What to expect in the April 2019 Update to Windows 10

The busy beavers at Microsoft are already working out what will be in the officially named April 2019 Update for windows 10 [a.k.a. 19H1 or v1903]. Among the new and updated are:

  • Remember the Spectre mess in early 2018? Some slower systems [particular 2015 made and before] took a slight hit in speed. Microsoft is enabling “retpoline” and “import optimization” options which will give those older systems some speed back.
  • 7 GB of disk space will now be reserved for installing updates, so updates don’t fail because of a lack of disk space. If you have a very small system drive this could be an issue. There should be an option to reduce the size.
  • Unless Microsoft changes its mind, Home users can pause getting updates for up to a week. But you can’t re-enable the pausing right after the pausing ended.
  • There is a new light theme. The Start menu, taskbar, notifications, action center sidebar, print dialog, and other interface elements can now be light instead of dark.
  • Windows Sandbox is available for Pro users. An integrated, isolated desktop environment where you can run software in a container without affecting your host operating system.
  • Microsoft has cleaned up the default Start menu to just a single column and is much simpler. But this only affects a new account. Not an existing account.
  • You can manually uninstall more built-in apps such as 3D Viewer, Groove Music, Mail, Paint 3D.
  • The search bar functions as a normal search box but there’s a separate Cortana icon on the Windows taskbar. You can hide one, both or none. Search allows you to search some areas specifically – for example just Email or just apps.
  • The file search feature in the Start menu can now search for files anywhere on your PC using the Windows search index instead of just Documents, Music, Pictures, Downloads, and Videos, and your Desktop.
  • Optionally you can now create a Microsoft account without a password online. That account is linked to your phone number, and Microsoft will text you a security code whenever you try to sign in.
  • The system tray can optionally display an icon when you need to reboot your computer to finish with the updates.
  • Additional troubleshooters are available. Some may be done automatically for you in the background such as critical troubleshooting which can’t be turned off Notifications can now be hidden for any full screen for any app – not just games in full screen.
  • You can use in File Explorer “friendly dates” by default. So, rather than dates like “1/31/2019”, you’ll see dates like “Yesterday,” “Tuesday,” “January 31,” and “January 31, 2019”. This can be turned off.
  • Storage Settings will help you see where space is being used and if anything can be cleaned up.
  • Unsure why not in Windows before, but you can synchronize your computer with a time server on the Internet.
  • More network settings have been added to a network adapter instead of using it in the Control Panel.
  • For Active hours, you can allow Windows to configure it for you. It will check to see when you don’t use the computer normally.
  • Added is a globe-shaped icon that appears when your PC doesn’t have any Internet connection.
  • If using a microphone, it will show in the system tray. Hover the mouse over the icon and it will tell you which application is using it.
  • When “Tamper Protection” option is enabled, this setting protects important security settings. So an application can’t make changes in the background without your approval.
  • Task manager will allow you to set up a default tab which will open up when task manager is open.
  • Windows now lets you choose a cursor color and size. You can make the cursor larger and change its color, making it easier to see.
  • The Disk Cleanup tool now displays a warning when you click the “Downloads” option, warning that this is your personal downloads folder and all files inside it will be removed.

Some miscellaneous Trump stuff

Well, I decided to issue a mid-week report just so I can release some lesser new items in Trumpland.

In an interview, Donald Trump said he doubts lawmakers will reach a deal over new border wall funding that he would accept and said he will build the wall anyway with emergency powers if necessary. Another government shutdown is “certainly an option.”

Trump also doubts he would agree to a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US illegally when they were children, known as Dreamers, in exchange for new border wall funding. Yes. Already giving up on the talks probably before they began. He has no faith.

Congressional Budget Office said that delayed paychecks, reduced working hours, and stalled contracts led to a loss of about $11 billion in gross domestic product over the five-week shutdown. About $8 billion of that will be recovered as workers return, but $3 billion or 0.02% of gross domestic product in 2019 will never be recovered. Still more than what Trump wanted for the Trump Wall.

Despite repeated claims by the Trump administration that ISIS has been defeated, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats assesses that the terror group “very likely will continue to pursue external attacks from Iraq and Syria against regional and Western adversaries, including the United States.” ISIS may be down to two pockets [or towns] in Iraq but they are also elsewhere.

