Fox News goes after Mueller

Both Donald Trump and his former chief political strategist Steve Bannon are urging Roy Moore to concede, as the defiant Republican Senate candidate refuses to admit defeat to Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama senate election.

Fox News personalities truly seem more outraged at Robert Mueller than at the Russian government for attacking the US democracy. Sean Hannity declaring that Mueller and his team of investigators were an “utter disgrace.” Hannity then amped up the hysterics by claiming that this investigation poses a “direct threat to you, the American people, and our American republic,” as he called for Mueller to resign.

Fox’s Lou Dobbs proclaimed it was “time to kill the investigation.” Dobbs then bizarrely added that “the person who should be investigated is Barack Obama.” Why? Because the Russian interference “occurred under his administration.” Apparently he thinks that Obama helped Trump get elected so that Trump could try to dismantle every accomplishment of his presidency.

Former Speaker of the House and Fox News political contributor Newt Gingrich, who had praised Mueller when he was first appointed in May as a “superb choice” whose reputation was “impeccable for honesty and integrity,” said on air this week that “Mueller is corrupt. The senior FBI is corrupt.”

Trump tweeted “Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia – so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met.” Can you tell if he’s talking about the FBI’s man hours and money or those of the Democrats? If you do not know them, you usually never met them!

Trump claimed that he didn’t know or had never met the [fifteen] women accusing him of sexual harassment and assault, despite evidence to the contrary. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders qualified the comment during her daily press briefing, saying Trump was only referring to the three women who appeared at the news to reiterate their accusations against Trump. That’s despite the fact Trump’s tweet made no such specification. [I wonder if anyone takes Sanders seriously.]

Trump did not dismiss the idea of pardoning former national security adviser Michael Flynn after he pleaded guilty earlier this month to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the US.

While Trump continues to go after FBI, claiming it needs to be reformed, but then he told some FBI students that he has “their backs.” Doesn’t seem like it if you are going after the department you belong to.

It is, however, a well-known [but hushed] fact that the FBI tends to lean towards the right. So Trump’s constant bickering about the FBI doing the Democrat’s work is nonsense.

Trump tweeted “Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!” Trump’s standard type tweet: attack one and then attack someone at the end who have nothing to do with the first person attacked.

Trump attacked Gillibrand who has called for his resignation after multiple women renewed their sexual misconduct allegations against him. When he said she was a “lightweight” who would “do anything” for campaign contributions. Trump didn’t explain further what he meant.

“This is the same sentiment the President has expressed many times before,” Sanders said during the daily briefing. “The system is clearly broken and it’s clearly rigged for special interests. This President can’t be bought and it’s one of the reasons he’s President today.” [Are you laughing?]

According to Federal Election Commission documents, Trump donated $4,800 to Gillibrand for Senate in 2010 and $2,100 to Gillibrand Victory Fund in 2007. Trump went to her campaign office – she didn’t go to his office.

USA Today editorial board bashed Trump as “a president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush” after Trump’s tweet against her.

Omarosa Manigault Newman, Trump’s Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison, who is also an African-American, will leave her. Initially it was said that she resigned but reports say she was fired – escorted out of the White House. If so, she would be a two time fired person as he fired her on The Apprentice.

But Manigault Newman repeatedly denied reports of a dramatic confrontation between with White House chief of staff John Kelly, to ask Trump about her dismissal or physically escorted her out of the White House. Supposedly, both Kelly and former chief of staff Reince Priebus wanted to let Manigault Newman go, adding that many in the White House had little idea what she did.

Sanders could not give an actual account of the number of non-whites in the Trump administration. In fact when Manigault Newman leaves, there will be 2 in senior positions.

Trump will authorize the acting NASA administrator Robert M. Lightfoot Jr. to “lead an innovative space exploration program to send American astronauts back to the moon, and eventually Mars”. [I have a suggestion of who should be first to go…]

After Trump announced that the US would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol and it would help with the peace efforts, UN ambassador Nikki Haley repeated what Trump said. Meanwhile, probably all Muslim countries consider the efforts dead and/or cannot trust the US to mediate.

A Trump judicial nominee, Matthew Spencer Petersen, who currently serves as a commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, struggled to answer basic legal questions posed to him by a Republican senator, including his lack of experience on trial work, the amount of depositions he’d worked on and more. He was asked [among others] how many depositions Petersen had worked on [less than five], federal trials [no], state trials [no] and the last time he had read the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure — he said he couldn’t remember. He should of recused himself instead of wasting time.

