Is he normal?

This will be my last blog for a little while.

Donald Trump slammed reports questioning his mental stability in a series of tweets after the publication by Michael Wolff “Fire and Fury” about his first year as President put the White House into damage-control mode by saying “Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star … to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius … and a very stable genius at that!” Or just luck.

Remember how Trump said he never spoke to Wolff? Records show he did speak with him during the campaign, around the transition time and in February 2016.

Trump continues to go after former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon as Bannon didn’t deny the comments made in the book by Wolff by saying that Bannon cried when he was told that he was fired and still calling him “Sloppy Steve”.

Bannon was only minutes away from attacking Wolff over quotes attributed to Bannon, but he decided not to do so after Trump attacked him after the release of excerpts from the book.

Bannon has since back peddled away from his comments in the book, he praised Donald Trump Jr. as “both a patriot and a good man”, this after describing a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York between Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign aides and a Russian lawyer as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” So why did he take 3 days to reverse things?

Bannon said his description was aimed at former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who also attended the meeting, and not Trump’s son. Uh huh. So it’s OK for his son to be at the meeting but not Manafort.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said “I’m always amazed at the lengths people will go to, to lie for money and for power.” I guess she doesn’t want to upset fellow Republicans as she is rumored to be running for president.

Chief policy adviser Stephen Miller described the book as “nothing but a pile of trash through and through.” Right after it was obvious that Miller was torched by CNN’s Jake Tepper, Trump tweeted: “Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration. Watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunky!”

White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders for saying people are “not entitled to their own facts” during a press briefing.

Trump has repeatedly invoked Ronald Reagan, tweeting that the former president “had the same problem and handled it well. So will I!” It was rumored that Reagan had Alzheimer’s disease while in office but doctors said Alzheimer’s was not to blame, noting the disease was diagnosed years after he left office.

But Bannon said he left by “mutual agreement” in August and was not fired. Trump said he was fired. So why did Trump say he was fired in August?

Bannon has stepped down from Breitbart, the far-right website he returned to over the summer as executive chairman after being ousted from the White House. After Bannon didn’t deny [most of his] his comments in the Wolff book, this upset those at Breitbart.

Trump has complained about the nation’s libel laws and tried to stop the publication of Wolff’s book by threatening to sue the publisher. He threatened but that went nowhere. And of course, if he can’t get his way, change the law to do so [and probably would do it retroactively to the beginning of the year].

The Trump administration has revealed its master plan for securing the border — and it’s going to cost $33 billion. Of that total, $18 billion will be required for Trump’s long-promised border wall, according to Customs and Border Protection documents. The document says the $18 billion investment will cover 722 miles of border wall with about 316 new miles of primary structure and about 407 miles of replacement and secondary wall. Unsure if $18 billion is enough.

Even after a bipartisan meeting on the future of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals], Trump tweeted that he still wanted to see a wall on the southern US border as part of any immigration deal. But at other times during the meeting, he was looking at a stand-alone fix for DACA. At the end of the session, Trump suggested that ultimately, he would sign whatever he was presented with. Trump’s change of tone has angered some of the hawkish GOPs.

A district court ruling blocking the Trump administration’s wind-down of the DACA program. This may give the Democrats extra ammunition to keep the DACA issue separate from paying for the wall and could force a government shutdown.

Nearly one year to the day after the Russia dossier’s publication, Trump’s personal lawyer hit both the research firm that produced it and the news organization that released it with lawsuits, saying its allegations about him are wrong. Michael Cohen, a personal lawyer for Trump who is named in the dossier, says BuzzFeed and several of its staffers defamed him when it published the 35-page document and an accompanying article last January. He also says that Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson, its founder, similarly defamed him after it hired an ex-British spy to compile the document as part of its opposition research against the Trump campaign. This is Trump’s lawyer who has filed the lawsuit for himself – not Trump.

Trump claims there is collusion between the Democrats and Russia – but of course offers no proof of the claim. He meanwhile denies every collusion between his team and the Russians. Trump is also sidestepping any questions on what he will be asked by Robert Mueller.

“The single greatest Witch Hunt in American history continues. There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, & yet on and on it goes. Russia & the world is laughing at the stupidity they are witnessing. Republicans should finally take control!” Trump tweeted. Take control of what?

Trump administration is ending Temporary Protected Status [TPS] for 200,000 migrants from El Salvador is also rattling nerves in neighbouring Honduras where there are more than 50,000 Hondurans living in the United States under TPS. With El Salvador, an untold number of their U.S.-born children — threatens to exacerbate already-grave problems like high rates of murders and other crime, political instability, widespread poverty and income inequality. In the US, who will take the jobs they had?

Last month Honduras was one of just nine countries to vote against a U.N. resolution condemning Washington’s decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. If Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez were to make a similar decision to move its own embassy, as neighboring Guatemala has already done, it could curry further favour with the Trump administration.

Meanwhile, immigration enforcement officers are making 98 7-Eleven stores a target in their crackdown on employers who hire undocumented immigrants. 7-Eleven headquarters claim these are franchises and have nothing to do with the hiring practices. This is part of Trump’s plan to “quadruple” the effort to find illegals.