Looks like another wall is falling apart: Trump is backing away from his knowledge of what former advisor Roger Stone did for him saying he didn’t do much. Stone himself has said he may work with special counsel’s Robert Mueller’s investigation. It is typical that when Trump sees his association with one of his allies could cause him problems, he then tries to show that the [former] ally didn’t do much. Just happened with Stone. Previously happened with Cohen and others.

Stone has pleaded not guilty. Meanwhile, Mueller may subpoena Stone aide Andrew Stone who may be able to add further information in the investigation.

GOP booster Ann Coulter, speaking to a mostly liberal audience on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” said that if they want to “get Trump,” focus on the wall: “He promised something for 18 months and he lied about it. That’s how you get Trump. It’s not this Russia nonsense.”

She wasn’t the only right-wing commentator who wasn’t happy with Trump giving in. But there are also some who think Trump actually had the advantage in the deal saying  that Trump relieved the pain and suffering of the shutdown and now has a stronger hand in negotiations for border wall funding. Ummm. The man who caused the pain and suffering saved the same people?

Despite repeated claims by the Trump administration that ISIS has been defeated, US intelligence assesses that the terror group “very likely will continue to pursue external attacks from Iraq and Syria against regional and Western adversaries, including the United States.”

Someone created a fake Washington Post newspaper here as a PDF – fast forwarded to May 1st.

You can also read the web version here.

At a Washington annual dinner of big shots in the US where Trump didn’t show up [again], former Secretary of State, John Kerry, had a few jokes in his speech:

  • “Donald Trump could be the first President to go to the inaugural of his successor in a limo with license plates made by his campaign manager.”
  • “I got to tell you, you all look incredibly dapper tonight in your ball gowns, your tuxedos, your bow ties and your cummerbunds, or as we call it at our house: workout gear. Or as we call it at our other house: pajamas. Or as we call it at our other house: swimming costumes. But tonight it looks like I’ve done something Donald Trump can only dream of: finishing my term.”
  • “I think we’ve all noticed, there’s been a lot of turnover in this administration. Secretary (Ryan) Zinke was fired. Reince Priebus was fired. Rex Tillerson, Gen. McMaster, Jeff Sessions — all fired. One thing you can say about the Trump people — they’re not quitters.”

By the end of last year, Trump had accumulated more than 7,600 untruths during his presidency — averaging more than 15 erroneous claims a day during 2018, almost triple the rate from the year before.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll published Jan. 13 found that 54 per cent of Americans oppose a wall along the border, while 42 per cent express support for it. Fully 87 per cent of Republicans favour the wall, compared with about as many Democrats [84 per cent] who are opposed.

Sales of existing homes fell by 6.4% last month, according to the National Association of Realtors. Existing home sales fell 10.3% for the year. A sign that the economy isn’t doing too well.

According to a CBS News poll, the percentage of Americans who believe the investigation is justified stands at 50% while 45% believe it is politically motivated. The numbers represent a change from where they stood in late November, when CBS found that 46% of Americans thought the investigation was justified and 51% believed it was politically motivated.

As of April 2018, white evangelical support for Trump was at an all-time high: 75%. This is from a man who is on his third wife, fathered 5 children from the 3 wives, paying off a porn star and a Playboy model, has commented about grabbing women by the p___y, groping allegations, etc. Evangelists believe only in a marriage between a man and a woman, no premarital sex, extramarital sex, homosexual or lesbian activity, polygamy, etc. So how did he get to 75%?

A CBS News released showing Trump with 36% approval, his lowest of all polls this month. Additionally, 71% of Americans said that building a wall along the border with Mexico isn’t worth shutting down the government, and most (61%) said the border can be secured without building a wall. A majority of 56% of Republicans said the wall is worth shutting the government down and 43% said it isn’t.

In a light-hearted item, Trump does away with signing executive orders [for example] the traditional way. Presidents prior to him would sign one letter at a time. After each letter, he would give the pen to an individual nearby. Trump, signs his name and then passes out that pen [or marker in his case] and others. Trump claims that the signatures of the previous presidents were horrible. His is a mess.

A bit of humor [or is it]: If you want to know what the US could turn to [or at least some of it], The Handmaid’s Tale reminds me a bit of what it would be like if Mike Pence ever became president.

So below freezing temps to cover 75% of US. Expect at least one of:

  1. Americans blame Canada causing the US to recall their ambassador.
  2. Trump to add tariffs because of the weather.
  3. Trump to ask where global warming is?

