Trump stays in the shadows in Paris

In Paris for the 100 anniversary of the end of World War I, the reason for scrapping the journey to the Aisne-Marne American cemetery came down to safety: Donald Trump’s Marine One helicopter cannot fly in low cloud cover, a decision that is made by military and security officials and not by Trump. But there did not appear to be a backup plan.

Trump did not make any statements of regret at not being able to visit the cemetery. Late Sunday, the White House defended Trump’s decision not to attend, citing concerns about disrupting traffic. “A car ride of two-and-a-half hours, each way, would have required closures to substantial portions of the Paris roadways for the President’s motorcade, on short notice,” said press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders.

Trump has drawn criticism and accusations he was ignoring the sacrifice of American military personnel who died in World War I. If they could fight in the muddy trenches in Europe 100 years ago, he could somehow go to the cemetery.

“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism,” French President Emmanuel Macron said. “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying ‘our interests first; who cares about the others?’, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great, and what makes it essential — its moral values.”

Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, convened at the Élysée Palace before traveling together in motor coaches to the Arc de Triomphe. They walked in a large group to the event site under black umbrellas. Trump pulled up in his own vehicle and walked in separately, due to “security protocols,” according to the White House.

A senior French official said at the time that Trump took Macron’s words out “out of context” and clarified the language Macron used, saying that the French leader did not mean he wanted a European army but better coordination and funding of Europe’s already-existing resources.

Following a meeting with Trump, Macron was able to explain a “misunderstanding” about the European force and the two put the matter to rest, a French presidential spokesman said over the weekend.

But it seems, it wasn’t the end of the issue.

It took him a couple of days [I guess he actually wanted some real facts to be used] and shot back at Macron by saying: “The problem is that Emmanuel suffers from a very low Approval Rating in France, 26%, and an unemployment rate of almost 10%,” Trump wrote, citing figures indicating political trouble for the French leader. So Trump can only go after Macron’s approval rating which [f actually true] is lower than Trump’s.

He also added “By the way, there is no country more Nationalist than France, very proud people-and rightfully so!” Maybe but France is open to free trade as well as letting immigrants in. Trump has killed US’s involvement in the Trans Pacific Partnership, threatened to tear up NAFTA, etc.

Trump proudly identified himself as a nationalist as he advances an “America First” agenda which includes limiting immigration.

Remember when CNN White House reporter, Jim Acosta, was basically booted from the White house? CNN has filed a lawsuit against Trump and top aides for banning reporter Jim Acosta. Included in the list are Chief of staff John Kelly and press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders.

The Trump’s administration contends it has “broad discretion” to regulate press access to the White House as it fends off a legal challenge from CNN and other outlets over the revocation of journalist Jim Acosta’s “hard pass.” So basically they [errr] trump freedom of the press.

“Simpleton” has recently dropped the part of her criticism of Acosta where she accused him of grabbing a press aide’s arm and used a doctored video to show it as proof.

The judge, an appointee of Trump, in the case of Acosta against Trump and others heard 2 hours of arguments but decided to make a judgement the day after. The government said that it would be perfectly legal for the White House to revoke a journalist’s press pass if it didn’t agree with their reporting. “As a matter of law… yes,” he said.

By filing for a temporary restraining order to unblock Acosta’s ban from the White House, CNN is seeking what’s known as “emergency relief”. CNN is also asking for “permanent relief,” meaning a declaration from the judge that Trump’s revocation of Acosta’s press pass was unconstitutional. This legal conclusion could protect other reporters from retaliation by the administration. The judge is only expected to rule on the “emergency relief”.

Acosta has returned to his post at the White House following a court ruling that forced the Trump administration to reinstate his press pass. The judge granted CNN’s request for a temporary restraining order on Fifth Amendment grounds and criticized last week’s blacklisting of Acosta as “shrouded in mystery,” noting that the Justice Department lawyer in the case couldn’t even say who ordered the decision.

“… we have to create rules and regulations for conduct, etcetera. We’re going to write them up. It’s not a big deal. If he misbehaves, we’ll throw him out or we’ll stop the news conference,” said Trump. Notice how he is aiming his words at Acosta and not journalists in general. Now if only Trump himself can behave. Don’t expect Trump to allow Acosta any questions [or maybe even others at CNN].

Spinning things differently, “Simpleton” said in her statement, “Today, the court made clear that there is no absolute First Amendment right to access the White House.” The judge did not make that clear.

Trump has replaced his deputy national security adviser after she feuded with first lady Melania Trump. The first lady complained to her husband that she was unhappy with how she was being treated by Mira Ricardel.