Remember during the holidays, a white truck was moved in to block the view of CNN’s cameras who were filming Trump playing golf [again] at Mar-A-Lago? Well, new trees were planted to block the view now.

Trump backtracked by saying there will not be any oil drilling along the coast of Florida. Guess he still wants Florida’s votes.

Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders told reporters that Trump “believes in making sure that information is accurate before pushing it out as fact.” Sure Sarah…

Trump’s official schedule in the White House has gotten shorter since the beginning of his presidency as he often spends that time in his residence, watching TV, tweeting and making phone calls. More recently, Trump has often started his time in the Oval Office at around 11 a.m. or later and he has often tweeted from the residence in the morning and mentioned TV shows in some of those tweets.

Sanders said “The President is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen and puts in long hours and long days nearly every day of the week all year long.” Ya. When not golfing, tweeting, watching Fox News, etc.

When Trump visited Atlanta to attend college football’s national championship game, he may not remember just a year ago he described the city as “in horrible shape,” “falling apart” and “crime infested.” Various groups including Refuse Fascism ATL and the Atlanta chapter of NAACP will be protesting.

 

Advertisements

Some directions for Windows computers and the CPU flaw

As you probably know by now, Intel [and to a lesser extent other CPU developers] were hit with a vulnerability that in some cases go back over 20 years.

Most operating system developers have released update or will shortly.

For example, Apple has released updates for their supported hardware. Google will release updates for Android [harder to exploit – surprisingly]. Microsoft has released updates for their operating systems but with a caveat – anti-virus developers must correct their own software first if using some programming code they shouldn’t of.

According to current information at this time, here are the most common anti-virus products and their status:

Avast: Fixed if using version 8 or later.

ESET: Fixed if you check for updates.

Kaspersky: Fix previously released.

McAfee: Expected to use the registry fix found here.

Microsoft: Windows Defender is fixed.

Norton: Fixed.

Panda: Expected to use the registry fix found here.

Symantec: Fixed when checking for updates.

Trend Micro: Can use the registry fix found here.

WebRoot: Expected to use the registry fix found here.

Once the fix is in place, Windows Update should list the January 2018 update.

If your computer is still supported, check for a recent BIOS update as well.

Please note that the information given is as is. I am not responsible for any issues that may arise. Check with the anti-virus vendor first. Failure could result in a BSOD or other issues. If your vendor isn’t listed, go to the vendor’s web site.

[Update 2018/01/11:] If you have VMware Workstation Player or Pro [recent supported versions or any business line versions, you may want to check for updates. If you are receiving updates with your AMD CPU, either you were unaffected or the issue has been fixed.

Some older AMD processors have had the recent OS updates suspended by Microsoft following some blue screen of deaths. Athlon 64 X2 seem to be affected.

 

And you thought the first week of the year would be quiet!

Happy New Year! [It can only get better!]

Former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon for the early months of Donald Trump’s reign was interviewed in a new book by Michael Wolff called “Fire and Fury”. Among the quirks and news is that Trump didn’t want anyone to touch his toothbrush [poisoned], he ate at McDonald’s because nobody knew he was going there, Ivanka Trump would want to run for president at one point, Trump is semi-literate, he trusted his expertise no matter how irrelevant [even if someone else was an expert], dealing with Trump is like trying to figure out what a child wants, and Bannon called Ivanka “dumb as a brick”.

A June 2016 meeting [purportedly offering damaging information about Hillary Clinton] between Donald Trump Jr., other Trump people and Russian officials where Bannon called it unpatriotic and treasonous especially for not notifying the FBI then and Wolff writes that Trump believed his presidential nomination would boost his brand and deliver “untold opportunities” — but that he never expected to win.

Wolff was generally granted access to the White House with a “blue badge” instead of the traditional press badge, giving him wide access to the West Wing.

Wolff said in an author’s note that the book was based on more than 200 interviews, including multiple conversations with the president and senior staff. But White House press secretary Sarah [“Simpleton”] Sanders said Wolff “never actually sat down with the president” and had spoken with him just once. We hope that Wolff has taped some of his interviews, especially with Trump.

Trump unleashed on his former chief strategist and campaign chairman who was interviewed greatly in the book by saying “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party. Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look. Steve had very little to do with our historic victory…. Yet Steve had everything to do with the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama held for more than thirty years by Republicans. Steve doesn’t represent my base – he’s only in it for himself.”

Oh his statement above, it is so out there on numerous levels [and I am not defending Bannon].

Trump attorney Charles Harder threatened legal action against Bannon over “disparaging statements and in some cases outright defamatory statements” to block the book’s release – already a best seller. Of course Trump has threatened lawsuits previously and you know how many of those went to court. Harder said what Wolff did violated confidentiality agreements.

Bannon had criticized Trump and his family in recent interviews, mocking the president’s intellect, criticizing the operations of the White House and torching Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. Advisers have supposedly also tried to tell Trump that Bannon is not responsible for his win, that Bannon leaks damaging information to the news media.

Trump, not surprising, went after Wolff by saying “I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him…” So exactly how did he get access to the “blue badge”? Another security problem? And sources don’t exist as people made up? Surely they would have been easily verified [and sloppy journalism].

