Boy was this one big week…

This will probably be one of the biggest week of the Trump “presidency”. With the exception of an actual impeachment or a resignation or the chance that he manages to survive through the full term and lose in the 2020 election [think he can win}] there won’t much bigger weeks.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced a formal impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump. This after Trump repeatedly pushed for the Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky to reopen an investigation of his potential 2020 rival, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, and asked the Ukrainian leader to work with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr on the issue, according to a transcript of the July call.

“So if you can look into it” is supposedly the big sentence that pushed for impeachment.

More than half the House are now saying that they would favor impeachment. While it has [at this point] not chance of passing in the senate, it will be just the 4th time a sitting President has had an impeachment inquiry.

Trump abused his official powers “to solicit interference” from Ukraine in the upcoming 2020 election, and the White House took steps to cover it up, according to a stunning whistleblower complaint. Several White House officials tried to “lock down” all records of the phone call, especially the word-for-word transcript produced by the White House.

The whistleblower alleged the US officials believed Giuliani was a conduit for messages between Trump and officials in Kyiv and that he was at the helm of a problematic “circumvention of national security decision making processes.” Supposedly two State Department officials intervened with Giuliani in an effort to “contain the damage” he was doing to national security. Giuliani said he wouldn’t testify if Trump said no.

The whistleblower also alleged that the White House tried to cover up the evidence of Trump’s behavior. The report said that officials were told to take the transcript of Trump’s conversation with Zelensky from the computer system in which it was stored to another classified system used for the most sensitive national security information. The move potentially corrupted a repository supposed to be used only for the nation’s most sensitive secrets with material being protected for a purely political purpose.

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson wrote that the alleged conduct by Trump “would also potentially expose” the President “to serious national security and counterintelligence risks with respect to foreign intelligence services aware of such alleged conduct.” If a hostile government possesses a recording or is aware of the details of Trump’s phone call, they could use it to blackmail Trump.

In his conversation with Zelensky, Trump claimed “that Biden stopped the prosecution” of Biden’s son and then “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it.” Biden did, however, bragged that he had successfully pressured the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor who was widely criticized for failing to bring corruption prosecutions. The prosecutor was already close to losing his job anyways.

Trump claimed in a tweet that the whistleblower “…only had second hand information”. But Trump said that later when the story exploded that whomever provided the whistleblower with information about his call with the Ukrainian president is “close to a spy”. Aren’t spies usually foreign? Of course he is also saying that the Democrats are “making up stories” and what “doing to this country is a disgrace.” If they are making up stories, there is no spy.

The Justice Department has said there are some indications that the whistleblower opposes Trump’s reelection, but the complaint was indeed credible. They used lawful channels to file the complaint and get the message to Congress. Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire told lawmakers today that he believes both the whistleblower who filed the complaint against Trump and the inspector general who handled it “acted in good faith.”

In the hours after the release of the rough transcript of Trump’s July phone call with Zelensky, the White House circulated an email with proposed talking points for Trump’s defenders. Unfortunately for the White House, the email was mistakenly sent to not only Republicans but also Democratic lawmakers and their staff.

The message, titled, “What you need to know: President Trump’s call with President Zelensky,” was quickly recalled – but not before Democrats took to Twitter to ridicule the White House over the error. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had already pushing back saying the transcripts probably wouldn’t be released because of some natural security issues.

Kurt Volker, US special envoy to Ukraine, has resigned one day after the release of a whistleblower report alleging a coverup by the White House of a call between Trump and Zelensky. Volker was named in the report.

[Some of the news items below came before the impeachment announcement. Decided to leave it in.]

Trump landed himself in more hot water. This time, it came out that Trump had a conversation with the Ukrainian president in July about digging up dirt about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden or his son, Hunter Biden, who is an executive at an Ukrainian energy company. Now if the digging is about Joe Biden, that could be an impeachable offense. If against Hunter Biden, it could still be impeachable [going after a family member].

Pompeo also revived debunked questions about Biden’s conduct. “America cannot have our elections interfered with, and if that’s what took place there, if there was that kind of activity engaged in by Vice President Biden, we need to know.” And what was Trump doing? Trump has also long rejected evidence that Russia intervened in 2016 to help him.

Trump tweeted “The real story involves Hunter Biden going around the world and collecting large payments from foreign governments and foreign oligarchs” from information from Fox News anchors. No proof given.

Supposedly 8 times in their conversation in July, Trump asked the Ukrainian president to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter. He also threatened to remove a $400 million US military aid package. Trump’s team is now using the power of the presidency to incite collusion ahead of the 2020 election. Congress passed the bill in August and the White House lifted a hold on the money in September.