Ricardel is a part of at least two “factions” in the administration. She was brought in by National Security Adviser John Bolton. Another faction has Chief of Staff John Kelly joined with Kirstjen Nielsen. She has followed him during her career.

“A lot of administrations make changes after midterms. I will say that, for the most part, I’m very, very happy with this Cabinet. We’re doing a great job,” Trump said. Except you know that he’s already made quite a few changes prior to the mid-terms and more on the way. 25 senior officials have left the administration in 22 months.

Aside from Ricardel, there is talk of at least Kelly and Nielsen joining the unemployment line.

In just under 2 years, 9 Trump cabinet members have left the cabinet. Compare that to 9 who left President Obama’s cabinet in the first full term or George W. Bush’s first term where only 4 left. There are 3 more [Nielsen, maybe Kelly and maybe Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Almost six in 10 of Trump’s “A Team” staffers — defined as the most senior and most influential within the administration — have already departed the White House even before Trump’s two-year anniversary in office.

Since the mid-term election [over a week ago], Trump and many in the conservative media have dramatically reduced the frequency and intensity of their dire warnings about the migrant caravan now that they no longer feel the same urgency to stir up GOP voters. Trump himself hasn’t tweeted about it except once in the past 2 weeks. I guess it wasn’t that critical to stop.

Even Trump’s favorite outlet, Fox News, had spent more than 33 hours discussing the caravan through Election Day, according to a study by Media Matters, a progressive media watchdog organization. On Nov. 7, the day after the election, Fox had no discussions centered on the caravan. On Nov. 8, the network spent four minutes and 57 seconds on discussions centered on the caravan, according to the study.

Trump called for stopping the recounts in Florida’s votes for Senate and governor, alleging without evidence that many ballots are missing and forged and that a valid tally is not possible. The recounts are happening in accordance with Florida law because of the tight margins in the votes.

Republicans Rick Scott, the governor, went on national television to accuse Sen. Bill Nelson, whom he is hoping to unseat, of trying to “commit fraud to try to win this election.”

White House officials have told congressional leaders and appropriators that Trump does not want any additional relief funding sent to Puerto Rico. “The people of Puerto Rico are wonderful but the inept politicians are trying to use the massive and ridiculously high amounts of hurricane/disaster funding to pay off other obligations,” Trump tweeted on October 23. “The U.S. will NOT bail out long outstanding & unpaid obligations with hurricane relief money!”

“The prospect of Presidential Harassment by the Dems is causing the Stock Market big headaches!” Trump tweeted, falsely blaming his foes for a sell-off motivated by jitters in the tech sector.

Yes. Looks like a new phrase he will use to describe the abuse he will be getting primarily from the Democrats and the media and anyone else who dislikes his presidency: “Presidential Harassment”.

Trump tweeted “The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess. They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want. They are a disgrace to our Nation…” If that bad, why haven’t you shut the investigation down? Oh ya. You don’t want to do a “Nixon”.

Trump tweeted “Not seen in many years, America’s steelworkers get a hard-earned raise because of my Administration’s policies to help bring back the U.S. steel industry, which is critical to our National Security.” Yes Donald. They haven’t had a raise in years. And why a raise now after the corporate tax cuts you gave away almost a year ago?

The Trump administration imposed penalties on 17 individuals over their alleged roles in the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The fresh sanctions from the Treasury Department come hours after Saudi prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty for five people charged in the death of the Virginia resident, who was a contributor to The Washington Post.

Trump tweeted “When will Bill Nelson concede in Florida? The characters running Broward and Palm Beach voting will not be able to “find” enough votes, too much spotlight on them now!” So he’s still implying that there is voter fraud but has done nothing about it because he knows he’s wrong and if he did something it will interfere with the rights of citizens to vote.

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Windows 10 October 2018 Update released… with some issues still

So Windows 10 October 2018 Update [a.k.a. Redstone 5, a.k.a. v1809] was finally re-released on Tuesday after about 6 weeks when the original version was released before being pulled.

But not surprising, there are some outstanding issues:

  • When on a network, your mapped drives can’t reconnect at login. See KB4471218 for workaround scripts. An update for this won’t be available until 2019.
  • Some users cannot set Win32 program defaults for certain app and file type combinations using the Open with… command or Settings > Apps > Default apps. [Interesting, as I have something like this in v1709.]
  • Upgrading to v1809 is blocked if you have a AMD Radeon HD2000 and HD4000 series graphics processors. Note that these are unsupported by AMD. Will experience an error in a DLL and performance issues. Microsoft is investigating.
  • When trying to upgrade to v1809 with Trend Micro’s OfficeScan and Worry-Free Business Security software installed, the upgrade is blocked. Trend Micro is to supply a patch.