Sanders faced questions about Trump’s mental fitness to serve as president. “It’s disgraceful and laughable. If he was unfit, he probably wouldn’t be sitting there, wouldn’t have defeated the most qualified group of candidates the Republican Party has ever seen.” Sanders disparaged the book, calling it “complete fantasy” and characterizing it as “sad” and “pathetic.”

When asked about examples of falsehoods, Sanders said she couldn’t go through every page but pointed specifically to the claim that Trump didn’t know who former House Speaker John Boehner was. Did she actually read the book?

“I would certainly think that going after the president’s son in an absolutely outrageous” said Sanders. Why can’t they go after Trump’s kids? They are involved in the administration. They didn’t go after Trump’s two kids who aren’t. Considering Ivanka also got nailed in the book, Sanders didn’t defend her.

“Lawmakers were saying they have been very concerned about this, the President’s dangerousness, the dangers that his mental instability poses on the nation,” says Yale psychiatrist Dr. Bandy X. Lee who gave a briefing to a dozen lawmakers from the House and Senate in December. ” Some knew of Republicans that were concerned, maybe equally concerned, but whether they would act on those concerns was their worry. … Mr. Trump is showing signs of impairment that the average person could not see,” Lee said. “He is becoming very unstable very quickly. There is a need for neuropsychiatric evaluation that would demonstrate his capacity to serve.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller is aware of an unsuccessful attempt by Trump to lobby Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the Justice Department’s Russia probe. Trump had ordered White House counsel Don McGahn last March to stop Sessions from recusing himself from oversight of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Oddly, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats have changed their tune, suggesting Sessions should stay in the job as long as special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. If Sessions were to resign or be fired by Trump, then the President could install a new attorney general — potentially a loyalist who could influence the Mueller probe. Even a number of Republicans want Sessions to resign.

George Papadopoulos [a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s campaign] told an Australian diplomat that Russia had “political dirt” on Hillary Clinton in May of last year, a conversation that might have played a role in the FBI’s decision to open an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. A few weeks before their meeting, Papadopoulos was told Moscow had thousands of emails relating to Clinton.

Trump leveled his latest criticism of the Justice Department, suggesting the executive department is part of a “deep state” that he believes has sought to undermine him.

Former Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin “…put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act?” Trump tweeted. Supposedly Abedin forward a confidential Email a number of years ago which included passwords to her personal Yahoo account. Some such as Trump believe it was Russian state sponsored hackers who hacked into Yahoo. Of course we know Trump believes in everything.

That didn’t take long. 252 minutes into the new year, Trump tweeted “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” No one knows what brought this on. I’m surprised he didn’t rib it in more at President Obama and President G. W. bush while at it.

The US is currently withholding over $250 million in aid at this time to Pakistan until Pakistan gets tough on ISIS and other terrorist organizations. However, some think Pakistan may turn to Russia for aid.

Trump, on New Year’s Eve tweeted “I want to wish all of my friends, supporters, enemies, haters, and even the very dishonest Fake News Media, a Happy and Healthy New Year.” Awe. Same to you. We will see where you are in 2019.

As well, he tweeted “People are much better off now not to mention ISIS, VA, Judges, Strong Border, 2nd A, Tax Cuts & more?” ISIS is better off now? Still unsure how things improved for Virginia [or is that the Veterans Administration?], a stronger border [still no wall], judges [he has yet to still hire more] and the 2nd Amendment [he hasn’t protected it more, just his NRA buddies have pressured him to do nothing after a couple of biggest mass murders in Us history].

Remember how Trump said after the tax bill that companies would pass their tax savings onto their employees? According to the White House’s own compilation and more recent announcements, only 16 companies in the S&P 500 have responded to the tax overhaul by raising wages, handing out bonuses or improving employee benefits.

For example, Wells Fargo decided to boost its minimum wage to $15 per hour and increase its charitable giving by 40%. That will trim just 5% [$215 million] from what they will save from the tax bill.

The tax bill may widen this: in the US, the richest 1% of families controlled nearly twice as much wealth in 2016 as the bottom 90%, according to the Federal Reserve.

Trump tweeted “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” Seriously? The my button is bigger than yours? He is a man child.

Trump is now claiming credit that he was responsible for North and South Korea in talks for the North to join the upcoming winter Olympics. Sure. Was this after his nuclear button being bigger than Kim Jun Un’s button?

Growth in the Dow Jones during Trump’s first year in office to this point surpasses 17 of his predecessors since the Dow Jones industrial average was first formed in 1896 — trailing only Barack Obama, Harry Truman and Franklin D. Roosevelt [who’s first year was skyrocketing].

When Trump is at his Mar-A-Lago resort, things have changed since he first got his newest title. Partially for security reasons, he sits at one end when dining with the close family and others in the surrounding tables near him. A sort of buffer. It is also meant to keep the advice-givers, favor-askers and suck-ups at bay.

While Trump’s first few visits to the club were marked by frequent social media boasts from club members about their access to Trump — complete with photos — that has dwindled over the last few trips. Gone is the evidence of Trump dropping by weddings and fundraisers, replaced by people taking photos inside Mar-a-Lago and noting that they were told not to snap a shot of Trump.

