A big week of failures, exaggerations and blunders

When Donald Trump tweeted recently “Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!”, it still didn’t go against Twitter’s posting rules which state users “may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.” Twitter is citing “newsworthiness” and the public interest as reasons why it didn’t remove Trump’s tweets.

[We always knew that one of Trump’s tweets would land him in hot water – not by Twitter but how someone would interpret his tweets.]

Under the UN Charter, Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said, North Korea has the right to self-defense and “every right” to take countermeasures, “including the right to shoot down the United States strategic bombers even when they’re not yet inside the airspace border of our country.” Funny how North Korea will use the UN Charter to their advantage whenever it suits them but ignore the UN otherwise.

In July 2016, Pyongyang said US sanctions imposed on Kim were “a declaration of war” against North Korea and it made a similar statement after a new round of UN sanctions in December. While the December sanctions were from the UN, North Korea has blamed the US and declared war on them.

Meanwhile, the North Korean regime officials have been quietly attempting to set up meetings with Republican analysts in an apparent attempt to better understand the mixed messages coming from the Trump administration. Good luck in understanding him.

Trump’s son-in-law and official White House adviser, Jared Kushner, used a private email server – set up after the election – to conduct White House business. Kushner used the private account in tandem with his official White House email account to correspond with current and former senior White House officials, outside advisers and others, about subjects ranging from media coverage to event planning.

His lawyer stated that “Mr. Kushner uses his White House email address to conduct White House business. Fewer than 100 emails from January through August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House from his personal email account. These usually forwarded news articles or political commentary and most often occurred when someone initiated the exchange by sending an email to his personal rather than his White House address.”

Wasn’t this what happened to Hillary Clinton? He didn’t notice they contained confidential information or contacted the sender about it? Expect Trump to have a double standard saying Kushner is innocent.

While Trump was upset with even owners who joined in the protest, when friend, supporter and New England Patriot owner Robert Kraft made some comments about Trump’s comments, Trump said “he’s a good friend of mine and I want him to do what he wants to do.” So Kraft gets a “pass” on Trump’s barrage of nasty comments.

Trump supports called this whole episode a win for Trump. Unsure how he won. In fact he has divided the country even more.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on ABC’s “This Week” that players have “the right to have the First Amendment off the field.” But what about on the field – especially if the ownership agree or have no opinion?

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says it is about police brutality – so they should protest at the police that protect them on the field. Seriously?

Trump tweeted about the athletes criticism 22 times over the weekend, more than all the other major items [health care, North Korea, etc.] combined. Nice priorities.

After the weekend, Trump tweeted “The booing at the NFL football game last night, when the entire Dallas team dropped to its knees, was loudest I have ever heard.” Yes, his hearing is a perfect way to judge things just like his eyesight during his inauguration.” But while Dallas dropped to its knees as a team, they all stood up for our National Anthem. Big progress being made-we all love our country!” Is he taking credit for this? “Progress”?

“It’s really caught on. It’s really caught on,” Trump said of his NFL comments to attendees at the dinner with conservative group leaders, according to someone who attended. “I said what millions of Americans were thinking.”

The First Amendment so often cited as a blanket justification for “free speech” doesn’t protect the employment of football players or race car drivers when they speak their minds. But NFL’s rulebook states it does not say players must stand during the national anthem.

Most sports do have clauses like in the NBA where “loyalty to the Club, and to conduct himself on and off the field with appropriate recognition of the fact that the success of professional football depends largely on public respect for and approval of those associated with the game.” But if the team isn’t against the idea…..

Following Trump’s tweets last week that players should be fired for going down on one knee during the national anthem and calling them “sons of bitches”, he tweeted “I never said anything about race.” While it is technically true, but many players were protesting because of how minorities in the US have been pushed around or abused.

Trump claims he spoke with NFL’s Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. He was one of the owners who kneeled before his team played this past weekend. [I would guess he is a friend of Jones.] I guess Trump wants them to stand next week. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did – not because Trump wants them to but because it was a one weekend protest.

In another interview, Trump said “Because you look at the ratings [for the NFL], the ratings are going way down … the stadiums, there are a lot of empty seats, I couldn’t even believe it.” If only he had proof to back it up. At least in the early Sunday afternoon games, no one knew that the players [and management] would be protesting. Not those who went to the game or watched on TV.