 

The post mid-term election blues

CNN’s White House reporter, Jim Acosta, who has had some previous “run ins” with Donald Trump had his “hard” press pass revoked.

Trump seemed to get upset when Acosta asked him about the invading caravans from Central America. Trump tried to stop him but Acosta continued to press on.

“White House staff don’t pull passes over personal pique, only over threats to the president,” professor Martha Joynt Kumar, director of the White House Transition Project. But White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders claimed that Acosta grabbed a White House intern’s arm when the intern tried to grab the microphone away from Acosta.

The video shows that arms brushed. That was it. Sanders cited this alleged “inappropriate behavior” to suspend Acosta’s pass. Trump’s boosters used words like “pushed” and “slammed.” They screamed “assault” and “abuse.”

And who’s right?

Various reporters, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and The White House Correspondents’ Association sided with Acosta.

In June 2016, Trump told CNN in an interview that, if elected, he would not revoke credentials. At the White House, “it’s a different thing,” he said. “When I’m representing the United States, I wouldn’t do that.”

Trump claims Acosta was a reporter going back to the Reagan years. According to his biography on CNN, he seemed to start in the new business around 1998. Reagan was out in 1989. How does Trump know Acosta 20+ years ago – except maybe he likes to watch the news constantly.

With the mid-term elections over, special counsel Robert Mueller may be writing his final report. Trump made clear once again that  he believes the investigation is a waste of time and money. “It’s a disgrace, it should have never been started because there was no crime,” Trump said. If nothing wrong was done, why does he continue to complain.

Even after Mueller completes his work, the midterm election results mean that House Democrats will also be in a position to expand investigations of Trump. That means Mueller will not be the end of Russia-related questions of Trump and his campaign.

Trump is considering former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Senator Lindsey Graham and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to replace fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Does this mean Sessions’ chief of staff Matthew Whitaker will go back to that job or maybe take over from Rosenstein. Graham would less likely be a candidate since Trump would take that [slim] chance that in a special election, Graham’s replacement would lose.

Now it has been revealed that Whitaker was on the advisory board of a Florida company that was shut down by the Federal Trade Commission and served with a $26 million judgment earlier this year for what court documents called “a scam that has bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars.” The company, World Patent Marketing, promised to help inventors get patents. He was paid by the company and the company donated to his failed run for the US Senate.

Whitaker was so involved in the company he sent a threatening email to a disgruntled customer, which was filed in the case by the FTC. In it, Whitaker accuses a customer of “blackmail or extortion” because the customer had threatened to complain to the Better Business Bureau.

Not surprising after the lead for the Republican nominee for governor started to shrink, both the nominee and Trump claimed there was fraud going on. Now that and a senate seat and agriculture commissioner will head for a recount as the Republican majorities are quite thin.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals court upheld a ruling blocking the Trump administration from ending the Obama-era program that protects young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from being deported. This means a nationwide injunction allowing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to continue will remain in effect. The Trump administration has already asked the Supreme Court to review the injunction.

Trump called a federal court ruling halting construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline a “disgrace” and suggested that his administration intends to appeal. “It’s a political decision made by a judge. I think it’s a disgrace. 48,000 jobs, I approved it, it’s ready to start,” he told reporters. How is it political? Oh forget it. You know that won’t go anywhere.

The judge found that the US government’s use of a 2014 environmental review to justify issuing a presidential permit for construction of the cross-border pipeline violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Administrative Procedure Act.

In former first lady Michelle Obama forthcoming memoir in which the former first lady said she would “never forgive” Trump for his role in the “birther” movement, “She got paid a lot of money to write a book and they always expect a little controversy,” was Trump response.

Then he said “I’ll give you a little controversy back, I’ll never forgive (President Barack Obama) for what he did to our US military. It was depleted, and I had to fix it. What he did to our military made this country very unsafe for you and you and you.” Depleted? Trump’s budget is easily an under 10% increase from the last Obama military budget. “Depleted” would describe a military with nothing spent.

Trump signed a presidential proclamation that will bar migrants who cross into the US illegally through the southern border from seeking asylum. The proclamation put into effect a new rule that would ban migrants from applying for asylum outside of official ports of entry. The American Civil Liberties Union has already called the rule “illegal,” and legal challenges are expected to follow.

After French President Emmanuel Macron suggested earlier on in the week that Europe needs its own “army” to counter Russia, Chines and US threats, Trump came [as usual] testy by saying that then the US doesn’t need to “subsidize” the military in Europe. Could that also include NATO where he’s not a fan of? Probably. Trump also found it “very insulting”.