At least 15 organizations [who have used the resort for years] have canceled events in his first year but replaced by Republican leaning events. There still was speculation of how much extra the resort [and indirectly Trump] charged the Republican events as he isn’t supposed to be making money elsewhere.

Trump claiming that what he has done made a difference when there was no deaths on commercial aircrafts last year in a tweet. But once again he is wrong. First, no the deaths statistic was for the world – not just the US. Second, there hasn’t been a commercial aviation death in the US since 2009 in Buffalo. That was during President Obama’s presidency and regulations came out after to the correct the problems after the investigation in the 2009 crash. Of course there has been many private jet crashes last year. He didn’t comment on those crashes and deaths.

Vice President Mike Pence’s neighbors hung a ‘Make America Gay Again’ banner outside his Aspen-area residence which were written on a rainbow flag, on a stone pillar that sits at the end of the driveways to both homes.

If you think another President will say this, good luck. What Trump tweeted “I will be announcing THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR on Monday at 5:00 o’clock. Subjects will cover Dishonesty & Bad Reporting in various categories from the Fake News Media. Stay tuned!”

Trump tweeted “Congratulations to Senator Orrin Hatch on an absolutely incredible career. He has been a tremendous supporter…” actually Hatch wasn’t much of a supporter.

The US held a reception for the eight countries that vote against the UN resolution where the UN was against the Trump administration’s decision to move their embassy to Jerusalem. I’m sure it was a wild party.

Someone on Facebook said:

“Big Mouth on Netflix… crude, raunchy and completely hilarious.”

A response was:

“For a second I thought you meant that Trump is on Netflix….”

While not specifying Trump, “Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets, would hide important information people should be able to see and debate,” Twitter said in a blog post.

Is the US economy that great when Sears and K-Mart combined are shutting down another 103 stores soon?

The administration reversed two Obama era laws. One is about how to handle marijuana that is legal in 8 states and DC. Federal prosecutors could go after anyone in those states even though legal. As well, offshore drilling moratorium near Maine, Alaska, California and the Gulf of Mexico has been tossed out. Most of the states affected plus [of course] environmental groups aren’t happy.

Took them a year…… No more personal phones in the West Wing, where the president and most of his closest aides and senior staff work. The reason? They’re a security risk, said a statement sent by Sanders.

Should Microsoft ditch feature upgrades twice a year?

Since the summer of 2015, when Microsoft released Windows 10, Microsoft has been sending out feature updates [roughly] every 6 months.

Some background first. A feature update is that huge update that is release every six months. It includes new features to Windows plus enhancements to current features as well as security updates.

But as you probably noticed, you need to download this huge update [2 GB or greater]and wait anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours until the update is finished. A small business can’t sit around while one or more computers are being updated.

[And if you have a system like mine, any time a feature update is installed, it botches up several settings that you probably painstakingly have configured only to have to redo them in 6 months because Microsoft doesn’t seem to care about our settings.]

This also causes developers to fix/correct problems that will occur with a feature update.

Large businesses have to decide which feature edition to base their Windows 10 deployment on, only to find out that after building the image and doing pilot test runs, another feature edition is around the corner. These businesses will most likely base their deployment on the latest feature edition and not worry about the next feature edition when released – or even the one after.

After speaking with some people – both novices and technical – I think most would be happy with one feature upgrade per year. Windows 10 is mature enough. Even Apple doesn’t have major updates not more than once per year.

There will be some issues that would need to be somehow updated. For example, Edge, the web browser. It is still far from being perfect and strong enough to compete the other web browsers. [It is last among the major web browsers that works with Windows 10. One in ten people use it.] It needs to be updated more than twice a year. Chrome and Firefox are constantly being updated and enhanced.

There isn’t a competing Windows operating system but there is for web browsers. When Windows 10 was originally released [and even now], Microsoft was foolish to hide Internet Explorer in the “Start” menu system. After using Edge, which was more like a beta version when released in the first few feature editions, most Windows 10 users headed straight to Google or Mozilla’s web site to download their web browsers – not knowing Internet Explorer was still there.

Wasn’t this supposed to be a quiet week? Nope.

You would of figured with the US government on a holiday break that this would have been a quiet week. But nope!

Donald Trump says is battling to reduce regulations but the tax bill adds to it including new tax brackets.

Meanwhile, unlike corporations, the tax cuts will benefit households until 2025. Why would the cuts expire for households and not corporations? Hmmm. Republicans made individual tax cuts temporary so they could meet budget rules that let them pass their tax overhaul with no Democratic votes.

Republicans used a procedural tactic to avoid a filibuster, a maneuver that can only be used once every fiscal year.

In the lawn in front of the White House, Trump proclaimed it a win [definitely for him as it was his only major legislative win in his first year]. Talking to the media, Trump praised the people behind him who helped pass the bill – all Republicans – a sea of mostly older white males, a couple of females and one African-American [who is right near Trump].