49% of Americans disapprove of the NFL protests in a poll that came out. So, like everything else, America is divided.

Not a good piece of news: Twitter testing to increase to 280 characters!

Trump is calling Facebook “anti-Trump.” Trump’s comments came days after Facebook said it will provide the contents of 3,000 ads bought by a Russian agency to congressional investigators and make political advertising on its platform more transparent related to the 2016 election. Trump tweeted: “Facebook was always anti-Trump.The Networks were always anti-Trump hence,Fake News, @nytimes(apologized) & @wapo were anti-Trump. Collusion?” Errr. They were requested by at least one of the ongoing investigations?

Trump tweeted “Virtually no President has accomplished what we have accomplished in the first 9 months-and economy roaring.” Yup. He accomplished nothing in 9 months. Who is he kidding?

Trump’s most recent tweets urging Alabamians to vote for Sen. Luther Strange mysteriously disappeared from his verified Twitter account after the candidate was projected to lose the Republican primary runoff for a Senate seat. “Luther Strange has been shooting up in the Alabama polls since my endorsement. Finish the job – vote today for ‘Big Luther'” was one of them. Obviously he didn’t “shoot” up the polls! Took him almost 2 hours to congratulate the winner, Roy Moore, after Strange conceded.

Trump is infuriated at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the GOP establishment after they pushed trump to back Luther Strange. Strange lost by 9.2%.

Trump often deletes tweets from his personal account over spelling mistakes and then quickly tweets corrected versions. Deletion of tweets have raised questions about how presidents’ social media should be handled and preserved. The question has also been raised whether Trump is violating the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which requires all the president’s records be preserved for eventual release to the public on a delayed basis long after the commander in chief leaves office.

So Trump just loves to poke at his [so-called] enemies. Case in point. He tweeted about the problems facing Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria by including “massive debt” and “with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with” instead of comfort or compassion for the humanitarians crisis. Does that mean Puerto Ricans won’t be given any clean water to drink until Wall Street gets its cut? He also said “Texas & Florida are doing great.” But still flooded, lacking power, heavily damaged. Has he seen the Florida Keys?

As they are not a state, Puerto Rico can’t vote for the president in an election and their congressman has limited power. So he’s not going to help them as fast as Texas or Florida – both large states with many Republican voters. Trump has tweeted how well the island is doing after the hurricane when in fact little has been done. Of note, some of his cabinet have big stakes in Wall Street.

Only 54% of Americans believe Puerto Ricans are American citizens according to a poll.

In addition, there is an obscure act called the Jones Act which is century-old law that requires all goods ferried between U.S. ports to be carried on ships built, owned and operated by Americans. When it was established in 1920, was meant to promote shipping by U.S.-owned and operated vessels. But it’s also had the unintended consequence of making it twice as expensive to ship things from the U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico as it is to ship from any other foreign port in the world, according to Republican Senator John McCain’s office.

Trump so far has not waived the rule, but that he is “thinking about” it. He claims “We have a lot of shippers and a lot of people that work in the shipping industry that don’t want the Jones Act lifted.” The shippers have a monopoly, so they want the act kept. The kicker is that Trump waved the acted for Florida and Texas after their hurricanes.

Critics say the Jones Act costs American jobs by encouraging residents in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Hawaii to buy foreign-made goods that are shipped on foreign flagged vessels, rather than goods made in America. Cars, for example, cost about 40% more in Puerto Rico than on U.S. mainland, partly because of the law.

Even over a week after since Puerto Rico was hit with the hurricane, Trump still has to somehow throw in a point that the territory is in debt. Why? Does it make a difference now?

Republican Senator Marco Rubio from Florida traveled to Puerto Rico, something Trump still hasn’t done, and said that aid was not flowing out from the airport and port because of communication problems and confusion.

Yes. Strike 4. A four time failure Trump is now in trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Trump cited an unnamed senator being in the hospital as part of the reason why Republicans are unable to pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Trump assailed two top Republican senators in a local Alabama radio interview when he took aim at Sen. John McCain for opposing the latest effort by Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act by saying “… what McCain has done is a tremendous slap in the face to the Republican Party”. He also blamed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the “ridiculous filibuster rule” that he believes prevents his administration from having legislative accomplishments.