While in Europe to commemorate that 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, a White House statement said the planned visit had been “canceled due to scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather. An American delegation led by Chief of Staff General John Kelly and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford will attend on their behalf.” So they can’t go but the weather is OK to send his Chief of Staffs?

Trump tweeted “I am in Paris getting ready to celebrate the end of World War One. Is there anything better to celebrate than the end of a war, in particular that one, which was one of the bloodiest and worst of all time?” To me it sounds like it will be a big party.

Trump has consistently complained that NATO members don’t adequately contribute to the shared defense agreement, suggesting the other 28 members somehow owe the US money. Actually, all alliance members commit to spending 2% of their GDP on defense. While few have reached that threshold, most members have increased spending in recent years and are nearing the suggested level of spending.

As forest rage in California again Trump tweeted “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!” He then blamed the Democrats on the state level for them. Except almost all the forests in California are on federal government lands!

Campaigns and PACs spent at least $3.2 million at Trump-owned and branded properties throughout the two-year midterm election cycle. And the total could rise after post-election financial reports are published by the commission. No single group spent more than the Republican National Committee, which spent at least $1.2 million at the properties since the start of 2017.

How good is the economy under Trump, another 40 stores belonging to Sears Holdings will close early next year in addition to the 200 already announced. In just over a year, they have shut down about half their stores in the US – under 500.

 

How can Trump be happy with the outcome?

While some of the races haven’t been completely decided, the Democrats retook control of the Senate while the Republicans grabbed probably at least 2 extra seats in the Senate to ease some of the close voting that occurred in the first half of Donald Trump’s term.

The additional Senate seats was not surprising since quite a few contested seats were generally Republican to begin with but flipped to Democrats 6 years ago as President Obama won his second term and the areas were generally easily won by Trump in 2016.

However, the Democrats made big but not surprising gains in the House with only 2 seats [at this time] flipped to the Republicans but dozens switched to the Democrats. Most of those were grabbed in the suburbs.

At the traditional news conference the day after the mid-term elections, Trump pointed to “major” victories in races where he campaigned, particularly in Florida, Indiana, Missouri and others. He will likely downplay — or ignore — disappointments, particularly losses in governor’s races.

“Received so many Congratulations from so many on our Big Victory last night…” Unsure how he can call it a victory when he lost the House badly. In addition unsure who would congratulate him other than within the party. The only bright spot is that he has some slight security in the Senate but still not 60 seats needed to properly govern. He will also be forced to work with the Democrats to get most things done. He can kiss the Trump Wall goodbye.

“Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!” Trump tweeted before midnight. Yes, you lost the House and six states have new Democrat governors [almost all in usually Republican mid-west states] and no new Republican governors.

“Think of how his position with Republicans improves-all the candidates who won tonight….” Trump said [“his” being himself]. It sounds like the House and Gubernatorial votes didn’t exist according to him.

Not surprising Trump went on the attack by saying “If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can play that game!” Except, the House is where most investigations do start. You think he has anything? Leaks?

He also said “Those that worked with me in this incredible Midterm Election, embracing certain policies and principles, did very well. Those that did not, say goodbye! Yesterday was such a very Big Win, and all under the pressure of a Nasty and Hostile Media!” What a nice guy. Claiming that those Republicans who lost, lost because they didn’t want Trump’s backing. Rep. Mia Love and Barbara Comstock are two he singled out.

“By expanding our Senate majority, the voters have also clearly rebuked the Senate Democrats for their handling of the [Brett] Kavanaugh hearings….” That doesn’t explain why he lost so many seats in the House. Most who vote for one party in the House will vote for the same party in the Senate. More like the Senate seats he picked up were generally “red’ states.

“This election marks the largest Senate gains for a President’s party in the first midterm election since at least President Kennedy’s in 1962.” Yes but these Senate gains all occurred in states Trump won in 2016.

He said Republicans faced “the most House Republican retirements in 88 years”. Which proves what? The GOP couldn’t find decent replacements? Maybe retirements are for different reasons such as getting away from the party’s leader?

“Last night the Republican party defied history to expand our Republican majority,” he said, adding that the Republican Party “(beat) expectations in the House.” Was he expecting to lose even more in the House?

Trump’s three most recent predecessors all lost House majorities in the course of their tenures. In post-election news conferences, all three took some form of responsibility. President George W. Bush called a 2006 rout a “thumping.” President Barack Obama deemed 2010 losses a “shellacking.”