The real national emergency

While the shutdown is on hold, Trump has suggested that he would initiate a national emergency to get the money to build his Trump Wall because no wall is a security threat to the country. After the announcement that the Trump Shutdown has gone on a three week break, Trump stressed that if Congress can’t decide on what to do with his wall, he may make it a national emergency.

But there is a bigger threat to security: the Trump Shutdown.

Every day if the shutdown continued, workers were going unpaid and some are calling in sick [or equivalent].

For example, the Air Traffic Controllers in New York. They are short staffed. A controller can work a maximum of 6 ten hour shifts a week [generally 4 shifts a week] and most are coming close to the maximum and still unpaid.

On top of that, approximately 40% of the staff is at an point where they could retire from the job and receive their full pension.

Controllers have a stressful job. Adding no pay and more hours adds to the stress. While some government employees have taken a second job [legally an issue], controllers can’t.
Add to others who are not getting paid but have to work [or maybe not] such as those in the FBI, TSA [security officials at airports], etc.

This past week, there were major flight delays in Newark, LaGuardia in New York and in Philadelphia because there weren’t enough TSA agents.

If there is a national emergency, these would be reasons for it – not a wall.

Government re-opens after Trump caved in

Congressional leaders and Donald Trump agreed to reopen the federal government, that includes a short-term continuing resolution that would fund the government through February 15. The agreement includes a furloughed employees back pay provision and money to fix the current border wall but not build the Trump Wall. Trump has said he may declare a national emergency if no deal is reached on what to do with the Trump Wall.

[So, Trump caved in. With this agreement, Trump didn’t gain anything. He didn’t get funding for the Trump Wall. Even after February 15th, it could be another shutdown. Trump hinted at going nuclear by going with the national emergency option (see below) but that could be bad for him.]

It is possible that the White House is preparing a draft proclamation for Trump to declare a national emergency along the southern border and has identified more than $7 billion in potential funds for the Trump Wall. As mentioned previously, lawsuits could by flying all over as many [including in the Republican Party] do not feel that this constitutes a national emergency.

According to options being considered, the administration could pull: $681 million from treasury forfeiture funds, $3.6 billion in military construction, $3 billion in Pentagon civil works funds, and $200 million in Department of Homeland Security funds.

Some land to be used for the Trump Wall fall on private property which the government would expropriate. Of note, the last time a wall was built, in 2006, there was a bunch of legal action by the property owners.

Trump had a proposal which includes funds for humanitarian assistance, technology, border agents, law enforcement personnel, and immigration judges. Trump laid out additional concessions that include providing three years of deportation relief to about 700,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children and 300,000 immigrants with temporary protected status.

Trump’s new proposal would not provide a pathway to citizenship for those DACA recipients and would provide $5.7 billion for physical barriers. 10 months ago, Democrats supported a bipartisan bill that would have not only provided a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients but also provided $25 billion in border security which would contribute to a border wall and border-related security.

The Democrats want the Trump Shutdown to end and provide a pathway to citizenship for those DACA recipients.

Trump tweeted “If we create a Wall or Barrier which prevents Criminals and Drugs from flowing into our Country, Crime will go down by record numbers!” He will [of course] have no data to back up this false claim.

GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked legislation for the fourth time that would reopen most of the government currently closed during the partial Trump Shutdown. McConnell claims that he doesn’t want any Senate vote if he know that Trump won’t agree. But it could be embarrassing to McConnell and Trump if quite a few Republican senators agree to end the shutdown. McConnell finally allowed 2 votes but both were defeated in the Senate – almost along party lines.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who just wrote a letter to Trump saying she will not pass a resolution to hold the State of the Union in House chambers, said she did so “because the government is closed.” Trump responded saying the Democrats “become radicalized.” Radicalized? Does he know the definition? White House officials said having the State of the Union outside of Washington is possible.

Trump said he is postponing his state of the union address until the partial government shutdown ends, yielding after a weeklong showdown with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. With the shutdown now over [for now], I guess the address is now on for January 29th.

Trump conceded that “no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber” and that he was not looking for an alternate option after Pelosi served notice that he won’t be allowed to deliver the address to a joint session of Congress next week.

Trump tweeted “She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date.” She changed her mind but only because she didn’t expect the record Trump Shutdown to last this long. From her original letter from earlier this month, Pelosi denied Trump the chance to have the speech at the House.