“That’s [60 votes in the filibuster rule] the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. So that means we need eight Democrats, and the Republicans can end it. And Mitch wants to keep it, which is ridiculous by the way,” Trump said. So Trump still wants to change rules so everything can go his way.

In the latest proof that Trump doesn’t came for Puerto Rico much, he still hasn’t gone there to see the problems there but was in Florida and Texas within a week and then again later.

Trump said he may soon sign an executive order on health care that would affect millions of people. Trump now seems to be backing health insurance reforms pushed by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Paul, who opposed the Senate repeal bill, wants insurers to be allowed to sell policies across state lines and for people to be able to form groups to buy coverage. Opponents say that it would split the market so that healthier folks would flock to the skinnier plans, while the sick would stay in the more comprehensive plans, pushing up their rates even more.

As if Trump doesn’t have enough on his plate, he tweeted “Iran just test fired a ballistic missile capable of reaching Israel. They are also working with North Korea. Not much of an agreement we have!” But US intelligence radars and sensors “picked up no indication” of an Iranian ballistic missile launch in the days surrounding a reported test. Seems Iran was playing games, releasing footage of a previous test.

The Trump administration has unveiled new travel restrictions on certain foreigners from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen as a replacement to a central portion of its controversial travel ban signed earlier this year.

Some are new to the list of affected countries. The new restrictions on travel vary by country and include a phased-in approach. Most of them are there for show as few Americans would visit those countries [maybe except for humanitarian reasons]. For example, of the under 100 from North Korea who come to the US, they are almost all diplomats serving at the UN. Would you really want to take a vacation in Syria?

Trump told a rally audience in Alabama that the media won’t show his crowd as the crowd was being broadcast. And yet CNN and other news outlets did show the crowd.

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What US laws says about the anthem and flag

After all the can of worms Donald Trump opened up last week, here is roughly what US laws state about what you can and can’t do regarding the anthem and flag. Note that much of them aren’t enforced.

US national anthem etiquette is laid out under US Code Title 36, Subtitle 1, Part A, Chapter 3. Under this code, any non-military member is required to “face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart.” And, if there is no flag present, “all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.”

That means facing the wrong direction, slouching or failing to put your right hand over your heart while the anthem plays at a sports event is technically a sign of disrespect. But everyone does it anyway. I’m sure talking during the anthem is frown upon but is done anyways.

US flag laws are even more stringent under US Code Title 4, Chapter 1, section 8. This section dictates that the flag should never be upside down except in times of distress, that the flag should never touch anything beneath it, that it should never be carried flat or horizontally, and that it “should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery.”

Seen the flag carried horizontally many times such at sporting events, plenty of cases where the flag [or a portion] used in bathing suits, t-shirts, shorts, etc.

Other prohibited acts include:

  • Putting any mark, letter, word, insignia, design or picture on the flag
  • Using it to carry anything
  • Using it for advertising [except it has been quite often]
  • Using it as a costume or athletic uniform [tell that to Captain America, Harlem Globetrotters, Team USA and others]

Microsoft announcements at Ignite 2017

Here’s a short list of software that well be release by the time the Ignite 2018 conference comes around next year:

  • The general availability of SQL Server 2017 was announced and is scheduled for release on October 2nd. Trial version, Express edition and others will be available on or after that date.
  • Office Server 2019 [including Office clients, Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business Server] will be released in the second half of 2018 [more likely in the fall around September when Windows 10 v1809 is expected to be released].
  • [Not announced officially yet] But not surprising, Windows 10 v1709 and Windows Server 2016 v1709 will be released this week.

Trump definitely back to “normal”

Addressing the general assembly of the United Nation, while scripted, Donald Trump was not even diplomatic calling North Korea’s Kim Jun Un “Rocket Man” – which was only added in the morning of the speech. He went after North Korea saying the US would “totally destroy North Korea” if forced to defend itself or its allies. He said while the US has “great strength and patience,” its options could soon run out.

“It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a nation but would arm, supply and financially support a country that imperils the world,” he said.