The early exit polling suggests that two-thirds of voters said that their vote was about Trump, with more saying they came to vote to show opposition rather than support for Trump; nearly 4 in 10 voters said that their vote was meant as a sign of opposition to Trump.

Midterm elections are almost always referendums on the president and his party. And they are almost always negative referendums. It’s why the president’s party has not lost House seats in only three midterms since the Civil War.

Family members and friends, including ex-campaign aides Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, and informal advisers like Blackstone chief Stephen Schwarzman, joined Trump in the evening for a viewing party, snacking on pizza and tiny hot dogs as they watched results come in on television.

Most likely when special counsel Robert when Mueller submits his final report to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the House Judiciary Committee will be able to request it from the Department of Justice, and make it public if it deems that it is warranted. All of these actions will make it much harder for the White House to block or bury evidence of any alleged collusion or obstruction of justice, whether or not Mueller or Rosenstein are fired.

As an added “bonus” to the day, Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions although Sessions handed in his resignation letter. In any case, Sessions is, not surprisingly, out. Most knew it would come sometime after the mid-term elections.

Matthew Whitaker, former Chief of Staff to Sessions, will take over as acting attorney general and is expected to take charge of the Russia investigation and special counsel Robert Mueller from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Whitaker has been openly critical of Mueller and the investigation.

The Democrats immediately called on him to recuse himself as “given his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

 

Are you ready for one heck of a night?

Note: As previously mentioned, since the mid-term elections are on right now but there won’t be much to say until late tonight, I’m send out this blog with all the miscellaneous stuff that came out of Trump [hmmmm] since Friday night. I should have a bit of an analysis sometime tomorrow as the dust settles.

According to one report, to help his ego, if the GOP lose the House, Trump intends to claim victory, arguing his efforts on the campaign trail narrowed GOP losses and helped them hold the Senate. Trump has been tested out other explanations — pointing to historical headwinds for the party of an incumbent president and complaining about a rash of GOP retirements this year. And why did they retire?

To distance himself from a probably big loss in the House, Trump said “My primary focus has been on the Senate.” In the senate, he may pick up a seat.

At a rally in West Virginia a defiant Trump brushed off the prospect of a Democratic House takeover. “It could happen,” he said, adding “don’t worry about it. I’ll just figure it out.” Yes. Blame someone for the loss but not himself.

Should they take the House, Democrats are already plotting to reopen the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. Other committees are plotting aggressive oversight of Trump’s administration and his web of business interests. Some Democrats are looking at using the House Ways and Means Committee to obtain copies of the president’s tax returns after he broke with decades of tradition and withheld them from public scrutiny during his campaign for the White House.

An advertisement aims to motivate Republican turnout by vilifying a group of migrants walking toward the US southern border, wrongly portraying them as invaders and criminals, was pulled by NBC, Fox and Facebook. The advertisement was not submitted to either CBS or ABC. Donald Trump Jr. complained on Twitter that CNN “refused to run” the advertisement.

Trump was not pleased by this marquee closing TV ad his campaign unveiled last week featuring upbeat themes about the economy. Instead, he insisted to aides that his closing argument for the midterm elections would be a hardline anti-immigration message to fire up his core supporters. Seems his campaign people ignored him.

The Trump campaign chose to advertise on “Sunday Night Football” even though Trump whined last year that NFL ratings have dropped over the years. This after players were taking a knee during the American anthem.

At a town hall Trump said “You see how they’ve behaved. You see what’s happening with them. They’ve really become radicalized.” Sure. Donnie. Who posted a racist campaign video only to pull it.

He also said “If Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi gain the majority, they will try to raise your taxes, restore job-killing regulations, shut down your coal mines and timber mills, take away your healthcare, impose socialism, and ERASE your borders.” So what’s left? Wasn’t it Trump who tried to kill the Affordable Care Act which would of removed maybe 32 million citizens from getting healthcare?

“There’s electricity in the air like I haven’t seen since ’16,” he said which basically means the last two years since his election has been boring. True!

Trump shrugged off the prospect of Democrats going after his tax returns if the party wins control of the House in this week’s midterm contests, suggesting he was unbothered by a protracted fight over his financial documents. “I don’t care. They can do whatever they want, and I can do whatever I want,” Trump said. And when they do he will complain about it.

Seems in days before the mid-term election, is Trump getting nervous? “The Democrat Party wants to sign illegal aliens up for free health care, free welfare, free education. And what do they really want? The right to vote. Because they figure that’s the way they stay in office forever,” Trump said. Did he steal some secret memo from the Democratic party? Maybe he had his Russian friends steal it for him.

Trump claims that many of the migrants coming up through Central America has many criminals. Then the Department of Homeland Security somehow figured out that at least 270 of them are criminals. How do they know? Did they ask?