With Disney buying a big chunk of 21st Century Fox which owns various Fox Trump was worried what would happen to his [precious] Fox News even though the deal already said that Fox News would not be sold off. Does he read?

“The Coca Cola company is not happy with me–that’s okay, I’ll still keep drinking that garbage,” said Trump in 2012. But he drinks 12 cans of Diet Coke a day.

According to a report, people who report drinking artificially sweetened beverages end up at higher risk than non-diet soda drinkers for lots of negative outcomes, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension and stroke, as well as dementia. Some research suggests that artificially sweetened drinks can increase one’s appetite and the desire for sweets.

A Boston University School of Medicine study from this year found that people who reported drinking at least one can of an artificially sweetened soft drink each day were almost three times as likely to have a stroke caused by a blood clot, compared with those who avoided these diet beverages. One-a-day diet soda drinkers were nearly three times as likely as those who never drink diet soda to be diagnosed with dementia, as well, the researchers found.

Trump signed into law legislation that bans the use of Kaspersky Lab within the U.S. government, capping a months-long effort to purge the Moscow-based antivirus firm from federal agencies amid concerns it was vulnerable to Kremlin influence.

Sean “Garlic” Spicer is writing a book called The Briefing, to be release next summer by a “prominent” conservative publisher. Don’t expect anything revealing about Trump. Even then, it will be checked out by government officials to make sure nothing of national security will be mentioned. So it will be boring as hell and will be in the high discounted bins within a few months of release.

A former Fox News anchor Juliet Huddy said that Trump tried to kiss her in an elevator in “2005 or 2006,” which she said surprised her but did not make her feel threatened. It’s unclear whether Trump was married at the time since she  does not recall the exact date. “He took me for lunch at Trump Tower, just us two. He said goodbye to me in an elevator while his security guy was there; rather than kiss me on the cheek he leaned in to kiss me on the lips.”

The FCC has killed net neutrality rules. The rules required [among other things] all traffic has equal strength. One ISP cannot limit the traffic speed [example Netflix] while allow others [for example their own services] to get a regular or higher speed. Not surprisingly, Trump wants the net neutrality rules killed as he wants to kill as much regulation.

Congress has 60 legislative days to act once the rule is submitted. The Senate will have to enact the resolution by a simple majority and the President has veto power. Democrats are against removing the regulations.

After the FCC repealed the Obama-era net neutrality rules, Trump held a press conference to claim that more than 1,500 regulatory actions have been delayed or canceled by his administration in 2017.

Sanders said the administration “supports” the decision to repeal net neutrality – and the idea of a “free and fair internet.” Well not really free and it isn’t fair if an ISP restricts the traffic speed from a competitor while giving their own services more speed. If you are using [for example] Amazon’s Prime video service and your ISP is throttling the speed, you would probably want to switch to another ISP. I know I would.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says he will sue to stop the “illegal rollback” of Net Neutrality following the Federal Communications Commission’s vote to repeal it.

Trump was all happy when he announced that one poll had his approval rating at 46%. But his disapproval rating was 51%. I think most leaders would not be advertising that more than half of the country disapproves him.

Trump still is boasting his election win. “And we didn’t get to 270; we got 306,” he declared, according to a transcript of his remarks, which the press was not permitted to view. “That’s even better, right? So we had an amazing time.” He’s forgetting the loss in various elections including in Alabama this past week.

Russian hacker Konstantin Kozlovsky testified to carrying out attacks at the request of the Russian FSB (the KGB-successor). The testimony is a first-hand account of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election that directly contradicts Putin’s denials of any involvement. Now will it lead anything to Trump or his team.

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An Alabama upset win for the Democrats

A big ouch!

Alabama Democratic Senate nominee Doug Jones won a tight race over Republican Roy Moore. Is this the end of Moore’s career?

The question is what will Donald Trump do now. In a seat where the Republicans won by over 30 points in the last senate election only to lose by over a full percent.

Will Trump open a Twitter storm and blame everyone but himself? He should admit to the mess and take part of the blame. Same for other Republicans such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump tweeted “The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election.  I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him!” How was it stacked? Trump still endorsed Moore. Didn’t have to.

Moore’s votes plus write-ins would of put Moore over the top – barely. Democrats controlled the major cities and the center of the state, Republicans controlled the outskirts/rural areas.

Privately, some of Trump’s advisers cast blame on his White House political director Bill Stepien, already under fire for losses last month in New Jersey and Virginia. Stepien unsuccessfully advised Trump against backing Moore — a sign, his detractors say, of his middling influence.