There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden or Hunter Biden. The then-Ukrainian prosecutor general Yury Lutsenko said in May that Burisma Holdings, a major energy company, did not violate Ukrainian law by having Hunter Biden on its board and paying him. Trump’s claims that Biden pushed for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor because he investigated a business for which his son served as a board member have previously been found to be false.

The administration’s efforts to stop Maguire from releasing the whistleblower report to Congress, and its opposition to releasing a transcript, are only fueling speculation the White House has something to hide. If there was wrongdoing such conduct could equal obstruction of justice, historically an impeachable offense.

Trump tweeted that he has “… authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo!” I’d like to see independent verification that there is nothing left out.

Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, threatened to resign over concerns he would be told to evade lawmakers’ questions during his testimony scheduled with House and Senate Intelligence committees. Maguire has come under fire for refusing to give the lawmakers the whistleblower complaint, which details Trump’s July phone call with Zelensky.

The Intelligence Community Inspector General in late August referred a criminal complaint to the Justice Department to investigate whether Trump’s pushing for Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, a potential 2020 rival, was a violation of campaign finance law but the Justice Department’s criminal division recently determined to not open a formal investigation of the president for possible campaign finance violations.

Republican senators who have strongly supported Trump were largely silent but Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah tweeted Sunday “it would be troubling in the extreme” if Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden. Media supporters [a.k.a. Fox News mostly] have called the whistleblower a “punk”, part of the “deep state” and a “spy” among other names.

Trump admitted that he delayed aid to Ukraine ahead of a call to Zelensky, when he pushed the leader to look into potential rival Joe Biden and his son’s work, giving the excuse that he was waiting for European nations to contribute their fair share of aid. “I said hold it up. Let’s get other people to pay. And then everybody called me, ‘Oh please, can we pay?’ And there was never any quid pro quo”. Seriously?

Trump had directed his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to freeze nearly $400 million of US military and security aid to Ukraine in the days before he spoke with Zelensky.

“Even the Ukrainian government put out a statement that that was a perfect call, there was no pressure put on them whatsoever.” I’m suspecting that that the Ukrainian government doesn’t know too much about US laws.

Trump argued at a press conference that Democratic senators were the actual guilty parties. Trump spoke of a letter that three Democratic senators wrote in 2018 to Ukraine’s prosecutor general, claiming, “In the letter they implied that their support for US assistance to Ukraine was at stake and that if they didn’t do the right thing they wouldn’t get any assistance. Gee, doesn’t that sound familiar?”

He accused Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of having “literally threatened” Zelensky during a recent trip to Ukraine, alleging that Murphy said “that if he doesn’t do things right they won’t have Democratic support in Congress.”
There was a letter but the 2018 letter from Sens. Patrick Leahy, Dick Durbin and Bob Menendez did not include any threat at all, about US assistance to Ukraine or anything else; it did not even mention US assistance.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted that the whistleblower’s attorney has informed the committee that he would like to testify.

White House efforts to limit access to Trump’s conversations with foreign leaders extended to phone calls with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, according to people familiar with the matter. Those calls — both with leaders who maintain controversial relationships with Trump — were among the presidential conversations that aides took remarkable steps to keep from becoming public.

In a retweet from another right-wing journalist with little credibility, Trump quoted in a tweet “It appears that an American spy in one of our intelligence agencies may have been spying on our own president. The complaint suggests that this intel agent was listening in on Trump’s conversation with a foreign leader. Was this person officially asked to listen to the conversation or was he or she secretly listening in?” Again. No facts, just speculation.

Giuliani first denied that there were walks and shortly after said there was. Of all the people who are in Trump’s corner, how Giuliani is still around is unknown.

Trump retweeted a tweet from Donald Trump Jr who re-tweeted a nobody’s tweet that the Democrats’ letter had asked Ukraine to “investigate Trump.” Might as well take anyone’s tweet as you know how accurate the tweets are on Twitter.

“What these guys are doing, Democrats are doing to this country is a disgrace, and it shouldn’t be allowed. There should be a way of stopping it,” Trump said on the airport tarmac. Yes. Just throw out democracy.

Texas Republican Rep. Mike Conaway argued that the President was entirely within his rights to ask a foreign counterpart to investigate corruption — borrowing the White House’ s explanation for the call between Zelensky and the US leader. Seriously?

Impeachment starts with 6 separate House inquiries. The results of the six are then sent to a judicial committee in the House who decide which if all or any are strong enough to impeach. A vote is taken by all House members where at least one member more than 50% [i.e. at least 218 of 435] are needed to continue.