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said that the US military will not be “involved in the actual mission of denying people entry to the United States.”

When asked why Melania Trump wasn’t on the campaign trail, “Due to her schedule as a mother and as first lady, especially with the upcoming holidays and international travel, there are no plans for her to campaign,” Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said. Seriously? Holidays are 8 weeks away. It’s not like she is doing all the ordering, decorating, etc. The mid-term elections is a fixed date election. It was known before her husband got elected. Or maybe there was a[nother] fight between them?

There is a growing list of music acts who have told the Trump not to use their music. The lists includes The Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, Rihanna, The O’Jays, Adele, Queen and Pharrell Williams.

Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, claimed that Trump used racist language in several private conversations. Cohen recalled four times that Trump made denigrating comments to him about black people. In an example, when South African leader Nelson Mandela died, Trump remarked, “‘Name one country run by a black person that’s not a s___hole,’ and then he added, ‘Name one city.'”

A Pittsburgh rabbi told Trump that hate speech led to synagogue massacre. Trump, who has been accused of using anti-Semitic tropes and hateful rhetoric, has repeatedly denied the accusations, noting that his daughter and son-in-law are Jewish. I don’t think he picks who his kids marry. I’m sure he wished his son-in-law converted instead.

The Washington Post claim that Trump had told 1,100 lies and mistruths within the last 7 weeks. That’s averaging 22 per day but has climbed to 30 a day recently [at the rallies are one reason].

According to a 1990 Vanity Fair interview, Ivana Trump [Trump’s first ex] once told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that her then husband, real-estate mogul Trump kept a book of Hitler’s speeches near his bed. Not really shocked. You?

A bit of humor. At an interview:

  • Interviewer: “What did you do for the Trump administration?”
  • Job candidate: “I was locked in a room in the basement in some old dingy, smelly building looking for any reports that would support Trump’s imaginary theories. It was so bad, we weren’t allowed to eat or go to the washroom. We wore adult diapers.”
  • Interviewer: “Did you find any?”
  • Job Candidate: “Not very often. Anyone who did was allowed to leave work 5 minutes early but you had to stay an extra 5 minutes the following day.”

It’s almost game time!

Note: With the mid-term elections on for Tuesday, I’ll probably have a blog ready either for late Tuesday or otherwise maybe Wednesday to cover some post- election coverage.

After a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburg, Donald Trump said there is “too much hate”. He can start with his own rhetoric. He also denied any stricter gun laws would of helped but suggested that security at the synagogue could of helped. “If they’d had protection inside, the result would have been a lot better.”

He also suggested that laws should be changed to push for the death penalty for mass shootings. Like denying stricter guns laws, I don’t think the death penalty will stop these type of killings because some are because of mentally imbalanced shooters and others because of extreme religious views. The latter would like to be killed for martyrdom.

Trump falsely claimed that the New York Stock Exchange re-opened the day after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in an effort to justify holding a rally on the same day that a mass shooting occurred at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. NYSE didn’t open until 6 days later.

White House counselor Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway claims that “Trump [is] trying to heal country”. She tried to defend Trump even though after the Pittsburgh shootings Trump went after Tom Steyer [see below], Maxine Waters and others. Conway said that Trump went after Waters only after waters made some comments. Very childish from the supposedly leader of the free world.

Both federal, state and local officials – including from his own party – have refused to go with him to visit Pittsburgh. Even the mayor will not appear with Trump. Federal officials not going include a senate representative plus Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Trump has warned of an “invasion” of undocumented immigrants if the border isn’t sealed with a wall. “Invaders” is one of the words the Pittsburgh shooter had used on social media prior to his mass murdering.

Trump “extended a bipartisan invitation to Congressional Leadership to travel with him to Pennsylvania. Understandably, the members had prior commitments or wanted to show their respect in a private way,” said White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders. Ya. Not even close.

Trump has vowed to end the right to citizenship for the children of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born on US soil. Such a step would be regarded as an affront to the US Constitution, which was amended 150 years ago to include the words: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”

“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits,” Trump said. Nope. Several other countries, including Canada, have a policy of birthright citizenship.

“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” he said, adding that he has run it by his counsel. “You can definitely do it with an act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order,” Trump said. “They’re saying” is his code phrase for no one or someone who doesn’t know about the constitution. Sounding more and more like a dictatorship.

Trump went after House Speaker Paul Ryan, saying one of the top Republican leaders in the President’s party “knows nothing about” birthright citizenship and “should be focusing on holding the Majority” in the House of Representatives “rather than giving his opinions” on the issue. This was a day after Ryan told a radio station that “you cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order.”