“This guy [Stephen Bannon] does not belong on the national stage. He looks like some disheveled drunk that wandered on to the national stage,” said Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican.

“Mitch McConnell and the Republican establishment got their wish and delivered the Yellowhammer State into the hands of a liberal Democrat,” said Andy Surabian, senior adviser to the Great America Alliance, an outside political group aligned with Bannon.

Moore appeared on a conspiracy-driven radio show twice in 2011, where he told the hosts in an interview that getting rid of constitutional amendments after the Tenth Amendment would ‘eliminate many problems’ in the way the US government is structured. Those amendments include the abolition of slavery, voting rights, etc.

In a May 2011 episode, Moore told the two radio hosts, who have repeatedly rejected the official explanation for the 9/11 attacks, that he would be open to hearings looking into “what really happened” on that day.

Moore campaign spokesman Brett Doster said that Moore “is the only Senate candidate with experience serving in a combat zone.”

When Trump backed Luther Strange, who lost to Moore at the end of September, Trump was infuriated at having taken his team’s advice. Worried his support for Strange risked alienating his Republican base, Trump erased all evidence that he’d endorsed the senator at all, including on Twitter [which is probably illegal].

Moore was favored in exit polls by whites, males, voters 50 and older, and those with some college or less. 2% of Democrats would vote for Moore but 8% of Republicans and a slight majority of independents would vote for Jones. Most moderates and the vast majority of liberals would vote for Jones.

Moore had said after his loss that he will ask for a recount. With a 20,000 majority by Jones, that would be a losing battle.

“This is the worst political operation in my lifetime in a White House, Republican or Democrat,” said one Republican close to the White House. “It’s just a rudderless ship with no direction and no captain.”

Republican Senator Richard Shelby, who was the last Democrat to win a Senate seat from Alabama in 1992 before switching parties two years later, declared the charges credible, despite Moore’s denials, and the senior senator said he’d write in another Republican. No nasty tweets about him by Trump. Maybe Trump can’t afford to completely alienate a senator after losing one.

 

Some of Trump’s campaign promises that he has failed to fulfil

As we get close to the first year of the Trump administration, here are the mostly misses in campaign pledges:

  • Repealing the Obama era health care law [Affordable Care Act] is a promise unfulfilled.
  • Withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] remains unfulfilled.
  • Congress has yet to approve money Trump has requested for his promised border wall. Even the sample walls have yet to receive any endorsement/approval.
  • The successful confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch [but was it a campaign pledge]. This is also probably the easiest to accomplish in this list.
  • He refused to recertify the Iran nuclear deal, but left the matter of new sanctions to Congress.
  • He pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate change agreement but left open the possibility of rejoining it later.
  • He ordered an end to a program protecting young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as kids [DACA], but gave Congress six months to find a way to protect them from deportation.
  • He pledged during the 2016 campaign to recognize Israel’s claim to the city and to move the American embassy there from Tel Aviv. He offered no timeline for the embassy relocation and signed a waiver officially delaying any move for six months.
  • He three times released executive order for travel bans only to have them go to courts. Only the second ban has gone through – but just partially.

Did you notice that many of the items what could be considered a “done deal” have backdoors which allow him to switch back or let others take the blame in case it doesn’t go through.

 

Trump moves embassy and endorses Moore, opens more cans of worms

Donald Trump officially announced the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol. Despite urgent appeals from Arab and European leaders, The Pope and others and the risk of anti-American protests and violence, Trump declared that he was ending an approach that for decades has failed to advance the prospects for peace. He also for the first time personally endorsed the concept of a “two-state solution” for Israel and the Palestinians, provided both sides agree to it.

Trump claimed this move would actually push the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians for a two state solutions but this obviously won’t me the case. Many foreign affairs departments across the world have already warned those visiting Israel to avoid Muslim dominated areas in Israel and nearby.

Trump claimed that the previous Presidents failed to solve the impasse between the two sides. If so, it can also be said that his son-in-law has also failed as he was trying to kick start the peace talks. Trump will also claimed in future elections [such as the mid-term elections in 11 months] that he has fixed the problem – but in fact made it worse. Now the Muslim countries will trust the Trump administration even less.

Trump is probably trying to please the conservative evangelicals who don’t really care about Israel but instead want to make sure that their religious sites don’t fall in the hand of Muslims.

Trump also directed that the State Department begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as required by U.S. law. Officials said, however, that the move will take years to complete. This was one of his few campaign promises that he has acted on.

“Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama” as Trump tweets and now endorses sexual harasser Moore for the senate seat for Alabama. “We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!” Or basically everything that has failed Trump in his first term.

So I guess it’s more important to have his vote than for being charged for harassment of women.

The White House announced that Trump will hold an event in Pensacola, Florida — just 25 miles from the Alabama border. But Trump still hasn’t campaigned for Moore [some nicknamed “Judge Pervert”] otherwise. Some endorsement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell changed his tone on whether he thought Moore should be in the Senate, saying he would “let the people of Alabama make the call”. In November, McConnell said Moore should “step aside” and maybe even a write-in candidate. After that, Moore tweeted that it was McConnell who should bow out of politics, saying he “has failed conservatives and must be replaced.”

If Moore loses, then trump will just say that he had backed Luther Strange and not Moore. He will claim that he didn’t campaign with Moore [and yet he endorsed him].

The fact that Trump kept his distance only to support Moore in this past week [to an extent] probably because he can’t lose a senate seat which would make it even more difficult for him to pass any legislation.

Already, there are some senators [even Republicans] who threaten to start an ethics investigation if Moore somehow wins. Moore may barely step a foot or two in the Senate before he could be thrown out. In this case, another special election will be called and million was wasted on Moore’s election win.

At the Florence [Alabama] rally, in response to a question from one of the only African Americans in the audience — who asked when Moore thought America was last “great” — Moore acknowledged the nation’s history of racial divisions, but said: “I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another…. Our families were strong, our country had a direction.” At the same event, Moore referred to Native Americans and Asian Americans as “reds and yellows.”

“Look, it’s being proven we have a rigged system,” Trump said to the crowd supporting Moore at an event. Trump also called it a “sick system from the inside.” So he’s been in office for over 10 months, what has he done to fix the “rigged system”?

Moore is really out there. He believes that Barack Obama isn’t an American. As well ban Muslims from run in government because they will bring in Sharia Law. Muslims make up around 3% of the US. Be a long way for that to happen. Also add 9/11 happened because America strayed from God. He equates homosexuality with bestiality.

His spokeswoman, Janet Porter, is one of the worst spokesperson I’ve seen. Can’t seem to answer, doesn’t know the answer or goes way off topic. She defended him against accusations of sexual misconduct against teenage girls by arguing that the national media was ignoring the “group of non-accusers” who have not come forward with similar allegations against the former judge. Huh? We can assume Moore didn’t harass every woman in Alabama.

She also said “When we’re talking about Leigh Corfman [supposedly molested by Moore when she was 14], even her own mother said that her report to the Washington Post that her life spiraled out of control after this alleged incident, well actually the court records say differently.” Another huh? Hasn’t gone to court yet and the spiraling proves something happened during the “alleged” incident.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who’s been adamantly opposed to Moore, posted a photo of a check for $100 with his signature on it that was addressed to Moore’s Democratic rival, Doug Jones.

Trump’s personal attorney, John Dowd, claims the President cannot be guilty of obstructing justice. Dowd isn’t a constitutional expert. “(The) President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under (the Constitution’s Article II) and has every right to express his view of any case.”

The new defense comes after a tweet from Trump’s account suggested the President knew former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn had lied to the FBI when he was fired in February, raising questions about whether Trump knew about Flynn’s lying before pressuring former FBI Director James Comey to let go of inquiries into Russian election meddling.

“Flynn lied and they destroyed his life,” Trump said. Well, didn’t he lie to the FBI? Was he supposed to get a medal?

At one point Dowd claimed he wrote what Trump said in a tweet [which sounds a bit odd] which could of brought Trump obstruction of justice if he said it but still could because Trump is basically approving what Dowd said.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” in Trump’s tweet. “He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!” Dowd has said he drafted the tweet, but denied that it admitted obstruction.

Former Obama administration White House counsel Bob Bauer said “There is no express grant of immunity under the Constitution to protect the President who commits a felony.”

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates tweeted a response as well: “The FBI is in ‘tatters’? No. The only thing in tatters is the President’s respect for the rule of law. The dedicated men and women of the FBI deserve better.”

Former Attorney General Eric Holder said “The FBI’s reputation is not in ‘tatters’. It’s composed of the same dedicated men and women who have always worked there and who do a great, apolitical job,” he tweeted. “You’ll find integrity and honesty at FBI headquarters and not at 1600 Penn Ave right now.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the panel is beginning to see “the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice” against Trump.

Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been working on an op-ed essay with a long-time colleague “assessed to have ties” to a Russian intelligence service, according to prosecutors. Court papers say Manafort and the colleague sought to publish the op-ed under someone else’s name and intended it to influence public opinion about his work in Ukraine.

Russian operatives tried to correspond with adviser Hope Hicks multiple times after Trump’s 2016 election, prompting the FBI to caution Hicks.

“I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party. But this decision is not about me. It’s about the people of Minnesota,” soon to be former Senator Franken said as he resigned after harassment accusations. Now who was he talking about?

Billy Bush says he decided to speak out after news reports indicated that Trump has been casting doubt on the authenticity of the so-called “Access Hollywood” tape. On the 12-year-old tape, which resurfaced in the final weeks of the presidential election campaign last year, Bush and Trump spoke profanely about women — and Trump bragged about sexual assault. Trump has already admitted he did what he said on the tape. He said this was merely engaging in “locker room talk” with Bush. So why deny it now?

Trump will undergo a physical examination early next year at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and allow doctors to release details of his medical evaluation, keeping with past precedent. This came a day after some questions were raised about the President’s health after he appeared to get a dry mouth and slurred his words toward the end of remarks he delivered. He also had similar issues in November.

Trump released a clean bill of health from his long time personal physician last year that was widely panned as laughable for lacking details and offering an over-the-top portrait of Trump’s health. For example, his doctor declared then that Trump “has had no significant medical problems” and called Trump’s blood pressure and lab results “astonishingly excellent.”

On the campaign trail, candidate Trump’s typical McDonald’s meal contained nearly a day’s worth of calories and sodium, almost double the recommended daily dose of saturated fat and 2.5 times the sugar he should eat in a day, according to US Dietary Guidelines. Trump’s typical order from McDonald’s, in a book written by Corey Lewandowski, consisted of “two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish and a chocolate malted.” But at least he didn’t eat the buns and seemed to choose diet Coke.

“Well I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president,” skier Lindsey Vonn said recently. “I want to represent our country well. I don’t think that there are a lot of people currently in our government that do that.” Vonn revealed she wouldn’t accept an invitation to the White House if she were to win gold at Pyeongchang.

There are still [after 10.5 months] 34 vacancies key State Department posts and 11 pending confirmations and 18 confirmed ambassadors. For example, one confirmed in Central and South America, just a few in Africa, and one in South east Asia and none for Australia.

Of 43 Trump administration nominees in science-related positions — including two for Health and Human Services secretary — almost 60 per cent did not have a master’s degree or a doctorate in a science or health field, according to an Associated Press analysis. For their immediate predecessors in the Obama administration, it was almost the opposite: more than 60 per cent had advanced science degrees.

Even after 10 months with this administration, many still have yet to be filled. None of the seven Trump energy science-oriented nominees — including the undersecretary for science, who did research while in the U.S. Navy — has even a master’s degree in a science field.

Not quite the same, Trump’s Energy Secretary Rick Perry has a bachelor’s degree in animal science. Many of the 65 senate-confirmable positions that deal with science and environment, the Trump administration hasn’t nominated someone yet, including all four top positions at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

What in the world is going on with Trump? In two days, he tweeted just four times and all were very presidential-ish.

Twitter has changed its explanation as to why it did not delete three graphic anti-Muslim videos retweeted by Trump. “We mistakenly pointed to the wrong reason we didn’t take action on the videos from earlier this week,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in a tweet. The videos were first shared by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the far-right party Britain First.

“These videos are not being kept up because they are newsworthy or for public interest,” Twitter Support tweeted on Friday. “Rather, these videos are permitted on Twitter based on our current media policy.”

The House of Representatives approved along party lines legislation loosening gun regulations and allowing those with permits to carry concealed weapons to legally travel with those firearms to other states, a top priority of the National Rifle Association. I guess they are forgetting the previous mass shootings this past year.

Flynn pleads guilty, Trump feeling the heat

Donald Trump’s tweet about firing former national security adviser Michael Flynn is garnering a lot of attention from critics — with some calling it a possible admission of obstruction of justice.

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” Trump wrote. “He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!” The tweet immediately caught the attention of critics, who questioned whether Trump knew Flynn had lied to the FBI when the President asked then-FBI Director James Comey to let the investigation into Flynn go.

Then-transition adviser KT McFarland, who later became deputy national security adviser under Michael Flynn, who was on President Donald Trump’s transition team wrote in a December 29 email that Russia “has just thrown the USA election to him,” according to a report. A White House lawyer said that McFarland meant only that Democrats were painting Russia’s role in the election that way. Uh huh. Sure.

