Reaching a milestone

Well, this is my one thousandth post.

Time flies. Started my first blog post a bit over 8.5 years ago [March 2010]. So that’s 3 US presidents and a couple of Canadian prime ministers.

I am guessing a few of you who subscribe [and even posted] may have been around for most of those years.

I’m sure some left because of my political section. That’s fine.

Some like my technologies posts. Some skip them. And then there is the occasional other stuff.

In any case. Thanks to all who are still reading this blog.

Here’s to at least another thousand posts [and hopefully doesn’t take 8.5 years!].

 

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Wow. Another busy Trump week

At a rally in July, Donald Trump said: “And we will say, ‘I will give you [Sen. Elizabeth Warren] a million dollars, paid for by Trump, to your favorite charity if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian … we’ll see what she does. I have a feeling she will say no but we will hold it for the debates.” Now after DNA test prove that Warren has Native American ancestry he says “I didn’t say that. You better read it again.”

Trump can now really call Warren “Pocahontas”. He was using that term after she claimed for the last 6 years she has Native American ancestry but only now decided to take the test. It is suspected that it will further her bid to run for President in 2020. She now leads the Democrat’s potential nominees.

“Pocahontas (the bad version), sometimes referred to as Elizabeth Warren, is getting slammed…. She took a bogus DNA test and it showed that she may be 1/1024, far less than the average American. Now Cherokee Nation denies her, “DNA test is useless.” Even they don’t want her. Phony!,” Trump’s tweeted.

Except the Cherokee Nation hasn’t objected and she never asked for any type of Native American status. “Slammed”? By whom except this idiot. He also called her to apologize. Seems it is his way of not paying the $1 million he betted on. As well I guess the professor of genetics at Stanford and adviser to Ancestry and 23 and Me is fake to him.

[Some Native Americans have said that she hasn’t helped the Native Americans in any case. It could be said that she added her ancestry only to gain a few extra votes. If you are looking to do that shouldn’t you be looking after their interests?]

So Trump has received information regarding the missing and possibly murdered Washington Post journalist. He announced that he will speak to the Saudi king within 24 hours. Why wait that long? Talking to the king instead of the crown prince shows how serious it could be. [Plus the crown prince may have a bit of a temper.]

Trump said he spoke to the Saudi king who “firmly denied any knowledge” of what happened to the Saudi journalist and dissident. Trump now believes “rogue killers” may have killed the journalist, suggesting that was a possible explanation the king offered up during their conversation.

He says that if Saudi Arabia is involved there will be “severe” punishment but won’t kill any arms deals. Maybe sanctions against the government and anyone involved. Ah the power of money. Later, some threats were removed but the Saudi stock market took a hit as most companies on that exchange took a big hit.

“For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter). Any suggestion that I have is just more FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!” tweeted but he made millions selling apartments in his New York buildings to the kingdom, and the Trump Organization has benefited from Saudi business at its hotels in Washington, New York and Chicago. And why would he add Russia to his tweet?

Now there is talk that Saudi Arabia may announce that he actually was killed while interrogated [or is that “interviewed”]. And I’m sure after Trump’s threats, there won’t be any punishment.

Trump said “it certainly looks” like the journalist is dead. But, Trump said he is “waiting for the results” of investigations being conducted by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, after which he pledged to make “a very strong statement.”

Asked what consequence Saudi leaders would face if they are found to be responsible, he replied: “It will have to be very severe. It’s bad, bad stuff. But we’ll see what happens.” Yes, “bad” like a slap on the diplomatic wrist because he knows he can’t upset the Saudis too much without the Us paying dearly economically. Look how they went after Canada because of a simple tweet.

Well, it was announced that the journalist is dead. And the world is waiting for Trump’s “severe” punishment.

Among what trump said in an interview for 60 minutes:

  • Russian President Vladimir Poutine is “probably” involved in assassinations and poisonings, but “it’s not in our country.”
  • “They [Russia] meddled [in the 2016 election]. But I think China meddled, too. And I think other countries …”
  • Trump said he knew about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s human rights violations, but that his efforts have resulted in fewer threats to the United States.
  • “I think something’s happening [regarding climate change]. Something’s changing, and it’ll change back again. I don’t think it’s a hoax, I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s man-made. ….. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs. I don’t want to be put at a disadvantage.” Until this he has generally said that climate change is a hoax.
  • Pressed about scientists who have said climate change is worse than ever, Trump said, “You’d have to show me the scientists because they have a very big political agenda.” Yes. Scientists are busy with politics more than science.
  • “I’m not going to get into it, because we won. It doesn’t matter. We won” after a comment about Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford lying. I thought Kavanaugh won the confirmation.

After their interview with Trump, 60 Minutes has said they cut any Trump answer or comment that they couldn’t independently verify. Must have been plenty!

Of course many of the comments above and those I didn’t include haven’t been proven.

The ever revolving front door of the administration. Trump said in an interview that he was unsure how long Defense Secretary James Mattis planned to stay in his administration. “Well, I don’t know,” Trump said when asked whether the Pentagon chief would be leaving. “I think he’s sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth.” He didn’t know that when he was hired?

Already Trump has hinted that he will take credit if the Republican party does well in the mid-terms in just over 2 weeks but at the same time he won’t be taking the blame for any major loss. He claims he is not running to be elected. Meanwhile he has been doing quite a few rallies introducing candidates and interviews [see below]. His way of preparing for the worse.