He also went after Iran saying the Iran nuclear deal all but dead, saying it was an “embarrassment” to the United States. He even suggested that Iranians should overthrow the regime.

After slamming the United Nations over the past few years, Trump finally visited the UN and was a bit more diplomatic – of course as he was reading from a script and not winging it. Of course he went after countries who weren’t pulling their weight of paying the UN costs for administration as well as military campaigns. [Was it just me or he was using his finger as an index when reading his script?]

At a lunch, in a speech Trump said “Africa has tremendous business potential, I have so many friends going to your countries trying to get rich. I congratulate you, they’re spending a lot of money. It has tremendous business potential, representing huge amounts of different markets.” Hmmm. Looks like he is promoting more of how to make a load of money in Africa [stealing their resources] than helping the continent. Feels a whole lot like the colonialism of the continent by European powers in the latter part of the 19th century.

“Nambia’s health system is increasingly self-sufficient,” Trump said approvingly at one point. But there is no Nambia. Was he merging Zambia and Namibia together or just mispronounced Namibia as “Nambia”!!! [Zambia and Namibia do share a common border in a thin enclave barely 75 km wide in some areas.]

Trump said he has “decided” how he is going to proceed on the Iran nuclear deal struck by the Obama administration that he has long derided. But for whatever dumb reason that is floating up there, he has decided not to make it public. “Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it — believe me,” is what he said during his UN speech.

The Republicans are trying to squeak through the legislation being championed by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana by in a last-ditch attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare before their window to do so closes at the end of the month. But already, the current version won’t be endorsed by Senator John McCain.

Of the 50 states at least the 34 that would receive less federal dollars under Graham-Cassidy and that should worry Republican politicians. Among the states that would lose billions in federal funding: Pennsylvania ($6 billion), Ohio ($9 billion), Colorado ($6 billion) and Michigan ($8 billion). Those are all states Trump won in 2016. New data suggests that the Graham-Cassidy bill – if passed in its current form – would cut federal money to states by $215 billion over the next decade.

“I would not sign Graham-Cassidy if it did not include coverage of preexisting conditions. It does! A great Bill. Repeal & Replace,” Trump tweeted. But just as in Obamacare, insurers could not turn away those with preexisting conditions. But it would leave it up to the states whether to continue other protections.

States could opt to once again allow carriers to base premiums on a person’s medical history and to sell skimpier policies that don’t cover Obamacare’s 10 essential health benefits. Also, insurers would be able to cap the amount they would pay for treatment outside of what their states deem an essential health benefit.

As if Trump doesn’t have enough battle fronts, he went after sports – particularly the National Football League and the national Basketball Association – criticized the NFL broadly and athletes who kneel during the national anthem specifically.

Trump said that if fans would “leave the stadium” when players kneel in protest during the national anthem, “I guarantee, things will stop.”

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired,'” Trump said at a rally.

Trump also said NFL ratings are down “massively”. As usual he exaggerated as the ratings are only down modestly. He also criticized the NFL’s efforts to make the game safer for athletes.

Seattle Seahawk’s cornerback Richard Sherman responded on Twitter saying “The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed. If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!!”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Trump’s criticism of NFL players kneeling in protest during the National Anthem show a “lack of respect” for the league and its players.

“Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn! Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!” Trump tweeted after Golden State Warrior’s Curry decided not to go to The White House as is traditionally done when major sports teams are invited to be congratulated by the current president.

Opponents of Trump accused him of failing to respect the First Amendment rights of Americans. Most of the athletes that are protesting are African-American. Analysts are now predicting further on-the-field protests at games.

The Trump administration will unveil more tailored restrictions on travelers from certain countries as a replacement to the controversial travel ban which expires on Sunday [waiting to the last moment again?]. The new restrictions will vary by country. They could include a ban on travel to the United States, or new restrictions on obtaining a visa for citizens of particular countries.

Even now, Trump is still telling supporters that any Russian interference is a “hoax” even though three congressional probes are looking into this “hoax” and the Facebook ads that were clearly anti-Hillary Clinton during the election period were from Russian-linked accounts. He still whined in a tweet “What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?” It seems while Clinton has got over the election, he hasn’t.