If passed, it will then go to the Senate where the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will be the presiding judge, a group of House members will be the “prosecutors” and the 100 members of the Senate will be the jury. At least 67 of them must agree to the impeachment. At this time, that is unlikely as the Republicans control the Senate and very few have indicated they would vote to impeach.

Trump mocked Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg on Twitter after the 16-year-old excoriated world leaders for not doing enough to tackle the climate crisis by tweeting “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”

[Yes she came across a bit on the angry/rough/frustrated side, but unlike her Trump is supposed to have experience in diplomacy. He actually never has shown it. She has Asperger’s Syndrome which explains a bit.]

The Pentagon announced it will deploy additional US troops and missile defense equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as Trump has at least for now put off any immediate military strike on Iran in response to the attack on the Saudi oil industry. The US deployment would probably be in the hundreds and the defensive equipment heading to the Middle East would probably include Patriot missile batteries and possibly enhanced radars.

A New York judge ordered Trump to provide video testimony as part of an upcoming lawsuit brought by protesters who say they were assaulted by Trump’s security guards during a 2015 protest outside of Trump Tower. The trial centers around a protest in September 2015 in front of Trump Tower in New York City where two protesters wore parody Ku Klux Klan outfits to protest Trump’s rhetoric on illegal immigration.

“I’m leading in the polls. They have no idea how they stop me. The only way they can try is through impeachment. This has never happened to a president before,” Trump has said. One word: Nixon.

Trump chastised a “permanent political class” that is “overly disdainful” during remarks at the United Nations, claiming they – along with the media, economic institutions and technology companies – were pushing ” flat-out assaults on our histories, traditions and values.” Who is this “permanent political class”? He doesn’t mention it.

“And a free people must never, ever be enlisted in the cause of silencing, cancelling or blacklisting their own neighbors.” Something Trump never does.

“I have made clear that we stand ready to complete an exceptional, new trade agreement with the UK, that will bring tremendous benefits to both of our countries,” Trump said after a meeting with embattled UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who may not have a job for long. What makes Trump think he can hammer a trade deal in a short time when some trade deals take years to complete?

Trump continued to praise Johnson by saying “He’s doing a fantastic job. Not easy, but doing a really good job.” This after Johnson lost a UK Supreme Court ruling?

Twitter has removed 10,000 accounts across six countries/regions after discovering coordinated activity among nation states designed to spread misinformation.

So they remove Trump’s account?

A new hire (again) and another controversy

After dumping John Bolton recently, Donald Trump named Robert O’Brien, the US hostage negotiator, his new national security adviser. ” He will do a great job!” Trump tweeted as he did for every hire.

Speaking to reporters, Trump said “Robert O’Brien said, ‘Trump is the greatest hostage negotiator in history.’ He happens to be right,” Trump said. “We are 38-0. 38-0, ask Robert.” I’m sure reporters were scratching their heads collectively. There is a score? Name those hostages.

Trump personally dispatched O’Brien to help free US rapper A$AP Rocky from Swedish prison earlier this year. Trump is including him in that ridiculous count. But the rapper wasn’t a hostage from [say] a terrorist organization.

A communication supposedly between Trump and a foreign leader prompted a whistleblower complaint that is now at the center of a dispute between the Director of National Intelligence and Congress. An official in the American intelligence community was so bothered by a “promise” Trump made to a foreign leader that the official filed a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general of the intelligence community.

The White House and the Justice Department have advised Office of the Director of National Intelligence that the controversial complaint is outside intelligence activities as covered by laws governing intelligence whistleblowers. So far, the director of national intelligence has not allowed lawmakers access to the complaint.

Trump called the story “ridiculous” and described the whistleblower as partisan [blaming “the Radical Left Democrats and their Fake News Media partners”] and reiterated that his conversations with foreign leaders are appropriate. So he’s above the law.

Unknown if the complaint involves Trump, but Trump always assume he’s involved. By law, the Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, was supposed to turn over the complaint to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees within a week. He has not done so.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff that he does not know the exact nature of the complaint, as he has not yet received the details from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, nor does he know the whistleblower’s identity. He also said that his committee may use legal action to get access to a whistleblower complaint involving Trump’s communications with a foreign leader. Schiff and other congressional Democrats are growing more and more agitated with the White House and Maguire, who have blocked their access to the complaint.

After a supposedly Iranian back attack on a Saudi Arabian oil plant, Trump tweeted that the US is “locked and loaded” and is thinking of attacking the Iranians or their backers. What’s wrong with this picture? Well on more than one occasion, Trump said if other countries want the US’s help then they need to pay for their services. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s military budget is at least 6 times that of Iran. I think they can afford to do their own bombing. Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility. Trump has since lowered the rhetoric.