In contrast, when the Democratic party got trounced in one of his two mid-term elections, President Obama did take the blame.

Russians working for a close ally of Vladimir Poutine engaged in an elaborate campaign of “information warfare” to interfere with the midterm elections, the Justice Department’s prosecutors announced that they had charged a woman in an effort “to spread distrust towards candidates for US political office and the US political system,” prosecutors said.

The woman managed millions of dollars for a company owned by Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch who was previously indicted on charges of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, to finance foreign influence activities directed at the United States.

In an interview with Associated Press:

  • Trump still thinks it could be “rogue killers” who killed the journalist but how did they get access into the Saudi Consulate?
  • “We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh. And he was innocent all the way” except it wasn’t a trial and there was no court or jury.
  • “Look, I’m 48 and 1 in the primaries, and actually it’s much higher than that…” What score is that? Those he endorsed? If so, I am sure most were wins even before the primary took place.
  • “No, I think I’m helping people.” In which Trump rejects that if Republicans lose control of the House or Senate, he will have any blame to bear for it.
  • “And I was getting literally tens of thousands of people, also, more than Hillary in the same location.” He’s still going back to the elections 2 years ago. He still considers crowd size an indicator of popularity. I have prefer a specific candidate or party but I don’t go to rallies.
  • “I would say, without question, first two years of office, I’ve had the most successful two years in the history of this country as a president.” This is, of course, totally unverifiable given that it’s difficult to know what Trump means by “most successful.”
  • “Oh, absolutely he’s lying. And Michael Cohen was a PR person who did small legal work, very small legal work…. He represented me very little. It’s a very low-level. And what he was is also a public relations person.” Michael Cohen was Trump’s personal lawyer and the guy who fixed the problems no one else wanted to or could for more than a decade in Trump world.
  • “He wasn’t in trouble for what he did for me; he was in trouble for what he did for other people.” Cohen testified under oath that he coordinated at the behest of and in coordination with Trump for two campaign finance violations.
  • “….I have a natural instinct for science.” Didn’t know he was into science. Maybe he is a professor with a PhD in all sciences from Trump University.
  • “And even people that are not my friends say that was a horrible thing that he did to the president, a horrible thing…. He should be ashamed of himself for doing it.” This about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself in the Russia probe.

Trump went a bit nuts when he found out that 3200 [and growing] Central Americans were making their way slowly through Central America to reach the US. He warned countries along their path that if they don’t stop these migrants, he would cut off their foreign aid. He then told Mexico that he would seal the US/Mexico border and then threatened to new NAFTA, USMCA.

“The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the USMCA. Hopefully Mexico will stop this onslaught at their Northern Border. All Democrats fault for weak laws!” Hmmmm. He’s been in power for almost 2 years and are still blaming for issues that he can’t fix or doesn’t have the political strength to do so. He is also claiming that these migrants [mostly women and children according to reports] and criminals.

A heated argument in the West Wing between chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser John Bolton over a recent surge in border crossings turned into a shouting match.

Trump threatened to shut down the southern border, took Bolton’s side during the argument. Bolton favors a harder line approach to the issue and criticized Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during the argument. Nielsen used to serve as Kelly’s deputy when he ran DHS. Bolton reportedly said Nielsen needed to start doing her job, which incensed Kelly.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders pushed blame onto Democrats in a statement, insisting that her colleagues are “not angry at one another.” “We are furious at the failure of Congressional Democrats to help us address this growing crisis.” Seriously? The Republicans control the House and Senate. They are disorganized.

“They should be ashamed for pushing an open borders agenda and are only doing this for strictly political reasons. Despite us having the worst laws in the world and no help from Democrats, our Administration is doing a great job on the border.” She said. And again. Almost 2 years and the administration has fixed nothing. Stop blaming the Democrats.

Trump finally tours the damage that was done by Hurricane Michael – over a week since the storm came though. Probably too busy with rallies and golf.

A federal judge has dismissed adult film star Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against Trump. Daniels sued Trump after he said in a tweet that her story of a man threatening her not to come forward with her story of her alleged affair with Trump was “a total con job.”

Trump has framed the 2018 midterms elections as a choice between Republican law and order and Democratic “mobs.” In a new line for the campaign, he said “Democrats create mobs. Republicans create jobs.”

Trump has raised more than $100 million for a re-election battle that is more than two years away, giving him a massive financial advantage over a crowded field of potential Democratic contenders jockeying to challenge him in 2020. Small-dollar contributions of $200 or less represent nearly 98% of the money he collected during the third quarter of the year, campaign officials said.