Trump slammed Hillary Clinton over her new book “What Happened” earlier this week too, tweeting that she “blames everybody (and every thing) but herself for her election loss.” You think he actually read it because she does admin at least some guilt.

Democrats say they are planning to look into a report about Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price taking five work-related trips on private jets last week, costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars more than had he flown commercial. Price – who has vowed to cut wasteful spending in his agency –traveled to a resort in Maine where he was part of a discussion with a health care industry CEO, as well as community health centers in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania

The Education Department announced it is formally rescinding Obama-era guidance on how schools should handle sexual assaults under Title IX federal law. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos [picked by Trump] announced earlier this month that her department was concerned that previous guidance denied proper due process to those accused.

Trump signed another one of his many executive orders. This one has Treasury Department authorities to target individuals who provide goods, services or technology to North Korea. The order also bans ships and aircraft that have visited North Korea from entering the United States for 180 days.

After Trump took some hits by the host and winners at this week’s Emmy awards, Trump tweeted “lowest ratings ever”. But of course, this is Trump. Not the lowest ever.

Someone claiming to be the President of the US retweets an animated GIF. More childish antics from him. Clinton actually tripped. “Video” spliced together and the ball hitting Clinton was added.

In Zagreb, Croatia, billboards went up with the face of Melania Trump with the background of the American flag and the phrase “Just imagine how far you can go with a little bit of English”. But Trump’s image was used without permission. On Tuesday, the signs came down under the threat of a lawsuit by the first lady’s lawyers. The billboards advertised a local language school.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asked the White House about the possibility of using a government jet for his European honeymoon this summer but later withdrew the request. Mnuchin made the request to ensure he had access to secure lines of communication when he and his new wife, Louise Linton, were traveling.

Experience a black screen in Windows 10 v1703?

If you are experience a black screen after every reboot for anywhere from 5 minutes to 10 minutes after installing an application from the Windows Store and you are using a computer that came with Windows 10 v1703 [i.e. a computer made by Dell, HP, Acer, ASUS, etc.], there is an update to correct this here.

It seems that there are some registry keys in Windows 10 v1703 “…that conflict with the app readiness service”.

Back to normal with Trump

Another terrorist attack in London – this time in their subways with an improvised explosive device. Right away Donald Trump is adding it to another reason to have a larger travel ban. And right away, UK Prime Minister Theresa May saying “never helpful for anyone to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.” There is no indication at this time whether the bomber are foreign. UK has had some British-born citizens who have been behind various terrorist attacks – aside from the days of the IRA.

Trump even tweeted/whined that it was done not far from Scotland Yard [the rough equivalent of the FBI]. “Must be proactive!” Hmmm. London has the second more CCTVs than any city in the world but they can’t be everywhere.

Trump didn’t seem to rush to comment about the Charlottesville on US soil but did for London this time – and at least the last time when there was a terrorist attack not on US soil.

Trump said that building a wall along the US-Mexico border will come after a deal to help children brought to the United States illegally by their parents – DACA. “the wall is going to be built (and) it will be funded a little bit later.”

Later Trump, in Florida to view damage from Hurricane Irma, said he is not looking at “citizenship” or “amnesty” but that they are “looking at allowing people to stay here.” He added: “If we don’t have the wall, we are doing nothing.” This sort of contradicts his other statement.

The comments come hours after Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi announced that they had agreed to the framework for a deal to protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants in the United States that would also include a border security package that did not fund the wall along the border. The agreement was struck over dinner of Chinese food and chocolate pie at the White House on Wednesday night.

Trump pushed back on Twitter, saying that no final deal had been struck because a “No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent.” As usual from Trump – vague.

Trump also said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan were on board with his plan after he spoke with them. But Ryan, however, has not spoken to Trump since the last night’s dinner. The day after, Ryan says Trump’s meeting with Pelosi and Schumer “was a discussion, not an agreement or a negotiation.”

Conservative Ann Coulter tweeted after the plan was announced “At this point, who DOESN’T want Trump impeached?”