After the attack, Sen. Lindsey Graham added the following to his comments “The measured response by President @realDonaldTrump regarding the shooting down of an American drone [earlier this summer] was clearly seen by the Iranian regime as a sign of weakness.” Trump responded with “a sign of strength.”

Trump refused to strike Iran with a military option but instead apply more sanctions against Iran. Critics point out that there isn’t much left to sanction. Trump is also worried that he doesn’t want a military conflict so close to the next election. He also wanted to wait for a final intelligence report. Yet, he hasn’t trusted his intelligence departments previously. So why now.

But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “…anytime you have an act of war of this nature, there’s always risk that that could happen. … This is an attack of a scale we’ve just not seen before.”

Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, appearing before the House Judiciary Committee in the panel’s first official “impeachment hearing,” refused to answer key questions about potential obstruction by Trump and repeatedly argued with Democrats. He slamming committee Democrats, criticizing Obama-era intelligence officials, praising Trump’s successful presidential campaign and jabbing at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He denied collusion with Russia but avoided commenting on the obstruction issue.

To commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month during a rally in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, Trump said about Steve Cortes, a CNN contributor and Trump’s brand of conservative: “He happens to be Hispanic, but I’ve never quite figured it out because he looks more like a WASP than I do.”

Trump added “Nobody loves the Hispanics more. Who do you like more, the country or the Hispanics? He says the country. I don’t know. I may have to go for the Hispanics, to be honest with you. We got a lot of Hispanics. We love our Hispanics. Get out and vote.”

As Trump will visit the UN, many of his fellow world leaders will be participating in a summit meant to address climate change. Not him. He is chairing his own session focused on worldwide religious persecution. Not every country in the UN was invited, and Trump probably wouldn’t have been asked to speak even if he wanted to. Other countries that rely on coal, like Japan and Australia, may also be excluded. But some key US allies like Germany, the United Kingdom and France are expected to participate.

The US will send a principal deputy assistant secretary of state for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs. Yes. Not even someone higher like the head of the EPA. During the G7 summit in France, Trump skipped a session focused on climate change that all the other world leaders attended. Trump aides are characterizing as the centerpiece of his visit to the UN. An official said “The Secretary-General will be participating in the religious freedom event.”

The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to revoke California’s authority to set vehicle emission standards. Trump administration will find the EPA previously acted unlawfully by granting the state a waiver from the Clean Air Act and allowing it to develop stricter standards than those of the federal government. About a dozen states have adopted California’s standards.

As part of the “purge” at the Department of Homeland Security, general counsel John Mitnick has been fired. This is an ongoing clean up when ousting of former Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was dumped in April. Acting public affairs assistant secretary Andrew Meehan announced his departure, along with at least two other officials from DHS.

At a rally in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, Trump said:

  • Trump repeated his claim that a “Google executive,” someone who “worked at Google,” reported that Google bias may have cost Trump up to 10 million votes in the 2016 election. – Except that flawed study was conducted by a psychologist, not a Google employee or executive.
  • He said the Democrats have an agenda of “open borders.” – Except they don’t. On the record saying that.
  • He boasted that he was the one who got the Veterans Choice health care program passed. But I’m good at getting things.” – Except the program was created in 2014 in a bill signed by President Barack Obama.
  • He said his border wall is being built “fast.” – Except as of the end of August, zero additional miles had been built during Trump’s term; 60 miles of replacement barriers had been built. (Trump has argued that these replacement projects should count as his wall.) He said of his USMCA trade agreement, “Unions love it.” – Except the president of the AFL-CIO federation says it will be a “disaster for workers” if it is not amended. Other unions generally are in agreement with the AFL-CIO.
  • He said the Mueller investigation cost “$40 million.” – Except the final total was $32 million, and the government is expected to recoup about $17 million from former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort as a result of Mueller’s convictions.
  • Trump said, “We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions. – Except the Republicans will always do that.” Except the Republicans are now trying to get the courts to declare Obamacare void, without a plan to replace those pre-existing protections if their lawsuit succeeds.
  • He suggested that the Democrats’ Green New Deal proposal would require people to have no more than “a single car,” and would prohibit people from driving “more than 162 miles.” – Except the Green New Deal resolution does not include any restrictions on the number of cars people can own or how far they can drive.
  • He said the US has the “cleanest air that we’ve ever had in this country.” – Except by several measures, US air was cleaner under Obama than it’s been under Trump. There were more “unhealthy air days” for sensitive groups in 2018 than in 2016.
  • He said Asian American unemployment numbers are the best in history. – Except the unemployment rate for Asian Americans did briefly fall to a record low under Trump, but it is now slightly higher than it was in Obama’s last month in office.
  • He said that, before the 2016 election, Cubans in Miami “gave me the Bay of Pigs award. Can you imagine, right? The Bay of Pigs award.” – Except Trump got an endorsement from the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association, not an award. Oink!