Trump has made the rollicking year on Wall Street a centerpiece of his political message, repeatedly taking credit for the bull run, as if he personally steered the Dow Jones industrial average through a year of smashed record highs. We will see what happens if there is a “market correction” or the markets slowly fall. For him, I think he’d be celebrating even if the market was a single point over the amount when President Obama left.

Earlier this month House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a radio interview the House would be working to reform health care entitlements in 2018, calling them “the big drivers of our debt” and Medicare as being the “biggest entitlement that’s got to have reform.” But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he “would not expect to see” the Senate tackle entitlement reform next year.” We will see who’s right.

After reviewing scores of statements made by politicians this year, non-partisan PolitiFact.com, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking media outlet, has declared that the big winner of “Lie of the Year” for 2017 goes to one told by Trump! Trump said on NBC that “This Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”

Trump’s had threatened to cut off US funding to countries that oppose his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has raised the stakes in a UN vote sponsored by Egypt and sparked criticism at his tactics, which could be called bullying or blackmail. “We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” he said, alluding to US aid. The Us lost the vote [128 countries voted yes] with a bunch abstaining. We will see how many [including Egypt] will lose aid.

US vetoed a resolution supported by the 14 other UN Security Council members that would have required Trump to rescind his declaration on Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and not move the US Embassy there.

Many expected Trump, after first taking office at the beginning of 2017, to do some bipartisan legislation – something that both sides could [mostly] agree on. This would of given Trump the passing of a first piece of major legislation early instead of about 2 weeks before the end of the year.

Despite promising a $1 trillion infrastructure bill during the campaign, Trump’s plan is shaping up differently and set to be unveiled in the middle of January. The plan would propose spending at least $200 billion on infrastructure projects over the next decade, with the hopes of spurring an additional $800 billion in state and local funding. The plan will provide the administration’s principles for infrastructure reform that lawmakers can then craft into a bill.

In his first presidential budget, Trump proposed allocating the $200 billion over 10 years for infrastructure projects. But Trump’s budget cut infrastructure spending overall by $55 billion by slashing programs that write grants for highway renovation, Native American water facilities and rural airports.

Trump again took to Twitter to criticize the FBI, this time singling out two FBI officials. “How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?” Trump wrote in one tweet. In another tweet, Trump said McCabe “is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!” Trump also took aim at FBI general counsel James Baker, who is being reassigned, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Trump is referencing donations to Dr. Jill McCabe’s campaign, something reported by the Wall Street Journal last year. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s political action committee made six contributions totaling $467,500 to McCabe’s campaign, the Journal reported. In addition, campaign records show that the state Democratic Party, over which McAuliffe has great influence, made two other payments totaling $207,788 in September and October 2015. These donations all occurred before McCabe took over as deputy director of the FBI and before he would have had any oversight into the Clinton email investigation. So again he tweets out fake news.

Trump said that he thinks special counsel Robert Mueller is “going to be fair” in his investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s team and Russian officials. His comments made during an interview with The New York Times come after Republicans and supporters of Trump had raised questions over Mueller and his investigative team.
Trump told the Times: “I have the absolute right to do what I want with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter.” A bit like a dictatorship.

The White House strongly pushed back on a report that Trump spoke about immigrants in a dismissive and demeaning fashion with top administration officials. The denial came in response to explosive reporting from the New York Times, which wrote that, according to two unnamed officials, Trump said during a meeting in June that people coming from Haiti “all have AIDS,” that recent Nigerian immigrants would never “go back to their huts” in Africa and that Afghanistan is a terrorist haven.

Trump claims he is ready to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA] with Canada and Mexico in a minute. He is claiming the US had a $17 billion deficit with Canada when a government office says in fact the US had a $12 billion surplus. Where does he get his fake facts from?

Puerto Rico authorities say nearly half of power customers in the U.S. territory still lack electricity more than three months after Hurricane Maria. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has said the entire island will have power by May – just in time for the next hurricane season.

Trump went after the US Postal Service because they charge too little to Amazon for delivering packages. USPS competes with FedEx and UPS to deliver parcels — but its rates are set by a commission appointed by the president, and almost every aspect of its operations are governed by Congress. But the USPS hasn’t been able to compensate for collapsing letter mail volumes due to a 2006 law that capped price increases at the rate of inflation and also limited the proportion of its budget that could be devoted to its parcel business.

Trump has sway over the Postal Service. He’s made four board nominations, who are currently awaiting Senate action. By law, it’s supposed to have 9 appointed members, and currently it has none. So in the end, Trump should blame himself. Trump went after Amazon because Amazon’s CEO is nemesis Steve Bezos.

Trump claimed that his approval ratings at this point in his presidency rival those of Barack Obama, citing a report from “Fox & Friends.” The three-day averages released on December 28, 2009 [the day Trump cited in his tweet] showed 51% approval for Obama with 43% disapproval. On December 28 of this year, Gallup released a three-day average showing 38% approval for Trump with 56% disapproval.

Trump has had the worst approval rating at the end of his first calendar year in the White House since the dawn of modern polling, sinking to a new low of 35% in a new CNN poll in December.

Trump tweeted on the day after Christmas that it is back to work. But he was seeing playing golf for part of the day.