When Pelosi told Trump the House wouldn’t approve a resolution allowing him to address Congress until the shutdown ended. Trump shot back that Pelosi was afraid of hearing the truth about the need for better border security.

A president cannot speak in front of a joint session of Congress without both chambers’ explicit permission. A resolution needs to be approved by both chambers specifying the date and time for receiving an address from the president.

Trump claimed this has never happened before. There is no precedent for a state of the union invitation being rescinded but there has been times when the State of the Union address was either delayed, filmed/printed or sent in print.

Trump tweeted “Nancy Pelosi has behaved so irrationally & has gone so far to the left that she has now officially become a Radical Democrat. She is so petrified of the “lefties” in her party that she has lost control…And by the way, clean up the streets in San Francisco, they are disgusting!” there is a party called Radical Democrat? And I don’t think it is the responsibility of a Congressperson to clean streets but the municipality.

Protesters packed the Senate’s Hart Office building to protest the Trump Shutdown. Many held signs made out of paper plates, with slogans demanding an end to the shutdown so furloughed federal employees can go back to work.

About 5,000 IRS workers cited hardships and did not show up for work and 9,000 others were not able to be reached. Meanwhile, 12,000 thousand of the 26,000 in the division who were called back from furlough showed up for work. The average time to answer the phone was 25 to 40 minutes. But in the last filing season it was 7 to 10 minutes.

This past week, the last of the food stamps were released. As well, the number of Transportation Security Administration that didn’t work this past Sunday was 10% of the work force. They took the “day off” because of financial issues [although I’m sure some wanted to watch the (American) football games or hunker down from the bad weather].

Trump ally and advisor, Roger Stone, has been indicted by a grand jury on seven counts brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, who alleges that the long-time Trump associate sought stolen emails from WikiLeaks that could damage Trump’s opponents at the direction of “a senior Trump Campaign official.”

Stone has maintained publicly that he did not know in advance about what WikiLeaks would release. That alleged lie, which he also told to Congress, forms the basis for some of his other criminal charges in the indictment. The indictment also alleges that Stone lied to Congress about “his communications with the Trump Campaign about Organization 1.” In the indictment, Organization 1 is WikiLeaks.

Stone said at one point that the charges are false even as people were chanting “lock him up”. He also lied to Congress which may be hard to deny. White House press secretary Sarah “Simpleton” Sanders threw Stone under the bus saying it has nothing to do with Trump. Uh huh.

Unsure where his brains are: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says he doesn’t “really quite understand why” federal workers who have missed paychecks due to the partial government shutdown don’t just take out loans to cover the gap. Ross who made his fortune buying distressed debt.

Previously, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said earlier this month that furloughed federal workers who are not getting paid during the partial government shutdown are “better off” because they won’t be docked vacation days and will eventually get paid anyway.

Even Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, says federal employees currently furloughed or working without pay due to the partial government shutdown are experiencing a “little bit of pain” for the “future of our country.”

Trump told advisers that he felt his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had obscured what he believed was a public relations victory: the special counsel’s rare public statement disputing portions of a BuzzFeed News story that Trump instructed his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie before Congress. Giuliani’s media blitz was filled with a dizzying array of misstatements and hurried clarification. Some of Trump’s allies have suggested that Giuliani be barred from evening interviews because of concerns that he was going on TV after drinking.

“I am afraid it will be on my gravestone. ‘Rudy Giuliani: He lied for Trump.’ Somehow, I don’t think that will be it,” Giuliani told The New Yorker. “But, if it is, so what do I care? I’ll be dead. I figure I can explain it to St. Peter.”

Cohen was subpoenaed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in mid-February. Senate Intelligence traditionally does their interviews behind closed doors, not publicly.

Cohen announced he is postponing his public congressional testimony that was scheduled for February 7, citing “ongoing threats against his family from President Trump” and his attorney.

Cohen’s wife and father-in-law feel threatened by comments by the Trump and Giuliani. Trump suggested without evidence that he was aware of damaging information about Cohen’s family. Trump suggested that Cohen had cut a deal “to keep his wife out of trouble,” as well as his father in law. A sked if it was OK to go after Cohen’s father-in-law, Giuliani responded, “it is, if the father-in-law is a criminal. Isn’t this witness tampering or something?

Cohen’s taxi business was linked closely to his family members, including his father-in-law, from whom Cohen bought some medallions. During the course of his taxi medallion purchases, Cohen and his wife took out several loans of unspecified value. His father-in-law pleaded guilty in 1993 to a financial crime relating to the taxi business, according to court records.