In a rally in Montana, Trump said:

  • “But a lot of money has been passing to people to come up and try and get to the border by Election Day, because they think that’s a negative for us….” They are getting paid supposedly by the Democrats. He later claimed, they were paid by George Soros, the liberal billionaire.
  • “You have some hardened, bad people coming in.” Again, with no proof, but reports show plenty of women and children.
  • “You know, I just walked in, and a big, strong guy grabbed me. And he was almost crying. It happens every time. And many times. And he said, sir, ‘Mr. President, thank you so much for saving our country.'” At every rally, it seems there is a big guy crying and hugging him.
  • “We have the hottest economy on Earth. People are moving back in.” Yes. Global warming is causing people to stay in doors.
  • “But maybe they’re at the State Department. They could very well be at the Department of Justice…” again 2 years later, Trump is now whining that Hillary Clinton’s Email are being kept by one or two departments without his knowledge.
  • “Justice Kavanaugh, number one in his class at Yale” except Yale doesn’t have class rank.
    Trump praised Montana Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte for assaulting a reporter during his campaign last May, saying “any guy who can do a body slam … he’s my guy” and made a gesture mimicking a body slam.
  • “But all of a sudden are Republicans making big progress. It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens in that race.” Yes, for the California governor’s race. A Los Angeles Times poll that came out two days ago showed Democrat Gavin Newsom with a 23-point lead over Republican John Cox. The Republicans will win the governor’s race!

Major issue with Windows 10 Fall 2018 Update

[Update 2018/10/23] Microsoft was scheduled to re-release v1809 last Friday but changed their mind. It seems another data loss bug!

According to these users, the Compressed Files feature in Windows 10 version 1809 doesn’t prompt the user when you move files or folders out of a ZIP file and those entities already exist in the target location. Instead, it just overwrites the originals.

[Update 2018/10/15] On October 11, 2018 Microsoft removed the HP Keyboard driver (11.0.3.1) from Windows Update to reduce the number of devices affected.  Additionally, Microsoft has released this update to remove the incompatible driver from devices pending reboot. HP is actively working on this issue.

[Updated 2018/10/13] Seems that the reason why some people experienced BSODs after installing the October 2018 patch update for v1809 was because of a faulty HP keyboard driver. I would guess that some of those with a non-HP computer who got hit with a BSOD may have been using an external HP keyboard.

This link explains the situation.

This link has an updated driver. Note that it is dated October 12th and lists as an updated driver for both v1803 and v1809.

As for the original v1809 issues [folder redirections, activation], Microsoft is working on a fix and will be testing the fix. So it may take at least a couple of more weeks.

Unsure but most likely there will be a new build number [and not 17763] and those with build 17763 will probably be required to upgrade to the new build.

[Updated 2018/10/12] Even if you managed to get v1809 installed and didn’t lose files or loss the activation, there is now another headache: Blue Screen of Death. It has been reported that KB4464330, Tuesday’s patch for v1809 will result in BSODs. Microsoft is investigating.

[Updated 2018/10/10] Microsoft has found the issue. Anybody who redirected any of their data folders [i.e. Documents, Pictures, Music, Video, etc.] to another folder or drive would lose their data.

They tried to correct a previous minor issue [leftover empty folder] and instead caused this.

An example of the redirection would be moving the Music folder from the default location [C:\Users\yourname\Music] to say D:\Music because your C drive is small [say you have an older SSD there]. For me this is the case for two of my major folders.

There is an additional problem – even if you didn’t have the file issue. Some users are reporting that their copy of Windows 10 is getting deactivated. I’m hoping this was looked after as well.

Microsoft has corrected the redirection issue [at least] and are now rolling it out to testers.

[Updated 2018/10/06] Microsoft has indeed put a halt to the upgrade of Windows 10 Fall 2018 Update.

This is the second feature update with a major issue.

For further information, click here.




There are some reports that some who have downloaded and manually installed the binary for the Windows 10 Fall 2018 Update [a.k.a. v1809, Redstone 5] have experienced some series issues.

Some complain that after upgrading all their files in the Documents, Pictures, Videos and Music folders are gone. Reverting back to the last version doesn’t bring back the files.

So do a full data backup!

Others report that the Microsoft Edge browser is unstable or the bookmarks are deleted. Well, few use Edge……

Microsoft hasn’t confirmed either. I am guessing this blog could be updated soon.

 

 

The aftermath of Kavanaugh’s confirmation

“I stand before you today on the heels of a tremendous victory for our nation, our people and our beloved Constitution,” Donald Trump told thousands of supporters in Topeka after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.

“You don’t hand matches to an arsonist, and you don’t give power to an angry left-wing mob, and that’s what they’ve [Democrats] become,” he said. Maybe they came “angry” because of the how Trump polarized the country. Can you name any President in US history that has name called the other party, let alone foreign leaders, fellow US politicians, etc.

In the same “I’ve got more Indian blood in me than Pocahontas, and I have none,” he said of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, mocking her claims of Native American heritage. “I have high cheekbones too. Hey maybe I’m an Indian.” Warren is one of the front runners to be the Democrat’s 2020 nominee for President.

Trump tweeted: “The crowd in front of the U.S. Supreme Court is tiny, looks like about 200 people (& most are onlookers) – that wouldn’t even fill the first couple of rows of our Kansas Rally, or any of our Rallies for that matter! The Fake News Media tries to make it look sooo big, & it’s not!” Ya. Just like his inauguration crowd was bigger than Obama’s. As well the [Washington] Capitol Police said 160 protesters were arrested. So all but 40 were arrested?

Trump told reporters aboard the flight he is certain one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, California professor Christine Blasey Ford, named the wrong person when she identified Kavanaugh as the man who assaulted her when the two were in high school. “I’m a hundred percent. I’m a 100%. I have no doubt,” he said. Maybe he knows who did assault her.