Jared Kushner is the “very senior member” of Trump’s transition team who directed incoming Flynn to contact the Russian ambassador to the United States and other countries about a UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements in 2016.

Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s ambassador and disclosed that he is cooperating with the special counsel’s office. Flynn is the first person inside Trump’s administration to be reached by special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

Trump tweets “After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters – worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.” Wasn’t Trump buddy buddy with Comey? Why did he keep Comey on as head of the FBI when he started his term?

Lobbying regarding the UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements was a well-known and a collaborative effort by various transition officials including Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, Flynn and Kushner. None of them “ordered” or “directed” the others and all were working towards the same goal of standing by Israel, one of the country’s greatest allies, as the President’s very public comments at the time made clear.

At this time Trump has yet to tweet [or comment] on Flynn or Kushner, but a White House official said only nice things about Flynn including that Trump is thinking of his family. [Knowing Trump’s history, he said no such thing.]

Seen in the open, you could hear some people yell say Flynn “Lock him up”. This after Flynn said the same thing about Hillary Clinton a year earlier.

Some are wondering if Trump may now decide to finally muzzle Mueller before the bleeding of the Trump administration really begins.

Special counsel Robert Mueller removed one of the FBI’s top Russian counterintelligence experts from his team of investigators after an internal investigation found messages he sent that could be interpreted as showing political bias for Hillary Clinton and against Trump.

Trump responded by tweeting “ANTI-TRUMP FBI AGENT LED CLINTON EMAIL PROBE Now it all starts to make sense!” Oh yes. A sole agent actually led the probe and not Mueller?

The Senate Republicans’ tax bill hangs in the balance, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that GOP leaders grapple with how they can satisfy the conference’s deficit hawks. The Joint Committee on Taxation, the Congressional scorekeeper for tax bills, estimates that the Senate tax bill could generate enough growth to create nearly $408 billion in net new revenue over a decade. But even with that additional revenue, the bill would still add an estimated $1 trillion to deficits.

Trump tweets “Republicans Senators are working hard to pass the biggest Tax Cuts in the history of our Country. The Bill is getting better and better. This is a once in a generation chance. Obstructionist Dems trying to block because they think it is too good and will not be given the credit!” Biggest tax cuts which will add to the country’s debt. When you can’t get politicians in your own party to agree, then you have a problem.

Some Democrats complained that before the Senate vote, they were given roughly an hour to read the 500 page bill. Speed reading?

Reports that the White House has a tentative plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that emerged were an effort to express Trump’s deep displeasure and publicly shame his secretary of state. The news that the White House is seriously considering replacing Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo comes as Trump remains deeply frustrated with his secretary of state.

Tensions have been high between Trump and Tillerson for months now, and they were exacerbated after it was reported that Tillerson privately referred to the President as a moron over the summer. Trump, of course, has denied this.

After Trump retweeted anti-Muslims videos, multiple State Department officials said the department communicated to the White House that there was concern that protests could happen at US embassies. Trump retweeted three videos sent from far-right British activist Jayda Fransen that claimed to depict Muslims assaulting people and desecrating a statue of the Virgin Mary.

As if Trump doesn’t have enough issues on his plate, Trump is expected to announce very soon that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This will definitely anger Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere who are already fuming because of those retweets.

Trump is expected to make the announcement as he signs a waiver to keep the US embassy in Tel Aviv for another six months but says his administration will move the diplomatic mission to Jerusalem at some point — a goal long sought by Israel. He may by specify only West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as opposed to the eastern part of the city, which Palestinians want to claim as their own seat of government.

[The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 requires the embassy to be moved to Jerusalem or face the financial penalty of losing half the State Department’s appropriated funding for the acquisition and maintenance of buildings abroad. Every six months, however, presidents can sign a waiver to avoid these penalties on national security grounds.]

In more lies, Trump said at a speech in St. Charles, Missouri “The rich people actually don’t like me.” Unsure where he gets that from. His tax plan [corporate, estate, AMT] will save the rich millions.

Trump tweeted “Many people in our Country are asking what the “Justice” Department is going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and “acid washed” 33,000 Emails? No justice!” Aren’t you going to blame Jeff Sessions? Why don’t you fire him if he isn’t doing his job.