The House Oversight Committee has opened a probe where there were “grave breaches of national security at the highest levels of the Trump administration” and alleges that the White House and the Trump transition team “appear to have disregarded established procedures for safeguarding classified information.” The probe could yield information about how Jared Kushner gained high-level security clearances despite myriad concerns.

The Supreme Court allowed Trump’s transgender military ban to go into effect, dealing a blow to LGBT activists who call the ban cruel and irrational. The policy blocks individuals who have been diagnosed with a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving with limited exceptions. It also specifies that individuals without the condition can serve, but only if they do so according to the sex they were assigned at birth.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court once again did not act on the Trump administration’s effort to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, leaving protections for nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children in place for at least the next several months.

Tower in Trump’s Washington hotel is technically a monument and requires federal workers. So they aren’t getting paid but are working.

The many lawsuits filed against Trump [let alone by him and other lawsuits] are on hold because of the shutdown. They are not essential – but it seems the Supreme Court is.

At Capitol Lounge, federal employees who walk in after midnight can order cocktails for $5. Some of the lounge’s highlights? “Nothing Really Mattis,” “Butina’s on the Rocks,” and “Border Wall Banger.”

As a major snow storm is dumping snow over a big chunk of the US, Trump tweets “Wouldn’t be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now!” Yup. This coming from that climate expert. We already know, he doesn’t know the difference between global warming and climate change. Did he comment about Australia where a city was hit with over 3 weeks of over 40C/104F. Certain areas hit 50C/122F.

Supposedly, White House adviser Jared Kushner was rejected for a security clearance by two White House security specialists after red flags raised by the FBI background check about potential foreign influence raised concerns, but their supervisor overruled them and approved Kushner’s top secret clearance. That supervisor overruled at least 30 others granting them clearance. Prior to the supervisor’s arrival, it happened once in 3 years.

As one of Trump’s top aides, he was seeking an even higher clearance known as “sensitive compartment information.” That clearance is granted by the CIA. A CIA agent wondering how Kushner got even a top secret clearance. The CIA has not granted the “sensitive compartment information” clearance.

Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform has launched his investigation into the White House’s security clearance process citing “grave breaches of national security at the highest levels of the Trump Administration.”

Pope Francis has taken another shot at wall-building politicians, telling thousands of Catholics in Panama and taking a jab at Trump, “This is the criteria to divide people: The builders of bridges and the builders of walls, those builders of walls sow fear and look to divide people.”

In his upcoming book, Trump supporter, former New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie, dubbed former national security adviser Michael Flynn a “Russian lackey and future federal felon,” former Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt “greedy and inexperienced,” former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price — who was ousted in 2017 for using private jets for multiple government business trips — “high flying,” former Attorney General Jeff Sessions “not-ready-for-prime-time” and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “a stranger.”

Trump tweeted “The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the ‘podium’ much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press.” Inaccurately? If she says something, how can the media report something else with so many news outlets [including pro-Trump] reporting. If she said “train”, the media can’t report “airplane”. As for rudely, look back at any “daily” [or should I say monthly] briefing. It has always been like that. Everybody yelling for her to pick them and for her to actually respond to the question with a real answer.

There are two endorsement resolutions that are circulating by some Republicans. One resolution would also declare Trump the party’s “presumptive nominee” more than 18 months before the 2020 nominating convention, and it would specifically authorize the party to re-elect Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence. The second, offered by RNC insiders, would declare the committee’s “undivided support” for Trump.

FBI investigation into Trump intensifies while Trump acts like a child

And I thought last week was busy.

Donald Trump, in response to reports that the FBI began an investigation of him last year to find out whether he had a clandestine agenda to help Russia, said that former FBI director James Comey and other “losers” at the bureau “tried to do a number on your President.” He called Comey a “total sleaze” and “crooked cop.”

The inquiry forced counterintelligence investigators to evaluate whether Trump was a potential threat to national security, and they also sought to determine whether Trump was deliberately working for Russia or had unintentionally been influenced by Moscow.

Trump tweeted “Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin’ James Comey, a total sleaze!” Except he thinks a few FBI “leaders” considers as the leaders of all of the FBI. There are 35,000 people at the FBI.