Even after Kavanaugh was confirmed and before he was sworn in, Trump continued to go after the Democrats with various non-presidential like comments.

Sometimes we don’t know what Trump was thinking. In addition to be sworn in at the Supreme Court, Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s swearing in was done a couple of days later at the White House. This hasn’t been done before. Was it for show? At that time he ranted against the Democrats, Kavanaugh’s accusers, etc.

Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democratic 2016 election opponent, said “What was done last night in the White House was a political rally. It further undermined the image and integrity of the court.” You know that trump will respond to this.

In case you wondered, 51% of Americans in a poll opposed Kavanaugh’s nomination and 41% approved. I am guess the majority of the approvals are Republicans.

Trump said he has no plans to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, delivering a reprieve for the Justice Department official whose future has been the source of intense speculation for two weeks. But as you know, Trump has changes his mind as often as he changes his underwear [hopefully at least once a day on the latter].

He still even managed to thrown in his two favorite words [out of nowhere] in the middle of a sentence that had little to do with it “no collusion”. But Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions career in the government most likely will not go past Trump’s first [and only] term.

Seems Trump has nothing else to do, with Hurricane Michael aiming for Florida and beyond, just barely confirming Kavanaugh, deteriorating relationships with Russia, China and North Korea by deciding to “write” an op-ed piece in USA Today. [Did he really write it?] Trump claims the Democrats want to outlaw private health care plans and taking away freedom to choose plans in something called “Medicare for All” and would cost an astonishing $32.6 trillion during its first 10 years. Now of course Trump selectively likes to choose his information [cherry pick]. For example, the cost is based solely on a single individual’s findings and right leaning.

“Democrats have already harmed seniors by slashing Medicare by more than $800 billion over 10 years to pay for Obamacare.” Even if the amount is correct, he’s been in office for close to two years and has done nothing to fix the problem.

“Democrats would gut Medicare with their planned government takeover of American health care,” except the Democrats are pushing for it as it is based on left leaning ideology.

“The new Democrats are radical socialists who want to model America’s economy after Venezuela.” He really is going for the fear factor isn’t he?

“Virtually everywhere it has been tried, socialism has brought suffering, misery and decay.” Right, like in Canada, Finland, Norway,….

“As a candidate, I promised that we would protect coverage for patients…” He’s already looking at 2020?

Major newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe said they would not have published Trump’s op-ed because of the number of inaccuracies or outright lies. The author would have been given time to correct the issues or it wouldn’t be published.

Trump flew north to Erie, Pennsylvania, while the 150 mph winds of Hurricane Michael raged 1,000 miles to the south, as part of his blitz of key battlegrounds ahead of the midterm elections. “We have thousands of people lined up, so we wanted to make this stop,” Trump told reporters at Erie’s airport. Supposedly, rump had been urged not to cancel by local party officials.

But these rallies are supposed to be for the candidates running in those locations. When Trump attends one, he spends an hour talking or whining about everything and then takes a few minutes to talk about the candidates – some whom he have never met until just prior to the event.

By Trump’s calculation there were somewhere between 32,000 and 37,000 people inside and outside watching the speech in Erie, Pennsylvania on Wednesday. According to the Erie fire chief, there were 9,000 people in the arena and another 3,000 watching outside. So 12,000 total.

The hurricane hit some of the most fertile areas of Trump country — where a massive turnout helped him overturn expectations in the Sunshine State in 2016. So he wouldn’t expect to lose too many Trump voters if he went to a rally elsewhere than monitor the hurricane from Washington or elsewhere.

Is there any relation between Nikki Haley resigning and the Kavanaugh confirmation? Maybe. She “roasted” Blasey Ford one day and the next day gave Trump her resignation letter. Then she officially announces her resignation the day after Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Unsure if he was joking or not but Trump had commented that maybe his daughter, Ivanka, be appointed to replace Haley. Trump would love that as someone [we assume] he can trust, but it is a position that requires confirmation.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy plans to introduce legislation this week that will fully fund the proposed Trump Wall along the US-Mexico border with a whopping $23.4 billion price tag. As the legislation is still being written, it’s not clear if the package would have any element of the wall paid for by Mexico, as Trump repeatedly promised on the campaign trail. [Does that price tag seem a bit low?]

Aides in both chambers, in both parties, think the fight over wall funding levels after the election could lead to a government shutdown — something Trump himself has advocated as part of a negotiating strategy. Even if the bill passed the House, it would need 60 votes to clear the Senate, an unlikely threshold to reach.

Trump escalated his attack on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases, asserting that “the Fed is out of control” and blaming it for this week’s plunge in stock prices. While campaigning in 2016, Trump had been highly critical of the Fed, contending that under Chair Janet Yellen, the Fed was keeping rates abnormally low to try to help Democrats. But until this summer, he had lodged no criticism of the Fed’s rate hikes. So I guess they weren’t helping the Democrats.

Hope Hicks, previously one of President Trump’s closest aides, is joining FOX as executive vice president and chief communications officer, which means she will run public relations and other aspects of the TV company. She will not officially start work until early 2019 — because FOX is in the midst of a major corporate transaction. Not bad for a 29 year old!