Trump is suing his long-time accounting firm Mazars USA and New York district attorney Cyrus Vance to attempt to stop his accounting records and tax returns from being sent to the local prosecutor.

Speaking at a town hall at the Carter Center in Atlanta, former President Jimmy Carter made his feelings known on a Donald Trump victory in 2020, saying if Trump were reelected for a second term it would be ” a disaster to have four more years of Trump.” Expect Trump to respond in his usual way.

The White House plans to withdraw the nomination of Jeff Byard, Trump’s pick to lead the Federal Emergency Management Agency, seven months after he was nominated to the position. Instead, Trump is expected to nominate acting FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor – who is the agency’s confirmed deputy administrator.

On a somber day, Trump does what he does best

[Or not.]

9/11 continues to be a day of remembrance for Americans but that’s not as much of the case for Donald Trump.

“If it weren’t for the never ending Fake News about me, and with all that I have done (more than any other President in the first 2 1/2 years!), I would be leading the “Partners” of the LameStream Media by 20 points. Sorry, but true!” He tweeted that just 27 minutes before the first airplane hit New York 18 years ago.

[And for the 100th time, there is no way to confirm that he has done more than any other President within the first 2.5 years. You know it is a #FakeFact by him.]

He also tweeted ” In a hypothetical poll, done by one of the worst pollsters of them all, the Amazon Washington Post/ABC, which predicted I would lose to Crooked Hillary by 15 points (how did that work out?), Sleepy Joe, Pocahontas and virtually all others would beat me in the General Election….” Don’t think it was 15 points.

Outside of an image the only thing he tweeted about 9/11 was that he would speak at the Pentagon.

Trump remembered the victims, first responders and U.S. troops who have battled in Afghanistan. “For the families who join us, this is your anniversary of personal and permanent loss,” Trump said. He then ruined things by adding “If anyone dares to strike our land, we will respond with the full measure of American power and the iron will of the American spirit.”

Trump also made statement on how he helped but some of Trump’s statements about his 9/11 experiences cannot be verified, including claims that he sent construction crews to help clear the site, that he had “hundreds” of friends die at ground zero and that he witnessed television coverage of Muslims in the US cheering the destruction. This isn’t surprising.

President George W. Bush and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who was in his Pentagon office when the plane hit the building, held a separate private wreath-laying several hours later at the Pentagon. A snub maybe?

Trump claimed that he would host a secret meeting at Camp David with leaders of the Taliban and the President of Afghanistan. There was an agreement in “principle” and would require Trump’s approval. Trump then tweeted that he scrapped the meeting after the Taliban took credit for an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed a dozen people, including an American soldier.

Trump said the US has made “a lot of progress” toward ending the war in Afghanistan in negotiations with the Taliban in recent weeks and made clear his disdain for the US’ ongoing military presence in Afghanistan. But he also claimed “I could win Afghan war in a week”. Sure Donnie. Why don’t you try that except most allies would object because there would be many civilian and US casualties.

Critics, including in within “his” party, wonder how he can invite the enemy so close to 9/11 to Camp David.

Even opposition from within his own national security team, including Vice President Mike Pence, could not deter Trump from pressing forward with his plan to host Taliban leaders at the rural presidential getaway.

Trump tweeted that he has asked national security adviser John Bolton to resign, saying “I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation…”

Bolton tweeted minutes after Trump’s announcement, “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.'”

The tweet came just one hour after the White House press office said Bolton was scheduled to appear at a press briefing alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Bolton clashed with Trump over a number of issues including inviting Taliban leaders to Camp David, Venezuela and North Korean issues.

Trump supposedly had received multiple phone calls and appeals to replace Bolton with someone who agreed with him more and was willing to follow through with his decisions when he didn’t. So what’s the point of having an advisor? Can’t always agree with your boss.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch “Moscow Mitch” McConnell has said that any federal election security mandates would trample on states’ rights to run their own elections. In an impassioned 25-minute Senate floor speech recently, he claimed Democrats’ real goal was “nationalizing election authorities” and that they were pushing for “partisan wish list items that would not actually make our elections any safer.”

Some are saying he doesn’t want to potentially anger Trump – who still contends that Russia didn’t interfere in the 2016 election even though the government intelligence community said they did. It would make his 2016 less legitimate.