Trump tweeted “The jury was not told the killer of Kate [Steinle] was a 7 time felon. The Schumer/Pelosi Democrats are so weak on Crime that they will pay a big price in the 2018 and 2020 Elections.” Meanwhile where is his wall? How many miles have been built? Who was it that said the wall would be built in his first year?

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter said Steinle “would still be alive if we had a wall,” referring to Trump’s call for the construction of a border wall between the US and Mexico. She was killed in 2015. No real wall then. No real wall now. Federal immigration officials said they tried to deport the killer but failed. And yet Trump blamed the Democrats?

[As I reminder, unless it is part of a tweet or conversation, my policy is never to put Trump’s actual title in front of his name. He doesn’t deserve it.]

 

Trump badmouths Democrats, Democrats cancel meeting

Top Democratic leaders abruptly pulled out of a planned meeting Donald Trump after he attacked them on Twitter, casting doubt on the prospects for a quick agreement to avert a government shutdown at the end of next week.

“Meeting with “Chuck [Schumer] and Nancy [Pelosi]” today about keeping government open and working. Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!” tweeted Trump. Well, if you piss off people, not surprised they would cancel.

Later, Trump predicted that the Senate tax plan would pass, and accused Democratic leaders of being “all talk” and “no action” for failing to show up for the meeting. If he was actually smart, maybe he would of made his usually dumb comments after the meeting [has failed].

Schumer and Pelosi said in a statement that “Rather than going to the White House for a show meeting that won’t result in an agreement, we’ve asked Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan to meet this afternoon.”

Congress faces a Dec. 8 deadline to pass stopgap legislation to keep the government open and a slew of other unfinished legislation including the tax bill. GOP deficit hawks pressed for a “backstop” mechanism to limit the risk of a spiral in the deficit, even as defenders of small business pressed for more generous treatment.

Poor Americans would lose billions of dollars’ worth of federal benefits under the Senate GOP tax bill, according to a new Congressional Budget Office report. Just under a dozen other GOP senate members have vocalized their concerns about the proposal.

So now Trump it trying to sell the concept that the Access Hollywood tape was a fake and it wasn’t him that said those misogynistic words that reverberated around the world, even though he apologized for saying them just after the tape was revealed. What is most worrying about this bold faced liar is that his ignorant base will believe him. Why does he claim the tape is fake over a year after the video came out? Was there any news that suggest that is was fake? Nope.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump stands by his original apology for his remarks recorded by the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape in which he described sexually assaulting women, and that his position hasn’t changed in the days.

Trump on referred to Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” at an event honoring Native American Code Talkers who served in World War II. “You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump said, standing beneath a portrait of former President Andrew Jackson. “Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.”

Warren said that she had learned about her family from her parents and grandparents. Sanders’ suggestion that Warren had used it as a way to advance her career, the senator said “Never. I never used it to get ahead I never used it to get into school. I never used it to get a job.”

The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit to block AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner, the parent company of CNN. In the suit, the DOJ argues that the deal violates antitrust law because AT&T would likely “use its control of Time Warner’s popular programming as a weapon to harm competition.” Trump has vowed to block the deal while campaigning, and vociferously criticized CNN after taking office. His tweets [“…I was forced to watch @CNN, which I have not done in months, and again realized how bad, and FAKE, it is. Loser!”] could potentially now be cited by AT&T as circumstantial evidence of presidential interference.

Recently, the Trump administration would allow elephant trophies into the US. Then they put it on hold. Now Trump tweeted that his administration will announce a decision next week on allowing the import of elephant hunting trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. [No Nambia?]

The Department of Justice’s antitrust division’s Makan Delrahim took charge in September. When the deal was first announced, Delrahim had said he saw no major antitrust issues with it, but he has apparently since changed his mind. Delrahim has denied being influenced by Trump.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FCC) has voted to scale back a federal program that allows lower-income people to use a $9.25 monthly household subsidy to buy Internet or phone service. [Yes. This should help drop the government’s deficit. Not.]

Trump tweeted “I endorsed Luther Strange in the Alabama Primary. He shot way up in the polls but it wasn’t enough.” But his endorsement didn’t help as Strange list the primary to a sexual harasser.

After a border agent died and another one was injured Trump tweeted “We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!” Of note is that they disclosed [at this time] neither were shot and it didn’t seem to be near the border [although wasn’t far]. So it may not even be related to the border. So Trump has to include his wall in his tweet.

According to a tweet [not from Trump], prototype construction for 8 models for HIS wall were to begin on Sept 26 and was to be completed in about 30 days. That is over 25 days ago.

Trump still going after the media [except Fox of course]: ” We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!”