Rapper Kanye West met with Trump, telling him in an Oval Office meeting before reporters why he supports the Republican. “There was something about putting this hat on that made me feel like Superman,” West said. ” He might not have thought he’d have a crazy mother-f***r like me (supporting him).” No f***ing shit.

In an interview with Fox, “I have a lot of African-American support, and a lot has developed over the last little while with Kanye coming out, and Jim Brown’s been there for a long time.” In a recent interview, just more than 1 in 4 non-white voters approved of the job Trump is doing. “When Kanye came out very strongly a number of months ago, something happened. My polls went up, like, 25%.” Trump makes it as if Kanye is gay.

After Taylor Swift announced that she would support two Democrats in her home state of Tennessee, Trump commented that “I’m sure Taylor Swift has nothing — or doesn’t know anything about her (Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn),” Trump said and then he added, with a laugh: “Let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25% less now, OK?”

Seems Swift knows enough about Blackburn [maybe even more than Trump] when she tweeted “She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act….” [and so on].

Trump has either held a rally or visited one of his own properties on 48 of the past 92 days; that is, since June 7. He’s probably played golf on at least 30 of those days, about a third. Over the course of his presidency, the figures are more modest. He’s visited one of his own properties on about 33 percent of days and probably played golf on about 22 percent of the days he’s been president. President Obama played 306 rounds as president, over eight years. In fewer than two years, Trump has probably played 129.

During a rally in Lebanon, Ohio, Trump called Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee “a great general,” and said President Abraham Lincoln “almost developed a phobia” over Lee’s defeat. How does he know this?

Almost two years after Trump’s win, the US Postal Service has been operating on an emergency basis because of a lack of confirmed members.

Melania Trump says she could be one of “the most bullied person” in the world. She doesn’t say how or from whom. Critics have pointed out that her husband routinely mocks people for their looks and for what he says is a lack of talent or intelligence.

She also says there are people in the White House whom she and the husband can’t trust. She didn’t name names but said she let her husband know about them.

When asked in an interview about the alleged affairs Trump has had, Melania said “It is not concern and focus of mine….. I have much more important things to think about and to do.”

From an old interview, we’ve know that Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani is probably a  liar when he said that Melania doesn’t believe Trump had an affair with Stormy Daniels when Melania’s communication director said she never spoke to Giuliani about it.

 

Google+ to be shut down soon

Google has announced that they are closing the consumer functionality of Google+, their social media platform, due lack of adoption and an API bug that leaked the personal information of up to 500,000 Google+ accounts. [Internally Google+ will still be used.]

Google is claiming that the bug [so far] was not misused and shutting the service due to the security complexity [I guess look at Facebook] in addition to what they claimed they has so few users actually used the service for any length of time.

gplusIn a blog statement, they said that “The consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.” I would assume that is an average as it’s almost impossible to be on for 5 seconds.

Or maybe they shut it down because they know they can’t compete against Facebook.

I still remember early on that if you created a Google/Gmail account, they would automatically create a Google+ account for you without telling you. It was possibly [on purpose] their way to catch up to Facebook in the number of accounts. But if you didn’t know you had an account, how could you use it? Google could say they have 500,000 Google+ accounts.

While at it, I wonder if that 500,000 accounts number is legitimate. From previous reports, it wasn’t doing that well.

Another web site said there are 34 million unique visitors per month which is not that impressive for 395 million supposedly active accounts – not 500 million – and two-third are male and a bit more than half are from the US.

If you claim to have 500,000 accounts, why would you shut down the service permanently instead of keeping it alive and fixing the bug? 500,000 accounts doesn’t seem to be “due lack of adoption”.

But according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the bug in the Google+ API existed between 2015 and March 2018, which was when Google discovered and fixed the bug. So, if fixed, why shut it down? But then they added “disclosing the incident would likely trigger “immediate regulatory interest”

In any case, this is Google’s third social media platform that they have closed up.

Google+ will slowly wind down over the next few months.

Trump gets two wins for the week – a first

And maybe a last.

Well it sure was an interesting week for Donald Trump.

While Trump said that “They [FBI] have free rein to do whatever they have to do,” but Trump’s counselor Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway said that the reopened FBI checks into Kavanaugh would be “limited in scope, it’s meant to last one week, and … it’s not meant to be a fishing expedition.”

White House spokeswoman Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders said that “Senate Republicans are going to lay out and dictate those terms, and we look forward to this wrapping up so we can see what was seen in the last six investigations that Judge Kavanaugh has been a part of.”

A source with knowledge of the investigation said that the FBI will interview a handful of people and only take direction from the White House, not the Senate and said the White House sent the limited parameters of the investigation to the FBI based on a Senate request. Two sources with knowledge of the situation said that Senate Republicans were working with White House counsel Don McGahn, who was “trying to make it as narrow as possible.”

The Democrats sent in a list of 29 people that should be interviewed properly to be satisfied. Something tells me the FBI will not be doing them all [told or otherwise].

Trump decried the “trauma” Kavanaugh has been subjected to in the confirmation process. Ummm. Would that be more than Ford or for that matter either Christine Blasey Ford or Kavanaugh’s family? Ford has to relive it. [I am assuming she did go through the assault.] “Certainly, if they find something I’m going to take that into consideration,” Trump said when asked about the FBI investigation. “Certainly, I have a very open mind.” That is questionable.