Trump said that the United States needs to be “careful” in making sure everyone entering the country from the Bahamas has proper documentation, suggesting dangerous individuals could sneak into the US along with those seeking refuge following Hurricane Dorian. “I don’t want to allow people that weren’t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come into the United States, including some very bad people and some very bad gang members, and some very, very bad drug dealers.” So no “bad hombres”?

Trump has privately and repeatedly expressed opposition to the use of foreign intelligence from covert sources, including overseas spies who provide the US government with crucial information about hostile countries. Spying on countries that the US consider enemies are one thing. But it is getting blurred with Trump chummy with Russia and North Korea. A report said that the United States in 2017 removed one of its highest-level covert sources inside the Russian government.

Trump claims that if you cheat on your spouse, you shouldn’t hold office. Well, he cheated on wife #1 with wife #2 and has had plenty of reported affairs and flings. Maybe he gets a special statute of limitations” because he announced this rule for him like a week.

Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding vote against Trump’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, but only after changing his position behind the scenes. He began to believe that Ross’ rationale for the citizenship question had been invented, and that, despite the deference he would normally give an executive branch official, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ claim had to matter in the court’s final judgment.

A panel of judges for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York revived a lawsuit alleging that President Trump is illegally profiting from his hotels and restaurants in New York and Washington in violation of the Constitution’s anti-corruption, or emoluments, clauses. It found that a lower court had wrongly dismissed the lawsuit.

Gregory Cheadle, the man then-candidate Donald Trump called “my African American” at a 2016 rally is leaving the Republican Party and no longer supports Trump. “I’m just sick and tired of the way blacks and other people of color have been treated by this administration and by the GOP,” Cheadle said.

At a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina recently, among the dumb comments:

  • “You know we won the greatest election, certainly one of them but maybe the greatest but we won one of the greatest.” – Over 1,000 days later, he’s still talking about it. Maybe his only true great thing he did in life. He talks about that win more than about his 5 children and his 3 wives.
  • “Every time I meet a foreign leader, almost every time, they say congratulations on what you’ve done with the economy.” – Uncheckable and most likely untrue.
  • “More Americans are working today than ever before in the history of our country almost 160 million Americans.” – But there are also more Americans in the working class.
  • “You know the other side, I don’t think they’re big believers. They’re not big believers in religion that I can tell you.” – As in the Democrats aren’t religious.

The Federal Reserve should cut US interest rates to “zero, or less,” said Trump in a tweet. Lower rates would give the country the chance to refinance its debt pile at lower rates. The United States does not refinance its debt this way.

Republicans won the special elections in North Carolina recently [House 9] but wasn’t much of a win. Trump won by 12 points the last time and the Republican barely won this time – 2 points. The Democrats haven’t won that district since 1962! Trump claimed that the Republican winner was losing by 17 points just 3 weeks ago. Unlikely. The Republicans, however, won the other special election easily.

Microsoft’s President Brad Smith recently released his book “Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age” where he revealed how the Trump administration wanted Microsoft to help spy on other countries. The paragraph read, “As an American company, why won’t you agree to help the US government spy on people in other countries?” Brad Smith noted that Microsoft made it clear to the government that they weren’t open to any discussion on the issue.

Trump says the United States has agreed to a two-week delay in a planned increase in tariffs on some Chinese imports as “a gesture of good will.” He says Chinese Vice Premier Liu He requested the delay “due to the fact that the People’s Republic of China will be celebrating their 70th Anniversary … on October 1st.” October 1st was the day for the increase to take effect.

Yahoo claims that 300,000 jobs have been killed by Trump’s trade wars with another 700,000 by the end of 2020.

Andrew Harris tried to hack his way into systems belonging to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to steal Trump’s tax returns just before the 2016 US election. The 24-year-old pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of computer fraud in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania court and faces up to two years in federal prison and a fine of up to $200,000.

Swedish authorities say that a man has been denied a vanity plate with the letters TRUMP because it violated motor vehicle department rules, calling the letter combination “offensive.” The rules state nothing political.

Of Sharpies, a hurricane and resorts

So when Donald Trump decided not to attend the 80th anniversary festivities regarding World War II, he ended up staying “home” – well at one of his resorts to play golf – twice. His excuse was that he needed to be in the US to monitor the Hurricane Dorian situation. Sure, he spoke to FEMA and coast guard officials.

While the hurricane made a bit of a dent in the US but only after the weekend, he could of flew back after.

“He’s clearly busy dealing with a hurricane out on the golf course,” jabbed London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a frequent critic of Trump. Trump responded with “… Kahn was bothered that I played a very fast round of golf yesterday…. People are afraid to even walk the streets. He is a terrible mayor who should stay out of our business!” How do you play a “fast” round? He always has to end a tweet with an untruthful jab at someone or some place. That’s his ego talking.