Trump understands that the migrants are 1,000 miles from the US frontier and pose no realistic threat to Americans, for months at least. But does his base know that. The way he is describing things, they are just miles away.

Meanwhile he has sent 5200 troops to the border who may secure the border a bit but will ultimately do little for a few months at the cost of how much money [transporting them and equipment, temporary housing, etc.]. Then Trump suggested that he may authorize up to 15,000 troops with authorization to shoot.

To show something equivalent, at 15,000 there would be more troops at the border doing who knows what than the number in Afghanistan. The bill for the first six months of the National Guard deployment came to $185 million US, or roughly $1 million a day. By that measure, 15,000 more troops would cost about $225 million US a month.

The Department of Homeland Security asked that the Pentagon provide a reserve force that could be called upon to provide “crowd and traffic control” and safeguard Customs and Border Protection personnel at the border to counter a group of Central American migrants walking to the US border to request asylum. The Pentagon rejected the request on October 26.

When then President George W. Bush sent the National Guard to fortify the border from June 2006 to July 2008 — 6,000 troops for the first year, reduced to 3,000 for the second — it ended up costing $1.2 billion.

In an administration plan, the Department of Homeland Security could limit the number of migrants able to enter at legal ports of entry. DHS would do this by “metering,” essentially creating a waitlist to allow people to enter only if the department has the capacity to process and detain them at one of its facilities.

Trump knows that immigration is one of the top two or three issues that his base crave for. Why else would he propose an executive order for something that needs a constitutional change – and unlikely to get – ending birthright citizenship. He obviously knows the limitations of an executive order – or does he?

Trump is already laying the groundwork for who or what to blame in case the elections don’t go well for him by saying that the slowing GOP momentum is because of the recent domestic attacks. Already he has stated that he would take full credit if the GOP do well but no blame if they do badly.

While it would have been smart if Trump pushed his economic accomplishments [the few he has had in 2 years], instead he is using the invasion of foreigners entering the country illegally because it is what his base wants to here.

Trump attacked billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer, who is obsessed with impeaching him, after he was interviewed on CNN. Something wrong here. Trump claims he doesn’t watch CNN because it’s “fake news”. But Trump tweeted “He comes off as a crazed & stumbling lunatic who should be running out of money pretty soon.” So he was watching. CNN anchor Jake Tapper promptly tweeted: “Thanks for watching CNN, Mr. President!” Trump will probably claim that a flunky of his watched and gave him a report.

Steyer, who’s considering a 2020 bid against him, wants Trump to be impeached and has paid for national advertisements on TV calling for it. So as usual, anyone considered a threat to Trump, Trump responds by bashing the person. He also charged the president with breaking the law and engaging in “violent political rhetoric.” He has sank at least $110 million in the midterm elections, making him the biggest investor on the left in campaign cash.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy posted and later deleted a tweet last week that suggested that “We cannot allow [George] Soros, [Tom] Steyer, and [Michael] Bloomberg to BUY this election! Get out and vote Republican November 6th.” The three are Jewish and billionaire Democratic donors. This was tweeted after a Soros had a non-functioning pipe bomb delivered to him and before the Pittsburgh shootings.

In an interview Trump said “I do try, and I always want to tell the truth. When I can, I tell the truth….. But I always like to be truthful.” So when supposedly doesn’t he?

The Trump administration is set to re-enable all sanctions against Iran that had been lifted as part of the 2015 nuclear agreement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. He said the US will grant temporary waivers to eight “jurisdictions” from energy related sanctions that will be re-enable as the Trump administration seeks to ratchet up pressure on the Iranian regime. Nice coincidence – right before the mid-term elections.

The Trump administration is seeking to change rules to give employers more flexibility to deny women insurance coverage for birth control. The proposed changes are a response to previous judges’ objections to the administration’s previous efforts to deny coverage that is stipulated as part of Obamacare.

Trump will be doing 7 rallies over the final 3 days but won’t be going to two battleground states, Arizona and Nevada because GOP officials told him not to come. Maybe a reason why he is visiting some states twice in those final days.