Days later Trump said that Kavanaugh’s “life is in tatters. A man’s life is shattered. His wife is shattered, his daughters. … ” Well, next time, do some actual research on a nominee instead of putting this liar’s family through this mess.

Trump told the rally crowd in Mississippi, “I don’t even know him. I met him for the first time a few weeks ago. I don’t even know him. So it’s not like, ‘Oh, gee, I want to protect my friend.’ ” Great. He doesn’t even know his own nominee.

Trump tweeted that the people he sees at his rallies are “really angry at the vicious and despicable way Democrats are treating Brett Kavanaugh.” Of course – they’re all Republicans! He called Democrats who are against Kavanaugh “evil people” who want to “destroy people.”

The Democrats claim that any judge appointed to the Supreme Court should have an impeccable record – both as a judge and personally. The fact that there are three that accuse Kavanaugh shows that he may not be the perfect candidate.

Trump’s mockery of Christine Blasey Ford sparked an immediate backlash among two critical Republican swing votes on the nomination of Supreme Court hopeful Brett Kavanaugh, with Sens. Jeff Flake and Susan Collins pointedly rebuking Trump. Speaking at a campaign rally, Trump cast doubt on Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee by mocking her for not knowing the answers to questions such as how she had gotten to the high school party where she says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, an allegation he has repeatedly denied. Trump previously called her testimony “credible”.

“There’s no time and no place for remarks like that. To discuss something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right. … It’s kind of appalling,” said Flake in an interview. Collins said they “were just plain wrong.” If Trump loses the Kavanaugh, vote he could only blame himself for it now.

Kellyanne “The Witch” Conway responded with “She’s been treated like a Faberge egg by all of us…” [Doesn’t she know smoking pot is illegal?]

Trump is criticizing female protesters who confronted senators over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as he is calling them “paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad.” Trump described the women as “rude elevator screamers” and said they have “professionally made identical signs.”

At press time, Trump may have got his wish as Kavanaugh will squeak by with the confirmation. Unlike all other Supreme Court justices before him, Kavanaugh was the hardest to confirm ever.

The US, Canada and Mexico squeezed in before the US deadline to update the North American Free trade Agreement. The new deal has a new name: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Trump can claim a victory and a check next to one of his campaign promises. While there were some changes, was it really a big difference?

US farmers will have better access to the Canadian dairy market, there is a change regarding autos that may not affect Canada much and Chapter 19, which is a way to resolve trade issues, is staying put. The US lost every Chapter 19 complaint so far.

“I then will submit it [USMCA] for approval to Congress where in theory there should be no trouble — but anything you submit to congress is trouble, no matter what,” Trump said. What a positive guy! He then added “…we’re [Democrats] not going to approve it because that’ll be good for the Republicans, so therefore we can’t approve it.”

Trump also said “truly historic news for our nation and indeed for the world.” I don’t think the world really cares much about a deal that doesn’t involve them.

“Just for those babies out there that talk about tariffs — that includes Congress, ‘please don’t charge tariffs’ — without tariffs, we wouldn’t be standing here,” Trump said. “I can tell you, Bob and all of these folks would not be standing here right now.” This comment was made because number of Republicans — including House Speaker Paul Ryan — have expressed opposition to tariffs.

Some experts claim the new trade agreement is just a change of names that Trump likes plus some expected changes [such as copyright and shipping duties] and a few issues [Canadian dairy management and Mexican labor wages]. But Trump whined since before the election that the NAFTA deal was the worst deal ever according to him. So he didn’t change much.

Between the new NAFTA deal and Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Trump can claim two victories. Major? I doubt it except to him.

China says it deplores a controversial new clause [section 32.10] in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that calls on the countries to notify each other if they enter into trade talks with a “non-market” economy. Some say it gives the Americans a veto over Canada and Mexico pursuing free trade with China.

Trump helped “his parents dodge taxes” in the 1990s, including “instances of outright fraud” that allowed him to amass a fortune from them, according to an analysis from The New York Times. Denial from the Trump family of course.

Trump and his siblings helped his parents build their wealth by hiding millions of dollars in gifts in a “sham corporation,” according to the Times. The President assisted his father in taking “improper tax deductions worth millions more.” He also helped to “formulate a strategy” for his parents to undervalue their real estate holdings on their tax returns to reduce their tax bill.

Trump’s older sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, has kept a very low profile since he ran for office. But it appears as though she inadvertently had a central role in The New York Times blockbuster report on her brother’s alleged tax schemes. One of the Times key findings was a financial disclosure form from Barry’s Senate confirmation proceedings in 1999 to be a federal appellate judge.

Go figure out this one: Trump, at a news conference, told reporter Cecilia Vega that “That’s OK. I know you’re not thinking. You never do,” and the initial transcript said “thinking”, but to maybe remove the insult, the White house revised the transcript within 24 hours replacing “thinking” with “thanking” even though the video clearly says “thinking”. Isn’t changing any presidential text illegal?

At a rally in West Virginia, Trump said “When you see people who are angry and mean and nasty and untruthful…” He was going after Senator Diane Feinstein when those words can describe himself more than her.

Regarding what they call “Laughtergate” at the UN during Trump’s speech at the UN, Trump said “The fake news said people laughed at President Trump. They didn’t laugh at me. People had a good time with me. We were doing it together. We had a good time. They respect what I’ve done.” Seriously? It was a comedy show?