May be not specifically targeting CNN, but an unmarked white truck was blocking CNN’s cameras from taking video of Trump playing golf this week. Every time Trump moved on the course, so did the truck. The truck was on a public road. Nice way for the truck driver to make a living.

Already at least one high speed rail station [not built yet], a renaming of a street in a Muslim area [this should set off fireworks], a park set to be open next year and a new street to be named after Trump as he pledged to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Guatemala is the only other country that announced that they will follow. The rail station will garner plenty of protesting as it goes near some holy sites [in addition to possible further issues if some archeological areas are uncovered].

A man claiming to be the person who delivered a gift-wrapped package of horse manure at the Los Angeles home of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he did it to protest the federal tax overhaul signed into law last week by Trump. Nice Christmas present!

For years, Apple CEO Tim Cook has called on Washington to make it less costly for his company to bring back the billions of dollars it holds overseas. As part of the tax bill signed last week by Trump, corporations like Apple (will enjoy a repatriation tax rate of 15.5% for returning money to the US from their overseas cash piles.

At the end of the most recent quarter, Apple had $268.9 billion in cash and marketable securities, more than $250 billion of which was held outside the US. The question is whether or not Apple will bring most or all the money back to the US and whether they will do something with the money. Apple has already committed to a $300 billion capital return program that includes buybacks and dividends for shareholders.

While visiting a fire station, in a speech, Trump said “We have signed more legislation than anybody — we broke the record of Harry Truman.” Nope! Trump signed 96 pieces of items in 2017 but almost all were Executive Orders and minor bills – not major legislation. Truman signed more than 250. He then got bored and talked about giving the police military style equipment. Why? Can’t he stick with fire station related comments? Some bills overhaul entire sections of US law while others rename post offices and other federal buildings.

While at his Mar-A-Lago, where the temperature was 72 degrees. “In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!” What Trump doesn’t seem to understand or maybe ignore is that “weather” and “climate” are not the same thing.

Oh. 8 of the warmest years on record in the US have occurred since 2008. So that is climate – not weather. From NASA: “Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere ‘behaves’ over relatively long periods of time.”

A video posted by Vanity Fair on their web site before Christmas which featured a handful of Vanity Fair staffers offering cheeky New Year’s resolutions for Hillary Clinton, didn’t get much attention when it was first published on December 23. But after complaints by pro-Clinton supporters a few days later, Vanity Fair sort of apologized.

That’s when Trump came into the picture by tweeting [as the issue was dying] “Vanity Fair, which looks like it is on its last legs, is bending over backwards in apologizing for the minor hit they took at Crooked H. Anna Wintour …. is beside herself in grief & begging for forgiveness!” Wintour is Vogue [same owner as Vanity Fair]. Vanity Fair’s previous editor, Graydon Carter, has had a famous public spat going on with Trump for years. Carter dubbed Trump a “short-fingered vulgarian.”

So Roy Moore [I don’t want to mention his title because he doesn’t deserve it] is using Trump’s playbook by claiming there were massive vote fraud in Alabama from out of state Hispanics and African-Americans. But the state didn’t take this crap and issued a report that there was none. Doug Jones was certified the winner. [I wish the state would charge Moore with something and pay for any recounts and the investigation.]

For the first time in more than two decades, a sitting President has missed the Kennedy Center Honors. The annual recognition of the arts — lauding luminaries from various fields, as they rub elbows with the Washington elite. Trump’s rationale was that by staying away, he would allow the attendees to celebrate without “political distraction.” Most [if not all] of the honorees are Democratic party faithful.

In her opening remarks, Caroline Kennedy said that would have normally sounded benign felt pointed in the current climate, as she spoke of her father’s commitment to “the rule of law, to religious tolerance and racial justice, to nuclear disarmament and scientific innovation.”

Singer Joy Villa, a Trump supporter, has filed a police report against former Trump presidential campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who she says sexually assaulted her at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on November 28. Villa says Lewandowski slapped her bottom hard twice while posing for a picture.

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pennsylvania, said Republican candidates facing re-election would have to surpass challenging hurdles, among them Trump’s divisive nature as the figurehead of the party. He is retired when his term ends in 2018.

Remember how Trump [and Wisconsin governor] were ecstatic that Foxconn would build a huge plant there with $3 billion in incentives? Those incentives have grown to $4 billion. It will take until at least 2043 for the state to recoup that lost tax revenue. On top of that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is at a low 3.2%. This could be a problem in finding an estimated 13,000 jobs [at $53,000 per year] to fill the plant. Would have been better in a state with higher unemployment.

A White House senior adviser, Frank Wuco, at the Department of Homeland Security promoted several far-right conspiracy theories in past radio appearances. Wuco is a former naval intelligence officer and conservative talk radio host Among the conspiracy theories Wuco pushed were claims that former President Barack Obama’s memoir was ghost written by former anti-Vietnam War radical Bill Ayers, claims that former CIA director John Brennan converted to Islam and claims Attorney General Eric Holder had been a member of the Black Panthers.

Wuco pushed false claims during radio appearances that Obama was not born in the US, made disparaging comments about the LGBT community, and lamented what he called the “Zimbabwe-fication” of America.