Regarding the New York Times story, on Fox News, Trump said it was “the most insulting article I have ever written“. Umm. He didn’t write it. [Note: I emphasized the “written” part.]

He claims no other president ever taken a harder stance against Russia than he does. So not Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and others during the cold war – unless he considers Russia and the Soviet Union not the same or similar.

From BuzzFeed, two federal law enforcement officials said that Trump directed former fixer and lawyer Michael Cohen to claim negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow ended months earlier than they actually did and that Cohen confirmed to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team that Trump issued the order to lie to Congress.

Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said “If you believe Cohen I can get you a great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge.” But the information didn’t come from Cohen but the two federal law enforcement officials. As well, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office disputes report that Trump told Cohen to lie to Congress. The BuzzFeed report has a checkered past.

Cohen hired an IT firm to rig online polls in favor of Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 election. Cohen promised to pay $50,000 to the small tech firm run by the evangelical Liberty University chief information officer to help distort online polls on CNBC and the Drudge Report. Cohen claimed it was carried out “at the direction and for the sole benefit of Donald J. Trump. I truly regret my blind loyalty to a man who doesn’t deserve it.”

Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Poutine, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former US officials said.

Trump did so after a meeting with Poutine in 2017 in Hamburg that was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. US officials learned of Trump’s actions when a White House adviser and a senior State Department official sought information from the interpreter beyond a readout shared by Tillerson.

Trump retweeted “No one accused Obama of being a Russian agent after he asked for “more flexibility” until after the election, or when Obama ignored Putin’s invasion into Crimea, or when Assad used chemical gas in Syria and Obama’s red line was crossed.” So the tweeter claimed Obama did nothing in all cases? Meanwhile, under Trump’s watch, Assad used chemical gas against civilians, and did what? And Russia is still in the Ukraine and Trump has done what?

Giuliani says he never claimed that there was no collusion involving the Trump campaign, and that he only ever said this about Trump himself. “I said the president of the United States – there is no evidence that the president of the United States committed the only crime you could commit here, conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC [Democratic National Committee].” Sounds like he’s throwing the campaign under the bus. Giuliani just contradicted 18 months of “no collusion” talk.

Trump responded to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s letter suggesting they reschedule his State of the Union address by informing Pelosi that an apparent trip she had planned to “Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed” while the government shutdown continues. “Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.”

The President of the United States has the authority to direct the Defense Department to not use military assets to support a congressional delegation to military theaters. This support includes air transport and additional security procedures.

As usual Trump got it wrong. The Pelosi delegation headed to Afghanistan with a stop in Brussels for pilot rest as well as to say hello to NATO. No Egypt on the itinerary. Meanwhile, Trump went to Iraq during the Trump Shutdown as well as a separate delegation with Rep. Lee Zeldin. Some WH staff [all Republicans] are going to Davos for the World Economic Forum even though Trump isn’t going. So for Trump to kill the Pelosi delegation’s trip was childish and had more to do with her request to delay the State of the Union address than the Trump Shutdown.

Pelosi said she received a report from Afghanistan that said “the President outing our trip had made the scene on the ground much more dangerous… We had the prerogative to travel commercially and we made plans to do that until the administration then leaked that we were traveling commercially and that endangers us.”

Russ Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, issued a memo officially banning all congressional delegations from using taxpayer-funded aircraft ” without the express written approval of the White House Chief of Staff”. Except it was Trump who denied Pelosi.

Trump plans to offer Democrats another proposal to end the shutdown for what officials are describing as his third offer to end the shutdown. Trump’s idea is to put something on the table to get Democrats to engage with negotiations. Trump is not expected to back down from his demand for a border wall, but the plan will seek to entice Democrats by offering other concessions.

With the government mired in shutdown week four, Trump rejected a short-term legislative fix and dug in for more combat, declaring he would “never ever back down.”

Trump has now been briefed on an alternate plan to divert billions of dollars, earmarked for disaster relief in Puerto Rico, Texas and elsewhere, to pay for his Trump Wall.

When a group of House and Senate Democrats were on a retreat in Puerto Rico, Trump argued that they were partying on a beach rather than negotiating. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who have been the negotiators, were not on the trip.

Trump has made explicitly clear he will not support reopening the government before a deal on border wall funding is completed and GOP Leader McConnell’s position remains unchanged – he will not bring anything to the Senate floor without Trump’s support.

“The government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: the Democrats will not fund border security,” Trump said. Actually the Democrats want to include money for border security – just not the Trump Wall.