Deeper into his speech, Trump had this warning for the other 180 plus leaders: “We are taking a hard look at US foreign assistance … Moving forward, we are only going to give foreign aid to those who respect us and frankly are our friends.” And I would guess the number of friends have dropped in the last two years.

Just after California Governor Jerry Brown signed a state net neutrality bill in defiance of federal regulations, the Trump Administration asked a court to block California from attempting to restore Obama-era rules requiring open access to the internet.

The measure prohibits internet service providers in California from stratifying users and websites by who can pay for faster surfing speeds and service. If the law stands, broadband providers including Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc. will be blocked in the state from slowing traffic on their airwaves while charging consumers for faster access.

The Trump administration is quietly moving to weaken U.S. radiation regulations, turning to scientific outliers who argue that a bit of radiation damage is actually good for you — like a little bit of sunlight. They already have targeted a range of other regulations on toxins and pollutants, including coal power plant emissions and car exhaust, that it sees as costly and burdensome for businesses.

[Reducing regulations is not surprising for Trump. After all, him and most of his cabinet came from big business. If this saves companies more money (at what medical costs), these people could indirectly add to their pockets some of the profits that are in blind trusts or in the case of Trump, should be.]

Melania Trump is in Africa visiting a few countries. She will be checking out daycare centers and hospitals funded by a US government agency. Problem is that the Trump administration have signaled that they will cut 30% of the funding.

Steve Bannon suggests Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti could go toe-to-toe with Trump in the 2020 election.

Kanye West opened up the season for Saturday Night Live. At a commercial brake, he stayed on stage and had a pro-Trump rant. He was booed by quite a few of the people in the audience.

Trump claims that West was told he could not wear a “Make America Great Again” hat after the show but he did. Now who cares what he wears offline?

Being like his father, Donald Trump Jr. claims West was bullied by Saturday Night Live staff. Seriously? Didn’t hear West complain. [And speaking of bullying….]

In another dumb comment from Donald Trump Jr., he told Daily Mail TV that he worries more for his sons than his daughters in the current political climate, saying he is concerned they may one day face false sexual misconduct allegations. If his sons have done nothing wrong, nothing to fear.

 

Trump goes to the United Nations

Donald Trump at the United Nations. You know what that means.

Trump arrived late. [Surprised? He also arrived late at the last G7.] So, at the General Assembly, forcing a last-minute scheduling switch, then received polite applause but also blank stares as he took his blustery brand of “America First” policies to the annual General Assembly.

He was unapologetic about his decisions to remove the US from the international Iran nuclear accord and object to UN programs he believes are contrary to American interests.

Trump claims his “administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history” of the United States. Some world leaders in the crowd chuckled and some broke into outright laughter.

Fox News decided not to include the laughter portion on their web site and Twitter feed. Meanwhile, Trump claimed after his speech, he intentionally added this section so he could add some humor.

Trump also said “Moving forward we are only going to give foreign aid to those who respect us and frankly our — our friends.” How he defines respect? I would guess where the US has a trade surplus.

“As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy and no authority,” he said. The US is boycotting the Human Rights Council, arguing it overlooks abuses by some and serves as a venue for anti-American and anti-Israeli action.

Trump said about North Korea, “there have been no tests, no nuclear tests, no rockets, no missile launches….” But he said nothing about development of rockets.

When Trump chaired the UN Security Council, he claimed [with no proof] that China – not Russia – is planning to disrupt the upcoming mid-term elections. I guess we have a preview of what Trump will say when he loses the House and/or Senate in November.

For trade issues, Trump told world leaders “we are systematically renegotiating broken and bad trade deals.” Singling out China for its trade abuses and theft of US intellectual property, Trump said “we will no longer tolerate such abuse.”

Trump tweeted that “despite requests,” he has no plans to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. But in an interview Rouhani said “Not this year, nor last year. We have never made such a request for a meeting with the President of the United States”. But US officials said Trump is not seeking a meeting with him but is not opposed to talking if Iran requests a session.

Trump is getting into meeting denial habits. He was asked at a press conference if he was asked by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a meeting. Trump said no because Canada’s tariffs are too high. Trudeau’s office said Trudeau never asked for a meeting.

During a free-wheeling solo press conference that lasted more than an hour, Trump again claimed that former President Barack Obama was close to starting a catastrophic conflict with North Korea, telling reporters that if he “wasn’t elected, there would have been a war” as his predecessor was close to “pressing the trigger.”

Trump also claims by implying that Obama had “essentially” told him so directly in a Fox News interview. But those who worked in the previous administration say Trump’s assertion is simply untrue.

Interesting to note that Trump is pinning all his hopes on Brett Kavanaugh. The longer he keeps Kavanaugh as his nominee the less the chances are that the senate can confirm another nominee in case Kavanaugh is dropped.

With the possibility of the Democrats taking control of the senate in November, the probably of the Democrats allowing a hard right justice nominee as a Supreme Court justice is very unlikely. With this, it could push back a right wing agenda including the possibility of the sinking of Roe versus Wade, for example.

With the latest allegations against Kavanaugh, the Trump administration and senior Republicans are trying to still defend Kavanaugh.