Vice-President Mike Pence flew back and forth from Doonbeg to Dublin for his meetings – more than an hour flight each way. Both Pence and an aide defended the arrangement, claiming that the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel was “the one facility” in Ireland that could accommodate the delegation traveling with Pence. All of Ireland and nothing in Dublin?

Doonbeg is his ancestral town [population is supposedly 200]. It has an airport? Since 2017, Pence’s political group has spent about $224,000 at Trump properties.

George W. Bush decided to stop playing golf halfway through his first term as president. “I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander-in-chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them.” Bush explained at the time. Trump wouldn’t care.

With Hurricane Dorian heading towards the US east coast, Trump claimed he has never known that a Category 5 hurricane has ever hit the US – there has been 4 since his term started. In addition, Trump claimed that Alabama would be hit by the hurricane. The National Hurricane Center had to correct Trump [as usual] by saying that Alabama would probably just get heavy rain. Alabama is a bit too west to get it by the hurricane.

Even days after he said it, while the hurricane has basically gone past Georgia, Trump is still saying that Alabama, along with the Carolinas and Georgia, “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, wrote in an email, “The current forecast path of Dorian does not include Alabama.” Trump even showed a NOAA produced map with someone putting a semi-circle around parts of Alabama.

Trump even pulled a Fox News reporter over to tell him that Alabama was threatened by Hurricane Dorian. Seems nobody wants to believe him.

Can’t make this up: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration later disavowed a tweet from the National Weather Service’s Birmingham, Alabama, office that had contradicted Trump’s false assertion that Hurricane Dorian was likely to hit the state. “…The information provided by NOAA and the National Hurricane Center to President Trump and the wider public demonstrated that tropical-storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama.”

After another mass shooting, Trump said background checks would not have stopped the mass shootings that have roiled the US over the past few years, and declared the US’s gun violence problem a mental health issue. Yes, we know he’s a medical expert – just like in climatology, psychology, etc.

The Trump administration is preparing a package of legislative measures which will include legislation that would expedite the death penalty for people found guilty of mass killings. Other potential steps include so-called red flag laws, which seek to prevent mentally ill people from getting guns. If death penalty given to mass killing shooters, that would mean sane people since it’s unlikely that the court would allow someone insane to be put to death. So then sane people are committing at least some of the mass murders.

“If the President is in favor of a number of things that he has discussed openly and publicly, and I know that if we pass it, it will become law, I’ll put it on the floor,” said Senate Majority Leader Moscow Mitch McConnell. Problem is that trump flip flopped so many times already on his positions.

McConnell has for months blocked nearly every piece of legislation passed by the Democratic-led House, including gun measures popular with the public that enjoy bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. Trump expressed openness to expand background checks after the Dayton and El Paso shootings but backed off under pressure from the National Rifle Association.

The Pentagon’s announcement that it will divert $3.6 billion in military construction funds to help fund the Trump Wall has sparked bipartisan anger from lawmakers who learned that their states will be impacted by the decision. Domestically, just under $1.8 billion is being shifted away from projects in 23 states and three US territories. Add another $1.8 billion in military construction projects overseas.

Among the sites affected are facilities used to store hazardous waste, repair Navy ships and conduct cyber operations, that had been identified as being in need of repair or additional construction. Puerto Rico was among the hardest hit of all US states and territories as it will see more than $400 million in funding for planned military construction projects diverted to the wall under the Pentagon’s plan.

Construction is expected to begin in about 135 days in areas where the federal government already owns the land along the border totaling about 95 miles. The rest is on private land that needs to be acquired for 81 miles won’t be completed until probably after 2020. 176 miles at $3.6 billion or about $20.5 million per mile! [The administration said 762 miles which comes out to over $15.5 billion.

This could be interesting. McConnell said he would defend funding for a new middle school in Fort Campbell in his home state of Kentucky after it was selected as one of the military projects the Trump administration will delay in order to fund border wall construction.

Trump, in his push to make good on his promise to supporters by Election Day, has told officials he will pardon them should they break any laws in attempting to finish construction on the wall at the US-Mexico border. Trump has instructed aides to speed up the process of building the wall, directing them to rush through billions of dollars’ worth of construction contracts, blow past environmental regulations and to “take the land” necessary by eminent domain.

In early Spring of this year, an Air National Guard crew flying a C-17 military transport made a routine trip from the US to Kuwait to deliver supplies. What wasn’t routine was where the crew stopped along each way: Trump’s Turnberry resort, about 50 miles outside Glasgow, Scotland. The House Oversight Committee has been investigating.