According to a CNN poll, just 35% of Americans approve of Trump, meaning it is not politically risky for Democrats to stand opposed to him. Additionally, the base of the Democratic Party is unified around their opposition of Trump as 93% of Democrats disapprove of Trump’s handling of the job.

 

Trump gets his only legislative win in his first year

The tax bill in the House of Representatives passed along sharp partisan lines, 227 – 203, with 12 House GOP members opposing the legislation, and no Democrats voting for it. The senate eventually passed the bill and Donald Trump signed the bill into law.

GOP Senator Bob Corker said he didn’t request any modifications to the tax bill even though he as well as Trump and many cabinet ministers will eventually benefit from a provision that could help his bottom line. Corker was the only GOP senator to vote “no” on the bill the first time it went through the Senate.

Newt Gingrich says the “mainstream” media is lying about the tax bill but offered no apparent reason for the lying except saying that the typical American should see more money in their paycheck and maybe in their taxes but fails to mention how corporate America and the rich in general will benefit even more and how much will be added to the national debt. [The GOP always complained that the Democrats want to add to the debt while they don’t. Sure.]

Minutes after the House of Representatives  vote, White House Press Secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders started the daily briefing by listing off what the Trump administration sees as the past year’s major accomplishments. Here are some of them:

  • Nearly 1.7 million new jobs
  • Unemployment fell to 4.1%
  • Stock market reached a record high, closing above 24,000 for the first time in history
  • 22 regulations rolled back for every new regulation
  • The US withdrew from or renegotiated trade deals
  • Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline
  • Designed and built eight border wall prototypes
  • ISIS lost all of its territory and important strongholds in Iraq and Syria
  • Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch was confirmed

Under a normal administration, many of those wouldn’t even be mentioned as there are more important accomplishments, but with the exception of the tax bill [in the last week congress is in session], there were no major legislations passed. “The President has delivered on promise after promise, issue after issue, time after time. And we are just getting started,” Sanders said. Uh huh.

Sanders stood by claims that the tax bill will cost Trump money – this time specifically saying it will cost him money on the “personal side.” While it’s impossible to say specifically how Trump would be affected, since Trump  has never released his tax returns, an analysis of the tax bill has found this claim to be false.

Trump thinks the tax bill also repeals the Affordable Care Act. It didn’t, although the bill does chip away at one of the Affordable Care Act’s foundations. “The individual mandate is being repealed. When the individual mandate is being repealed, that means Obamacare is repealed. Because they get their money from the individual mandate. So the individual mandate is being repealed. So in this bill, not only do we have massive tax cuts and tax reform, we have essentially repealed Obamacare and will come up with something that will be much better…”

I am guessing most Americans [who believe Trump] will think the ACA is gone after what Trump said but will be surprised that it is almost all still there. You also can’t kill ACA until you replace it with something. This basically chops away at one section of ACA. The only thing removed was removing the fine for individuals who didn’t secure insurance. It is not repealing. Does he know the difference?

Ivanka Trump has also been pitching the tax bill that became law. But she had goofed when she said Americans will be delighted when they see their “relief that will be starting as early as February” of this year when in fact tax payers will only see it in 2019 for the 2018 tax year. The bill’s major provisions don’t kick in until January 2018. That means all the changes the bill includes won’t have any impact on tax filings until April 2019. And she’s a business woman?

Trump boasted that companies like Boeing, ComCast and AT&T have decided to give out “bonuses” to employees claiming it was the result of the tax bill being passed. That’s all but nice but those receiving them shouldn’t forget that employees will be taxed on it. As well, were those “bonuses” already decided in advance. Each of those three companies had good financial years.

“We broke every record” on the tax bill, Trump said in a speech. There are records for tax bills? Let me check Guinness Book of World Records. Nope.

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the firing of Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller would be a “gross abuse of power” and called for Congress to respond with “significant consequences” if Trump took that step. As well, pardoning of those charged in the special counsel’s investigation would represent crossing his “red line.”

Warner’s speech comes as Mueller is facing a growing number of Republicans who have been critical Mueller’s probe for being biased against Trump. They’ve pointed to the text messages of FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was removed from Mueller’s team after the anti-Trump messages surfaced. That is just one individual. Do they equate the whole team being biased if one was?

Deputy White House Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn will leave the administration early next year and is expected to pursue work in the private sector. Dearborn had a wide portfolio in the White House and oversaw its political operation, public outreach and legislative affairs. Dina Powell, the deputy national security adviser, is also expected to leave.

The US delegation [with Ambassador Nicki Haley at the head] vetoed a resolution to force the US to reverse their decision to move their embassy to Jerusalem. Later on in the week, the UN voted overwhelming [in a non-binding resolution] to get the US to change their mind. Aside from the US and Israel, no ally or “major” country sided with the US. 30+ abstained. This was even after the administration would “take names” and threaten to cut funding for those countries. Haley has suggested having a “party” for those who voted against the resolution – 8 countries besides the US. Unsure if Abstained countries would be invited.

Trump is heading to his Mar-A-Lago resort for the holidays – including the New Year’s Eve bash that he attends. Now the resort is charging more this year. Conflict of interest? Profiting from being the “President”? $750 if not a member, $600 if you are.