Trump also tweeted “… I have the economy booming and have possibly done more than any 10 month President.” Trump signed 90 executive actions in his first 100 days. Yet most executive actions aren’t legislations. This is the equivalent of telling a kid to put his toys away. Number of major legislation passed? Zero.

Trump claim a number of times during his trip to Asia and after that former President Obama “never got to land” in Air Force One in the Philippines while he was President even though President Rodrigo Duterte didn’t like Obama. Actually he did.

The US has dropped to number 6 from number 1 for best international image. The source of America’s big drop? President Donald Trump, says Simon Anholt, a political consultant who developed the brand survey more than a decade ago. Germany was #1, followed by France, UK, Canada with Japan [tied] and then the US.

Somehow I missed this a few months back: The popular mobile word game Words With Friends has added one of the internet’s most popular typos in recent days — “covfefe.” The mysterious term that Trump tweeted has spread like wildfire on social media and the Scrabble-like multiplayer game has jumped aboard, defining the word as “the amount and quality of reporting when autocorrect fails you at 3am.”

Trump also recently appointed a lawyer who has never tried a case and who was unanimously deemed “not-qualified” by the American Bar Association to a lifetime federal district judgeship. He’s been stacking the courts with thousands of extreme right wing people in the image of Moore who will eventually make their way up to seats on the state superior courts.

After Keurig decided not to advertised on Fox News’ Sean Hannity’s show because he was too sympathetic to Moore, Keurig’s CEO apologized to employees for  appearing to take sides in a political debate. Hannity decided to accept the apology himself, and promised to replace the coffee machines of people who smashed their Keurigs. So, at the end of the day, Keurig seems to have actually boosted sales over the course of the drama.

While Trump was campaigning in late 2015, Trump encouraged boycotting Starbucks for its lack of Christmas cheer. Bah humbug? Does he ask all of his interns to smile?

The owner of the struggling Trump SoHo building in New York City reached a deal to end its contract with the Trump Organization early. Under their contract, CIM Group pays the Trump Organization licensing and management fees. In return, the Trump Organization handles the building’s day-to-day operations and, of course, lends the establishment Trump’s name.

Trump SoHo has been linked to a Russian ex-con, Felix Sater, who was involved in the original licensing deal that made the development possible. Basketball star LeBron James refused to stay at the hotel. Koi Restaurant closed down its operations at Trump SoHo in June, citing sluggish business. Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. were targets of a felony-level legal probe into whether they intentionally mislead prospective buyers about how well the building’s condos were selling. In the end, no charges were filed.

The S&P 500 has soared about 21% since Trump’s election. That’s its third-best performance under a new president, behind President George H.W. Bush and President John F. Kennedy, according to CFRA Research. For the other two, it was during their terms. For trump, it’s only been 10 months.

According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 59% disapprove of Trump’s handling of the presidency — the worst of any president at nine months in office since modern polling began. Of those who disapprove, 50% say they do so strongly. Only 37% of those polled approve of Trump’s performance in office. Trump is the first president since Harry Truman to see a net-negative approval at this point in his term.

A record percentage of respondents (65%) do not think that Trump is “honest and trustworthy,” up from 58% in April 2017. Prior to his inauguration, 61% thought he’d do an excellent or good job on the economy, while only 44% feel he is doing that well now. Fifty-six percent expected he’d do good work dealing with terrorism, while only 43% say he is doing so now.

A majority (58%) approve of Robert Mueller’s handling of the investigation; 28% disapprove. Meanwhile, 68% say they approve of the charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

A little less than half of respondents (49%) think Trump “committed a crime in connection with possible Russian attempts to influence the election,” but only 19% of that group think there is “solid evidence” of such a crime; 30% say their belief is based on suspicion only. 44% think it is unlikely that the President committed a crime.

Changes coming to some Skype users in January

If you use Skype and Facebook and you are logging into Skype with Facebook, you will have to replace your Facebook account in Skype with a Microsoft ID [account] such as one used for Email [Hotmail/Live] by January 10th.

[I personally don’t know anyone who is logging into Skype with a Facebook account.]
So as of January 11th, you can only use a Skype name or a Microsoft ID account.

Microsoft claims they have 300 million registered Skype users [out of 1 billion Microsoft IDs]. This will drop the total a bit.

How do you know what kind of account you have? Well, if configured, the upper left corner of your main screen gives you and indication. Skype names should just be your login name. Microsoft ID accounts may be your Email address or something that begins with “Live:”. You can verify by going into your profile.