The White House has been trying to peel moderate Democrats away from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Its first effort at that strategy failed when moderate Democrats were invited to the White House for lunch – and they didn’t show. Another group will attend but they have no clout. So a free lunch.

“We’re going to stay out for a long time if we have to,” Trump said in a meeting with supporters. “We’ll be out for a long time.”

Trump was supposed to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January but blames the Democrats for the shutdown for him not to attend. Steven Mnuchin and Mike Pompeo will lead the US delegation at Davos.

Because of the partial shutdown, at least 80 US government web sites are running with expired certificates which causes problems with web site security and other issues. In addition, with government employees not working [and if contractors involved, they aren’t getting paid], computers throughout the governments are running unsecure because of the lack of maintenance including patches.

The Trump administration keeps designating more and more of the federal government essential, or excepted from the furlough, ordering many thousands of workers back to the office to process tax returns, perform safety inspections and more — all without pay. 36,000 IRS workers are now forced to work without pay.

Federal courts, which are not controlled by the administration, have now twice announced that existing funds could help their work force limp along with pay. The latest guidance is that court offices will run out of money January 25, at which point essential staff will work without pay.

Food and Drug Administration food inspectors, who hadn’t been inspecting food since the partial shutdown began  would return, without pay, to start inspections again. The Federal Aviation Administration announced it would recall an additional group of furloughed employees adding thousands of unpaid workers to the air traffic controllers.

Delta airlines is claiming that it lost  $25 million revenue this month. Fewer government contractors are traveling and the shutdown could delay the launch of the new Airbus 220 jet, which is scheduled to go into service on January 31 from New York’s LaGuardia. FAA inspectors, who are currently furloughed, need to certify the airline’s operational plans.

Many federal employees are scrambling to make ends meet. Some have turned to GoFundMe to raise money for living expenses. But what they could be doing is illegal. The federal law the government employees might be running afoul of is part of the United States Code that deals with the salaries paid to government officials and employees, under a section called “Bribery, Graft and Conflicts of Interest.” In a nutshell, it says federal employees aren’t supposed to supplement their salaries with outside income.

Trump cited a number from a Montreal researcher to prove his argument that the US needs the Mexican border wall on which he wants to spend $5.7 billion. The researcher replied to Trump’s tweet saying that while walls have been built, research shows that they are ineffective. There are 70 walls built with and 7 could be built as they have the funding.

Some estimates suggest that the US economy loses $1.2 billion each week the shutdown continues.

The web site to report identity theft is shut down because of the Trump Shutdown. 25,000 identity thefts per day [yes – per day].

A federal judge in New York has struck down the Trump administration’s proposal to reintroduce a citizenship question into the 2020 census. The ruling effectively puts a freeze on a deeply contentious move that critics said would discourage non-citizens from participating in the Census. The Justice Department has said it needed better data on the voting age population to help enforce the Voting Rights Act.

Trump was told when he wanted to leave Syria within 30 days that ISIS was not defeated. He had to be convinced. Eventually he relented and slowed down the departure. This past week, US service members died in a US controlled Syrian area after an explosion claimed by ISIS.

Love this tweet [and it wasn’t even fixed] “Great being with the National Champion Clemson Tigers last night at the White House. Because of the Shutdown I served them massive amounts of Fast Food (I paid), over 1000 hamberders etc. Within one hour, it was all gone. Great guys and big eaters!” I will have a hamberder with cheese. At 85 football players and around 15 coaches that averages out to 10 hamberders per person [excluding pizza, fillet-o-fish, nuggets, fries and maybe something healthy like salad. In a separate video he said 300 hamberders. More like it.

Food served on white china and silver serving trays. Very classy.

With about 85 players [usually the amount on a team] and maybe 15 coaches [usually the amount on a team] plus Trump and a few extras, even with 300 hamberders, that is almost 3 per person [plus the Fillet-O-Fishes, pizza, fries, etc.].

In addition, did he pay out of his own pocket? Did he expense it? Did the burger chains give it for free [can they?]? Maybe big Clemson supporters paid for it. Most likely.

He also tweeted [since deleted] that he was going to a farmer’s convention in Nashville when it was actually in New Orleans.

Trump claims that he hasn’t been following news surrounding Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King’s recent comments to The New York Times which were sympathetic to white supremacists.