Trump sought to discredit the second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, who is accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct by saying she was “messed up” and “drunk” at the time of the alleged incident. He also said he believes Democrats are masterminding “a con game” against his Supreme Court nominee.

White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders said that Trump is open to having Kavanaugh’s second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, testify. The question is whether or not that is Trump actual view.

Trump said the third accuser is just like the other two – either out to kill Kavanaugh’s nomination or a Democratic party plot.

There was a call from the American Bar Association to slow the vote on Kavanaugh until the FBI can do a full background check. White House spokeswoman Sarah “Simpleton”  Sanders told reporters Friday that Kavanaugh has already “been through six separate background investigations by the FBI.”

Personal information of US senators Mike Lee, Lindsey Graham, and Orin Hatch appeared on their Wikipedia pages while questioning Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during a judiciary hearing.

After Senator Jeff Flake pushed for an investigation by the FBI into Kavanaugh and his 5 accusers, Trump ordered a limited, week-long FBI probe of the allegations against Kavanaugh, at the request of the Senate Judiciary Committee. It was a 180-degree turn from his previous statements about making such a move.

Remember how much Trump “liked” the FBI, so does he actually trust them or would go after them if the investigation shows Kavanaugh did indeed do what he is accused of by at least one of the 5 accusers. Also surprising he called for the investigation right away instead of waiting one or more days to reduce the amount of time the FBI can investigate.

For the Republican party, a positive outcome for them could help get some on the fence Republicans and Democrats to vote in favor of Kavanaugh. For the Democrats, it could help prove or give more doubt that Kavanaugh did indeed do what he is accused of. In addition, Kavanaugh’s friend, Mark Judge, can finally give testimony.

For the accusers, Kavanaugh, Judge and others, if any of them end up lying, they could be headed to be charged with numerous offences including perjury [up to 5 years in prison]. If Kavanaugh lied, it could also be big trouble for Trump.

The proposed rule announced by the Department of Homeland Security through the Trump administration could make immigrants seeking to enter the United States ineligible for visas or green cards if they are deemed likely to receive certain public benefits once they come to the country. The public benefits includes public housing and food stamps equivalent to a certain monetary threshold.

A federal judge in Washington, DC, ruled that a lawsuit brought by more than 200 Democrats in Congress against Trump over foreign payments to his business can proceed. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and the other members allege in the lawsuit that Trump is violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution by not seeking their approval for his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments.

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani flatly stated Trump would not answer any questions from the special counsel about obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation in writing or in an interview.

Other members of Trump’s legal team say Giuliani’s version of events was wrong. Another pair of key attorneys Trump, Jane and Marty Raskin, were busy trying to coordinate calls and continue to do so with a lawyer on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

The House is set to vote on a massive spending package that funds a large section of government and aims to avert a shutdown, just weeks before the midterm elections. Interesting. The Senate overwhelmingly supported it [bipartisanship!] and the House is expected to pass it easily. But, you guessed it, Trump has sent mixed signals sent over the bill in recent weeks. The Trump Wall isn’t included in the bill. Tweeting, Trump recently called this “ridiculous” spending bill.

Eventually Trump signed a massive spending package that funds a large section of government and averts a shutdown. The bill includes a continuing resolution that will fund remaining unfunded parts of government until December 7.

In a tweet, Trump used the word “Acquisitions” instead of “accusations”. Hmmmm. Add to the list of other tweeting goofs.

Trump rejected any notion that his tariffs posed an economic risk, echoing assertions by his administration that consumers would barely notice the new taxes.

From Ford to Walmart to Procter & Gamble, a growing number of iconic American companies are warning that Trump’s tariffs on US imports are raising their costs and prices. Further warnings from Coca-Cola, Gap, Macy’s, etc.

Ford’s CEO claims that the company buys most of its metals from US producers, which have raised prices this year as a result of the tariffs on foreign competitors. US producers can gauge Ford by raising their prices but keep it just below import steel with tariffs. Steel prices are up 25 per cent since the tariffs began.

The Trump administration imposed new 10% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, spanning thousands of products, including food seasonings, baseball gloves, network routers and industrial machinery parts. China retaliated immediately with new taxes of 5% to 10% on $60 billion of US goods such as meat, chemicals, clothes and auto parts.

The latest round of US tariffs is set to increase at the end of the year from 10% to 25%. China hasn’t yet spelled out how it will respond to that. Trump has also threatened tariffs on another $267 billion of Chinese products. That would mean the US measures effectively cover all China’s annual goods exports to the United States.

Thousands of companies have asked the government to exclude certain products from the tariff list, claiming they cannot find another supplier outside of China for the items they need. None of their requests have been granted so far.

The Chinese government has blocked the USS Wasp from docking in Hong Kong amid a growing diplomatic feud between the two countries over strict military sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.

Adding fuel to the fire, the administration moved ahead with its approval of $330 million in arms sales to Taiwan, primarily spare parts for the island’s air force.

Latest SRSS poll has one of the highest disapproval rating at 58% for Trump since Trump took the job [only time higher was around December 2017]. His approval with Republicans is static at 82%. But the number of Americans who identify with a party has been on the decline. But most independents tend to vote with the Republicans.

A bit of humor: Having Trump as “President” is like having diarrhea for two years. It’s exhausting and there’s shit everywhere.  [Not my quote.]