example, 20 midlevel and senior officials at the company donated a total of $37,600 to the campaign of Senator Thom Tillis, Republican of North Carolina, who was running to unseat a Democratic incumbent. Each official wrote a check for either $2,600, the maximum allowable donation, or $1,000.

Similar patterns of donations — including to the Republican National Committee and every Republican presidential nominee from President George W. Bush to Mitt Romney — stretch back to 2003, campaign finance records show. Mr. DeJoy’s wife, Dr. Aldona Wos, was the vice chairwoman of Mr. Bush’s North Carolina fund-raising team, and Mr. Bush later appointed her to serve as the ambassador to Estonia. Mr. DeJoy, a Republican megadonor, served as the chief executive of New Breed from 1983 to 2014, until the company was sold to XPO Logistics.

Monty Hagler, a spokesman for Mr. DeJoy, said in a lengthy statement provided to The New York Times that the former New Breed executive “consistently provided family members and employees with various volunteer opportunities to get involved in activities that a family member or employee might feel was important or enjoyable to that individual.”

So now not only does DeJoy have a huge problem on his hands, so does Sen. Tillis.

The other issue is now that there's clearly grounds for legal investigation, and the corrupt Barr Justice Department isn't going to lift a finger, it's up to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein to take a look.

So many Trump regime cronies need to be serving prison time for massive corruption, and that starts with getting rid of the people protecting them: Donald Trump, and Bill Barr.

Orange Meltdown, Con't

Trump continues to try to shift the news cycle away from his 200,000 COVID-19 deaths with all new fascist outrages on a near-daily basis, and today is no exception.

President Donald Trump is continuing to wage battle against interpretations of history which he claims are un-American. 
In a Sunday morning tweet, the President said the US Department of Education would investigate whether California schools are using the New York Times' "1619 Project" in public school curriculum. The Pulitzer-Prize winning collection reframes American history around the date of August 1619, when the first slave ship arrived on America's shores. 
"Department of Education is looking at this. If so, they will not be funded!" he wrote on Twitter, citing a message from an unverified account saying it was being taught in schools there. 
The message came after the President on Friday night banned federal agencies from conducting racial sensitivity training related to "white privilege" and "critical race theory." 
Russell Vought, director of the Office of Management and Budget, instructed heads of federal agencies to dramatically alter racial sensitivity training programs for employees, deeming them "un-American propaganda" in a two-page memo
Like that memo, it's unclear the extent of the phenomenon the President is identifying. Some schools have said they will adopt the 1619 Project into their lessons -- though how many isn't known. 
The 1619 Project was launched by the New York Times Magazine last year. After the launch, the Pulitzer Center was named an education partner for the project and announced its education team would develop educational resources and curricula for teachers to use. The 1619 Project curriculum is available online for free through the center. 
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican, has introduced legislation that would prevent schools from teaching the curriculum. The legislation, titled the Saving American History Act of 2020, "would prohibit the use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project by K-12 schools or school districts. Schools that teach the 1619 Project would also be ineligible for federal professional-development grants." 
The legislation appears unlikely to gain any significant traction in the Senate but stands as a way for Cotton to send a message. 
The moves follow a pattern by the President of disparaging attempts to process or reckon with the country's fraught racial history. In his convention acceptance speech, the President said "Americans are exhausted, trying to keep up with the latest lists of approved words and phrases, and the ever more restrictive political decrees. Many things have a different name now, and the rules are constantly changing." 
"We want our sons and daughters to know the truth," Trump went on. "America is the greatest and most exceptional nation in the history of the world. Our country wasn't built by cancel culture, speech codes, and crushing conformity. We are not a nation of timid spirits."

America was built, quite literally, by slave labor, and then by indentured servitude for freed slaves and Chinese and Japanese immigrants, and then by poor Irish, Scots, Romani and Italian laborers who formed unions because they were white, and then by unions who were shattered and bloodied by corruption and strikebreaking, and then by machines that replaced the labor.

That's besides the point though, which is that Trump is threatening defunding and censorship made patently illegal by a host of US laws and the Constitution. He can't actually do anything, but he can continue a culture war to anger his followers and motivate them towards hatred in time for the election season as it gets under way for real this week.

All this is a problem, but it's a petty distraction while Trump is proclaiming he is the final arbiter of truth in America, it's a distraction from Trump's chosen path of genocidal neglect from COVID-19 deaths.

Keep that in mind.

Also vote early.

Deportation Nation, Con't

Just a reminder that in the COVID-19 era, the Trump regime still keeps migrant kids in cages and separates them from their parents in order to deport them to an unknown fate.

A 2-year-old boy locked in detention wants to be held all the time. A few girls, ages 10 to 15, say they’ve been doing their best to feed and soothe the clingy toddler who was handed to them by a guard days ago. Lawyers warn that kids are taking care of kids, and there’s inadequate food, water and sanitation for the 250 infants, children and teens at the Border Patrol station.

The bleak portrait emerged Thursday after a legal team interviewed 60 children at the facility near El Paso that has become the latest place where attorneys say young migrants are describing neglect and mistreatment at the hands of the U.S. government.

Data obtained by The Associated Press showed that on Wednesday there were three infants in the station, all with their teen mothers, along with a 1-year-old, two 2-year-olds and a 3-year-old. There are dozens more under 12. Fifteen have the flu, and 10 more are quarantined.

Three girls told attorneys they were trying to take care of the 2-year-old boy, who had wet his pants and had no diaper and was wearing a mucus-smeared shirt when the legal team encountered him.

“A Border Patrol agent came in our room with a 2-year-old boy and asked us, ‘Who wants to take care of this little boy?’ Another girl said she would take care of him, but she lost interest after a few hours and so I started taking care of him yesterday,” one of the girls said in an interview with attorneys.

Law professor Warren Binford, who is helping interview the children, said she couldn’t learn anything about the toddler, not even where he’s from or who his family is. He is not speaking.

Binford described that during interviews with children in a conference room at the facility, “little kids are so tired they have been falling asleep on chairs and at the conference table.”

She said an 8-year-old taking care of a very small 4-year-old with matted hair couldn’t convince the little one to take a shower.

“In my 22 years of doing visits with children in detention, I have never heard of this level of inhumanity,” said Holly Cooper, who co-directs University of California, Davis’ Immigration Law Clinic and represents detained youth.

This repulsive inhumanity makes grim sense when you remember our federal government is run by a lifelong white supremacist eugenicist who hired other lifelong white supremacist eugenicists in order to dehumanize migrants and immigrants on purpose (committing human rights violations on a massive scale) as a deterrent to end immigration period.

When you remember that this regime believes tens of millions of Americans should be stripped of their citizenship and rights, and be shipped off to who knows where, everything they have done in the last four years clicks into place.

They are hateful on the scale of 1930's Germany and we have one chance to stop them.

StupidiNews, Labor Day Edition!

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