The military has spent $11 million on fuel at the Prestwick Airport — the closest airport to Trump Turnberry — since October 2017, fuel that would be cheaper if purchased at a U.S. military base. The letter also cites a Guardian report that the airport provided cut-rate rooms and free rounds of golf at Turnberry for US military members.

Interesting to note that national security adviser John Bolton hasn’t been invited to has been shut out of sensitive discussions on Afghanistan due to fears that he may leak information and clash with Trump. [If anything Trump will most likely leak information.] Bolton has also been left out of at least two North Korean related meetings. Bolton and Trump have also clashed about what to do about Iran and Syria. How long will he have his job?

The House Judiciary Committee, headed by Democrats, is broadening its investigation beyond former special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings as lawmakers confront lingering hurdles over impeaching Trump. Democrats say they will also focus heavily on questions over whether Trump is enriching himself while violating the emoluments clause in the Constitution, reports Trump dangled pardons to officials who were at risk of breaking immigration laws and his involvement in hush-money payments to over his alleged extramarital affairs — all of which could form articles of impeachment against Trump.

Former chief of staff John Kelly made a pact with Trump when he left saying if Trump doesn’t attack him, he won’t release any book until after Trump is out of office. Unsure how that makes a difference as you know Trump will attack him in either case.

When Trump’s personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, was pushed out of the White House for sharing intimate details about Trump’s family with reporters. Supposedly said Westerhout said disparaging things about Tiffany Trump during the off-the-record dinner with reporters and mentioned Trump’s youngest son, 13-year-old Barron. Westerhout referred to Tiffany’s weight and that she should lose it before taking pictures with her father and at one point said Trump loves Westerhout more than his own children.

Trump tweeted “While Madeleine Westerhout has a fully enforceable confidentiality agreement, she is a very good person and I don’t think there would ever be reason to use it.” The agreement could be a bit of a threat as some former inner circle members for Trump have written tell all books. Westerhout has not given any indication she would.

As for her confidentiality agreement, that could be debatable. She is a public civil servant. So other than not revealing any classified secrets, she wouldn’t have any agreement. However, however she probably signed an agreement during Trump’s campaign. Whether or not that would continue into her former position is debatable.

As if Trump has nothing to do [another mass shooting, a hurricane, trade wars], Trump went after actress Debra Messing saying “…when it [The Apprentice] then became a big hit, helping NBC’s failed lineup greatly, @DebraMessing came up to me at an Upfront & profusely thanked me, even calling me “Sir.” How times have changed!” This was after Messing tweeted that Trump should release a list of donors for a fundraiser in Beverly Hills.

A group of Trump’s allies is trying to raise at least $2 million to investigate reporters and editors Trump doesn’t like. In a fundraising pitch, the group claims it will provide damaging information about reporters and editors to “friendly media outlets,” such as Breitbart, as well as traditional media when possible.

Success! Upgraded to Windows 10 v1903

So a month or so ago I tried to upgrade to Windows 10 v1903 [19H1] from v1809.

If you remember [or not!] the history of my prime computer, I had tried to upgrade from v1709 to v1803 but it failed. Too many weird things such as certain options I could not change and I had issues with my audio card.

As I have Windows 10 Pro, I can delay these feature upgrades for up to a year – which I did. I skipped v1803 and upgraded from v1709 to v1809.

Over time, I also noticed that I was getting some issues with my sound card.

So after upgrading from v1809 to v1903 failed earlier this summer, I decided to “modernize” my sound card. It wasn’t the latest sound card but still newer than my old one – which was around 10 years old.

Yesterday, I upgraded to v1903 successfully. Seemed to take a bit longer than previously but I don’t see any issues. And for once, after upgrading, I didn’t have to spend time fixing the settings.

I tend to upgrade with the media, instead of waiting for Windows [or Microsoft] to notify me. So I go through the process of checking for updates and what to keep [among other stuff].

What I found interesting is that after it checked for updates, all it installed was the latest cumulative update for Windows 10 v1903.

What it didn’t include was a servicing stack update [KB4515530], a microcode update [KB4497165], and a .net Framework update [KB451155]. So why weren’t those included while checking for updates?

One reason why getting v1903 onto my system is that when v1909 [1`9H2] comes out at the end of this month or early next month [assuming no major issues again!]. v1909 will be not a feature update but a huge update [can you call it a service pack?] that will installed like a typical monthly update. But v1903 will be required for the v1909 update.

Note that Microsoft is expected to have a regular full installation for any system that isn’t at v1903 but want to go to v1909 directly.