Rep. Steve King, arguably the most anti-immigrant member of Congress, tweeted that if there is a deal “Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible.” He added “Amnesty is a pardon for immigration law breakers coupled with the reward of the objective of their crime” – except they were children when they entered the US. It was their patents that broke the law.

Trump ally Sean Hannity added, “Weak R’s have betrayed voters. @POTUS needs to stay the course and keep his promises or it’s over! Pelosi and Schumer can never be trusted.”

House Democrats sent special counsel Robert Mueller what they say is evidence that former national security adviser Michael Flynn failed to disclose a trip he took to the Middle East to explore a business deal with the Saudi government and a Russian government agency. It is illegal under federal law to knowingly falsify or conceal relevant information from a security clearance form.

Trump said “we’ve had bigger storms than this” after Hurricane Irma devastated the Caribbean and parts of the south-east. Prior to it coming he tweeted “Hurricane Irma is of epic proportion, perhaps bigger than we have ever seen” and “Hurricane looks like largest ever recorded in the Atlantic!” Yes – Trump the hurricane expert.

The U.S. Department of Commerce in April imposed tariffs on Canadian softwood [i.e. lumber] imports after agreeing with the U.S. Lumber Coalition that Canada was unfairly subsidizing its lumber producers, an allegation Canada denies. Trump of course sided with the coalition. Since then cost of building a house or a large building has increased because there is a smaller supply of lumber in the US. But after the two recent hurricanes, America will need plenty of lumber. Most of the devastation came from house made mostly of lumber [because they can’t afford bricks].

Trump maintained his controversial position that people on both sides of the deadly Charlottesville clashes were at fault, one day after meeting with the lone African-American Senate Republican [Tim Scott from South Carolina] who publicly condemned him over it. Trump claimed that many people have said he had a point when he remarked that there was “blame on both sides.” Uh huh.

In a statement Scott said “Antifa is bad and should be condemned, yes, but the KKK has been killing and tormenting black Americans for centuries. There is no realistic comparison. Period.”

Meanwhile, Congress is sending a bipartisan joint resolution condemning the Charlottesville violence — as well as “white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups”– to Trump for his signature. The House passed the joint resolution by unanimous consent, a day after the Senate easily approved it. It’s embarrassing to have to force the President to approve it.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made a fresh push for Senate Republicans to change rules to make it easier to break filibusters of spending bills, echoing a similar call from President Donald Trump for the Senate to set aside long-held precedent that requires at least 60 votes for major legislation to pass. McCarthy tried and failed in 2015 to do the same.

Earlier this year, more than half of the Senate Republican conference signed a letter stating that they did not support changing the filibuster rules for legislation. This includes McConnell and Ryan. Sounds like Pro-Trump McCarthy wants to change rules when he thinks they need to be changed to fit his [or Trump’s] agenda.

A bipartisan group of senators is opposing President Donald Trump’s pick to head NASA, arguing he is a political appointee who doesn’t have the necessary experience to run the agency. Trump’s nomination is Jim Bridenstine a current GOP congressman from Oklahoma and former Navy aviator. But GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, said he supported the nomination. Figures.

Bridenstine graduated from Rice University with majors in economics, psychology and business and has an MBA from Cornell. After serving in the military, he worked a four-year stint as executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. Running a space museum [with no science education] is not the same as running NASA.
It is interesting to note that North Korea’s missile testing has occurred with more frequency under Trump’s first 9 months than any previous presidents. Coincidence?

A pornographic video that was “liked” by Ted Cruz’s Twitter account has been removed and reported to Twitter. It’s unclear who was responsible for the like or if Cruz’s account was hacked. His communication director did not initially address how the tweet happened. Could be a hacked account but nothing else odd was tweeted. “It was a staffing issue and it was inadvertent, it was a mistake, it was not a deliberate action,” Cruz said. “We’re dealing with it internally but it was a mistake, it was not malicious conduct.” An aide to Cruz added that there would be an internal effort to figure out who was responsible.

Some of Trump’s legal team believed that his son-in-law Jared Kushner should have stepped aside before reports about his failure to disclose contacts with Russians during the transition became public this summer. Staffers had begun to prepare a statement in case Kushner did ultimately resign. Of course everything is denied.