At a rally in Missouri, Trump said:

  • “You must reject the Democrat politics of anger and hatred and division and fear.” Seriously?
  • “Let me tell you, we would be in a nuclear war right now if the right person didn’t come along.” Hmmm. How close were we with North Korea in 2017? That was probably closer than ever before and still nothing positive out of his “deal” with North Korea except maybe a bit of calm. They still have nuclear warheads and they still seem to be manufacturing them.
  • “The only time I’ve seen them, they underestimate the crowd. They want to underestimate that crowd [in the caravan], which is easy for them, actually, to do. But that’s a lot of people.” Unsure what a couple of thousand would do but remember how he [or his cronies] over estimated his inauguration crowd?
  • “You know, I think what happened — I really believe somebody was involved that’s not on our side of the ledger. Somebody was involved.” Trump claiming again that the Democrats organized the caravan. No proof as usual.
  • “Even one of them recently said that President Trump made promises, but he’s kept many more promises. I mean, far more than I made.” Do you know what/who he is talking about?
  • “Hundreds of thousands of children born to illegal immigrants are made automatic citizens of the United States every year because of this crazy, lunatic policy that we can end.” It’s called the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
  • “We’re the hot country. Can you believe it?” Climate change, maybe.

Former White House Counsel Don McGahn ended his tumultuous tenure at the White House with one last encounter in which Trump blamed him for Robert Mueller’s appointment. He left before the background investigation was complete for the incoming White House counsel Pat Cipollone. A while back, Trump ordered McGahn to fire Mueller, but McGahn refused.

As if Trump backer, Fox News’ Lou Dobbs, was an issue with his comments last week, a guest of his called the State Department “Soros-occupied” territory in May. The episode was re-broadcasted the day of the Pittsburgh shootings. Dobbs is a business journalist [supposedly] and not politics. In the past, Dobbs has referred to Soros as an “evil SOB” and “insidious.” Dobbs has also peddled various conspiracy theories about Soros.

Trump launched an attack on Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, labeling him a “thief” without evidence and claiming that, as mayor of Tallahassee, Gillum oversees one of the country’s “most corrupt cities.” While Gillum was told by the FBI he is not under any probe. “That individual’s under FBI investigation…. I’ll leave that to the President to make those kinds of statements” said Simpleton.

Rep. Ron DeSantis is already behind Gillum in double digits according to the latest polls. DeSantis began the general election campaign by warning voters not to “monkey this up” by electing Gillum and has also faced questions over his role as an administrator on a racist Facebook page.

Simpleton is expected to leave in the coming months after more than a year in the role. Noooo!

Simpleton defended Trump and insisted he was being treated unfairly. She also repeatedly maintained that Trump was elected by an overwhelming majority of Americans, not saying he lost the popular vote by 3 million votes. I guess only the hard core Republican votes would believe this.

“This is a President who has risen to that occasion and works to bring our country together in a number of occasions, whether it’s the hurricanes, whether it’s the Las Vegas shooting, whether it was the Pittsburgh shooting,” Simpleton said. [OK, you can stop laughing now. Seriously. Stop.]

A Republican congressional candidate in Illinois used an old photo of a rundown street in Jaywick Sands In England to illustrate the alleged dangers American voters faced if they elected Democrats. The posting by candidate Nick Stella did not make clear, however, that the photograph was of a village in England, not a location in the U.S. Bad grammar: “A Vote for Foster is a Vote for a Speaker Pelosi”. Don’t need the “a” before Speaker.

 

 

What happened to the gun lobby in the US?

Donald Trump naturally responded to the synagogue shooting by calling for more armed guards in houses of worship and other public places.

The number of people in the US who died in massacres from the “popular” AR-15 was 176. That jumped to 225 in 2016 [if including the AR-15 cousin, the SIG Sauer MCX].

Following a series of deadly mass shootings in the late 1980s and early 1990s the AR-15 and similar were banned in the US. Fatalities caused by such rifles dropped, although killings by other semi-automatics went up.

When the ban came up for renewal in 2004, the Republican controlled Congress let it lapse, despite polling that suggested it remained a popular gun control measure with the public. Surprised?

According to a recent Gallup poll, support for stricter gun control is at 61 per cent. Support is very strong among Democrats at 87 per cent. Sixty-one per cent of independents are also in support. Not surprisingly just 31 per cent of Republicans support gun control.

As of last week, gun control groups have outspent the pro-gun supports. In comparison, in 2016, $55 million were donated to the gun supporters and around $5.5 million for gun control.

A Wall St. Journal report counted 102,000 gun-control-themed ads that had been aired in battleground states, versus just 4,500 in the 2014 midterms.

The National Rifle Association, the big gun rights group/lobby in the US, had spent just $1.6 million US on ads and campaign contributions, compared to $16 million by the same point in the 2014 cycle. Part of the reason is that the NRA membership has plummeted [less $35 million in 2017] and they are now in a deficit.

US politicians [almost all are conservatives] that are supported by the NRA will feel the loss of funding compared to previous election years and will have to rely on other donors. Some of them received millions from the NRA.