In 2014, Trump, ahead of the fundraiser, said King was a “special guy, a smart person, with really the right views on almost everything.” Trump also told the newspaper that his ideology is so in sync with King’s that “we don’t have to compare notes.”

Trump retweeted from Donald Trump Jr. “Since January 1, neither CNN nor MSNBC has booked a single Angel Mom – mothers of children brutally murdered by illegal aliens.” Are they supposed to? A new law?

“If Elizabeth Warren, often referred to by me as Pocahontas, did this commercial from Bighorn or Wounded Knee instead of her kitchen, with her husband dressed in full Indian garb, it would have been a smash!” Trump tweeted. Aside from the fact that it is a racist comment, he just can’t get away from this Pocahontas stuff even though she admitted about her heritage.

Trump lashed out at acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney during a Situation Room meeting with Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, earlier this month. “Stop, stop, just stop — What are you doing? You’re f—ing it all up, Mick,” Trump said, according to the official who was in the room for the negotiations. Well I guess Mulvaney may not get the job now.

Trump retweeted: “Prior to 2018, unemployment has only been below 4% 5 times since 1970 Under Donald Trump, in 2018, unemployment dipped below 4% 7 TIMES-in ONE year!” Hmmm. So it dipped below 4% then went above 4% at least 6 times this past year. So every time it went over 4%, jobs were lost. Nothing to be proud of.

Trump said the US would “devastate Turkey economically” if the NATO-allied country attacks Kurds in the region. He added, “Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds,” but followed up in a second tweet, “Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey.”

Another legal loss for the Trump administration. A California federal district court judge halted the Trump administration’s weakening of Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate, a day before the new rules were to take effect. The injunction, however, only applies in the coalition of 13 Democratic states, plus the District of Columbia, that brought the lawsuit. In his ruling, Judge Haywood Gilliam, Jr., said the states “face potentially dire public health and fiscal consequences from the implementation of the Final Rules.”

Did your webcam stop working after upgrading to Windows 10 v1809

OK. Finally upgraded to the latest feature update of Windows 10 on my main system from v1709. Now at v1809 [as they call it]. I previously tried to upgrade to v1803 from v1709 but that turned out to be a mess and rolled back to v1709.

As my year of holding off to a feature upgrade was expiring soon [you can do that with professional or higher editions], I didn’t have much of a choice.

I had just some minor stuff that was easy to put back.

But what was part of the mess from upgrading to v1803 about 6 months ago happened with v1809.

I have a Logitech webcam. I’ve had it for years. It was probably one of the earliest 1080p webcam with a Carl Zeiss lens.

For whatever reason [then], I could not access the webcam’s video. The audio was fine. I poked around Logitech’s web site forums with no definitive answer an d even sent them a support request. No response.

I knew something was odd when my laptop’s webcam [also from Logitech] wasn’t detected on my main system. [Come to think of it, did I check to see if the web cam for the laptop is working?]

Today, instead of going through Logitech, I searched on the Internet and there were others with the same issue for different webcams.

Unsure why the upgrade did this: it turned off the privacy for “cameras” – which include web cams.

Why it was enabled with v1709 but was disabled with v1803 and v1809. Who knows.

So to fix the problem, go to Settings, then Privacy. On the left side, click on Cameras under App Permissions. On the right under Allow apps to access tour camera, set the slider to On. All done.

You may need to exit Skype [for example] and then open it to detect the change.

Optionally, you can also disable some applications from getting access. Just note that disabling any will disable those applications from accessing your camera, webcam, etc.

 

One year left for Windows 7

Just a reminder that Windows 7 is in its final year of support by Microsoft.

What this means is that as we get closer to the final date [January 14, 2020] and after, companies may stop supporting Windows 7.

This could be anything from no more anti-virus definitions or software updates to no support for new hardware [for example, if your printer dies, there may not be any software that will work with a new printer and Windows 7].

You may also get messages like: “Your browser is no longer supported. Some parts of this web site may no longer work or you may experience problems.”

The above could happened when the various web browsers [Google, Firefox, etc.] stop supporting Windows 7 even though they will support newer operating systems.

What can be done? You can do one of the following:

  • Buy a replacement computer or if you don’t really think you need a computer, buy a tablet [if you don’t have one].
  • Your computer may still be upgradable to Windows 10. There is no cost for the license, but it will be a lengthy process [time and cost] required to migrate.
  • You can leave the computer at is and hope that nothing happens. This means an increased chances of security issues.