Trump’s “Election Integrity” commission is in New Hampshire to look for evidence which is led by Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach and has scheduled a series of presentations from long-time advocates for stricter controls on voting. Kobach himself is already under fire after publishing a Breitbart op-ed in which he claimed out-of-state voters took advantage of New Hampshire’s same-day registration laws and cast fraudulent ballots that tipped the outcome of the state’s election in Clinton’s favor. So I guess Trump thinks Kobach is not biased then. And yes, New Hampshire with it’s huge population would make a difference in an election. Sarcasm.

Trump tweeted that ESPN “is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth.” What “price”? And why does he go after anyone with false comments about them [in this case programming]? Yet ESPN is the #1 cable network beating CNN and easily beating Fox News [2.5 times more viewers]. He was apparently referring to ESPN anchor Jemele Hill, who in a recent tweet said that “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.”

ESPN later said that Hill’s tweets “do not represent the position of ESPN. We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate,” the network said.

Hope Hicks, who was named interim White House communications director in August, will now hold the job on a permanent basis.

Malaysia’s prime minister visited the White House and met with Trump amid a US Justice Department probe into the PM’s finances.

“Le Chateau des Palmiers,” Trump’s 11-bedroom mansion located on the Caribbean island of St. Martin was destroyed by Irma. Mar-A-Lago survived.

Some were wondering why Trump’s Mar-A-Lago wasn’t used for a shelter. It was eventually forced to evacuate. But in the end, that side of Florida did not get hit as hard.

 

You can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free

So we are roughly 28 months away from the end of support for Windows 7. If you didn’t upgrade to Windows 10, you still can.

As you probably remember [maybe unfortunately], Microsoft tried to shove Windows 10 down our throats initially with the “GWX” tool. Plenty of backlash there. But after the year was up, that tool disappeared and those with Windows 7 [or Windows 8.1] weren’t asked anymore.

Some refused Windows 10 for various reasons [I wonder how many actually used/tested it for decent amount of time or just took everyone’s negative opinions and that was it]. Some didn’t want to switch or had applications that wouldn’t work with Windows 10 [that I can understand].

So now, it has been a couple of years and time is ticking.

You can still “upgrade” [note the quotes] if you have a valid Windows 7 [or Windows 8.1] license.

To do this you will need to wipe your current Windows installation complete.

Verify you have access to your system’s serial number.

Download the Windows 10 installation ISO and transfer to a DVD or USB key and the media matches the version of your serial number. For example, if Windows 7 is a “Home Premium”, you need a copy of the “Home” media. If Windows 7 is “Pro” or “Ultimate” you will need the “Pro” media.

All license applications will need to be uninstalled [so you can use the same license in Windows 10].

You must back up all of your data.

Ideally if you had a second hard disk, you could install Windows 10 there and then transfer the data from the old hard disk to the new/spare hard disk [keeping the old hard disk as a backup for a while].

Once data is backed up and nothing else is needed on the old hard disk, boot off the USB key or DVD. When asked, do not keep anything. Wipe out the partitions [optionally wipe the OEM partition].

It will ask you if you want it to check for updates, that is questionable. See my notes below.

If asked for the version, match the Windows 7 version with the Windows 10 equivalent [see above]. When asked for a serial number, enter your Windows 7 license number.
Let the installation go through.

When done, clean up what you don’t need and modify whatever settings.

Restore your applications and data.

If not already done, check for updates.

Notes:

  • Unsure if this free upgrade option will continue on indefinitely.
  • Once you upgrade, the Windows 7 license is marked as invalid.
  • If you previously upgraded to Windows 10 and then downgraded to Windows 7, when asked to enter a license, don’t enter anything. Once you finish the installation, it should pull the Windows 10 license from a Microsoft server [assumed you didn’t make too many hardware changes]. But it is still good to jot down that serial number.
  • I always pause when it asks to check for updates before the installation. I find that it sometimes takes forever to find any updates. On the other hand, the latest update may correct any issues since Windows 10 release that could cause the installation to fail if the update isn’t installed.
  • I have done this once and it worked like a charm. Others on the internet have also done it. There is always that weird chance it won’t work. Don’t know what to tell you. Everything has a risk level. Every situation is different. I can’t be responsible for a failed upgrade.