Trump sent our Christmas cards that are about 4 times the size of the Christmas card sent out by the Obamas last year. Thankfully, his picture is not on the front.

In total, Trump will have spent 106 days of his first year in office at one of his own properties when he arrives in Florida a couple of days before Christmas.

Departures were buyouts, retirements and individuals quitting, but at the Environmental Protection Agency, a total of more than 700 employees, including more than 200 scientists have left this year.

The Trump administration wanted to chop 3,100 jobs but is actually budgeted to chop over 4,000 jobs.

After a deadly train crash in Washington State Trump said that “It is all the more reason why we must start immediately fixing the infrastructure of the United States.” This is before the National Transportation Safety Board can say if it’s too early to know if the crash was due to high speed. The train was reportedly going about 50 MPH over the speed limit – passing vehicles next to the tracks.

“The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!” is what his first tweet after the deadly train crash, Trump didn’t mention victims and first responders. He followed up with a tweet about victims 10 minutes later.

After adding a possible $1.5 trillion to the deficit for his tax plan that helps the wealthy more, he wants to spend possibly an additional $7 billion on infrastructure and yet he has been office and hasn’t made this a priority. Instead he is too busy with failed legislation and Executive Orders [travel ban for an example] and approving another country’s capitol.

Donald Trump Jr. suggested that the investigation around his father’s campaign has been fueled by government higher-ups who have conspired to block his father’s agenda. “There is, and there are, people at the highest levels of government that don’t want to let America be America,” Donald Trump Jr. told a gathering of young conservative activists in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Trump Jr. railed against special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and attacked the media’s coverage of the Russia story, saying the ongoing probe was emblematic of the kind of “rigged system” his father had railed against during the campaign. Of course, like his father, no proof.

The Trump administration will propose revoking a rule that makes spouses of thousands of immigrant workers eligible to work while in the U.S., potentially complicating a major driver of technology jobs. Since 2015, the spouses of H-1B, or high-skilled, visa holders waiting for green cards have been eligible to work in the U.S. on H-4 dependent visas. India accounts for 70% of all H-1B workers. The visa is valid for three years, and can be renewed for another three years.

Twitter has suspended at least three accounts tied to far-right group Britain First, including one that had been retweeted by Trump. Trump retweeted three inflammatory videos posted by Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen in November, setting off a political firestorm that strained relations between London and Washington.

Sanders defended Trump’s retweets at the time, telling reporters that he shared them to start a conversation about border security and immigration.

Trump disputed a Washington Post story alleging that he considered pulling his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court after Gorsuch privately criticized Trump’s attacks on the judiciary. “I never even wavered and am very proud of him and the job he is doing as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The unnamed sources don’t exist!”

The Washington Post, citing 11 sources familiar with the episode, reported that the comments left Trump fuming at the time, worrying that his nominee would not be “loyal” on the bench and considered pulling his nomination.

The Trump administration formally accused North Korea of creating the WannaCry cyberattack that briefly paralyzed the British health system and placed ransomware on computers in dozens of countries around the world. Homeland security adviser, Thomas P. Bossert, wrote in an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal that the conclusion was “based on evidence” that he did not disclose.

Trump tweeted “Together, our task is to strengthen our families, to build up our communities, to serve our citizens, and to celebrate AMERICAN GREATNESS as a shining example to the world….” Reminds me of a bit of Fascism there.

Trump retweeted from Maria Bartiromo [of the Wall Street Journal] “Year One has been nothing short of excellent from an economic standpoint…” Note the “economic standpoint”. Not the rest I’m sure.

Trump tweeted “It will be the BIGGEST TAX CUT and TAX REFORM in the HISTORY of our country!” which was already a false claim.

If you want to know how wacky this right wing administration is, the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] were presented with seven banned words why the White House. On the list: “diversity,” “fetus,” “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “science-based” and “evidence-based.” As well, they were told to use alternative word or phrases for others. For instance, instead of “evidence-based” or “science-based,” an analyst might say, “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.” The CDC did remove some references to sex in previous surveys.

Meanwhile, References to climate change and the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of renewable energy have been removed from several of its web pages, according to an analysis by the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative. Not surprising news here since Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, was making changes to the site right after he got the job. Pruitt’s previous job was Attorney General of Oklahoma and doesn’t believe in climate change.

In a bit of wackiness, Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr says his committee is examining the campaign of Green Party 2016 presidential candidate Jill Stein as part of its investigation into Russian meddling in the US election.

Opposition to the Trump tax bill has grown 10 points since early November, and 55% now oppose it. Just 33% say they favor the GOP’s proposals to reform the nation’s tax code. Two-thirds see the bill as doing more to benefit the wealthy than the middle class (66%, vs. 27% who say it’ll do more to benefit the middle class) and almost four in 10 (37%) say that if the bill becomes law, their own family will be worse off.

More than six in 10 (63%) see the tax bill as leaving Trump and his family better off. Just 5% think it harms the Trump clan and disapproval of Trump’s handling of taxes has risen six points in the last month, to 57%. Still almost three-quarters, 73%, say Trump should release his tax returns for public review, about the same share that said so as his inauguration approached in January.